Minister of State Kyne launched Logainmneacha na hÉireann IV: Townland Names of Co. Wexford/Ainmneacha na mBailte Fearainn, Co. Loch Garman,
Seán Kyne T.D., Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, launched Logainmneacha na hÉireann IV: Townland Names of Co. Wexford/Ainmneacha na mBailte Fearainn, Co. Loch Garman, in the National Library this evening.
Townlands Names of Co. Wexford, a treatise on the roughly 2300 townland names of County Wexford, is the fourth instalment in the research series Logainmneacha na hÉireann. This series presents the results of the comprehensive research of the Placenames Branch of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, whose primary remit is to establish the official Irish forms of the placenames of Ireland. Logainmneacha na hÉireann I (1990) presented brief explanations of the placenames of County Limerick, while Logainmneacha na hÉireann II & III (2007, 2010) provided detailed scholarly discussion on a selection of the placenames of County Tipperary. Logainmneacha na hÉireann IV combines both approaches and provides in-depth analysis of every townland name in County Wexford. The resulting work reveals the wealth of historical information that can be gleaned from placenames when carefully and systematically researched.
The body of placenames provides insight on historical demographics. The extent of Norse and Anglo-Norman settlement in Wexford is well known, but analysis of the completed research shows that the Irish language became the vernacular among those groups in most of the county, and was even robust enough to coin new placenames in pockets among the Anglo-Normans in the very south of the county. Many apparently Yola placename elements are shown not to be unique to South Wexford, as they crop up in other Anglo-Norman placenames elsewhere in the Pale. Some characteristics of the local Irish dialect are also observed. There are numerous references to flora and fauna, including animals that have since died out. Hundreds of placenames refer to archaeological features, many of which do not survive in the archaeological inventory. In a number of cases the names of baileys, mottes, etc., are accompanied by heretofore unrecognised Anglo-Norman surnames. Genealogical matters in general receive perhaps the most attention.
Launching the two-part book, Minister of State Kyne said, “This book represents the results of years of comprehensive research, and the analysis throws new light on a number of areas beyond toponymy. It is a fine testament to the ongoing work of the Placenames Branch.”
The two parts (I: Introduction and analysis; Townland names A–F; II: Townland names G–Y; Indexes) are priced at €25 each and are available from Government Publications, from bookshops in Wexford and Dublin or directly from the Placenames Branch at email@example.com. The Placenames Database of Ireland, a joint venture by the Placenames Branch with Fiontar (DCU), can be accessed on www.logainm.ie.