The Place Names of Mohill )
by Michael Whelan
are 127 townlands listed for the parish of Mohill giving an area of 19,000
However Cloonlaughil, Tullyoran and Mullaghrigny are partly in the parish of Gortletteragh. Many of the town lands listed are divided into Upper and lower and some town land names occur more than once. When all this is accounted for the number of actual place names is much less. The first comprehensive mapping of Ireland was done by the English government in the1820s and 1830s, the survey team having completed its mapping of Co Leitrim by the year 1836. One of the members of the Ordnance Survey team was the great Gaelic scholar and antiquarian, John O'Donovan, whose task was to ensure that matters of antiquarian interest would not be neglected during the project and would be included on the various map sheets. O'Donovan's letters and O'Donovan's name-books are very valuable items of information and tell us many things about the Mohill of the 1830s.
The interpretation of townland place names is a very difficult task, for many place names have been corrupted over the years.
The interpretation, therefore, of Mohill place names cannot be guaranteed as being definite but great care was taken in this project to deal fully and comprehensively with each name. The place names are given in alphabetical order.
Achadh Drama Ghairn, the terrain of the 'cairn' or monumental heap of
stones. This signifies a pre-historic grave.
Annaghderg: Eanach Dearg, Red bog or Red Marsh. A townland in the Gorvagh district of the parish. Tradition records that in the eighteenth century a Franciscan priest, Father Phelim Conlon, used to celebrate Mass at a spot beside the house of John Logan of Annaghderg. The exact spot is marked by an old crab tree just at the entrance to the garden. If on any particular Sunday the priest could not be there people would come and pray at the spot. The custom continued until after Penal Times. Logan's mill in this townland is still well remembered.
Ait Ti Manuis, the site of the house of Manus.
Achadhna gCros, the terrain or field of the diverging paths. (i.e. cross
Breandrum: Brean Dram, The hill of the foul-smelling herbs or weeds. In 'landlord' times the town land was divided, Breandrum King and Breandrum Peyton, by the landlords, King and Peyton. In 1826 there was a 'hedge' school here attended by 197 Catholic pupils, though it was described as "a small cabin". The teacher's name was Thomas Gralton. His income was "from 1/6 to 4 shs per qr." per pupil.
Bunkilleen: Bun Coillin, the 'bottom' land of the little wood.
Bunnybeg: Buinne Beag, The small watery place. Buinne means stream or any flow of water, a term applied to watery or 'spewy' land liable to flooding. The great local scholar and surveyor, Francis McGann drew a map of Bunnybeg on a cured sheepskin. The townland borders Lough McHugh. The Lawders were well-known landlords here in former times.
Bunnymore: Buinne Mor, The large watery place.
Cappagh: Ceapach, a plot of land laid out for tillage. This townland which stretches right up to the town of Mohill was in early Christian times part of the lands attached to St Manachan's monastery.
Carrick: Carraig, a rocky place. Locally the townland is called Corrick.
Carrigeen: Carraigín, A small rocky place. This townland overlooks both Lough Errill and Lough McHugh.
Cartron: Ceathramhain, a land measurement varying from 80 to 160 acres. The national school in Cartron has been closed since 1975.
Cavan: Cabhan, a hollow place. The Catholic Church, built by Rev John Evers in 1843, is situated in this townland. The original church which was also in this townland was converted into a national school about the year 1846. In the registration of 'Popish Priests', 1704, Rev James Reynolds is given as living in Cavan.
Clarashinnagh: Clar an tSionnaigh, the raised land of the fox. The West landlord family, of whom Harry West was in later times M.P. for Co Fermanagh, lived here until about the year 1880.
Cloonbo: Cluain Bó, Pastureland for cows.
Clooncahir: Cluain Cathair, Gahir's meadow. It may well have a different meaning but there is nothing visible today in the townland to suggest any other translation.
Coolabaun: Cula Bán, the white-backed hill. Ban denotes green, grassy ground. It lies close to the town and is another town land that was formerly part of the lands attached to St Manachan's monastery.
Corboghill: Cor Buachaill, the round hill of the boys. Possibly the young boys of the neighbourhood gathered here to play. The fields here as in other town lands got their names from the people who lived in them e.g. Halfpenny's field, Richard's field, Soldier's field. There are spring wells and a spa well here. A man from Corboghill, Alec Simpson, fired the opening shots which led to the battle of Drumcollip in 1796.
Corduff: Cor Dubh, the black round hill. Corduff Hill was locally known as "Healy's" hill and was noted for the quality of its 'spring' water.
Corgallion: Cor Ghaillean, the round hill of the standing stones. In this town land can be seen a Mass rock used in Penal Days. The corn mill, known as Canning's mill, is still in a fine state of preservation.
Corgar: Cor Gearr; the short round hill
Corlaskagh: Cor Lascach, the round hill of the lights. This was a place where the land was burned, probably for agricultural purposes, and this may be the reason for the lights rather than 'will-o'-the-wisp' lights.
Corlea: Cor Liath, the grey round hill.
Cormore: Cor Mór the big round hill.
Cornageeha: Cor na Gaoithe, the windy round hill..
Cor na Greise, hill of the conflict. Apparently there was a battle fought
here long ago.
Corracaboon: Cor a'Chabuin, While cabún means an ignorant fellow it also means crowing hens and this may well be the meaning in this instance. In olden times the tenure for the townland was a capon or white 'rooster' and this may have had a bearing on the name of the place.
Corracramph (North): Cor a' Chreamha, the round hill of the wild garlic. This town land lies in the northern part of the district of Eslin and borders the parish of Kiltoghert.
Corraterriff: Cor a' Tairbh, the round hill of the bull. In this townland there was a R.I.C. barracks.
Crossdruman: Cros Dromáin, a belt of small hills. They connect the hills of Leitrim Lower with Glasdrumman. In this townland there is a wart well.
Curragha: Curracha, marshy or wet land.
Curraghoaghry: Cor an Uacaire, the round hill of the blanket thickener. Blanket thickening was a very skilled trade in olden times and a rough wollen garment had to be worked on for a long time by a man skilled in this trade. Possibly there was a place in Curraghoaghry where this work was done. Alec McDonald, the last of the hedge-schoolmasters, had a school here.
Curraun: Corrán, rough marshy land. The eminent Canadian poet, William Henry Drummond was born here in 1854. There was a national school here in the 1830s.
Doonarah: Dun a'Ratha, the doon or fortress set on the rampart.
Drimna: Droimne, little hill ridges or ridged shaped land.
Drumbeighra: Droim Beithreach, hill ridge abounding in birch trees.
Drumboy: Droim Buí the yellow hill ridge - probably from the reddish colour of the soil. There was a 'national' schoolhouse in this townland.
Drumcollagan: Droim Colgain, the hill ridge of the thorn bushes.
Drumcroy: Droim Crua, the hard or tough hill ridge.
Drumdart: Droim Dairt, the hill ridge of the heifer. Ebenezer of the Slacke landlord family from Derby in England is recorded as living here at Lakeview House about the year 1750.
Drumdoo: Droim Dubh, the black-surfaced hill ridge. In 1830 a 'minor' landlord, William O'Brien, living in the townland of Cavan decided to evict some of his tenants living in the neighbouring townlands. Some local people united together and decided that this type of abuse must stop. Every Thursday O'Brien went to the market in Mohill and returned home about 4 p.m. On one Thursday afternoon William O'Brien was ambushed by local people. A shot was fired at him, missed, and O'Brien ran towards Corraterriff R.I.C. barracks for sanctuary but before he reached it he was stoned to death.
Drumgarn: Droim gCarn, hill ridge of the Cairns or burial mounds.
Drumgowna: Droim Gamhnach, hill ridge of the stripper or milking cows.
Drumhanny: Droim hEanaigh, While this town land has been translated Tany's ridge it would appear from the topography of the place that a more correct translation would be the hill ridge overlooking the virgin bog or the marsh. There are two townlands of the name in the parish of Mohill. In Drumhanny North on the land of Sean Reynolds there is a 'lone' bush which is locally known as 'Friar's Bush'. Tradition tells that a priest was killed here while saying Mass in Penal times.
Drumhirk: Droim Thoirc, the hill ridge of the wild boar.
Drumkilla: Droim Gille, Church hill, Up until recent times the Church of Ireland rectory was situated in this townland. It is called the Glebe. Glebe signifies 'church land'.
Drumkilleen: Droim Cíllin, the hill ridge of the little church. In this townland there is a spa well and an old fort or habitation site.
Drumlara: Droim Larach, the hill ridge of the mare. This is generally the meaning given but it might also be translated as the centre-point of a larger district from Lar, meaning 'centre' (of something). Francis McGann, the well-known historian and man of learning, was born here in 1786.
Drumlowan: Droim Leamhan, the hill ridge of the elm trees.
Drumnid: Droim Nid, the hill ridge of the (birds') nests.
Droim Uachta, Ridge of the breast. Breast or bosom was often applied
to a hill breast or mountain breast. The town land is locally pronounced
Drumorthy, which could mean the hill ridge overlooking the bog from
'portach', meaning bog.
Drumoula: Droim Abhla, the hill ridge of the apples.
Drumraghool: Droim-rathúil, the prosperous or fertile hill ridge: It has been translated as Droim Raith Chumhaill, the hill ridge of the fort of Cumhal but there does not seem to have been a fort in any part of the townland. In the extreme northern end is a small area called 'lug' from 'log' meaning a swamp.
Drumrahan: Droim Rathain, the hill ridge of the small fort. During the Famine there was a 'stirabout' boiler here.
Drumreask: Droimriasc, the hill ridge of the moor or marsh.
Drumregan: Droimriagáin, Regan's hill ridge. In the early 1900s the Volunteer and Temperance hall was situated in this townland - in Moran's meadow.
Finiskill: Fionn Ascal, the fair or grassy angle of land. The national school for the district was situated in Finiskill but was amalgamated with the national schools in Mohill in 1975. In this townland on the lands of Padraic Reynolds there is a well-preserved ring fort.
Gorvagh: Garbh Achadh, the rough tract of land. Gorvagh is a district of the parish of Mohill and has its own R.C. church, 8t Joseph's, and a community centre. The local shop and post-office have been closed. In former times a R.I.C. barracks and a dispensary, Rowan Dispensary, were situated here. There were also two blacksmith's forges in this townland.
Glasdrumman: Glas Droman, the green little hill ridge.
Gortinure: Gort an luir, the field of the yew tree.
Gort an Mheacain, the field of the wild carrot.
Gortfada: Gort Fada, the long field. This town land was part of the landed possessions of St Manachan's monastery.
Gortnalug: Gort na Log, the field of the hollows or swamps.
Gortyclery: Gort na cleire, the field of the clergy. Or it may have been church property.
Greenaun: Grianan, a sunny place. The national school for the district was situated in Greenaun until it was transferred to Cartron in the year 1900.
Gubadruish: Gob idir dhá Rúisc, a point of land between two swamps or marshes.
Keeloge: Caológ, a narrow strip of land.
Kildoo: Coill Dubh, the black wood.
Killamaun: Coill an Iomáin, the wood of the hurling. The townland was probably a centre where young men came together to play hurling. Coimisiun Logainmneacha give the opinion that the meaning of the town land may be Cill Lomain, the church of St Loman - from some local saint who had a church there in ancient times.
Knocklongford: Cnoc Longphoirt, the hill of the fortification.
Labbyeslin: Leaba Aislinne, the bed or source of the Eslin river.
Leaithín, the small fertile half or portion. (as against the
wild or unproductive portion.) In this town land the Jones family had
a large estate.
Leitrim (upper and lower): Liath droim, the grey hill ridge.
Lisdadanan: Lios Dadanan, Dadanan's fort. Lios was the space or ground inside a fort, and 'rath' was the actual embankment or earthen ditch. Lisdadanan was another town land that was part of the possessions of St Manachan's monastery.
Lisdrumgivel: Lios Droma Gabhail, the fort of the forked hill ridge.
Lisomadaun: Lios Amadán, the fort of the fools. This translation would appear less than credible and it may well be that the translation may be the hill ridge of the ghosts.
Meelick: Mileac, low, marshy land. According to scholars mileac is synonymous with imleac and is applied to marshes or wet land. There is the site of an old tannery in this townland and also a good sulphur spa.
Mothar na Maoile, the patch of shrubbery of the bare hilltop.
Mohill: Maothail, A soft, 'spewy' piece of land.
Moneyroe: Muine Rua, the red brake or shrubbery. The foliage was probably of a reddish colour. There is a small waterfall in this townland from which eels were 'poached' in "harsher" times.
Mucklougher: Muc Luachra, Pig rushes. The rushes here were probably used for 'bedding' pigs.
Mullaghrigney: Mullach Raigne, Rigney's Hill or summit
Mullaun: Mullán, A hillock. This term is often applied to the top of a low sloping hill.
Oghill: Eochaill, A yew wood.
Rosdowaun: Ros Duain, Duane's wood or point of land. Dubhan is the diminutive of 'dubh' and the name relates to a black- complexioned man.
Rosharry: Ros Searraigh, Sharry's wood or point of land. But 'searrach' also means foal and this may have been a place where breeding mares congregated.
Seltan: Sailtean, a place of willow or sally trees. It was here a South Leitrim Flying Column was attached by British Forces on the 11th, March, 1921 and six of its members killed. A monument, erected in 1936, now stands here to their memory. Seltan lough, on which there is a 'crannog' or lake-dwelling site, lies in the valley.
Shannagh: Duibhleacht a' tSionnaigh, the black grave or bed of the fox; probably a place frequented by foxes. The old name of this place was Doolaghtatonny. The townland lies on the high ground overlooking the town where 8t Patrick's R.C. church now stands.
Seimhdile, a bettle (for 'bettling' clothes)
Shoalmore: Seol mór, the great sail. In this case the word 'seol' is applied to the lie of the land from some resemblance, or fancied resemblance.
Skeamartin: Sceach Mhartain, the lone bush of Martin. Locally the name is pronounced Skymartin. Martin may have derived from St Martin of Tours in France or, more probably, from a Celtic sect called Clann Mhartain, a branch of the Conmaicne.
Springfield: Cul na Laogh, the back hill of the young calves. This was the old name of the place. Springfield is a comparatively modern name. It arose from a house and farm that were named Springfield by the owner. Included in Springfield is Mullaghrace, a high hill overlooking the town on the eastern side. Mullaghrace means mullach an riasc, the summit overlooking the swamp or marsh.
Sraith gCarn, the holm or waterlogged place of the mounds or 'cairns'.
Sratrissaun: Sraith Dreasan, The holm or waterlogged place of the briars or brambles.
Stuck: Stuc or Stuca, the place of the rock promontories.
Tamlaghavally: Taibhleacht a' Bhaile or Taibhleacht an Bhealaigh, the plague burial ground of the town or roadway. Taibhleacht is derived from tamh or taimh, an unnatural death as from a plague, and leacht signifies a bed or grave. It was a place where people who died from a plague were buried, generally in a common grave. People who passed the way were accustomed to raise a 'cairn' of stones over the spot by placing single stones over the grave. Tamlaght Beg and Tamlagh More are of the same origin. Some great plague or pestilence has left its name on those three townlands.
Aoiligh, the green field where lime was obtained.
Treanmore: Trian Mor, the big third. This was a term commonly applied to a measurement of land.
Tulcon: Tullachan, the little hill. This town land is at Eslin Bridge. Eslin creamery was sited in this townland in 1908 and when it closed down the building was converted into a dancehall.
Tullybradan: Tullach Bradain, Bradan's hill. The Clann Bradain were a branch of the Conmaicne. It would appear that some members of the sect adopted the form O'Bardain (Bardan), for so it is written in some of the Annals. Tullybradan was formerly part of the possessions of St Manachan's monastery. Tobar Ronan was a holy well in this town land.
Tullyoran: Tullach Fhuarain, the hill of the cold spring water. Here there was a prehistoric grave, a dolmen, but the site has been damaged in recent times.
Tulrusk: Tullach Ruisc, the hill overlooking the swamp. Here a battle took place between the "Peelers" and the Molly Maguires. The body of Mahon, one of the Molly Maguires, was claimed by the police either for identification, or to dishonour it, by exposing it or spiking the head. The Molly Maguires would not hand over the body and Mahon was buried, temporarily, four or five times. Eventually his remains were removed out of the area entirely and interred in Cloonmorris graveyard. On the spot where he was shot, a fir tree was planted, which still serves as his silent memorial.
Ussaun: Easán, a small waterfall. In the Patent Rolls of James 1 the town land is spelled Assane.
foregoing place names were compiled in 1975 for the Teachers' Centre,
Carrick-on-Shannon by Mr. Matt Gaffey, a teacher (later Principal) at
Marian College, Mohill. Very little alteration has been made to the
work in this publication. Sources consulted were Place names of Ireland,
by P.N. Joyce, O'Donovan's Name Books and O'Donovan's Letters, Canon
Pinkman's place names of Co Leitrim, The Patent Rolls of James 1 and
local information was obtained.