Log boat dating back 4,500 years found in Lough Corrib
A 4,500-year-old log boat is among 12 early Bronze Age, Iron Age and medieval craft that have been located in Lough Corrib, along with several Viking-style battle axes and other weapons.
The vessels were discovered by marine surveyor Capt Trevor Northage while mapping the western lake to update British admiralty charts... continues...
called soigheds, or "fairy darts," are used by the "good people," and any one that is "fairy struck" has been hit with one of them. If you find one, either on the ground or in the tillage, you should not bring it into the house, or bury it, or throw it away, but you should put it carefully in a hole in the field wall, or ditch, or in a tree, where it will not be easily found, otherwise something will hapen to you.
Aranmore is a great place for soigheds, and they are greatly venerated, although many of them apparently are of recent make.
It seems the blades were made in recent times on Aran for skinning seals for food and their skins, and
... even at the present day I have seen them used while skinning a calf. The Aranites very often carry a soighed with them when they are going to a patron on the mainland, and leave it behind them at the holy well as a votive offering...
G. H. Kinahan
The Folk-Lore Journal, Vol. 2, No. 9 (Sep., 1884), pp. 257-266
In the village of Lavally about three miles from Clarenbridge there lies a Cromlech. The field where this Cromlech lies belongs to Thomas Heaney now but it was sold to him a few years ago by William Feeney. The Cromlech lies within 20 yds of the road wall. This field belonged to William Feeney when the Cromlech fell about eight years ago.
It is thought that this Cromlech would not have fallen only for a constant grazing of the sheep wore the clay from around the three standing stones so that they could not afford to hold up the top stone. The top stone is about 26 1/2 feet in circumference and about a foot and a half in height. The perimeter of the underneath is about 14'2".
It is not known for certainty why this Cromlech was erected. Most people think that this was a druid altar in olden times but it is also thought that Diarmuid and Grainne took shelter under this Cromlech. There is also another stone in the wall not far from the Cromlech and is exactly like the stones of the Cromlech. It is thought that this stone was brought to be put in the Cromlech but it was brought no further.
It's not looking so good at Lavally, as you can see by this 2002 photo on FourWinds' Megalithomania site.
The illustration from Borlase's 'The Dolmens of Ireland' book (made towards the end of the 19th century) shows rocks on top of the dolmen. This isn't mentioned in the text. But it rings a bell with me... I'm sure I've read about people somewhere throwing stones up onto cromlechs for luck, or maybe for a more specific outcome. I'll have to look into it. Maybe people still do it elsewhere...
There is an old lios in the townland of Castlefarm, the next village to Clooneen. It was generally known that the owner of the land on which the lios was, would never remain too late at work and that he would not go out to work early in the morning. His neighbours asked him what was the reason of this and he told them that one morning he went out at day-break and began to plough near the lios, and a friend of his who had been dead for years told him to cease working at such early hours. He did as he had been advised, went back to bed for a few hours and when he returned he found that half the field had been ploughed in his absence. He then yoked in his horses, began to plough and did an ordinary day's work. A few weeks later his cow strayed from him one evening and he could not find her.
It was near midnight when he went to the lios in search of her and he had a lantern in his hand because the night was very dark. As he came near the lios he heard the nicest music he ever heard played. After a while it changed into a kind of "caoining".
He became very much afraid of this strange sound and he left the field and returned home and told his wife and family. Very soon after he became ill and he lived only six weeks.
Ever since people take care that they do not enter this field at a late hour.
There is a large stone in a field on the road to Galway from Oranmore, and beside Gurrane Lodge. Its position and size would lead one to believe that it was once used as a ceremonial stone of some kind.
The following story is told concerning this stone:-
There was once a great giant living in Oran Castle (see the story of the History of Oran Castle in this book). At one time another giant came to visit him. They decided that they would try to find out who was the stronger of the two. The local giant tore a huge rock up out of the ground. This rock is said to have been about fourteen feet long and ten feet broad. He threw the stone and in its flight it broke into two pieces. One piece (the rock in question) fell into a field near Gurrane Lodge on the Galway road. The second piece travelled so far that it was never traced.
There is a local tradition that this stone once occupied a site other than that on which it now stands. It was said that up to about eighty years ago it stood at a rath near by known as the rath Feerwore. Some years ago Patrick Lyons who had been employed by the late Mr Dolphin of Turoe for 40 years a herd pointed out the exact spot was about 10 yards to the west of the rath called Feerwore where the stone once stood. Excavations were made there and some animal remains together with a cist were found. The contents of the cist are supposed to have been human remains indicating cremation and the animal remains a funeral feast.
Not far from Ballyturn there is what the people of the place call a Dolmen - It consists of two large oblong stones standing on their sides and another flat stone on top, forming a kind of bed. It is supposed to be the grave of an Irish chieftain of long ago, but it is locally known as "leaba Diarmuda agus Grainne." When flying from Finn Mac Coole, it is said that Diarmuid and Grainne rested here.
Perhaps I've got the wrong place, but Liss is very close and this certainly sounds like a ballaun, of which one is at these coordinates. The story is entitled "A Peculiar Stone".
There is a square stone about eight inches long and eight inches wide in this locality. It is situated in a square field in the townland of Liss.
In the centre of the stone there is a hole which is always filled with water. It is supposed Saint Patrick knelt on it and left the print of his knee on it.
It is supposed that if you washed your hands with the water which is in the print you would never get warts.
I found a picture of this stone in a newsletter of the South East Galway Archaeological and Historical Society. It looks nice. And there's a story to go with it:
There is a remarkable upright stone in the townland of Knockroe in the parish of Ballinakill.
It stands about eight feet over the ground and is about four feet wide by one and a half in thickness.
The local belief is that a famous giant threw it from Knockash hill a distance of about three miles. They say only for his foot slipped when he was throwing it he would lodge it on the Ben Hill about two mile further on to the south.
It is supposed that when he slipped he knocked a piece out of the mountain and the gap is there ever since.
The 6 stone row is located in the breathtaking Leenane valley in Connemara (near Kylemore Abbey). The scenery here really has to be seen to be believed.
The row is located up a road with a sign marked "private road". I knew it was unlikely I'd be in these parts again so I decided I would drive up and see if there was anyone around to ask permission to view the stone row.
I came to a farm gate near some out-buildings and just as I was about to leave I was lucky enough to meet who I presume where the owners of the land, two nice sheep farmers - probably a father and son who granted me access.
The stone row itself is lovely with smooth rounded stones. It was misty the day I visited and I can only imagine how much more beautiful the setting would be on a clear day.
To top it all off the row is likely to be aligned to the winter solstice sun-set behind the high mountains here, likely to be around 1.30pm in the afternoon.