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Derry, County Down


Ir. Doire‘ oak-wood’


The meaning of the name of this townland is straightforward enough.  The reason for its inclusion in early Irish martyrologies is that it contains the remains of two early churches, described in ASCD pp.290-1.  They appear to be associated with Cumman, a female saint who is mentioned in the early 9th-century Martyrology of Oengus. In the glossed manuscript notes accompanying this reference we read Cumain .i. bannóeb 7 a n-Aird Ulad ata ‘Cumain, i.e. a female saint, and in Ard Uladh she is’.  Therefore Stokes’s identification (Mart. Gorm. index p. 306) of Doire as modern Derry City is mistaken, but a full treatment of the exact form of this Ards place-name Doire in the various martyrologies need not be undertaken here.


Hughes A. J. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 2 p. 47

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference


0800cMart. Tal. May 29, p. 46 n
~ic Daire Ingen Aillein0830cFél. Óeng. May 29 p136n
Dere, Ecclesia de1306cEccles. Tax. 22
Dyrry1571Fiants Eliz. $2090
Ballidirrye1588Fiants Eliz. $5264
Dirrei1595Mercator's Ulst.
Derry, the townland and half of1605CPR Jas I 72b
le Derry1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $2 Jac. I
Derrie Movilla, Capella de1615cTerrier (Reeves) 61
Dirrie1620Inq. Ult. (Down) $9 Jac. I


1622Ulster Visit. Reeves 57
Ballyderry1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxxi
the Grange or Rectory of Derry1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxxi;xliv
Derry1625Inq. Ult. (Down) $14 Jac. I
Ballederrie1627Inq. Ult. (Down) $10 Car. I
Ballederry1627Inq. Ult. (Down) $10 Car. I


1628Sav. Ards 368
Ballyderry1628Sav. Ulst. 368
~Cummain, ógh ó Doire inghen Aillen i nAird Uladh1630cMart. Don. May 29 p140


1637cSav. Ards 373
Ballyderry1637cSav. Ulst. 373
Ballyderry1650cInq. Ult. (Down) $109 Car. I
the rectory of Derry1650cInq. Ult. (Down) $109 Car. I
Baldory1657Inq. Down (Reeves1) 117
Derry1659cCensus 1659 91
""Rector'' de Derry als Ballygalgott""1661Trien. Visit. (Bramhall) 8
Derry1661BSD 85
Derrie1663Sub. Roll Down 282
Derrey1683Map, Petty's Sur. (OSNB) No. 44
Derry1810Wm. Map (OSNB) No. 44
Derry1830cHigh Const. Applot. (OSNB) No. 44
Derry1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) No. 44

Doire "an oak-wood"

1834cJ O'D (OSNB)
Ards Upper
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type