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CIIC 185. Inishvickillane (INIS MHIC AOIBHLEÁIN), Co. Kerry

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© COPYRIGHT, 2009 2009-01-01

National Monuments Service Record Number: KE061-006008-

Site Type




'At the south-east end of the island [of Inishvickillane] are the remains of an early monastic settlement. The site, although apparently lacking formal enclosure, comprises the ruins of a dry-stone oratory, a graveyard, a leacht [and stone cross], a possible beehive hut-sit, and a holy well dedicated to St Brendan' (Okasha and Forsyth 2001, 156). Macalister (1949, 44) also recorded 'an inscribed stone lying on the S wall of the oratory but this is now missing. It bore a small cross followed by the inscription: OR DO MAC RUED U DALAC[H] ['A prayer for Mac-Ruaid, grandson of Dálach']. A 2nd stone inscribed with a 'plain cross of 2 lines' lay within the graveyard (Macalister 1902, 46)' (Cuppage et al, 1986, 301).


1.05m x 0.15m x 0.18m (Cuppage et al, 1986, 301).

'Each of the four faces is inscribed with a cross of different form and one of the angles is used as a stem-line for an ogham inscription.' (Cuppage et al, 1986, 301). Here, as elsewhere, Macalister sees the crosses on this stone as a later attempt at Christianisation of a pagan monument but see McManus (1991, 54-61) for a valid counter argument to this theory.

Note: The stone is currently attached to a stand by a metal bracket, which has been removed from the 3d model and the smooth patches (bands on two faces) towards the top of the model show where holes remaining following it's removal were filled for presentation purposes.


Up. 'The inscription is on the dexter edge of one of the narrower faces, cut in very fine `knife cut' scores, of the kind common in Co. Cork' (Macalister 1945, 179). The ogham inscription is inverted with respect to the crosses, and the deep, but narrow incisions have suffered much damage and many are unclear (Cuppage et al, 1986, 301). According to Macalister (1945, 179), 'of the first name everything by the two B's is flaked away...the VL is hardly distinguishable from an N...the T is reduced to tiny pin-scrapes: the Q is visible only in a strong cross-light'.


Macalister's reading (1945, 179): [CO?]BB[A?] AVI VLATIAMI MAQ...


'... Uí Flaithim? [son of...]'


  • Although this inscription survives incomplete, it appears that the tribal name AVI VLATIAMI is followed by MAQ(QI) 'son of'. As McManus (1991, 171, note 17) has pointed out, this formula (X AVI Y MAQQI Z) is 'quite exceptional' in the ogham corpus.

  • The personal name VLATIAMI (if the correct reading) may correspond to the later attested name Flaithem 'ruler, prince', although an n-stem gen. (*VLATIAMONAS) would be expected (McManus 1991, 108, 179, note 45).



In front of the oratory into which the inscribed stone may have been built (Okasha and Forsyth 2001, 156) in the townland of Inishvickillane and barony of Corkaguiney. (GPS coordinates -10.606058, 52.044046)


Find location possibly original site

Last Recorded

on display as part of the 'Book of Kells' exhibition in the Library, Trinity College, Dublin. The present location of this stone may be accessed via the National Monuments Service Historic Environment viewer on www.archaeology.ie. (GPS coordinates -6.256657, 53.343981)

History of Recording

When first discovered by Windele [c.1849], the cross-inscribed ogham stone lay in front of the oratory (Brash 1879, 226) but by 1901 it had been placed as a lintel in that building (Macalister 1902, 44) and in 1902 it was removed to Trinity College, Dublin (Foley 1903, 91) where it remains today. (Cuppage et al, 1986, 301).


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