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Gorey, County Tyrone


Ir. Guaire/Guaireach perhaps ‘bristly place’ or ‘sand bank’


As a qualifying element, -gory can represent cora ‘weir’ such as in Gortnagory (Gort na gCora 'field of the weirs') in Co. Antrim, as well as Ó Goraidh like can be seen in Tirygory (Tír Uí Ghothraidh ‘O’Gorry’s land’) in Co. Down. However, there is no evidence in the historical forms of this name, that it operates as a qualifier of another element, and we are best to compare it with another Gorey, in Co. Wexford which is said to derive from guaire ( The element guaire can mean either ‘bristle’ or ‘sand barrier (ar river mouth), sand-bar’ (Ó Dónaill, s.v. guaire). Dinneen also lists guaire as meaning either ‘a sand bank above a high water mark’ or ‘rough hairl a bristle’ (Dinneen, s.v. guaire). Dinneen also notes the cognate form guaireach ‘the hair on a horse’s tail; bristles’ as being the origin of Gorey, Co. Wexford (Dinneen, s.v. guaireach).

While part of the boundary of this townland is marked by a river (OSNI), it is unclear whether the name guaire/guaireach refers to a bristly quality of the land, or to a river feature like those described above.



Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Goorie1609Esch. Co. Map 11 Dunganon pt
Gowrie1609Esch. Co. Map 11 pt Dunganon
Goory1611OSNB: gen. sources 7
Goory1611CPR Jas I 187a
Gorey1611CPR Jas I 392a
Goory1614Inq. Ult. (Down) $2 Jas I
Goory1618CPR Jas I 392b
Goory1619Inq. Ult. (Tyrone) $4 Jac. I
Goory1621CPR Jas I 536b
Guary1655bCiv. Surv. 278
Gnary1661BSD 201
Gory1666HMR Tyr. (2) 241
Gorey1834cMap in poss. S. Crawford (OSNB) 7
Guaire/Hairy,abounding in long grass1835cJ O'D (OSNB) 7
~Guaire ""abounding in long grass""1936TNCT 38
Dungannon Middle
Parish in 1851
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