Famine Walls

In the Ring of Gullion and Cooley Mountains there may be more than 40 km of stone walls built as relief works during An Gorta Mór, the Great Hunger. We can’t be sure because they are not listed nor even counted. They are not protected monuments, but they should be. People died building them.   […]

Borderspake: the way we used to talk

Did you ever cap a cow,  langle a goat,  brer a ditch, build an adag or coup a yoke in a shuck? Did you ever get a sceilp, a dunch, a dúdóg or a gonc? Were you ever called an amadán, gulpin, bawkie, shibby, jaurie, gam, caldera or a wee skitter? This project began as […]

The Gap of the North

For thousands of years there was only one all-weather north-south route in eastern Ireland. Every major war fought in this country revolved at some point around Bearnas Bó Uladh, the Gap of the North. There is an old adage that geography determines history, which is the record of human interaction with a given environment. 20,000 […]

Omeath through the ages

HISTORY OF OMEATH The human record in Ireland is short. In France, cave paintings have been found which are 35,000 years old, while Spain has even older evidence of human activity. At that time the ice cap over Ireland was up to a kilometer deep, covering Slieve Foye. The Ice Age ended about 12,000 years […]

The last mountain community

During the Great Hunger, families evicted from lowland farms took refuge on Slieve Gullion, occupying old booley huts or building simple cabins, clearing heather and bracken to grow food on the thin acid soil. When the forestry was felled on the south-western slopes we found the ruins of their homes. THE LAST MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY The […]

The shooting of Meredith Chambre

The shooting of Meredith Chambre, 20th January 1852 Towards the end of the Great Hunger there were attacks on numerous landlords’ agents in Monaghan, Louth and South Armagh. Only one landlord was shot – Meredith Chambre of Hawthorn Hill. He survived, but one man was hanged and over 80 families evicted.   The best that […]