Campaign against ‘Irishry’ from the 17th Century Plantations of Co. Cork, Attempted Eradication of Irish Place names and Townland Names, Bandon,Mossgrove/Garranaghooney, Carrigaline, Hoddersfield/Moneyvrin, Ringabroe and Killacrow, Doneraile, Annsgrove/ Ballynmock, Among Others.

The undertakers in the plantation were exhorted to eradicate all traces of ‘Irishry’ in language, dress, religion, culture and local place names and impose English ones.   In the listing of the Cork Magistracy from 1650 to 1922 there are very exotic names given to the Magistrates Castles and Demesnes.  They would sit comfortable in the West County of England but sounds strange in the wilds of West or North Cork.  In many ways the English West Country and Cork form a common economic zone with the short sea crossing.

The Cork Magistracy on one reading can be viewed akin to the US Military Forts in ‘Injun Country’ keeping the wild Irish in check.  The policy of cultural subjudication has a long one in  human history.   The current example being ISIS and their systematic destruction of Christian and pre Islamic cultural manifestations in the Middle East.

In Ireland the area with the lowest level of survival of Gaelic placenames is Leinster where the Normans transformed the landscape from the 12th century.  Surprisingly the highest level of survival in in Presbyterian Ulster.


Edmund Spenser, not  quite advocating liquidation of the Irish but skating close:

Dictionary of Irish Biography:

As his final legal stroke, Irenaeus would ban the use of Irish names. New family names should be chosen, a surname description of the man’s trade, or “some quality of his body or mind,” or the name of his dwelling place. No more “Oes and Macks”—O’Brian (for example) meaning the grandson of Brian, McDonald meaning the grandson of Donald. The Irish way of naming was introduced for “the strengthening of the Irish” by recalling family lineages. Prohibiting the practice will help to blend the English and Irish populations rightly, so that each Irishman “shall in short time quite forget his Irish nation.”