I'm wondering if anyone has any experience that they could share about how to go about starting to change over to use the Irish language version of their name as opposed to the English version.
As far as I can see its a bit of a catch 22 when it comes to driving licence or passport. You need to provide proof of usage but nowhere official will allow you to change to your name over to the Irish language version without having photo id showing it in Irish to begin with.
So far the only success I have had is changing over my personalised leap card, health insurance & dublin bike card.
If anyone has any suggestions about how to get other things changed over to build up a bit of documentary usage I would love to hear from you.
Have you thought of changing it by deed poll?
It would probably cost you a bit though.
Unfortunately this isn't something you can easily do like a "Patrick" going by "Paddy" (or "Pádraig"!).
For official documentation you must change your name officially by Deed Poll.
I would have thought that you are perfectly entitled to use either the English or Irish version of your name.
I could well be wrong, of course...
I suppose in a way I kind of object to the deed poll idea, I want to use the Irish form of my name, its not a different name per se, it's just the Irish spelling of it. I know the deed poll would be the easiest way to do it but I feel I shouldn't have too as its the same name.
Its not like I want to change my name to "His Royal Highness Emperor Horatio Bumfluff McDanger the fifth" or anything off the wall. I just want to use the Irish language spelling of my name in Ireland where Gaeilge is supposed to our national and first language (in law if not in practicality)
In order to get your driving licence changed for example you can get it switched to the Irish spelling by providing two official documents using the Irish spelling and a photo id.
"Change of name using the Irish version of name: You must submit 2 pieces of evidence of usage of the new name, for example, a utility bill, correspondence with a government body or a payslip."
So far I've been able to change the following things.
Car registration certificate (and associated motor tax)
Dublin Bike card
Personalised leap card
I've also in correspondence with An Coimisinéir Teanga regarding how the language act effects official bodies.
I think I will probably be able to get enough stuff switched over to force them to update driving licence which can then be used to update enough things like bank accounts which will be proof for passport.
In some ways its farcical what will count as evidence. For example a letter from Wexford county council libraries section about a late book counted as proof to get my dublin library card changed over.
Back to the driving licence the accepted requirements on the NDLS page are as follows
Photographic Id- Current irish travel document - Got it. leap card
Evidence of residency- passport- got it just not in Irish. Should be enough as its being used to show im Irish not to show name
Evidence of PPS- EHIC Card- Got it in Irish.
Evidence of address- Other official correspondence from an Irish state agency e.g. government departments; HSE; Register of Electors/polling card; CAO; Susi; An Garda Síochána; Public / Private hospitals, Private Residential Tenancies Board or third level college, Secondary school /training agency, NCT Reports or reminders,An Post, TV Licence - I have letters from County Council and from An Coimisinéir Teanga. If I was so inclined I could also get TV licence updated or I could get something from NCT as my registration details are updated.
I have my driving license and passport in Irish, but a lot of my day to day documentation is in English. That’s just how things have evolved for me since I got my first passport at 16. I don’t see a difference, but I can understand how computer systems don’t see me as the same person.
Is there any other country where people can very validly have two different forms of their name?
I suppose is there any other country that has the same issue with its national language being subsumed by another language? Perhaps Scotland (Gàidhlig), Wales (Cymraeg) and Cornwall (Kernowek) would be good examples where the local language was phased out by a foreign ruling body and the native use of the language died out.
It's bizzare how some places are rather accepting of changing things over and others are not. I can understand banks for fraud reasons and your passport. I had heard anecdotally that the passport name change used to commonly be done when someone had overstayed their visa using their english language spelling of the name and they applied for a passport using the Irish language spelling to get around that. (not why i'm doing it incidentally).
I know that some teachers would keep their day to day documents in English but are known professionally by the Irish language spelling of their name for example Mary O'Donnell going by Ms Ní Dhomhnaill.
On a recent financial doumenr, I had to sign everything twice, in English and Irish. They had never encountered the situation before and weren’t sure how to deal with it. Same first name, two forms of my surname.