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Killoveragh - whats in the name?

posted 4 Nov 2014, 11:12 by Garret Byrne   [ updated 4 Nov 2014, 11:13 ]
When Kinvara GAA was first formed in 1889, it was baptised as "The Killoveragh Club".  But why and what does the name mean.

When our GAA club was founded in 1889, there was already individual teams in the parish before that. There was teams from Killina, Kinvara, Doorus and most likely Northampton. All parties and founding officers were unanimous in calling the newly formed club as "The Killoveragh Club". This name was used in order to reflect all Gaels from all corners of the parish, as Killoveragh was the ancient name of this parish.

Killoveragh, or Cill/Coill Ui Fiachrach.
In historical Ireland, the tuath or clan that ruled in these parts of Connacht were Ui Fiachra. The name Fiachra can go back to the 4th century and was a brother of Niall of the Nine Hostages.  Fiachrach's territory of Connacht was further divided and this part of South Galway was known as Ui Fiachra Aidhne.  
From Aidhne, we can immediately associate it with the surname "Hynes", which still remains to be associated with Kinvara from that time. One of the familys' main castles was Dunguaire, built in the 16th century, while King Guaire himself, an earlier King of Connacht in the 7th century, was a Aidhne or Hynes himself. Guaire's castle is suggested to be at Rath Durlais, that promontory to the east of Dunguaire Castle (unfortunately much overgrown now). Other surnames derived from Ui Fiachra Aidhne include O'Shaughnessy, Kilkelly and Cleary.

What does Cill Ui Fiachra mean?
As stated above, the name Fiachra associates this area to an earlier leader and clan, but what does Cill (or Coill) mean. It can be suggested that Cill can have two different meanings.
Firstly, Cill could simply mean "church". This is a common translation of the word, and this area has plenty of old churches that could help give the parish that name. A possible church for this could be the old St. Coman's church, located behind Connollys Pub. Could this be the "Church of Fiachra"?
Alternatively, the term "Cill" could also mean a wooded area, or "Coill". There is no doubt that the land would have been covered in wooded areas in the early centuries, and therefore this could be the "Wood of Fiachra". Woods can sometimes hold sacred values for ancient Ireland, and possibly here too in Kinvara, where the name Doorus can be translated as a "black wood". 


(Please, if anyone knows more, or if corrections shd be made, please dont hesitate to point them out. Thanks!)


 
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Garret Byrne,
4 Nov 2014, 11:12
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Garret Byrne,
4 Nov 2014, 11:13
ą
Garret Byrne,
4 Nov 2014, 11:12
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