Sinn Féin Councillor Thérèse Ruane welcomed the support of her elected colleagues on the local town council for her proposal to erect the plaque in memory of the 11 Addergoole people who did when Titanic sunk a hundred years ago.
However she has expressed disappointment that, despite having statutory obligations, they opposed making the plaque bilingual.
Councillor Ruane has brought the matter to the attention of the Irish language commissioner, Coimisinéir na Teanga.
She stated: “As the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic and Mayo Titanic Cultural Week (April 8 to 15) approaches, it is entirely appropriate that Castlebar Town Council plays its role in this commemoration.
“With that in mind, I proposed at the December meeting of the council that we meet with representatives of Irish Rail with a view to erecting a suitable memorial in the memory of those who died on the Titanic and to remember those who have emigrated from our shores.
“I got unanimous support for this motion from councillors. And, at the February meeting, they showed further support for the project by agreeing to fund the plaque from the heritage fund set aside in the Budget 2012.
“But I am very disappointed that four of the seven councillors voted against the erection of a bilingual plaque and voted to erect it in English only. This is breaking the law.
“We have as a council a statutory obligation to erect any plaques or signage in Irish and English, or Irish only, according to Acht na Teanga Oifigiúla 2003 or the Official Language Act 2003.
“I have brought the issue to the attention of the Coimisinéir na Teanga and expect that this issue will be investigated.
“Aside from our obligations under Acht na Teanga, there is a compelling case for the plaque to be in Irish.
“According to the 1911 census, 52 per cent of people in the Addergoole parish were Irish speakers and it's highly likely that the Addergoole fourteen were native Irish speakers.
“It's really important that we honour and show respect for their heritage. Also, since the 1950s all signage at railways stations has been erected in Irish and in English so this will stand out at Castlebar Railway Station as a monolingual sign.
“I hope that this issue can be resolved and a satisfactory outcome reached. Failing this, I expect that this will be investigated by the Coimisinéir na Teanga.”
Councillor Michael Kilcoyne said the reason he voted against the type of bilingual plaque Councillor Ruane wanted was because it would increase the cost from €1,400 to over €2,500.
He explained: “I supported reducing the size of the plaque in order to ensure it was bilingual. But Councillor Ruane was not happy with the alternative size so a compromise could not be reached at the meeting. The additional cost factor could not be overlooked.”
The Mayor, Councillor Eugene McCormack, Councillor Frank Durcan and Councillor Blackie Gavin were the other elected members who opposed the additional costs involved, but they were in favour of a smaller sized bilingual memorial.