Tá An Clochán Liath ar an bhaile mór is mó i nGaeltacht Dhún na nGall. Tá sé suite i mbaile fearainn agus i dtoghroinn den ainm céanna i bparóiste Theampall Cróine sna Rosa i mbarúntacht Bháineach. Is é An Clochán Liath an t-ainm oifigiúil Gaeilge, agus is é sin an t-ainm atá, agus a bhí ariamh, ag muintir na Gaeltachta ar an áit. Is é Dunglow an t-ainm oifigiúil Béarla atá ar an bhaile agus is é sin a úsáidtear sa teanga sin i gcónaí. Is léir nach bhfuil aon ghaol sanasaíoch ag an dá logainm le chéile. Is díol suime é dhá ainm ar leith a bheith ar aon áit amháin, go háirid nuair atá na hainmneacha sin fréamhaithe sa teanga chéanna mar atá anseo. (Is dócha gurb é ainm na príomhchathrach an sampla is sine den fheiniméan seo sa tír, Baile Átha Cliath sa Ghaeilge, agus sa Bhéarla, Dublin, ainm a thagann ón Ghaeilge Duibhlinn).
Léiríonn an fhianaise stairiúil gurbh é An Clochán Liath an t-ainm bunaidh ar an áit a bhfuil an baile mór anois agus gurbh é sin an t-ainm a bhí in úsáid ag lucht labhartha an Bhéarla go dtí tús an 19ú céad. Tá an leagan Béarlaithe, Cloghanlea, ar an sráidbhaile ar léarscáil bóithre Taylor and Skinner (1778), ach faightear an dá ainm léirithe ar léarscáil McCrea (1801), Dungloe ar an sráidbhaile agus Cloghanlea ar áit taobh ó thuaidh de. Bhí an t-ainm Cloghanlea imithe i léig sa Bhéarla tríocha bliain ina dhiaidh mar níl aon rian den ainm ar an chéad léarscáil ar scála sé orlach den mhíle de chuid na Suirbhéireachta Ordanáis (Bileog 49, 1836). Tá cuntas suimiúil ag Seán Ó Donnabháin de chuid na Suirbhéirachta ar an dóigh ar athraíodh an t-ainm ó Cloghanlea go Dunglow sa Bhéarla i litir a scríobh sé ón bhaile ar 13 Deireadh Fómhair 1835: "Dunglow is not the real name of this mountain village, but Cloghanlea, the real Dunglow lies between the townlands of Keadew, Arnad (recte Arlands) and the sea and exactly opposite Oilen Lahan. There a fortification of lime and stone anciently stood, of which the foundations alone can now be traced. It stood on a rock and commanded the little bay, but when or by whom it was built no one knows....... A fair had been held near the site of the fortress until about 80 years ago; when it was removed to the growing village of Cloghanlea as a more important place, and with the fair was transferred the name of the military station. Manus O’Donnell [duine de bhunadh na háite] states this as a fact fresh in the memory of man, and I have no reason to doubt him, for the peasantry throughout Boylagh call the village Clochan Liath not Dunglow, which, however, is now become so fashionable that I fear we cannot meddle with it (like an old debt)....Cloghanlea is derived from a clochan or row of stepping stones by means of which the river had been crossed before the present bridge was erected". (Ordnance Survey Letters, County Donegal, lgh. 192-200) Is sa bhliain 1782 a tógadh an droichead ar ordú Ard-Ghiúiré Chontae Dhún na nGall agus is dócha gur aistríodh an t-aonach tamall gairid ina dhiaidh sin.
Tá roinnt tagairtí don logainm Dunglow i bhfoinsí de chuid an 17ú haois: Doungloo (1600), Doonecloe (1614), 2 balliboes of the quarter of land of Portdunloe called Cloghglass and Inisheny (1614), ye old castle of Duncloe (1654). Tugann an fhianaise seo tacaíocht do chuntas Uí Dhonnabháin thuas maidir le suíomh bunaidh Dunglow. Tá fothracha an tseanchaisleáin suite ar charraig i bPort an Chaisleáin i mbaile fearainn na Cloiche Glaise (An Chloch Ghlas) agus is é Caisleán na Cloiche Glaise a thugtar air go fóill. Is cosúil go raibh an caisleán ligthe i léig faoin bhliain 1654. Tá míniú an logainm An Clochán Liath soiléir, mar atá, "the grey stepping-stones". Níl bunús an ainm Dunglow chomh soiléir céanna, ar an ábhar nár mhair an t-ainm sa Ghaeilge. Is é Dún Gleo, 'fort of contention', an míniú atá tugtha ag Seán Ó Donnabháin in Ainmleabhar na Suirbhéireachta Ordanáis, ach níl sé seo ag teacht leis an fhianaise stairiúil thuas. Is cinnte gurb é an focal dún atá sa chéad chuid agus léiríonn an fhianaise gurb é cloiche, ginideach an fhocail cloch, 'a stone', atá sa dara mír. Tá urú le feiceáil ar an chéad litir den dara mhír ar lorg an fhocail dún, ainmfhocal neodrach i ré na SeanGhaeilge. Ar bhonn na fianaise stairiúla is féidir a bheith cinnte gurbh é Dún gCloiche bunleagan an logainm, Dunglow. D'fhéadfadh ceann de dhá bhrí a bheith leis an ainm, is é sin 'dún déanta de chloch', nó 'dún déanta ar chloch nó carraig'. Is féidir a rá óna struchtúr, easpa an ailt sa lár ach go háirithe, go mbaineann an logainm leis an tréimhse roimh an 9ú haois.
Dunglow is the largest town in the Donegal Gaeltacht. It is situated in the townland and electoral district of the same name in the parish of Templecrone in the Rosses, in Boylagh barony. An Clochán Liath is the official Irish name of the town and it is by this name that the place is and always has been known by the people of the Gaeltacht. Dunglow is the official name of the town in English and is the name that sis always used in that language. It is clear that there is no etymological relationship between the two names. It is a matter of interest that a place should have two distinct names, particularly when both are rooted in the Irish language as in this case. (The capital city provides the oldest example of this phenomenon in the country, with Baile Átha Cliath being used in Irish and Dublin, from Irish Duibhlinn, being used in English). The historical evidence shows that An Clochán Liath is the original name of the place where the town now is and that this name was used by English speakers until the beginning of the 19th century. The anglicised form, Cloghanlea, is shown as the name of the village in Taylor and Skinner, Maps of the Roads of Ireland (1778), but both names are shown in Wm.McCrea, A Map of County Donegal (1801), Dungloe as the name of the village and Cloghanlea as that of the name of a place some distance to the north of it. The name Cloghanlea had fallen into disuse thirty years later as there is no trace of it on the Ordnance Survey's large-scale map (Sheet 49, 1836). John O'Donovan of the Ordnance Survey has an interesting account of the name of the village was changed from Cloghanlea to Dunglow in English in a letter from the town dated 13 October 1835:
‘Dunglow is not the real name of this mountain village, but Cloghanlea, the real Dunglow lies between the townlands of Keadew, Arnad (recte Arlands) and the sea and exactly opposite Oilen Lahan. There a fortification of lime and stone anciently stood, of which the foundations alone can now be traced. It stood on a rock and commanded the little bay, but when or by whom it was built no one knows....... A fair had been held near the site of the fortress until about 80 years ago; when it was removed to the growing village of Cloghanlea as a more important place, and with the fair was transferred the name of the military station. Manus O’Donnell [a local resident] states this as a fact fresh in the memory of man, and I have no reason to doubt him, for the peasantry throughout Boylagh call the village Clochan Liath not Dunglow, which, however, is now become so fashionable that I fear we cannot meddle with it (like an old debt)....Cloghanlea is derived from a clochan or row of stepping stones by means of which the river had been crossed before the present bridge was erected’. (Ordnance Survey Letters, County Donegal pp.192-200)
The bridge was built by order of the Grand Jury of County Donegal in 1782 and the fair was probably transferred shortly afterwards. There are a number of references to the placename Dunglow in 17th century sources: Doungloo (1600), Doonecloe (1614), 2 balliboes of the quarter of land of Portdunloe called Cloghglass and Inisheny (1614), ye old castle of Duncloe (1654). The evidence supports O'Donovan's account regarding the original site of Dunglow. The ruins of the old castle are situated on a rock in Castle Port in the townland of Cloghglass. The castle had apparently been abandoned by the year 1654. The meaning of the placename An Clochán Liath is clear, that is, " the grey stepping-stones". (This is the usual meaning of clochán in Irish). The origin of the name Dunglow is not so evident, for the reason that the name did not survive in the Irish language. John O'Donovan explains it as Dún Gleo, "fort of contention", in the Ordnance Survey Name Book (1835) but this is not in accord with the historical evidence above. The first part undoubtedly contains the word dún, 'a fort', and the evidence would suggest that the second element is cloiche, the genitive singular of the word cloch, 'a stone'. The first letter of cloiche is nasalised (eclipsed) following dún, which was a neuter gender noun in the Old Irish period. It is possible to say then on the basis of the historical evidence that Dún gCloiche was the original form of the placename, Dunglow. The placename, Dún gCloiche,could have two possible explanations, either 'a fort built of stone' or 'a fort built on a stone or rock'. On the evidence of its linguistic structure, the absence of the medial definite article in particular, it can be said that the placename belongs to the pre-tenth century period.
Please note: Some of the documentation from the archives of the Placenames Branch is available here. It indicates the range of research contributions undertaken by the Branch on this placename over the years. It may not constitute a complete record, and evidence may not be sequenced on the basis of validity. It is on this basis that this material is made available to the public.
Archival and research material provided on this site may be used, subject to acknowledgement. Issues regarding republication or other permissions or copyright should be addressed to email@example.com.
Application programming interface (API)