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Killymoyle, County Tyrone


perhaps Ir. Coill an Mhaoil ‘wood of the bare/bald thing’.


As always with the element kill in place-names, without some corroborative evidence, it is virtually impossible to state with certainty whether it refers to coill ‘wood’ or cill ‘church, churchyard’. However, one would generally expect to find some historical references to a church or burial ground in the area had there been such, and in Killymoyle, there are none. Maol has a number of different interpretations in place names. For example, Islandmoyle, Co. Down is derived from An tOileán Maol ‘the bare island’ where maol means 'deserted, bleak, bare’ (Ó Mainnín 1993, 89), although the appearance of evidence of the definite article across the forms hints to a nominal, rather than an adjectival function of maol. According to Dinneen, maol can refer to ‘anything bald, blunt or bare’ including ‘a hornless cow or goat’ (Dinneen, s.v.maol). It can also refer to a servant, or to a religious devotee (Ó Dónaill, s.v. maol).

The similar elementmaoil can refer to ‘a rounded summit; hillock, knoll’ (Ó Dónaill, s.v. maoil), although being feminine would appear in the form Coill na Maoile ‘wood of the hillock’ which does not corroborate with the historical evidence here.

Instead, we will assume the most satisfactory explanation of the name is Coill an Mhaoil, interpreted generally as‘wood of the bare/bald thing’.



Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Killamoyle1621CPR Jas I 536a
Killamoyle1650cInq. Ult. (Tyrone) $50 Car. I
Cullimoyle1655cCiv. Surv. 278
Cullymoyle1661BSD 201
Killimuill1666HMR Tyr. (2) 241
Killymoil1834cOSNB: gen. sources 7
Killymoyle1834cMap in poss. S. Crawford (OSNB) 7
~Coill na Maol/of the hornless cows1835cJ O'D (OSNB) 7
~Coill na Maoile ""wood of the hornless cow""1936TNCT 39
Dungannon Middle
Parish in 1851
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