|Maybe this is Johnny Walsh's fort. Or if not, it's certainly nearby. This is a story from the Schools Collection of the National Folklore Collection. The documents from the 1930s are being digitised at duchas.ie.
There are a number of forts in this locality and some of them are Johnny Walsh's fort, John Dwyer's fort, Mick Murren's, and the one in the castle field. These forts were built in the time of the Finbolg, and they used them to preserve their houses from the wild animals and from their enemies. Here's another story about the raths in Cloghoge Upper:
Johnny Walsh's fort is situated about half a mile from the school. It is circular in shape, and for this reason also it is called a ring. There is a fence around it, and there is also a plantation of trees around it. There are a number of old stories attached to it. It is said that there was a man ploughing in the field, and that he went to plough the fort also, but the fort opened up and swallowed the plough and horses. There is an entrance hole to it, and two fishing rods would not reach to the end of it.
One night as two young men were coming home from a neighbours house, they saw a funeral coming from the fort, and as it was the custom of that time, that anyone who met a funeral should go back a few yards with it. The two young men decided to go back a small piece with the funeral. As they were going along, they took the coffin to carry it, but as soon as they took it the funeral went away, and the two young men were left to carry the coffin. At first they did not know what to do, but after some time they decided to bring it to their house. When they reached the house they opened the coffin, and they found a live girl inside it. They asked her who she was, but she did not know, so they kept her in the house.
Sometime afterwards the man of the house went to the fair to buy a cow. He bought the cow, and that man told him how his daughter was taken away by the fairies, and so it happened that the girl who was taken out of the coffin belonged to the man who sold the cow.
There were also a number of wild animals seen in the vicinity of the fort. The old people tell us that it's not lucky to interfere with the forts, as they belong to the fairies.
The nearest fort to my home is situated in Mc Gaughan's field. It is called a liss. It is circular in shape. There is a cave in this fort, and sometimes people have gone down and explored it. It is said that it was the Tuatha De Dannans that made it. If anyone interfered with the fort, it is said that they would die before that day twelve months. One day two men began to plough up the field. As soon as they began to dig up the ground, the horses fell dead. They got frightened as soon as they saw what had happened. They ran round and told all the neighbours what had happened. They then promised that from that day forward, they never would interfere with a fort again. As soon as they said these words, the horses got up and began to walk about.
There is another story connected with this fort. One day a man went out hunting and had not gone far, when he saw a rabbit sitting in a fort. He fired a shot, and hit him on the leg. On the minute the rabbit was changed into a woman. She began to run towards the nearest house to her. When she arrived at the house, she jumped in on the window. The man followed her as far as the house, and when he looked in on the window, he saw her spinning wool.
Every night between twelve and two o'clock, the rattling of chains is to be heard. There is singing also heard in it.
Posted by Rhiannon
3rd April 2016ce
Edited 3rd April 2016ce