Gortaganny (Leagan Gaeilge – Gort na Gainimhe): The townland of Gortaganny is situated six kilometres west of Glenamaddy Town in north-east County Galway. The Irish form of the townland name translates as ‘The Field of the Sand’. In the 1830s O’Donovan gave the Irish form of the townland name as ‘Gort a’ Ghainimhe’, gort meaning field and gaineamh meaning sand. The Irish version of the townland name sometimes appears as Gort an Ghainimh depending on whether ‘gaineamh‘ masculine, or ‘gainimh‘ is used. Another form of the townland name listed in O’Donovan’s Field Name Books is Gurtaganny.
Distinctive Features:
• There are two Ringforts in the townland registered with the National Monuments Service and featured in the National Monuments Service Archaeological Survey Database.
• The 1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map shows a cluster of twenty three houses fitting the definition of a clachan village called Gortaganny in the north west of the townland.
• The 1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map also shows a Corn Mill, a Corn Kiln and a Mill Race used to turn the water wheels in both mills running parallel to the Yellow River.
• The Yellow River flows southward through the centre of the townland.
• Boyounagh Bridge is in the south of the townland. William Timothy stated in his “Some Recollections of ‘The Troubles’” that he was present when the bridge was blown up by the Volunteers in the early 1920s to prevent the Black and Tans gaining fast access to Glenamaddy from Dunmore.
• The author, William Keaveney, hails from Gortaganny.
• Sand is extracted commercially in this townland.
1656-58 Down Survey: There is no Down Survey information available online for Gortaganny.

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 Gortaganny who paid the tithe (tax) levied to support the Established Church (Church of Ireland) were Michael Connele, James Mannion, James Walsh, Peter Collins, John Mulroony and William Flanagan. Protestant occupiers of agricultural holdings were exempt from this tax.
1838 O’Donovan’s Field Name Books: O’Donovan describes the townland as follows – “There is a portion of bog in the East portion of this townland and a small portion in the N.W. corner. Centre of river forms the S.W. boundary after which it passes N. through the townland and becomes the N. boundary.”
1856 Griffith’s Valuation: The townland covers an area of 296 acres 3 roods 10 perches and the total rateable valuation of the land and buildings combined amounted to £83 5s 0d.
At the time of Griffith’s Valuation there were fourteen occupiers in the townland of Gortaganny – Mannion, Cornelly, Connell (3), McDonnell, Mullen, Murray, Joyce, Tighe, Collins, Stratch, Glynn and Mulrooney. The landlords were Patrick Connell and Martin McDonnell.
Adjoining Townlands: The following townlands share a border with Gortaganny – Castle (Dunmore Parish), Ballinphuill, Boyounagh Beg, Cashel and Lisheenaheltia.

Census Records: Population and Household data for the townland of Gortaganny:

Census Years 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 2011
Population 117 42 83 95 129 94 76 62 38
Households 23 7 18 20 24 21 17 16 11

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 dúcas.ie 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 – Ballinapeaka, Ballinastack, Barna, Boyounagh More (Middletown), Bushtwon, Cashel, Classaghroe, Cloonacross, Clooncon East, Clooncon West, Cloonkeen, Cultiafadda, Eskeromullacaun (Esker), Felimspark, Glenamaddy, Gortaganny, Gortnagier, Kiltullagh, Knockauns, Lisheenaheltia, Loughpark, Meelick, Scotland, Shannagh More, Stonetown and Woodfield.

Schools’ Collection Townland-Related Quick Reference Directory:

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

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 1 – https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613680

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 2https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613681 

Glenamaddy Girls’ National School https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613677

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 1https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613678

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 2https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613679 

Gort na Léime National School – Part 1https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4569061   

Gort na Léime National School – Part 2https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4569062 

Lisheenaheltia Girls’ National Schoolhttps://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613675 

Lisheenaheltia Boys’ National Schoolhttps://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613676    

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


Townlands in County Galway

1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map

Place Name Books of Galway

The Down Survey of Ireland

The Tithe Applotment Books, 1823-1837

Griffith Valuation – Ask About Ireland

Central Statistics Office

National Archives: Census Reports 1901/1911

Essex University: Historic Population Census Reports

Historic Environment Viewfinder

Glan to Glan. Parish Magazine