The names you will find on Irish maps tend to have their origins in one of three languages groups. You can probably guess that one of them is English – we are not going to look for those. Very common too is Gaelic. But wait a minute, we did that last week in Scotland. Indeed! The pronunciation will be different, and the spelling may vary a bit too, but you will see the same components here, as Scots Gaelic and Irish are from the same Celtic language family.
So, dig out a map of Ireland and see if you can find these words in place names. Some of them are pretty much the same as the Scottish Gaelic ones from last week, but I think you will find it easier to spot them in Ireland.
Ard = a high place or an important place
Bally = place of…
Carrick or Carrig = rock
Clon or Cloon = dry place – look in an otherwise boggy area
Derry = place of oak trees
Down, Dun or Don = fortified place
Droichead = bridge
Drum or Drom = ridge
Glen = valley
Kil or Killy = church
Knock = hill
Rath = fort
Ros = wood
And the other language represented in Ireland – Viking – but we will come back to that another time.