Dating derry

The 1837 Ordnance survey of the county of Londonderry concurs, and remarks "this mode of abbreviation is usual in Ireland, whenever the name of a place is compounded of two distinct and easily separable words; thus [...] Carrickfergus is shortened into Carrick, Downpatrick into Down, [...] etc." In the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, the two-seat Westminster constituency of Londonderry was split into two single-seat constituencies.

The use of "Derry" rather than "Londonderry" in their names was proposed by Frank Hugh O'Donnell, who said he thought that "at the time when the London Companies were despairing of retaining their hold upon Derry this Amendment would be accepted by the House.

As a result, the Unionist community emphasised the London part of the name." The Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 and the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 abolished the councils of the counties and county boroughs, and the lower-level urban and rural districts.

These were replaced by 26 new districts based around towns and cities, including one whose area comprised the county borough of Londonderry and the adjacent rural district of the same name.

Three alternative proposals were rejected: to make no change to the name; to change to "Derry/Londonderry"; or to change the name of the city to "Derry" but retain the name of "Londonderry" for the walled city.

An equality impact assessment (EQIA) was instigated to advise how the resolution could best be implemented.

In 1984 the city council passed a resolution under section 51 of the 1972 Act to officially change the name of the district from "Londonderry" to "Derry", consequently changing the name of the council from "Londonderry City Council" to "Derry City Council".

To achieve the name change desired by the applicant it is necessary to alter the 1662 Charter by the further exercise of the Prerogative or by legislation.In 1978, councillor Fergus Mc Ateer of the Irish Independence Party (IIP) tabled a motion "that this council wishes that the official name of the city be restored to the original and more common name of Derry".It was passed with Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) support, on the understanding that no immediate action would be taken.The council's case was that the 1662 charter naming the city "Londonderry" was subject to subsequent local government legislation, and that the renaming of the city council in 1984 amended the charter by altering the name.The local government district and the city and the county are three separate entities.

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