Rathmullan and District History Society have realised a long-held ambition with the very first of 49 Townland Namestones being unvieiled under the watchful eye of John Pat Carr in Meenreagh.

Throughout the project, which will be completed shortly, 40 namestones are being put up in the parish of Killygarvan, around Rathmullan, and a further nine are being placed around Ray in the Aughnish and Tullyfern parishes.

Rathmullan and District Local History Society had long hoped to see this project brought to fruition over the years, so when the Way Forward Group secured funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme last year, the society proposed the Townlands Namestones project, which was approved.

Canavan Associates Ltd together with a small Project Team for Rathmullan The Way
Forward led by John Gallagher and Mick McGlynn, consulted and managed the scheme.

The workers ‘at the stoneface’ were Arthur Lynch, Aine Ni Dhuibne, Michael Connolly, John Pat Carr, Fiona Boyle, Alma Kavanagh and Margaret Carton, and they all deserve a big thanks for their time, effort and expertise in bringing this year-long project to near completion.

And a lot of historical research went in to ensuring that the Irish names on the namestones were authentic, as you can read below.

There are 62,000 plus townlands in Ireland, with their names, going back over a millennium and a half, referring to people, geographical features, fields, flora and fauna, of long lasting or passing significance at a time and place in the past.

They reflect something of that past for us, and intrigue and puzzle scholars and the unscholarly alike, as we try to decipher their original form and meaning.

Today there are 40 townland names in Killygarvan Parish in English, and all but two of those, are derived from Irish.

The exceptions are Saltpans and the first part of Newtown Carradoan.
Saltpans only came into being in the 18th century, replacing local names like Rindroe, Ballialligan and Mullán Leathan.

When Newtown Carradoan was created, perhaps the new Landlord, Batt, wished to emulate the landlords of Newtown Stewart and Newtown Cunningham and build a new town there?

Photo shows John Pat Carr and Michael Connolly unveiling the first townland namestone in Meenreagh.

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