Gortgrib is a small townland in East Belfast, almost entirely surrounded by Tullycarnet, but also sharing borders with Gilnahirk and Ballyhanwood.  The name can be seen in this street sign on Gortgrib Drive.

Gortgrib Drive signThe “Gort” part, which means “field”, also appears in the name of Gortlands Veterinary Clinic. PLACENAMESNI says that the derivation of “Grib” is obscure, but that it may refer to a man-made cut, trench or earthwork.  I don’t have a photo of the veterinary clinic, but I do have one of my cat looking rather woozy on his return from being neutered there.  Here he is, suffering from a man-made cut.

Cat after vet The townland of Gortgrib wrong-footed me.  In my post on Tullycarnet I praised its park.  Guess where Tullycarnet Park really is?  Gortgrib.  That will teach me to study the map on PLACENAMESNI more carefully.  In Gortgrib you will also find Gilnahirk Primary School (which I assumed was in Gilnahirk townland) and Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Knock (which looks like it’s in Gilhahirk and sounds like it’s in Knock).  I don’t know why both schools rejected Gortgrib as a name. Perhaps it was less well-known locally, or perhaps it was just less pleasing to the ear.

The odd-sounding name is actually very old. I have seen reports that a church was established there by St Patrick, and that a festival celebrated “St Molioba of Gort Chirp”.

In order to bring you photos of the contemporary Gortgrib I returned to Tullycarnet Park.  The daffodils are fading but the cherry blossom is out instead.

Cherryblossom in Tullycarnet Park

Gortgrib cherry blossomI spotted this sign at the edge of the park.  Has the success of Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell inspired Northern Ireland’s youth to start playing everywhere, disrupting life in local parks?

No Golfing


  1. The no golfing sign is great. Well it’s better to be on the safe side when it comes to golfing as insuch parks in can easily lead to injuries. Few years I got hit by a golf ball in a park as some drunks had decided to play there…


    • He’s a farm cat, and he had been quite wild until that day, but after his trip to the vet he came over to me and sat on my lap seeking some comfort. We’ve been friends ever since. Silly thing never realised that I was the one who took him to the surgery in the first place.

      Liked by 1 person

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