The name Itha or Ith may mean "crown," as does the related Welsh yd (O’Reilly). Ith, coming from Spain, is said to be the son of BREOGHAN in some accounts, but this may simply be because the Milesian line of kings came to Ireland from Brigantium (modern Corunna near Santiago de Compostella) on the northwest coast of Spain. Indeed, Tea is in at least one old poem called Temor of Bregia. Brega or Breagh, it should be noted, was the immediate territory of Tara in ancient Ireland, named after the Celtic tribe known as the Brigantes (or vice versa). The Brigantes were located in southeast Ireland by the Roman geographer Ptolemy around 150 A.D. He also mentioned them as being one of the Celtic tribes in Britain at that time, as other sources also attest (see www.roman-britain.org/tribes/brigantes.htm). Some now believe that they derived their name from the Celtic goddess Brigid. Indeed, it could be that she is simply a later deification of Tea, combined with features of other pagan goddesses. According to some scholars, the name Brigid "comes from the Old Irish brigante, meaning ‘the exalted one’" (S1). This title could conceivably correspond to the modern "highness" for a royal personage. In any event, it is certainly possible that the name Brigantes or Brega originally came from Brigantium in northwest Spain—all perhaps relating to a royal title.
CHILDREN of ITHA
- [S1]. In Search of Ancient Ireland, Program 2: "Saints," PBS Home Video, 2002.