Most Irish placenames come from the Irish language. Many of them begin with 'Kill' (Killarney, Kildare) or 'Bally' (Ballybunion where President Clinton played golf in 1998). 'Kill' comes from either cill (a church) or coill (a wood), and 'Bally' is from baile, a town.
KILLENNY. From the Irish Cill Eithne, the church of Saint Eithne. The remains of a medieval church can still be seen in Bobby Young's field.
SHAEN. Sidheán, a fairy hill. Shaen Castle was one of the eight castles built by Lord Roger Mortimer in 1346 as defences for his main castle at Dunamase. According to tradition, these eight castles and Dunamase itself were all destroyed by Laoiseach O'Moore in one night! Shaen castle was subsequently rebuilt, but it was demolished in 1650 by Oliver Cromwell's army. In the last century, Dean Coote built a fine mansion on the site. Today, this mansion is St. Brigid's Hospital for old people.
KILMURRY. Cill Muire, the church of Mary. In Irish Máire means 'Mary', but Muire is reserved for Mary, the Mother of God.
BALLYDAVIS. Baile Daithí, David's town or townland. In 1477, Daithí O'Moore was killed in a battle here. He was from the famous family which lived in Dunamase castle.
KILLONE. Cill Eoin, the church of Saint John. The Irish word for John is Seán, but Eoin is the name given to Saint John, the Apostle. According to tradition, there used to be a monastery in this townland. The old mansion of Killone was once the residence of Joseph Dunne who was born in 1746. He was known as one of the tallest men in Europe and, in his youth, was an officer in the French Army.
KYLESPIDOGUE. From coill and spideog which mean 'wood' and 'robin'. The name means 'the robin's wood'.
COOLBANAGHER. Cúil beannchair, the corner of the pointed hills. Coolbanagher church was designed by the famous architect James Gandon (1743-1823). He designed some the finest buildings in Dublin, including the Custom House and the Four Courts.
STRABOE. Srath(low-lying land near a river) + bó (cow).
CORRIGEEN. Carraigín, little rock.
MORETTE. From Má Riada, 'the Plain of Riada'. This was the old name for an extensive plain which included the Heath.
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