Dingle: Our Town - Our Name - Our Heritage

DINGLE DAINGEAN UI CHUIS.

 

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"This parish is called by the Irish in every part of Ireland Daingean Ui Chuis"
The Irish Times  (The Dingle Letters)
8/12/2005
Madam

Your Letters page has recently shown a great interest in Irish placenames. Four Masters Press is presently printing the entire series of the O'Donovan letters, which were issued for every county in Ireland except Cork, Antrim and Tyrone.

They were written by John O'Donovan, the most eminent Irish scholar and antiquarian of his time, who had been selected by Lieut. Larcom of the Ordnance Survey office in Phoenix Park Dublin to authenticate placenames for inclusion on the Ordnance Survey maps. In preparation for this project, in the 1830s, Lieut Larcom learned Irish himself so that the Anglicised form of each placename would be phonetically as near as possible to the Irish name.

O'Donovan wrote as follows: "In Daingean Ui Chuis i gCorca Duibhne, July 30th 1841: This parish is called by the Irish in every part of Ireland Daingean Ui Chuis, which signifies the fastness or fortilegium of O'Cuis or Hussey. O'Sullivan Beare in his history of the Catholics calls the town Danguina Oppidum. It has been anglicised Dingle by the same process of corruption that the name Loch Anninn has been made Lough Ennell for the last three centuries. "The aborigines of this barony who speak Irish only call the town of Dingle by no other name than Dangan at this day. On an old tombstone within the small old church near the Round Tower of Rattoo it is anglicised Dingin, which is an approximation to its present anglicised form.

"I shall here transcribe what Dr Smith wrote on the history of the Town of Dingle: 'This town is called Daingean Ui Chuis in the Annals of the Four Masters at the year 1572 and 1580. This name signifies the Fastness of O'Cuis, and if this be correct, either of two inferences must be drawn from it, namely that O'Cuis is not Hussey or that Hussey is not an English name, but an anglicised form of O'Cuis, which is a Milesian name. The English Husseys were Barons of Galtrim and located in Meath, and there is another Irish family who call themselves O'Hussey."

I believe that our beautiful Irish placenames are the key to renewing the interest of young students and their parents in their heritage and in our Irish language - one of the oldest in Europe.

Is Mise,
Eanna Mac Cuinneagein, Four Masters Press, Dublin 2.


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