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Logainmneacha na Machairí

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The Traditional Place names of Maharees

Martin Lynch & Eoghan Ó Loingsigh

The traditional lesser-known place names of a locality are rooted in its topography and cultural history and reflect the close relationship between a community and its immediate environment. The names of fields, rocks, inlets, bóthairíns, landing places, humps, hollows and so on contribute immensely to the rich tapestry of times past. Through a study of their etymology, some of the layers of our history can be partially unveiled. ‘Urlann’, ‘Páirc an Ráithín’ and ‘Cathair na Faithche’ reflect the presence of pre-Christian forts while ‘The Bán’ and ‘Gort na Sciath’ depict past agricultural land use. Calaithe an Bháid, Calaithe an Ghrin, Calaithe Léin and the Cé, all landing places, indicate the importance of the sea for fishing and as a means of transport for the inhabitants of Oileán tSeanaigh.