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Dergalt, County Tyrone


perhaps Ir. Doire Gealt'oak-wood of the lunatics' or Deargalt 'red height'/Deargallt 'red cliff'


Previous scholars have suggested a compound form as the origin of this name, a compound featuring the adjective dearg and the noiun alt 'height, glen, precipice' (Deargalt 'red height'). While this form is a ssatisfactory representation of the contemporary form, adjectives predominantly appear in post-nominal position. Indeed, these two elements appear as An tAllt Dearg 'the red cliff', anglicised Altderg in Co. Mayo.


We might suggest an alternative derivation, with doire 'oak-wood' as the first element. it is not uncommon to see doire contracted as der- in anglicised forms (see also Dernalebe Doire Sléibhe'oak-wood of the mountain' in the current parish). If this is correct, the second element might be gealt 'lunatic' (Doire Gealt 'oak-wood of the lunatics').


However, we do see one example of a townland where dearg 'red' is attested in a prenominal position; Deargráth 'red fort' (Derrigra, Co. Cork), and therefore Deargalt 'red height' or Deargallt 'red cliff' remain possible original forms.


FK (2020)

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Dergalt1640cCourt Claims $502
Dergal1666HMR Tyr. (2) 260
Dergalt1693Inq. Ult. (Tyrone) $1 Gul. & Mar.
Nederstowne1693Inq. Ult. (Tyrone) $1 Gul. & Mar.
Dearg Alt ""The Red height""1828OSNB Inf. no.20
Dergault (Sr Jn Burgoyne)1828Land agent (OSNB) no.20
Dearg-alt ""red glen or precipice""1833cJ O'D (OSNB) no.20
dearg alt - Red glenside1920cTNCT 70
Strabane Lower
Parish in 1851
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