BEING back again in Belfast for a few weeks, I took the opportunity to wander around the Falls, reliving some old memories, in particular growing up in the St James’ Road area during the pre-Troubles '60s.

To me, these were idyllic times, and as young kids we would speculate about the Irish name for the Falls Road.

We came to the conclusion that Bóthar na bhFál seemed reasonable, given that within our restricted horizon there were indeed hedges on the Falls.

As I grew up, however, my horizon expanded and I came to realise how much West Belfast names owe to geography – Springfield Road, Whiterock Road, Glen Road, Fallswater Street, Willowbank, Bog Meadows etc.

Thus, Falls Road is not a corruption of its Irish name, but a straight translation of the name for the road leading to the water falls, some of which run (or ran) down through Milltown to the Bog Meadows.

If Google translate doesn’t let me down then a better name for the Falls might be Bóthar na n-Eas? 

Danny Lennon