Glenamaddy Townland

Glenamaddy (Leagan Gaeilge – Gleann na Madadh) 

The townland of Glenamaddy which incorporates the town of Glenamaddy is situated in north-east County Galway. Roscommon lies twenty nine kilometres to the east while Tuam is an equal distance to the south west. Mount Bellew is twenty two kilometres to the south and Castlerea is the same distance to the north. Opinions differs as to the origin of its name. Some people maintain that the town’s Irish name translates as The Valley of the Dogs while others hold the view that the town derived its name from Gleann na Máighe Duibhe meaning the Valley of the Black Plain, so called after the nearby turlough which dries up in summer leaving behind a film of black mud. Gleann means valley, madra is the Irish for dog, magh is the Irish for plain and dubh means black. Other forms of the name include Glennamaddy, Glanamadue, Glanamada and Glannamadda.

Distinctive Features:

  • 1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map shows the Catholic Church which was built in 1820 and a School House on the Dunmore Road, a Corn Mill and Kiln and a Pound on the Ballymoe Road close to the boundary with Clooncon West and a Police Barracks on the Creggs road.
  • Glenamaddy Turlough which gives rise to seasonal flooding occupies the south eastern part of the townland.
  • Glenamaddy Old Cemetery is located close to the town centre with access from both the Dunmore and Ballymoe roads.
  • By 1840 a small number of shops had become established around the intersection of the four roads in the townland centre and a considerable number of dwellings lined the Dunmore and Kilkerrin roads in particular.

1656-58 Down Survey

The Down Survey name of the townland is given as Boynagh. The landowner was the Protestant Archbishop of Tuam.

1823 – 1838 Tithe Applotment Books: 

Surviving documentation of the Tithe Applotment Books is in poor condition making it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to decipher the names of landholders. In so far as it can be ascertained the Catholic landholders in the townland of Glenamaddy who paid the tithe (tax) levied to support the Established Church (Church of Ireland) were Daniel McNamara, Pat Hanley, Harry Mahony, Thomas Burke, Pat Donellan, Pat Concannon, Bryan Kelly, John Cunningham, John Keaveny, Bryan Madden, Daniel Glynn, Thomas Morrissy, Bartholomew Forde, James Mulrooney, John Garvey, Hubert Farrell, Martin Naughtin, Simon Lacy, Michael Geraghty, Michael Kelly, John Jeffers, James Stritch and Thomas Mulrooney. Protestant occupiers of agricultural holdings were exempt from this tax.

1838 O’Donovan’s Field Name Books: 

O’Donovan describes the townland as follows – “This townland contains a large village which may be called a small town. There is a R.C. chapel, [Unable to read.] Police Barrack, a Public House and 5 houses of entertainment in it. There is a junction of 4 roads in the N. portion of the townland. These roads lead to Tuam, Dunmore, Kilnalag and Creggs. There is a small portion of bog in the N.W. corner and a flooded portion in the South portion there are some gravel pits. The remainder of the land is tillage and pasture.”

1856 Griffith’s Valuation: 

The townland covered an area of 299 acres 2 roods 15 perches and the total rateable valuation of the land and buildings combined amounted to £264 15s 0d. The Town/Village occupied about 60 acres.          

At the time of Griffith’s Valuation there were fifty three occupiers in the townland of Glenamaddy – Browne (3), Carroll (2), Collins, Concannon, Constabulary Force, Devany, Dillon (2), Donnellan, Fahy, Forde (2), Garvey (2), Glynn, Horan, Kavaney, Keavney (5), Kelly, Leech, McCormack, McNamara, Morris (2), Morrissy (2), Mulrooney (2), National School House, O’Sullivan, Police Barracks, Catholic Chapel, Rafterry (2), Raftery, Reilly (3), Rooney, Stack, Timothy and two occupiers not identified. The landlord was John W.  Browne.

Adjoining Townlands: 

The following townlands share a border with Glenamaddy – Mountkelly, Clooncon WestShannagh MoreScotland, Gortnagier West and Gortnagier East.

Census Records: 

Population and Household data for Glenamaddy Townland.                                

Census data for Glenamaddy Town/Village was sometimes published separately and at other times included with the Townland, for example in 1841, 1871 and 2011, as illustrated in the following table. The Townland excluding the ‘Town/Village’ was described as ‘Area’.

Glenamaddy and the Irish Folklore Collections:

The article posted on this website under the ‘Heritage > Folklore’ tab provides an overview of the folklore material submitted by Glenamaddy parishioners to the National Folklore Commission, now known as the Irish Folklore Collections. It also explains the background to the 1937 Schools’ Collection (Bailiúchán na Scol) project which has good representation from a parish perspective.

The Irish Folklore Collections housed in the Folklore Department of University College Dublin contain a treasure trove of folklore material, some of which is accessible online. Both the Main Manuscript Collection and the Schools’ Collection contain a considerable number of submissions from collectors and informants who resided in the parish of Glenamaddy. The quick reference directories featured in the ‘Parish > Townlands’ section of this website complement the user-friendly search features of the dú website and are helpful in tracking Schools’ Collection submissions associated with townlands. Submissions are categorised under – School, Teacher, Language, Volume Number, Page Number, Collector, Collector’s Townland, Informant and Informant’s Townland. Where applicable, Schools’ Collection directories showing online townland-related submissions appear at the end of the following townland posts on this website – BallinapeakaBallinastackBarnaBoyounagh_More (Middletown),_BushtownCashelClassaghroeCloonacross,  Clooncon_EastClooncon_WestCloonkeenCultiafadda,  Eskeromullacaun (Esker), FelimsparkGlenamaddyGortaganny, Gortnagier,  KiltullaghKnockauns,  Lisheenaheltia,  LoughparkMeelick, Scotland, Shannagh_More, Stonetown and Woodfield.

Schools’ Collection Townland-Related Quick Reference Directory:

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Parish folklore submissions contained in the Schools’ Collection are also accessible online via the following links:-

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 1 –

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 2 – 

Glenamaddy Girls’ National School –

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 1 –

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 2 – 

Gort na Léime National School – Part 1 –   

Gort na Léime National School – Part 2 – 

Lisheenaheltia Girls’ National School – 

Lisheenaheltia Boys’ National School –    

Glenamaddy submissions which form part of the Main Manuscript Collection are not posted online but may be examined in the reading room of the Folklore Department in U.C.D., Belfield, Dublin 4. Typed versions of some of the parish contributions contained in the Main Manuscript Collection are published under the ‘Heritage > Folklore’ tab on this website.   

Quick Reference Directory of Glenamaddy folklore submissions in the Main Manuscript Collection:-

Author: Pat Keaveny

For a related townland post click on the following link:

Glenamaddy Turlough


Townlands in County Galway

Place Name Books of Galway

The Down Survey of Ireland

The Tithe Applotment Books, 1823-1837

1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map

Griffith Valuation – Ask About Ireland

Central Statistics Office

National Archives: Census Reports 1901/1911

Essex University: Historic Population Census Reports

Historic Environment Viewfinder

Historical Notes on the Parish of Glenamaddy. Fr Walter Conway