Placenamesni.orgthe history behind our place-names

Clonallan Parish, County Down


Ir. Cluain Dalláin ‘Dallán's meadow’


References to Clonallan in the sources are normally either to the parish or to the church itself. The lands which surrounded that church, the basis of the modern townland Clonallan Glebe, were known in earlier times as Ballynegleragh, Irish Baile na gCléireach ‘townland of the clerics’.  The name of the parish of Clonallan derives from Irish Cluain Dalláin ‘(Saint) Dallán’s meadow’. The Dallán in question is said to have been Dallán Forgaill, otherwise known as Eochaidh Éigeas.  The latter occupies an important place in literary history as author of the Amra Choluimb Chille, a eulogy on the sixth-century Saint Columba, which is one of the oldest pieces of literature in the Gaelic language.  Dallán is commemorated on January 29 in the martyrologies where he is described as Dallan mac Forgaill  (Mart. Tal. 13). 

By the time O'Donovan visited the parish in 1834 there appears to have been no recollection of Dallán Forgaill in the locality.  Oyne McStay’s Irish form of Clonallan, i.e. Clann Allan, is clearly a misinterpretation of the original name but, nevertheless, there is good reason to believe that this form approximates quite closely to the pronunciation of the name in Irish at that time.  There are linguistic reasons for this: the anglicized forms from the beginning of the 17th century suggest that by then the initial D- of Dalláin had been assimilated to the final -n of the preceding Cluain yielding forms like Clann Allen in English. 


Ó Mainnín, M. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. I p. 72

Additional Information

See also the townland of Clonallan Glebe

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Cluain Dallain i fail Chuain Snama Ech

1125cCSH 120

Cluain Dallain

1125cCSH 662.212

Conall (o Clúain Dalláin i bfail Snámha Ech)

1170cMart. Gorm. Apr 2 p68n

Clondalan, Ecclesia de

1306cEccles. Tax. 112

Clondallan, ecclesia de - cum capellis

1422Reg. Dowdall $129 275

Cluandallan, parrochialis ecclesie de

1423Annates Ulst. 289

Claondalan, prebende de

1500Annates Ulst. 291

Cluain Dallain, Conall ó

1630cMart. Don. April 2(t) p388

o Cluain (.i. Cluain Dalláin), i bfail Snamha Ech

1630cMart. Don. Apr 2 p92


1645Acta SS Colgan 205 col. 2


1648Trias. Thaum. 381 col. 1

Clann Allan

1834cOSNB Inf. E42 no. 100

Cluain Dalláin `lawn or meadow of St. Dallan''

1834cOSNB: gen. sources E42 no. 100

Cluain Dhallan `St. Dallan''s Meadow''

1950cMooney 1950c 45
Clonallon, vicarage of1437Reg. Swayne 172
Clondallan, prebend of1534Reg. Cromer ii $190
Clondallan, prebend of1546Reg. Dowdall $113 80
T. Clann Allen1600Bartlett Map (BM)
Tempell Clonall[en?]1601Bartlett Map (TCD)
T[:] Clan Allen1603Bartlett Maps (Esch. Co. Maps) 2
Clandallan rect.1604CPR Jas I 63b
Clondallen1607CPR Jas I 104b
Clandallan1609CPR Jas I 396a
Clanall1610Speed's Ulster
Clanall1610Speed's Antrim & Down
Clandallon1611CPR Jas I 191b
Clondollan1629Inq. Ult. (Down) $13 Car. I
Kill-Dallan, the church called in Irish1645cMacCana's Itinerary 47
Clonallan1657Inq. Down (Reeves1) 89
Cloneallen parish1657cHib. Reg. Up. Iveagh
Clonallan [par.]1659cCensus 1659 74
Conallan [td.]1659cCensus 1659 74
Clanallan parish1661BSD 111, 112
Clonall et Kilbrony1664Trien. Visit. (Margetson) 25
Clonollan1664Trien. Visit. (Margetson) 24
Clonealen1672cHib. Del. Ulster
Cloneallen1672cHib. Del. Down
Clonallan1744Harris Hist. map
Clonallan1802Dubourdieu's Map Dn (OSNB) E42 no. 100
Clonallan1802Dubourdieu's Map Dn (OSNB) E42 no. 100
Clonallan1806Civ. & Ecc. Top. (OSNB) E42 no. 100
Clonallan1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E42 no. 100
Clonallen1829Newry Tel. (OSNB) E42 no. 100
Clonallan, Parish of1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E42 no. 100
Iveagh Up., Up. Half
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type