The town of Boyle in North Roscommon takes its name from the river which flows through it. The original Gaelic name is ‘Mainistir na Búille’ meaning ‘Monastery of the (river) Boyle’.
The monastery in question is the 12th century Cistercian abbey on the north side of the town. It is now in ruins but is open to the public after a fine renovation job. Boyle had its origin in the establishment of the abbey in 1161 by Maurice O’Duffy for the brethren of the Cistercian order of St Bernard. It was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and was a dependency of the great abbey of Mellifont. In 1197, Cornelius Mac Dermot, King of Moylurg, died here.
The Boyle river was called ‘Búill’ as Gaeilge by the learned Irishman and abbot of Iona, Saint Adamnán (625 – 704 AD), and ‘Bos’ in Latin. ‘Bos’ is the Latin equivalent of ‘bó’, meaning a cow. From this we may infer that Adamnán considered that ‘Búill’ or ‘Boyle’ is a derivative from ‘bó’, implying that the name signifies ‘cow river’ or ‘pasture river’, a very suitable name.
In 1835, Isaac Weld, writing in his Statistical Survey of County Roscommon, described the best ground in the county, producing fine material pastures, as being ‘the plains of Boyle to the south-east of the town’.
In 1837, the population of the parish of Boyle (also called Assylin) was 12,597 inhabitants, of which 3,433 lived in the town. This was, of course, pre-famine.
The Council of Boyle, really the Council of Ireland, held in the Princess Hotel, in 1917, was the first open meeting of the movement that led to the establishment of the Irish Republic. The elected MP at the time, Count Plunkett, was termed the ‘corner-stone of the Republic’.
Just outside the town, Lough Key and Lough Key Forest Park are well worth a visit. A drive through the scenic Curlieu Mountains is also recommended. In the town itself, there is King House and Museum, along with the clock tower in the crescent, and the famine memorial in Plunkett Avenue.
Cúpla Focal – le DC
Questions and Answers – Ceisteanna agus Freagraí
English Gaeilge Pronounced as
Who are you? Cé tusa? Kay tussah?
I am Seán Is mise Seán Iss misha Seán
What does that mean? Cad is brí le sin? Codd iss bree leh shin?
Say that again please Abair é sin arís, led’ thoil Ob-irr ay shin areesh, led hull
Why? Cén fáth? Kane faw?
Tell me Inis dom Innish dumb
I don’t understand Ní thuigim Nee higgim
I understand Tuigim Tiggim
I know Tá a fhios agam Taw a iss aggum
I don’t know Níl a fhios agam Neel a iss aggum
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