Township: Barrapol,Barrapol

Map Reference: Barrapol 45

Name Type: sub-township

Meaning: The name Baile Mhic Eotha is still in common usage on the island, despite its absence from rentals, the maps of Blaeu (1654) or Turnbull (1768), the censuses of 1776, 1779, and 1841, and from Argyll Estate Instructions (Cregeen 1964). Most Tiree baile names signify late medieval settlements, with the exception of ScG Am Bail’ Ùr ‘the new town’ in Balephuil, which dates from the mid-nineteenth century. Baile Mhic Eotha may have become subsumed into Kenvar and later Barrapol townships.
Cameron derived this name, and that of Tràigh Bhì in Balephuil, from an Irish saint. ‘There were two Irish saints of the name, Mo-Bhi mac Natfraich and Mo-Bhì mac Beoain. The latter is the one evidently pertaining to Tiree, for in the vicinity of Tràigh Bhì and Abhainn Bhì we have the farm of Baile Mhic Bheotha, that is Baile Mhic Bheothain ‘town of the son of Beoain’. Mo-Bhì was abbot of Innis Cuscraid in Ireland’ (MacDougall 1937, 101). It is hard to say if Cameron’s form Baile- Mhic-Bheotha was based on fieldwork, or his later reconstruction. There is no evidence of ecclesiastical activity in the area that would support this theory. Bì is more likely to be from ON býr ‘farm’ (see Bì below).
Baile Mhic Eotha is more likely to derive from ScG mhic Eòghainn ‘of the son of Hugh’. This is found in other names in the Highlands, as in Allt Mhic Eoghainn in Ardnamurchan, Carn Mhic Eoghainn on Jura, Cille Mhic Eoghainn on Ulva (Canmore ID21781), and Caisteal Mhic Eoghainn on Loch Fyne (SP).

Other Forms: Baile-Mhic-Bheotha - Na Baird Thirisdeach, ed. Rev Hector Cameron, An Comunn Thirisdeach, 1932, p405.

Related Places: See Barrapol


Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: John MacFadyen, Barrapol, 12/1993

Informant 2: SA1971/90/B8