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Drumena, County Down


Ir. Droim Méine  ‘ridge of the ore/mine’


Although the first element in this place-name is clearly derived from Irish droim ‘a ridge’ the second element is more difficult to establish.  In transcribing the local Irish form in 1834 O’Donovan interpreted the second element as a personal name Éna (OSNB), but Éanna (anglicized Enda) is probably the name intended.  An original Irish form Droim Éanna is certainly possible but, as few of the many hundreds of townlands in which droim is the initial element seem to be qualified by personal names, and as anna is not particularly common in the north, it may be wise to consider other possibilities.  It could be argued that the second element is aonach ‘assembly’ or possibly even eanach ‘a marsh or pass’.  However, if Drumena derives from either Droim Aonaigh or Droim Eanaigh one might have expected the modern form to have been spelt something like Drumeny rather than Drumena.  The possibility that the second element begins with an m- rather than with a vowel remains to be considered.  Droim Míne ‘the ridge of the mountain pasture’ is a plausible suggestion from the point of view of meaning (see Ó Dónaill sv. mín).  However, if this is correct, it is difficult to explain how the i sound in mín could have developed to an e sound, which is what must have happened for the name to be re-interpreted as Droim anna.  Droim Méine ‘ridge of the ore or mine’ is much more likely and is compatible with the modern pronunciations of the name in that e regularly developed to -ee- in English (Barber 1976, 292).


Ó Mainní­n, M. (1993): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 3 p.109

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballydromeny1609CPR Jas I 396a
Ballydromeny1612CPR Jas I 235a
Ballydrominy1629Inq. Ult. (Down) $13 Car. I
Ballydromeny1639Inq. Ult. (Down) $85 Car. I
Dromeny1659cCensus 1659 77
Drameene1661BSD 109
Dromeeny1669ASE 211b $6
Drameeny1692Rent Roll Down 9
Drumeany1767Map of Down (OSNB) E162
Drommena1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E162
Dromena1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E162
~Druim éna ""Eany''s ridge""1834cOSNB Inf. E162
Iveagh Up., Lr. Half
Parish in 1851
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