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Archaeology of the Burren: Prehistoric Forts and Dolmens in North Clare by Thomas Johnson Westropp

Part III: Northern Burren: Aghaglinny (or Feenagh) Valley

Aghaglinny (or Feenagh) Valley (O.S. 2 and 5)
Derrynavahagh extends nearly down to the bridge at which the roads along the sides of the Caher valley unite, not far to the south of Caherbannagh. Between its termination and the bridge, but closer to the latter, an old grass-grown road may be found to the east of the present one ascending the steep hillside and forming a continuation of the old bohereen from Ballinalacken, through Cahernagree, and past Faunaroosca Castle.

This road is very steep and, naturally, out of repair, crossed in places by abrupt ledges of crag washed bare by the rains of some sixty years. It ought on no account to be attempted on a car. Our party, on the occasion of our first visit, went up too far to retreat through our driver having ‘heard it could be crossed easy,’ so we had to push the car, and lift it up ledges and out of gullies, holding it back with equal exertion, while the driver buttressed the horse, on its precipitous descent.

It was most probably up this pass, long before the dawn of an August morning in 1317, that Prince Donchad O’Brien marched from the muster place at Formoyle and Lettermullin below us down the long valleys, past Rathborney and banshee-haunted Lough Rask, followed by wolves and birds of prey, to the deadliest and most savage battle of that savage civil war. Prince Dermot O’Brien and his army met their rivals on the crags to the west of Corcomroe Abbey, and heaped Drom Lurgan with their dead bodies, slaying Donchad and most of his kinsmen and chiefs.

Forts near Ballyvaughan
Forts near Ballyvaughan