Up the Dog’s Glen to the Sunny Spot

Lough Coire an Aifrinn.  Pic: John O’Callaghan

Glennamaddoo and Greenaun

John O’Callaghan

Glennamaddoo, Gleann na Madadh, ‘Valley of the Canine’, is within the highlight this week. Simply off the N59 between Rosturk (‘Promontory of the Boar’) and Mulranny. Take the hyperlink street, L54395, to the suitable earlier than Bunnahowna Bridge, uphill for 700 metres, previous a water-treatment plant. You’ll come to a brand-new automobile park serving the Nice Western Greenway, a wonderful place to begin for exploring the encircling trails on foot or by bike.
I just like the townland of Glennamaddoo, or ‘Canine’ Glen’, within the barony of Burrishoole, as a result of it’s an awesome place to come across some curious placenames. Make a beeline for the highest of the glen, and once you attain the best level, you may be standing on the ridge of the Nephin Beg Mountain Vary that stretches in a protracted crescent between Mulranny and Bangor Erris. The views in all instructions are excellent and a few fascinating topographical options too.

Ridge of many names
The highpoint itself requires some clarification as a result of, like many peaks that straddle a mountain ridge, it’s recognized by a variety of totally different names, relying on which aspect you farm your sheep or which map you’re utilizing. In peak, it’s a modest 501 metres. Nevertheless, that is vital sufficient to qualify as considered one of Eire’s 406 ‘Arderins’ – summits of 500m+ and 30m prominence.
Approached from Glennamaddoo (and utilizing the brand new Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Journey Collection map, ‘Clew Bay Croagh Patrick and Clare Island’), it’s named Claggan Mountain NE High, Sliabh na Claigne NE High, which means ‘Cranium-Formed Mountain High’. An extended-winded description and at some take away from Claggan Mountain, a number of kilometres to the west. I had my doubts that the native sheep-farmers referred to it as such.
Michael Hughes launched me to Brendan McLoughlin of Knockmanus, Cnoc Mhánais, ‘a person who is aware of each turtóg (tussock) on each hill within the space’, and Brendan confirmed that he would say ‘High of Glennamadthu’ because the highpoint of the southern valley and ‘Greenaun’, when approaching from the Ballycroy aspect.   
On the EastWest Mapping Wild Nephin map (2015), cartographer Barry Dalby calls it Greenaun Mountain. Grianán actually means a ‘sunny spot’, often on an ‘eminence’. It has a number of different meanings in a home context. It could imply a ‘sunny higher room’ or ‘gynaeceum’; a ‘sunny balcony or terrace’, a ‘bower’ or ‘summerhouse’. It might additionally confer with a ‘individual of sunny disposition’ or ‘liked one, darling’ as a time period of endearment.
Greenaun can be the identify of a townland to the north of the ridge and I can see why the Ordnance Survey Namebooks of 1838 could have recorded the ‘eminence’ as Greenaun Mountain – if the cartographers have been getting their data from that aspect.

Lake view
No matter what the mountain is known as, it’s a pretty, sunny spot, on day. I’ve visited this peak just a few instances over time and the principal focus of consideration once you get there’s Loch Anaffrin, the corrie lake beneath in Coire an Aifreann. Named after a Mass Rock, previously positioned down the northern gully, marked ‘Hole of Curraffrin’, the place Lots have been celebrated outside throughout Penal instances or in durations of persecution of the Catholic religion. The unique Mass rock could now be buried underneath a rock slide, as no hint of it’s seen right now.
Lough Anaffrin is definitely in Bellaveeny townland, Béal Átha Ó bhFiannaí, ‘Mouth of the Ford of the Uí Fhiannaí’, the thirteenth largest townland in Mayo, within the Barony of Erris. It provides water to Ballycroy and may be accessed from the northwest through Bellaveeney Wooden.
Placenames like this are frequent throughout Eire. Ardanaffrin, in Co Roscommon, ‘Top of the Mass’ is one townland. One other in Donegal is known as Corraffrin from cor, a spherical hill. In North Mayo, within the parish of Kilcommon, not removed from Belmullet, there’s a townland referred to as Drumanaffrin and there’s a Mullanaffrin (from mullach, a summit) in Co Cavan. One of many highest hills within the Comeragh Mountains in Waterford is known as Knockanaffrin.
Along with these logainmneacha, there are two different Greenaun townlands in Mayo, one throughout Lough Masks, west of Ballinrobe within the Barony of Ross, and the opposite within the parish of Ardagh in Tirawley, to the west of Ballina and simply north of the street to Crossmolina. Lastly, there’s additionally a tiny townland, spelled ‘Greenan’, having the identical which means in Irish, barely west of Claremorris and one other referred to as ‘Greenans’, southwest of Pontoon, in Turlough Civil Parish.

Dr John O’Callaghan is a mountain stroll chief who has organised and led expeditions each at residence and overseas. He has served on the board of Mountaineering Eire and is at the moment on the Irish Uplands Discussion board board. In 2012, he wrote the profitable article that secured Westport’s accolade because the Irish Occasions’ ‘Greatest Place to Stay in Eire’.

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