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Duneight, County Down


Ir. Dún Eachdach Eochaidh’s fort’


The place-name refers to Duneight motte-and-bailey which stands on the north bank of the Ravernet River, on the site of an earlier Irish fort.  By the ninth century the Dál Fiatach kingdom of Lecale in east Down had established a new northern royal centre at Duneight, Dún Eachdach, south of Lisburn.  The name indicates that it was probably the fortress of Eochaidh son of Fiachnae, who succeeded in AD 789.  The Annals of the Four Masters record that in the year 1010 AD the fort of Duneight, with an attached baile settlement, was burned by Flaithbheartach Ó Néill in an incursion by the Cenél Eoghain of Tyrone. An impressive mound survives, looking down towards a ford on the Ravernet river, a tributary of the Lagan, close to where it joins the main river. The Ravernet river marked the boundary with Uí Echach (i.e. Iveagh) and takes its modern name from an adjacent townland (Ráth Bhearnáin ‘fort at the gap’).


PMcK, 2009

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Adhaigh dhun ag Dun Eachdach

0942Circ. of Ireland 30

co Dun Echdach 7 co Druim Bo

1004AU (Mac Airt) 432

(co) Dun Echdach

1011AU (Mac Airt) 442

Dun Eathach Eochaidh''s Dun or Fort

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) No. 44

Dún Echdach "" Eochaidh''s dún""

1999Cel. Ulst. Tds 9

Dún Echdach ""Eochaidh''s hillfort""

2002HMC replies HMCmar02
Dunechthi1180cDower Charter 79
Downeagh1450cRot. Ant. Ecc. Dun. 172
(?)Dunreach1659cCensus 1659 88
Duneit1810Wm. Map (OSNB) No. 44
Castlereagh Upper
Parish in 1851
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