How did Ballinspittle and Buttevant in Cork come about, for instance?
Have no fear, for the avuncular Corkman John Creedon is on hand to guide us through the maze of maps and roadways in a second series of Creedon’s Atlas Of Ireland starting on RTÉ1 at 6.30pm tomorrow.
In the three-part run, Creedon explores the true meaning of some of Ireland’s most unusual, iconic and famous place names.
Each show is an hour-long journey where the host discovers lost meanings behind everyday place names.
Referring to the work of John O’Donovan — the man who helped document place names for the 1840s survey — Creedon cracks the code of some of Ireland’s best loved, quirkiest and common place names.
In Episode one, directed and produced by Rory Cobbe , John investigates the controversial historical circumstances around how the name of the State came to be Ireland. Fintan O’Toole and Diarmaid Ferriter take him through the stages of how Ireland came to be named.
Actor and comedian Ardal O’Hanlon then joins John in County Cork at the site of the moving statue in Ballinspittle to uncover the true meaning behind the place name and John goes steeple chasing as he investigates origins of Buttevant in County Cork. It is from this small part of the country that the term point-to-point originated.
Creedon follows in the footsteps of place names officer John O’Donovan as he investigates a missing 4,000-year-old burial cairn in Wexford and travels to the border of Cork, Kerry and Limerick, an area known as Sliabh Luachra (see TV Week cover).
Here he meets musical elder statesman Timmy O’Connor and the new breed of musicians Eoghan Stan O’Sullivan, Bryan O’Leary, Maura O’Connell, Emma O’Leary, who are keeping the Sliabh Luachra style of traditional music alive in the modern era.
Speaking of Sliabh Luachra, John, who released a book entitled That Place We Call Home last year, says: “It’s a bit like Tir Na Nóg. It’s not a parish or county. It doesn’t really exist, but it is there.”