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Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839

Parish of Killonohan (b)

In the Townland of Faunaroosk in this Parish are the ruins of a small round castle which is called after the Townland. It is not mentioned in the list of O’Loughlin Burren’s Castles often already referred to, and it was in all probability erected since that list was written.

In the Townland of Formoyle east there is a small burial place for children called the Killeen of Formoyle. It is probably the site of a Church, but I have no historical reference to it, at least to the name which it now bears.

The other remains of antiquity in this Parish are those of stone cahers or forts, of which there are six in number, viz: -

  1. Caher-Balliney in the Townland of Balliney south. This is a large caher which has been used since its erection, for it is inhabited at this day! (As are indeed many cromlechs also!).
  2. Caher Ballely in the west of the Townland of Ballely.
  3. Caher Bannagh, Cathair Beannach, i.e., the Pinnacled Caher, in the Townland of Formoyle east. It was a large fort, but now so ruined that it furnishes no evidence of the meaning of its name.
  4. Caheranadurrish, in the Townland of Formoyle west. It is supposed to have derived its name from its having a remarkable high doorway, but this is scarcely credible and I incline to think that it derives its present name, which I do not at all consider the original one, from its situation on a sub-division of the Townland called Ard-Ros. I do not however, presume to alter the local name, which I give as it is now pronounced, be it right or wrong.
  5. Cahernagree, the Fort of the Horses, in the Townland of Knockaun Mountain.
  6. Liscoonera in the Townland to which it gives name.

In the same townland of Knockaun Mountain there is a hill called Sliabh Oighre na h-Airm, which is explained by the Shanchees as signifying the Mountain of the Death of Airim, because Airm, the son of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, died and was buried on the top of it, but as I do not find that Fionn had such a son I look upon it as a mere get-up to account for the name like the stories about the Beds of Dermod and Graine. There is no doubt that a mountain in the south of this County called Sliabh Oigheadha-an-Righ signifies the Mountain of the Death of the King, a name somewhat similar to this; but it is nevertheless more than probable that Slieve-Yharrim means O’Harrim’s Mountain.

We shall move to Kilrush on Friday morning. Please to direct thither any communications you may have to send us from next Wednesday till we give further notice.

                                                                                  Your obedient etc. servant,
                                                                                                John O’Donovan.
October 29th 1839.

 

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