From an article that appeared in the Derry People in March 1909

Its History and Traditions

Place Names Explained

By the Late John Sweeney, Inspector of National Schools.


On Mullaghderg strand a countryman found, on the morning of Sunday, 29th September, 1844, the body of Gregory Cuffe Martin, who, with his wife, was drowned in Sligo river on the night of the 14th August previous. It will be remembered that Mr. Martin represented for some time the borough of Sligo in Parliament. At Mullaghderg House (which, by the way is now a ruin), and at a distance from Srughan-na-(n) Amhlar, the road is interrupted by sand banks which renders the passage difficult for wheeled vehicles. It is understood here that Srughan na (n) amhlar, which literally means little stream of the deaf and dumb, signifies the rivulet of lunatics, a name, as it is said, it owes to the desire insane persons had heretofore of bathing in the waters and sleeping on its banks. After passing Mullaghderg house, the route through the sands lies, for a part of the way, along the margin of a deep lough in which many travelling this track by night get immersed either by falling or walking into it, and several unfortunate persons have thus got drowned here.

1-FB Mullaghderg Waves 6

On leaving the sand path at Mullaghduff (black height) there is a rock called Carrigacota, through which a little girl, who was herding near it, is said to have been carried off by the fairies. Her shoulders were happed with a petticoat, which her abductors could not appriate, as there was an amulet sewed in it, so it was left on the rock to whose name is has thus contributed.

Bordering on Mullaghduff is Collhame (hazel tree path) from coll, the hazel, and kein, a path is the station of St Duagh. Anagary strand intervene here, and causes another breach in the road, which is the postal road into the Rosses.


Anagry is a little village in which there are a few pretty shops, two public houses, a constabulary barracks, and a National school.In it are the remains of a large Danish fort, around which was astrongly enclosed bawn or fal. This rath being one of the principal stations on the direct route between the Rosses and Northern Tryconnell, it is mixed up with the stories of the people. Anagry, i.e., Ath-na-Geordh, means the ford of the cattle. And hore it may be noticed Anagry strand intervenes here, and nomenclature of the country is the word cattle, under the various forms of bo (cow), tarran (bull), damh (ox), colpa (heifer), gowae or laugh (calf), and so on.

Between Anagry and Meenaleck tourists meet with annoyance from which I hope they are exempt in other parts of Ireland. Crowds of half-naked urchins, boys and girls, follow every decently clad stranger observed to pass, whether on foot or by vehicle, clamouring, screeching, and soliciting in the most pitiable tones, “Gentlemen, give me a penny.” Lately I passed this way, and I freely used my whip about the legs of the young rascals when the whines were changed into howls of defiance and challenges to alight from my car. There is no poverty here, and I hope these disgraceful scenes are not attributed to the contiguity of the Gweedore Hotel, which has done so much to draw public attention towards North Donegal. But, however, this may be, the nuisance should be put down. The constabulary are prompt enough in some places to haul up the destitute, for asking alms, but here, within a gun-shot of a police station, is allowed to proceed without check a system of begging most annoying to respectable travellers, and demoralising and degrading to the young people pursuing it. I hone the Royal Irish Constabulary of Anagry will devote a little of the idle time that appears to hang heavily on them to the abating of this very intolerable nuisance. Three hours in one week will stamp it out entirely.

The townlands about Anagry are so suggestive of the explanations of topographical names elsewhere that I think it will be interesting and useful to mention them with their meanings. Runnafarsta (Ford point), Runamonu (peat point), Lough na-(n) Arrau, from Anran or fauran, a spring or a pool, into which cattle run for cooling themselves. A portion of this lough is shallow along the margin, and cattle use it-as a fauran. Derrynamanshir-Doire-na-(m) beann-s-ur (the oakwood of the peaks and heath); Meenacreeve (the plain of the branchy tree); Mienanakerra (the plain of the napper or fuller); Meendernasloe (the plain of the hosts), and Loughanure lake of the yew tree).

with kind permission from Irish Newspaper Archive