Friday, 26 May 2017

Where is the inauguration mound of the O'Carrolls?

Inauguration of the O'Neill on 1602 map of Ulster by Richard Bartlett

Following on from my previous post on the possible O'Carroll inauguration mound at Moatquarter, new information has came to light suggesting it is unlikely to be it.

This paper (below) by Paul MacCotter deals with the site at Moatquarter and disagrees with Elizabeth Fitzpatricks assessment of Moatquarter as a possible inauguration mound.

The M7 motorway historical landscape: studies in the history of Ikerrin and Elyocarroll

One of the main points is that he disagrees with Elizabeth Fitzpatrick's location of the mound mentioned in "The History of the Diocese of Killaloe" by Gwynn & Gleeson as being at Moatquarter. If you read the paper he says (pg 51)

"As is from reading Gwynn, the motte he speaks about is not that of Moatquarter but that at Dunkerrin to the north, and it is this motte that the tradition must refer to."

Motte at Frankfort to the east of Dunkerring village - Copyright - OSI

Another point Fitzpatrick used in arguing for Moatquarter was that the mound and nearby church at Dromroe were in different parishes.

MacCotter says this "is inaccurate..... both lay in the same parish in the 17th century."

He then goes on to say that it may in fact be possible to find the location of the mound. He refers to a reference to a pre-invasion royal site of the O'Carrolls in a poem known as Dún Enaigh.

From this he seems to give three potential areas - Rathenny (which is meant to be an alias for Dún Enaigh), and the Cullenwaine / Templeharry areas which may have been the royal estate associated with Dún Enaigh. So from my reading of the paper he seems to think that the likely location of an O'Carroll inauguration mound is within these areas.

I did a review of the 37 townlands within Cullenwaine / Templeharry as to the monuments within each.

Templeharry Ballintemple   House & fulacht fia
Ballydonagh No records
Brickanagh  Enclosure
Clonymohan  5 ring-forts & destoyed castle
Cloonalisk Designed landscape feature
Cloonaloughan  No records
Emmel  No records
Emmel East  Ringfort
Emmel West  2 ring-forts, enclosure, castle & house
Foxburrow  No records
Gorraun  Megalithic Tomb
Graffan  x Graveyard on hill & house - two ringforts in the townland
Knockbrack  No records
Knockearl  x No records
Cullenwaine Armyhill No records
Ballingorraun  Ringfort & enclosure
Ballinlough Castle ringfort & enclosure
Ballycormick  Ringfort & enclosure
Ballynakill  No records
Barnagrotty  x Motte
Brownstown  No records
Clynoe  Ringfort & enclosure
Cullenwaine  x Graveyard, church, mound, castle, ring-forts, enclosure
Glaskill  Ringfort & enclosure
Glendine  x Motte
Island  No records
Knockaspur  No records
Knockbane  Moated site & ringfort
Lisdavuck  Ringfort 
Loyer  Designed landscape feature & enclosure
Moneygall  ringfort, fulachta fia, metalworking, burial ground
Rath  enclosure
Rathenny  x enclosure
Rathmoyle  x ringfort 2 banks
Rosdrehid  No records
Silverhill  No records
Snugborough  No records

My rough analysis from the Sites and Monuments Records suggests that the townlands above marked with an x seem to be the most likely sites for an inauguration mound (based on the existing monuments within). An interesting townland with no recorded sites is Knockearl just south of Cloughjordan town which going on placename evidence alone has been included.

It may be that one of these monuments is known by the local name of Dún Enaigh. The simplest solution would be that the enclosure within Rathenny townland was it but from reading the description it doesn't appear as such "No surface remains of any enclosure of archaeological significance, potential enclosure possible identified from aerial photographs taken in 1973 (GSI R 90; S 87). Of doubtful antiquity."

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