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skyehigh
2005-06-12 19:02:03
Naming the nameless
A cold winter night in 2018. Two children sneak out of their bedroom and climb stealthily into the attic. They kneel in front of any old chest and sift through its contents. They find an old diary and open it at 24 May 2005. "Look!" says one. "It's Grandad's writing. 'First ascent of Lough Iskanamacteery East'." "That's odd. I thought he couldn't swim." "Not upwards, at any rate" retorts the first. "Pity we never met him. He was committed, you know."
It has become commonplace to name a mountain after a coum on its flanks, so perhaps calling a mountain a lough is not so ridiculous. Has this situation (lack of agreed names)arisen through lack of imagination, or out of respect for the local people, who have never given the hill a name? Joss Lynam avoids naming the above mountain, while Paddy Dillon (Cicerone guide) opts for Coomcallee West Top. Perhaps an acceptable compromise would be to 'describe' the hill rather than name it, e.g. Ard Eisc na Machtire "the height by the steep path of the wolf", or does that come down to the same thing?
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