English Gaeilge
 
Cork and Kerry Place Names Survey
1. Objects and the organising of the Survey
2. Place Names Archive collections & Launch of Cork Place Names Archive
3. Launch of Kerry Place Names
4. Why collect Placenames?
5. The type of names collected
6. Cork City Place Names Survey 2009-13
7. Contact

1. Objects and the organising of the Survey
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Cork Place Names Survey was established in 1996 by Dr. Éamon Lankford to undertake the collection and mapping of the minor placename heritage of Co. Cork. Áitainmneacha Chiarraí / Kerry Place Names was formed in 2000 to conduct a similar Place Names Survey in Kerry.
The objects were:
1. To organize the countywide collection and mapping of all kinds of names from oral and documented sources.
2. Create Ireland’s first public Place Names Archive at Cork County Library by 2009 and a second County Place Names Archive at Kerry County Library by 2010.
3. Influence the development of a code of Best Practice for the creation of appropriate placenames by Local Authorities, Planners and Developers.
4. Engage with community groups and educational institutions to have the study of Irish placenames become part of a conscious effort to preserve local identity and also become a serious course of study at Third level. With the objectives clear and the Methodology focused entirely on collecting and mapping placenames the voluntary Cork and Kerry Place Names Survey group incorporated a two county Survey Team, which had a Planning and Day to Day Management structure. That for Co. Cork was known as Logainmneacha Chorcaí / Cork Place Names Survey and for County Kerry, Suirbhé Áitainmneacha Chiarraí / Kerry Place Names Survey. Each member of the Steering Committee was allocated a special task and an Advisory Council of people representative of the National Training Authority, university and library interests was composed of people from both Cork and Kerry. The organising and co-ordination of both Surveys was carried out at An tÁras, 13 Dyke Parade, Cork. The collecting and mapping of placenames from oral sources was a fieldwork initiative organized townland by townland with the assistance of hundreds of teachers, and a few thousand Primary, Postprimary students, parents and Third Level students. Community development organizations, historical societies, farmers, postmen, fishermen, educational and cultural organizations also participated. Public information sessions were organized in 34 locations where presentations about the survey and its methodology was given. This resulted in widespread contacts being made and practical assistance enlisted throughout the survey area; 190 schools were visited by a member of the Survey Team; Students and graduates of Cork Institute of Technology provided IT support during the lifetime of the Place Names Survey and University College Cork students participated in Work Placements opportunities. The voluntary Place Names Survey initiative received enthusiastic support from the media whenever a local placename survey was to take place. This support hugely increased the participation of the public in the survey and greatly assisted the fieldworkers as they travelled about parishes knocking on hundreds of doors collecting and mapping for posterity some of the placename heritage of their home place. The majority of the names collected had not been previously recorded nor had there ever been such minute mapping of placenames in everyday speech over a two county area. A separate Research Team undertook the sourcing of references to Cork and Kerry placenames in historic documentation, maps and folklore collections, books, journals, newspapers, deeds, census, Ordnance Survey and a considerable volume of other documentation. By the close of 2009 the placenames collected and mapped from both oral and documented sources in both counties had been collated into bound volume collections and presented for consultation and research at the Cork and Kerry County Libraries. As of 2015 the collections now form Ireland’s only County Place Names Archives. The placename survey did not set out to provide a translation or a derivation for any name nor could it provide research services for others. The Cork and Kerry Place Names Survey concentrated its efforts on a systematic, co-ordinated two county initiative to collect and map the location of as many placenames as possible within a specific time scale and then deposit whatever was collected in two public County Place Names Archives. All who participated in the survey or helped in any way with the organizing of this unique heritage preservation work have done their own community, their parish and Ireland a great service. Cork Co. Council and Kerry County Council are the statutory authority to devise appropriate names for public signage in their respective areas. Cork City Council is the authority responsible for appropriate placenaming and placename sinage in Cork City. The Government’s Placename Database of Ireland / www.logainm.ie provides the correct Irish language forms that should be used on all public signage. Logainmneacha Chorcaí / Áitainmneacha Chiaraí also pursued its object of influencing Government and Local Authority Policy regarding appropriate placenaming and signage. While Logainmneacha Chorcaí did not have any input in to the actual day to day implimentation of Cork Co. Council Policy or the erecting or design of appropriate names for signs, the Council did afford Logainmneacha Chorcaí the opportunity to assist with the development of a Placename Policy for the county. After a number of meetings Cork County Council accepted as Cork County Placename Policy the entire Logainmneacha Chorcaí (2005-06) proposals for Placenaming Best Practice. Logainmneacha Chorcaí also pursued its objective of advaning the study of Irish placename heritage in the community and at academic level. Some forty public lectures on aspects of local names took place; placename collecting and research workshops were held in a number of locations. Numerous articles were presented for publication in the media and in journals. The Survey received Radio and Television coverage almost annually and TG4 produced a documentary titled Ar Thóir Logainmneacha which was based on the work of the Cork and Kerry Place Names Survey Team. The Directors of Logainmneacha Chorcaí advanced proposals to University College Cork to have the study of Irish placenames included in courses offered to Third Level students. Roinn na Gaeilge, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh has for many years offered a course in Irish Placename Studies at Degree level.

2. Place Names Archive collections & Launch of Cork Place Names Archive
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As of the close of 2013 Cork County Library in Cork city holds 131 volumes of references to Cork placenames compiled since 1976 throughout Co. Cork by Dr. Éamon Lankford. The material is arranged according to Townlands within Civil Parishes and Parishes within Baronies. The collection is known as Cartlann Logainmníochta Chorcaí / the Cork Place Names Archive. The final compilation of material, that for the Barony of Cork including Cork city was edited, collated and deposited in the Cork Place Names Archive, Cork County Library, Carrigrohane Road, Cork in 2013.
Dr Éamon Lankford, Director and Compiler of the Cork Place Names Survey Archive.
The Local Studies Units in both the Cork and Kerry County Library now collectively hold a collection of 186 bound volumes with over 300,000 references to placenames throughout the two counties. Library staff will be able to attend to enquiries regarding what the collections contain. The archive is a free public research resource.
Launch of Cork Place Names Survey Archive
Regarding the establishment of Cartlann Logainmníochta Chorcaí / Cork Place Names Survey Archive,The Irish Times of 11/06/2009 noted : "THE PRESIDENT has paid tribute to a Cork toponymist and his team of researchers on their achievement of compiling the first mapped archive of placenames for any county in Ireland. President Mary McAleese said that the work of Dr Eamon Lankford and the 200-plus researchers who helped compile Logainmneacha Chorcaí or the Cork Place Names Survey was truly unique and represented a valuable archive for future generations".
Speaking at the launch of the Cork Place Names Archive on 10th June 2009 the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese
"THE PRESIDENT has paid tribute to a Cork toponymist and his team of researchers on their achievement of compiling the first mapped archive of placenames for any county in Ireland. President Mary McAleese said that the work of Dr Eamon Lankford and the 200-plus researchers who helped compile Logainmneacha Chorcaí or the Cork Place Names Survey was truly unique and represented a valuable archive for future generations".
Irish Times, 11/06/2009
Speaking at the launch of the Cork Place Names Archive on 10th June 2009 the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese stated:
Click here to see the President's speech
The target date for the creation of Ireland’s first County Place Names Archive to house the collected data was for Co. Cork set for 2009 and for Co. Kerry 2010. The Survey Team enlisted the help of teachers, their students and parents, the farming and fishing community, local development, educational and cultural organizations in both counties. Practically all of the names collected in the two county survey had not been previously recorded. The Local Studies Units in both the Cork and Kerry County Library now collectively hold a collection of 170 bound volumes with over 300,000 references to placenames throughout two counties. Library staff will be able to attend to enquiries regarding what the collections contain.
3. Launch of Kerry Place Names Archive 4 June 2010
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Muckross House, Killarney, Co. Kerry was the venue for the launch of Cartlann Logainmníochta Chiarraí / Kerry Place Names Archive on 4th June 2010, by Mr. Pat Carey, T.D., Minister for Community, Equality & Gaeltacht Affairs. Speaking of the importance of placenames in the preservation of local identity and heritage, the Minister said, ‘Many of the placenames give a clear insight into the mindset, folklore, beliefs and day-to-day life in times of yore. These placenames will not survive unless they are used by people in their vernacular. The biggest challenge facing all of us is to encourage people to use them in their own areas. It would also help if these native names were used in newspapers, magazines and official documents as often as possible’. Since June 2010, therefore, 54 volumes of placenames compiled by the Kerry Place Names Survey Team (1999-2009) have been available for public consultation at Kerry County Library, Moyderwell, Tralee, Co. Kerry.
Pat Carey, T.D. Minister for Community, Equality & Gaeltacht Affairs and Dr. Éamon Lankford, Director Kerry Place Names Survey & Archive at Muckross House gardens prior to the Launch of the Kerry Place Names Archive, 4 June 2010.
Presentation to the South West Region Management of FÁS in recognition of their contribution to the creation of the Cork Place Names Archive 2008 and Kerry Place Names Archive 2009.
L to R: Ms. Patricia O’ Mahony Assistant Manager Community Services FÁS South West Region, Donal Kerr Regional Director FÁS South West Region, Dr. É. Lankford Director Cork & Kerry Place Names Survey, Seán O’ Sullivan Manager Community Services FÁS South West Region.
Placename Sources Collection
Accompaning the bound volumes of the Place Names Survey in both the Cork and Kerry Place Names Archives is an indexed boxed collection of documentation titled Placenames Sources compiled during the lifetime of both Place Names Surveys. The Placename Sources Collection for rural Co. Cork runs to 90 boxes for the Cork Survey while that for the Kerry Place Names Survey is to be found in 60 boxes. The County Library in each county has a complete listing of what each box contains.
Some of the archive boxes of documentation titled Kerry Placenames Sources on view prior to the Launch of the Kerry Place Names Archive, 4 June 2010. The Placenames Sources Collection contains the original placename submissions received from the public, fieldwork notes by the Survey Team and other documentation on which the 54 bound volumes of the Kerry Place Names Archive are based.
A selection of volumes from the Kerry Place Names Survey exhibited at Muckross House prior to the launch of the Kerry Place Names Archive by Pat Carey, T.D., Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, 4 June 2010.
4. Why collect placenames?
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Irish placenames are an integral, though often forgotten part of the cultural heritage of Ireland. They are a valuable source of knowledge of the past, giving meaning to the landscape and defining the relationship between communities and their physical environment.
The historical and cultural profile of townlands, parishes, counties, urban areas and even countries can be given greater depth and richness through study of the etymology of placenames. Much of the thought, folklore, genealogy, religion, daily life and work of those living on and interacting with their landscape can be appreciated through placenames study. Placenames can also provide an insight into the climate, flora and fauna of the region studied. Placenames in Ireland are at the heart of community identity in town and country, in townland and street.
5. The type of names collected
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All names in Irish or in English given to manmade and natural features in the Cork and Kerry rural and urban landscape and the lore attached to such minor names were collected and their location mapped. Names of fields, hills, cliffs, islands, inlets, harbours, wells, streams, rocks, heights, slopes, hollows, lakes, bogs, caves, laneways, cross-roads, boundaries, house-ruins, roads, pathways, etc are included. Most farmers have or had names on every field and feature and many of these may now no longer be used by the community, hence the urgency of recording them.
The Cork Place Names Survey Team recorded 21 placenames at the location covered by the view shown in the photo.
Ownership names that are now obsolete, as well as old names that were used before the amalgamation of fields into larger units were included in the Cork and Kerry Place Names Survey. New Street names and names which may be known only to a few people in a family or those names now used only by young people to describe their local areas are important, as well as the lore attached to such names and all such information was gathered whenever the opportunity presented itself. All names used orally by today’s generation are in urgent need of being collected and should if at all possible have their location mapped.
6. Cork City Place Names Survey 2009-13
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As the object of creating a public County Place Names Archive in both Cork and Kerry had been achieved within target by 2009 the Survey Team was able to give its full attention to the collection and mapping of Cork city placenames. The end of 2013 was set as the date for bringing their voluntary work to an orderly conclusion. Of course hundreds of thousands of other placenames would remain uncollected from oral sources throughout rural and urban Co. Cork and Co. Kerry. These names would certainly die out if not collected and their location carefully mapped. That task remains.
The further collection and mapping of placenames in both counties is now a challenge for others to pursue. The methodology for doing so is well proven.
The Cork City Place Names Survey was mainly a street by street placename collecting initiative. Names in Irish and English, obsolete names, slang names, ‘nicknames’, former street names and names given to all kinds of buildings, old and new were included in the survey. Examples of names which fall into the these categories include names like the Black Ash, Cáit Shea’s Lane, Murphy’s Farm, the Snotty Bridge, The Shaky Bridge, the Boggy Road, Tinker’s Cross, Skiddy's Home and local names given to pubs, and facilities of all kinds as well as names of places and features called after people and events, local and national.

The names displayed on all street signs and buildings in the city were recorded and photographed and many people were interviewed about the lore of these names. In depth research was conducted into what named building were on the same sites down the centuries. Names were extracted from most Cork City Street maps and from journals, newspapers, deeds, Ordnance Survey and other state and private documentation.
Pacata Hibernia map, 1585-1600.

Some one hundred and fifty sources were consulted, all of which find mention in the bibliography in each of the 16 bound volumes for the Place Name Survey of the Barony of the City and County of Cork. These volumes were deposited at the Cork County Place Names Archive, Cork County Library (2013).
The National Monument. To the rear from left to right - Sully's (Quay School), Cork Club (now Bank of Scotland), the Bowfronts on Grand Parade (Sráid an Chapaill bhuí).
Skiddy's Home on Bob and Joan's Walk, to the rear of former "North Infer" (North Infirmary Hospital).
7. Contacts
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The public may at any time in the future submit placename collections or lists of placenames, mapped or unmapped to the Local Studies Unit at:

Cork Place Names Archive,
Cork County Library Building,
Cork County Library,
Carrigrohane Road,
Cork,
Ireland,
Email: corkcountylibrary@corkcoco.ie
Web: www.corkcoco.ie/library
Tel: +353 (0) 21 4546499


And

Kerry Place Names Archive,
Kerry County Library,
Moyderwell,
Tralee,
Co. Kerry,
Ireland.
Email: archive@kerrylibrary.ie
Web: www.kerrylibrary.ie
Tel: +353 (0) 66 7121200
Below is a general guide for making a submission of placenames for inclusion in the Cork or Kerry Place Names Archive. The important thing is that you record what you know NOW and deposit it in a public library so that what you have saved will be preserved for posterity:
  • Make a list of Cork city placenames and give each name a number 1, 2, 3 etc. If possible mark the location of the names on a map or on a sketch map of your own of the area concerned and use the same numbers to identify each name on your list.
  • You can also write an account of location details i.e. address of the named place/feature or give a description of the named place/feature in relation to other places and features in the same locality. Names can only survive in speech when people know their location.
  • State what is named in each name eg. a field, a hill, a building etc. Provide a description for each named feature or place.
  • Add any information as to how the name may have come about. eg. history and local lore etc
  • Add information about people who passed on names to you.
  • Its important to give an oral or documented source for placenames, if at all possible.
  • Post or email your submission of placenames to the Local Studies Unit at Cork or Kerry, Co. Library. Be sure to include your name and address & other contact details
  • The more information supplied about each name the better.
  • Perhaps, you would consider organising others to start collecting and mapping your local placename heritage for the purpose of having the material recorded and kept for posterity in your local library. If you study and adopt the Cork & Kerry Place Names Survey methodology for collecting and mapping local names in your own area you will be doing something worthwhile for your community.
  • Having achieved its objectives Logainmneacha Chorcaí & Áitainmneacha Chiarraí / Cork and Kerry Place Names Survey ceased to operate.
  • Should anyone at anytime find that they did not return some Placename Survey Maps and forms they can forward them to the Cork or Kerry Co. Library, Local Studies Unit.
Should individuals, groups, cultural, historical, educational and any organised grouping be willing in the local and national interest to undertake in their home area and parishe(s) the systematic collection and mapping of placenames principly from oral sources advice is available. Should interested parties be willing to deposit the results of their placename collecting and mapping initiative in public libraries Logainmneacha Chorcaí would be pleased to provide without charge advice and training on the methodology that successfully created the public Cork and Kerry Place Names Surveys and Archives.
Its email address remains to facilitate
email:logainmneacha@gmail.com

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