The Placenames’ Committee

The Committee consists of representatives from various organisations, backgrounds and expertise, so that names chosen for new developments in Galway city have a local relevance and fit into the landscape and city environment..

Why have a placenames’ Commitee?

The Placenames’ Committee is an initiative founded in 1992 with Galway City Council as a response to what one former Minister of the Environment referred to as ‘The Tuscany Downs Syndrome’ – new housing estates given names such as ‘Tuscany Downs’, that had no relevance to the location, history or language of the area. The Placenames’ Committee was set up to provide developers with suitable Irish names for new housing developments in the city.

The Approach: Culturally relevant and inclusive

The approach the Committee has adopted is that the names they suggest are in Irish only but simple enough that a non-Irish speaking person can easily pronounce them. New residential developments that have been named by the Committee include Cluainín – Cluneen (Little Meadow), Sáilín – Saw lean (Little Heel), An Logán – An Lug On (Little Hollow) and Luí na Gréine – Lee na Grain Ya (Setting of the Sun). Not only do the names effectively describe the location of the development, but they also contribute towards creating a bilingual environment.

Today 99% of new housing estates in Galway city are named in Irish. Other parts of Ireland are also following Galway’s example by setting up similar committees in their own areas.

We wish them every success!

Origin of Placename

Following is a list of housing estates with Irish names in Galway City.

Barr Taoide

- The site near Galway Bay.

Ceann Boirne

- Ceann Boirne was the name of the house which was knocked to build the apartments on it.

Cairéal Mór

- There was once a Quarry on this site.


- Limeklin is available on this site – Tornóg is the Irish for Limeklin.

Túr an tSáile

- This site is situated beside Loch Ataile Road.


- This site had previously been known as ‘Backgarden’.

Cúirt Bhreac

- Based on the townland ‘An Gleann Breac’.

Cor Boise

- Coir Boise is situated in Gleann na hAille on the Tuam Road. The placename is based on ‘Bos le hÉadan’. There is still a house in that area called ‘Bos le hÉadan’. Peadar O’Dowd stated that ‘Bos le hÉadan’ was the name of the area once. People had the habit of placing their palm to their face on the first sight of Galway – thanking God that they reached their destination safely.

Gort Léinn

- The site on Monivea Road beside Dún Léinn. The name Gort Léinn refers to the site beside it.


- Sruthán Mhuirlinn is situated beside Béal Srutha and Merlin.

Sliabh Bán

- This site is located in Ballyban.

Loch Lurgan

- Galway Bay was previously known as ‘Lurgan’.

Geata an Eolais

- This site is located across the road from the university.

Croit na Mara

- Situated beside the sea.

City Point/Rinn na Cathrach

- This business Centre is located near the city centre.

Committee Members

Cairde Ghaillimh le Gaeilge

We invite you to join us in the promotion of the Irish language in Ireland’s Bilingual City.

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