It is thought the name Baltimore probably derives from the Irish baile an tí mhóir, meaning ‘town of the great house’, but an alternative theory connects it to ancient celtic religion and the pagan god Baal. Likewise, the exact connection between Baltimore, West Cork, and Baltimore, Maryland is also a matter of some conjecture. The American city takes its name from Cecil Calvert, second Baron Baltimore who founded the colony of Maryland in 1634. Calvert had inherited the title and the royal charter to establish the colony from his father George who was created Baron Baltimore by King James I in 1625. The family estates were in County Longford, yet there is no clear record of a place called Baltimore in that part of Ireland. Nor is there any suggestion that George Calvert ever visited West Cork, but it is entirely possible that he chose the name 'Baltimore' simply because he liked the sound of it. And that is maybe why the largest city in Maryland now bears the name of a West Cork fishing village! What is certain is that in recent times a firm bond has been forged between the two Baltimores on opposite sides of the Atlantic by the regular visits of the schooner Pride of Baltimore.