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Islandahoe, County Antrim


Ir. Oileán na hUamha 'island of the cave/souterrain'


The first element in this place name is the English translation of oileán 'island' which is initially unexpected given the absence of any body of water in the townland. However the element oileán in place-names does not necessarily need to refer to an island surrounded by water, particularly in East Ulster. Oileán in Irish place-names can refer to an area of raised land in boggy terrain (Ó Mainnín 1989-90, 200) and in the case of this inland townland, this more likely the intended interpretation.

The second element in the forms which are assigned to John O'Donovan provide Oileán Dá Eo 'island of the two yews' and Oileán O Thuaidh 'north island' which are both representative of the modern form. More recentlyIslan na hogha (the translation of which is unclear)is provided by Pat McKay (

 However, more a likely element is uaimh 'cave, souterrain' as is seen in the townland name Droim na hUamha 'ridge of the cave/souterrain' (Drumahoe, Co. Derry) in which uamha is anglicised as the ending -ahoe. Support for this interpretation (rather than those assigned previously) are the remains of a megalithic tomb or souterrain at Ranold's Hill that are still in existence in the townland (OSNI).




Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Elanyhoge1657cHib. Reg. Dunluce
Island Howagh1659cCensus 1659 11
Ellennacho1669HMR Ant. 75
Elanyhoge1672cHib. Del. Antrim
Islandhoe1780Lendrick Map
~Oileán Dá Eo ""island of the two yews""1827J O'D (OSNB) 93 B50
~Oileán O Thuaidh ""north island""1827J O'D (OSNB) 93 B50
~Oileán Ó Thuaidh ""north island""1832J O'D (OSNB) B19
Islandahoe (Islandhoe - townland)1837OSM xvi 95
Dunluce Lower
Parish in 1851
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