Citations A – F

Aghade Holed Stone

1Cross, Tom Peete, and Clark Harris Slover. Ancient Irish Tales. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1936. 514-17. Original from Book of Ballymote (Leabhar Bhaile an Mhóta) c. 1391 Royal Irish Academy MS 23 P 12 fol., 7, p,b, col. b.
This tale may be read in its entirety here. The synopsis of this story is: Eochaid, the King of Leinster, escaped from Niall of the Nine Hostages at Tara, where he was being held prisoner. Eochaid fled toward his home country, pursued by Niall. He tried to find refuge in the home of Laidgrinn, a poet. He was refused sanctuary and in revenge burned the man’s house. Niall caught up with him and brought him to his camp at Ath Fadat (Tullow) where he was fastened to the Holed Stone, and subsequently escaped by killing the nine men Niall had sent to execute him.

2Ryan, John. The History and Antiquities of the County of Carlow. Dublin: Richard Moore Tims, 1833. 19. This book may be read in its entirety here.

3O’Donovan, John, and Michael O’Flanagan. Letters Containing Information Relative to the Antiquities of the Counties of Carlow and Monaghan, Collected during the Progress of the Ordnance Survey in 1839. Vol. 2. Bray, 1927. 122-23.
From a letter from Eugene Curry, 8th August, 1839: "…while some labourers were turning up the soil…directly between the above perforated rock and the Ath Fada or Lorgforde on the Slaney, they met with a great number of skeletons at from two to three feet below the surface, and among other things, they met with several curiously formed graves containing urns with burned and unburned bones."

4Ryan, John. The History and Antiquities of the County of Carlow. Dublin: Richard Moore Tims, 1833. 338. This account may be read in its entirety here.
Rickets is a disease, now primarily suffered by children in developing countries, caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate, or other dietary needs. It leads to softening and weakening of the bones.
William Wakeman’s discussion (1903) of the Aghade Holed Stone and similar specimens may be read in its entirety here.

5Harbison, Peter. Guide to National and Historic Monuments of Ireland: including a Selection of Other Monuments Not in State Care. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. 49.

6Jackson, Kenneth Hurstone. The Oldest Irish Tradition: A Window on the Iron Age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964. 44, note 1.
This entire note may be worth repeating: "I should emphasize that what I mean here is the historiasity of persons and events; for instance, Conn and Eoghan, kings of the north and south of Ireland respectively, reputed by the sages to have lived in the second century, are quite obviously legendary and indeed mythological characters, and the events in which they are said to have taken part are clearly bogus. The same is true of still later characters like Cormac mac Airt. It is probably not too much to say that the earliest figure whom we can regard with any confidence as at all historical is Niall of the Nine Hostages. Equally, then, the characters Conchobar and Cu Chulainn, Ailill and Medb and the rest, and the events of the Cattle Raid of Cooley, are themselves entirely legend and purely un-historical. But this does not mean that the traditional background, the setting, in which the Ulster cycle was built up is bogus; the whole of this lecture is intended to show that it is not."

7MacCana, Proinsias. Celtic Mythology. London: Hamlyn, 1970. 120.
When Niall asked the crone, " ‘And who art thou?’ ‘Royal Rule am I’ she answered." (Ní Bhrolcháin, Muireann. "Women in Early Irish Myths and Sagas." The Crane Bag: "Images of the Irish Woman" 4.1 (1980): 12.)
In the story, Niall’s descendants will rule unbroken, except for two kings who would descend from Fiachra, the result of his giving the crone a brief kiss of his own.

8"Niall of the Nine Hostages." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 06 Nov. 2012. Web. 11 June 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niall_of_the_Nine_Hostages>.
According to this entry, "The sources for the details of Niall’s life are genealogies of historical kings, the "Roll of Kings" section of the Lebor Gabála Érenn, Irish annals such as the Annals of the Four Masters, chronicles such as Geoffrey Keating’s Foras Feasa ar Éirinn, and legendary tales like "The Adventure of the Sons of Eochaid Mugmedon" and "The Death of Niall of the Nine Hostages". These sources date from long after Niall’s time and their value as history is limited at best…the traditional roll of kings and its chronology is now recognised as artificial. The High Kingship did not become a reality until the ninth century, and Niall’s legendary status has been inflated in line with the political importance of the dynasty he founded."

9Keating, Geoffrey, John O’Mahony, and Michael Doheny. Foras Feasa Ar Eirinn Do Réir an Athar Seathrun Céiting, Ollamh Ré Diadhachta. The History of Ireland, from the Earliest Period to the English Invasion. New York: P.M. Haverty, 1857. 390.
This account may be read in its entirety here.

10"Niall of the Nine Hostages." The Larkin Clan. Web. 12 June 2012. <http://www.larkinclan.eu/niall.htm>.

11"Medieval Irish Warlord Boasts Three Million Descendants." The New Scientist. Web. 12 June 2012. <http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn8600-medieval-irish-warlord-boasts-three-million-descendants.html>.
From the story: "The study says the chromosome has also been found in 16.7% of men in western and central Scotland and has turned up in multiple North American population samples, including in 2% of European-American New Yorkers…Though medieval Ireland was Christian, divorce was allowed, people married earlier and concubinage was practised. Illegitimate sons were claimed and their rights protected by law…As in other polygamous societies, the siring of offspring was related to power and prestige…one of the O’Neill dynasty chieftains who died in 1423 had 18 sons with 10 different women and counted 59 grandsons in the male line."
Another scientist, Ugo Perego, a senior DNA researcher at Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, determined that Mormon prophet Joseph Smith Jr. was definitely descended from Niall (http://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=8663).

12Grinsell, L.V. "Some Aspects of the Folklore of Prehistoric Monuments." Folk-lore 48 (1937): 252-53.
An author in 1912 suggested that passing an infant through the aperture in an ancient stone, "…may be an echo of a rite of symbolic rebirth." (Ffrench, J. F. M. Prehistoric Faith and Worship: Glimpses of Ancient Irish Life.. London: D. Nutt, 1912. 25-6.)

13Weir, Anthony. "Potency and Sin: Ireland and the Phallic Continuum." Archaeology Ireland 4.2 (1990): 54-55.

In 1895 Wood-Martin wrote, ""The original purpose for which the large apertures were utilized seems to have been a literal as well as a symbolic means whereby an ailment, disease, or sin might be left behind, or got rid of, also as a symbol by which a compact could be ratified, or an oath taken, by a well-known and public act. The postulants, at first, probably crawled through the orifice; then when it, through change in custom, became diminished in size, they probably passed a hand, or, if a compact was to be made, clasped hands through it. The act of a bride passing her finger through her wedding ring may be but a survival of the ceremony when the woman would have had to crawl through an aperture in a sacred stone…" (Wood-Martin, W. G. Pagan Ireland an Archæological Sketch; a Handbook of Irish Pre-Christian Antiquities. London: Longmans, Green, 1895. 308.)

14"Niall of the Nine Hostages." Wikipedia. The sources disagree as to the which countries supplied each of the nine hostages.

15Cross.


 
Altar Wedge Tomb

1Borlase, William Copeland. The Dolmens of Ireland, Their Distribution, Structural Characteristics, and Affinities in Other Countries; Together with the Folk-lore Attaching to Them; Supplemented by Considerations on the Anthropology, Ethnology, and Traditions of the Irish People. With Four Maps, and Eight Hundred Illustrations, including Two Coloured Plates. Vol. 3. London: Chapman & Hall, Ld., 1897. 767.

2Schorr, F.J. & K.D. "Altar Wedge Tomb." Ancient Ireland. Web. 25 Jan. 2011. <http://www.ancientireland.org/altar/index.htm>.

3O’Brien, William. "Megaliths in a Mythologised Landscape: South-West Ireland in the Iron Age." Monuments and Landscape in Atlantic Europe: Perception and Society during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. Ed. Christopher Scarre. London: Routledge, 2002. 169-70.

4Evans, E. Estyn. Prehistoric and Early Christian Ireland, a Guide. London: B.T. Batsford, Ltd., 1966. 94.

5Carnier, Molly, and Sylvia Connell. "The Altar Well." Personal interview. 9 Sept. 1998.


 
Ardnamagh Fairy Fort

1O’Brien, Matthew. "Fairy Forts." Personal interview. 1 July 1979.
It is interesting that Mr. O’Brien’s comment about the legendary visibility of one "fairy fort" from another ("If you stand on one there, you can see two more all around you.") is corroborated by the research of Matthew Stout, who found that "The location of ringforts was such that the occupants of one ringfort would have been in visual contact with as many as seventeen of their neighbours." (Stout, Matthew. The Irish Ringfort. Dublin: Four Courts, 1997.19-20.)
Twenty years after we recorded the interview with Matty O’Brien we returned to visit with his family. Mr. O’Brien was deceased, but his grandchildren, who had never heard his voice, were eager to hear the stories play on our laptop. A photograph of this visit may be seen here.

2Stout, Matthew. The Irish Ringfort. Dublin: Four Courts, 1997. 53.
The author states that "there are 45,119 ringforts in Ireland of which 41% have been positively identified as of March 1995." Other terms for ringforts in Ireland include rath, lios (or lis), caiseal (or cashel), cathair (or caher or cahir) and dún (or doon). Rath and lios refer to an earthen ring-fort; caiseal and cathair a stone ring-fort. A dún was any stronghold of importance, which may or may not be ring-shaped.

3Stout 24.
The author states that "…the majority of Ireland’s ringforts and crannogs were occupied and probably constructed during a three hundred year period from the beginning of the seventh-century to the end of the ninth-century AD."
For his evidence he points out that the finds from ringforts usually include items that may be dated from the second half of the first millennium, such as certain pottery types (e.g. "souterrain ware") and ornamental beads and pins. The Garryduff bird is a beautiful example of a dateable find from a ringfort, c. 650 CE.

4Danaher, Kevin. Gentle Places and Simple Things: Irish Customs and Beliefs. Dublin: Mercier, 1964. 91-93.

5Stout 15.
The author cites information from 11 legal tracts revealing social hierarchies with "degrees of sub-division and complexity." (p. 110)

6Stout 11.
Stout explains,
"Because the contemporary law tracts describe a king’s principal dwelling to have been a uivallate ringfort, some notion is obtained of the lofty status of bivallate, and extremely rare trivallate, sites." (p. 18)

7Ní Cheallaigh, Máirín. "Going Astray in the Fort Field: Traditional’ Attitudes Towards Ringforts in Nineteenth-Century Ireland." The Journal of Irish Archaeology, 15 (2006): 105
According to Matthew Stout, "Most excavated ringforts have revealed the foundations of a range of buildings within their banks indicated that the surviving monuments were in fact farmsteads which would have enclosed a single farming family and their retainers." (
Stout, Matthew. The Irish Ringfort. Dublin: Four Courts, 1997. 32.) Stout insists on the defensive capabilities of the ringforts by arguing that, "…none of these deficiencies, other than the absence of a palisade, seriously challenges the defensive nature of ringforts and it is unlikely that a population which worked on a daily basis with post and wattle fencing and housing would not have erected a similar structure along the tops of at least some of their enclosures." (pp. 19-20).

8Stout 13.

9Brenan, Samuel A. "Fairy Folk-Lore, Co. Antrim." The Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland Fourth 9.78 (1889): 59.
It may be that the Tuatha Dé Danann symbolized the pre-Christian deities of the land. See Wikipedia article.

10Ní Cheallaigh 107-108.

11Ní Cheallaigh 108.
The authors terms the overgrown fairy fort the "wild wood’ of European folklore. She also asserts that some ringforts were used as cilleens, where the bodies of strangers and children who died before being baptized were buried.

12Evans-Wentz, W. Y. The Fairy-faith in Celtic Countries. London: H. Frowde, 1911. 32.

13Casey, Michael. "The Fairy’s Chicken." Personal interview. 25 June 1979.

14Correll, Timothy C. "Believers, Sceptics, and Charlatans: Evidential Rhetoric, the Fairies, and Fairy Healers in Irish Oral Narrative and Belief." Folklore 116.1 (2005): 1.

15Ní Cheallaigh 107.
According to Ni Cheallaigh, "More than most other monuments of the Irish archaeological record, ringforts have lain at the intersection of diverging worlds of symbolic imaginings that encompass a wide variety of interacting social and cultural identities. These overlapping worlds have ranged from the cottages of the rural tenant labourer and farmer to the salons of the antiquarian elite and the excavation trench of the archaeologist. Engagement with the physical remains of ringforts was, and is, articulated through the social structures and belief systems of those who visited, actively avoided or, equally consciously, obliterated them."
The initial quotation is from Bourke, Angela. The Burning of Bridget Cleary: A True Story. New York: Viking, 2000. 48.

16Cray, Ed, and Francis D. Adams. "Fairy Rath." Western Folklore 17.4 (1958): 282.
Ultimately the government official for the Ministry of Lands (Erskine Childers) made the decision to "bend" the fence to avoid the fairy fort. (Stekert, Ellen. "Fairy Palace." Western Folklore 18.1 (1959): 50.)

17Harkin, Greg. "Sean Quinn’s Downfall Is Fairies’ Revenge Say Locals in Cavan." Irish Independent [Dublin] 22 Nov. 2011. Read online here.


 
Athgreany Piper’s Stones

1Burl, Aubrey. The Stone Circles of the British Isles. New Haven: Yale UP, 1976. 84-85.

2Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford, UK: B. Blackwell, 1991. 74.

3"Athgreany Stone Circle." Irish Antiquities. Web. 09 Feb. 2011. <http://irishantiquities.bravehost.com/wicklow/athgreany/athgreany.html>.

4O’Flanagan, Michael. Letters Containing Information Relative to the Antiquities of the County of Wicklow. Vol. V. Bray, 1927. 114, 350.

5Menefee, S.P. "The ‘Merry Maidens’ and the ‘Noce De Pierre’" Folklore 85.1 (Spring, 1974): 38.

6Menefee 34-39.

7"Athgreany Stone Circle." Megalithic Ireland. Web. 8 Feb. 2011. <http://www.megalithicireland.com/Athgreany home.htm>.

8Menefee 27-28.

9Menefee 28-30.

10Kinahan, G.H. "Legends about Stone Circles, Etc." Folklore Journal V (1882): 168-69.

11O’Clery, Helen. Athgreany Stone Circle: the Stones of Time. New York: A. H. Morrison, 1990. 112.

12Fitzgerald, Lord Walter. "Pagan Antiquities near Ballymore Eustace." Journal of the County Kildare Archeological Society, 3 (1899-1902): 357.


 
Ballina Dolmen (Dolmen of the Four Maols)

1Hawkes, Jacquetta. A Guide to the Prehistoric and Roman Monuments in England and Wales. London: Chatto and Windus, 1976. 43

2Schorr, F.J. and K.D. "Ballina." Ancient Ireland. Web. 27 Jan. 2011. <http://www.ancientireland.org/ballina/index.htm>.

3O’Neill, Noel. "Castlebar – County Mayo – The Dolmen Of The Four Maols." Castlebar – County Mayo – From The West of Ireland. Web. 27 Jan. 2011. <http://www.castlebar.ie/mayo_historical_and_archaeological_society/mhas-20040408.shtml>.

4O’Flanagan, Michael. Letters Containing Information Relative to the Antiquities of the County of Mayo. Vol. 18. Bray, 1927. 37, 77-81.

5Allcroft, A. H. The Circle and the Cross a Study in Continuity. Vol. 2. London: Macmillan, 1927. 49-56.

6Allcroft 23.


 
Ballyfounder Rath (Tara Fort)

1Wilde, Lady Francesca. Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms & Superstitions of Ireland: with Sketches of the Irish past. London: Chatto & Windus, 1902. 142.

2Wilde 30.

3Waterman, D.M.; Jope, Margaret; Proudfoot, Bruce; Simmons, I. G.; Preston, J. "Excavations at Ballyfounder Rath, Co. Down." Ulster Journal of Archaeology, Third Series, Vol. 21 (1958): 39-61.

4Harrison, John. "The Man Who Learn’t Music From the Fairies." From an unpublished paper in the Irish Folklore Collection, Department of Irish Folklore, University College, Dublin (IFC 20:297).

5ffrench, J. F. M. Prehistoric Faith and Worship. London: Nutt, 1912. 108-09.

6Uí Ógáin, Ríonach. "Music Learned from the Fairies." Béaloideas, Iml. 60/61, Finscealta Agus Litriocht: Paipeir a cuireadh I lathair ag an Siompoisiam Nordach-Ceiltech / Legends and Fiction: Papers Presented at the Nordic-Celtic Legend Symposium (1992/1993). 198, 210.

7White, Carolyn H. A History of Irish Fairies. Dublin: Mercier, 1976. 8-9.

8"A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Pretty_Girl_Milking_Her_Cow>.

9Moffat, Alfred. The Minstrelsy of Ireland: 200 Irish Songs. London: Augener, 1897.

10Uí Ógáin 197-8.

11Uí Ógáin 201-2.

12Uí Ógáin 198.

13Croker, Thomas Crofton. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland. Vol. I. London: Murray, 1826. 18-26.

14Jacobs, Joseph. More Celtic Fairy Tales. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1902. 158.

15Hardiman, James. Irish Minstrelsy or Bardic Remains of Ireland. London: Robins, 1831. xlix-1, 15.


 
Ballymacdermot Court Tomb

1Gregory, Lady Augusta. "Legends of the Raths, as Narrated to Lady Gregory." Galway Archeological and Historical Society 2 (1902): 116-17.

2Murphy, Barney. "Ballymacdermot Tomb." Personal interview. 26 June 1998.

3Graves, Robert. The White Goddess: a Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1966. 93.

4Wilde, W. R. Lough Corrib, Its Shores and Islands: with Notices of Lough Mask. Dublin: McGlashan & Gill, 1867. 92-3.

5Ffrench, J. F. M. Prehistoric Faith and Worship Glimpses of Ancient Irish Life. London: D. Nutt, 1912.

6 "Fingal." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 25 Mar. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingal#Vikings_and_Hiberno-Norse>.

7Weir, Anthony. "Language Homophony." Message to the author. 24 Mar. 2011. E-mail.

8Jones, Carleton. Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2007. 141-43.

9Collins, A. E. P., B. C. S. Wilson, and Frederick W. Gay. "The Excavation of a Court Cairn at Ballymacdermot, Co. Armagh." Ulster Journal of Archaeology 27 (1964): 10.
The broken stones have since been repaired.

10Collins 18-20.

11McGinn, Pat, and Noreen Cunningham. The Gap of the North: The Archaeology & Folklore of Armagh, Down, Louth and Monaghan. Dublin: O’ Brien, 2001. 30.

12McGinn 31.

13Murphy, Barney.

14Leerssen, Joep. Remembrance and Imagination: Patterns in the Historical and Literary Representation of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame in Association with Field Day, 1997. 102-3.

15Ó Súilleabháin, Seán. A Handbook of Irish Folklore. Dublin: Folklore of Ireland Society, 1942. v-vi.

The illustration of pottery sherds and worked flint is taken from:
Collins, A. E. P., B. C. S. Wilson, and Frederick W. Gay. "The Excavation of a Court Cairn at Ballymacdermot, Co. Armagh." Ulster Journal of Archaeology 27 (1964): 16.


 
Ballynahatty Giant’s Ring

1Doyle, J. B. Tours in Ulster: A Handbook to the Antiquaries and Scenery of the North of Ireland. Dublin: Hodges and Smith, 1854. 98-9.

2Hartwell, Barrie. "The Prehistory of the Giant’s Ring and Ballynahatty Townland." Lisburn.com. 1995. Web. 3 Mar. 2013. <http://www.lisburn.com/books/historical_society/volume9/volume9-1.html>.

3Hartwell, Barrie. "The Ballynahatty Complex." Prehistoric Ritual and Religion: Essays in Honour of Aubrey Burl. Ed. Alex Gibson and Derek Simpson. Glouchestershire: Sutton, 1998. 32-45.
The author writes that, "The first archaeological record of a site in Ballynahatty was that of an ‘ancient sepulchral chamber’ described by members of the Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society in 1856 (MacAdam & Getty 1855, 358-65). This account showed that many other sites had been destroyed in the preceding century in the lands surrounding the Ring as it was being developed for agriculture."
Hartwell cites as evidence that the present car park and visitor entrance was the original one for the henge the fact that it is where a causeway might have been constructing over the quarry ditch.

4Hartwell, Barrie. "The Prehistory of the Giant’s Ring and Ballynahatty Townland."
In 1872 antiquarian James Fergusson wrote: "What, then was the object of this great earthwork with one solitary dolmen in the centre? Was it simply the converse of such a mound as that at New Grange? Was it that, instead of heaping the earth over the sepulchral chamber, they cleared it away and arranged it round it, so as to give it dignity? Or was it that funereal games or ceremonies were celebrated round the tomb, and that the amphitheatre was prepared to give dignity to their performance? These are questions that can only be answered when more of these circles are known and compared with one another, and the whole subject submitted to a more careful examination than has yet been the case. My impression is that it is the grave of a chief, and of him only, and that it is among the most modern of its class." (Fergusson, James. Rude Stone Monuments in All Countries Their Age and Uses. London: J. Murray, 1872. 229.)

5Coyne, Frank. Islands in the Clouds: An Upland Archaeological Study on Mount Brandon and The Paps, County Kerry. Tralee, Co. Kerry: Kerry County Council in Association with Aegis Archaeology Limited, 2006. This book may be read in its entirety here.
R.A.S. MacAlister noted affinities between the Giant’s Ring and Longstone Rath, in Co. Kildare, where the henge is only half the diameter of the Giant’s Ring and the central monument is a 20-ft tall stone set near a later burial cist.

6Petrie, George, and D.J.S. O’Malley. "Aspects of George Petrie. V. An Essay on Military Architecture in Ireland Previous to the English Invasion." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 72 (1972): 236. [Read, 28 April, 1834 Published,18 December, 1972.]

7Borlase, William Copeland. The Dolmens of Ireland Their Distribution, Structural Characteristics, (…). Vol. 1. London: Chapman & Hall, 1897. 276+.

8Molyneux, Thomas, and Gerard Boate. A Natural History of Ireland in Three Parts. Dublin: George Grierson, 1726. pt. 2, 128.

9McComb, William. Guide to Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway, and the Adjoining Districts of the Counties of Antrim and Down, with an Account of the Battle of Ballynahinch, and the Celebrated Mineral Waters of That Neighborhood ... Belfast: Author, 1861. 98-100.
The author alludes to his skepticism regarding the 1744 account: "If we are to rely upon the authority of Harris, who, in his ‘* History of County Down," (1744) states that two ranges of pillars, each consisting of seven, supported the great superincumbent rook ; besides which there were several other stones fixed upright in the ground, at the distance of about four feet. At present, the incumbent stone rests upon only four supporters – that on the South side being also an incumbent stone, resting upon three upright ones, and thus forming a secondary Cromlech.
Borlase however had more faith in the 1744 description of the site: "A writer in the Dublin Penny Journal (1834-35), who gives a picture of the structure, says: ‘This cromlech is either very erroneously described by Mr. Harris, or its appearance has greatly altered since the year 1744. We are informed by him that ‘two ranges of pillars,’ each consisting of seven, support this monstrous rock, beside which there are several other stones fixed upright in the ground at a distance of about 4 feet. Of these latter there remains but one. The upper stone at present rests upon four, and not upon fourteen supporters. The entire number which compose the’ altar’ is only ten; and, though it is probable that several may have fallen down, or in some manner changed their position, it is inconceivable how so great a disproportion as the two accounts present could ever be reconciled.’ In this view, namely that Harris was inaccurate, I disagree, firstly, because the monument he describes is so exactly what I should have expected it to have been from the present ruins, and, secondly, because, in an agricultural country like this, with stones required for gateposts and houses not far off, it is so easy to account for the removal of the outer ring as well as some of the fabric of the vault." (Borlase, William Copeland. The Dolmens of Ireland Their Distribution, Structural Characteristics, (…). Vol. 1. London: Chapman & Hall, 1897. 275-81.)

10Hartwell, Barrie. "The Ballynahatty Complex."
Hartwell’s map of all the sites within the Ballynahatty Complex may been seen in the gallery at the bottom of our page. The palisaded enclosure is site BNH6.

11Borlase 275-81.

12Hartwell, Barrie. "Ballynahatty: A Prehistoric Ceremonial Centre." Archaeology Ireland 5.4 (1991): 12-15.

13Gray, William. "Discovery of an Ancient Sepulchre at the Giant’s Ring, Belfast." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 5th 1.2 (1890): 164-65.
Monuments near the Giant’s Ring were not only subjected to the depredations of agriculturalists.
The Giant’s Ring itself may have been deployed as the "bleach-green" for a linen factory. (MacDonald, Philip, and Barrie Hartwell. "Anne Plumptre and The Giant’s Ring, County Down: An Account of a Possible Bleach-Green Watch-Tower." Ulster Journal of Archaeology, 3rd 68 (2009): 152-57.)

14Hartwell, Barrie. "The Prehistory of the Giant’s Ring and Ballynahatty Townland."

15Hartwell, Barrie. "The Ballynahatty Complex."


 
Ballyvourney Monastic Site

1Wood-Martin, W. G. Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland. Vol. 1. London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1902. 323.
The author continues: "It was also a great resort of cripples; a regular array of sticks and crutches was deposited on the tumulus by professional mendicants who pretended to have been cured in order to enhance the reputation of the place, as large crowds upon patron days brought considerable sums into their pockets." This may be read in its entirely here.

2O’Kelly, Michael J. "St Gobnet’s House, Ballyvourney, Co. Cork." Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 57 (1952): 18.
The author states that the many "furnace bottoms" found at the site are lumps of porous, slag-like material, much heavier than the ordinary glassy slag usually found. They form from the hot debris of smelting which falls into and fills the bottom of the furnace. The 57 complete examples from Ballyvourney varied in diameter from 31" to 7". The number from Ballyvourney by far exceeds those recorded from elsewhere.
The excavation revealed numerous post-holes from the primary occupations; the second occupation phase saw the construction of a large circular stone structure, today known as St. Gobnet’s House, with a central post-hole likely supporting a thatch roof.
A glass bead found from the first occupation level is of a type identified with the Roman or Viking periods. None of these objects could be firmly date, since they all were types from the first millennium CE.
In 1750 what is now known as St. Gobnet’s house was described as "a circle of stones about two feet high and about nine feet in diameter, which seems to be the foundation of one of the small round towers placed in churchyards."(Smith, Charles. The Ancient and Present State of the County of Cork. Containing a Natural, Civil, Ecclesiastical, Historical and Topographical Description Thereof. Dublin: Printed for the Author, 1750. 193.)

3The structure is also known as "St. Gobnait’s Kitchen." The Irish Tigh Ghobnatan translates to "Gobnait’s House," but it may be intended to mean "Gobnait’s Church." (Meehan, Cary. The Traveller’s Guide to Sacred Ireland: A Guide to the Sacred Places of Ireland, Her Legends, Folklore and People. Glastonbury: Gothic Image, 2004. 537-40.) Goibniu is, in legend, the smith of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Ronald Hutton compares Ballyvourney’s pre-Christian association in Celtic myth to that of St. Brighid ("almost certainly a goddess"). A reputed pagan "fire temple" near Kildare’s round tower may be a remnant of her devotion. (Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford, UK: B. Blackwell, 1991.285.)

4Edith Guest noted in a 1937 journal article: "In the neighbourhood of the mound was once a small stone cross, which had disappeared by the middle of the nineteenth century. Here the image of St. Gobonet used to be set up on 11th February, and on Whit Monday, when the faithful went round it on their knees and tied handkerchiefs about its neck as a preventive of disease. This practice still went on in the eighteenth century, though forbidden by the Bishop of Cloyne." (Guest, Edith M. "Ballyvourney and Its Sheela-na-gig." Folklore 48.4 (1937): 374-84.) Guest also wrote: "A few fields away, "Saint Gobonet’s Stone" still stands. It is 4.5 feet high and on the south face is a Greek cross within a circle of two lines. Above the circle stands the Saint in a long cloak and carrying the Irish pastoral crook in its most primitive form (Fig. 6). On the upper edge of the stone are three hollows, said to have been made by the elbows and chin of the Saint as she leant upon it. We may prefer to think them libation hollows of an earlier cult. At any rate the stone had the reputation, like any pagan menhir, of bringing disaster on whoever tried to move it. Once a heretic, described as a " protestant," or alternatively, a "Scotchman," tried to drag it away by horses: within three months he and his horses were dead." This stone may be seen here. The St. Gobnait’s Turas Stations: 1. At the saint’s statue; 2. St. Gobnait’s House; 3. and 4. Two cross-inscribed stones at St. Gobnait’s Grave; 5. the northwest corner of the church ruins, an older foundation stone; 6. window of the east wall, the site of the old altar; 7. the sheela-na-gig; 8. outside of the south wall; 9. south side of the west wall (St. Gobnait’s Bowl); 10. St. Abbán’s Holy Well.

5This well, now called St. Gobnait’s Well, was discovered during the excavation of St. Gobnait’s House in 1951. It was determined to date from the Early Christian secondary use of the site, when the round house was constructed.

6"The Family of Lucey in 14th Century Ireland – Published by Norman Lucey." Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rickmansworthherts/webpage65.htm>.

7In Irish tradition, St. Abbán provided Gobnait with the land for her monastery. More info.

8O’Kelly 36.

9Wood-Martin 228.
Another version of this story features the beehive turning into a bronze helmet, and that the O’Herlihys kept the bronze helmet as a source of protection. "M.T. Kelly, writing in the JCHAS , Vol.III No. 25. (1897), p.102 , suggests that Windele had come across accounts of this helmet but that it had been lost somewhere in Kerry. Another version has the beehive turning into a bell which then became Gobnait’s bell." ("St Gobnait." Diocese of Kerry. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. <http://www.dioceseofkerry.ie/page/heritage/saints/st_gobnait/>.)
In his Lives of the Irish Saints, O’Hanlon wrote of the battle, "She is said to have held in her hand, at the time, a square box, or beehive, full of holes at the sides. These were so formed that a bee flying, could go in and out through them. This instrument has been called, in Gaelic, the beachaire, i.e., " something to hold bees." It is supposed to have been soft and elastic. St. Gobnet prayed for some moments, when she saw the invader making towards her. After this, the bees flew out of their hive, and effectually stayed the ravages of the haughty chief." (O’Hanlon, John. Lives of the Irish Saints. Vol. 2. Dublin: Duffy, 1875. 464. Quoted in Harris, Dorothy C. "Saint Gobnet; Abbess of Ballyvourney." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 8.2 (1938): 275.)
Another story of the saint is recounted in a guidebook. It concerns "a robber who arrived in the area and tried to erect a pagan shrine here. Gobnait threw her bowl which demolished it. The bowl is now attached to the west wall of the church and a tradition has grown up of touching it with a personal item for healing [as part of the turas, at the west wall of the old church]. (Meehan, Cary. The Traveller’s Guide to Sacred Ireland: A Guide to the Sacred Places of Ireland, Her Legends, Folklore and People. Glastonbury: Gothic Image, 2004. 537-40.)
Edith Guest further describes this ritual: "Next, the west wall of the church is reached, and here is a small square niche into which the devotee passes his arm almost to its full length. At the extremity he feels a smooth round object and touches it three times: it is Saint Gobonet’s Bowl, and each time he transfers its virtue to himself by crossing himself with the same hand that felt it. Once this object was loose and handed about for its virtues, but the priests thought it led to undesirable practices, and imprisoned it where it now is. The legend attached to this bowl is as follows: A neighbouring chief wished to build a castle close to the Abbey. The Saint made her objection practical by throwing her stone bowl each night at the walls, whereupon what had been built during the day fell down. Since then the bowl has been efficacious for the cure of contusions.
(Guest, Edith M. "Ballyvourney and Its Sheela-na-gig." Folklore 48.4 (1937): 374-84.)

10Couch, Victor, MD. "The Ancestors of Evelyn Herlihy." History of the Herlihys. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. <http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~maggiesirishkin/herlhist1.html>.
"In recognition of her saintly impact, Pope Clement VIII in 1601 granted ‘a special indulgence of ten years and quarantines to the faithful who would visit the Church of St Gobnait in the Parish of Ballyvourney in the Diocese of Cloyne on her feast day and would pray for peace amongst Christian princes, for the expulsion of heresy and the exaltation of Holy Mother Church.’"
According to Maureen Concannon, "The first convents of the Celtic Christians were run by abbesses, but even at that early date it was recorded that the nuns at Ballyvourney lost their autonomy when a priest was assigned to be chaplain and Gobnait was made subordinate to him."
(Concannon, Maureen. The Sacred Whore: Sheela, Goddess of the Celts. Cork: Collins, 2004. 36-8.)

11February 11 coincides with the Celtic festival of Imbolc, using the Old Style Julian calendar.

12"Ireland’s Saintly Women and Their Healing Holy Wells." National Geographic News Watch. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. <http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/10/irelands-saintly-women-and-their-healing-holy-wells/>.
A visitor described the 2011 procession on St. Gobnait’s feast day of February 11: "…the landscape at once vibrates with the clicking of rosary beads and the murmur of voices repeating familiar and comforting words. The sounds coalesce like the steady and intent hum of St Gobnait’s bees."
The stations of the turas are always circled in a clockwise directions. It would be considered both unlucky and blasphemous to walk around the stations counter-clockwise; this could bring ill-fortune on the pilgrim or his family.(Geoghegan, Siofra. "Gobnait: Woman of the Bees." Matrifocus: Cross-Quarterly for the Goddess Woman. Imbolc, 2005. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. <http://www.matrifocus.com/IMB05/ireland-gobnait.htm>.)

13Harbison, Peter. Pilgrimage in Ireland: the Monuments and the People. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Univ., 1992. 133-35.
According to a website published by the Diocese of Kerry, the parish of Dunquin on the Dingle Peninsula also has a traditional turas on February 11, St. Gobnait’s feast day. At one time, there was also a secular fair held on the date, "Tradition records that people came from the surrounding parishes and from the Blaskets to the pattern. Micheál Ó Gaoithín recorded that there was formerly a fair on the Pattern day and that the drinking and selling went on for three days but that this finally ended due to clerical opposition. Ó Gaoithín also tells us that one PP was very strongly opposed to the Pattern, this upset the locals who argued with him, he cursed the people of Dunquin and they responded by throwing him over a cliff!" ("St Gobnait." Diocese of Kerry. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. <http://www.dioceseofkerry.ie/page/heritage/saints/st_gobnait/>.)

14A sign posted in several places along the route of the procession (turas) instructs the pilgrim:

  1. Stations are marked No. 1 – No. 10.
  2. Stations No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 – you go to these stations twice (2), Station No. 5, you go to this station four (4) times. Stations No. 6, 7, 8 and 9, you go to these stations only once.
  3. When finished with station No. 9, proceed to station No. 10 which is the Holy Well. This is where the signs shows (Holy Well) on the roadway as you approached.
  4. The Prayers recited at each station are seven (7) Our Fathers, seven (7) Holy Marys and seven (7) Glorys.
  5. Stations No. 1 to 4 when walking around the mound say (I believe in God.). When you commence on No. 5 and when walking around the old ruin you say one decad of the rosary each time you go around.
  6. When finished with No. 9 you proceed to the Holy Well then say the fifth decad of the rosary.

A mid-nineteenth century observer noted three trees growing inside St. Gobnait’s House which were stripped of their bark every year "for purposes best known to the people." The trees are now gone (as might be expected) and this practice is largely forgotten. (Windele, John. Topography Co. Cork, W and N.E. 1830s-50s. MS 12I10. Royal Irish Academy, 164-68. Quoted in Guest, Edith M. "Ballyvourney and Its Sheela-na-gig." Folklore 48.4 (1937): 376.)

15Harbison.
Harbison quotes from an 1861article describing the Bacachs at Ballyvourney: "Ardmore, Gougane Barra, Lough Dearg, Shruel, Croagh Patrick, and other places of pilgrimage, are the resorts of the Bacach tribe; but Ballyvourney would appear to have been their ‘Fakeerabad.’ There dwelt the professors. What the precise course of studies might have been, is easier to imagine than to ascertain: they might have comprised instructions as to habits, rules of conduct, and secrecy; but there was one qualification which the ordinary observer could not fail to perceive, and which appears to have been the leading performance of their lives, this was the crónawn or beggar’s chaunt. As the traveller passed through the village of Ballyvourney, he heard from the interior of many houses various repetitions of this strange Oriental-sounding appeal. When the aspirant had acquired a proficiency in all the requisite qualifications, he received his diploma in the shape of a goodly black thorn stick, at the upper end of which were conspicuous a certain number of brass nails: to a thorough proficient, the highest number of nails was given, which was seven; and the great virtue of these nails lay in the supposed fact that each nail indicated the efficacy of the prayers of the professor, which was increased in such ratio, that one prayer of the Bacach with a seven-nailed staff was as efficacious as sixty four prayers from one of the single nail." (Hackett, William, ‘The Irish Bacach, or professional beggar, viewed archaeologically,’ Ulster Journal of Archaeology 9, 1861-2. 256-71.)

16Harris, Dorothy C. "Saint Gobnet; Abbess of Ballyvourney." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 8.2 (1938): 273-75.
A carved head, known as the "Black Thief,’ is likely the voussoir or keystone from an earlier Romanesque structure. It is installed at the top of the arch leading to the high altar inside the ruined mid-sixteenth century medieval church. This may be noted in the VR tour by rotating the view upwards while inside the church, or seen in more detail here. Local lore says this is a workman who stole his co-worker’s tools. His face was carved in stone to as a punishment. (O’Kelly 36.)

17Richardson, John, Johann Theodor Jablonski, and John Chamberlayne. The Great Folly, Superstition, and Idolatry, of Pilgrimages in Ireland; Especially of That to St. Patrick’s Purgatory. Together with an Account of the Loss That the Publick Sustaineth Thereby; Truly and Impartially Represented. Dublin: Printed by J. Hyde, and Sold by J. Leathley, 1727. 71.
This text may be read in its entirely here.

18Harbison.
According to Maureen Concannon, "Women who are unable to conceive rub the genital area of the carving, taking rubbings of the stone in their handkerchiefs and drink them in water." (Concannon, Maureen. The Sacred Whore: Sheela, Goddess of the Celts. Cork: Collins, 2004. 36-8.)

19Weir, Anthony, and James Jerman. Images of Lust: Sexual Carvings on Medieval Churches. London: B.T. Batsford, 1986. 21.
The authors maintain that "folkloric practices are posterior to the importation of the motifs, and that the important moralising tone of the carvings led not only to the preservation of sheelas but also to a popular misconception that they held magical properties." Barbara Freitag, on the other hand, believes that the sheela-na-gig originates within a folk tradition. (Freitag, Barbara. Sheela-Na-Gigs Unraveling an Enigma. New York: Routledge, 2004. 119.) Weir and Jerman are careful to describe the sheela-na-gig as a sexual, but not an erotic, sculpture, as its grotesque and repulsive nature cannot said to be sexually arousing (p. 11-12).
More than 100 sheela-na-gig figures have been noted in Ireland. (Cherry, Stella. A Guide to Sheela-Na-Gigs. Dublin: National Museum of Ireland, 1992.) The listing from the text is excerpted here.

20Thomas O’Connor, Neagh, 3 October 1840; in John O’Donovan, Letters containing information relative to the Antiquities of the County of Tipperary Collected during the progress of the Ordnance Survey in 1840. RIA Dublin, handwritten MS. Quoted in Freitag, Barbara. Sheela-Na-Gigs Unraveling an Enigma. New York: Routledge, 2004. 16-17.
O’Connor thought the figure may have had a pagan origin, since if it had been carved during Christian times "it would owe its origin to the wantonness of some loose mind." Freitag writes, "The lengthy letter which he sent to Dublin is a charming testimony to his baffled confusion. O’Conor admits to being completely mystified as to why this ‘ill excuted [sic] piece of sculpture’, rudely done by an unskillful artist, should be placed at a house of public worship when it so blatantly impresses the ‘grossest idea of immorality and licentiousness … being in its way in direct opposition to the sentiment of . . . people professing the Christian faith’. As it seemed incongruous that the figure had been set up in its present situation for producing any good effect on the minds of a Christian congregation, he could only assume that it was never intended to be placed in the church. He speculated that it must have belonged originally to another building, a castle perhaps, and that it was laid in its present situation ‘by some one [sic] who delighted in inconsistencies’ after the church had been abandoned as a place of worship. If that were not the case, the figure owed its origin ‘to the wantonness of some loose mind.’"
Sadly, the sheela-na-gig O’Connor describes, at Kiltinane Church, Co. Tipperary, was stolen in 1990. A photograph of the sculpture may be seen here.

21In her Guide, Stella Cherry lists the Ballyvourney figure as "probably a Sheela-na-gig." (Cherry, Stella. A Guide to Sheela-Na-Gigs. Dublin: National Museum of Ireland, 1992. 4-10.)
Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary in 1837 noted "The ruins of the church are very extensive and interesting; in one of the walls is a head carved in stone, which is regarded with much veneration." (Lewis, Samuel. A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland‬: ‪Comprising the Several Counties, Cities, Boroughs, Corporate, Market, and Post Towns, Parishes, and Villages, with Historical and Statistical Descriptions..., Volume 1. London: Clearfield, 1837. 169.)
A journal article in 1935 described the sculpture as "A small figure known as St. Gobonet, cut in an ovoid depression on a rough lintel over a trefoil window at the east end of the south wall. It shows no definite features of a sheela-na-gig except the pose of the arms, but it seems to be connected with rites of very ancient origin." (Guest, Edith M. "Irish Sheela-na-Gigs in 1935." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 6.1 (1936): 110.)
According to Maureen Concannon, "The presence of all three aspects of the goddess at Ballyvourney – Sheela, Madonna and Hag – makes it the only centre in Ireland and perhaps of all the places where the Sheela now remains, to have preserved the tripartite aspects of the goddess – maiden, mother and crone." (Concannon, Maureen. The Sacred Whore: Sheela, Goddess of the Celts. Cork: Collins, 2004. 36-8.)

22Andersen, Jørgen. The Witch on the Wall: Medieval Erotic Sculpture in the British Isles. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1977. 14+.
Anderson considers the sheela-na-gig carvings to be Romanesque (c. 1100 CE). Maureen Concannon disagrees, and entertains the possibility that the carvings pre-date the structures on which they are mounted: "Many of the carvings on those buildings are noticeably more worn than the rest of the stone work, indicating that they were probably transferred from the earlier structures to the later churches. This would be in accord with the veneration in which the people would have held those sacred stones and points once again to the conservatism of the country people of Ireland." (Concannon, Maureen. The Sacred Whore: Sheela, Goddess of the Celts. Cork: Collins, 2004. 61-2.)
Thomas Wright (The Worship of the Generative Powers, 1866) wrote that sheela-na-gigs were survivals of a pre-Christian fertility worship. In some ways, the effort to see the sheela-na-gigs as a remnant of pre-Christian Ireland has a parallel in the views, promoted in 1833 by Henry O’Brien, to claim the Irish round towers as the creations of prehistoric Tuatha Dé Danann for their phallic-worshiping religion. See our entry on the Kildare Round Tower. (Leerssen, Joep. Remembrance and Imagination: Patterns in the Historical and Literary Representation of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame in Association with Field Day, 1997. 120.)

23Concannon, Maureen. The Sacred Whore: Sheela, Goddess of the Celts. Cork: Collins, 2004. 17.
The author adds: "Tracing the Sheela may unravel the spirituality of those of our ancestors who predate the Indo-European by many thousands of years."
In the 1930s Margaret Murray (The God of the Witches) opined that the sculpture generally belonged in the category of mother-goddesses. In 1923 she first wrote that the figures might be the remains of an old fertility cult. (Freitag, Barbara. Sheela-Na-Gigs Unraveling an Enigma. New York: Routledge, 2004. 28.

24Andersen 47+.
The author balances his purely architectural explanation with this statement: "Certainly there is more to the image than the mere display of pudenda; something darkly colouring that medieval carver’s conception. There is some foundation here for involving mythology in the study of sheelas and in their whole application to churches." (p. 111)
A journal article in 1840 suggests that "some [sheela-na-gigs] had been originally used as grave-stones, and probably intended to act as charms to avert the evil eye, or its influence, from the place." (Clibborn, E., Esq. "On an Ancient Stone Image Presented to the Academy by Charles Halpin, M.D." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 2 (1840-1844): 566.)
Anne Ross wrote, "I would like to suggest that, in their earliest iconographic form they do in fact portray the territorial or war-goddess in her hag-like aspect, with all the strongly sexual characteristics which accompany this guise in the tales; and that they are not ‘pornographic’ or ‘erotic’ monuments but have both a fertility and an evil-averting significance. [note: It is a well known and widespread belief that to expose the genitalia of either sex acts as a powerful apotropaic gesture]. This would serve to explain why they are frequently to be found in association with Christian churches. Such figures could hardly have been built into religious buildings of the post-pagan period unless it was to canalise the evil-averting powers they were believed to possess. If they were found on the site of the church their powers could then be used for the benefit of Christians, once they had been purified as it were by Christian rites; and any latent paganism in the area would find a double satisfaction both in the continuing homage offered to this once-powerful deity and in her inclusion in the wider Christian pantheon as a still-vital protectress of the ground over which she was once sovereign." (Ross, Anne. "The Divine Hag of the Pagan Celts." in The Witch Figure, Venetia Newall, ed. London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978. 148-49.)

25Freitag, Barbara. Sheela-Na-Gigs Unraveling an Enigma. New York: Routledge, 2004. 43.
The entire list presented by the author is: "…musicians, jugglers, barrel-lifters, misers, tongue-protruders, thorn-pullers, beard-pullers, mermaids, anus-showers, penis-swallowers, exhibiting men, women and devils, megaphallic animals, fomme aux serpens, men and women combating ghoulish creatures, man-eating monsters, grotesquely copulating couples, as well as almost any combination of the foregoing."

26Weir, Anthony, and James Jerman. Images of Lust: Sexual Carvings on Medieval Churches. London: B.T. Batsford, 1986. 151.
If the authors present a credo, it would be: "Sexual exhibitionists developed, like so many other Romanesque motifs, from Classical prototypes at a date not earlier, so far as we have been able to ascertain, than the eleventh century, and that their flourit was during the twelfth century; that they are Christian carvings, part of an iconography aimed at castigating the sins of the flesh, and that in this they were only one element in the attack on lust, luxury and fornication; that their horrible appearance is due to the fact that they portrayed evil in the battle against evil; that, in this role of warring against Luxuria and Concupiscentia, two of the Mortal Sins, they flourished in the sculpture of a well-defined area of western France and northern Spain; that they reached the British Isles by a process we shall describe; that they were supported by a number of carvings which at first sight seem to be unconnected with them, and which are better understood when the connection has been made, and that it is possible that the apotropaic purpose sometimes attributed to them is a later development, stemming from the forcefulness of their imagery and the respect with which they were regarded."

The complete list of quotations presented in the book:

"That carving, Sir? Why, that’s the last man (sic) to be hanged on Hangman’s Hill.
Sexton of Holdgate Church, verbatim, to Colin and Janet Bord, 1980

The majority of sheela-na-gigs were apparently either warnings of immoral behaviour, or Schandbilder, denouncing local women of iII- repute.
Ellen Ettlinger, FOLKLORE 1974

Sheela-na-gig: an obscene female figure of uncertain significance.
Lord Killanin and M.V. Duignan, Shell Guide to Ireland 1967

SheeIa-na-gig: the Irish Goddess of Creation. Barry Cunliffe, The Celtic World 1979

Probably the remains of a fertility cult. Margaret Murray, MAN 1923

Sheela-na-gig: the actual representation of the Great Goddess Earth Mother on English soil.
Brian Branston, The Lost Gods of England 1974

The portrayal of the Celtic goddess of creation and destruction, the sheela-na-gig at Kilpeck offers wordless instruction in the art of self-delivery.
S.C. Stanford, Archaeology of the Welsh Marches, 1980

Sheila-na-gig: fertility figure, usually with legs wide open.
N. Pevsner, Buildings of England, glossary (various dates)

(Sheela-na-gigs) portray the territorial or war- goddess in her hag-like aspect.
Ann Ross, Divine Hag of the Pagan Celts, ed. Newall 1973

Sheela-na-gig: female exhibitionist figure, one of the many representations of Lust in Romansque carving.
A. Weir, Early Ireland, a Field Guide 1980

The defensive nature of the exposed vulva is even clearer in Ireland in the Sheila-na-gig representations of women exposing themselves.
Encyclopedia of World Art, 1966

27Andersen 145.

28Weir 15.
According to Anthony Weir, "The’ gigg/jig’ word (like ‘crack’ or, falsely, ‘craic’) does definitely seem to be English in origin, and, curiously, West African coastal people retained the word jig-a-jig for sexual intercourse; little brass [copulating] figures, now sold to tourists, are/were also called jig-a-jigs. This would suggest, as Barbara Freitag said, a 16th century origin for the word." (Weir, Anthony. "Ballyvourney and Its Sheela." Message to the author. 11 Nov. 2012. E-mail.)

29Zucchelli, Christine. Stones of Adoration Sacred Stones and Mystic Megaliths of Ireland. Doughcloyne, Wilton, Cork: Collins, 2007. 130.
Wikipedia notes other uses of the name: "A ship called Sheela Na Gig in the Royal Navy and a dance called the Sheela na gig from the 18th century. An Irish slip jig, first published as The Irish Pot Stick (c.1758), appears as Shilling a Gig, in Brysson’s A Curious Collection of Favourite Tunes (1791) and Sheela na Gigg in Hime’s 48 Original Irish Dances (c.1795). These are the oldest recorded references to the name, but do not apply to the figures. The name is explained in the Royal Navy’s records as an "Irish female sprite"" " ("Sheela Na Gig." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 July 2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheela_na_gig>.)

30Freitag 54.

31Concannon 158-65.
Concannon also wrote: "The mockery, destruction and eradication of feminine symbols was documented and celebrated by the Christian hierarchy. The loss of those symbols paralleled the slow erosion of essential feminine values, such as responsibility for life and the preservation of it, the care and nurture of the child, the family and the clan. This was a gradual process and hardly recognised at the time. The image of the Sheela, a symbol of the Divine Hag, had to be excised from the consciousness of the Irish people. Like all the other symbols associated with women and the feminine aspect of God throughout the western world, she was a threat to the authority of the Roman Church and must be eliminated." (p. 114)

32Keeling, David. "An Unrecorded Exhibitionist Figure (Sheela-na-Gig) from Ardcath, County Meath." Ríocht Na Midhe (Records of the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society) VII.3 (1984): 102-04.
This figure is also known as the Ardcath Sheela after the nearby village. The author describes it: "The figure fills the frame formed by the cut edge of the stone, and although considerably weathered, on closer examination most of the detail is still discernible. The legs are slightly bent and face in the same direction, although the left foot is missing, presumably due to weathering. The arms hang symmetrically across the body and rest on the thighs to touch or indicate the pudenda. The hands have a faint suggestion of fingers. The bent elbows are prominent and the similarity in the position of the arms being mainly responsible for the symmetry. The breasts are only slightly suggested. The figure has a large flat and pear-shaped head with a short neck; the eyes, nose and mouth are prominent. A shallow depression at the left side of the head is probably due to weathering."
Many thanks to Michael Fox for leading us to this site.

33Heaney, Seamus. Station Island. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1985. 49-50.
The sheela-na-gig at Kilpeck (in England) may be seen here.


 
Baslicon Dolmen

1Cross, Tom Peete, and Clark Harris Slover. Ancient Irish Tales. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1936. 20.

2"Minor Celtic Characters." Timeless Myths. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://www.timelessmyths.com/celtic/minorceltic.html>.

3Lebor Gabála Érenn." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 09 Mar. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebor_Gabála_Érenn>.
It is understood by historians, in all these cases, that the place name was extant, and the person or thing connected to it was invented by the etymologizer.

4"Irish Baby Girl Names D – I." Irish Gifts – Irish Jewelry – Celtic Jewelry – Claddagh Rings. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://www.celticbydesign.com/index.cfm/feature/22_140/irish-baby-girl-names-d—i.cfm>.

5Leerssen, Joep. Remembrance and Imagination: Patterns in the Historical and Literary Representation of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame in Association with Field Day, 1997. 11-12.

6Cross 20.
The original translation of this story may be read here.

7Morierty, Michael. "The Baslicon Slab." Interview by Howard Goldbaum. June 20, 1979.

8Chatterton, Lady. Rambles in the South of Ireland During the Year 1838. London: Saunders and Otley, 1839. 300-301.
It may be that the author misunderstood her informant.


 
Béal Ború

1Leerssen, Joep. Remembrance and Imagination: Patterns in the Historical and Literary Representation of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame in Association with Field Day, 1997. 10.

2Duffy, Seán. "Beal Boru and Magh Adhair on Voices from the Dawn." Message to the author. 1 May 2014. E-mail.
The first use of the title "Emperor of the Gael" was credited to the king’s amanuensis, Máel Suthain. The Annals of Ulster, under the year 1005, recorded that Brian donated 20 ounces of gold to the monastery at Armagh, where he was named Emperor, and where he declared Armagh the religious capital of Ireland. "

3Duffy, Seán. "Brian Boru & the Battle of Clontarf: Killaloe." Brian Boru Battle of Clontarf 2014 Millennium Festival Events. Web. 08 Apr. 2014. <http://www.brianborumillennium.ie/brian-boru/#killaloe>.
According to the author, the site’s name may be derived from the name of the ford at Killaloe, which is called Áth na Bóraime.

4"Clare Places – Killaloe: Places of Interest." Clare County Library. Web. 08 Apr. 2014. <http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/places/kointerest.htm>.

5O’Kelly, Michael J. "Beal Boru, Co. Clare." Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 67.205 (1962): 13-14.

6O’Kelly 13-14.
The author notes, "It may be that the words "near the Borowe " should have been read "on the Borowe." The Annals of Clonmacnoise have come down to us in an English translation only, a translation made in 1627. The original version written in Irish has not survived, so that we do not know with what exactitude the seventeenth century translator rendered the text into English."

7Sweetman, David. "Earth and Timber Castles- David Sweetman – The Medieval Castles of Ireland." Castle Duncan Forums. Web. 08 Apr. 2014. <http://www.castleduncan.com/forum/index.php?/topic/1305-earth-and-timber-castles-david-sweetman/>
The author describes a "ringwork castle" as "…in its simplest form, an area enclosed by a fosse and rampart. It has also been defined as having a minimum height of 2m above the level of the outside defences with the enclosed area disproportionately small compared to the massive enclosing elements."
Commenting on fort’s abandonment and destruction, Professor O’Kelly noted, "The Annals of the Four Masters has an entry for the year 1116 which says that Toirdeal- bhach Ua Conchobhair made a raid in which he burned and demolished Boromha and Ceann-Coradh. If this can be accepted as a reference to the particular site under discussion here, the primary fort was still occupied in the early part of the 12th century and perhaps it was this very raid which brought about its abandonment, though the excavation gave no evidence whatsoever of any burning of structures within the fort." (O’Kelly, Michael J. "Beal Boru, Co. Clare." Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 67.205 (1962): 13-14.)

8O’Kelly 6-7.
Boru biographer Roger Chatterton Newman, acknowledging that both Béal Bóramha and the other nearby Dalcassian stronghold at Kincora, were used by the family, suggests that "…it is more than likely that Brian, as a child, lived for a while in both – in troubled times the wife and children of Cinnéide would have found shelter in whichever was the stronger fortress."

9O’Kelly 2.
According to the author, "a modern stone revetment was added sometime between 1893 and 1911," likely by the landowner at the same time that he planted the now mature forest of trees. Due to O’Kelly’s commitment not to let his excavations disturb any of the trees, a group of post-holes associated with a partially collapsed wall could not be investigated to determine any potential structure they may have delineated.

10Much of the early information about Brian Boru is from a 12th-century text which may have been written by his great-grandson in an effort to legitimize the claim of his descendants on the High Kingship, and thus must be regarded with skepticism: Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh ("The War of the Irish with the Foreigners"). This text may be read here in an 1867 English translation by James Henthorn To

11Beougher, David B. "Brian Boru: King, High-King, and Emperor of the Irish." Diss. The Pennsylvania State University, 2007. iii. Available online here.

12A clip from the end of this film, featuring this quotation, may be viewed here. The quotation was first used in this context by Seán Duffy in an Irish Times article.

13Newman, Roger Chatterton. Brian Boru, King of Ireland. Dublin: Anvil, 1983. 82.

14Duffy, Seán. Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 2013. 11.
According to the author, Brian’s family were "the Uí Thairdelbaig, who were a branch of the Déis Tuaiscirt, better known as Dal Cais, who were a branch of the Déis Bec, who were a branch of the Déisi of Munster."
The legendary founder of the Uí Néill dynesty, Niall Noígíallach, is depicted as striving to establish a strong, central monarchy in the 4th century CE, but was unable to do so. It was not until Brian Boru, six centuries later, that another effort was made to unite all the Irish tribes into a single alliance. According to Seán Duffy, "Níall may be more of a mythical figure than a historical one. Claims that the Uí Néill ruled Ireland from a very early period are hard to prove and may be a backward projection of later centuries. Certainly, no Uí Néill king could be proven to resemble anything like a king of Ireland until the middle of the ninth century." (Duffy, Seán. "Beal Boru and Magh Adhair on Voices from the Dawn." Message to the author. 1 May 2014. E-mail.)

15Duffy, Seán. Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 2013. 350.
Professor Duffy cites a poem written some two centuries after the Battle of Clontarf, in which the poet celebrates Brian Boru’s sacrifice and laments the lack of a comparable hero for his own age (pp. 395-96):
On Good Friday Brian was killed
Defending the hostaged Irish,
As Christ without sin was killed
Defending the children of Adam.
When will there come the like of Brian
South or north, east or west,
Who will protect the Irish against evil
As he alone protected?

16Duffy, Seán. "Brian Boru at the Battle of Clontarf: A Medieval Version of 1916?" Irish Times. Web. 09 Apr. 2014. <http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/brian-boru-at-the-battle-of-clontarf-a-medieval-version-of-1916-1.1667155>.

17Duffy. "Brian Boru at the Battle of Clontarf."
The quotation "…slaughter of the Foreigners of the Western World," is from the Annals of Innisfallen, written near the end of the 11th century. According to Professor Duffy, this account of the battle "…is as close as the author of the Inisfallen entry on Clontarf comes to describing it as a victory for Brian, and it is by no means certain that he  viewed it as such. From his viewpoint— although he says it in a rather matter-of-fact way—by far the most considerable outcome of the encounter was the death of Brian." (Duffy, Seán. Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 2013. 257.)

18Kristjánsson, Jónas. Eddas and Sagas: Iceland’s Medieval Literature. Reykjavík: Hiđ íslenska Bókmenntafélag, 1988 (1894).
Translation courtesy of Gudrun Helga Jonasdottir.
The 1894 edition may be read online here. A part of this quotation was first used by Seán Duffy in an Irish Times article.
After Brodar, Brian Boru’s assassin, was captured by the Dalcassians he was tortured to death by Brian’s brother, Ulf the Quarrelsome, "by having his entrails wound about a tree while he was living." (Newman, Roger Chatterton. Brian Boru, King of Ireland. Dublin: Anvil, 1983. 174-76.)

19Duffy. "Brian Boru at the Battle of Clontarf."
The medieval harp known as "Brian Boru’s Harp" (also known as the Trinity College Harp)
likely dates from the 15th century. Its iconic shape may be noted here.

20Hugh Frazer of Dromore, Co. Down (1795–1865) executed this large (2.5m x 1.7m) oil painting, "The Battle of Clontarf," in 1826. Traditional details of the scene he incorporated into the work include the elderly Brian Boru observing the battle from his tent, and the single combat of his son Murchad with Jar Sigurðr. The High King’s tent may be said to resemble the Trinity College Harp, also known as Brian Boru’s Harp.
For three decades, until the fall of 2013, the painting was hanging in the Isaacs Art Centre in Hawaii. It was purchased by the private equity firm Kildare Partners and returned to Ireland just in time for the millennium events of 2014. During this time the painting was exhibited to the public at the Casino in Marino, just north of Dublin.
For the Zoomify feature on the Voices from the Dawn page, the image file of the painting was digitally extrapolated to a higher resolution.

21Newman 9.


 
Beltany Stone Circle

1Hall, S. C., and S. C. Hall. Ireland, Its Scenery, Character, etc. Vol. 3. London: How and Parsons, 1841. 260.

2Condit, Tom, and Brian Lacy. The Beltany Stone Circle. Bray: Archaeology Ireland. Heritage Guide No. 4 (1998).
Only Lough Gur’s Grange Stone Circle is larger; 46m v. 45m in diameter.
While most sources count 64 stones in the circle, a 1988 journal article refers to 65 stones. (Van Hoek, M.A.M. "The Prehistoric Rock Art of Co. Donegal (Part II)." Ulster Journal of Archaeology Third 51 (1988): 25.)
While most of the stone circles in Ireland are thought to have been constructed from c. 2100 BCE to 700 BCE, new data indicates that the Beltany Stone Circle may have been constructed as early as 3,000 BCE. See the reference to the “Rediscovering an Ancient Landscape" conference in Raphoe.

3Beltany is actually the name of the townland to the SW; the stone circle is found in Tops townland.

4 La Bealtaine is a "cross quarter day," halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice.

5Grinsell, Leslie V. Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1976. 18.
According To Stuart Piggott, "It is also possible that the association of the far more ancient stone circle with the more familiar and more recent Celtic calendar ritual was a way for the Elizabethan English to subjugate something wild, something that represented a darker unknown: that of the “frontier antagonist.” As Margaret Hodgen wrote, “…the epithets used to describe the folk on Britain’s Celtic border were interchangeable with those applied to the Negroes in Africa or to the Indians across the Atlantic. While sovereigns of the realm were struggling to pacify the tribal Celts, and the Puritan colonists in North America were wrestling with the Red Indian for his soul and his land, all frontier antagonists looked more or less alike.” (Piggott, Stuart. Ruins in a Landscape: Essays in Antiquarianism. Edinburgh: UP, 1976. 65.)

6Condit, Tom, and Brian Lacy. The Beltany Stone Circle. Bray: Archaeology Ireland. Heritage Guide No. 4 (1998).
According to a blog post here, the Milesian warrior Itha "was buried in the highest point in this area so that even in death people would still have to raise their heads to look at him. His tomb is known as the Foyde."

7Condit, Tom, and Brian Lacy. The Beltany Stone Circle. Bray: Archaeology Ireland. Heritage Guide No. 4 (1998).

8"Summary Descriptions of Passage Tombs in County Donegal." Archaeology Ireland. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.<http://www.archaeology.ie/sites/default/files/media/publications/smi-vol-6-text-and-plates-part-9.pdf>.
Fagan, Thomas. OS Hill Drawing Antiquity Books, Co. Donegal. 1845-48. MS. National Archives, Dublin, n.p.

9Van Hoek, M.A.M. "The Prehistoric Rock Art of Co. Donegal (Part II)." Ulster Journal of Archaeology Third 51 (1988): 25.

10Whitaker, Alex. "Beltany" Ancient Wisdom. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <http://www.ancient-wisdom.com/irelandbeltany.htm>.
"Bealtaine was one of the four major festivals of ancient Ireland and marked the beginning of summer, the other festivals were: Lugnasadh, which was celebrated at the start of August and marked the beginning of Autumn); Samhain (the origin of today’s Halloween) marked the beginning of Winter; and Imbolc which was normally celebrated in early February and marked the beginning of Spring." (http://timetravelireland.blogspot.com/2013/10/beltany-stone-circle-county-donegal.html)

11Battersby, Eileen. "In Beltany’s Inner Circle." The Irish Times [Dublin] 5 Nov. 2005: Web. <http://www.irishtimes.com/news/in-beltany-s-inner-circle-1.514554>.

12A replica of the Beltany Stone Head is in the Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny. Dating of the idol was posited from stylistic inferences, particularly from its neck-ring (a torc, or possibly a tattoo).

13Rynne, Etenne. "The Three Stone Heads at Woodlands, near Raphoe, Co. Donegal." Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 94.2 (1964): 105-09.
According to the author, another stone head found nearby "is called ‘Stumpy,’ and… it was carved, during the last century, from a milestone which stood nearby, in the likeness of an unfortunate man who had had his two legs cut off."

14Rynne, Etenne. "Two Stone Axeheads Found near Beltany Stone Circle, Co. Donegal." Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 93.2 (1963): 193-96.
According to Rynne, while it is not possible to definitively connect the axeheads with the stone circle, they do provide evidence of trading contacts in Ireland 4000 years ago.

15Battersby, Eileen. "In Beltany’s Inner Circle." The Irish Times [Dublin] 5 Nov. 2005: Web. <http://www.irishtimes.com/news/in-beltany-s-inner-circle-1.514554>.


 
Binder’s Cove Souterrain

1Hobson, Mary. "Some Ulster Souterrains." The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 39 January-June (1909): 226-27.

2The souterrain at Donaghmore, just outside Dundalk, is also accessible. It is listed as a National Monument, although it is on private property. Visitors must provide their own lights. It has been described as, "…an elaborate dry-stone structure with traps, a secret passage and vents, built into a trench dug into boulder clay and, in places, into the underlying Silurian grit. The passages and terminal chamber total some 80 metres long, and they are both corbelled and lintelled."
According to Nancy Edwards, there are "upwards of 1,000 examples" of souterrains in Ireland. (Edwards, Nancy. The Archaeology of Early Medieval Ireland. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1990. 29.)

3Hobson 220.

4MacDonogh, Steve. The Dingle Peninsula. Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland: Brandon, 2000. 50-51.
In one souterrain what appeared to be a ventilation shaft may have had an additional purpose. Mary Hobson writes, "At Tavenahoney in Glenan I found the only vent or shaft I have seen, though I know of another. I am not sure that it was intended for ventilation, but rather incline to the idea that it is a speaking tube to give warning to those inside; a boy spoke to me through it. It was closed on the outside by a rough stone like thousands scattered over the hillside." (Hobson, Mary. "Some Ulster Souterrains." The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 39 January-June (1909): 223.)
According to NUI Galway Archaeologist Michelle Comber, the evidence suggests that "souterrains served at least two functions – refuge and storage. Features such as constricted passages, chambers on different levels, settings for internal gates or doors were clearly designed to prevent quick/easy access to some souterrains. In addition, some have exits, facilitating underground movement from one place to another (though not over huge distances as many local tales might suggest!). Excavation, however, has also shown that some souterrains, at least, were also used for storage. Their cool interiors were ideal for storing foodstuffs, and the remains of timber barrels have been found." (Comber, Michelle. "Other Purposes of Souterrains." Message to the author. 27 Feb. 2012. E-mail.)

5"Binder’s Cove Souterrain (Finnis Souterrain)." Banbridge District Council, Oct. 2008. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://www.banbridge.com/uploads/docs/FinnisSouterrain.pdf>.
A geophysical survey of the area surrounding the souterrain, commissioned by the Council, reported, "… an unusually large number of archaeological features including….a large enclosure complex, or a series of succeeding complexes, to the western side of the survey area appearing to be associated with at least one substantial stone structure, of medieval or post-medieval origin. In the north, the souterrain appears to dominate the landscape with all adjacent archaeological features respecting its limits, with the added possibility of a trackway leading to it. In the east another potential enclosure was identified."

6Souterrains are often referred to as "caves." The Irish word for cave is uaimh, pronounced "oo-ov." Conflating uaimh with "cave" results in "cove." (http://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/down.htm)

7"Binder’s Cove: Your Place and Mine." BBC News. BBC, May 2008. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/yourplaceandmine/down/A1956017.shtml>.
The local person who first suggested making the souterrain accessible to the public, Oliver Quail, was also the stonemason who worked on the structure’s restoration prior to its opening.
During the winter months when the tunnels are flooded and the gate is locked, the key may be obtained from O’Hare’s garage on the B7 Rathfriland Road, near the local settlement of Finnis/Massford (2004 information).

8Macrory, J.M. "Souterrain at Leitrim, Parish of Drumgooland." Ulster Journal of Archaeology Second 12.2 (1907): 70-72.
"This region of South Down, once part of the princely patrimony of the Magennis family, so far as the antiquary is concerned, is almost an untrodden field. Here abound rath and dun, cromleac and cistvaen, sculptured Celtic cross and pillar stone, cashel and crannog, ruined castle and carn, souterrain and ancient burying-place-objects which fire the imagination and gladden the heart of the archaeologist, arousing inspiration for a dreaming of the ‘dim and dateless past.’ Here, amongst a people most obliging and courteous in manner, the belief in the power of blessings and maledictions, in apparitions and banshees, in fairies and witches, in myths and dreams, in spectres and spells, in charms and elf-shooting, and in good and bad luck, still obtains to a greater or less extent. Old faiths and customs or usages die hard in a community which has had an unlimited stock of wonderful traditions, handed down from generation to generation, from the far-off past, whose imagination pictures even natural occurrences, if at all out of the range of comprehension, as the work of some direct supernatural agency. The lover of things and ways of other days must in a large measure regret the passing of that indescribable charm associated with the folk-lore of a highly imaginative, interesting, and romantic people."

9Emerson, John. "Passage Connects to Fort." Personal interview. 30 June 1979.

10O’Looney, Brian. "On Ancient Historic Tales in the Irish Language (XXXVI)." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Polite Literature and Antiquities 1 (1879): 222-23.
The souterrain at Rathcroghan is also known as the "Cave of the Cats," or "Ireland’s Hell-Gate." In "The Cave of Ainged," after Nera entered the cave
he was taken prisoner by the fairies, put to work, and compelled to marry one of their women. He finally managed to escape, and returned to the king with much information regarding the cave and its contents, enabling the army to break into the treasure house of the sídh and carry off great treasure. This tale may be read in its entirety here.

11Hobson 226-27.


 
Black Pig’s Dyke

1De Vismes Kane, William F. M. "The Black Pig’s Dyke: The Ancient Boundary Fortification of Uladh." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 27 (1908-1909): 301-302.

2Condit, Tom. "Travelling Earthwork Arrives at Tara." Archaeology Ireland 7.4 (1993): 10-12.
The term "traveling earthwork" is also used, but "linear earthwork" seems to be more common.

3Other names for the Black Pigs’ Dyke include: The Black Pigs Race, The Worm Ditch, The Worm’s Cast, Duncla, and the Dane’s Cast. ("Black Pigs Dyke – Regional Project." Roscommon County Council. Web. 02 June 2014. <http://goo.gl/DMhFj6>.) Some authors consider The Dorsey in Co. Armagh and The Dane’s Cast in Co. Down to be part of The Black Pig’s Dyke.

4Davies, O. "The Black Pig’s Dyke." Ulster Journal of Archaeology Third 18 (1955): 29-30.

5De Vismes Kane 303.
Kane presumed that the Dyke was intended to defend the Uladh from threats coming from the south due to fact that the rampart’s slope was deeper to that direction. Later excavation added details regarding the greater height of the northern-most bank and ditch defenses. (Walsh, Aidan. "Excavation at the Black Pig’s Dyke." Clogher Record 14.1 (1991): 9-26.)

6Braden, Una. "The Black Pig’s Dyke." Personal interview. 30 June 1998.
In the interview Braden acknowledges that the warnings to children about the Black Pig’s Dyke were "…probably another way for parents to say you better be home by twelve o’clock!"

7Rogers, R.S. "The Folklore of the Black Pig’s Dyke." Ulster Folklife 3.1 (1957): 30-31.
The author notes, "This story has the authentic ring of myth and it is so well diffused throughout the length of the three frontiers in association with the rampart that I have taken it as the basic story."
The genesis of the legend may have been a narrative found in "The Tale of the Fate of the Children of Tuireann," one of the three "Sorrowful Tales of Erin," where Cian, Father of Lugh, changes himself into a Druidical pig and begins rooting up the earth to save himself from the three sons of Tuireann, who wish to kill him. Two of the sons of Tuireann, however, are magically transformed into hunting dogs, and they pursue the man-pig into a grove of trees, where the third brother flings a spear at him and kills him.
Here are the outlines of some variants to the basic story, taken from the Rogers article and from others listed below:
Occasionally it is the mother and not the father of the boy that changes the schoolmaster into the pig.
Sometimes the story is concluded with the prophecy that there will be war in the valley of the Black Pig. This is dealt within in some detail toward the conclusion of the essay.
Kane (1908) recorded this variation: "…the three sons of Tureann resolved to take revenge on the Druid [schoolteacher]; and on the occasion of his changing himself into a black pig pursued and killed him near Cnoc-Cian-mic-Cainte, sometimes called Killeen Hill, which is north of Dundalk; and Cian’s grave was seen on the hill till about 1836, when a farmer named Dickie tore it down…"
Kane also recorded a version, near Granard, that inserts St. Patrick into the narrative: "When, however, the form of a black pig was assumed, St. Patrick took fresh courage, and, following the deep track or furrow that it left behind, succeeded at length in running it down at Granard, where the animal was killed, and the demon no more disturbed the countryside by his apparition."
Brian Sherry (1993) noted that "It was also widely believed in mid-Monaghan that before the end of the world The Black Pig would return and flatten the Dyke again."
Fionnuala Williams (1978) noted that: "Other methods of preventing the schoolmaster from changing himself back into human form were by closing or burning his book. An alternative to all these was to procure special hounds such as a pup of the first litter or a pure black bitch with no rib of white hair and simply lie in wait for the schoolmaster when he was out hunting with his pupils. He could also be shot with silver: pure black dogs and pure silver were believed to have the power to overcome supernatural beasts.
Our virtual-reality work in the area of Kiltycloger near where this story was collected was completed with the assistance of guidebook author Anthony Weir. Here is a photograph of three of the four members of the group: Anthony Weir, Malcomb Walker, and Robin Goldbaum (July 15 2013).

8De Vismes Kane 302.
Kane included both The Dorsey and The Dane’s Cast in his assessment of The Black Pig’s Dyke. He further claimed that John O’Donovan would have been inclined to agree with the more expansive map of the Dyke had the government allowed him to continue his field researches.

9De Vismes Kane 321.
To provide a dating framework for the Dyke, Kane largely relied on annalistic evidence: "But since the new frontier of Ulster was fixed during the reign of Tuathal Teachtmar, i.e. A.D. 130 160, the trench cannot have been made earlier ; and, on the other hand, this defensive boundary must have been put up before 332, when the destruction of Emania, and the overthrow of the Ultonian dynasty after 600 years’ duration, were accomplished by the three Collas."

10The sources for the map animation were De Vismes Kane, W.F. "Additional Researches on the Black Pig’s Dyke." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 33 (1916-1917): Pl. XLVIII; and Walsh, Aidan. "Excavation at the Black Pig’s Dyke." Clogher Record 14.1 (1991): Fig. 1.

11Davies 29-31.
As evidence of how folklore is contaminated with published theories, the author states that the monument once called locally "The Duncla" assumed the name "Black Pig’s Race" by 1908 once it was so referenced in print.

12"Black Pig’s Dyke." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 May 2014. Web. 02 June 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Pig%27s_Dyke>

13De Vismes Kane 303-04.

14Lynch, Michael. "Dismay at Cavan County Council Quarry Decision." Indymedia Ireland RSS., 14 Sept. 2006. Web. 02 June 2014. <http://www.indymedia.ie/article/78401>.
The earlier article may be viewed here.

15Walsh, Aidan. "Excavation at the Black Pig’s Dyke." Clogher Record 14.1 (1991): 15-26.
Not only was Walsh’s work the first scientific excavation of the Black Pig’s Dyke, it was also the first professional archaeological dig ever to take place in Co Monaghan, according to this newspaper story. As a part of the 2012-2017 Co Monaghan Heritage Plan, a new archeological exploration of the Dyke has been proposed. More details here.

16De Vismes Kane 306.

17Lett, H.W., and W.J. Fennell. "The Great Wall of Ulidia; Commonly Known as "The Dane’s Cast", or "Gleann Na Muice Duibhe" Ulster Journal of Archaeology 3.1 (1896): 23-29.
In a subsequent article in the next issue of the journal the author speculated on the naming of such ancient monuments: "They saw about them remarkable features, and had to account for them; they heard about the Danes as terrible warriors, and so attributed these wonders to them; hence ‘Danes’ Forts,’ "’the Dane’s Cast,’ and similarly, ‘Giants’ Graves,’ ‘Big Stones,’ &c.–all names given by a people who knew nothing of the real authors or origin of the things they named."

18Walsh 10-12.

19De Vismes Kane, W.F. "Additional Researches on the Black Pig’s Dyke." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 33 (1916-1917): 544-45.
Kane acknowledges that manuscript sources and local folklore confirm the traditional site of the pillar stone outside the village of Rathiddy, in Co. Louth.

20Fergusson, James. Rude Stone Monuments in All Countries Their Age and Uses. London: J. Murray, 1872. 294. Quoting W. Hackett.
Another source has further accounts of the natural features in folklore attributed to the Black Pig: "In Co. Monaghan, in the townland of Knocknacran, there is a field called ‘Poll na muic’ which has indentations said to have been made when the pig rolled there or when he lay there to rest. The field is three cornered and fields of an unusual shape like this tend to attract attention. In addition to having made indentations the Black Pig is also believed to have caused certain lakes and rivers." (Williams, Fionnuala. "The Black Pig’s Dyke and Linear Earthworks." Emania: Bulletin of the Navan Research Group 3 (1978): 15-18.)

21Rogers 33.
The two locations where the author encountered the story of railway train as the Black Pig were Redhills and Ballinamore.

22O’Kearney, Nicholas. The Prophecies of Ss. Columbkille, Maeltamlacht, Ultan, Seadhna, Coireall, Bearcan, Malacy, &tc, Dublin: John O’Daly, 1836. 7-8.
The author, whose text contains his own Colm Cille "prophecies" of dubious provenance, quotes the "Valley of the Black Pig" prophecy in order to decry its authenticity. This book may be read in its entirety here.

23Hull, Eleanor. "The Black Pig of Kiltrustan." Folklore 29.3 (1918): 228-30.
The author asserts that "The re-appearance of the Black Pig at this moment appears to be by no means an accidental occurrence. The so-called Prophecy of St. Columcille, to which reference is made, is a long, ill-written, and quite recent prose tract which has been widely circulated and is firmly believed in the North of Ireland."

24De Vismes Kane 322-28.

25O’Donovan, John, Eugene O’Curry, Thomas O’Connor, and George Petrie. Letters Containing Information Relative to the Antiquities of Kildare II (v. 13). Collected during the Progress of the Ordnance Survey, 1834-41, Ed. Michael O’Flanaghan. Bray. 1927.

26O’Kearney 13-16.
This book may be read in its entirety here.
"To hell or Connacht" was the phrase Oliver Cromwell used in describing where the native Irish Catholic population might relocate once their lands were confiscated by the English.
The author ascribes the origin of the false prophecies of St. Colm Cille thus: "The great compound of falsehood is embodied in a book of considerable size, purporting to be the genuine version of the Prophecies of St. Columbkille, which has been printed in Bow Street, Manchester, about 20 years ago. This pretended prophecy is an amalgamation of some few sentences found in the prophetic writings of the saint, a portion of the predictions attributed to Nixon, a considerable portion of localized pythonicism, and a suitable leaven of pagan traditionary lore. This book was pompously announced as the Prophecies of St. Columbkille — was eagerly bought, and no estimation can be formed of the amount of injury its perusal may have done to the people into whose hands it found its way. The original of this pseudo-prophecy, an old MS. copy of which has been once in our hands, purported to have been written, more probably compiled, by one Stephen Carpenter of Moynalty, county of Meath. But when this personage lived, and whether he pretended to have been a prophet himself, or a simple prophecy-monger, we are unable to ascertain at present. One thing, however, is certain, that he executed his task with a surprising cunning and tact, rarely to be found possessed by an ordinary country peasant. Those spurious prophecies have been, and are now a being published in different editions, varying in price from one halfpenny to a shilling!"
While O’Kearney sought to distance himself from the supposed Colm Cille prophecy of the massacre at The Valley of the Black Pig, he also, according to O’Donovan and others, was responsible for his own book of completely spurious Colm Cille prophecy. O’Donovan wrote: "Of all the silly prophecies attributed to St. Columbkille, THAT now published by O’Kearney is out and out the most absurd and the most barefacedly silly and impertinent! It is, in fact, a most daring fabrication in very bad Irish, by some very silly man, who has attempted to imitate ancient Irish poetical composition, without having sufficient skill to hide modern spelling and local idioms. The fabricator of the poem is either O’Kearney himself, or some very silly and ignorant person who has imposed upon him." (Madden, R.R. Exposure of Literary Frauds and Forgeries Concocted in Ireland, Spurious Predictions Designated Prophecies of St. Columbkille. Dublin: John P. Fowler, 1806. 2.)

27Cambrensis, Giraldus. The Historical Works, Containing The Topography of Ireland and the History of the Conquest of Ireland, Tr. by Thomas Forrester; The Itinerary through Wales, and the Description of Wales, Tr. by Sir Richard Colt Hoare. Ed. Thomas Wright. London: George Bell & Sons, 1905. 279-80.
O’Donovan (December 12th 1837) attributes the spread of the false Colm Cille prophecy to Giraldus Cambrensis: "Cambrensis states that that the prophecies of Colbumbkille were preserved in books in his time and that the Irish people believed in them with the most implicit faith." (O’Donovan, John, Eugene O’Curry, Thomas O’Connor, and George Petrie. Letters Containing Information Relative to the Antiquities of Kildare II (v. 13). Collected during the Progress of the Ordnance Survey, 1834-41, Ed. Michael O’Flanaghan. Bray. 1927. 80.) However, in this online translation of Giraldus’ Expugnatio Hibernica ("Conquest of Ireland") there is no mention of the Valley of the Black Pig in the prophecy attributed to St. Colm Cille. It may be that O’Donovan and others erred in identifying Giraldus" account of Colm Cille’s prophecy with the Valley of the Black Pig.

28Crawford, Henry Scott. "The Black Pig of Kiltrustan." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Sixth 8.1 (1918): 80-82.
Kiltrustan is near Strokestown, Co. Roscommon. The account of the sighting of the Black Pig also corresponds with some traditional fairy lore: "Crowds, full of awe, are visiting the place and the children of the parish are in a state of terror. Two men who cut a tree on an old rath or fort are ill, and many attribute their illness to the appearance of the pig."

29Henderson, Lynda. "Review: At the Black Pig’s Dyke." Theatre Ireland 30 (1993): 50-52.
This reviewer noted that this part of the Irish borderlands is hardly diluted "in its pagan sensibilities," citing the enduring popularity of "rural blood-sports like cock fighting and badger baiting [which] survived here after they had died out elsewhere."

30Woods, Vincent. "At the Black Pig’s Dyke." Far from the Land: New Irish Plays. Ed. John Fairleigh. London: Methuen Drama, 1998. 3.

31Yeats, W. B. The Wind among the Reeds. London: E. Mathews, 1899.
The author’s notes on this poem are found in: Yeats, W. B. Later Poems. New York: Macmillan, 1924. 358.


 
Burren Forest Giant’s Grave

1Wood-Martin, W. G. Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland. Vol. 1. London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1902. 351-52.

2Johnson, Howard. "The Giant’s Grave." Personal interview. 30 June 1998.
Wood-Martin recounts a similar story of a megalithic tomb’s origin as the grave of a giant who lost a battle: "Popular tradition asserts that a " giant’s grave" in the townland of Lickerstown, county Kilkenny, about 25 feet long and 12 broad, had been erected over "Ceadach the Great." The legend, preserved in the locality, which accounts for the death and burial of the giant, relates that he had quarreled with another Irish Goliath, named Goll, and they chose this spot to decide their difference in single combat. Two of Goll’s friends accompanied him to the ground, but Ceadach came alone, mounted on an enchanted horse, by means of which he traversed space instantaneously. A tree is shown marking the spot where the wonderful animal stood whilst the champions fought on foot. After a prolonged and desperate encounter Ceadach was victorious; but Goll, in a dying effort, pierced him through the heart with his spear, upon which the magical horse flew away through the air to his master’s palace, conveying the news of his fall. On one of the rocks forming the monument indentations were pointed out, the imprints made by Ceadach as he fell. Goll’s body was removed by his two friends, but Ceadach’s was interred upon the spot." (Wood-Martin, W. G. Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland. Vol. 1. London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1902. 351-52.)

3Weir, Anthony. "County Cavan – Selected Monuments." Gazetteer of Irish Prehistoric Monuments. Web. 19 Mar. 2013. <http://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/cavan.htm>.

4De Valera, Ruaidhrí, and Seán Ó.Nualláin. Survey of the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Vol. III, Counties Galway-Roscommon-Leitrim-Longford-Westmeath-Laoighis-Offaly-Kildare-Caven. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1972. 106-108.
Of the gap at the bottom of the septal stone, the survey authors wrote: "Its edges are flaked but it is not clear whether this is a contrived feature or a fortuitous break along the edge of the stone."

5Johnson.

6Frankcom, G., and J.H. Musgrave. The Irish Giant. London: Gerald Duckworth & Co., Ltd., 1976. 9-10.
According to Prof. John Waddell, giants have a particular position in Irish tradition: "In many primitive mythologies giants appear to provide an anthropological explanation for the forces of nature, but in Judaeo-Christian thinking they represent the evil result of the abandonment of the law of God. In Irish tradition, however, disparity in size is a sign of belonging to a former age or to another world. It may well be that in early medieval Ireland some megalithic and pagan monuments were seen as the burial places of giants and some may have produced bones that would have seemed to prove the case." (Waddell, John. Foundation Myths: The Beginnings of Irish Archaeology. Bray, Co. Wicklow: Wordwell, 2005. 11.)

7Otway, Caesar. Sketches in Erris and Tyrawly, Illustrative of the Scenery, Antiquities, Architectural Remains, and the Manners and Superstitions of the Irish Peasantry. Dublin: T. Connolly, 1850. 38.
Otway continues, comparing the ancient Irish builders of the megalithic monuments with the prehistoric Native Americans: "They were unaccountably exterminated by a far inferior people, just as the existing races of American red men have destroyed the more intelligent people that flourished before them, and who have left incontestable traces of their existence in the remains of their arms and their buildings, as now found along the Ohio, and in other central parts of the North American continent. In the same way the Tuatha Danaan have here left the cromleachs, the giants’ graves, the stone circles, the doons and cassiols, the Cyclopean walls, and the crypts and covered caves, that are to be found under our moats, and raths, and cairns."

8Wood-Martin.

9Daniel, Glyn. Megaliths in History. London: Thames and Hudson, 1972. 16-18.
According to another source, the monument from which the giant was briefly resurrected was "a cromlech of Fintona." The giant was identified as a "swinherd to King Laogaire." (Bonwick, James. Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions. London: Griffith, Farran & Co., 1894. 218.)

10Wood-Martin 25.


 
Caherconree

1Cross, Tom Peete, and Clark Harris. Slover. Ancient Irish Tales. New York: H. Holt, 1936. 328-32.

2Smith, Charles. The Ancient and Present State of the County of Kerry. Containing a Natural, Civil, Ecclesiastical, Historical and Topographical Description Thereof. Dublin: Printed for the Author, 1756. 156-59.

3Cuppage, Judith. Archaeological Survey of the Dingle Peninsula: a Description of the Field Antiquities of the Barony of Corca Dhuibhne from the Mesolithic Period to the 17th Century A.D. Ballyferriter: Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, 1986. 81.
The authors report that a stone trough found at the site was apparently removed in the early 19th century and is now located in a house near Killorglin.

4Halpin, Andy, and Conor Newman. Ireland: an Oxford Archaeological Guide to Sites from Earliest times to AD 1600. Oxford: Oxford Univ., 2006. 510.

5Lynch, P.J. "Caherconree, County Kerry." Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, First Quarter, 1899. 6.

6Cross 328.

7Yellow Book of Lecan." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 25 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Book_of_Lecan>.

8MacCana, Proinsias. Celtic Mythology. London: Hamlyn, 1970. 100-01.

9Horgan, Mathew, John Windle, and Edward Vaughan Kenealy. Cahir Conri a Metrical Legend. Cork: P.J. Crowe, 1860. xxv.

10Cross 332.

11"Cú Roí." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 25 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cú_Ro%C3%AD>.

12Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone. A Celtic Miscellany; Translations from the Celtic Literatures. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971. 27-9.

13Lynch 16.

14Lynch, P.J. "A Relic of Caherconree." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Fifth 40.4 (1910): 357-60.
"Through the kindness of Mr. Foley I have been able to examine the stone, and take the photograph which accompanies these notes. It is a trough, cut out of a stone, which measures 4 feet 4 inches by 3 feet 3 inches on the outside, and 1 foot 1 inch in thickness. It has always been known as "Finn Mac Cumhaill’s Saucer." Its history, as far as I could learn, is that it was at Caherconree-where it may be presumed it got its name- up to the year 1830, or about that time, when it was brought down from the mountain by some of the men of this district, and presented to Mr. Michael Foley, of Anglont, who was the grandfather of the present owner…The trough is of the red sandstone of the mountain. The sinking is regularly cut to about 7 inches deep, forming a vessel of that depth, as shown by the sections, and 3 feet 3 inches long by 2 feet 2 inches wide, capable of holding about twenty-five gallons. In later years its earlier associations would appear to have been forgotten, and at one time it was utilized for farm purposes. At this time, Mr. Foley informed me, a hole was formed in one end near the bottom, and an overflow notch cut on the top; otherwise it has suffered little injury."

15"Caherconree." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 25 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caherconree>.

16Horgan 24.

Note: The image of a page from the Yellow Book of Lecan is from the "Irish Script on Screen" (ISOS) project of the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. The Yellow Book of Lecan is in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, MS 1318. The page shown contains columns 955 and 956. The Tragic Death of Cu Roi MacDaire is actually in column 776, not available at this resource.


 
Cahergal, Leacanabuaile, and Ballycarbery

1Ginsberg, Robert. The Aesthetics of Ruins. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004. 107.

2Cahergal and Leacanabuaile 15 June 2001. Information sign at The Old Barracks Heritage Centre. Caherciveen.
A similar Cahergal legend told of "…an underground passage, supposed to lead through the mountains to Cloc-na-Natin (The Temple of Fire)." (Bean, Kathleen. "Cahergall." Kerry Archaeological Magazine 2 (1912-1914): 155-57.)
According to NUI-Galway archaeologist Michelle Comber, "Most have only one exit/entrance, i.e. are ‘dead-ends’, not leading anywhere. Some do have an exit, e.g. the souterrain at Leacanabuaile cashel…leads from inside one of its internal houses under the cashel and exits through a hole at the rear of the cashel wall, providing a possible escape route. Souterrains do not, however, run for great lengths, and never connect one monument with another – despite this being a favourite local tale in most parts of Ireland!" (Comber, Michelle. "Souterrains." Message to the author. 14 Feb. 2012. E-mail.)

3"Cahergal and Leacanabuaile Forts." – Strollingguides, Information & Photographs. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. <http://www.strollingguides.co.uk/books/kerry/places/cahergal.php>.
While most archaeologists today would date the stone ringforts of Southwestern Ireland to the Early Historical period, others would place them earlier, in the later Iron Age. The sign at the Cahergal site indicates, " It is likely that somebody of importance lived here abut 1,000 years ago."

4Lecky, John, and M.J.D. "Notes on Some Kerry Antiquities: Cahergal and Other Fort." Kerry Archaeological Magazine 3.13 (1914): 49-54.
This article states, "Inside the fort are remains of two buildings; at the north side a rectangular building, and in the middle a bee-hive cell. Both are much ruined, and the masonry very much more rough and inferior to that of the fort…"
The focus on Cahergal and Leacanabuaile may be circumstantial, as these types of forts are the most likely to survive. as one author noted, "Elsewhere, as we know from both written and archaeological records, houses were normally of timber or clay, or of both combined. In other words, houses, as we might expect, were built of whatever suitable material came most readily to hand. Unfortunately timber and clay houses seldom leave clearly intelligible traces for the excavator. Hence the accidental prominence achieved by sites like Leacanabuaile…" (Duignan, Michael. "Irish Agriculture in Early Historic Times." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 14.3 (1944): 132-34.)
A partial excavation in 1991concluded, "Very few artefacts were recovered and none that are datable. There was little evidence for activity on the site prior to the construction of the clochán with only a couple of small features clearly predating it." ("Kerry 1991:070 ‘Cahergal’, Kimego West, Stone fort" Excavations.ie. Searchable Database of Irish Excavation Reports. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. <http://www.excavations.ie/Pages/Details.php?Year=&County=Kerry&id=3234>.)

5Croker, Thomas Crofton, and Sigerson Clifford. Legends of Kerry. Tralee, Ireland: Geraldine, 1972. 21-22.

6Bean, Kathleen. "Cahergall." Kerry Archaeological Magazine 2 (1912-1914): 155-57.

7Cahergal and Leacanabuaile 15 June 2001. Information sign at The Old Barracks Heritage Centre. Caherciveen. The direct translation is taken from the sign at the site of the monument. The sign in the Heritage Centre defines the word buaile as "milking ground" and "booleying" as the movement of cows to higher pastures for grazing during the warmer months of the summer. The sign further suggests that Leacanabuaile may have been a habitation site used only in the summer months. However it may also be that the name, with its reference to "booleying" reflects the fort’s usage as a cattle pen centuries after its principal occupation.

8O Riordain, S.P., and J.B. Foy. "The Excavation of Leacanabuaile Stone Fort, near Caherciveen, Co. Kerry." Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 46 (1941): 92-97. The article concludes, "The finds from Leacanabuaile are comparatively poor in number and character and are, further, such as give no good chronological data on which the occupation of the fort might be dated. Most are types that have a long archaeological history in this country. The general nature of the finds and particularly the evidence of the bronze ring·headed pin suggests a date in the Early Christian Period. The large flat quern…might be used as an argument for a late date but that such querns were used early in the Christian Period in this country is shown by the finding of one in the large fort at Garranes, Co. Cork the occupation of which is dated to about 500 A.D. The close dating of the Leacanabuaile site is not possible, but it may be noted that the finds correspond to material from sites dated by more significant objects to the ninth and tenth centuries A.D. The poverty of the finds suggests the poverty of the inhabitants."

9O Riordain.
From the report, "While the site could, before excavation, be recognised as a stone fort there was little to indicate the nature of the structures subsequently discovered. The walls had fallen and the whole structure was covered with a light earthen sod. The inner wall-face of the enclosing wall was discernible in two places only, and only a few feet showed there." The excavator also noted, regarding the rectangular house in the center of the fort, "This present stage of the dwelling is not original, for earlier there had been no rectangular house, but only three separate clochans, two of which have been removed to make way for the more commodious and convenient rectangular structure."

10O Riordain.
One visitor reports that, "The original entrance to this souterrain is tiny and a new entrance has been created into the wall-chamber. The gate to this is unlocked, but very stiff. A headlamp would be needed to investigate the passage as no light gets in there. One of the slabs in the wall of the souterrain has carvings on it." ("Kimego West Stone Fort, County Kerry (Leacanabuaile)." Megalithomania. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. <http://megalithomania.com/show/site/2120/leacanabuaile_stone_fort.htm>.)

11Chatterton, Georgiana. Rambles in the South of Ireland during the Year 1838. London: Saunders and Otley, 1839. 301-07.
This book may be read in its entirety here.

12Duignan, Michael. "Irish Agriculture in Early Historic Times." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 14.3 (1944): 132-34.

13S.M. "Ballycarbery Castle." Kerry Archaeological Magazine 3.16 (1916): 243-59.
The documented dates of the fall of other castles in the area led the author to date the fall of Ballycarbery to a date before June of 1652.
The author adds, "Tradition states that the forces of the Lord Protector battered it with guns from the tide way which flows up to a short distance below it. We are informed that some antiquarians who visited the castle expressed an opinion that the besiegers, after capturing it, must have blown it up from the inside, as was done in the case of Dunboy Castle in 1602. The present writer remembers having, in the days of his youth, seen large blocks of ruined masonry lying about on the southern and eastern sides of the castle, and this would seem to bear out the above opinion."
In a 1597 letter to Queen Elizabeth, she was warned that "…her Majesty ought to have great regard on whom she hestoweth the Castle of Ballycarbrye and the haven of Bealynche [Valencia], which is a very large and fair haven, and in a remote place, dangerous to be in any man’s hands that shall favor any common enemy."

14S.M.

15Croker.
Another legend of Ballycarbery Castle describes the rivalry between two O’Connell brothers living in the castle, each of who wish to host the visiting MacCarthy Mór. Since both brothers could not agree which of them would have the honor of hosting the visiting lord, MacCarthy Mór decided that his party would dine with whichever brother had the feast prepared first. "That very night the elder brother, with a view to cutting off from his brother upstairs all supplies of fuel and water, ordered that all doors and passages leading to the upper floor should be locked, and also set a guard to prevent their being opened. This the younger brother coming to know, had no alternative but to have his pots and pans filled with Spanish wine, wherein all his meat was boiled over as many fires of liquorish as were requisite. In this way he succeeded in having dinner ready much earlier than the elder brothel’, and having the honour of entertaining MacCarthy More with his lady and suite." (S.M. "Ballycarbery Castle." Kerry Archaeological Magazine 3.16 (1916): 243-59.)
A modern controversy about the authenticity of the MacCarthy Mór hereditary title may be read here.

16Lecky 51.
After the complaint about the damage inflicted on the castle wall was printed in the local newspaper in 1910, the property agent wrote, "Immediately on seeing your letter in reference to the fine old Ballycarbery Castle, I went to see the building, and I find that the tenant occupying the farm adjoining has removed about 25 feet of the outer wall at the south side; the wall measured 6 feet by 8 feet high. He has also removed a large quantity of loose stones which were lying around the building. I cautioned the tenant against interfering again with the ruins; and I do not think he will allow any further trespass to be committed." (Cochrane, Robert. "Ballycarbery Castle, County Kerry." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Fifth 40.1 (1910): 56-57.)


 
Cairn Thierna

1Croker, Thomas Crofton. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland. Part II. London: John Murray, 1828. 275-79.

2FitzPatrick, Elizabeth. Royal Inauguration in Gaelic Ireland C. 1100-1600: A Cultural Landscape Study. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell, 2004. 88.
Directions to hike the trail up to Cairn Thierna may be found here.

3Borlase, William Copeland. The Dolmens of Ireland Their Distribution, Structural Characteristics, (…). Vol. 1. London: Chapman & Hall, 1897. 1-13.
The author writes, "The cist found in Carn Thierna seems to have been of such dimensions as to justify its classification as a dolmen in a cairn." Borlase quotes Windele’s manuscript in which he describes the intact urn found at Cairn Thierna: "The following was the measurement:- Height 5.4 inches; diameter at top 5.75 inches; breadth at base 3 inches;.thickness 3/16th of an inch. It was of a pale reddish colour, of unbaked [?] clay, and rudely carved with lozenges, &c. It had a conical sort of cap." Windele’s engraving of the urn was found in Jewitt, Llewellynn. "Ancient Irish Art. The Fictilia of the Cairns and Crannogs." The Art Journal ns 3 (1877): 327. The engraving is captioned: "A most remarkable urn found at Cairn Thierna, county Cork (engraved in the Archaeological Journal), has its outline totally different from others and is elaborately and delicately ornamented, over almost its entire surface."

4Smith, Charles. The Antient and Present State of the County and City of Cork: In Four Books … Vol. 1. Dublin: Printed by A. Reilly for the Author, and Sold by J. Exshaw, 1750. 166-67. This selection may be read here.
A topographical dictionary in 1837 described Cairn Thierna: "The Lords cairn or pile, so named, according to some, from having been the place where the Tierna or chieftain assembled his followers and chose their leaders; or, according to others, from having been a place of pagan worship to the sun." (Lewis, Samuel. "Rathcormac Civil Parish." A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland: Comprising the Several Counties, Cities, Boroughs, Corporate, Market, and Post Towns, Parishes, and Villages, with Historical and Statistical Descriptions. London: Lewis, 1837.)

5Doherty, Tony. "Loopy about Fermoy’s Loops." The Irish Times. N.p., 3 Dec. 2011. Web. 06 Aug. 2012. <http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/travel/2011/1203/1224308504733.html>.

6Croker. An 1848 treatment of this story, in verse, may be read here.

7Croker 302-14.


 
The Calf House

1de La Tocnaye, Jacques-Louis. Promenade D’un Français Dans L’Irlande. Dublin: n.p., 1797. 164-66.
The Cabinteely monument of which the author writes may be seen here. The full text of this book may be read here in English and here in the original French.

2Photographs of these structures may be seen here.

3De Valera, Ruaidhrí, and Seán Ó Nualláin. Survey of the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Vol. III, Counties Galway-Roscommon-Leitrim-Longford-Westmeath-Laoighis-Offaly-Kildare-Caven. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1972. 108-109.

4Lowry-Corry, Dorothy, and Phyllis Richardson. "Megalithic Monuments in the Parish of Killinagh, Co. Cavan. With Notes on Some in the Parish of Killesher, Co. Fermanagh." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 7.2 (1937): 164-65.

5Weir, Anthony. "County Cavan – Selected Monuments." Gazetteer of Irish Prehistoric Monuments. Web. 02 Apr. 2013. <http://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/cavan.htm>.
The author notes the masonry-formed doorway, and writes, "This is reminiscent of the tombs of the French Causses which have been made into shepherd-huts."

6De Valera.

7"Lough Gur." Gentleman’s Magazine 1 (1833): 109.
"An old woman had resided in it for many years and on her death the covering stones were thrown off and it was left in its present state by ‘money diggers’ who only found some burned bones in an old jug that surely was not worth one brass farthing."

8Borlase, William Copeland. The Dolmens of Ireland Their Distribution, Structural Characteristics, (…). Vol. 2. London: Chapman & Hall, 1897. 397.
Evans, E. Estyn. Prehistoric and Early Christian Ireland; a Guide. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1966. 64.

9Cooney, Gabriel. "Megalithic Tombs in Their Environmental Setting: A Settlement Perspective." Landscape Archaeology in Ireland. Ed. Terrence Reeves-Smyth and Fred Hamond. Oxford: British Archaeology Reports, 1983. 189.

10"The Druid’s Alt:" Alt means "height," as used in Co. Tyrone, where a monument also featured in Voices from the Dawn, called St. Patrick’s Chair, is located in Altadaven, or "The Devil’s Height."
In the United States, at approximately the same time, rather than using the Druid nomenclature, tourism in the newly opened Death Valley of California and Nevada was developed using the cachet of the Devil, i.e. Devil’s Golf Course, Devil’s Cornfield, and Devil’s Hole.

11Mortimer, Neil. Stukeley Illustrated: William Stukeley’s Rediscovery of Britain’s Ancient Sites. London: Green Magic, 2003. 11.
A travel journal of 1852 suggested, "Many Irish cromleachs have been subjected to examination, sepulchral urns and even while human skeletons have been found under some of them. Can it be possible that the feeling and usage prevalent still, of burying under Christian altars and supposed holy places, is also a lingering vestige of Druidism?" (Ochille, F. Antiquarian Rambles on the South Coast: A Hand-Book to the ‘Holy Citie of Ardmore’ County of Waterford: Being Rough Sketches of its Antiquities, Legends and Scenery. Youghal: John W. Lindsay, 1852. 63.)

12Hadingham, Evan. Circles and Standing Stones. New York: Walker and Co., 1975. 168+.

13Professor Michael O’Kelly took such experimentation even further while excavating a fulacht fiadh at Ballyvourney in Co. Cork. Using a 4.5 kg (10 lb) leg of mutton, he tied it inside a bundle of straw to keep out the muddy grit from the water. He then lowered the bundle of meat into the boiling water. (O’Kelly, Michael. "Excavations and Experiments in Ancient Irish Cooking-Places." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 84.2 (1954): 121-22)

14Waddell, John. Foundation Myths: The Beginnings of Irish Archaeology. Bray, Co. Wicklow: Wordwell, 2005. 187.


 
Carrowkeel Passage Tomb Complex

1Thomson, Chris. "Carrowkeel." Story Archaeology. 26 Nov. 2012. Web. 09 Nov. 2013. <http://storyarchaeology.com/2012/11/26/carrowkeel/>.

2St. Joseph, J.K.S., and E.R. Norman. The Early Development of Irish Society, the Evidence of Aerial Photography. London: Cambridge UP, 1969. 37.
Archaeologist Sam Moore noted in 2008: "Scant evidence of artifacts shows activity throughout the Bronze Age with Iron Age activity being centred around the Caves of Keshcorran. It is entirely possible, but difficult to prove, that the passage tombs and access to the monuments and the landscape around them became taboo or restricted." (Moore, Sam. "Myths and Folklore as Aids in Interpreting the Prehistoric Landscape at the Carrowkeel Passage Tomb Complex, Co. Sligo, Ireland." Folk Beliefs and Practice in Medieval Lives. Ed. Ann-Britt Falk and Donata M. Kyritz. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2008.)

3Moore, Sam. "Myths and Folklore as Aids in Interpreting the Prehistoric Landscape at the Carrowkeel Passage Tomb Complex, Co. Sligo, Ireland." Folk Beliefs and Practice in Medieval Lives. Ed. Ann-Britt Falk and Donata M. Kyritz. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2008.
Moore noted about the Ordnance Survey: "By having a name a particular space is given some importance, but this importance is ignored in many cases by the surveyors… Perhaps they were not seen as important – they are on hill-tops in out of the way places; they were a place apart from settlement; away from roads and productive land – places without much economic value. This absence of attention concerning the passage tombs and cairns continued beyond the production of the 1837 Ordnance Survey maps and, due in part to those who used the maps in later periods, failed to get any attention from antiquarians until seventy four years later. The complex’s liminal place in the landscape was perhaps one of the reasons that attracted the passage tomb builders in the first place and an aspect this liminality meant it became a place apart, an almost forgotten cultural landscape that no one went to."

4Macalister, R.A.S., E.C.R. Armstrong, and R.L.I. Praeger. "Report on the Exploration of Bronze-Age Carns on Carrowkeel Mountain, Co. Sligo." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 29 (1911/1912): 322-23.
This cairn, which has a fence running across the top of it, was described thus by Macalister: "The name seems to indicate that it stood open, and fairly complete, so suggesting the idea of a "house," till it was wrecked by the fence-builders."
The only other local name reported in the complex was noted by John Wilmot in a blog post, but is not found elsewhere. He indicated that the destroyed Cairn D is called the "Fairy Circle". (Willmott, John. "Carrowkeel Cairns." Tales From The Labyrinth. 14 Oct. 2006. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. <http://celticways.blogspot.com/2006/10/carrowkeel-cairns.html>.)
The Caves of Kesh are invoked in legends of King Cormac, Fionn Mac Cumhail , and the Dagda’s son. The Heapstown Cairn figures in the legendary Battle of Moytura.

5Aviva, Elyn, and Gary C. White. Powerful Places in Ireland. Santa Fe, NM: Pilgrims Process, 2011. 272.
The authors write that "the powerful nature of Carrowkeel transcends any religion."

In 1998 I was leading a group of students from Bradley University on a "photo safari" to Ireland. We assembled for a panoramic group portrait inside Cairn K.

6Byrne, Martin. "Carrowkeel Megalithic Complex." The Sacred Island. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. <http://www.carrowkeel.com/sites/carrowkeel/carrowkeel.html>.

7Killanin, Michael Morris, and Michael V. Duignan. The Shell Guide to Ireland. London: Ebury P. in Association with George Rainbird, 1967. 70.

8Hensey, Robert, Pádraig Meehan, Marion Dowd, and Sam Moore. "A Century of archaeology—historical excavation and modern research at the Carrowkeel passage tombs, County Sligo." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 114 (2014): 1-31.
Macalister’s hasty excavations at Carrowkeel, and the ruinous state in which he left some of the cairns has engendered the lore that he used dynamite in the process. While the use of dynamite was not unheard of in some excavations of the era, there is no evidence that Macalister did so. Archaeologist Sam Moore has suggested that Macalister’s reputation has suffered due to the fact that he was the least likable of the three investigators in 1911: "The [dynamite] myth may have originated from locals’ dislike for him and his methods perhaps. An elderly lady told me her father had met them during the dig in 1911 and said that he liked all of them apart from Macalister." (Moore, Sam. "Carrowkeel Folklore." Message to the author. 22 Oct. 2013. E-mail.)
Macalister himself described his seeming haste and (by modern standards) destructive methods in his excavation of Cairn F: "Some very large blocks had to be removed, and it was decided to drop them into the antechamber, now thoroughly explored, as the labour of removing them entirely from the excavation would have been extremely heavy. Eventually, all the remaining material from the inner chamber was piled into the antechamber, filling it to a height of 10 feet…" (Macalister, R.A.S., E.C.R. Armstrong, and R.L.I. Praeger. "Report on the Exploration of Bronze-Age Carns on Carrowkeel Mountain, Co. Sligo." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 29 (1911/1912): 317-18.)
Similarly destructive excavations have serious impacted the Co. Meath passage tombs of Dowth, and at Loughcrew Cairn D.

9Praeger, R. Lloyd. The Way That I Went; an Irishman in Ireland. Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, 1937. 136-41.

10Macalister’s title for his report ("Report on the Exploration of Bronze-Age Carns…) demonstrates the confidence of his Bronze Age dating of the cairns. He also sought correlate the dating of the monuments with ancient literature, such as the eleventh century Lebor Gabála Erenn (the "Book of Invasions").

11Hensey, Robert, Pádraig Meehan, Marion Dowd, and Sam Moore. "A Century of archaeology—historical excavation and modern research at the Carrowkeel passage tombs, County Sligo." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 114 (2014): 1-31.
Archaeologists now understand Carrowkeel to be for the most part a Middle Neolithic monument, not one of Bronze Age origin. While this presumption was until recently based on comparisons to other sites, recent discoveries have confirmed the Neolithic origin of the monuments using radiocarbon dating of bone fragments from the tombs.

12Moore "Myths and Folklore"
According to the author, evidence of secondary cist burials were found in cairn B. Macalister found in Cairn O "heaped up discs of sandstone, burnt and unburnt bone and ashes with a secondary vase food vessel placed above these."

13Hensey 18.

14Cooney, Gabriel. "The Passage Tomb Phenomenon in Ireland." Archaeology Ireland 11.3 (Supplement: Brú Na Bóinne) (1997): 7.
The author explains the elaboration of passage tombs as the phenomena spread from the west coast of Ireland to its east "as indicating a greater separation of what went on inside the tomb from the outside world. It would seem that over time the placement of bones and contact with the ancestors become more rarefied activities, the domain of elders and/or shamans who were recognised as being skilled in dealing with the spirit world."
Another possible explanation is offered by Alison Sheridan, who asserted that" the development of Irish passage tombs can best be understood in terms of the attempts of competing groups to outdo each other in the hallowing of the dead. In this particular case, then, the ideology of death appears to have been harnessed closely to the power politics of the living, and used as a medium for the assertion of status." (Sheridan, Alison. "Megaliths and Megalomania: An Account, and Interpretation, of the Development of Passage Tombs in Ireland." The Journal of Irish Archaeology 3 (1985/1986): 30.)

15Moore, Sam. "Carrowkeel Complex." Message to the author. 30 Oct. 2013. E-mail.
For his research, Moore divided the Bricklieve mountains into two study areas, Carrowkeel and Keshcorran. There are 15 cairns in the Carrowkeel area (16 including cairn Y), and 8 in the Keshcorran area, for a total 24 "related passage tomb tradition monuments." There are three outliers not in the Bricklieve Mountains: Ardloy, Heapstown and Suigh Lughaidh.

16Sheridan, Alison. "Megaliths and Megalomania: An Account, and Interpretation, of the Development of Passage Tombs in Ireland." The Journal of Irish Archaeology 3 (1985/1986): 17-30.
In 2009 traces of megalithic art were discovered in Carrowkeel Cairn B, with a bit more found the next year. As Robert Hensey describes his discovery: "In the course of carefully examining the orthostats within the chamber using oblique lighting, two circular and concentric carved designs became apparent on the top part of orthostat 5." (Hensey, Robert, and Guillaume Robin. "Once Upon a Time in the West." Archaeology Ireland 26.3 (2012): 26-29.) A composite photograph from this article may be seen here.

17Zucchelli, Christine. Stones of Adoration Sacred Stones and Mystic Megaliths of Ireland. Doughcloyne, Wilton, Cork: Collins, 2007. 16-17.
Regarding the use of quartz on the outside of the cairns, the author writes, "Spiritually, the white crystalline stone is sometimes connected with the rising sun; more commonly, however, it is linked with the moon and the female cycle."
Macalister discovered small, smooth white stone balls together with some of the internments in the cairns when he excavated them. Some, being pierced by marine mollusks, were evidently brought from the seashore. Macalister wrote: "The custom of placing white stones in interments seems to have been common in prehistoric times, and has been frequently noted. It is possible that the stones were believed to have some magical significance." (Macalister, R.A.S., E.C.R. Armstrong, and R.L.I. Praeger. "Report on the Exploration of Bronze-Age Carns on Carrowkeel Mountain, Co. Sligo." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 29 (1911/1912): 340.)
According to archaeologist Sam Moore, "a mountain top called Croghan, which has a small passage tomb on its summit and may (incredibly tentatively as there has been no geochemistry done) be the source of the quartz for Carrowkeel, of which there is little left due to souvenir hunters." (Moore, Sam. Cairn G Roof-Box" Message to the author. 22 Oct. 2013. E-mail.)

18Macalister 347.

19Macalister 323-24.

20Herity, Michael. Irish Passage Graves. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. 185-86.
The author continues, "Fertility, too, is a strong and constant theme, probably represented in the inviting attitudes of the goddess of Loughcrew Cairn U and Sess Kilgreen, certainly in the phalli of Knowth and New Grange; probably also in the stones which stood erect in the chambers of Bryn Celli Ddu, New Grange and Carrowkeel Cairn F. Phallic pins and paired ball ornaments in everyday wear are constant subliminal reminders of the principle."

21The Kescorran cairn, part of the larger Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex, is also visible from the south. (Moore, Sam. "Visiting Carrowkeel" Message to the author. 3 July 2013. E-mail.)
Macalister began his discussion of Cairn F thusly: "This structure was in some respects the most important of the entire series…It is of large size, and beautifully regular. It is indicated only by an indefinite symbol, not as an ancient monument, on the Ordnance map, though it is perhaps the most conspicuous of the whole series." (Macalister, R.A.S., E.C.R. Armstrong, and R.L.I. Praeger. "Report on the Exploration of Bronze-Age Carns on Carrowkeel Mountain, Co. Sligo." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 29 (1911/1912): 324.)

22Macalister 324-27.

23Macalister 324-27.
Macalister found ox bones, which he presumed were there from a sacrificial ceremony, during the excavation of Cairn F. He also discovered eight "carefully selected water-worn stones." Of the broken standing stone, he concluded, "This menhir is the central point of interest in the whole series of structures. That it is constructional is absolutely out of the question. Its central position in the sanctum sanctorum of the most imposing of all the carns indicates that it had a peculiar importance. That it is a religious symbol is scarcely questionable; and here we have, therefore, some light on the general question of the age and use of the standing-stones that are so conspicuous among the prehistoric monuments of Ireland."

24Macalister 327-28.

25Brück, J., 2001. "Monuments, Power and Personhood in the British Neolithic." Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 7(4): 649–67, as cited in Hensey, Robert. "The Observance of Light: A Ritualistic Perspective on ‘Imperfectly’ Aligned Passage Tombs." Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture 1.3 (2008): 320.
Hensey would disagree with those who suggest that megalithic monuments were solely or even primarily a way for elites to project their power. His article seeks to address the less easily quantified issues regarding the Cairn G roof-box: "What is perhaps evinced by these annual visitors to this site is that because archaeology has been principally concerned with addressing alignments from a technical perspective it may have neglected to pay due consideration to the ‘experience’ of the phenomenon."

26Moore, Sam. "Cairn G Roof-Box" Message to the author. 22 Oct. 2013. E-mail.
Sam Moore writes, "If you look at the internal arrangement of the chambers within cairns G and K, which you have done on VR you will see that, unlike any other passage tombs that I have seen, the building construction of the lintel stones above the entrances to the chambers forms a void above each of the chamber entrances…So this particular architectural feature is also present in the entrance to cairn G, which Martin Byrne and others have suggested acts as a roof box similar to that in Newgrange. However, being cautious, it might merely be an architectural feature that allows the ceiling corbels to spring from along the passage, and it may originally have been covered in cairn material with no opening whatsoever. " Moore references a photograph of myself (Howard Goldbaum) emerging from Cairn G, taken in 1979, that I provided to him: "The photograph of you at cairn G…shows denuded corbels very clearly before the cairn was ‘tidied up’ by the OPW. Alternatively it could be a ‘portal’ for ancestral spirits to come and go and may have been blocked and opened at certain times, but this is impossible to prove."
As part of the basis for his skepticism regarding the roof-box, Moore also points to the alignment at Cairn G: "The astronomical alignment at G is imperfect and the sun comes into G obliquely for a considerable period over the solstice. Cairn H is more accurately aligned. Given the orientation spread of the 14 cairns with identifiable passages NW to NE there is a high statistical probability that the sun will come in to some of them around the solstice." (Moore, Sam. "Cairn G Details" Message to the author. 4 July. 2013. E-mail.)

27Hensey, Robert. "The Observance of Light: A Ritualistic Perspective on ‘Imperfectly’ Aligned Passage Tombs." Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture 1.3 (2008): 324.

28Macalister 315.

29In 1998 I led a group of students from Bradley University (Illinois) on a photo safari to Ireland. We explored Carrowkeel and made a panoramic group portrait inside Cairn K.

30Bergh, Stefan. "The Mullaghfarna Enclosures – An Upland "Settlement" in a Passage Tomb Context." School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway, 7 May 2009. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <http://www.nuigalway.ie/archaeology/Research/Landscape_Archaeology/Bergh_Mullaghfarna_Enclosures/mullaghfarna_enclosures_index.html>.
Bergh conducted a high-resolution survey of the plateau using digital photogrammetry based upon aerial photography, which identified 153 enclosures/hut sites. Then followed interpretative plans of each individual site. "This work is extremely time consuming, as it involves extensive GIS analysis, followed up by detailed work in the field." Small-scale trial excavations in 2003 produced finds of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age dates from a collection of cremated bones, teeth of animals, hazelnut shells, charcoal, small pieces of pottery and small tools, including an Antrim flint knife and some concave scrapers.
An earlier author described the hut-sites: "They have two rings of upright stone slabs with small stones between them, to give a wall some three feet in thickness. They range between 20 and 42 feet in diameter. Since only the foundations remain it is impossible to speculate about the original appearance of these structures. None appear to have doorways, and most are clearly too large to have had corbelled roofs. Thatch is unthinkable at this altitude and in so exposed a position, though wood, from the abundant forests which once crept up to the foot of the mountain, could have provided roofing materials. The structures were probably not actual dwellings, however, but wind-shields and protective enclosures against wild animals within which wooden huts were built." (St. Joseph, J.K.S., and E.R. Norman. The Early Development of Irish Society, the Evidence of Aerial Photography. London: Cambridge UP, 1969.)

31Walk—don’t think of driving—the rough road from the top car park at Carrowkeel down onto the valley floor. Then head south from the deserted farm, known locally as Joker Healy’s, across the fields onto the Doonaveeragh plateau. Cross the field wall to enter the area of the hut site enclosures. The highest point of this outcrop is in Doonaveeragh where there are two cairns, O and P. There is a deserted stone cottage at the end of the Doonaveeragh plateau. Alternatively the hut sites can be approached from the other side of the mountain, from the end of a meandering road. From the N4 take the second right turn heading south from Castlebaldwin. Then continue to the base of the plateau, and begin your climb. More info here, and here.

32Macalister 342-43.
Dr. Alexander Macalister was the father of archaeologist R.A.S. Macalister and assisted the excavators in the analysis of the human remains they discovered. He was a Professor of Anatomy at Cambridge University, where the bones were sent for analysis, and then forgotten.

33Hensey 16.
The human remains from Carrowkeel sent to Professor Macalister’s laboratory at Cambridge University have recently been located and may soon be subject to radiocarbon dating. According to the authors: "Ideally the material in Cambridge should be returned to the National Museum of Ireland and the complete human bone assemblage should receive osteological analysis to modern standards. Notwithstanding A. Macalister’s considerable reputation, it is important to bear in mind that his analysis is of its time and re-analysis to modern scientific standards would result in more accurate and informative results." (p. 22).

34Macalister 340.
The rounded, marble-like stone balls are often found in passage tombs in close proximity to the human remains. Quoting C.F. Gordon Cummin, (In the Hebrides, p. 45) Wood-Martin wrote, "These pebbles were also found in most of the old tombs recently excavated in the neighbourhood of Dundee: in fact, so frequent was their presence that it was common for the workmen employed in excavating to exclaim: ‘Here are the two stones! — now we will get the bones."’ (Wood-Martin, W.G., The Rude Stone Monuments of Ireland: Co. Sligo and Achill Island. Dublin: Hodges, Figges and Co., 1888. 87.)

35"Carrowkeel Ware." Oxford Reference. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. <http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095551723>.

36Macalister 340.
According to Hensey et al, Macalister’s drew a pottery vessel using fragments of what appear to be Carrowkeel ware in a reconstruction with a flat base in the style of a Bronze Age food vessel, the Neolithic sherd apparently being forced into a predetermined Bronze Age style in his sketch. (Hensey, Robert, Pádraig Meehan, Marion Dowd, and Sam Moore. "A Century of archaeology—historical excavation and modern research at the Carrowkeel passage tombs, County Sligo." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 114 (2014): 15.)

37Cairn Q, atop Keshcorran in Bergh’s scheme, is also known locally as "The Pinnacle."

38Moore, Sam. "The Carrowkeel Passage Tomb Complex, Co. Sligo People and a Pre-monumental Landscape." Proc. of Association of Young Irish Archaeologists 2003, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <http://www.academia.edu/1601616/_The_Carrowkeel_Passage_Tomb_Complex_Co._Sligo_people_and_a_pre-monumental_landscape_Association_of_Young_Irish_Archaeologists_Conference_Papers_2003_UCC_Cork_2003>.
The phrase "’ideological communication’ is from Bergh, Stefan. Landscape of the Monuments: a study of the passage tombs in the Cuil Irra region, Co. Sligo. Stockholm: Riksantikvarieämbet Arkeologska Undersöknigar, 1995. 162.

39Moore, Sam. "Counting the Carrowkeel Cairns" Message to the author. 20 Oct. 2013. E-mail.
Charles Mount wrote of the Carrowkeel region: "This area has evidence of settlement of every archaeological period except, to date, the Mesolithic. All four main types of megalithic tomb have been noted here as well as cairns and barrows dating from the Bronze Age. Early Christian settlement is particularly well represented with numerous ringforts, cashels and crannogs occurring throughout the area. Furthermore a number of medieval church sites are distributed through the area as well as a late sixteenth century castle and fortified house, and evidence of seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century vernacular settlement is also particularly well preserved. A decline in settlement in the area has been marked for a century of more and this has resulted in an almost unparalleled preservation of upstanding remains so that these uplands are a sort of open air laboratory where theories about the past can be tested." (Mount, Charles. "The Environmental Siting of Neolithic and Bronze Age Monuments in the Bricklieve and Moytirra Uplands, County Sligo." The Journal of Irish Archaeology 7 (1996): 1.)

40Macalister 346.

41Thomson.
The author concludes, "I have stood inside pyramids and explored a thief’s entrance into an underground Mastaba, but these hilltop cairns have a unique ambience."
In 1979, when it began to rain during my first visit to Carrowkeel, my companion and I took refuge inside Cairn G. There we took out our small backpack stove and heated our cans of stew for a supper inside the tomb.
We left behind no trash.
Another blog author writes, "For me Carrowkeel is quite simply the finest of the major Irish megalithic cemeteries." ("Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex." The Modern Antiquarian. Julian Cope, 16 Mar. 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/1038/carrowkeelkeshcorran_complex.html>.)

42Moore "The Carrowkeel Passage Tomb Complex"
A guidebook author says of the cairns, "They seem to nestle into the side of the ridges, like artificial caves, their dark entryways alluring and disturbing, beckoning from beneath rounded piles of stone rubble." (Aviva, Elyn, and Gary C. White. Powerful Places in Ireland. Santa Fe, NM: Pilgrims Process, 2011. 272.)

43Poynder, Michael. Pi in the sky: a revelation of the ancient Celtic wisdom tradition. Cork: Collins, 1997.
Poynder described an "energy star" centered within the Carrowkeel Complex. Apparently deriving his initial inspiration for his book from a visit to Carrowkeel, he uses a dowsing stick or pendulum to determine the hidden flow’s of earth energy. Poynder wrote of his Carrowkeel energy star: "[One] must tune into the map and think of it as a picture of a vibrant living organism, having rebalanced any disruptions using the spiral of tranquility. Gradually as the pendulum swings back and forth across the map the white, red and black input line of the Star is located at cairn ‘P’ on the rear summit of Doonaveeragh." A map of this energy star from his book may be viewed here. One online reviewer’s comments may be read here.
The Carrowkeel Complex has engendered other modern folklore, such as the oft-repeated but undocumented story of Macalister using dynamite during his 1911 excavations. Another story, although spurious, is found both online and in print. It concerns the modern usage of the cairns as a cillín, an unconsecrated burial site used for unbaptized infants, outside of the Catholic cemetery. This legend may have been prompted by the discovery of an actual cillín in a place called Carrowkeel in Co. Galway.

44Moore, Sam. "Carrowkeel Folklore." Message to the author. 22 Oct. 2013. E-mail.
Moore’s photograph of the modern artifacts he found in the Treanmacmurtagh cairn may be seen here. Moore also photographed what may have been a modified St. Brigid’s Cross, with human hair braided around lollipop sticks, while exploring one of the Caves of Kesh.

45Galvin, Brendan. "Carrowkeel." Poetry 154.6 (1989): 329-30. Used with permission.


 
Castlestrange La Tène Stone

1Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford, UK: B. Blackwell, 1991. 159-60.
The author is here writing specifically of the Turoe Stone.

2"Castlestrange, County Roscommon" Home: Buildings of Ireland: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Web. 01 June 2011. <http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=record&county=RO&regno=31941001>.

3Coffey, George. "Some Monuments of the La Tène Period Recently Discovered in Ireland." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 24 (1902-1904): 262-63.

4"La Tène Culture" Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 01 June 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Tène_culture>.

5Coffey.

6A proposal to preserve the Turoe Stone in a museum met with local opposition. Archaeologist Robert Chapple presents a discussion of the different solutions here. A Facebook page encouraging government action has also been created.
Photographs of the Killycluggin Stone in situ c. 1975 may be seen here.

7Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone. The Oldest Irish Tradition; a Window on the Iron Age. Cambridge [Eng.: University, 1964. 6-7.


 
Children of the Mermaid

1Yeats, W. B. "A Man Young And Old: III. The Mermaid." The Tower. New York: Macmillan, 1928.

2Zucchelli, Christine. Stones of Adoration Sacred Stones and Mystic Megaliths of Ireland. Doughcloyne, Wilton, Cork: Collins, 2007. 30.

3FitzPatrick, Elizabeth. Royal Inauguration in Gaelic Ireland: C.1100-1600 : a Cultural Landscape Study. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2004. 76.

4"The Mermaid Stones." Dowd Family Archives. Web. 01 July 2011. <http://www.tonydowd.com/History/mermaid_stones.htm>.
Another genealogical page featuring The Children of the Mermaid story may be found here.

5"The Mermaid Rocks." SIP – Schools Integration Project – Projects: Home. Web. 01 July 2011. <http://www.sip.ie/sip005g/videos/mermaid.htm>.
The story used by the schoolchildren, as well as a representation of the Children of the Mermaid scene in Lego blocks, may be viewed in the URL above. Other work from the students, including photographs and paintings of the Mermaid Stones, may be seen here.

6Wood-Martin, W.G., The Rude Stone Monuments of Ireland: Co. Sligo and Achill Island. Dublin: Hodges, Figges and Co., 1888. 227-28.
The book may be read in its entirety here.

7Wood-Martin, W.G., The Rude Stone Monuments of Ireland: Co. Sligo and Achill Island. Dublin: Hodges, Figges and Co., 1888. 227-28.
The book may be read in its entirety here.

8"The Mermaid Rocks." RootsWeb.com Home Page. Web. 01 July 2011. <http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlsli/mermaid.html>.

9Croker, Thomas Crofton. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland. London: John Murray, 1834. 177-85.
"The Lady of Gollerus" may be read online here.

10Croker, Thomas Crofton. "Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland." Google Books. Web. 01 July 2011. <http://books.google.com/books?id=g2wWAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA3&ots=M2Zv7AIwLg&dq=croker%20The%20Lady%20of%20Gollerus&pg=PA14#v=onepage&q&f=false>.

11Zucchelli 29.

12Yeats, William Butler., and Benedict Kiely. Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland. New York: Touchstone Book, 1998. 60.


 
City and the Paps of Anu

1Cronin, Dan. In the Shadow of the Paps. Killarney: Crede, Sliabh Luachra Heritage Group, 2001. 38+.

20 Giollain, Diarmuid. "Revisiting the Holy Well." Eire-Ireland 40.1&2 (2005): 27-8.
"Victor Turner uses the term ‘liminality’ to refer to any condition outside, or on the margins of, ordinary life, and which is potentially sacred. A visit to a sacred place at a time outside ordinary profane time, such as a pilgrimage on a feast day, is a particularly liminal occasion."
Carleton Jones defines "liminal" thusly: "A liminal area is an area that is in between. In a spiritual context, a liminal area can exist between two different levels of consciousness or experience. At Loughcrew, it is likely that the people who built the tombs lived in the surrounding low- lands rather than on the hilltops alongside the tombs and that they regarded the hilltops with their cairns as a liminal area or a threshold between the land of the living and the land of the dead ancestors." (Jones, Carleton. Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2007. 209.)

3Weiner, Eric. "Where Heaven and Earth Come Closer." Travel. The New York Times, 8 Mar. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/travel/thin-places-where-we-are-jolted-out-of-old-ways-of-seeing-the-world.html?pagewanted=all>
A "thin place" is defined by Mindie Burgoyne as, "That place where one’s spirit is totally whole, at home, with no longing or yearning to be anywhere else. A place of resurrection is not only the place where one’s spirit will resurrect from its lifeless body upon death, but also the place where that spirit is most alive inside the living body." ("St. Gobnait, The Spiritual Mother of Ballyvourney – County Cork." Writing the Vision. Web. 28 Dec. 2012. <http://www.writingthevision.com/gobnait.htm>.)

4Cathair Crobh Dearg – The City. 6 June 1999. Information sign at the site. Shrone.
Sources differ on the names of the three saints, with some naming St. Laitiaran as one of the trio.
According to the Diocese of Kerry, "This veneration extends to the modern parishes of Rathmore/Knocknagree, Milllstreet/Cullen, Dromtariffe and Ballydesmond. We don’t get agreement on the names of her two sister saints in the tradition. Most usually Latiaran of Cullen and Crobhdhearg are found in the tradition but sometimes a saint called Iníon Buí is substituted for either Latiaran or Crobhdhearg." ("St Gobnait." Diocese of Kerry. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. <http://www.dioceseofkerry.ie/page/heritage/saints/st_gobnait/>.)
Frank Coyne notes that "It is significant that three female saints have holy wells, almost equidistant from each other, and have their feast days on three of the quarterly feasts of the old Irish year, with a site referring to the Cailleach perhaps representing Samhain, as a completion of the annual cycle." (Coyne, Frank. Islands in the Clouds: An Upland Archaeological Study on Mount Brandon and The Paps, County Kerry. Tralee, Co. Kerry: Kerry County Council in Association with Aegis Archaeology Limited, 2006. 21.)
Information on the Mórrígan may be found here. There may be an echo of the Mórrígan story in this tale, included by Dan Cronin in his book, as told to him by Own McCarthy: "Long ago there dwelt a beautiful maiden in a famous sidhe, Bergh Elda. On the Eve of Samhain, when nothing could be hidden in the sidhe forts, many of the men of Erin sought her hand in marriage. But the only reward that each one got for his trouble was that one of his party was killed, by whom or what could not be ascertained. However, when a friend to Fionn went to court the maiden and met with a like fate, Fionn sought counsel from an acknowledged champion, Fiacail Mac Conchinn, who advised him to go and take up a position between the two mountain peaks known as the Paps of Dana. While seated there on the side of the little pathway, to this day known as Bóthar á Chích, on Sarnhain Eve, Fionn saw two large mounds that were between the Paps, one on either side of Bóthar á Chích, open, disclosing a huge fire burning inside each of the mounds. Then he heard a general interchange of sounds and commotion being conducted between the mounds. A man emerged from one of the liosanna and he went in the direction of the other. He carried a wooden container, laden with food and some greenery. Fionn poised himself and threw a spear at the apparition. Immediately he heard loud weeping and keening in the rath from which the man had emerged. It has been claimed that Fionn’s victim was the destroyer of the suitors followers." (Cronin 24-5.)

5Jones, Carleton. Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2007. 21-22.
The author states, "Although we do not know how the Mesolithic people explained them, in later prehistory they were named after Anu/Danu, the principle mother goddess in early Irish mythology (Danu was also worshipped on the Continent). In Medieval texts, the province of Munster (stretching away on all sides of the Paps of Anu), is described as particularly prosperous due to the bounty provided by Anu. Given their form, it seems likely that earlier people would also have made the association between these mountains and a female goddess. At some point in prehistory, cairns were built on both mountain tops, making them resemble breasts even more."

6Coyne, Frank. Islands in the Clouds: An Upland Archaeological Study on Mount Brandon and The Paps, County Kerry. Tralee, Co. Kerry: Kerry County Council in Association with Aegis Archaeology Limited, 2006. 12. This book may be read in its entirety here.
Citing Edmonds (1999, 7), Coyne suggests that "people experienced the world physically through a ‘technology of memory,’ in the way that they interact with certain monuments or landscapes, and that much of what happens in these places is constituted by the past by real or invented tradition and by what is already there. This ‘technology of memory’ allows people to re-use, re-absorb and re-work the past through their physical encounter with particular monuments or ritual events."
Some photographs of the "brocken-spectre" phenomenon may be viewed here.

7Coyne 13-14.

8Coyne 21.
The entire 1841 O’Donovan Ordnance Survey Letters quotation, as related by Coyne: "… in the townland of Gortnagowan in the east division of this parish there is a caher or circular stone fort called Caher-Crovderg [sic], the fort of the red-handed. In the west side of it is a holy well at which stations are performed by the peasantry on May Eve; who also drive their cattle into the fort and make them drink of the water of the holy well, which is believed to have virtue to preserve them from all contagious distempers during the ensuing year." (Coyne 47.)

9Cronin 41.
The author further identifies this flagstone: "This particular path was, and still is, known as ‘The Bridle Path’. Skirting the edge of Lough Glounafreaghaun…The peculiar signs on the flagstone are still there to be seen and the spot is known as Rian ‘a Daimh. The Bridle Path is no longer used since it was replaced by a roadway, built in the late 1920s, and known as The Slyggudal Pass."

10Cronin, Dan. "Cromlech Cathair Crobh Dearg." Personal interview. 22 June 1999.

11Coyne 46-50.

12Meehan, Cary. The Traveller’s Guide to Sacred Ireland: A Guide to the Sacred Places of Ireland, Her Legends, Folklore and People. Glastonbury: Gothic Image, 2004. 25.

13Cronin 41-44.
The author explains, "An idea of the number of pilgrims who visited The City on a given May Day – within living memory – can be had from accurate statistics for the year 1938. On May Day of that year, the ‘deerhough’ or person who attended the well, filling the water into bottles etc., collected for work the sum of £29. Now, in 1938 money was scarce and hard to come by, and that figure of £29 included no paper money. The largest coin in the ‘takings’ was a 6d piece (sixpennies in pre-decimalization days). Then there were threepenny bits, pennies and ha’pennies. From these figures one can gauge the number of pilgrims who visited the Well on that May Day."

14Coyne 46-50.
The author concludes, "It can be suggested therefore that "The City" may not have always been used for habitation, and that its function also lies in the realm of the ritual and ceremonial, the focus for religious activity."

15Cronin 27-30.

16Coyne 46-50.
In comparing The City to the Ballynahatty Giant’s Ring, the author states, "Perhaps a similar sequence may be suggested for ‘The City’- the megalithic structure/tomb enclosed in the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age, and this enclosure substantially remodeled, adapted and added to as the ritual and ceremonial needs of the society itself evolved and changed over time."

17Coyne 46-50.

18Cormac, John O’Donovan, and Whitley Stokes. Sanas Chormaic (Cormac’s Glossary). Calcutta: Printed by O.T. Cutter for the Irish Archeological and Celtic Society, 1868. 17. This may be read in its entirety here.
Ronald Hutton put his own gloss on this: "[In the Glossary] she is called the mother of all deities, a further inflation of status from being the founder of her great Tuatha. But another text, Cóir Anman (‘The Fitness of Names’), calls ‘Anu’ the tutelary goddess of the province of Munster, where indeed twin mountains are still said to represent her breasts. If Danu, Ana and Anu are the same then it is possible that a local goddess grew into a generalized one, perhaps aided by the fact that Cormac was a Munster leader. (Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, Ltd. 1991. 153.)

19White, Gary C., and Elyn Aviva. Powerful Places in Ireland. Santa Fe, NM: Pilgrims Process, 2011.
See also: Zucchelli, Christine. Stones of Adoration Sacred Stones and Mystic Megaliths of Ireland. Doughcloyne, Wilton, Cork: Collins, 2007. 24.

A thorough discussion of the Anu/Danu relationship may be read here.

20Monaghan, Patricia. The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore. New York: Facts On File, 2003. 20.
In its entry on Danu, the Encyclopedia explains, "Danu’s name has been derived from the Old Celtic dan, meaning "knowledge," and she has been linked to the Welsh mother goddess DÔN. Some texts call her the daughter of the mighty DAGDA, the good god of abundance, a connection that supports the contention that she was an ancient goddess of the land’s fertility." (p. 117)
The Wikipedia entry for Anann adds, "As a goddess of cattle, she is responsible for culling the weak. She is therefore often referred to as ‘Gentle Annie,’ in an effort to avoid offense, a tactic which is similar to referring to the fairies as ‘The Good People.’
Another sources suggests the original name for this Celtic mother-goddess "seems to have been Dánuv, which again is attested by a goddess-name among various Indo-European peoples (Indic Dánu, Greek Danaë)." (Ó hÓgáin, Dáithí. "Patronage and Devotion in Ancient Irish Religion." History Ireland 8.4 (2000): 20-24.)

21Some examples of modern devotion to the goddess Anu/Danu may be noted here, and here. An image search yielded these examples.
No proponent of the "goddess-worshipping, woman-centered, peaceful creative Neolithic Balkan civilization, destroyed by savage patriarchal invaders," Ronald Hutton suggests, "there is, of course, a chance that such a being may have been venerated in the Neolithic, but it is beyond doubt that she would not now possess so many followers had not scholars like Professor Daniel proclaimed her existence with such certainly. It is a delicious irony that these establishment figures, themselves no friends to radicals or to ‘alternative’ archaeologists, may unwittingly have been the founders of a new religion." (Hutton 40.)

22Cronin 27-30.

23Coyne 20-21.
The author quotes Gimbutas (1999, 185) who suggested that the death goddess, the Neolithic vulture goddess (and tomb goddess) became known in ancient Irish tradition as Anu or Danu.

24Cronin 27-30.
The author writes that offerings were generally placed by a woman, for the health of and fertility of family and livestock.
Archaeologist Frank Coyne added, "Traditions inform us that the Tuatha De Danann expect recognition of their power by little gifts, observance of seasonal rites and respect for their sacred sites, and if this is done, then all will be well and the land will prosper (Duinn 2005, 76). This custom, therefore, of placing gifts on top of The Paps is surely, consciously or otherwise, a continuation of this ritual." (Coyne 13.)

25Cronin 27-30.

26Cronin 244.
The author discusses a "court of poetry" located close to The City: "Indeed it has been known to historians as ‘the literary Capital of Southern Ireland’. I recall being told that the principal annual get-together in these Courts was so arranged as to fall in with some popular local event – an appealing occasion which would bring crowds of people together from widely scattered areas. So the location selected for this particular Court – the spot, to this day, known as the ‘Seana-Chúirt’ – was ideal. It was a short quarter-mile from The City, where vast number assembled on May Day each year. Poet-scholars from the ‘Southern Region," from BalIyvourney and Coolea, were not strangers here. Indeed Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin,  one of the most famous Gaelic poets of that era, was a product of this well-known court. Sadly, this famous ruin has gone."

27Cronin 38-40.

28Cronin 38-40.
Cronin illustrated the conflict between paganism and Christianity by quoting from Oisín’s poem when he returned from Tír na nÓg. "Finding his old pagan world almost vanquished by St. Patrick, he tells the Saint:
‘When Oisín and Fionn lived
They loved the mountains better than the monastery.
Sweet to them the blackbird’s call,
They would have despised the tolling of your bell.’"

29Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, Ltd. 1991. 156.

30Hutton 103-105.
Hutton says of the Celtic Cross: "In its origins there was nothing Irish, or British, or ‘Celtic’, about it. It developed in the western Carpathian region around 3000 BC, upon pottery. During the next millennium it spread slowly across Europe, being especially popular upon metalwork of the so-called beaker culture. Traditionally it has always been regarded as a sun symbol, and the particular frequency with which it appears upon prehistoric gold objects would perhaps strengthen that supposition. It became virtually a brand-mark for the Irish work…"

31Carroll, Michael P. Irish Pilgrimage: Holy Wells and Popular Catholic Devotion. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 1999. 43.
The author explains that both the laity and the clergy in Ireland made the transition from self-exile as penance to the performance of penitential rounds at domestic sites.
The "penitential rounds" for The City, as told to Dan Cronin by Jim Meirsheen (Cronin 41-44.):

"1. Commencing at the Gap: Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory, said seven times while kneeling.

2. Go around The City, three times on the outside, deiseal (keeping the right hand inside). Say a Rosary on each round, finishing each time at the Gap.

3. At the western Station, near the house, say Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory, five times, kneeling.

4. Go around The City three times inside, clockwise, saying a Rosary each time, always finishing at the Gap.

5. Repeat (3), then make three crosses on the western Station, with a pebble or with your finger, mentioning your intention. If for yourself, rub the dust on your forehead.

6. Repeat (3) again, this time at the northern Station.

7. Go around the central Gallán, clockwise, saying the Rosary.

8. Repeat (5) at the northern Station.

9. Go from northern Station to the Altar at the eastern side, saying a decade of the Rosary.

10. At the Altar say Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory seven times. Repeat crosses as at (5), also circle. Pray to Our Lady for your intentions.

11. Say Our Father, Hall Mary and Glory three times at the Well. Have a drink of the water and take some with you."

32Cronin 44-48.
The author further explains the early Irish system of Penance: "An arnamchara or soul-friend was utilised to advise the penitent on the extent of the severity of the penance necessary in order to be cleansed before coming into the presence of what they considered holy. The arnamchara was indispensable, because of the fact that he took on the responsibility from the penitent as to what would be enough, not-too much or too little, to placate the god or gods. For, had the penitent decided for himself how much penance he was obliged to do, he figured that he was putting himself in the place of his god in deciding what was suitable. His idea was that a little could in no way be enough, yet, severe (for good measure) would be considered pride or overdoing it. This method was practised in many parts of Ireland, until the Christian clerics converted the rite to Christianity, using it to cleanse the penitent, thus enabling him to receive the Holy Eucharist of Christ. Where the official Church had lesser influence, especially in remote places, the peasant continued the old form of penitential rite – without the anamchara, who, incidentally, had been made redundant by the Christian influence! but remained popular up to the end of the 19th century. They fell out of favour due to ridicule by English Protestants and as people became more educated. Even though the Irish penitential system was severely criticized at first, it eventually got to be accepted as a good thing. The Irish practice of administering bodily punishment came across as a humbling penance, showing a good proof of sorrow for sin confessed. It was also required to compensate victims for wrongs done. The Council of Trent emphasized the sacramental status of Penance, and the use of confessional boxes became customary in places."

33Cronin 48-49.

34More information on climbing the Paps may be found here, and here.
We made our climb in 2001, starting at The City, with Deidre O’Sullivan, of Tailor Made Tours.

35Coyne 24-21.
Coyne notes that the western Pap is connected figuratively and literally to the eastern Pap "by a series of jagged protruding rocks set on edge, many of which are naturally-occurring, but some undoubtedly erected by hand, and known locally as the Fiacla, or teeth. These form a direct line along the ‘cleavage’ of the two Paps, and may mark a ceremonial route-way between the two peaks."

36O’Sullivan, Muiris, and Liam Downey. "Summit Cairns." Archaeology Ireland 25.3 (2011): 20-23.
The authors count more than 2,000 cairns if modern triangulation specimens are included.
They noted, "The degree of overlap between the positioning of prehistoric cairns/passage tombs and the sites identified by engineers as optimal for the erection of triangulation stations testified to the spatial and technical understanding applied by the societies that erected these monuments so as to ensure their distant visibility, and indeed intervisibility."
Coyne notes, "Certainly the large and immovable man-made structures such as megalithic tombs presented very clear messages of ownership, and the same is applicable to the mountaintop cairns." (Coyne 24-251.)

37Coyne 25-29.
Coyne’s rescue excavation was intended to mitigate the damage done when modern climbers used stones from the cairns to construct their own small cairns at the top of the original monument, or to construct shelters from the weather. The archaeologist wrote of his work at the western cairn, "The modern disturbance was removed, and excavated down to the natural material, which was a compact, grey gravel in a dark peaty matrix. When this modem disturbance was excavated, the exposed section was drawn, and then the cairn material re-installed. No charcoal samples were retained, as the modem burning would have contaminated any charcoal recovered."

38Monaghan, Patricia. The Red-haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2003. 209.


 
Clochafarmore Stone

1O’Grady, Standish. The Coming of Cuculain: a Romance of the Heroic Age of Ireland. London: Methuen, 1894. 9.

2Eagleman, David. Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives. New York: Vintage, 2010. 23.
Additional information here.

3"Táin Bó Cúailnge." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 19 July 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Táin_Bó_Cúailnge>.
The "Death of Cúchulainn " is a separate story, not included in the Táin Bó Cúailnge. The latter is considered within the Voices from the Dawn project in the entries on Queen Maeve’s royal base of Rathcroghan, her tomb of Knocknarea, and the Ulstermen’s palace at Emain Macha.

4Gregory, Lady Augusta, and W. B. Yeats. Cuchulain of Muirthemne: the Story of the Men of the Red Branch of Ulster. London: J. Murray, 1902. xv.

5"Cú Chulainn." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 19 July 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cú_Chulainn>.
There are a number of variations for the spelling of "Cúchulainn" encountered in the different sources used here. To avoid confusion, we’ve normalized the spelling of the hero’s name. He was born with the name "Sétanta," but it was changed to Cúchulainn, meaning "Culann’s Hound," when he was attacked by, and then killed Culann’s guard dog. He offered to train a new dog, and in the meantime serve as the guard dog himself. In tradition, Cúchulainn was also known as "The Hound of Ulster."

6"Cu Chulainn " The Ulster Cycle. Web. 19 July 2011. <http://ulstercycle.wordpress.com/cu-chulainn/>.
"The Conception of Cú Chulainn Version 1" The Ulster Cycle. Web. 19 July 2011. <http://ulstercycle.wordpress.com/2009/11/07/the-conception-of-cu-chulainn-version-1/>.

7Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone. The Oldest Irish Tradition; a Window on the Iron Age. Cambridge [Eng.: University, 1964. 24.

8Gregory 21.
Lady Gregory’s translation demonstrates her method of trying to mimic in English the syntax of the Irish language. In 1969, Thomas Kinsella treats a similar passage quite differently:
"And certainly the youth Cúchulainn mac Sualdaim was handsome as he came to show his form to the armies. You would think he had three distinct heads of hair – brown at the base, blood-red in the middle, and a crown of golden yellow. This hair was settled strikingly into three coils on the cleft at the back of his head. Each long loose-flowing strand hung down in shining splendour over his shoulders, deep-gold and beautiful and fine as a thread of gold. A hundred neat red-gold curls shone darkly on his neck, and his head was covered with a hundred crimson threads matted with gems. He had four dimples in each cheek – yellow, green, crimson and blue – and seven bright pupils, eye-jewels, in each kingly eye. Each foot had seven toes and each hand seven fingers, the nails with the grip of a hawk’s claw or a gryphon’s clench." (Kinsella, Thomas, and le Brocquy, Louis.. The Tain. Oxford [Eng.: University, 1969. 156-58.)

9Jackson 15-16.
The Gáe Bulga was thrown with the foot, not the arm. It was given to
Cúchulainn by his martial arts teacher, the woman warrior Scáthach. More information here.

10Cross, Tom Peete, and Clark Harris Slover. Ancient Irish Tales. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1936. 151-52.

11Gregory 237-38.

12Kinsella, Thomas, and le Brocquy, Louis. The Tain. Oxford [Eng.: University, 1969. 150-51.
An evocative spoken-work performance of "Cúchulainn’s Warp-Spasm" may be heard here.

13Gregory 336-37.

14Gregory 339-41.

15Hull, Eleanor, and Stephen Reid. Cuchulain: the Hound of Ulster. London: Harrap, 1909. 269.

16O’Grady 152-56.

17Macalister, Robert Alexander Stewart. Tara, a Pagan Sanctuary of Ancient Ireland. New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1931. 70.

18"Cu Chulainn " The Ulster Cycle.
According to W.B. Yeats, "Arguments of a nature purely philological, based upon the language of the texts, or critical, based upon the relations of the various MSS. to each other, not only allow, but compel us to date the redaction of the principal Cuchulain stones, substantially in the form under which they have survived, back to the seventh to ninth centuries." (Gregory, Lady Augusta, and W. B. Yeats. Cuchulain of Muirthemne: the Story of the Men of the Red Branch of Ulster. London: J. Murray, 1902. 355-56.) On p. 23 in their translation, where Cúchulainn explains how he arrived at the scene, is an excellent example of the "puzzle-language" that presents a clue to the antiquity of the sources: "’Which way did you take after that?’ "That is not hard to tell,’ he said. ‘From the Cover of the Sea, over the Great Secret of the Tuatha De Danaan, and the Foam of the horses of Emain, over the Morrigu’s Garden, and the Great Sow’s back; over the Valley of the Great Dam, between the God and his Druid; over the Marrow of the Woman, between the Boar and his Dam; over the Washing-place of the horses of Dea; between the King of Ana and his servant, to Mandchuile of the Four Corners of the World; over Great Crime and the Remnants of the Great Feast; between the Vat and the Little Vat, to the Gardens of Lugh, to the daughters of Tethra, the nephew of the King of the Fomor.’"

19"Cu Chulainn " The Ulster Cycle.
Other translations and interpretations included
Eleanor Hull’s The Boys’ Cuchulain (1904), and Yeats’ plays, On Baile’s Strand (1904), The Green Helmet (1910), At the Hawk’s Well (1917), The Only Jealousy of Emer (1919) and The Death of Cuchulain (1939).

20"The Death-place of an Irish Hero." Irish Identity. Web. 19 July 2011. <http://www.irishidentity.com/stories/cuchulainn.htm>.

21Kinsella xiii.
Pillar stones are frequently used to identify an action with a specific place. These stones, already ancient at the time of the Tain, often are used as a scene of violence. Kinsella presents, as an example, a scene when a court fool and a girl arrive to deceive Cúchulainn (p. 141): "…Cúchulainn went to meet them and knew by the man’s speech that he was the camp fool. He shot a sling-stone from his hand and pierced the fool’s head and knocked out his brains. Cúchulainn went up to the girl and cut off her two long tresses and thrust a pillar-stone under her cloak and tunic. He thrust another pillar stone up through the fool’s middle. Their two standing-stones are there still, Finnabiar’s Pillar-Stone and the Fool’s Pillar-Stone. Cúchulainn left them like that."

22Penn, Elan, Richard Marsh, and Frank McCourt. The Legends & Lands of Ireland. New York: Sterling, 2006. 79.

23Some examples of the diffusion of the Cúchulainn character into popular culture:
The Irish band "The Pogues" have a track called ‘The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn’ on their 1985album Rum, Sodomy And The Lash.
Cúchulainn is the protagonist in the 1984 video game Tir Na Nog and its sequel Dun Darach by Gargoyle Games.
A Cúchulainn collectable action-figure may be purchased here.
Louis le Brocquy’s illustrations from The Tain may be viewed here.

24Gregory x-xi.


 
Cloghanmore Court Tomb

1Wood-Martin, W. G. Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland. Vol. 1. London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1902. 188. This passage may be read in its entirety here.
In another of publication, the author wrote, "Fairy Doctors’ recommended the sacrifice of a black cat on the tomb, with the object of propitiating the spirit supposed to guard the hoard; and the contents of the urn, if carefully watched till midnight, would, under these circumstances, again assume its real [golden] character." (Wood-Martin, W.G., The Rude Stone Monuments of Ireland: Co. Sligo and Achill Island. Dublin: Hodges, Figges and Co., 1888. 140.)

2Byrne, Patrick. "Digging for Gold at Cloghanmore." Personal interview. 25 July 1980. The individuals in the portrait of Mr. Byrne and his family are: Angela Byrne, Lorraine Byrne, Patrick Byrne, Cathy Byrne, Karen Byrne, Katherine Callahan, Peggy Byrne, John Byrne, Patrick Byrne ("Paddy the Miner"). The baby is Michael Byrne, 4½ months old.

3Ferguson, Samuel. "On Ancient Cemeteries at Rathcroghan and Elsewhere in Ireland (As Affecting the Question of the Site of the Cemetery at Taltin)." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Polite Literature and Antiquities 1 (1879): 121-22.
The author further describes Cloghanmore: "All that now remains is the ground-plan and underworks of what appears to have originally been a tumulus or long barrow. The sepulchral cists have everywhere been stripped of their outward covering, and, in most cases, of their roofing-stones. Enough, however, remains to show the general plan, which was composed of two larger circles, placed side by side, and together forming a long oval, with one smaller circle annexed at the southern end. All the chambers were constructed on the ground surface. The passages leading to them either opened externally on the level of the adjoining land, or branched off from one or two principal adits."

4Wakeman, W.F. "Proceedings and Papers." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Fifth 1.4 (1890): 264-65.
The Board of Works is today known as the Office of Public Works (OPW). Wakeman objected strenuously to this restoration, undertaken by the architect Thomas Newingham Deane c .1886. In his report, Deane wrote, "Foundation stones of a further wall to the west have been discovered four feet below the surface of the bog. A careful examination is being made of the interior, and the cells are being cleared out. I propose to further examine the debris at the western end." ( Deane, T.N. "Appendix to the fifty-fifth Report of the Commissioner of Public Works, Ireland." Appendix F, 63. 1886-7.)
Deane was appointed the first Superintendent of National Monuments in 1875, with some controversy regarding his qualifications. An article in the "Irish Builder" (July 15, 1875, 193 ) concludes that "…Mr. Deane is, without doubt, an architect of recognised ability and experience; but it must be allowed that the general Irish public are not aware that our worthy architect has ever made the ancient architecture of Ireland a subject of previous study…"
Wakeman wrote that the Cloghanmore stones, "through the reckless operations of ignorant ‘conservers,’ have been so mutilated that it is no longer possible to form an exact idea of their original peculiarities…Few visitors to the spot will probably be able, without infinite trouble, to recognise this greatest of all the archaic remains of Glen Malin…In the first place, the monument has lately been transformed from a Dumha into a Caiseal. The enclosure has been further lined by a wall of dry stonework, some eight feet, or so, in height, by an average of twelve feet in thickness. Fortunately, this deplorable excrescence was built on the outside; or, rather, its interior face is flush with that of the blocks which form the pristine oval. All the stones used in the construction of this disgraceful sham appear to have belonged to a great carn, or carns, by which the chambers already noticed were anciently surmounted. The entire of the modern work of so-called conservation, here, can only be described as a mockery, a delusion, and a snare, to all unwary archaeological students by whom the site may be visited."
William Borlase wrote in 1897, "In its present condition of restoration by the Board of Works, it is hard to say exactly what its previous appearance was." (Borlase, William Copeland. The Dolmens of Ireland, Their Distribution, Structural Characteristics, and Affinities in Other Countries. Vol. 1. London: Chapman & Hall, Ld., 1897. 240-44.) This selection may be read here.
Kenneth McNally, however, writing in 2006, called the restoration "a perfunctory tidying-up project." (McNally, Kenneth. Ireland’s Ancient Stones; a Megalithic Heritage. Belfast: Appletree, 2006. 102-103.)

5Herity, Michael. Gleanncholmcille: A guide to 5,000 years of history in stone. Dublin: Na Clocha Breaca, 1998. 52.
The author mentions tombs similar in appearance to Cloghanmore: "on the shores of Donegal Bay, at Behy near Ballycastle in Co. Mayo."

6McNally, Kenneth. Ireland’s Ancient Stones; a Megalithic Heritage. Belfast: Appletree, 2006. 102-103.

7When William Wakeman saw the rock art, he wrote, "Some of the work would seem to represent a style of swastika, with one of its members effaced by the action of frost, rain, and so forth. If, indeed, it shall be pronounced by experts an example of that mysterious figure, it is the only one hitherto discovered in Ireland upon a pagan structure."
(Wakeman, W.F. "Proceedings and Papers." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Fifth 1.4 (1890): 264-65.)
Many visitors to Clochanmore in the modern era, even locals who have made the attempt repeatedly, have been unable to see the Neolithic art engraved on the two stones. The extensive multicolored patchwork of lichens, and the natural weathering of the stones since they were dug out of the bog in the nineteenth century, have worked to make the markings indecipherable except in the most advantageous lighting. In order to make the close up photograph of the concentric circles inscribed on the eastern stone, we had first to trim some of the high grasses that had grown over it.
Other photographers have successfully recorded the rock art. See the Megalithomania website’s images here. A photograph of the same concentric circles as shown in our VR environment, shot by Ken Williams (Shadows and Stones) may be viewed here.

8An expression of these sentiments is to be found in our interview with Paddy O’Shea, of Co. Kerry, which may be heard here.

9McGuire, John. "Keeping the Children Away." Personal interview. 13 July 1979.

10Danaher, Kevin. Gentle Places and Simple Things: Irish Customs and Beliefs. Dublin: Mercier, 1964. 48.
It would appear that the early church gave its blessing to the looting of prehistoric tombs. Benignus, a disciple of St. Patrick, "…possessed himself of them in company and with the full approval of St. Patrick himself." (Macalister, R.A.S., Ancient Ireland, A Study in the Lessons of Archaeology and History. London: 1935. 35.)

11Grinsell, Leslie V. Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain. London: Newton Abbot, 1976. 66.
The Ardagh Chalice may today to be seen in the National Museum of Ireland.

12Gregory, Augusta, and W. B. Yeats. Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland. Vol.1. New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1920, 41.
Patrick Kennedy relates the story of a Brian Neil, who "was employed one afternoon by Mrs. Rooney. After finishing his work for the day, he related to her his dream of the past three nights, in which he saw in the rath of Knockmor a big grey stone, and an old thorn tree, and a hole in the middle of them containing a crock at its bottom. He told her he would set out to see if there was really anything to be found there. Leaving Mrs. Rooney with a spade and a shovel, he returned three hours later ‘in a very dismantled condition, his hair in moist flakes, his eyes glassy, and his whole appearance betokening one who would drop in pieces if some strong power were not keeping him together.’ He gave an account of his ordeal to Mrs. Rooney, telling of finding the crock, but panicking before opening it. She gave him a drink, and he fell asleep from exhaustion.
In the morning, he decided to return to the rath, only to find the crock missing. He confronted Mrs. Rooney, who was the only one who knew of his quest.
‘Crock!’ said she, ‘what are you talking about? Oh, my poor man, you are raving!’
There was great commotion in the neighbourhood…All that the sharpest neighbour could make out was the absence of the farmer and his wife from their house for about an hour on the evening in question. It all resulted in poor Brian losing his reason, and coming to vituperate Mrs. Rooney about once a week at her own door. She always gave him something to eat or wear. By degrees the farm was improved, and more land taken. Her children were well provided for, and so are such of her grandchildren as are now living. Ill-got money does not in general produce such comfortable results." (Kennedy, Patrick. Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts. London: Macmillan and Co., 1866. 169-71.)

13O’Donnell, Janne. "Cloghanmore Megalithic Tomb." A Wee Bit of Ireland. Web. 27 June 2012. <http://www.a-wee-bit-of-ireland.com/eire_jul_2005/cloghanmore_01.html>.


 
Creevykeel Court Tomb

1Keogh, Gerald. "Creevykeel Court Tomb." Personal interview. 12 July 1979.

2Hencken, H. O’Neill. "A Long Cairn at Creevykeel, Co. Sligo." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 2 (1939): 96-97.
According to Anthony Weir, the Irish name for the site (Caisleán Bhaoisgin) may derive from the mountain behind Creevykeel, called (in transliteration) "Benwiskin," which seems to mean something like "Make-you-Mad Mountain."  Baois = folly, rage, madness, impropriety, lust, silliness…The suffix –gin in Irish is cognate with gen– in Greek (genesis, gene, etc. meaning producer or producing), so the mountain—or more likely the cairn—was that which made people a bit mad (as in faerie enchantment).

3Ó, Nualláin Seán. Survey of the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. County Sligo ed. Vol. V. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1989. 9-10.

4Hencken 96.
Commenting on the prophecy that the lintel stone would be thrown down by three brothers, the author (and excavator) stated "Though the story that this stone over the entrance from the court into the Chamber once stood erect sounds very improbable, it is generally believed in the district, and it was also told by Mr. John Hannon of Creevykeel. Mr. Connelly said that "the prophecy of the stone," which he had heard since he was a boy long before it fell, was that it would be thrown down "by three brothers of the one name." About thirty years ago three brothers upset the stone. It is incidentally worth mentioning that, had the stone ever stood erect, it could have been pushed over by three men, but certainly not if it lay flat as we replaced it."

5Byrne, Martin. "Court Cairns." An Introduction to Irish Megalithic Monuments | Sacred Island Guided Tours.Web. 29 June 2013. <http://carrowkeel.com/sites/sligo/creeveykeel.html>.
Weir, Anthony. "Creevykeel." Some Spared Stones of Ireland. Web. 28 June 2013. <http://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/zCreevykeel.htm>.
The tomb was excavated and reassembled in 1935.

6Jones, Carleton. Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2007. 104-110.
According to the author the additions to Creevykeel, with their added complexity, plus the extension of the court arms to conceal its interior might be "…evidence for increasing control over the esoteric knowledge the monuments contained by a small segment of the population and the corresponding exclusion of the majority of the population from that knowledge."

Peter Harbison called Creevykeel "one of the finest court tombs in the country." (Harbison, Peter. Guide to the National and Historic Monuments of Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. 291.)
The excavation of Creevykeel was undertaken by the Fourth Harvard Archaeological Expedition in Ireland between July 25 and September 4, 1935. There were twenty-seven men engaged in the excavation, (Hencken, H. O’Neill. "A Long Cairn at Creevykeel, Co. Sligo." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 2 (1939): 56-58.)

7Hencken 98.
In addition to the evidence of hearths and smelting in the court, the front chamber of the gallery also contained debris from this occupation and was found to be associated with the kiln in the north-western sector of the court. (9-10.)

8Jones 237-38.
The Creevykeel excavator observed "Traces of iron smelting have been observed at similar sites in Ireland, and the analogy of the Berkshire long barrow called Wayland’s Smithy leads one to speculate on the association in early times between tombs of a forgotten epoch and the magic craft of the smith."
(Hencken, H. O’Neill. "A Long Cairn at Creevykeel, Co. Sligo." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 2 (1939): 54.)
In 1937 Arensberg wrote: "So, when the good people strike, the countryman who still follows the old folklore is not unprepared. If butter fails to come, for instance, he can take a hearth-coal and sear the bottom of the churn. He can apply iron in a variety of forms; for ‘there is great power in iron.’" (Arensberg, Conrad M. The Irish Countryman: An Anthropological Study. New York: Peter Smith, 1937. 196.)

9Hencken 68-70.

10Hencken 96-97.
Mr. Connelly also said that at seventeen he cut a cane from a bush near the cairn but then left it in the road. When he looked up again the cane was gone, and he finally had to go to the fair without it. The next morning he passed by the same way and saw his cane lying in the middle of the road exactly where he had left it. After that he decided not to cut bushes near the cairn. He asked what was going to be done with the stones and was pleased when told they would be replaced. He said that "anyone who touched them meaning no harm would not be harmed, but if anyone touched them meaning harm, "they" might take some form of vengeance." Mr. Connelly did not think of Creevykeel as a grave "but as a dwelling inhabited at the present time. In this regard it takes its place with forts, raths and ruins of all ages, which are the regular abode of ‘the other people.’"

11Hencken 56.
The authors described the two (destroyed) tombs near Creevykeel: "Two hundred metres N.E. there remained recently enough to be marked on the same [6-inch Ordnance Survey map of Sligo, Sheet 3] Ordnance sheet another ‘Giant’s Grave,’ but this has now been removed. Six hundred metres W.S.W. is shown a third ‘Giant’s Grave,’ now represented by traces of a mound and two upright stones."

In 1888 Wood-Martin may have described what occurred with one of these tombs; "Near the village of Cliffoney, and in the townland of Creevykeel, the remains of another ‘Giant’s Grave’ presents no feature of interest; it is, in all probability, merely a small portion of a more extensive arrangement of cists. No inducement could prevail on the tenant to make an excavation; he and his father before him, he stated, refused to do so, although ‘untold gold’ had been offered. However, some few days afterwards, having occasion to verify the compass bearings, a return to the spot was needful, when it became evident that in the interval the grave had been dug out to the depth of four or five feet. In short, the suspicious yokel, imagining that the contemplated search was for a ‘crock of goold [sic],’ had determine to retain the treasure for himself. The debris thrown out by the would-be gold digger was carefully sifted, but nothing was found save numerous fragments of charcoal, no trace of bones being apparent. A man who was with the treasure-seeker during a portion of his excavation, stated that the floor of the cist was flagged, and on it rested a thick layer of charcoal, but nothing else. The flagstones that had formed the flooring were pointed out; one of them bore a cup pattern: this specimen was 20 inches in length by 14 inches in breadth, and 2.5 inches in thickness; but being too heavy to carry off with comfort at the time, it was unfortunately left behind, and the next day, when sought for, it had disappeared, and cannot since be traced." (Wood-Martin, W.G., The Rude Stone Monuments of Ireland: Co. Sligo and Achill Island. Dublin: Hodges, Figges and Co., 1888. 150-51.)

12O’Driscoll, Dennis. "Song." The Poetry Ireland Review 50 (1996): 21.


 
Doagh Holestone

1Lawlor, H.C. "Some Tentative Deductions Arising from the Study of Three Ancient Monuments in Northern Ireland. 1. The Holestone." The Irish Naturalists’ Journal 3.5 (1930): 107-08.
This author’s prize-winning essay cites as evidence for the Holestone’s ancient importance the fact that the builders of the nearby souterrains did not attempt to use the Holestone in their construction.

2Dexter, T.F.G. The Sacred Stone. Cornwall: New Knowledge, 1929. 24.
A holed stone at Castledermot, Co. Kildare, is known as the Swearing Stone. Two holed stones in the monastic enclosure on Inishmurray have associations with women in childbirth.

3"Doagh Holestone." Irish Antiquities. Web. 29 July 2011. <http://irishantiquities.bravehost.com/antrim/holestone/holestone.html>.

4Lawlor 108-09.

5"Sketch of a Ramble to Antrim, Taken July 10th, 1808." The Belfast Monthly Magazine 2.11 (1809): 424.

6Wood-Martin, W.G. "The Rude Stone Monuments of Ireland (Continued)." The Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland Fourth 8.70 (1887): 78-79.

7Zucchelli, Christine. Stones of Adoration Sacred Stones and Mystic Megaliths of Ireland. Doughcloyne, Wilton, Cork: Collins, 2007. 126.
Does the continuing practice cause undue wear on the ancient monument? According to Claire Foley of the Northern Ireland Environment Service, "We wouldn’t discourage the wear because the symbolic use of the stone is very important." (An Irishwoman’s Diary. The Irish Times. 12 February 1996. Quoted in "Spoil Heap," Archaeology Ireland, 10:1 (Spring, 1996) 36.
While researching the Doagh site in July of 2011 I found, in the Wikipedia entry for the town of Doagh, the following purported story of the Holestone: "There is a legend regarding a black horse that inhabits the field in which the holestone is situated. According to this legend a young couple were married at the stone, but the groom committed an act of adultery on their wedding night. For this act he was cursed by the stone to spend eternity as a horse, never dying, and never able to leave that field." Because I did not hear this story when I was doing the media fieldwork in Doagh, and because I’ve not seen this story repeated elsewhere, I sent an email query to the local town council. On August 4th I received this response: "I have asked various members of our local Historical Society and farmers who live in the area around the Holestone and no-one has heard this story. Good luck with your research. (signed) Lindy Reid (Secretary Ballyclare & District Historical Society)." I subsequently edited the Wikipedia page to delete the ersatz bit of folklore lest it be repeated enough to eventually become bound into the authentic lore of the site.

8"Doagh Holestone."

9Wood-Martin, W. G. Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland. Vol. 2. London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1902. 237-39.

10Weir, Anthony. "Potency and Sin: Ireland and the Phallic Continuum." Archaeology Ireland 4.2 (1990): 54-55.
"Doagh Holed Stone." The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map. Web. 30 July 2011. <http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=6333462>.
Aubrrey Burl cites instances of primitive people affecting the fertility of the land and crop harvest by performing sexual intercourse with animals and each other, within the megalithic enclosures. "Much early religion was naturalistic, concerned with nature and its effects, sometimes requiring a shaman to intercede with nature on behalf of the community, less a witch-doctor than a medium who would dance himself into a drum-beaten ecstasy before passing into a trance." (Burl, Aubrey. The Stone Circles of the British Isles. New Haven: Yale UP, 1976. 87-88.)

11M’S, S., and P. "The Holestone : County of Antrim." The Dublin Penny Journal 20 Apr. 1833: 340-41.

12Agnew, Hessie, and Elizabeth Wilson. "Doagh Holestone." Personal interview. 11 June 1998.


 
Dooncarton Stone Circle:

1Wood-Martin, W. G. Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland. Vol. 2. London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1902. 225.
The fear gorta ("man of hunger") is a phantom resembling an emaciated human. Fear gortach, "hungry grass," a patch of dead grass which appears where someone has died of hunger. Anyone who walks across it gets the same sickness. "According to Yeats’ Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry the fear gorta walks the earth during times of famine, seeking alms from passers-by. In this version the fear gorta can be a potential source of good luck for generous individuals." (Wikipedia)

2Poitín is a traditional Irish alcoholic drink that for centuries was illegal in the country. Traditionally distilled from malted barley grain or potatoes, it is one of the strongest alcoholic beverages in the world, In 1997 it became legal to sell poitín in the Republic of Ireland, and two distilleries produce a far weaker product than its illegally distilled ancestor. (Wikipedia)

3A retired schoolmaster, Seán Burke was interested in antiquarian and folkloric studies. Unfortunately we have no photographs of Burke, nor a recording of our conversation.

4Ciortan appears in the Ulster Cycle legend of the Táin Bó Flidhais. Another legend of the area was retold by Rev. Caesar Otway in 1850: A sea-king named Fergus came on a plundering raid to Erris, which was then owned by the giant Donnell Doolwee who lived at Glencastle. Fergus came to Donnell’s castle where he charmed Donnell’s faithless wife, Munhanna. She then found out the secret to Donnell’s invincibility, a ringlet of the hair of the Morrigan tied around his loins.
"Donnell was made drunk – he slept in sottishness – his knot was cut – [his enemy] admitted – he drew his sword, and Doolwee’s head was severed from his body, and sent rolling in all its ghastliness down the steep sides of the Doon; and the morning sun, as it rose over the eastern bill, saw the raven banner of the sea-king floating over the ramparts of Dooncarton." (Otway, Caesar. Sketches in Erris and Tyrawly, Illustrative of the Scenery, Antiquities, Architectural Remains, and the Manners and Superstitions of the Irish Peasantry. Dublin: T. Connolly, 1850. 39-42.)

5"Corrib Gas Pipeline: Environmental Impact Statement." Web. 29 Sept. 2011.
The "non-technical summary" of the EIS may be read here.

6Otway, Caesar. Sketches in Erris and Tyrawly, Illustrative of the Scenery, Antiquities, Architectural Remains, and the Manners and Superstitions of the Irish Peasantry. Dublin: T. Connolly, 1850. 337-38.
Earlier in his book the author complains about a different monument wantonly destroyed: "The head and foot stones of what has been called a giant’s grave still remain here, near the Doon – it is about forty feet long – also a cromleach–but as this lay in the way of the new road, the iligant [sic] engineer ordered it to be upset, and there the ruin lies and may lie, for stones are cheap, as a monument of a projector’s taste, who would not deflect his road half a perch, in order to preserve it." (pp. 38-9)


 
Dowth:

1O’Grady, Standish. Early Bardic Literature. London: Sampson Low, Searle, Marston & Rivington, 1879. 77-78.

2The two tombs within the Dowth mound are not (in 2011) considered secure and are closed to visitors, except for the yearly opening of the south tomb for the winter solstice sunset. A 2006 winter solstice photograph by Clare Tuffy (OPW) shows the people gathered for sunset standing high on the mound to catch the last rays of the setting sun. Information regarding the annual opening of the tomb for the winter solstice sunset may be found here. There was previously access available to the north tomb through the souterrain tunnel, in total darkness. An account of such a visit is available here.

3Herity, Michael. Irish Passage Graves: Neolithic Tomb-builders in Ireland and Britain, 2500 B.C. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1975. 3.
The 1847-48 excavation report estimated the effort required: "When perfect, the cubical content of the whole may be estimated at about 75,000 Cubic Yards, & considering the probable means then available for performing such work, 6 men would be required to collect & place the materials of each Cubic Yard in a day, so that the formation of the Mound itself, without any reference to internal Chambers, would require the labour of nearly half a million of men for a day, when we consider the remote period at which this must have been executed, the limited number of men which could then have been procured for the purpose, the great difficulty of transporting such bulky materials to a distance as those stones surmounting the bank composing the chambers of the Mound, & the consequent great length of time which must have been consumed in the creation of the work, even this apparently rude structure will bear a favourable comparison with some of the more celebrated works of modem times." (O’Kelly, M.J., Claire O’Kelly, V.R. O’Sullivan, and R.H. Frith. "The Tumulus of Dowth, County Meath." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 83C (1983): 1586-88.)

4Dowth, Brú na Bóinne. 2 June 2010. Information sign at the site. Dowth.
The "Stone of the Seven Suns" is considered in the context of its "ancient astronomical symbolism" here. Other sources for discussions of the rock art at Dowth include:
Coffey, George. "On Stone Markings (Ship-Figure) Recently Discovered at Dowth, in the County of Meath." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 4 (1889-1901): 586-88.
Coffey, George. "On the Tumuli and Inscribed Stones at New Grange, Dowth, and Knowth." The Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy 30 (1892/1896): 51-67.
O’Kelly, M.J., Claire O’Kelly, V.R. O’Sullivan, and R.H. Frith. "The Tumulus of Dowth, County Meath." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 83C (1983): 158-59.

5O’Kelly, M.J., Claire O’Kelly, V.R. O’Sullivan, and R.H. Frith. "The Tumulus of Dowth, County Meath." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 83C (1983): 148-56.
It was the urge to find a major central burial chamber at Dowth that prompted the ill-considered and poorly-executed 1847-48 excavations.

6Moroney, Anne-Marie. "Winter Sunsets at Dowth." Archaeology Ireland 13.4 (1999): 29-31.
Photographs taken demonstrating the illumination of the south tomb during the sunset of the Winter Solstice may be seen here and here.

7Cooney, Gabriel. "Dowth Passage Tomb." Archaeology Ireland 11.3 (1997): 18.
Coffey reported that "The present chamber roof is of concrete and is noticeably less successful at keeping out the rainwater than the Newgrange roof built about 5000 years ago." (O’Kelly, M.J., Claire O’Kelly, V.R. O’Sullivan, and R.H. Frith. "The Tumulus of Dowth, County Meath." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 83C (1983): 148-56.)

8Eogan, George, and Eoin Grogan. "Prehistoric and Early Historic Culture Change at Brugh Na Bóinne." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 91C (1991): 118.

9"Part 432 of The Annals of Ulster." UCC Home Page. Web. 29 June 2011. <http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100001A/text432.html>.

10O’Kelly 136-41.
Michael Herity has noted, "Passage Graves, probably because they often commanded a good view, seem to have been fairly often chosen as the sites of follies. Professor Ruaidhri de Valera has pointed out to me that the circular structure at the top of Clermont cairn in Co. Louth is probably the remains of one." (Herity, Michael. "From Lhuyd to Coffey: New Information from Unpublished Descriptions of the Boyne Valley Tombs." Studia Hibernica 7 (1967): 142, note 24.)

11O’Kelly 136-41.
Penal Law, in effect at the time, would have made it difficult for Netterville to practice his Catholicism openly.

12O’Kelly 41-44.
All the artifacts recovered from Dowth date to its period of use in Early Christian and Norse times. The 1847-48 excavation discovered burned bones, some human, within the chamber of Dowth North. In 1970, Claire. O’Kelly found a human mandible just beneath the surface of the floor in Dowth South.

13O’Kelly 141-44.

14O’Kelly 144.

15O’Kelly 147-48.

16Gwynn, Edward, trans. The Metrical Dindshenchas: "Cnogba." Cork: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts, 2004. The Metrical Dindshenchas. University College, Cork. Web. 29 June 2011. <http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T106500C.html>. 45.

17Gwynn 43-47.


 
Drombeg Stone Circle

1Burl, Aubrey. A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany. New Haven: Yale UP, 1995. 218-19.
The quotation is from The Ley Hunter, 90, 1981, 10-11.

2Hickey, John. "Drombeg Stone Circle." Personal interview. 17 June 1979.

3Hickey.
There is an illustration purporting to be the "…correct notation of the wail of the Banshee…" in the gallery at the bottom of the Drombeg page. It was described to the Halls as "…a sound that resembles the melancholy sound of the wind, but having the tone of a human voice, and distinctly audible to a great distance." (Hall, Mr. & Mrs. S.C. Ireland: Its Scenery, Character, etc. 3 vols. London: How and Parsons, 1841. V. 3, p. 106.)

4Burl.
A review in The New York Times referred to Burl as "…the leading authority on British Stone circles.” (Johnspon, Paul. "MagicStones: Prehistoric Avebury." The New York Times 21 Sept. 1979, Book Review sec.: 3.)

5Zucchelli, Christine. Stones of Adoration Sacred Stones and Mystic Megaliths of Ireland. Doughcloyne, Wilton, Cork: Collins, 2007. 41.

6"Drombeg Stone Circle." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 11 July 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drombeg_stone_circle>.
The narrow lane leading to the parking area seems to discourage large coaches, but there will be vehicles entering and leaving all throughout the day. For the best Drombeg experience, plan to arrive early in the morning. The area within the stone circle is now covered with a layer of gravel to protect the wet ground from becoming a muddy morass of all the visitors’ footprints. This crushed-stone platform is actually in harmony with the design of Drombeg’s original architects, who deposited a level layer of stones within the circle. The large-format Zoomify images on our Drombeg page were shot with a 4×5 view camera in 1979, when there was a grassy area inside the circle.

7Ó Nualláin, Seán. "The Stone Circle Complex of Cork and Kerry." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 105 (1975): 104-05.

8Fahy, E.M. "A Recumbent-stone Circle at Drombeg, Co. Cork." Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 64 (January-June, 1959): 4.
Fahy writes, (pp 14-15) "…we have established by actual observations at the site that…a line joining the centre of the portal gap (between stones no. 1 and 17) and the centre of the circle passes mid way through the recumbent stone. During the excavation vertical rods were set up at these points and photographed from a point on a projection of that line to the east. During mid-winter, 24 December 1957 and again on 23 December 1958, the setting sun was photographed by an independent observer, standing to the east outside the portal stones, and was found to lie slightly south of the point previously established as the axial intersection with the horizon, i.e., a point south of the V-gap in the horizon…"

9Fahy 25.

10Fahy 23-24.

11Ó Nualláin.
Conflicting evidence exists regarding the date of the construction of the stone circle. The Drombeg radiocarbon data (500 BCE – 127 CE for the circle; c. 500 CD for the fulacht fiadh) has varied widely, and is considered suspect by some authors. The pagan nature of the burial mode at the site, Ó Nualláin writes, makes a late date for the circle “highly improbably.” He considers the stylistic evidence of the pottery, the use of quartz stones in the monuments, and the general Bronze Age dating of such stone circles as supporting his argument that Drombeg is of Bronze Age construction. Fahy acknowledges (p. 25) “…we may…allow for the slight possibility that the circle pre-dates the burial and pavement.” But he also asserts (p. 16) that “the burial was a primary feature of the site.

12Fahy 9-10.

13Fahy 16-17.

14Burl.

15Fahy, E.M. "A Hut and Cooking Places at Drombeg, Co. Cork." Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 65 (January-June, 1960): 14-15.
Fahy writes, "While it is unlikely that the site was in use for 500 years it is possible that it was in intermittent use for several decades; but there can be no finality in the matter."

16O’Kelly, Michael. "Excavations and Experiments in Ancient Irish Cooking-Places." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 84.2 (1954): 138-39.
O’Kelly here translates fulacht fiadh as "cooking-place of deer," "cooking-place of game," or "cooking-place of the wild [outdoors]." His earliest source for this is the Medieval etymology Cormac’s Glossary. There are some  4,500 fulacht fiadh in Ireland, with 2,000 found in Co. Cork. The stone walkway connecting the fulacht fiadh to the conjoined huts would have been required by the marshy landscape.

17Fahy, E.M. "A Hut and Cooking Places at Drombeg, Co. Cork." 9-10.
O’Kelly added some details: "Clouds of steam billowed up from the trough and the wet peat all around it became hot. This was a remarkable result and showed that our supposed difficulties regarding the cooling effect of the ground and of the cold water seeping in from the peat. were of no consequence! As the stones went in. some water was displaced over the lowest point of the side. but using really well-heated stones. a comparatively small number only were required so that not much water was lost in this way. A stone measuring 30 x 15 x 5 cm put in red-hot kept the water in its vicinity boiling very strongly for 15 minutes and even after it had been in the water for 30 minutes. it was still too hot to handle." (O’Kelly, Michael. "Excavations and Experiments in Ancient Irish Cooking-Places." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 84.2 (1954): 121-22.)

18O’Kelly 121-22.
One example from the "early Irish literature" might be from Keating’s Foras Feasa ar Éirinn (1723, from Medieval sources): "However, from Bealltaine until Samhain. the Fian were obliged to depend solely on the products of their hunting and of the chase as maintenance and wages from the kings of Ireland; thus, they were to have the flesh for food, and the skins of the wild animals as pay. But they only took one meal in the day-and-night, and that was in the afternoon. And it was their custom to send their attendants about noon with whatever they had killed in the morning’s hunt to an appointed hill, having wood and moorland in the neighbourhood, and to kindle raging fires thereon, and put into them a large number of emery stones; and to dig two pits in the yellow clay of the moorland, and put some of the meat on spits to roast before the fire; and to bind another portion of it with suagans in dry bundles and set it to boil in the larger of the two pits and keep plying them with the stones that were in the fire, making them seethe often until they were cooked. And these fires were so large that their sites are to-day in Ireland burnt to blackness, and these are now called Fulacht Fian by the peasantry."
Poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill evokes the image of the Fenian warriors at their Fulacht Fian in this excerpt from her poem "The Lay of Loughadoon:"

"We walked on till we found
a megalithic tomb or burial-mound,
wedge-shaped, with a great capstone, and by it
an ancient cooking-pit.

‘While they hunted,’ I went on to say,
‘Fionn and the Fianna
ate only one meal a day
and that usually in the evening.

Their stewards used to light great fires
and dig two pits, in one of which
Fionn and the Fianna would wash
while their dinner cooked in the other.’"

(Ní Dhomhnaill, Nuala, and Paul Muldoon. The Astrakhan Cloak. Winston-Salem, NC: Wake Forest UP, 1993. 67.)

19O’Kelly 141.
The author explains the lack of any findings of bones in the all the fulacht fiadh thusly: "In the first place meat bones left strewn about on the surface must have been quickly scavenged by the hunting dogs and by wild animals after the party had left the site; and secondly, if they were thrown on to or buried in the peat bogs, or in the adjacent soil, it is probable that they would have been dissolved away by the acidity of the ground. It is not surprising, therefore, that no bone was found at any of our sites." This line of reasoning has not been persuasive to all observers.

20O’Neill, John. "Just Another ‘Fulachta Fiadh’ Story." Archaeology Ireland 14.2 (2000): 19.
That the fulachta fiadh may be used for brewing beer was a moment of inspiration: "One hungover morning at breakfast, discussing the natural predisposition of all men to seek means to alter our minds, coupled with our innate inquisitiveness (and more mundane preparations for the excavation of a fulacht fiadh), Billy came to a sudden and startling conclusion: fulachta fiadh were Ireland’s earliest breweries!" (Quinn, Billy, and Declan Moore. "Ale, Brewing and ‘Fulachta Fiadh’" Archaeology Ireland 21.3 (2007): 8.)

21O’Brien, _____. "Drombeg Stone Circle." Personal interview. 16 June 1979.
Mr. O’Brien may not have been aware that the reason that the bushes would not grow within the stone circle was due to the terrace of flat stones the original builders has placed there.

22McLiam, Cian (Ken Williams). "Forums | Anyone in Cork to Inspect This Circle?" Stone Circles, Megalithic Remains, Prehistoric Sites | The Modern Antiquarian.com. 8 Oct. 2005. Web. 11 July 2011. <http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/forum/?thread=27271>.
Modern-day visitors also may leave smudge-sticks, melted wax, trash, and, worst of all, carved or painted graffiti.

23Fahy, E.M. "A Recumbent-stone Circle at Drombeg, Co. Cork." 23-24.

24Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford, UK: B. Blackwell, 1991. 73-74.

25Damery, Patricia. "The Horned God: A Personal Discovery of Cultural Myth." The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal 23.3 (2004): 19.


 
Dun Aengus

1Westropp, T.J. "A Study of the Fort of Dun Aengusa in Inishmore, Aran Isles, Galway Bay: Its Plan, Growth, and Records." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 28 (1910): 32.

2Westropp 34.
He writes, "An unrestored fort is its own record; but, to one who recalls the weird chaos of ruin-heaps in 1878, and contrasts it with the neat, level-topped enclosures left by the restorers six years later, the old descriptions, no matter how rude, assume a great importance, and should be laid before one’s readers." Westropp continues on p. 45: "The unnecessary rebuilding and levelling up of parts of the walls and the "tidy" and new appearance thereby produced, show how desirable it was that the work should have been constantly under the supervision and direction of an antiquary who had studied our ring-walls carefully. Left to non-antiquaries and the natives, the work was of course done unsympathetically, like repairing a fence…"

3Dalton, John P. "Who Built Dun Aengus? (Continued)." Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society 14.3/4 (1929): 110.
The author suggests that King Aengus made a living as a pirate: "…unless they still resorted periodically to sea-raiding and smuggling. Aenghus could have kept up but the very poorest semblance of a royal court at Dun Aengus."
Another possibility, reported by Westropp (quoting Edward Ledwich, 1790) is that Dun Aengusa was named much later, after an entirely different Aenghus, one who was King of Cashel, c. 460 CE.

4"Lebor Gabala Pt. 3." AKA Mary Jones. Web. 04 June 2011. <http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/lebor3.html>.
The full text may be read at this web site.

5Westropp 12.

6Norman, Edward. The Early Development of Irish Society the Evidence of Aerial Photography. Cambridge: University, 1969. 81-82.
Also: Long, Harry, and Etienne Rynne. "Dún Aonghasa." Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society 44 (1992): 21.

7Excavations.ie. Searchable Database of Irish Excavation Reports. Web. 05 June 2011.1992 Report. 1993 Report. 1994 Report. 1995 Report.

8Long 11.
The authors on p. 17 suggest that Dun Aengus and its chevaux-de-frise play an important role in discussions of the origin of Celtic groups in Ireland. "The question of when and by what routes Celtic-speaking peoples first arrived in Ireland is fraught with controversy and doubt. The stone chevaux-de frise at Dún Aonghasa is seen as evidence of the influx from Iberia of people speaking Q-Celtic in the wake of the Roman conquest of 133 B.C.33. Some philologists, however, associate the Fir Bolg of Ireland with the Belgae of Belgium and France, who may have occupied sites where, earlier, wooded chevaux-de-frise have been found. Dún Aonghasa is thus at the centre of a debate in which the chevaux-de-frise is used to argue two different opinions."
One of the other three examples of chevaux-de-frise is also on the island of Inishmore, at Dun Dúbhchathair, the Black Fort. There is a virtual-reality view of this fort (from a distance) on the Dun Aengus page.

9Westropp :21-22.

10"Dun Aengus." University of Notre Dame. Web. 05 June 2011. <http://www.nd.edu/~ikuijt/Ireland/Sites/acastela/site/index.html>.

11Westropp 34.
In addition to Westropp’s work in 1909, the most significant of the other investigators were:
Roderick O’Flaherty (1684-6) "Ogygia"; Edward Ledwich (1797). "He gives a delusive view…regards the fort as a mandra or monastic enclosure"; John O’Flaherty (1824); George Petrie (1821 and 1857); John O’Donovan (1839); Samuel Ferguson (1853); John Windele (ante 1854); Lady Ferguson (1867). "The Irish before the Conquest"; and Lord Dunraven (ante 1875). He took photographs before the restoration.

12Petrie, George, and D. J. S. O’Malley. "Aspects of George Petrie. V. An Essay on Military Architecture in Ireland Previous to the English Invasion." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 72 (Read, 1834. Published, 1972): 247-48, 266-68.

13O’Flaherty, John T. "A Sketch of the History and Antiquities of the Southern Islands of Aran, Lying off the West Coast of Ireland; with Observations on the Religion of the Celtic Nations, Pagan Monuments of the Early Irish, Druidic Rites, &c." The Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy 14 (1825): 97-98.

14Evans-Wentz, W. Y. The Fairy-faith in Celtic Countries. London: H. Frowde, 1911. 416.
As Petrie noted perspicaciously 77 years earlier: "The Antiquities of Ireland have already attracted the attention of several learned men, but the antiquarian knowledge of those persons was confined to literature—they had no general or accurate acquaintance with the ancient remains of our own and other countries. It was therefore but natural that their labors whether guided by a Spirit of rational enquiry, or led on by visionary national predilection, should have almost equally tended to darken rather than elucidate the subjects of their investigation."

15Westropp 1-2.
He writes, "Of all the early forts of Ireland we may say that only one has appealed to the imagination, and even to the affection, of the nation, as a building, and become, with most antiquaries, the type and symbol of the countless similar structures, all subordinate to it in interest. At Emania and Tara it is the sentiment and tradition, not the remains, that so appeal ; but at Dun Aengusa the site and the building affect even the coolest mind as no place of mythic or historic association could do."

16Wakeman, William F. "Aran – Pagan and Christian. Part I." Duffy’s Hibernian Magazine 1. January-June (1862): 470.
This article may be read in its entirety here.

17Westropp 36.

18Gannon, J.B. "The Unveiled Aran." The Irish Monthly 73.870 (1945): 519-22.

19Grover-Rogoff, Jay. "Dun Aengus." The Hudson Review 38.1 (1985): 83.


 
Dún An Óir

1Maley, Willy. "Something Quite Atrocious: English Colonialism Beyond the Pale and the Licence to Violence." Eolas: The Journal of the American Society of Irish Medieval Studies 3 (2009): 82-83.Review of: Edwards, David, Pádraig Lenihan, and Clodagh Tait. Age of Atrocity: Violence and Political Conflict in Early Modern Ireland. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts, 2007.
The quote is from Thomas Churchyard, A General Rehearsall of Warres (1579), wherein he explains the strategy of Sir Humphrey Gilbert in Ireland. The entire quote follows:
"He further tooke this order infringeble, that when soeuer he made any ostyng, or inrode, into the enemies Countrey, he killed manne, woman, and child, and spoiled, wasted, and burned, by the grounde all that he might: leauyng nothyng of the enemies in saffetie, whiche he could possiblie waste, or consume. And these were his reasons that perswaded hym thereto, as I haue often heard hym saie. Firste the men of warre could not bee maintained, without their Churles, and Calliackes, or women, who milked their Creates, and prouided their victualles, and other necessaries. So that the killyng of theim by the sworde, was the waie to kill the menne of warre by famine, who by flight oftentymes saued them selues from the dinte of the sworde."

2Heaney, Seamus. "Ocean’s Love to Ireland." Irish University Review 4.2 (1974): 199-200.
The lines in the poem, "as gallant and good / Personages as ever were beheld," are quoted by Heaney from what were reported as Lord Grey’s remarks when is he saw the bodies of the 600 slain prisoners “stripped and laid out upon the sands.” (Pope-Hennessy, John. Sir Walter Raleigh in Ireland. London: K. Paul, Trench, &, 1883.) The Heaney poem may be read in its entirety here.

3Cuppage, Judith. Archaeological Survey of the Dingle Peninsula: a Description of the Field Antiquities of the Barony of Corca Dhuibhne from the Mesolithic Period to the 17th Century A.D. Ballyferriter: Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, 1986. 424-25.

4Clodagh, Finn, and Tom Finn. "After the Gold Rush." Archaeology Ireland 16.1 (2002): 24-27.

5Snoddy, Oliver. "Dún an Óir." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 102.2 (1972): 247-48.

6Westropp 194.

7"The Second Desmond Rebellion." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 19 June 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Desmond_Rebellion>.

8Westropp 194.

9"Arthur Grey, 14th Baron Grey De Wilton." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 19 June 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Grey,_14th_Baron_Grey_of_Wilton>.

10Westropp 195.
The ships which engaged the fort were the " Swiftsure," the " Tiger," the "Marlyon," and the “Revenge.” The most famous battle of the Revenge was the subject of the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem titled after her.

11Westropp 196.

12"Review of "The Massacre at Smerwick" 1937." Ulster Journal of Archaeology 2 (1939): 127-28.

13L.P.M. "Review of "The Massacre at Smerwick" 1937." Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society 9.1 (1037): 64.

14"Review of "The Massacre at Smerwick" 1937." Ulster Journal of Archaeology 2 (1939): 127-28.
It seems that the English felt that they had no obligation to recognize the sovereignty of the Pope, who financed the expeditionary forces, and the King of Spain did not wish to be implicated in the attack. Thus the Catholic forces were thought of as bandits who were not deserving of the normal treatment specified for prisoners of war.

15J.R. "Review of "The Massacre at Smerwick." Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, 27.108 (1938): 690-92.

16J.R.
Another similar account is from a letter from Captain Bingham: "The bande which had the warde of that day, which was Mr. Denny’s, then entered [the fort], but in the meantime there were also entered a number of mariners upon the part next to the sea, which with the soldiers aforesaid, having possessed the place, fell to spoiling and reveling and withal to killing, in which they never ceased while there lived one." {Bingham to Lane, from Smerwick Roades, 11th November, 1580."—"Cotton MSS.," Titus A., xii. 313, Brit. Museum.) Cited in: Hickson, Mary A. "Historic Truth and Sham Legends." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Fifth 8.1 (1898): 65-66.

17"Dun an Oir." Wikimapia – Let’s Describe the Whole World! Web. 19 June 2011. <http://wikimapia.org/11025172/Dun-an-Oir>.

18Spenser, Edmund, and Alexander B. Grosart. A Veue of the Present State of Ireland (1633). London: Hazell, Watson and Viney, 1882.
The pamphlet may be read in its entirely here, and its significance considered here.
One author believes that it could not have been Spenser who authored the Veue, as Grey was his patron, she argues, and Spenser would not have deliberately sabotaged his reputation. She insists that Grey was recalled, and fell into disfavor, not because of the Smerwick Massacre but rather because of his alleged financial mismanagement. The brutality at Smerwick, she says, was not condemned, rather it was praised, and even the Spanish hardly protested it. (Canino, Catherine G. "Reconstructing Lord Grey’s Reputation: A New View of the View." The Sixteenth Century Journal 29.1 (1998): 3-18.)
The letter signed by Spenser, the second page of which is included on our Dún An Óir page was written by the poet for Lord Grey nineteen days after the massacre. This letter lists Grey’s activities in the days following, while he worked to strengthen the garrisons of the important fortresses south of Limerick. (Jenkins, Raymond. "Spenser with Lord Grey in Ireland." PMLA 52.2 (1937): 338-53.)

19J.R.

20Canino, Catherine G. "Reconstructing Lord Grey’s Reputation: A New View of the View." The Sixteenth Century Journal 29.1 (1998): 3.

21Maley 89.
The title of the quoted 1581 pamphlet is: The true reporte of the prosperous successe which God gaue unto our English souldiours against the forraine bands of our Romaine enemies lately ariued, (but soone inough to theyr cost) in Ireland, in the yeare 1580.

22Hickson, Mary A. "Historic Truth and Sham Legends." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Fifth 8.1 (1898): 65-66.
While many sources list Sir Walter Raleigh among the participants in the Smerwick Massacre, this author presents a well-documented argument that he could not have been present the day of the battle.

23Lister, David. "Massacre Victims from Raleigh’s Time Return to Haunt Irish Shore." The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion. 13 Apr. 2004. Web. 20 June 2011. <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article822086.ece>.

24"Was It Blarney or Not? – Review of Dun An Oir, Dingle, Ireland." Reviews of Hotels, Flights and Vacation Rentals – TripAdvisor. 5 Mar. 2004. Web. 20 June 2011. <http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g211861-d216379-r1709086-Dun_An_Oir-Dingle_Dingle_Peninsula_County_Kerry.html>.
There actually were human bones found on a nearby beach south of Dun an Oir on Smerwick Harbor, with such discoveries dating from the 1980s. There a medieval cemetery of the thirteenth-fifteenth centuries, built close to the shoreline, was subject to erosion. Local residents and tourists alike reported finding bones while walking the nearby beaches. The site, called Teampall Bán, was stabilized by the construction of a sea wall in 1996 and additional work in 2005. (Bennett, Isabel. “Teampall Bán, Caherquin: Archaeological Context and Preliminary Survey/Excavation, Winter 1996/7.” Ed. Michael Connolly. Past Kingdoms: Archaeological Research, Survey and Excavation in County Kerry. Proceedings of the 2005 Archaeological Lecture Series. The Heritage Council (2005): 66-75.)

25Jenkins, Raymond. "Spenser with Lord Grey in Ireland." PMLA 52.2 (1937): 351.


 
Dunbeg Promontory Fort

1Wood-Martin, W. G. Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland. Vol. 1. London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1902. 352-53. This passage may be read in its entirety here.

2Westropp, Thomas J. "Promontory Forts and Similar Structures in the County Kerry. Part IV. Corcaguiny (The Southern Shore) (Continued)." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 40.4 (1910): 267-274.

3Gregory, Augusta, and W. B. Yeats. Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland. Vol. 1. New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1920. 207.
"Many of the stories I have gathered tell how those tribes still protect their own; and even today, March 21, 1916, I have read in the Irish Times that ‘a farmer who was summoned by a road contractor for having failed to cut a portion of a hedge on the roadside, told the magistrates at Granard Petty Sessions that he objected to cutting the hedge as it grew in a fort or rath. He however had no objection to the contractor’s men cutting the hedge. The magistrate allowed the case to stand til the next court.’"
On the other hand, in 1898 George du Noyer wrote, "At present there is a passage between the fort and the cliff at this end-formed, no doubt, by the removal of the stones by road contractors, and for building purposes. An old man whom I questioned on this point, informed me that he remembered ‘hundreds of tons of stones’ being taken out of it." (Lynch, P. J. "Notes on Dunbeg Fort, County Kerry, with Special Reference to the Drawings and Description by George V. Du Noyer." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Fifth 8.4 (1898): 325-28.)

4Lynch, P. J. "Notes on Dunbeg Fort, County Kerry, with Special Reference to the Drawings and Description by George V. Du Noyer." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Fifth 8.4 (1898): 325-28.

5Barry, T.B., S. Diarmond, T.D. Shanley, Maura Scannell, and Edelgard Soergel-Harbison. "Archæological Excavations at Dunbeg Promontory Fort, County Kerry, 1977." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 81C (1981): 295-329.
The authors address the difficulty of understanding the fort’s original outline: "The stone rampart as it stands to-day is probably the result of both the original builder’s craft and the reconstruction programme undertaken by the Board of Works. Because of the lack of recorded details of this work it is virtually impossible to sort out the original remains from the 1890s reconstructions. The basic difficulty is in deciding whether the rampart was originally straight in plan, as shown by Du Noyer (PI. II) and all other researchers before Deane, or whether its two ends were curved."
T.J. Westropp wrote in 1910, "…something like a panic spread among Irish antiquaries, and the belief was most strongly expressed that the fort had been almost rebuilt, and most of its features altered." (Westropp, Thomas J. "Promontory Forts and Similar Structures in the County Kerry. Part IV. Corcaguiny (The Southern Shore) (Continued)." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 40.4 (1910): 267-274.)

6Cuppage, Judith. Archaeological Survey of the Dingle Peninsula: a Description of the Field Antiquities of the Barony of Corca Dhuibhne from the Mesolithic Period to the 17. Century A.D. Ballyferriter: Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, 1986. 92-94.
The author quotes the fort’s excavator as suggesting that the workmen involved in reconstruction work in the 1890’s may have mistaken the remains of post-medieval field walls as part of the original rampart, and thus reconstructed the rampart accordingly. The scholars who visited the fort in the nineteenth century all reported the rampart wall as extending in a straight line cliff-to-cliff. In his 1875 Notes on Irish Architecture, Lord Dunraven wrote of Dunbeg, "This great Cyclopean work consists of three ramparts and a massive stone wall, which reaches from cliff to cliff, and cuts off the promontory from
all communication with the mainland." (Dunraven, Edwin Windham Wyndham-Quin. Notes on Irish Architecture By Edwin, Third Earl of Dunraven. Ed. Margaret MacNair Stokes. London: George Bell and Sons, York Street, Covent Garden, 1875. 19.)

7Barry 311-312. The clochán has an internal diameter of up to 7.5 m. (24.6 ft). The doorway, which faces north-west, has a height of 1.3 m ( (4.3 ft). In the eastern "guard room," the roof is about 2 m (6.5 ft) above floor level, which would allow a man to stand upright.. However the western chamber is only about 1.2 m (4 ft) high so a man of average height inside would need to crouch or lie prone. The Gallarus Oratory, near the town of Dingle, is an evolved example of the more primitive clochán in Dunbeg Fort and the other nearby clochain in the Fahan area. It can be explored in virtual reality here.

8Barry 309-11.
The authors write, "The northern end of the souterrain is marked by a semi-circular wall with a possible small ventilation shaft at roof level…On the balance of probability the souterrain, which lacks any chambers or abrupt changes in floor level, would probably have been a place of refuge for the defenders of the fort. It would have been quite a simple matter to seal off its southernmost entrance inside the rampart with one of the smaller floor slabs of the entrance-way. The last defender into the souterrain would have had to fit this capstone in very tightly between its neighbours so that the souterrain underneath would remain undetected even after the fort had been captured."

9Morierty, Michael. "Paths Controlled by Ghosts." Personal interview. 20 June 1979.

10Barry 295-97.
There were fragments of post-medieval pottery, nails, and buttons found during the excavation. There were also a few stray finds dating from the nineteenth century, such as fragments of clay pipes and religious medals.

11MacDonogh, Steve. The Dingle Peninsula. Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland: Brandon, 2000. 141-43.

12"Dun Mor Celtic Fort Bulldozed." Indymedia Ireland. 12 July 2004. Web. 21 June 2012. <http://www.indymedia.ie/article/65936>.


 
Eightercua Alignment

1"The Sons of Mil." Mythical Ireland – Newgrange, Ancient Sites, Myths, Mysteries, Tours and Astronomy. Web. 09 Mar. 2011. <http://www.mythicalireland.com/mythology/tain/sonsofmil.html>.
A translation from the original text appears here (Section VIII, "The Sons of Mil." 31, para. 386).
It is understood by historians, in all these cases, that the place name was extant, and the person or thing connected to it was invented by the etymologizer.

2"Eightercua." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 09 Mar. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eightercua>.

3The Biographical Dictionary of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1842. 456-57.

4"Lebor Gabála Érenn." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 09 Mar. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebor_Gabála_Érenn>.

5"Schools MS #476." Schools’ Folklore Scheme. The Irish Folklore Commission. 1937-38.

6Henry, F. "Early Monasteries, Beehive Huts, and Dry-Stone Houses in the Neighbourhood of Caherciveen and Waterville (Co. Kerry)." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C, Vol. 58, (1956/1957). 140-41.

7Lynch, P. J. "Some of the Antiquities around Ballinskelligs Bay, County Kerry." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Fifth Series, Vol. 32, No. 4, 1902. 331-33.

8Lynch 332-33.

9Cross, Tom Peete, and Clark Harris. Slover. Ancient Irish Tales. New York: H. Holt, 1936. 21.

10Bushe, Paddy. "Scéine’s Reply to Aimherigin." The Poetry Ireland Review, No. 65, Summer, 2000. 8.


 
Fourknocks Passage Tomb

1"Four Knocks: Sun, Moon and Uranus." The Hedge Druid. Web. 02 Apr. 2011. <http://www.hedgedruid.com/2010/06/four-knocks-sun-moon-and-uranus/#more-6271>.

2Tour companies active in this area include Boyne Valley Tours, and Native Spirit Tours.

3Fourknocks Passage Tomb. 31 May 2010. Information sign at the site. Stamullen.

4The story of the expulsion of Elcmar from Brú na Bóinne by the "druid-enchantments" of Aenhus is a Celtic myth which in its present form dates from about the time of Christ.
Herity, Michael. Irish Passage Graves: Neolithic Tomb-builders in Ireland and Britain, 2500 B.C. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1975. 1.

5"Fourknocks (Passage Grave) | Ireland | The Modern Antiquarian.com." Stone Circles, Megalithic Remains, Prehistoric Sites | The Modern Antiquarian.com. Web. 02 Apr. 2011. <http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/891/fourknocks.html>.
In an email communication 4/1/2011, Mr. Padraig Clancy of the Antiquities Department at the National Museum of Ireland suggested that the specific conversation referenced in the citation above may be contained in a newspaper clipping in the Fourknocks topograpical file.

6Hartnett, P. J. "Excavation of a Passage Grave at Fourknocks, Co. Meath." Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 58 (1956/1957): 197-98.

7Hartnett 12.
More recently archaeologist Carleton Jones interpreted the evidence to indicate that the wooden beams presumed attached to a central post did indeed support the stones and capstone of a fully-corbelled roof. (Jones, Carleton. Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2007. 94.)

8Harbison, Peter. Guide to National and Historic Monuments of Ireland: including a Selection of Other Monuments Not in State Care. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. 261.

9Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford, UK: B. Blackwell, 1991. 55-57.

10Archaeologist Carleton Jones suggests that marble-size chalk balls found in the Fourknocks excavation, similar to those found in other tombs, may have been used within a ritual practice of placing the marbles into the cupmarks or other decorations on the stones. "Perhaps they were the ‘eyes’ of spirits or ancestors, which were only opened by performing particular rituals." (Jones, Carleton. Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2007. 100.)
Martin Dier doubts that the megalithic artist intended to create a representation of a face. "When dealing with a culture as clearly sophisticated as is evident from the careful positioning of the massive stones, it is unlikely that they produced a crude face when clearly they could manage much more difficult tasks."
(Dier, Martin. "Fourknocks An Interpretation by Martin Dier." Knowth.com. Web. 2 Apr. 2011. <http://www.knowth.com/fourknocks-mdier.htm>.)

11Hartnett 222.

12Thomas, Julian. "Monuments from the Inside: The Case of the Irish Megalithic Tombs." World Archaeology Monuments and the Monumental 22.2 (1990): 175.

13Hartnett 241-43.

14"Carved Stone." National Museum of Ireland. Web. 02 Apr. 2011. <http://www.museum.ie/en/list/artefacts.aspx?article=624061c1-9b53-464e-a1d6-d71a9c77b27c>.

15Cooney, Gabriel. "A Tale of Two Mounds: Monumental Landscape Design at Fourknocks." Archaeology Ireland 11.2 (Summer, 1997): 18-19.

16Underwood, Guy. The Pattern of the Past. New York: Abelard-Schuman, Ltd., 1972. 91-2.

17Dier, Martin. "Fourknocks An Interpretation by Martin Dier." Knowth.com. Web. 2 Apr. 2011. <http://www.knowth.com/fourknocks-mdier.htm>.


 
Fuerty Fairy Fort

1Wilde, Lady Jane Francesca, and W. R. Wilde. Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms & Superstitions of Ireland: with Sketches of the Irish past. London: Chatto & Windus, 1902. 235.

2"Fuerty." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Oct. 2013. Web. 18 Dec. 2013. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuerty>.
"The existing ruins are of a 17th-century Church of Ireland. The tower was added in 1790 but the church was destroyed by fire in 1870."

3Connolly, Liam. "Fuerty Fairy Fort." Personal interview. 19 July 2013.

4Gregory, Augusta, and W. B. Yeats. Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland. Vol. 2. New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1920. 216.

5Carleton, W. "Irish Superstitions – No. 3 Ghosts and Fairies." Irish Penny Journal 1.23 (1841).

6"Assorted Newspaper Accounts from Tipperary – Printed in the London Times." Ireland Genealogy Projects: Tipperary Genealogy. Ed. Sheryl Zenzerovich. Web. 18 Dec. 2013. <http://www.igp-web.com/tipperary/newspapers/newsaccts2.htm>.
In 1841 the Halls embellished the newspaper account with their own lurid details: "The poor dying child was threatened with a red-hot shovel and a ducking under a pump if he did not disclose where the real John Mahony was; and so successful were the actors in their scheme devised for the expulsion of the fairy, that the feeble child, after being held near the hot shovel, and also having been taken a part of the way to the pump, told them he was a fairy, and that he would send back the real John Mahony the next evening if they gave him that night’s lodging. This occurred on Tuesday night last, and the child was dead the next morning." (
Hall, S. C., and A. M. Hall. Ireland, Its Scenery, Character, etc. Vol. 3. London: How and Parsons, 1841.)

7Croker, Thomas Crofton. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland. Vol. 2. London: John Murray, 1828. vii-ix.
The author was here quoting from the "Tralee Assizes," of July, 1826 as noted in the Dublin Evening Mail of April 18, 1827.

8McGrath, Thomas. "Fairy Faith and Changelings: The Burning of Bridget Cleary in 1895." Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review 71.282 (1982): 178-84.
"Bridget Cleary." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Nov. 2013. Web. 18 Dec. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridget_Cleary>.
"The Extraordinary Case in Tipperary." The Irish Times [Dublin] 27 Mar. 1895: 5. Also: 26, 28, 30 March and 2, 3, 6, 8 April 1895.
An image of the Irish Times story from March 30, 1895 may be seen here.

9Ní Dhomhnaill, Nuala, and Paul Muldoon. The Astrakhan Cloak. Winston-Salem, NC: Wake Forest UP, 1993. 59.
In another poem from the same volume, "The Battering,"
Ní Dhomhnaill provides a harrowing vision of a what may be a mother’s account of reclaiming her child from the fairies, or the story of a delusional child abuser (excerpt):

I only just made it home last night with my child
from the fairy fort.
He was crawling with lice and jiggers
and his skin was so red and raw
I’ve spent all day putting hot poultices on his bottom
and salving him with Sudocrem
from stem to stern.

If they try to sneak anything past
that’s not my own, if they try to pull another fast
one on me, it won’t stand a snowball’s
chance in hell:
I’d have to bury it out the field.
There’s no way I could take it anywhere next
or near the hospital.
As things stand,
I’ll have more than enough trouble
trying to convince them that it wasn’t me
who gave my little laddie this last battering.

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