Name origin and spelling
palmer" in medieval times was a pilgrim who returned from the
Holy Land with a palm branch or leaf; in the case of Palmerstown the pilgrims were associated with the
leper hospital of
Saint Laurence in the
townland of the same name.
 The spelling "Palmerston" rather than "Palmerstown" was fixed by the
Ordnance Survey of Ireland in the 1830s; this remains the legal spelling and is officially recognised by
South Dublin County Council.
 Locals generally use "Palmerstown", and
road signs have used both.
Local Government Act 2001 requires a
plebiscite of residents for a legal name change.
 In 2009 a plebiscite to change to "Palmerstown" was narrowly defeated.
 Supporters of the change argued that the wording of the ballot confused some voters who wanted "Palmerstown" but voted No.
 Opponents argue the cost of changing road signs is prohibitive.
 A second vote was tabled by South Dublin County Council in December 2013.
 Others argue that the name "Palmerston" legally applies only to the
civil parish and townland, and that the locality known as "Palmerstown" has a separate identity.
 A 2015
plebiscite officially added the missing "W" to the name.
Viscount Palmerston created in 1722 in the
Peerage of Ireland derives from the place;
 its spelling also varied,
 but the form "Lord Palmerston" is now usual for
the Victorian prime minister.