Placenames Project General Introduction


This project was commenced at the behest of the Coiste Logainmneacha an Chláir/Clare Placenames Committee, in response to a grant appropriation from the Heritage Council. 2.

The brief as set down by the Coiste Logainmneacha is as follows:-

This project will establish structures for and initiate a pilot of the collection and recording of placenames in Clare. The project will identify and focus on one area in the county and use this to establish a template for further surveys. Elements in the survey will include the surviving names of landscape features, fields, rocks, streams, inlets, headlands, boundaries, beaches, structures, woods, hills, caves, geological features, roads, streets, lanes etc. in Co. Clare. It is also intended to record all stories, legends, mythology and recorded histories associated with these names. The completed record will be published in hard copy as well as electronic format. The project is an action of the Clare Heritage Plan, (Clare Heritage Plan Reference Section B Objective 9).

In pursuance of this brief Tomás Mac Conmara, acting on behalf of the Coiste Logainmneacha approached Donal De Barra and Padraig De Barra, who were already active in the collection of placenames and requested them to carry out pilot studies, in response to the brief, in their own local areas – Ibrickane area and Kilkee area, respectively. The work was completed and two studies were submitted and received enthusiastically by the Coiste Logainmneacha in December, 2007.

2. INTERNET ACCESS For the Ibrickane area the placenames are collected and presented on the basis of the townland structure and the information is available to the general public. Studies such as this are by their nature, permanently ongoing and it is to be hoped that the collection and recording of local placenames will continue. According as information comes to hand it will be published on this site.

I acknowledge the generous assistance of the very many people who have assisted with this project, in particular: An Coiste Logainmneacha, Comhairle Chontae an Chláir, Tomás Mac Conmara, Padraig De Barra, Michael Falsey, Michael Joe McMahon, Micky Talty, John Daly, Marty O Malley, Micko Hayes, Jimmy Gleeson, Tony Power, Pól Ó Muireasáin, Clare Library Local Studies Centre, Treasa De Barra, Colm De Barra, The National Archives of Ireland, The Delargy Institute for Irish Folklore and the National Folklore Collection, Lord Egremont and the Petworth House Archives, Alison McCann, at the West Sussex Records Office, The Ordnance Survey Ireland Licence No. MNE 0003078.

4. GENERAL NOTE REGARDING THE RELIABILITY OF FOLKLORE. It is important that people reading the results of this project understand that it is based on recording the memories of people on matters which they may have had no reason to reflect, for, possibly decades. Human memory is fallible and folk memory no less than any other aspect. Having said that, I must record my belief that the information from respondents so far in the project is highly accurate and reliable. The visual aspect – association of names with specific places, should be a significant help in achieving accuracy. It should be borne in mind also that the respondents are invariably intelligent people, who have at least some degree of interest in, and curiosity about the placenames and often they have a good command of the Irish language. Their perceived meaning for a name, may over time, have, consciously or otherwise, influenced the way in which they pronounce the name.

5. METHODOLOGY. Details of the methodology employed in the project are available here