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Mostragee, County Antrim


Ir. Maistreadh Gaoithe ‘swirling of the wind’


The earliest form of this place-name is not the one from which the modern form is derived. This early form, Ballinafady (1657c) might derive from Baile an Mhadaidh 'townland of the dog', however, the lack of any other historical forms of this type means we cannot be certain of its origin. This entry might belong to the neighbouring townland of Ballynafeigh to which it bears structural similarity.

The second element in the form from which the modern place-name is derived appears as the anglicised -tragee could be re Gaoith ‘before the wind’. This anglicised ending is also seen in Tóin re Gaoith (Tandragee, Co. Armagh) and in seven other townlands in Ireland anglicised as Tanderagee ( 'backside to the wind' in reference to an exposed location (McKay 1999, 139)

The forms of the first element are inconsistent; appearing as maf- (1659c), mosce- (1669) and most- (1780) and have no obvious common origin that could appear with re Gaoith. One possibility is the element más ‘buttock’ (Dinneen) and the form Más re Gaoith 'buttock to the wind', which could be interpreted in a similar way to Tandragee above.

The form assigned to John O' Donovan is Maighistir Gaoithe 'master of the wind' which could also make reference to exposed land. Similarly, there are townlands named Mastergeehy and Mastergeeha in Co. Kerry, which are both proposed derived from Máistir Gaoithe ‘master of the wind’ (

The element maistreadh ‘churning’ can be used in reference to the sea and waves (Ó Dónaill). It is entirely conceivable that this place-name could derive from Maistreadh Gaoithe ‘swirling of the wind’ (as noted by Ó Siochfhradha 1956, 3) which has then been interpreted locally as Máistir Gaoithe (the form assigned to John O’Donovan for the current place name). Maistreadh Gaoithe ‘swirling of the wind’ is more likely to be the original form of this name.





Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballinafady1657cHib. Reg. Dunluce
Mafragee1659cCensus 1659 11
2 Qrs of Moscegee1669HMR Ant. 76
(?)B:nafady1672cHib. Del. Antrim
Mostragee(?)1780Lendrick Map
~Maighistir Gaoithe ""master of the wind""1827J O'D (OSNB) 93 B50
~Maighistir Gaoithe ""master of the wind""1832J O'D (OSNB) B19
Mostragee (discoveries in townland)1837OSM xvi 93
Mostragee (flow bog)1837OSM xvi 92
Mostragee (large bronze sword and various coins))1837OSM xvi 91
""the master of the wind, so called from the expose *1869Joyce i 44
Dunluce Lower
Parish in 1851
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