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Post details Post   (Expand pics)
2007-08-17 18:23:59
Mountain Names in Mayo
Writing on Tievnabinnia in 2003, Wee Davie remarked "None of the summits on the ridge are named on the OS - but I've visited the grid references." In 2005 Milo commented "Top naming is interesting hereabouts. Whence was it obtained?" and Wee Davie asked the same question a week ago. As I've had a hand in providing some place-name information for MV, I'll have a go at answering this question. I understand that the name Tievnabinnia was taken from Claude Wall's 'Mountaineering in Ireland' (1930) and that Tievummera was taken from the old 1 inch map. As Wee Davie pointed out, none of the Sheeffry Hills are named on the Discovery map. In fact, the problem of unnamed summits is particularly noticeable in Co. Mayo, probably due to depopulation. It is very noticeable in other areas of the county, such as the Nephin Beg range. There were probably relatively few people for the Ordnance Survey to consult on hill-names in Mayo even when they were making the original 6" maps back in the pre-Famine 1830s and 1840s. The subsequent revisions, which were responsible for filling in many of the minor names in most areas, were carried out after the Famine, so there were far fewer people to ask at that stage. If anybody knows of any names we have missed or sources which they think we should consult, I would be very interested to know. Incidentally, Tievnabinnia is a curious name which occurs in two other places in the locality, once in Tonatleva townland on the slopes of Mweelrea, and once as a townland on the N. slopes of Ben Creggan (spelt Teevnabinnia in both cases). It comes from the Irish Taobh na Binne and means 'side of the cliff' (Breandán S. Mac Aodha - "Minor Names in an Irish Mountain Area", Studia Celtica xxiv/xxv, p. 146). The other name, Tievummera, appears to be from Taobh Iomaire, 'side of (the) ridge'. Glenummera is a townland in the vicinity. Wee Davie found the views more inspiring than the Sheefry Hills themselves and I would accept that the matter-of-fact names are not particularly inspired or inspiring either.
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