Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire
On Show 2020
Killian Mooney

“An Inis” (Irish for “the island”) is a project that will take you on a journey through Ireland’s wonderful place names. Through a series of individual guidebooks, “An Inis” aims to reveal the legends, stories and beautiful language that is contained Ireland’s place names. Over the centuries these place names, each one full of meaning and history, have been replaced with Anglicised versions that contain no meaning, their sole purpose being to be more suited to English speech. “An Inis” aims to restore the original Irish versions of place names to the public’s attention. These place names should be treated as valued and cherished national treasures, given their deep and historic relationship to both the country’s history and its landscape. This project also aims to promote the usage of the Irish language. In the 2016 Census, of the 1.7 million people who said they were able to speak Irish only 73,803 said they do so on a daily basis.

The project is centred around the guidebook series. The series contains one guidebook for each county in Ireland. Each guidebook provides the reader with guided tours of around the county’s most beautiful place names, with information about histories, legends and how each place name came to be as it is today. Other products in the range include fold-out maps for each county and a reference phrasebook that contains the Irish words and their English translations for the most common words to be found in Ireland’s place names. These products would be available for purchase in local tourist offices and bookshops. Alongside the commercial outputs are the promotional outputs which include promotional posters and an information micro website.

I am most interested in design that serves a practical function. I like simple typographic and visual solutions that capture the essence of the communication objective. Dissertation title: “Communicating Confusion: The Identity of the Irish language in Dublin’s Bi-Lingual Public Signage.”