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Mweelrea from Glassillaun Beach, Connemara, Co Galway, Ireland.

Mweelrea & Muilree

Mweelrea & Muilree

I was discussing placenames with several local hill farmers last week in the Mweelrea area and was interested to hear their pronunciation of the name of this mountain.

What I found was that Mweelrea was used on the eastern side, that is those living around Doolough, Delphi, Leenane etc

However on the western or coastal side, where you might start from Silver Strand, the pronunciation is more like Muilree or Muilre.

You can hear how these are said on the sound clip Mweelrea.

The official form of the name is Cnoc Maol Réidh – the ‘barren level hill’. This reflects the version Mweelrea better but note that no-one uses the prefix Cnoc or Cruach locally.

Curiously the western version as heard above appears to be closer to what Bald records 200 years ago – that is Mulree or Muilrea. This may be a different but similar name or an older version of the Mweelrea pronunciation. It casts some doubt on the official Irish version.

#eastwestmapping  #outdoorsireland