Lahinch or Lehinch - what difference does it make?

Residents could be faced with a vote on the name change

Lahinch or Lehinch - what difference does it make?

Image: Flickr

Residents of surfing hot spot Lahinch in County Clare may soon be voting to change the town's name.

The area has been known as 'Lahinch' since the 1850s. However, five years ago, the name was changed on road signs to 'Lehinch'.

Michael Vaughan, owner of Vaughan’s Lodge Hotel in Lahinch, called it an "identity crisis" on The Pat Kenny Show.

"It makes a huge difference now, especially with the age we're in which relies so much on GPS and other means to get to a place," he said.

"The name Lahinch has been in common parlance for over 150 years, and any common sense by any standard would leave the name alone."

The name changed when the National Roads Authority - now Transport Authority Ireland -  took over the responsibility for road signs five years. The body asked the county council to put together a Place Names Commission so that they could correct misspellings and typos in the area.

A select committee was then established, which decided to return to the original derivation of the town's name.

A spokesperson from the Transport Authority Ireland told The Pat Kenny Show that, did not take responsibility for the name change, saying that they simply applied it.

Vaughan said the name change will have a wide-ranging impact on businesses.

"I may be disadvantaged in terms of my placing for Google searches," he said. "I'm all for holding on to tradition but I also think common sense should prevail."