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Rathlin Island Parish, County Antrim

Origin

Ir. Reachlainn [raghlin] meaning uncertain.

Background

Off N Antrim coast, 6.5km N of Ballycastle

bar: Cary

A number of Irish islands are named Reachlainn (with variant Reachrainn) but the derivation of the name is obscure. Perhaps the most plausible suggestion to date is that it contains a Celtic root represented by W. rhygnu ‘to rub/scrape’, and that the name signifies something like ‘indented island/rugged island’. Along with the mainland parish of Ballintoy, Rathlin was annexed to the parish of BILLY in medieval times but it was reconstituted a parish in its own right in 1722. There was an early church on Rathlin, the location of which is uncertain [(ecclaise) Rechrainne 630].

References

McKay, P. (2007): A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p. 123/124

Additional Information

Historical name form

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Barony
Cary
Parish
Rathlin Island
Parish in 1851
Rathlin Island
Townland
None
Place name ID
15371
Place name type
P