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Coolaran, County Fermanagh


Ir. Cúil ÁráinÁrán’s corner or nook”


Coolaran lies about a mile to the south-east of Lisnaskea.

The elements cúil “corner, nook, recess” and cúl “back” are almost indistinguishable in their anglicised forms (Joyce i 530-1) but the former is much more common in townland names and must therefore be regarded as the more likely.  One might consider that the final element is árann, the genitive form of ára which literally means “kidney” but which at an earlier period could mean “back” and hence “ridge”.  There is indeed a 300m. high ridge in the townland.  However, this element does not appear to be widely attested in townland names and it is seems more likely that we are dealing with a personal name.  Two possible names come to mind.  The first is Fearán which is the basis of the surname Ó Fearáin “Farren”, the name of a branch of the Cinél Eoghain in Ulster (Woulfe 1923, 523).  The second possibility is Árán and this seems a more satisfactory interpretation on the grounds that the surname Ó hÁráin “descendant of Árán” (anglicised as Haran, Harren) is well-attested in Co. Fermanagh (MacLysaght 1985, 146).  This appears to be the family who are referred to under the name of the sept of Munteraran (i.e. Muintir Áráin “people/sept of Árán) as erenaghs of the chapel of Ballymacataggart near Irvinestown in the north of the county in 1609 (CPR Jas I 383b; see Livingstone 1969, 429).


(info. from McKay, P. (2004): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 8 p. 47)

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Coularan (by Slew Bagh)1609Esch. Co. Map 8 M''stephana
Coularan1612CPR Jas I 232b
Coolaran1620CPR Jas I 482b
Coolaran and the hamlet of Coshwishe etc.1620CPR Jas I 482b
Coolaran1639Inq. Ult. (Fermanagh) $45 Car.I
Collarone1659cCensus 1659 106
Coolearne1680BSD (Ó Maolagáin) 541
Coolarn1817GJM M'stephana (OSNB) B108
Coolaran1824HC Sur.& Val.(OSNB) B108
Coolaran1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) B108
Coolarran1833Mr Buck's Letter (OSNB) B108
Coolarren1834cSur. & Val. Lisnaskea Est. (OSNB) B108
~Cul Airin ""Airin''s Back [of a hill]1834cJ O'D (OSNB) B108
Coolaran1862Griffith's Val.
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type