Kilrush Golf Club Fashion Show

Kilrush Golf Club Fashion Show

Willie Keane Weekend

Willie Keane Memorial Weekend

26-29 October in Doonbeg

Halloween Camp

Halloween Camp Kilrush

In Kilrush more detail on What's On Page

Date for the Diary

Circle K Ireland has come to Kilmihil. Fitzpatricks extend an invitation to the grand opening on November 17th. More details to follow.




What's on in Kilmihil

There are things to do in Kilmihil every day and above are just a few of the events, if you are looking for something to do today click here to view What's On.

Cahermurphy Castle and Earthworks, from S.W. – T.J. Westropp

As we go down the southward slope we see below us to the right a large stone fort on a knoll, which proves to be no mean hill when we reach it.


The fort is circular, the wall for the most part well preserved, but levelled to the north-west, near the gateway of which hardly a trace remains. The interior garth is 110 feet in diameter. The wall (as so often) is built in two sections,
the inner from 4 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 6 inches thick, the outer from
13 feet to 13 feet 3 inches, or, to give the entire thickness, 17 feet 6
inches to 19 feet 6 inches. The inner face is coarsely built in layers of
flagstone, but the outer beautifully pieced together in polygonal masonry,
small but closely fitted, with a regular curve and straight batter. This
batter has the unusual slope of one in four, which was probably due to the
builder’s desire to compensate for the weakness of the small material. The
filling is large and the whole an unusual and excellent piece of dry stone
masonry. There is an accumulation of debris over two feet deep round the
base, over which the wall rises 6 feet 9 inches to the west, 9 feet 6 inches
to the south and south-east, i.e., 11 feet 6 inches over the field and about
7 feet over the garth. To give some notion of the unusually small size of
the stones, I found 24 courses in 9 feet 6 inches. Two small lakes lie at
the foot of the hill, which latter, with the fort, forms a conspicuous object
in the landscape even from Kilmihil.

Not far to the south is the earth fort of Lisduff (defaced by burials and a late wall),
with an oratory-like vault on top. The remains at Kiltumper, lying about
a mile east from the road to Kilmihil, are conspicuously marked on all the
O. S. maps (even the key map) as “Tumper’s grave.” They have been treated
as important by the authors of the O. S. Letters, and are given as a dolmen
by Miss Stokes in her list. They are only the base of a small cairn, with a kerbing of slabs never exceeding 3 ½ feet long and forming an enclosure 15 feet east and west by 11 feet
north and south. Legend in 1839 said that it was the burial place of a Danish
chief, chased from Cahermurroghoo or Cahermurphy by the Dalcassians, slain
and buried on this ridge.

Plan of Kiltumper Dolmen

T.J. Westropp, 1902


The castle of Cahermurphy lies on the edge of a marshy hollow, near a stream and lake south of the stone fort. Only one side remains, featureless and built of flagstones. It is only remarkable for the great earthworks. The enclosure consists of two great mounds, 10 or 12 feet high, with fosses between and
outside. Thence slighter mounds enclose a shield-like enclosure with a rounded
end, the longer axis lying east and west. There may have been a ring round
the peel tower, but all is much overgrown, and I had little time for its
examination. It measures about 355 feet east and west, and 200 feet north
and south, being over 50 feet across the ditches.

The chief interest attaching to the place lies in its owners, the MacGormans, or, as they preferred to call themselves, O’Gormans. Of them was the chevalier O’Gorman, an indefatigable, if not infallible, antiquary and genealogist in the eighteenth century.
This family, it will be remembered, were of the race of Cathaoir mor, and
fled out of their old settlements in Leinster before the Norman settlers
early in the thirteenth century. They were gladly received, and “planted”
in Ibrickan by Donchad Cairbreach O’Brien. They were known as Ui Bairrché
from Daire Barrach, son of Cathaoir mór, and had long dwelt in Slieve Mairgy
in Queen’s County, and in the plain near Carlow. Mortough, son of Donchad
MacGorman, probably harassed by Walter de Ridelesford, gathered the clan
(as Maoilin oge Mac Brody sings) and consulted as to their prospects. They
determined to divide and migrate, part to Ulster, part to Uaithné or Owney,
in Limerick, and eventually to their settlement “on the edge of the world,”
which was re-named Ui bracain from their tribal name. They took no prominent
part in history, but lived in good repute for hospitality and trustworthiness
among their neighbours, keeping for several centuries houses of free hospitality.
Daniel MacGorman, for example, died in 1620, owning Cahermurchada and Drimelihy,
which last he had conveyed to Daniel O’Brien in 1594. His sons Conor, Melaghlin
and Caher succeeded. Melaghlin was succeeded by his son Dermot. In 1641
Sir Daniel O’Brien, Daniel MacGorman, and the latters sons held the lands.
In 1688 they were held by Daniel O’Brien, Lord Clare, from whom they were
confiscated, and passed in 1703 to Francis Burton, Charles McDonnell and
Nicholas Westby.

As for the castle, if we can trust the “List of Castle Founders,” [15]
it was built by Murrough MacFergus McCon. It is not named in the castle
list of 1584, at least as published, and is named as Cathair Murchadha in
1600, when the great army of Hugh O’Donnell, encumbered with the spoils
of Thomond, swept past its walls.