LOGAINMNEACHA Dhún Chaocháin, The Placenames of Dún Chaoicháin, Co Mayo, Ireland
Authors Treasa Ní Ghearraigh and Unsíonn Mac Graith. This book, which is currently out of print, has been the inspiration for many of my photographs taken in Dhún Chaocháin, without it, the landscape is unclothed. It is this shawl of words which bring it to life .
WITH PERMISSION OF TREASA NÍ GHEARRAIGH AND UNSÍONN MAC GRAITH
Extracts from: Logainmneacha agus Oidhreacht Dhún Chaocháin i mBarúntacht Iorrais, Condae Mhaigh Eo – The Placenames and Heritage of Dún Chaocháin in the Barony of Erris, County Mayo, Uinsíonn Mac Graith agus Treasa Ní Ghearraigh, Comhar Dún Chaocháin Teo, 2004
Dún Chaocháin is situated in the parish of Kilcommon, in the Barony of Erris in north-west County Mayo. It occupies a coastal position with Broadhaven Bay to the north and west and Donegal Bay to the north east.
The early Celts did not produce written fiction – instead they wrote their novels on the landscape. The community of Dún Chaocháin can easily identify with their environment because they live in a landscape that is dotted with Irish placenames, which give meaning to features on that landscape and which give them a place in the lives of the people. The maps shown in this publication and on the Dún Chaocháin CD ROM illustrate the wealth of placenames in this area, which if left unrecorded would be lost to future generations. Many of these names have never been recorded previously on a map and therefore the collection and mapping of them ensures their preservation.It is difficult to attach any meaning to existing English placenames as many are corrupted versions of the original Irish form.
Local placenames give us an insight into the natural and manmade landscape and peoples’ perception of that landscape and seascape. They are highly descriptive of the physical landscape where every inlet, cave, reef, rock, hill, headland, field, stream etc. is imbued with its own special name.