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Ballintrae, County Antrim


Ir. Baile an Trá ‘townland of the strand’


There are three Irish townlands named Ballintra which derive from Baile an tSratha ‘townland of the holm/river meadow’. Srath means ‘valley-bottom’ or a ‘flat place’, typically beside a river or lake (Flanagan & Flanagan 1994, 143) which is less likely here. Béal Átha an Tré ‘mouth of the ford of the triad’ which is the origin of Ballintry in Co. Meath ( is also unlikely.

The form assigned to John O’Donovan for this place-name Baile an Trá ‘townland of the strand’ appears to be correct and is supported by the coastal location of the townland. The forms appearing as Portballintray (1657c, 1672c) have motivated the form Baile an Trá whereas trá is a feminine noun with which we would expect the definite article to appear in the form na. This, however remains the most likely derivation of this place-name and it is possible that in northern dialects, trá can be assigned masculine gender.

The form Portballintray (1657c) refers to the village of Portballintrae, which is so-named from a little harbour within the townland (McKay 2007, 121).


Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Portballintray1657cHib. Reg. Dunluce
Ballybrae1669HMR Ant. 55
Portballintray1672cHib. Del. Antrim
~Baile an trágha ""town of the strand""1832J O'D (OSNB) B14
Baile an Tragha ""Town of the Strand""1934Magill's Antrim 65
~Baile an Trá ""townland of the strand""1999Dict. Ulst. PN 121
Dunluce Lower
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type