The Last of the Names? Urris Place-Names Project

Ian Wright

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Parish Map

11. Clonmany Glebe
12. Cloontagh
13. Crossconnell
14. Dunaff
15. Fegart
16. Gaddyduff
17. Gort
18. Kinnea
19. Lagacurry
20. Lenan

Why collect place-names ?

Why bother ? In the past, people gave names to places for practical reasons: the inhabitants' description of the land, where they met each other and so on. In a subtle way place-names tell the story of the life of the land and the life of the people.

Today these names come to us like a voice from the past, a surviving historical record, sometimes where no documents exist. If we lose a place-name we lose an invaluable piece of information as well as a direct human link with the past.

In the Urris project, our chief aim is to capture the pronunciation of a name, locate the place and pin it down on our maps. Less important is the way it is spelt or its meaning - that can be determined at a later stage. As Brother Conolly says, sometimes you may never find a meaning. The name may be pre-Celtic, a link perhaps with a long-disappeared people.

What names are we looking for ? We are trying to discover any place-names, Irish and sometimes English, sometimes even pre-Irish, used in the past which have never appeared on a map.

We are looking for names of houses, fields and ditches; of paths, roads, cross-roads, bends in the road; of wells, drains, quarries, and ruins; of burial grounds, mills, kilns, forges; of bogs, hills, valleys, and streams. By the sea we want to collect names of the rocks, cliffs, promontories, beaches, and islands.

McGlinchey Summer School

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