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Islandmore, County Down


Ir. An tOileán Mór ‘the large island’


Islandmore lies in Strangford Lough east of the peninsula of Ringhaddy, although it extends further south.  It measures 128 acres and like Islandbane counts as a townland in itself.  The name is An tOileán Mór ‘the large island’, so that in the current name Irish oileán has been replaced by the similar word in English.  An early translation into English, Much-Ile, was given in 1605, parallel to English village names like Much Hadham (Cambs) which also use much in the sense of ‘big’.  In the mid-18th-century Harris gave its name as Inis More, using inis, an older Irish word for ‘island’ or ‘promontory’. This may once have been a regular alternative and there is one other piece of evidence for it.  In her edition of the Ulster genealogical tract ‘History of the Descendants of Ir’ Margaret Dobbs noted Airemon of Dál Fiatach, son of the early 9th-century Aed mac Eachach from whom Lissue fort and townland in Blaris west of Lisburn were named (Lios Aodha). Airemon was the ancestor of the ‘Uí Airemoin ag Inis Moir’ who ‘seized the kingship of the Ulaid’ and Dobbs suggested Inis Mór might have been Islandmore townland in Killinchy (Desc. Ir xiv 84-85n).


KM, 2009

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Much-ile al. Ilandmore1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $1 Jac. I
Ilandmore1624CPR Jas I 587b
Iland More1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 60
Ilandmore1625cRaven Map Clandeboye 58
Islandmore1629Grant Jas I (OSNB) 36/56;5ChasI
(?)Ilandmore1636Inq. Ult. (Down) $75 Car. I
Islandmore1645Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Car. I
Islandmore1662Inq. Ult. (Down) $23 Car. II
Inis More1744Harris Hist. (OSNB) 36/56
Inis-more1744Harris Hist. 154
Inis-more1744Harris Hist. 154
Oileán Mór1834cJ O'D (OSNB) 36/56
Parish in 1851
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