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Mistaken identity as Co Armagh village renamed in council gaffe

By Allan Preston

Residents in a Co Armagh village suffered a brief identity crisis yesterday after a council blunder saw their area renamed.

Locals in Derrymacash, near Craigavon, were left bemused after a new sign from Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council proclaimed the small village was now known as Aghagallon - which is located nearly seven miles away.

Bemused responses soon appeared on the Save Craigavon City Park and Lakes Facebook page.

One read: "For anyone travelling to Aghagallon today, it has now moved to Derrymacash. Lovely new ABC Council signs put up today.

"Maybe if we move the signs for City Park, South Regional College will build somewhere else?"

The council quickly held up its hands.

A spokesperson said: "The external contractors employed to erect signage in rural areas are now removing the incorrect signage."

During the confusion, one Derrymacash resident joked to a friend on social media: "You're gonna have to leave the tones (Derrymacash's Wolfe Tone GAA club) - can't have Aghagallon men playing for them!" It's suspected that the error arose as Derrymacash is often confused with the neighbouring townland of Aghacommon.

SDLP councillor Joe Nelson, who hails from Aghagallon, joked on Facebook: "Aghagallon has been moved to Aghacommon.

"I know they have a lot in 'common' as they both begin with Agha - maybe the contractor's satnav let them down."

He later said he could understand the confusion: "The village in that area is actually called Aghacommon, it's colloquially known as Derrymacash.

"But the townland of Derrymacash is actually two miles up the road. So it seems they got their 'Aghas' mixed up.

"They're both small nationalist villages, quite similar, but I don't think people are taking it too seriously.

"So really some contractor has been given the job of installing a sign at a village where only the locals really know what it's actually called."

He added: "As far as I'm aware the sign in Aghagallon doesn't now say Aghacommon.

"I was driving through Aghacommon yesterday at 4pm and saw the contractors taking the sign down pretty quickly."

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