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New twist in Maiden City name change row

By Lisa Smyth

The Equality Commission has recommended that Derry City Council halt plans to change the name of the Maiden City from Londonderry to Derry.

The long running debate over the name of the city took another twist yesterday when the Equality Commission published the findings of its report into an equality impact assessment on the proposals carried out by Derry City Council.

The Equality Commission said it recognises that the argument over the name is “deeply resonant of the history of Northern Ireland and touches on some of the fundamental issues of being associated with one of Northern Ireland’s two main traditions”.

The organisation has said it believes there are a wider range of options open to the city council in terms of the way in which it would take its decision than those which were formally addressed within the equality impact assessment.

The report said: “There is further confusion added by the fact that the council’s stated objectives and the aims of the policy are different in a significant way. Even within the policy aims there is a real conflict to the extent that it is virtually impossible to reconcile the differences between them.

“The stated objectives of the council, which appear to be the yardstick against which the council measures any approach to its proposal, pose an even more fundamental problem as they make no provision for taking into account the views of those who are not part of the majority.”

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