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  • Kilchreest
    Photography © 2006
    Knockbeha Mountain
    Knockbeha Mountain

    The Silurian. The rocks of this System occur inside a series of inliers surrounded by Old Red Sandstone, dotted about in the wide area of Carboniferous strata of the North-eastern and Central parts of the Province, in the area of Clogher on the west, and of Waterford to the east. The following areas demand description: Lough Graney, Slieve Bernagh, the Silvermine Mountains, Slieve-Felim, and the Devil's Bit; Slieve Galty; Slievenaman; The Comeragh Mountains; Clogher Head and Dingle.

    Everywhere the rocks are green, grey, or blue grits, slates, and flags, with beds of sandstone, rare limestones, and black slates. The slates are especially quarried and utilized in Clare, Cork, Kerry, and Tipperary. At Lough Graney the beds answer this description; they are imperfectly cleaved, and, about Scalpnagown, contain beds of volcanic ash and breccia, and masses of felsite, andesite, and amygdaloidal diabase, some of which are intrusive, but others are undoubtedly lavas of contemporaneous date. No fossils have hitherto been found in these rocks, and their exact age is unknown. In the Slieve Bernagh range occur compact green grits, purple and green slates, quartzo-felspathic sandstones, with olive and red clay rocks; fossils are fairly abundant. pp. 81-82.

    "Guide to the collections of rock and fossils belonging to the Geological Survey of Ireland (arranged in Room 3, E. of the Museum of Science and Art, Dublin)" (1895)
    A. Mc Henry, M.R.I.A., and W.W. Watts, M.A. F.G.S.

    Source: Internet Archive


    The Old Red Sandstone is magnificently developed in the south-west of Ireland, supporting first the Carboniferous Slate, or Devonian form of the Carboniferous Limestone; then the Carboniferous Limestone itself, in its various modifications, as we trace it from south to north.

    The Old Red Sandstone, however, dies away as we proceed from S. W. to N. E., until in Carlow, Kildare, and Dublin, the Carboniferous limestone rests directly on the Old Granitic and Silurian floor, with only two or three occasional small patches of Red Sandstone and conglomerate at its base, which can be assigned to the Old Red Sandstone. On the west the Old Red Sandstone retains more of its southern importance up to the latitude of Galway Bay. It is well seen on the flanks of Slieve Bloom and Slieve Aughta, where it is still several hundred feet thick. These are obviously the upper beds only of the Cork and Kerry Old Red, the lower thousands of feet having never been deposited on the north. p. 7-8.

    "On the Subdivisions of The Carboniferous Formation in Central Ireland" (1866)
    J. Beete Jukes, M A., F. R. S.

    Source: Internet Archive


    The Cratloe Hills lie to the north of the city of Limerick, in the County of Clare. In them there is a long narrow exposure of Cambro-Silurian rock, bounded, on the north, by a very continuous fault which can be traced eastward across the valley of the Shannon into Limerick, Tipperary, and perhaps even the King's County; its course being past Birdhill, Silvermines, and Toomavara, into the country near Moneygall. p. 31.

    To the N.E. of the Cratloe Hills are Slieve Bernagh (County Clare) and Slieve Arra (County Tipperary), separated from one another by the south arm of Lough Derg. In Slieve Arra and the eastern portion of Slieve Bernagh, the Cambro-Silurian rocks seem to belong to the Ballymoney series.p. 32.

    Slieve Aughta lies to the north of Slieve Bernagh, at the junctions of the Counties Clare and Galway. In the south, or Clare portion of the group, the rocks belong to the Ballymoney series, and, near Lough Graney, have eurites or gabbros associated with them. In the north, or Galway part of the group, the rocks principally belong to the Dark Shale series. p. 33.

    "Manual of the Geology of Ireland" (1878)
    G. Henry Kinahan, M.R.I.A.

    Source: Internet Archive


    Between Broadford and Killaloe rises the range of the Slieve Bernagh, separated from the Arra Mountains by the long, narrow channel of the southern portion of Lough Derg and the Shannon. Craig Mountain, 1729 ft. above Killaloe, is, next to Glennagalliagh, 1746, the highest point of the Slieve Bernagh, which is continued to the S.W. nearly to Six Mile Bridge, and separated by a narrow valley from the Cratloe Hills that rise immediately N. of Limerick. Divided from the Arra Hills by the valley of the Kilmastullagh River are the Silvermine Mountains, which are themselves cut off by another valley called Glen Collos from Mount Keeper (2278 ft.), visible for an enormous extent of country. The Slieve Phelim Mountains, a portion of the same group, are conspicuous features as the traveller passes along Limerick and Waterford Rly., and keep company with him the whole distance to Limerick Junction, stretching away to the N., and occupying a very large area between Nenagh, Tipperary, and Cashel. p. xiii.

    "Handbook for Travellers in Ireland" (1864)
    John Murray

    Source: Internet Archive

  the centre of Ireland, several isolated areas of Silurian grits and slates occur, cropping out from beneath the newer strata which surround them; they form groups of low hills which overlook a wide extent of the adjoining country, the latter being flat and low-lying. In these hills, therefore, is exhibited the phenomenon of rocks, stratigraphically lower and older, forming the higher ground.

    Such tracts - inliers - denuded of their former covering, are to be seen at Rooskey, Longford, and Chair of Kildare, as well as in Slieve Bloom hills in Queen's County; Slieve Aughty, Slieve Bernagh, and Cratloe hills in Clare; Slieve Arra, Keeper Hills, Galtees and Slievenaman in Tipperary, Limerick, and Kilkenny, and a large area lying to the west of Waterford. p. 64.

    "A description of the soil-geology of Ireland: based upon geological survey maps and records with notes on climate." (1907)
    J. R. Kilroe

    Source: Internet Archive


    The highlands west and south of the Devil's Bit reveal large areas of Silurian rocks, and we find them abundantly displayed in the Arra and Silvermine mountains in Tipperary and also in the Slieve Bernagh and Slieve Aughty mountains west of the Shannon. In all cases their exposure is due to the removal by denudation of the Old Red Sandstone rocks which rested upon them. p. 54.

    The highest point in the Silvermines is composed of Old Red Sandstone; and Keeper Hill is capped by an outlier of this rock. It also occurs in the Arra mountains on the east of the Shannon and in the Slieve Bernagh range in Clare. Farther north a large development of this formation is found in the Slieve Aughty range. In every case the appearance of Old Red Sandstone rocks is due to the weathering of the Carboniferous rocks by which they were originally covered throughout the whole area. p. 56.

    "Munster" (from "The Provinces of Ireland" edited by George Fletcher, F.G.S., M.R.I.A., 1921)
    Isaac Swain, B.A., A.R.C.Sc., M.R.I.A.

    Source: Internet Archive


    Co Limerick is, roughly speaking, the earliest "Thomond," Tuadh Mumha, or North Munster, which name got narrowed more and more till it coincided in the end with the present Co. Clare. p. 2.

    A few words on the hills which fringe our view from Limerick. The purple ridge north of the Shannon is Slieve Bemagh or Cratloe. At its western end, towards Bunratty, was the vast oak forest so famous... The more eastern part is "Sliabh Oidhidh an Riogh," where King Crimthann died poisoned by his sister, in Glennagross, about A.D. 377, whence the claim of his foster son, Conall Eachluath, to Co. Clare as an eric. Up the valley we see Thountinna, where Fintan slept so soundly that the Deluge did not drown him. Opposite to it, above Killaloe, is Cragliath, the home of the great Banshee, Aibhinn, or Aibhell (who appeared to King Brian before the battle of Clontarf), and the site of King Brian's palaces. East of Limerick are the "Silvermines" (or Slievephelim) culminating in the great dome of Kimalta "The Keeper"; southward, the Galtees and their continuation the Ballyhoura (Bealach Fheabrath) Mountains and the bold outlying hill of Slievereagh on which the royal fort of Dun Claire remains, westward the faint low ridges of Luachra. In the centre of the plains (S.W. from Limerick) is the mote-like Knockfierna, the famous fairy hill of Donn Firinne the fairy king. p. 6.

    "The Antiquities of Limerick and its Neighbourhood" (1916)
    T. J. Westropp

    Source: Internet Archive


    Lughaid menn son of Angus (called tíreach or 'landgrabber') son of Fercorb, he it was that first and violently grasped the land of Thomond: for which reason it is called 'Lughaid Redhand's cruel sword-land'; seeing that the countries which the men of Munster acquired by main force were two: that of Ossory in eric of Edirsceol (whom Leinster slew), and Thomond's in eric of Crimthann son of Fidach. Howbeit, not because they have any legitimate title to it they possess the same: because that, according to legal right of provincial partition, such ground of Thomond belongs to Connacht's province, which [properly speaking] extends from Luimneach [the lower Shannon] to the river Drowes. p. 378

    "Silva gadelica (I-XXXI): a collection of tales in Irish with extracts illustrating persons and places" (1892)
    Standish H. O’Grady (Edited from MSS and Translated)

    Source: Internet Archive


    Aos trí muighe, mín gach fuinn,
    Duthaigh cochlach Ui Conuing,
    Clár, braoingheal as saor snoidhe,
    Dar taobhlean Craobh Cumhraidhe.

    Aos-tri-muighe,[1] smoothest of plains,
    Is the grassy territory of O'Conaing,
    A bright watered plain, of noblest aspect,
    By the meadowy side of Craobh Cumhraidhe.[2] p. 129

    Giolla na naomh O'Huidhrin

    [1] Aos-tri-muighe, i.e., the people of the three plains. This territory comprised the whole of the present barony of Clanwilliam and a considerable part of what is now called the county of the city of Limerick. O'Conaing was seated at Caislen Ui-Chonaing, now Castleconnell, and his territory extended from Cnoc-Greine, near Pallas-Grean, to the city of Limerick. He was dispossessed by a branch of the Burkes shortly after the English Invasion. See Annals of the Four Masters, A.D. 1597, p. 2041, note z.
    [2] Craobh Cumhraidhe, i.e., the sweet or odoriferous branch, now Crecora, the name of a parish near the city of Limerick.

    "The topographical poems of John O'Dubhagain and Giolla na naomh O'Huidhrin. Translation, notes, and introductory dissertations." (1862)
    John O'Donovan, LL.D., M.R.I.A.

    Source: Internet Archive


    ...ranging north and south of the estuary of the Shannon, the carboniferous limestone emerges to the eastward... and is here and there interspersed with extensive deposits of the lower Silurian clay-slate rocks, and of the Old-red-sandstone, especially in the south of Galway, eastern borders of Clare, and in Tipperary; throughout this tract these two great formations are singularly interposed with regard to their relative positions, and no less complex in their general outline. p. 67-8.

    The more mountainous parts of Clare consist chiefly of clay-slate and sandstone, flanked by the limestone. This range extends across the Shannon into Tipperary, where they constitute a small group called the Arran Mountains... some astonishing deposits of lead ore have been discovered in the lower limestone east of Clare. One of this class was found in a bog near Ballyhickey. Near Quin, in the same county, is the rich argentiferous lead mine of Kilbricken. Antimony has occasionally been met with in this district.

    In the clay-slate in the gorge of Killaloe, and other places, lead and copper are wrought. Slates of a superior quality are extensively quarried in the neighbourhood of Killaloe, on the eastern side of Lough Derge; from the level expanse of which the Shannon precipitates its voluminous waters adown the rocky declivities of Doonas and Castle Troy towards the ancient city of Limerick. p. 68-9.

    "Geology, Minerals, Mines, & Soils of Ireland: In Reference to the Amelioration and Industrial Prosperity of the Country" (1857)
    Joseph Holdsworth, Esq, M.G.S.F. &.c.

    Source: Internet Archive


    The various groups of hills on both banks of the Middle Shannon are likewise ranged along axes running from west to east, and this parallelism in the arrangement of the mountains of South-western Ireland must evidently be traced to a general cause acting over a wide area. Slieve Bernagh (1,746 feet) and Slieve Aughty rise to the west of the Shannon; the Silvermine Mountains, culminating in Keeper Hill (2,278 feet), Slieve Felim, and the Devils-bit Mountain (1,586 feet) rise to the east; whilst Slieve Bloom (1,733 feet) occupies the most central position of the Irish hills. p. 382

    "Universal Geography: The Earth and its Inhabitants" Vol. IV (1876-94)
    Elisée Reclus

    Source: Internet Archive


    In Davies' very good Atlas, published 1837, no road is shown through this mountain district we went through; it must then have been utter wilderness. It has now a thoroughly good road, but is still one of the dreariest districts I have been through... It was a fearful drive. It was blowing cold, wet rain in our faces (we all know the difference between wet rain and dry!) Every hill we twisted round only opened up new and interminable vistas of black valley and black round hills. I could have sat on a fence and cried... p. 208.

    I have travelled on either side of those hills, yet, surely, I never realised the existence of that broad band of wilderness in the heart of those mountains about twenty-eight miles long by ten broad. What a fastness it must have been in Elizabethan times! Then the Irish possessed immense herds, and one can fancy that even now thousands of cattle might be hidden away unknown in the folds of those hills. p. 209.

    When at last, near 7 o'clock, we opened up the Limerick valley, the sun came out to greet us, or rather I suspect we came out of the mountain mist into a glory of grey and silver lights over the Shannon plain. p. 210.

    "A Jog, Jog, Journey to Limerick" (1909)
    Charlotte Grace O'Brien (Selections from her writings and correspondence)

    Source: Internet Archive


    At Rath Bresail [said to have been assembled A.D. 1118] defining the number and boundaries of the respective Irish dioceses are not the least deserving of notice. p. 329.

    The Bishopric of Clonfert extended from the Sinainn or River Shannon to Boirenn, now Burren, in the northern part of Clare county; and from Sliabh Echtighe, or Slieve Aughty, on the confines of the counties of Galway and Clare, to the Suca, or River Suck. p. 330

    The diocese of Killaloe extended from the great south-western road, called Bealach-mor Muighe-Dala, or Slighe Dala, extending from the southern side of Tara Hill, in the direction of the castle of Ballaghmore, in the territory of Ossory, to Leim Conculainn, Anglicized Cuchullainn's Leap, now corruptly called Loophead, for Leaphead, the extreme south-western point of Clare county, and from Sliabh Echtighe or Slieve Aghty to Sliabh Oighedh-an-righ or Slieve Eeyanree, now the Cratloe or Glennagross Mountain, county Clare, and thence to Sliabh Caein, or Glenn Caein. See Dr. O'Donovan's "Annals of the Four Masters," vol. i., n. (q), p. 104, and vol. vi., n. (1), pp. 2108, 2109. See, also, his edition of "The Genealogies, Tribes and Customs of Hy-Fiachrach, commonly called O'Dowda's Country." Addenda, p. 344. p. 331

    "Lives of the Irish saints: with special festivals, and the commemorations of holy persons, compiled from calendars, martyrologies and various sources, relating to the ancient Church history of Ireland." (Vol. II, 1875)
    Rev. John O'Hanlon. M.R.I.A.

    Source: Internet Archive


    Lord Macartney, when embarking in 1791, for his government at Madras, thus addressed this noble river:

    "Raptured, I try the strain,
    Great king of floods! to hail thy new-born reign,
    Which breaks from darkness like the rise of day,
    And gives the promise of imperial sway!
    Already commerce spreads her ample stores,
    Pours Afric's riches on Iernia's shores;
    Brings either India's treasures to her view,
    Brazilian gold, and silver of Peru!
    Bids wondering navies on thy billows ride,
    Rolls the world's wealth, O Shannon, to thy tide!"

    "The Irish tourist's illustrated handbook for visitors to Ireland in 1852”

    Source: Internet Archive


    As we proceeded about five miles from Limerick, Castleconnell was pointed out to me, famous for its chalybeate spa, and the romantic beauty of its scenery, through which the boast of Ireland, the sovereign of her rivers, the Shannon, rolls majestically along. This place, which is a collection of numerous genteel lodging-houses, detached from each other, is much resorted to in the summer by invalids suffering from obstructions of the liver and bilious affections, and by those who wish to enjoy some of the finest displays of nature. p. 196-7.

    Above Limerick, the Shannon, and the lakes of its creation, are navigable with boats for several miles. During a course of one hundred and ninety-one miles, its descent from its source is not less than one hundred and fifty-one feet. In the lakes and river a species of trout, called gilderoy, is caught, remarkable for having a gizzard like that of fowls. p. 203.

    "The Stranger in Ireland, or, A Tour in the southern and western parts of that country in the year 1805." (1806)
    Sir John Carr

    Source: Internet Archive


    Thus, under existing conditions the Newport and Annagh Rivers form a system with a pronounced valley, independently of the Shannon, instead of being directly tributary. They turn sharply southward a few miles to the east of the main stream, and are tributary only after joining the Mulkear, which empties into the Shannon somewhat against its current. Again, the latest glaciation was effected by an ice-sheet which moved over the Cratloe hills, probably from the high grounds in west Clare, and fanned out eastward at Castleconnell to south-eastward at Limerick without being in the least affected in direction by the Shannon valley. In consideration of these unwonted circumstances, and having discovered what seems to me a reasonable means of accounting for an intermission of the Shannon erosion in this locality, I cannot hesitate to see in the new appearance of its course a strong suggestion of the river not having occupied it for a time at least; that, in fact, the river is, in a sense, a recent visitant there—a monarch returned, after a long absence, to a part of his dominions which by force of circumstances he had abandoned. p. 88

    "The Shannon: its Course and Geological History" (Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 1907)
    J. R. Kilroe, H. M. Geological Survey

    Source: Internet Archive


    The group the north-east constitutes the southern extremity of that extensive chain which, commencing at Keeper mountain and its subordinate range in Tipperary and Limerick, runs northward to the King's County, where it terminates in the range of Slieve Bloom. The names of the Slieve Phelim and Bilboa mountains are applied to those subordinate portions of the Keeper group which spread southwards into the counties of Limerick and Tipperary.

    About midway between the embouchure of the Mulkern and O'Brien's Bridge, at the extremity of the county, is Castle Connell, a well built small town, surrounded by delightful scenery. It is built on the eastern side of the Shannon, which, flowing between well-timbered banks chiefly occupied by demesnes and pleasure grounds, forms a series of precipitous rapids of uncommon grandeur, the principal of which is known as the Leap of Doonass. The valley of the Shannon is here contracted by the Slieve Baughta mountains on the one side, and the range of Keeper on the other, and presents features of a highly grand and striking character throughout a distance of several miles. p. 489

    "The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge" (Volume 13, 1839)

    Source: Internet Archive


    Along the lower part of the Shannon, in the counties of Galway, Tipperary and Limerick, there was an ancient population known as Fir Iboth, or by the adjectival name Ibdaig. p.74.

    Solinus says the inhabitants in his time grew no crops and live on fish and milk. It is possible that an ancient branch of this population preserved their identity by forming, so to speak, a fisherman caste on the banks of the Shannon. p.75.

    "Pre-Celtic Inhabitants of Ireland. Phases of Irish History." (1920)
    Eoin MacNeill, Professor of Ancient Irish History in the National University of Ireland.

    Source: Internet Archive


    The chase was arranged and spread by them throughout the woods and wildernesses and sloping glens of the lands nearest to them, and throughout smooth, delightful plains and close-sheltering woods and broad-bushed, vast, oak forests. And each man of the fiana of Ireland went separately to his mound of chase and his site of throwing and his gap of danger, as [1] they were wont to arrange every victorious chase before that. But on that day it was not the same for them as on every other day, for the chase failed them, so that they found neither wild swine nor hare nor wolf [2] nor badger nor deer nor hind nor roe nor fawn on which any one of them might redden his hand that day. And that night they spent in sorrow and disgrace; and on the morrow they rose in the early bright morning; and the chase was extended by them along the Shannon of green currents and throughout lofty, cold Slieve Aughty and throughout the ancient Plain, of Adhar son of Timor; but that day also the luck of the chase failed them as it had done on the first day. p. 53

    [1] The MS. has 'where'.
    [2] The Ms. has bree 'trout'.

    "The Chase of Sid na mBan Finn and the Death of Finn." From Egerton 1782, fo. 20b. 1.
    "Fianaigecht: being a collection of hitherto inedited Irish poems and tales relating to Finn and his Fiana." Royal Irish Academy. Todd Lecture Series. Volume XVI. (1910)
    Kuno Meyer, Ph.D.

    Source: Internet Archive


    Eoghan enquired: "and what night may this be?"
    "Samhain-eve," replied Patrick...

    Caeilte said then: "a fitting time it is now for wild stags and for does to seek the topmost points of hills and rocks; a timely season for salmons to betake them into cavities of the banks." And he uttered a lay:—

    "Cold the winter is, the wind is risen, the high-couraged unquelled stag is on foot: bitter cold to-night the whole mountain is, yet for all that the ungovernable stag is belling. The deer of Slievecarn of the gatherings commits not his side to the ground; no less than he the stag of frigid Echtge's summit catches the chorus of the wolves. I, Caeilte, with brown Dermot and with keen light-footed Oscar: we too in the nipping night's waning end would listen to the music of the pack. But well the red deer sleeps that with his hide to the bulging rock lies stretched — hidden as though beneath the country's surface — all in the latter end of chilly night. pp. 191-192.

    "Agallamh na Senórach 'The Colloquy of the Ancients'. Silva gadelica (I-XXXI): a collection of tales in Irish with extracts illustrating persons and places." (1892)
    Standish Hayes O'Grady, ed. and tr.

    Source: Internet Archive


    Cormac Cas [1] took to wife the daughter of the great poet, Oisin or Ossian, who was son of the celebrated warrior Finn MacCumhaill, and had by her a son, Mogh Corb, whose great-grandson, Luighaidh Meann, wrested from the Firbolgs the county of Clare, in which they had hitherto succeeded in holding sway. From him this territory thus added to his patrimony received the name of Tuadh Mhumhain, or North Munster, which, in modern times, is Anglicised into Thomond. p. 14

    [1] O'Curry's, Man. Mat. p. 209.

    "History of Clare and the Dalcassian Clans of Tipperary, Limerick, and Galway" (1893)
    Very Rev. P. White, PP.,VG.

    Source: Internet Archive


    The territory which forms the present county of Clare, as stated in Charles O'Conor's Dissertations on the History of Ireland (p. 289), was taken from Connaught in the latter end of the third century by Cormac Cas, son of Oilioll Olum, king of Munster, or by Lughaigh Mean, king of Munster, in the third century, another descendant of Oilioll Olom, and added to part of Limerick under the name of Tuadh-Mumham, or North Munster, a word anglicised to Thomond (see O'Brien's Dictionary at the word Tuadh). The O'Briens of the Dalcassian race became kings of Thomond. Conacht, according to Keating, O'Flaherty, and others, derived its name either from Con, one of the chief druids of the Tuath de Danans, or from Conn-Cead-Cathach, that is Con of the hundred battles, monarch of Ireland in the second century, whose posterity possessed the country; the word iacht, or iocht, signifying children or a posterity, and hence Coniocht means the territory possessed by the posterity of Con. The more ancient name of Connaught, according to O'Flaherty and Charles O'Connor, was Olnegmacht, and was so called from Olnegmacht, an ancient queen of the Firbolgs; and hence the inhabitants were called Fir Olnegmacht. p. 97

    "The Annals of Ireland" (Translated by Owen Connellan, Esq., Irish Historiographer to Their Late Majesties George IV. and William IV. Annotations by Philip Mac Dermot, Est., M.D., and the translator, 1846)
    Michael O'Clery

    Source: Internet Archive


    Dr. O'Brien (Vall. Collect. p. 384), says that "all the tribes descended from Oilioll Olum by his three sons, Eoghan Mor, Cormac Cas, and Cian, were considered as free states, exempted from the payment of annual tribute for the support of the king's household."

    Ní dligh du chlannaibh Cais
    cís Caisil na (g)-cuan

    The clann of Cas are not liable
    To the tribute of Caiseal of the companies. pp. 66, 67.

    "Leabhar na gCeart - The Book of Rights" (Edited and Translated by John O'Donovan, 1847)

    Source: Internet Archive


    Erin was filled with the fleets of the foreigners,
    viz. the fleet of Birn, the fleet of Odunn,
    the fleet of Grisin, the fleet of Suatgair,
    the fleet of Lagmann, the fleet of Erbalbh,
    the fleet of Sitric, the fleet of Buidne,
    the fleet of Bernin, the fleet of the Crioslachs,
    the fleet of Toirberd the red,
    the fleet of Snimin, the fleet of Suainin,
    the fleet of Barun, the fleet of Miledh Bua,
    the fleet of the Red Maiden,
    and all the evils that Erin had suffered until then
    were as nothing (in comparison);
    for they spread over Erin,
    and they built cities and fortresses,
    and they did not give respect to anybody,
    and they killed its kings,
    and they used to keep its queens
    and its noble ladies in bondage beyond the sea. p. 9

    "On the Fomorians and the Norsemen" (The original Irish Text, Edited, with Translation and Notes by Alexander Bugge, 1905)
    Duald Mac Firbis

    Source: Internet Archive


    "Has the eye been torn out of my head, giolla?" said the king. [Eochaidh]
    "Woe is me!" said the servant, "Red is the lough with thy blood."
    "Therefore the name shall triumph," said he, "namely, Dergderc = Redlough." p.47

    It is an interesting fact that between Tulla and Lough Derg in East Clare a well at Fortanne is credited with healing blindness. The moss of the well is used to wash the eyes. (Journal R.S.A.I., XLI, pp. 7, 19). Healing-wells are common all over Ireland, but in this particular case there is probably some recollection of Eochu's story behind the belief about this well situated in the very heart of "Coiced Echach mac Luchta." p.52

    "Side-lights on the Táin age and other studies" (1917)
    Margaret E. Dobbs

    Source: Internet Archive


    Kinkora (Mac-Liag)

    I am Mac Liag, and my home is on the Lake;
    Thither often, to that palace whose beauty is fled,
    Came Brian to ask me, and I went for his sake.
    Oh, my grief! that I should live, and Brian be dead!
    Dead, O Kincora!

    This poem is ascribed to Mac-Liag, the secretary of Brian Boruimha, who fell at the battle of Clontarf, in 1014; and the subject of it is a lamentation for the fallen condition of Kinkora, the palace of that monarch, consequent on his death. The decease of Mac-Liag is recorded in the "Annals of the Four Masters," as having taken place in 1015. The palace of Kinkora, which was situated on the banks of the Shannon, near Killaloe, is now a heap of ruins. pp. 121-123.

    "James Clarence Mangan: His Selected Poems, with a study by the editor" (1897)
    ed. Louise Imogen Guiney

    Source: Internet Archive


    Fair nymph of Shannon! The vile worms that mope
    In thraldom's dirt thou spurnedst. - The dust
    Of hearts that swell with glory's thrill and ope
    In patriotic pulse, thy pride. - Ah! e'en now crushed
    In valour's file, the brave mixed with thy clay are hushed. p. 12

    "The Last Bard of Limerick (An original and national poem in Spenserian stanza)" (1865)
    Rev. James O'Leary

    Source: Internet Archive


    Brian, however, after that, and with him the young champions of the Dal Cais, went back again into the forests and woods and deserts of north Mumhain.

    Moreover they, with him, used to set up rude huts instead of encampments, in the woods and solitudes and deserts and caves of Ui Blait [1]. The country was wasted by him from Derc [2] to the Forgus, and from Echti [3] to Tratraighe. pp 60-61

    I banished - this is no falsehood -
    The foreigners from Deirg-Derc to the Forgus;
    We drove the other party
    From Echtge to Tradraighe. p. 65

    [1] Ui Blait. O mBloid.
    [2] From Derc. O Deirg Derc, [i.e., from Loch Derg].
    [3] Echti. Echtge; now Sliabh Echtghe, or Baughty, a mountainous district on the borders of the counties of Galway and Clare.

    "Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh = The war of the Gaedhil with the Gaill, or, The invasions of Ireland by the Danes and other Norsemen." (The original Irish Text, Edited, with Translation and Introduction by James Henthorn Todd. D.D., M.R.I.A., F.S.A., 1867)

    Source: Internet Archive


    Loingeas mór na mna ruaidhe
    ba measa ná gach cuaine
    duairc an phrímhghin tar muir malc
    d'ingheanaibh míne macdacht

    Do chuaidh Brian a h-Eachtga áin
    cheithre catha 'na chómhdháil
    bail a mbiodh longphort na mna.
    tangadar na taisgealta.

    A great invasion of the red woman,
    Who was worse than any host,
    The first-born who came over the mighty sea.
    To gentle young maidens,

    Brian went from noble Eachtga,
    With four battallions in his company,
    To the place, where the camp of the woman was.
    The portents came.

    An inghen ruadh, the Red Maiden, is also mentioned in War of the Gaedhil, ch. XXXVI and CXVII. Professor Steenstrup has written about her ('Normannerne', I, pp. 19-22) and suggested that she is identical with the heroine Rusila, Rusla, who is mentioned by the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus.

    This poem makes the Red Woman (or Girl) a contemporary of king Brian Borumha, and lets his son Murchadh kill her in Sliabh Eachtga (now Slieve Aughty, in Galway), and on the same time it transforms her into a supernatural being. Her residence is called a fairy mansion (sidh) and it is said that the portents (taisgealta) came to help her. There can, however, be no doubt that bean ruadh is identical with inghen ruadh. pp. 21-24.

    "On the Fomorians and the Norsemen" (The original Irish Text, Edited, with Translation and Notes by Alexander Bugge, 1905)
    Duald Mac Firbis

    Source: Internet Archive