Ballynacally Placenames

(Compiled by 4th Class, 2000 - Ballynacally N.S.)

We have many placenames around Ballynacally with the word “lios” in them which means ‘fort’.   It is clear that the area around Ballynacally was inhabited from the earliest times.  

We have forts in Lisduff and LisheenLismorris and Lissycasey.

A lios is circular in shape.   It is surrounded by a bank or ditch.   If earth was used in the making of a ditch the fort was called a “Rath” or a “Lios”.   If stone was used it was called a “Dun” or a “Cathair”.

In Lisheen there is a fort called Lisdubh which means  “Blackfort”.

Fort – Fergus got its name from a fort convenient to the river Fergus.   In older times it was called “Liscronin”.

One of the largest forts in the district is in Poulaphuca.   The gold which

is supposed to be hidden in a hole in the fort, is guarded by the Pooka or fairy horse. 

Leimnaleaha            The Leap of the Deer

The leap of the deer is the name of a townland on the Lissycasey – Kildysart road.   In olden times the deer were very plentiful.   One evening some dogs chased a deer and he took a most wonderful leap across a very wide glen and that is how the place got its name.

Crininish –Crainn Inis – “a wooded island”

Lack –                         Leac, which means flagstones.

Burren –                     A Rocky Area.

Tonelegee   –               Tón le ghaoth   - Back to the Wind.  A prominent hill in this place

                                    has its back facing the prevailing wind.

Clondrinagh –           Cluain Draighneach – a place or meadow which abounds in



Ballyinagarde –         Beal átha na garha –Ford mouth or ford of the rocks.


Cappanageerah-        Ceapach na gcaorach – The sheeps pasture.


Crahera –                   Craggy or rocky place.


Lavalla –                    Leath bhaile – half townland.


Crag brien –               Creag an bhrian – The family of Ó Brien.


Ardnagla –                 The mound of stones.


Ballycorick –              Béal  átha chomhraic – Mouth of the ford of the confluence.

Comar  means “confluence”, The place at which two.


Lisnafha –                  Fort of the giants.


Drumquin-                 Drom caoin- smooth ridge.


Clondegad             –             Meadow of the two rods or sticks.         


Dangan McMahon Castle -

The name comes from the word daingean, which means ‘firm’ so called because of the strong fortfield castle of the McMahon family.

It is really a tower house and it is one of more than two hundred castles built in Clare during the Norman period.

There is a legend attached to the castle. The chief McMAHON and his wife did not get on. She planned to leave her husband and elope with another man. She left on the horse’s back with him.  She strapped herself to him because they were travelling at high speed. A short distance from the castle a forked branch swaying in the wind caught the woman’s head and dragged it from her body. The man did not know this and continued on his journey. After a few miles he turned around and saw the terrible sight. He cut the headless body from its strapping. The place where this happened was called Sruthán Fiáin. From our questionnaire we found out there is a stream crossing a field in Lisheen called Sruthán Fiáin.



Cnoc an tSagairt – There is a rock on the top of the hill in the townland of Fort Fergus.  In the penal days the priests used to say Mass at this rock an once while one priest was offering Mass he was killed and hence “Knockasaggart” got its name.


Clonfurish                  :            Easy Meadow


Gort na Muc               :            Garden of pigs


Carhumeere                :            Meere’s Quarters


Crocadh Pedlar :            The cross near Ballycorick church is called

“Crocadh Pedlar” A few hundred years from the cross a pedlar was hung from a tree.