Sunday, June 12, 2016

Talk on place names with Fiachra Mac Gabhann in Dundalk this Friday

Blackrock native Fiachra Mac Gabhann will be giving a talk on Irish Place Names this Friday night.
The talk, organised by Dundalk Culture Club, will take place in Wellington Hall on St Mary’s Road from 8pm and all are welcome to attend.

Toponymy – the study of Place Names – gives us a fascinating and unique access to our past. It connects us to the landscape and nature and is a well­spring of geographical, historical and mythical information.

Fiachra Mac Gabhann presents a talk that will draw on his extraordinary ten-volume study of the placenames of County Mayo, Logainmneacha Mhaigh Eo, to examine some of the intricacies of these themes and piece together some of what has been lost, and offer perspectives on the historical and cultural significance of Irish placenames to our sense of identity.

Talk on place names with Fiachra Mac Gabhann in Dundalk this Friday

After Greek, Irish is the oldest written language still spoken in Europe, and its many linguistic layers can be viewed in crystallised form among our placenames. Did you know that the name Louth is pre-Christian? Or that it refers to the private parts of a male deity? Did you ever wonder if any our ancient placenames come from languages other than Irish? Or how we might know? Not all placenames are ancient – but how can we tell the difference? How do we know for certain that the Irish for Blackrock is ‘Na Creagacha Dubha’ (which we might better translate as ‘the black crags’)?
At the talk, which will be presented in the form of slides with commentary, Fiachra will explore many inter-related aspects of our linguistic, social and historical heritage, with further forays into other diverse but relevant strands, including archaeology, religion and folklore, all the while remembering his roots and drawing on local parallels for an Oriel audience. The talk is open to all and should appeal to anyone curious about the origins of the names of the places they come from and live in.

Admission is free although donations are welcome.

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