Placenamesni.orgthe history behind our place-names

Donaghmore, County Down

Origin

Ir. Domhnach Mór ‘large church’

Background

Hamlet is 6.5km N of Newry

bar: Iveagh Upper, Upper Half

Donaghmore is a small village in Glebe and adjacent townlands (population 906 in 2001 Census), but oddly it is not marked on Ordnance Survey maps.

The name Donaghmore is derived from the Irish Domhnach Mór ‘large, great church’.  The word domhnach is a borrowing from Latin dominicum and its presence in place-names is traditionally associated with the Patrician mission of the 5th century.  The founding of Donaghmore is attributed to both St Mac Erca and St Patrick (Atkinson's Dromore 230) and according to a number of medieval sources St Mac Erca was bishop of Donaghmore in the mid-5th century (CSH 159, 702.1.2, 722.92 and see EA 111-2, 189).  No trace of his church remains, however, and the earliest archaeological evidence of an ecclesiastical site here is a stone cross in the graveyard of the church of Ireland.  This cross dates from 11th-12th century (ASCD 291) and gave name to the townland of Tullynacross, now called Glebe.  

The loss of the internal mh in domhnach would be expected to produce a long vowel in the normal course of events and in modern Irish it is pronounced with a long closed o but as the stress in the name falls on the second element in our name (mór) the vowel in the first element has been shortened. 

References

McKay, P. (2007): A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names, p. 58; Toner, G. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. I p. 99; revised PT, 2012.

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

i nDomnuch Mor Maige Coba

1125cCSH 159

o Domnuch Mór Maige Coba

1125cCSH 722.92

o Domnuch Mor in Maige

1125cCSH 702.1.2

Domnaig Móir Maigi Coba, Secht noeb epscoip

1160cPlummer, C. 1925 68

Donnachmore, Ecclesia de

1306cEccles. Tax. 110

Rect de Downaghmore

1544CReg. Dowdall 94 $128A

Donoghmore Rectoria

1679Trien. Visit. (Boyle) 47

Donoghmore vicaria

1679Trien. Visit. (Boyle) 47

Domhnach Mór Muighe Cobha

1905Post-Sheanchas 60

Domhnach Mór

1969AGBP 115

Domhnach Mór ""great church""

1999Dict. Ulst. PN 58

o Domnuch Mór Maigi Coba

800cMart. Tal. Sep 17 p72
Domnachmore, rectory of St. Archanus of1408Reg. Fleming $89
Dompnaghmore1427Reg. Swayne 68
Donaghmore1440Reg. Swayne 183
Dompnachmor1487Reg. Octavian (EA) 112
Donaghmore1534Reg. Cromer ii $192
Donaghmore, Rector of1546Reg. Dowdall $113 80
Donohmore1610Speed's Ulster
Donaghmore1611CPR Jas I 197a
Donoghmore1615CPR Jas I 274b
Donaghmore1620CPR Jas I 479a
Donoghmore1657Inq. Down (Reeves1) 97
Donnaghmore Parish1657cHib. Reg. Up. Iveagh
Donoghmore1672cHib. Del. Down
Donaghmore1810Wm. Map (OSNB) 60
Donaughmore1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) 60
Donaghmore1834cJ O'D (OSNB) 60
[Don-agh-''more]1834cOSNB: gen. sources 60
Barony
None
Parish
Donaghmore
Parish in 1851
Donaghmore
Townland
None
Place name ID
35388
Place name type
M:V