Leinster

Irish Local Names Explained

Leinster. In the third century before the Christian era, Labhradh Loingseach [Lavra Linshagh, Lavra the mariner], brought an army of Gauls from France to assist him in recovering the kingdom from his uncle, the usurper, Coffagh Cael Bra. These foreign soldiers used a kind of broad pointed spear, called laighen [layen]; and from this circumstance the province in which they settled, which had previously borne the name of Galian, was afterwards called Laighen, which is its present Irish name. The termination ster, which has been added to the names of three of the provinces, is the Scandinavian or Danish stadr, a place. Laighien-ster (the place or province of Laighen) would be pronounced Laynster, which is the very name given in a state paper of 1515, and which naturally settled into the present form, Leinster.

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