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Clogharevan, County Armagh


Ir. Cloch Aireamhan 'ploughmen's stone'


The first element here is undoubtedly cloch ‘stone’. For the second element O’Donovan has suggested a personal name which is consistent with the historical forms and the local pronunciation. However, without some documentary evidence it is difficult to be certain if this is the correct interpretation. The surname Ó hEireamhóin which is based on the personal name cited by O’Donovan is a rare one occurring in Leinster. Although the surname Irwin may in some cases represent an anglicized version of this name, the name Irwin which is most common in Ulster is generally of British origin (MacLysaght 1982 133). Being of planter origin, this surname is less likely to have been used in this area as an element in a place-name which obviously pre-dates the earliest date of its documentation and also the settlement of planters in the area. There are a few instances of the surname Irwin in the neighbouring townland Kilrea and in the parish of Lisnadill. 

The most likely interpretation of the final element of this name is aireamhan a variable gen. pl. of aireamh ‘ploughman’. This agrees phonetically with the current pronunciation and with the historical forms.

Incidentally, Seosamh Laoide states that Cloch Fhuaráin and not Cloch an Riabháin is the proper Irish form for Bessbrook (post-sheanchas corrigenda). However, it is not clear which authority provided him with this form. This interpretation agrees with the earliest anglicized form of the name though neither seems entirely satisfactory.


Kay Muhr

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Cloghorouan1609Esch. Co. Map 5.26
Cloughcurvan, Carrycruppan & the townland of1657Inq. Arm. (Paterson) 226
(?)Cloughgarvan1659Census 1659 31
Cloycorvan1661BSD 9
Doghchurivan1664HMR Murray (1941) 133
Clogharevan1835cOSL (Arthurs) i 48
Cloughurivan1835cCess Book (OSNB) No.171
Clouhurivan1835cOSNB No. 171
~Cloch Eireamháin ""Irwine or Erewon''s stone or sto1835cJ O'D (OSNB) No. 171
~cloch a riabhán ""Reevan''s rock or stone""1835cOSL (Arthurs) i 48
~Cloch Fhuarain ""the fountain rock""1955O'Kane's Killevy app.a(ii)
Cloch Aireamhan ""ploughmen''s stone""2002Culture NI PNN PMcK/JP
Orior Upper
Parish in 1851
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