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Reagh Island, County Down


Ir. An tOileán Riabhach ‘the brindled island’


Reagh Island is now attached by causeway to Mahee Island to the south, a causeway that was still flooded at high tide in the 19th century (Reeves 1845/1902, 19).  Reagh Island was identified by Reeves as one of the four islands (‘Scatrick, Ranish, Trasnagh and Reagh’) belonging to the bishop c. 1450 (EA 171).  The other three islands lie south of Mahee Island, and are no longer in the parish of Tullynakill.  In the 1851 Census, Reeves’ Ranish, already there called Rainey Island, Sketrick and Trasnagh were considered to be part of Ardkeen parish on the far side of Strangford Lough, where they have been discussed (in PNI ii 23-4, 25-6, 26).  The two earliest references to Raynche could possibly be read rayuche for Reagh (late 12th cent, EA 193), as the next, to Rannys, is dated 1605.  There are few references, but Reagh is the usual Anglicisation of Irish riabhach, cf. Castlereagh, although see also Lough Island Reavy (PNI iii 181-2).


K. Muhr, 2009

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
(?)Read-ile1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $1 Jac. I
Ilandreogh1624CPR Jas I 587b
Il. Reagh1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 53
Island Reagh1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 56,63
Islandreagh1645Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I
Islandreagh + Island mcc ghee1661BSD 126
Ilandreagh1662Inq. Ult. (Down) $23 Car. II
Reagh-Isle1744Harris Hist. 154
Reagh-Isle1744Harris Hist. 154
Castlereagh Lower
Parish in 1851
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