Townland names returning to help retain our heritage

PEOPLE in Fermanagh have been encouraged to include townland names in their postal addresses in a bid to keep them alive.
At a recent meeting of the Council’s environmental services committee the use of townland names sparked lengthy debate.
It was introduced by way of an updated report outlining that developers will be required to submit a site location plan together with suggested names for the street including two other alternatives if possible. It was noted that even if not used the Council will retain the townland name in all addresses so as to help and retain that part of the heritage.
Councillor Tommy Maguire raised questions in relation to the new policy.
He said, “Townlands usually have a name and reflect the geographical or historical connection to that bit of ground.
“To try and limit new names to the townland in my opinion seems a bit too restrictive in that you can’t just duplicate the townland name in its interpretation to every physical aspect that there is in the area.”
Suggesting that the Council’s Irish Language Officers may be able to aid developers he referred back to a previous suggestion he made.
“Maybe we could proactively, using our Irish language officers, develop a strategy where developers could contact these people within the Council to assist them with the name of a development which may reflect some historical or geographical significance to the area.”
A further suggestion was made that to send a covering letter including townland names and their meanings, also in Irish, to developers to help aid them.
Councillor Donal O’Cofaigh then asked for list of translations of townland names. While adding that in general he thought it a good policy he said, “I am shocked to hear that we have a definitive list of all the townlands in our Council area with a known translation because there are many townlands where I come from and no one knows what they mean and I have organised meetings with experts coming down from Queen’s and local people taught them what these townlands meant and they had it completely wrong and it’s because of mistranslation.
“It’s not simple as that because multiple languages are involved.”

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA