Plans to hold a plebiscite in Co Sligo to change the official name of Inishcrone to Enniscrone, as is commonly used by local people, may have to be put on hold pending new legislation.

In June Sligo County Council agreed to hold a plebiscite on the name change following a campaign by a local placenames committee and a provisional date of 20 September had been set for a vote among people living in the town.

However the council has now received legal advice that the plebiscite process should be deferred pending the enacting of new legislation.

The legislation concerned is a section of the Local Government Bill 2018 which was published in July and which, according to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, will mean "a more straightforward, up-to-date and reliable process for changing placenames" for local authorities.

Tale of two names: Is it Enniscrone or Inishcrone?

The Enniscrone Placenames Committee has been campaigning for the official name of the town to be reinstated as Enniscrone.

The group has researched the history of the name and says Enniscrone was the predominant name from the 1700s onwards with only the occasional use of Inishcrone.

However in the mid-1990s official road signs began appearing with the spelling Inishcrone. While it did not bother people too much initially, it grew to be a problem as local people, including businesses, continued to use Enniscrone and visitors to the seaside town often got lost trying to find it - particularly when satnavs did not recognise the name Enniscrone.

Sligo County Councillors will discuss the issue at their next monthly meeting.