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THE annual Michael Collins commemoration will come in for particular attention this year because it’s the 90th anniversary, and the Taoiseach will be the orator.
Is it too much to hope then that the media and the participants will use the correct name-form of the place where Collins met his tragic end?
The proper usage is Béal na Blá, not ‘mBláth’.
The latter, media-invented distortion is misplaced pedantry, with its phoney, pseudo-poetic association with ‘flowers’.
Up to quite recently, the universal pronunciation in the locality itself and in the wider region was always Béal na Blá.
For a discussion on its meaning see R. Ó Ellrdail, ‘The place name Béal na Blá, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, 104 (1999).
Meanwhile, the immemorable correct usage of the people of the mid-Cork area should be reflected by discontinuing the ignorant ‘Béal na mBláth form.
John A Murphy
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