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Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839

Parish of Tomgraney (a)

This Parish is situated near the north eastern extremity of the Co. of Clare, and is bounded on the west and north by the Parish of Feakle, on the east by the Parish of Moyno and Ogonnello, on the south by part of the latter and Kilno, and on the west by the Parish of Feakle.

The name of this Parish is written in all the ancient Irish authorities Tuaim Gréine, and explained in the Leabhar Buidhe, Lecan and Lismor MS., as signifying the Tumulus of Grian, the daughter of ? who was drowned in Loch Gréiné. The same legend is vividly remembered in the country but horribly deformed. The Lady Grian who was also called Gile Greine (Candor Solis) i.e., the Brightness of the Sun, was a far famed beauty who flourished here at a period unknown to chronology; but like Venus, she was of unnatural origin, begotten by a human being on a sunbeam (Borb na Binne is é m’athair is í mo mháthair an Gath Gréine) and when told of this she became sad and cheerless and at once determined on self destruction. She cast herself into a lake in Sliabh Echtghe in which she was immediately drowned. When her fair body floated it was carried by the stream flowing from this lake in a south-east direction, and cast upon the land on the margin of a wood called by posterity from that circumstance Doire Greine, i.e., Roboretum Gryneae, where it was found by her friends, who interred it at a place not far distant and raised over it a tumulus to which they and posterity gave, and continue to give, the name of Tuaim Greine, i.e., the Tumulus of Grian. This is the local explanation of the word and it is as true as any other legend etymology and conjecture could invent to account for it.

The only other explanation which could be offered is to suppose that Tuaim Greine signifies the Mound of the Sun, and that it received that appellation from a colony of Heliolators or Grianolators formerly established in this wild district, unless we suppose that it simply means Sun-Mount i.e., Sunny Hill, a natural name unconnected with religion or human sepulture, and this latter is as likely to be true as any other, as we have millions of nice little names derived from:- “Clear Spring, or Shady Grove or Sunny Hill.”

So that if we reject the explanation of the name Tuaim Greine preserved by written and oral tradition, we must only invent a little etymological fable (!!) to account for it in a new and learned (lárned) manner.