Court begins Derry name change hearing

A court hearing in the North has begun over whether Derry City Council can change the official name of the town from Londonderry. Derry's nationalists have long-sought a change reviving the original Irish meaning of ‘Oak Grove’, but unionists are opposed to it.

The North’s Department of the Environment has said that any change requires a petition to the British Crown.

In 1613, King James the First granted the name Londonderry to the British guilds of the city to whom he'd given lands in the area.

In 1984, the City Council's name was changed, but the city itself continues to be officially known as Londonderry.

In court today, Michael Lavery, QC, for the Council said the Royal Charter is now subject to local government legislation and no such petition is needed.

The hearing continues.

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