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Cloghinnea – An Cloch Choinne – The Meeting Stone


I think I am correct in saying that the English language version Cloghinny – one of the smaller townlands in the parish - is a fairly new addition and in the past we have had Cloghninny and other versions. Cloghinnea is preferable as it is closer to the pronunciation  - actually exactly the pronunciation - in Irish. The Newry & Mourne District road sign actually says Cloghinny  - and in small letters afterwards BF (baile Fearainn) CLOCH CHOINNE. Efforts to come up with a translation in the past have included ‘Cloch Eithne (Eithne’s Stone)’ to ‘Cloch Gainnimh (The Sand Stone)’.


As with most townland names – look for the obvious. There is a massive rock in a farm in the townland – split in two, it has crosses inscribed inside both sides. This is belived to be a mass rock – or more commonly called a meeting stone – ‘cloch choinne (pronounced 'cloh hinnea')’. ‘Áit choinne – a meeting place’ is a common enough term in Irish business/public life today in Irish. And in this case the stone/rock is the Cloch Choinne – Meeting Stone.


At the same site there are the remains of an early Christian period ecclesiastical site, a holy well and tree, and the remains of a ringfort and souterrain. Nearby is a ‘clochán’ of old houses and like Aghadavoyle the townland contains a ‘Spellig’ (Speilg – Steep Rock, Crag).


Like Carrickbroad, Cloghinnea was one of the last bastions of the Irish language in Dromintee, and its last native speakers are still remembered by local folk, and the Irish language is still kept alive in the names of fields and local features.