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
7. General Guide for Collecting and Mapping Placenames
8. Contact

1. Objects and the organising of the Survey
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The voluntary Cork Place Names Survey group 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 and a second County Place Names Archive at Kerry County Library.
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 group incorporated a two county Survey team, which had a planning and day to day management structure. The organising and co-ordination of both surveys was carried out in Cork city.

2. Place Names Archive collections & Launch of Cork Place Names Archive
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Cork County Library in Cork city holds 131 volumes of references to Cork placenames compiled since 1976 throughout Cork County by Dr. Éamon Lankford. The material is arranged according to Townlands within Civil Parishes and Parishes within the 23 Baronies of Co. Cork including Cork City. 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.
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 the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese stated:
Click here to see the President's speech

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 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’.
The Local Studies Unit at Kerry County Library, Moyderwell, Tralee, Co. Kerry holds 54 volumes of placenames compiled during the lifetime of the Kerry Place Names Survey.
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.
At the conclusion of the two county survey a presentation was made to the South West Region Management of FÁS in recognition of their contribution to training a skilled placename survey team that brought the Cork and Kerry Place Names Archives to fruition.
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 archive 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. 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. 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 with the assistance of local communities. Every name has either an oral or documented source. Names of fields, hills, cliffs, islands, inlets, harbours, wells, streams, rocks, heights, slopes, hollows, lakes, bogs, caves, laneways, cross-roads, boundaries, house-ruins, roads, streets, pathways, buildings of all kinds, fishing areas, places of entertainmnent and any other type of placename were included in the survey. 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 have been known only to a few people in a family or those names used only by young people to describe their local areas were regarded as being very important, as well as the lore attached to such names was gathered whenever the opportunity presented itself.

6. Cork City Place Names Survey
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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 city 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 buildings 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.
As the object of creating a public County Place Names Archive in both Cork and Kerry had been achieved it was decided to bring the voluntary work of the survey to an orderly conclusion.
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 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).

Click on the street image to enlarge it.

Skiddy's Home on Bob and Joan's Walk, to the rear of former North Infirmary Hospital.

7. General Guide for Collecting and Mapping Placenames
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The following 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 NOW record some of the living oral placename heritage of the place that you know best. Consult one of the volumes in the Cork and Kerry Place Names for direction and layout of data.
Arrange to deposit your collection in a public library so that what you have collected, mapped and saved will be preserved for posterity.
Please note that there would seem to be little merit in spending energy and time in transcribing or translating names from existing documented sources as they are unlikely to be lost. Hundreds of thousands of local names vanish every few years because they do get written down and almost all never get their location mapped. Please start collecting NOW your local oral placename heritage from those who live in your area. The following may be of help.
  • 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 voluntary grouping be willing in the local and national interest undertake in their home area and parishe(s) the systematic collection and mapping of placenames principly from oral sources advice is available.

8. 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,
Email: corkcountylibrary@corkcoco.ie
Web: www.corkcoco.ie/library
Tel: +353 (0) 21 4546499
Kerry Place Names Archive,
Kerry County Library,
Co. Kerry,
Email: archive@kerrylibrary.ie
Web: www.kerrylibrary.ie
Tel: +353 (0) 66 7121200

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