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    An old story tells that in the time of Corc, king of Mumu, Cashel was "discovered" in a region wholly deserted and uninhabited, when swine-herds driving their flocks into the woods to feed were led to the site by "a most beautiful person" singing and prophesying; and that the king hearing of the miracle was moved to set up on the rock his place of assembly and seat of customs for rent and tribute. According to Córus Béscna, a seventh-century law-tract, Corc was a hostage at Tara when Patrick came there, so that the occupation of Cashel, in Gaelic Caissel Cuirc, or "Corc's castellum," could not be much earlier than 440: it is known as the only Latin name among the fortresses of Irish kings - the one place of note in ancient Ireland which does not bear a Gaelic name.
    Great changes followed the advent to Cashel of the new rulers. At some unknown time kings of Mumu extended their power over Clare, formerly a part of Connacht, and even to the Aran islands where there is a territory that still preserves the name of Eóganacht. They annexed what are now the counties of Clare and Tipperary, a small part of Limerick, and the larger part of Waterford.

    Alice Stopford Green, 1925

    Detail from the Tanner map of Ireland, 1836.
    Above: detail from the Tanner map of Ireland, 1836.
    Map © Cartography Associates, from the Rumsey Collection.

    Left: detail from satellite photo (click for larger version).

    Charon (MIT Project) 1989, James Coleman ©