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Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839
Parish of Moyarta (e)
Lunatic Asylum, Limerick,
My Dear Sir,
Within rises the Dun, about two hundred feet in diameter, the bank or wall about seven feet high on the inside and about twenty on the outside. There is one large gap or entrance on the east side. There are some appearances of remains of ruins inside, and I am inclined to think that there are some subterranean chambers in it too. I know this spot well, being born and reared within forty paces of it. There are many spots about the place traditionally known as the graves of persons slain in combat by Fuaid na h-Adhairce, such as Tuama Thadhaig Ui Laoghaire, Tuama Cheatharnaicc an Chuíbhrin, and Fuadh na h-Adhairce still maintains a respectable and prominent place in the numerous legends of this neighbourhood, as my bare shins and toes could well attest on many a hard winter night some twenty years ago. About half a mile east of this runs another line of four forts from the river to the bog; they are inconsiderable and nameless. About a mile east from this another line of four or five forts runs from the river to the bog; they are inconsiderable and nameless, except the lowest which is called Cór Lios from its occupying a little angle made by a small but handsome creek with the river. From this to the Ferry within two miles of Kilrush, the lines at the same distances are quite distinct, though the number of forts is considerably less. Now, after fourteen years’ absence, my recollection (I write from recollection) touching the forts on the north of the bog is not so distinct; however I am, rather was, very well acquainted with the most remarkable of them. Taking your departure from a point of one mile east of Cór Lios and proceeding due north two miles, you cross the bog and on its northern verge you meet a handsome-looking fort.
Ráth an Uisge or Lios na Falainge. It is a clean single enclosure, the wall about ten feet high. It is the principal abode of the “good people” of this quarter, and various stories of their good and evil acts are on current record in the surrounding district.
Passing over many others we come to Kilkee where we find a fort worth looking after. It is called Lios an Chairn. It is a plain Lios, the wall about nine feet high on the outside, the floor inside on a level with the top of the wall. This striking circumstance passed unnoticed for ages, until about seventeen years ago a cow got into it and remained there till after her companions made their way home in the evening without her. The owner, on missing her, made his way at once to the field and seeing her up on the fort apparently resting on her haunches he approached and was surprised to find one of her hind legs stuck in the ground to the ham; all his exertions to make her pull it up did not avail, so calling some of the neighbours they proceeded to dig, and after sinking about sixteen inches, they came to a flagged floor and found the cow’s legs firmly jammed between two of the flags; they removed them, released the cow and discovered a narrow passage, covered at the sides with stones and flagged over; they descended with lights and found the whole area composed of narrow passages crossing one another in various directions. They found nothing but some shells and bones. I have not heard that it has been visited since and I am sure it was not fully explored at that time. Convenient to this are Lios Luinn-Eacháin, Lios Duínn, with many others. I will leave you to draw your own inferences from the position of the forts on the banks of the Shannon, but from what I have shewn you will perceive that Ráth, Dún and Lios are synonymous.
I will not write you again till I hear from you.
remain, my dear Sir,