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Placenames in County Clare

The Clare Placenames Committee was set up under the Clare Heritage Plan to advise and monitor the selection of suitable names for housing developments in the county. The group is representative of various cultural and historical bodies in the County and work in conjunction with Council officers. The groups represented include Clare Historical Society, Clare County Council, Conradh na Gaeilge, An Clár as Gaeilge, Ennis Town Council, Kilrush Civic Offices and Cairdeas Logainmneacha na Sionna.  The study and development of the placenames has been largely reinforced by the establishment of a wide network of people learned in the various disciplines of local knowledge and experience. Those interested are still welcome to participate in the group.

The provision of a placenames service has been a vital factor in the establishment of a good rapport between the interested parties and further development in this sphere is welcome. Due to legislation introduced by the Department of the Environment and Local Government it is now necessary to provide names reflecting the traditions and general environment of each locality and this is provided for in the Committee's deliberations. Emphasis is placed on a "user friendly" choice of name and developers are encouraged to choose placenames along specified guidelines.

Tá tábhacht le béim ar fhuaim thaithneamhach shimplí sa logainm, ionas gur féidir é a rá agus a scríobh go furasta, gan aon aistriúchán.

This formula is catered for in the excellent guide booklet "Name Your Place" published by Cairdeas Logainmneacha Na Sionna, the Shannon based study group which in co-operation with the National Language Body, Foras Na Gaeilge launched the booklet in March 2004. This initiative of the Shannon group has given an added impetus to the naming process as exemplified by the number of Gaelic placenames in the town.

Timpeallacht Ghaelach a chothú agus a chaomhnú tré logainmneacha agus comharthaí Gaeilge a chur chun cinn, sin í an phríomhaidhm atá leis an tógra. Cabhróidh comharthaí atá feiceálach, dár linn, le spreagadh i measc an phobaíl an Ghaeilge a úsáid.

Coiste Logainmneacha an Chláir Officers

  • Cathaoirleach: Ristéard Úa Cróinín
  • Leas-Cathaoirleach: Dr. Hugh Weir
  • Runaí: Emer Ní Fhlaitheartaigh

Studying Clare's Placenames

A Placename can include the name of any province, county, city, town, village, barony, parish or townland, or of any territorial feature (whether natural or artificial), district, region or place.  Awareness of our placename heritage offers a tremendous insight into the past.  Today's students of local history, folklore, anthropology or archaeology can all benefit from an advanced awareness of placenames.  In Clare, Coiste Logainmneacha an Chláir are determined to collect information relating to placenames across the county, make this information available to the broader public and ultimately stimulate increased interest in our placename heritage.  

Milltown Malbay and Kilkee Studies

The Clare Heritage Section of Clare County Council and Coiste Logainmneacha an Chláir are delighted to announce the completion of Placenames studies of the coastal area of Kilkee as well as Miltown Malbay, which were conducted under the Clare Heritage Plan implementation, 2007.  The results of both studies can be obtained by contact the Clare Heritage Section.

Within the townlands of County Clare

In 2008, funding was secured from Clare County Council and the Heritage Council, under the Clare Heritage Plan implementation, to establish a structure for the recording of Clare Placenames information that is to be found within the townlands of county Clare.

In order to develop the above, it was proposed to design a working system for the recording of local fieldnames on a townland basis.  A townland is the smallest geographical unit in Ireland with over 60,000 such units recorded.  According to the maps of the Ordinance Survey, there are 2176 townlands in Clare, each providing a rich resource of placenames information. 

The development of the Clare Placenames Project has seen several townland studies currently being conducted by volunteers across the county.  Comprehensive research has been conducted into existing studies and an online site is being prepared to receive and present the information. 

Page last reviewed: 15/04/09

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