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Carrickbroad – Carraig Bhrádach –The Rock of the Gorge or Pass


In the case of this townland ‘brádach’ appears to be an old genitive singular of the word ‘bráid’ meaning ‘throat or gorge’. (Dineen also gives an older non-standardised spelling ‘brághaid’ which comes from ‘brágha’ – sheltered land breasting a cliff or rock’ which would also fit with many’s a place in the townland) . It has also been conjectured that the name came from the abundance of  robbers in the area (robber – bradaí), which may not be too farfetched given the fact the main road from Belfast to Dublin – prone to highway men - ran through the townland. But we can probably discount this in favour of the above, as in 99% of cases townlands will be named after a geographical/topographical feature and not something more transient – although colourful - such as robbers.


The earliest spelling we come across is Carrickbradagh (1605) when it was named as one of the townlands given over to the upkeep of Moyry Castle. Moyry Castle was built in 1601 to guard the Moyry Pass (Bealach na Maighre), the main way into the North through the hills between Dundalk and Newry, following the Battle of Moyry in 1600, when the English lost as many as 250 men fighting against Hugh O’Neill in the Pass.


The ‘bráid’ or ‘pass’ could refer to the Moyry Pass, but the term ‘gorge’ more suits Glen Du (an Gleann Dubh) on the edge of Carrickbroad and neighbouring Tiffcrum townland where a narrow road sweeps through under steep rocky inclines on both sides.


The Irish language lasted as a spoken vernacular among many of the older generation up to the late 1920’s in the townland, along with a few other townlands in Dromintee, and may go some way to explain the existence of so many lesser placenames within or bounding the townland:


Ballyclanowen – Baile Chlann Eoghain – Townland of Eoghan’s Clan

(A reference to Tyrone’s (Tír Eoghain) men??)


Lissacashel – Lios an Chaisil - The Stone Ringfort

(lios and caiseal are used almost interchangeably as ‘ringfort’ though caiseal is usually a stone ringfort


Tobernacashla – Tobar an Chaisil – The Well of the Cashel

(A well associated with the above ringfort)


Eadananarm – Éadan an Airm – the Hillbrow of the Army

(Where O’Neill’s soldiers were thought to have gathered and hidden before launching their attack on the English in 1600. The name would have been equally apt during the 1980’s and 1990’s when the British Army also encamped here)


Carriveamean – an Ceathramh Mín – the Level Quarter

(Ceathramh can mean a ‘quarter’ as here in the ‘level quarter of a acre’ and also ‘haunch’ or ‘hip’ whereby the townland probably got its other name ‘The Hip’ in English.


Slievenabolea – Sliabh na Bólach (or Bólacht) – Mountain of the Cattle

(Bólach is the word for ‘kine’ or ‘cattle’ - from the word ‘bó’ for cow)


Carnagore – Carn na nGabhar – Cairn of the Goats

(Unsure of whereabouts – mentioned in Michael J. Murphy’s books)


Daaiklemore – An Dá Fhiacail Mhóra – The Two Big Teeth

( This feature, on top of Carrickbroad mountain,  was actually visible to the eye up to the late 1960’s until the NI Department of Agriculture planted the mountain with trees and obscured the feature. It consists of two massive towering rocks, sticking prominently up like ‘two big teeth’. It would be hoped that when harvesting/ replanting takes place that DANI would take a little more care of local features than the Old Stormont crowd did back in the 1960’s)


Cofracloghy – na Cófraí Cloiche – The Stone Chests

(Close to the Daiklemore on top of Carrickbroad mountain, these are the remains of Neolithic ‘cist’ graves – so called from the Irish word ‘ciste’ - ‘chest’. (‘Cófra’ is another word for ‘chest’ in Irish) With a flat, square stone base of about a metre square, they were flanked and topped with like-sized stones and within were placed the created remains of the dead. The whole site would then have been covered – as with most tombs – by a cairn of stones).


Glen Du – An Gleann Dubh – The Dark Glen

(This is often referred to as ‘The Gap of the North’ (probably as it looks like the classic mountain pass) – whereas the actual Gap of The North’ was across the other side of the mountain at Moyry. There are no records of the English ever having tried this as a route into the North)


Ballynamadda – Baile na Madadh – Townland of the Dogs

(A lot of dogs about)


Ballynamona – Baile na Móna - Townland of the Turf

(And whaddya know – loads of turf!)