What Was the Old Name For Ireland?

Image of old name for Ireland

The history of the country’s name is long and drawn out. For starters, you should know that the country wasn’t always known as “Ireland.”

It’s believed that Ireland was first known as “Inis na Fidbadh,” which means “Isle of the Woods.” The name was given to the country by the Vikings, who were the first to stumble on the island. They also might have originally referred to Ireland as the “westland isle.”

It was also believed that the earliest Celts may have originally referred to Ireland as the “Abundant Land.” The Greeks and Romans, however, called the island “Hibernia,” which translates to “land of winter.” The name “Hibernia” is still frequently used by organizations and companies throughout Ireland today.

It’s thought that the word Ireland originated from the old Irish word Éire,” which stems from Ériu, who was a Gaelic goddess. According to Irish mythology, Ériu was believed to be the Goddess of the island, as well as the Goddess of sovereignty.

Have you ever wondered where Ireland’s name came from?

The Germanic word “land” was added to the end of “Ire” to make up Ireland.” Given the strong pagan beliefs that have historically run rampant through Ireland, this theory seems extremely likely.

Ireland’s Capital Was Named by Vikings Dublin is the capital of Ireland. It might surprise you to learn that the city wasn’t named by the Irish but instead by the Vikings.

During the 8th and 9th centuries, the Vikings raided Ireland. They established a settlement, which they called Dubh Linn, which translate to “black pool.” They named the settlement after the lake where they anchored their boats.

They also referred to their settlement as the “Norse Kingdom of Dublin.” It might surprise you to learn that the Vikings also ruled over Dublin for nearly 700 years.

Their rule came to an end in 1169 when the Mac Murrough, King of Leinster, asked for the help of Strongbow, the Earl of Pembroke, to conquer Dublin. After the King’s death, Strongbow declared himself the King of  Leinster. He then went on to defeat both the Vikings and the High King of Ireland.

However, Strongbow’s rule over Ireland didn’t last long. The King of England feared that Strongbow would become too powerful. The King of England declared himself Lord of Ireland. As a result, Dublin was given to the merchants of Bristol, England.

Why is Ireland Called the Emerald Isle?

Image of the Emerald Isle
Emerald Isle

Ireland’s nickname, the Emerald Isle, might lead you to think that the gemstone is mined in the state. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there are no emerald mines in Ireland. So, how did the country get its name?

Ireland’s greenery plays a huge role in why it’s been dubbed the Emerald Isle. If you have ever flown above the country, then its nickname will make perfect sense. But, ultimately, we can thank poet William Drennan for the nickname.

Drennan was the first to ever refer to Ireland as “the Emerald Isle” in his 1795 poem, which was titled When Erin First Rose. It’s unknown if someone else might have originally coined the term, but Drennan was the first one to have ever used it in print, so he’s generally credited with giving Ireland its famous nickname.

Why is Ireland is Divided into the Two Parts of Ireland?

The Two Parts Of Ireland
The Two Parts of Ireland

You may already know that Ireland is divided into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Have you ever wondered why this is?

The split occurred during the Partition in 1921. Formally known as the Government of Ireland Act 1920, the partition was designed to create two self-governing territories in Ireland. Both of the territories were intended to remain within the United Kingdom.

The Act of 1920 had provisions that would eventually reunite the two territories. The Easter Rising also played a key role in the divide. The Easter Rising, which is also commonly referred to as the Uprising of 1916 or the Easter Rebellion, is one of the most significant events to have ever taken place in the history of Ireland.

On Easter Week in April of 1916, the Rising was started by Republicans in Ireland who wanted to end British rule in the country.

Their goal was to form an independent Irish Republic. They thought it was a good time to rise against the United Kingdom, since it was already very much engaged in World War I.

The Uprising of 1916 lasted for six days, beginning on Easter Monday. It was led by Patrick Pearse, who was a schoolmaster and Irish language activist. He was joined by James Connolly’s smaller Irish Citizen Army, as well as 200 women.

They seized locations throughout Dublin and proclaimed an Irish Republic.

The British Army brought in thousands of reinforcements. In addition to having higher numbers, the British Army also had heavier weapons. They were able to stop the Rising.

They also made approximately 3,500 Irish people prisoners, many who had no role in the Rising. About half of those were sent to internment camps or prisons in Britain.

The Easter Rising ultimately led to the Irish War of IndependenceThe war was fought between the years of 1919 and 1921. The war resulted in the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The treaty allowed the southern part of Ireland to become a free state. It called itself the Republic of Ireland. The treaty said that Northern Ireland could opt out of the Irish free state, which it did.

Northern Ireland remained a part of the United. Kingdom, which it is to this day. The Republic of Ireland, which is often just referred to as “Ireland,” remains independent to this day.

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are considered to be the same country. The two are considered different territories or states, however.

There has been talk over the years of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland reuniting again to form one country again.

Shane O’Neill eliminates rivals


In Shane O’Neill’s time (1550s-60s) there was acrimony and conflict within the O’Neill clan between the English appointed Barons (or Earls) of Ulster and the clan-elected leadership. 


For example on 12th April 1562, between Newry and Carlingford Brian, the young Baron (eldest son of Matthew O’Neill) was slain, along with twenty of his retainers by Turlough Lynagh O’Neill at the head of 100 horsemen. 

Turlough Lynagh O’Neill was Shane O’Neill’s tanist (second and heir apparent) under the Brehon laws. It was by this deed that Hugh, Brian’s brother became Baron of Dungannon. He was raised under English rule and patronage but, as we know, he rejected this in 1595 on the death of Turlough Lynagh and became ‘The O’Neill’. 


He was almost immediately then to lead the greatest rebellion against English rule.


It is in Shane O’Neill that for the moment we are more interested. He abhorred and rejected his father’s (Conn‘s) acceptance of the English title of Earl and had his rivals (his illegitimate half-brother Matthew (d. 1558) – and his son Brian – above) put to death, as he determined to assume the title and responsibilities of The O’Neill (even in his father’s time) towards the end of the 1550s: – his father Conn died in 1559.

… more later ….

Bagenal decides to quit …

Presbyterian Baptisms 1824 (1)

11 Jan COWDEN Margaret Anne, of James, North Street
14 Feb McALPINE James of Robert, Rovinshaw
19   GREER Mary of William, North Road
19   McCOLLUM Margaret Anne of Thomas, Cloughenramer
23   REID Eliza Anne of Isaac, Castle Street
26     THOMPSON Margaret of William, Church Street
5  Mar    McBLAIN Barbara of David, Ballybot
5    EDGAR John of Joseph, High Street
5           PHILLIPS William of John, Corpl 75th Regiment
7    BOYD Matthew of James, North Street
3   Apr KELLS Maryanne of William, Back of the Dam
3 RAINEY Eliza of Robert, Benagh
4 ROBINSON John of Robert, Cloughenramer
30 ROBINSON Mary Jane of Joseph, Cloughenramer
30 BOYD James Swanzy of John, Hill Street
30 GILLESPIE Isabella of Andrew, High Street
30 COWAN David of Abraham, Church Street
30 FLANIGAN Wm Livingston of John L, Wm Street
30 BROWN Samuel of Wm, High Street
30 SYMPSON Henry of Ebenezer, Boat Street
5  May RIGGS Elizabeth of William, Derrymore
5 MONAGHAN Jane of John, Sheeptown
6 McCOLLUM Margaret of Wm, Carnmeen
16 HENRY Eliza Anne of John, Dysery
16 HANNA John of Elexander, Dysert
26 FLANIGAN Maryanne of Robert, High Street
31 EDGAR Mary Jane of Samuel, Keoghill
4  June QUINN Margaret of John, North Street
10 McCARTER Arthur of Oliver, Mullaghglass
21 BEAUMONT John of Alexander, Chequer Hill
9  July HILL Robert of Walter, Canal Street
9 McALLISTER Maryanne of Charles, North Street
16 CARR William Thomas of Robert, High Street
16 HILL William of John, High Street
23 HENRY Aaron of George, Dysert
23 SCOTT Maryanne of George, Market Street
9  Aug McMINN Mary Jane of James, Dysart
13 POWER William John of Thomas, Water Street
27 LITTLE John of Robert, Altnaveigh
3  Sept TOWNLEY SAMUEL, Merchants Quay
5 McGRATH Frances of Richard, North Street
8 BROWN Richard of St John, Lisduff
12 HOWE Maria Glenny of William, Corry Place
26 MURDOCK Elizabeth of Henry, Canal Street
8  Oct RAINEY Annabella of William, Dysart
8 FLETCHER Eliza Jane of William [choir], High St
22 MILLAN Agnes of Sergt. Barrack
28 WALLACE Mary of Robert G, Grinan Lodge
15  Nov PARSONS Needham Thompson of Samuel, Kildare Place
24  Dec BAIRD John of William, Courtenay Hill
25 PORTER John of Joseph, Ballybot
27 GLENNY George of George, Millvale
31 HENDERSON William of James, Prospect Place

Newry in early 20th century


A  scribe of recent yesteryear reflected on Newry of old, in the form of scenes from an imaginary walk through our fair streets then. I consider his musings worth repeating.

‘Let us first, in the company of a group of other wanton boys recently released from the stern discipline of Brother Dempsey at the Carstands School, disport in the waters of The Rampart. We wander through Pighall Loanan and over the Bishop’s Hill, vying with one another as to who will first dive into ‘Track Line’.

On the Downshire Road a bazaar for the benefit of local churches is being held. There are contests in music, drawing and many domestic arts. There is, particularly a Flute Band Contest with entries from Belfast and other towns. Michael Magill conducts St Joseph’s Band with Terence Ruddy and John Loy distinguishing themselves as instrumentalists.

A solemn procession leaves Dromalane House and passes along Dromalane Road, through Bridge Street and High Street to Meeting House Green, commemorating the funeral, a decade ago of the patriot John Mitchel. His widow Jenny Verner Mitchel, is just recently deceased in New York.

The mud heaps in Doyle’s Field have been levelled, grass sown and a road cut through its centre, for the Lord Lieutenant is soon to open an exhibition in the Needham Street Market. He will arrive by Edward Street railway station and we must clean up the ‘front door step’.

It’s Regatta Day in Newry. The Middle Bank is thronged with visitors and a goodly crowd is enjoying sports day in Greenbank. In the track event a bicycle race is about to start. The local riders, Dierson, McKnight, Graham and others, resplendent on their high velocipedes, are lined up when the appearance of a new entrant on a contraption with both wheels the same height, creates a laugh! Amid the general mirth a few strangers are circulating the crowd offering wagers that the Dublin stranger will win. The sporting elements among the townsfolk take the bets. It was Newry’s first sighting of a safety bike and the strangers reaped a rich harvest as it easily won. The local sports are sadder and wiser.

I pass, with some difficulty, through Monaghan Street. Both sides of the street, from Lamb’s Corner on the west to Magill’s Corner on the east, are lined with wagons that are full with groceries from the shops of McKnight and Renshaw and Dromgoole, and from Dickson’s provision store, adjoining ‘The Chestnuts’. The farmers standing in groups on the footpaths are jostled by laughing and carefree workers on their way to dinner from Dempster’s Mill, Wilson’s Mill, the Newry Foundry in Edward Street and Lupton’s Mill and Henry’s Brewery in Queen Street.

Coming to the Godfrey Bridge I stand and look north towards Sugar Island. A vessel opposite Beatty’s mill is discharging a cargo of Indian corn. A lighter is being loaded, further down, at the Salt Works, between the canal and the tidal river. Opposite Edward Street a vessel is discharging wheat for Felix O’Hagan’s Mill at the junction of Catherine Street and Edward Street. A little to the south a lighter is supplying coal to the yards of Mr Greer. Further north still, identifiable only by the familiar but distant sounds, another vessel is pouring out its load of golden wheat to be ground into flour in the fine brick mill of Mr Sinclair.

And now I turn south and look towards the Ballybot Bridge and the Buttercrane Quay. The scene is one of even greater activity. Opposite the premises of Carvill and Company, one of their own fleet of vessels is discharging a cargo of lumber, hewn in its own forests in the New World. The roadway along the canal is strewn with slate, sand, cement, and with steel for the manufacture of spades and shovels; wagons awaiting entrance to the yards are lined up as far as Magill’s Corner. Redmond and Company has a similar scene outside.

I walk south along the Quay. Again I am impeded by the milling crowds intent on purchase, and by mill hands from Dempsters and Wilsons, with those from the weaving factory on the Dublin Bridge and the Dromalane Spinning Mill, all returning for the afternoon’s work. My ears are dinned from the clang of iron and steel fabrication from Lucas’s Foundry on the opposite bank. Near the Dublin Bridge an overhead crane dips its steel buckets into the wheat-filled hold of a steamer and carries it aloft, across the street and into the maw of Fennel’s Mill. Another vessel is doing the same for Walker’s Mill in Mill Street – one of the first establishments of Europe, it is said, to have electric light of its own generating.

I cross the Bridge and come to Albert Basin and the sheds of the Dundalk and Newry Steampacket Company. A steamship lying at the wharf is taking on, by means of a gang of busy quay porters, a miscellaneous cargo with which the bulkhead and sheds are plied. There are slabs of granite and paving blocks, hewn from the Newry quarries that are destined to build the mansions and pave the streets of England; raw hides; finished leather from the many Newry tanneries; distilled spirits in cask, keg and bottle, from the warehouses of Matt D’Arcy and Company and Henry Thompson and Company; crated fowl and livestock for the Liverpool Market; bales of linen and linen yarn and other commodities manufactured in and near the town.

Further down the Basin, Spanish sailors, ear-ringed and swarthy, are swabbing decks of a barque that has brought sherry grapes from Malaga and other Iberian delicacies for McBlain and Company, Martin, Nesbit and Irwin, Kinnear and Lang, the Golden Teapot and The Golden Cannister.

Leaving the Basin and walking through William Street and up Hill Street – passing on the way the coach factories of Bannon and of Lawson – and then through Margaret Street and North Street, I find the same state of active business that was presented elsewhere. ‘

Newry was then a busy and thriving town, and mainly a manufacturing town.

Dudley Bagenal


Nor did ALL the Bagenal family hold true to the officially-sanctioned line of succession to the English throne! From the Ordnance Survey Memoirs of 1836 (another useful general history source) we learn the following regarding the Bagenal property acceded to Creely in Carneyhaugh …

Read moreDudley Bagenal