Towns of the sash

The song The Sash My Father Wore, a song beloved of those who celebrate the victory of William of Orange, mentions four locations where 'the sash' itself was worn.

Derry Londonderry (Derry), Doire, 'oak grove'. There are many places in Ireland called 'Derry' (Doire), and it soon becomes necessary to distinguish an individual name in some way, usually by adding a second word. In the case of Londonderry, the first distinguishing addition was Calgach, a personal name. This was recorded in the 7th century as Daire-Calgaich, 'Calgach's oak wood'. Meanwhile, St Columba had estab lished a monastery here in the 6th century, and the name now became 'Derry-Columcille' (Doire Choil Chille), 'St Columba's oak wood'. Finally 'London' was added to Derry in 1609 when James I granted a charter for a settlement here by merchants from London. Today the name is often used in its shorter original form of Derry, and this is now recognised by the Post Office. The original oak wood survived for several hundred years after the location was first named here. The county name (also often shortened today) derives from that of the town.

Aughrim (Galway and Wicklow) Eachroim, 'horse ridge' The Galway Aughrim was the scene of the battle of 12 July 1691, which the Jacobite War and was a turning point in Irish history.

Enniskillen (Fermanagh) Inis Ceithleann, 'Cethlenn's Island' In early legend, Cethlenn (or Ceithleann) was the wife of Balor of the Great Blows, the Fomorian pirate. The town is certainly on an island at the upper end of the Lower Lough Erne. The Inniskilling Fusiliers, a British army regiment, took their name from Enniskillen, where they were founded in 1689.

The Boyne (Kildare/Offaly/Meath), An Bhóinn, '(river of) the white cow' The river name traditionally comes from Boand, a goddess who inhabited it, with her own name based on bo bhán