Kerr's Corner

Kerr's Corner is a regular feature in East Antrim and Newtownabbey editions of The Wizard. David Kerr would like to hear your memories of life in your own area. Maybe you'll trigger some thoughts for a future column.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Notes In The Margin

SOME TIME AGO, George from Greenisland asked me how Greenisland got its name. He wondered if it was an island at one point.

I have to thank Billy, a lifelong Greenisland resident, for the following information. He she says that Greenisland is named after the small island off the shore at Seapark (between Greenisland and Trooperslane). You can see it if you are walking along the Shore Road or from the Knockagh Hill.

This island is not very big, but about 25 years ago he used to walk out to it at low tide to fish from it. (And, yes, he “always did catch fish as it was a super spot!”) However, one had to stay on it until the next low tide to get back. Billy feels that this island is now a seal colony. Can anyone confirm this? The name of the island is Greenisland and he believes that is how Greenisland got its name.

I found Billy’s information very interesting. I actually had a question of my own concerning the area: where did most people originally come from whom now live in Greenisland? Billy tells me that Greenisland - like Rathcoole - was really an overspill from Belfast. He says that a lot of younger people who moved to the area have stayed and are now raising their own families!
Billy has also kindly agreed to help answer any questions readers have about Greenisland. As he says, “I’m sure I could answer most questions as I would have some knowledge of totally useless stuff!”

Therefore, if anyone else out there has any questions about Greenisland, please let me know. I’ll forward your questions to Billy and print his answers in the next East Antrim issue of Kerr’s Corner.

Additionally, if there are any other local historians out there who could supply information about their local area, please do get in touch. Just e-mail me at:


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