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By Fr. J. Cremin.

Document 2:

This document and

Document 1: A Brief History of the Ancient Clans of Kilmurry Parish

are taken from
by Jeremiah O'Mahony, Castletown; published by The Kerryman Ltd., Tralee (no date)
Jeremiah O'Mahony was the schoolmaster in Castletownkenneigh National School (Enniskeane Parish). His son, Canon Liam O'Mahony, is at present Parish Priest of our next-door parish of Newcestown.

Kilmurry consisted originally of four parishes, namely, Kilmurry proper, Canovee (Canaway), Moviddy and Kilbonane.
The name Kilmurry is obviously derived from Cill, a church, and Muire, Mary, the special Irish form of the name of the Blessed Virgin.
Canovee is English for Ceann a rnhuighe, or head of plain, muighe being genitive of magh, a plain, and ceann, head. The plain of Maghallagh may be the one referred to.
Moviddy. This name has puzzled placename experts. For a while I toyed with Magh Mhide, plain of St. Ita, but I think I struck on the proper pronunciation when I decided it was derived from feid or fid, a narrow deep stream. The genitive is feide or fide, and the whole word means the plain of the slender stream, or Magh bhfide, the neutral syllable magh eclipsing the f' of fide. The diminutive Fidawn is commonly used for a little stream.
The name Kilbonane is derived from Cill and Benan, or Benignus in Latin, a saint's name. St. Benan was the successor of St. Patrick in the See of Armagh. There was another church dedicated to this saint in Dumnanway parish, west of Kilcaskan.


Aherlamore and Aherlabeg (Kilbonane parish) are from the name Eatharlach, a hollow, and more and beg, mean, respectively, big and small. Knockgroigybeg means hill of little old man. Knockcahymore equals Cnoc-ceatha-moir, or the hill of the big ceatha or bog cutting. Apparently there were turf banks here formerly. Those two latter places form part of the townland of Aherla.

Ardrath (Kilmurry Parish) means the height of the fort. The Commons, or Common mountain is an English title which signifies that in former times this was commonage, or open land, on which neighbouring tenants had the right to graze stock. There used to be a great fair held here, and tradition has at least one story of a great fight or contest between the head of the O'Mahony Sept, Cian an hrochair, and the head of the MacSwiney Sept, Diarinuid Mhurrinn.

Baillingoille (Moviddy Parish) is derived from Baile and giolla, a man servant to a horseman.

Ballymichael (Kilmurry Parish) was formerly written Ballyomichael and in Irish is rendered Baili Ui Mhichil, showing that Michael in this case is a surname, although the name O'Michael has not surived to my knowledge as a family name. At the south side of Ballymichael the village of Kilmurry is situated.

Ballytrasna (Kilmurry Parish) means the cross townland, that which extends crosswise from hill to hill, from treasna, across. It could also mean where there was a pathway, treasna or across the ploughland.

Ban-a-teampall (Canovee Parish) is derived from Bawn, a green field, and teampall, a church, and the word means, the level place of the temple or church.

Bealnablath (Kilmurry Parish) SEE UNDER GLOWNEROUGA

Bellmount (Moviddy Parish) is a literal interpretation of Ard-a-cloig, or height of the bell, though what was the significance of this particular bell is not known.

Carraigdarrery, (Kilmurry Parish) means the rock of the oak tree wood. Dairbhre or Dairire means a place abounding in oak.

Castlemore (Moviddy Parish) has been written Cashelmore, also, and could apply to an old caiseal or fort that existed here in olden times. This was superseded by the castle of which the ruins still remain and give the name Caislean mor, the big castle.

Classes (Canovee Parish) is one of those unusual words where an English plural is introduced. It means a narrow glen from Irish word Clais (Clash), a hollow, or furrow. This was known as Clashfaddy, or Long Glen in former times. The long glen came to be called glens and so we get glens or Classes.

Clearagh (Kilmurry Parish) SEE UNDER KILBARRY

Clochdha (Kilmurry Parish) is explained as David's Stone. Here again I am not in entire agreement. The Irish name of David is generally given in two syllables as Dawhee. Da could here be a part of a word like da abhainn, two rivers. The stone where the two rivers meet would then be an explanation. Places with cognate endings like adha loch, are numerous.

Cloghduve (Moviddy Parish) is self-evident and means black stone. Whether the colour applies to one stone or to the general colour of stones in the locality is a question for discussion.

Cooldrom (Canovee Parish) is pronounced Coodrum. From its spelling it signifies the cul or recess of the ridge, that is a hollow in a ridge of land. From its sound it could mean Cu drom, or hound ridge.

Coolduff (Kilmurry Parish) is equivalent to the black or dark Cul or recess.

Coolmacow or Clochmacow (Kilmurry Parish), south of Kilmurry, is as vague in its meaning as in its pronunciation. The first part of the word is obviously Cloch, a stone, and the latter part is cabha, which could mean many things, which for want of any tradition, cannot be differentiated. It may mean a cave, a bend, or turn, and the word may mean the stone of the hollow. If we allow the introduction of the syllable 'ma' or 'mo' we open up new possibilities and the word would include a proper name. We had a Saint Mochua, and the word could mean the stone of Mochua. As in the case of other hitherto vague terms this may be yet satisfactorily explained when additional knowledge may be unearthed.

Coolmakee (Moviddy Parish) is thought to be derived from Cul, a nook, and muicidhe (muckee), a pig drover. Pigs in large numbers were a part of native economy in ancient times and just as the cows had an aodhaire, the pigs had a muicidhe to care them. The latter part of the word could, however, represent a man's name, MacAoidh, modernised Magee.

Coolnashamrogue (Canovee Parish) SEE UNDER COOLSNASOON

Coolnasoon (Canovee Parish). I have seen this explained as the nook or recess of the wild strawberries, though grammatically the insertion of the final 'n' cannot be justified. Coolnasuv would be the expected Irish form of this explanation. However, the proximity of Coolnaseamrogue, the corner of the shamrock, might seem to corroborate this opinion. Sonn, a stake, may be the root word here, and Cul-na-soon could be interpreted as the corner of the palisade or stakes.

Craw (Kilmurry Parish) appears to be another form of Curra. as in Curraclogh. The 'aw' sound at the end would suggest an ath, or river crossing and cor, winding.

Crookstown (Moviddy Parish), called after Thomas Crook, an English planter, is known in Irish as Bailegalldha, which is generally thought to mean the place of the foreigners. Literally, it means foreign place. I disagree with this long-accepted explanation. I think galldha has no connection with foreigners. If it were meant to convey this meaning we would have Baile-na-nGall, the place of the Gall or foreigners. I suggest that galldha is really the genitive case of the word gabhail, a fork in a river and the name means the place where the river forks or bends.

Crosmahon (Kilmurry Parish) reads Mahon's Cross. Some think that this refers to that Mahon brother of Brian Boru who was slain by order of Maolmuadh. I do not concur. From its position, it is unlikely to have been associated with Mahon's death. It may refer to one of many Mahons whose names occur among the chiefs who ruled this district.

Currabeha (Kilmurry Parish) is south of Coolmacow. Here again we have Curra and beith, the birch tree, meaning the homestead of the birch tree.

Curraclogh (Kilmurry Parish) is derived from Curra, an enclosure, or homestead. and cloch, a stone or stones in plural, to distinguish it from earthen mounds or lioses. There is another townland of similar import near Bandon. Some people confuse this root word with Corrach, a marsh.

Curraineenbrien (Kilbonane parish) is an intriguing word. When analysed it gives the words, Curra, enclosure or homestead; inghean, daughter, and Brian, (Brian Boru), that is the residence of the daughter of Brian Boru. Sadhbh, or Sabia, who married Cian, King of the Ui Eachach. This townland is not far from Rath Raithleann and indicates that the royal forts extended a pretty good way from the King's residence.

Deermount (Kilmurry Parish) is an anglicization of Cnoc a' cairrfhiadh. Cnoc, a hill, and cairrfhiadh, a wild deer.

Dooniskey, (Kilmurry Parish) is apparently derived from Dun, a fort, and uisge, water, the rampart being once surrounded with a water trench for defence. An alternative explanation, I suggest, is Dun-na-sgiath, the fort of the shields. We have Lios-na-sciath, in the north.

Dunmarklann (Kilmurry Parish) is derived from Dun, a fortress, and marclann, a stable. Compare Uachtarlann, a creamery, from Uactar and lann.

Farnanes (Moviddy Parish) is a name not easily explained. The root word may be Fearan, a land division and an (awn), a diminutive, the whole word meaning 'the small townland', or Fearanans, the English 's' having crept in. Others would derive this from fearn, the alder tree.

Farrandubh (Kilbonane parish) stands for black townland, possibly from black colour of soil. Colours are frequently used in place-names of this parish, i.e., black, yellow, white, etc.

Forrest (Canovee Parish) See RATHONANE

Garran-Ui-Long (Moviddy Parish), from Garran, a grove, and Long a surname. The Longs were an important family in Canovee in old times.

Glownerouga (Kilmurry Parish) extends across the Bride, south of Currabeha. It means the glen of the rout, possibly a rout after a battle. The district in a restricted sense here is called Bealnablath. This means the mouth or opening of the ravine, or pass through hills, an appellation that aptly fits the situation. That explanation of the flower blossoms is what the Americans style as 'boloney!'

Gurrane-na-Muddagh (Moviddy Parish) is an anglized form of Garran-na-mbodach, from Garran, a grove, and bodach, churls, usually wealthy landowners.

Gurranleigh (Moviddy Parish), east of Warrensgrove, means the grey grove from liath, grey, probably from colour of bark of trees.

Hornhill, (Kilmurry Parish) known also as Knocknaneirk, is composed of Cnoc, a hill, and adharc, a horn. The word means the hill of the horns, probably hunting horns where hunters assembled.

Inchikeraine (Moviddy Parish), south of the Bride, means Kieran's inch. It is now called Ryecourt.

Inchinagaorach (Kilmurry Parish) means the inch, or holm, near a river (of the sheep) from Caora.

Inchirahilly (Moviddy Parish) is the name of the ploughland of which Crookstown forms a part. It is apparently derived from the words Inse and Rahilly (Rathaile), a man's name. It is thought this Rathaile was a brother of Cian who married the daughter of Brian Boru, and who, with him and his brother Cathal, fell at the battle of Magh Gliath.

Inchymore (Canovee Parish) means, Inse, a river holm, and more, big.

Kilanardrish (Canovee Parish) is a name that admits of argument. Some say it means the church of the high door; from Cill, ard, and doras. Others maintain it means the church of the high wood from Cill, ard, and ros, forming Cillardrois.

Kilbarry (Kilmurry Parish) is simply Cill Barra, the church of St. Finbarr. Remains of an old church still exist. In this district we have Clearagh which appears to mean Presbytery, or priests' house, from words Cliar, clergy, and teach, a house.

Kilbonane (Kilbonane parish) SEE PARISH NAMES AT THE TOP OF THIS LIST.

Kilbrennan (Moviddy Parish). This is explained as the church of St. Benan, or Brendan, and was the site of a church attached to Rath Raithleann. Remains of an old church still exist there.

Kilcondy (Moviddy Parish) is explained as the church of the black hound from Cill, a church; con, genitive of cu, and duibhe, genitive of dubh, black. This is a romantic explanation and I believe the meaning of the word is simply the cill or church of Condy (Conduibhe), a man's name. There were early saints of this name, and who in modern days has not heard of Condy's Fluid?

Knockanroe (Moviddy Parish) is simply the little red hillock, from Criocan, a hillock, and ruadh, red. It got this descriptive name probably from the colour of the soil.

Knockavallig (Canovee Parish) equals Cnoc, a hill, and bealaigh, genitive of bealach, a way or passage and means hill of the roadway. This word is now, I believe, generally pronounced Knockavullig, which could mean the hill of the mullach or summit, though the reverse usage is more common where we get Mullach-an-cnoic, the summit of the hill. Monallig and Knochavullig went under the combined names of Rehenbane and Knockavallig. The former name is obscure but may mean Raheen, or little fort, and ban, white. The name now appears to be extinct.

Knockboy (Kilbonane parish) stands for Cnoc buidhe, or yellow hill, probably so called from yellow blossoms of some plants that grew on it.

Knocknahylon (Kilbonane parish) is an interesting name. I believe it to be Cnoc-na-hadhlann, or hill of the armour or military equipment. The river Illen, flowing past Skibbereen, appears to have a similar origin. Aidlile, an adze, would fit in were it not for the word ending in the letter, namely, 'n'.

Leacht Neil (Kilmurry Parish)l means the flagstone of Niall, commemorating the death of some very old hero. Some suggest that here was buried a soldier of O'Neill's army that retreated from Kinsale. If that were so we would have Leacht Ui Neill. The absence of the O, or Ui indicates an early date before the twelfth century.

Lehenagh (Canovee Parish) is, I believe, derived from Liath, grey, and eannach, a marsh near a river. Before reclamation this name probably was very suitable. An alternative explanation is that the word is derived from Leathan, wide.

Lissarda (Kilmurry Parish) is usually explained as being derived from the words Lios, a fort; ard, high, and acha. a field, meaning the fort of the high field. As the syllable acha is not pronounced by Irish speakers, I am inclined to think the words mean simply Lios arda, or the fort of the heights or mounds.

Mahallagh (Canovee Parish) appears to me to mean the miry or dirty plain, from Magh, level land, and salach, miry or muddy. It could also mean the plain of the sally trees from sailleach, sally.

Monallig (Canovee Parish) , this is a word of doubtful origin. The first part is obviously Moin, a bog, and allig, may be genitive of the word eallach, cattle or property of some kind, and may be explained: the bog of the cattle. Ailig also means a stone house.

Pullerick, (Kilmurry Parish) to the south of Curraclogh, was a puzzle to me till I discovered that a little river called the Lairig flows into the Bride here. Thus we have the words Poll and lairig, or the pool of the Lairig river. In an old map this was spelled Ballynirk, which may be a corruption of Pullerick, or may mean the Baile or townland of the horns, being near Knocknaneirk.

Rathard (Kilbonane parish) comes from Rath, a fort, and ard, high; a name that corresponds with the situation.

Rathonane (Canovee Parish) is given as the fort of the uarnhain, or cave. In cases where this word for cave is anglicized the 'v' sound is generally retained as in Ovens. Umhan in this case may represent the word for fright, the fort where someone got a fright from the good people, but a simpler explanation would be Rath and uain, the fort of the lamb. Forest is the modern name.

Rathphelane (Moviddy Parish) means the rath or fort of Faolan. This, along with Rathculleen, the rath of Cullen, the harper, were two of the forts of the royal residence of the Ui Eachach.

Rearour (Kilbonane parish) comes from Re, high level land, and reamhar, fat or stout. It could here mean extensive or wide.

Ryecourt (Moviddy Parish) SEE INCHIKERAINE

Scartmore (Kilbonane parish) means big white-thorn. This is a common place name, and those old whitethorn bushes had usually an unsavoury reputation as places where evil spirits made their home.

Warrensgrove (Moviddy Parish) was formerly known as Garrandahune, or Garranda-abhainn, the grove of two rivers, where they meet.

Scanned, sorted alphabetically and published to HTML. 
by Fr. Jerry Cremin.
Jan. 06 -1999