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

Parish of Oughtmama (e)

On the top of Knockycallanan in this Parish is a remarkable Cairn or sepulchral pile of stones for which I could find no name. It is probably the Carn Mhic Fail of the Annals. (No. It is the Carn Connachtach in the Parish of Kilshanny).

About a quarter of a mile to the south of the site of Turlough Castle, on the top of the mountain over Aghawinnáán and between it and Cuskeame, is a place called Creg an Aonaigh, the Crag of the Fair. It consists of small circles of stones, and it would appear from its name that it was once a market or fair place.

There are no other remains of antiquity in this Parish but a cave, around which there was originally a caher in the Townland of Turlough from which it is called Uamhainn na Turlaighe, i.e., the Cave of Turlough, and a cromlech in the Townland of Cragbally-Connoal, called as usual Leaba Dhiarmada agus Ghraine, i.e., the Bed of Dermot and Graine.

The original names of these monuments have been lost in the vulgar one of Dermot and Graine’s Bed, which, popular tradition now imposes and has for some centuries imposed on them. Little doubt, however, can now be entertained that they were raised as monuments over Pagan Chieftains and heroes slain in battle, and that their original name was Lighe. Tóg-sat a Líghi ós a lecht. See my letter on the “Table of the Giants” near Ballina, Tirawley.

We shall move to Milltown-Malbay on Friday morning where we will remain about five days.

                                                                                                Your obedient servant,
                                                                                                                John O’Donovan.

October 23rd 1889.

P.S. The valley district comprising the greater part of this Parish of Oghtmama and that of Abbey is popularly called Gleann na Manach or the Valley of the Monks. This is the Duibh-Ghleann so often mentioned in the Wars of Torlogh, according to a marginal notice in the Ordnance Survey of that work, page 501.