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CIIC 160. Ballintaggart VI (Baile an tSagairt), Co. Kerry

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© COPYRIGHT, 2009 2013-07-18
© Nora White 2012-11-22

National Monuments Service Record Number: KE053-033010-

Site Type




Site of church and old burial gound (An Cheallúnach or An Lisín). 'This circular enclosure crowns the summit of a low, but prominent, hillock between Dingle Harbour and Trabeg. The site of a church is shown within the enclosure on the OS maps, but nothing more is known about this, and no visible trace survives. Children were still being interred there in the burial ground in the mid-19th century' (Cuppage et al 1986, 264). The current stone enclosure, approximately 30m in diameter, is 'only a portion of the original site and was built up by a landlord sometime prior to 1847' (Devane 2001, 372). Macalister (1945, 151-7) recorded nine ogham stones collected together at the site. These 'mostly pulvinar' or oval water-rolled boulders resemble the stones found 'about 6 miles away' at Minard storm beach. Eight of the nine stones are now arranged in a circle within the stone enclosure with the ninth placed centrally. Apart from the ogham stones, the interior consists of 'a confusion of low mounds and low upright grave markers' (Cuppage et al 1986, 264). A tenth ogham stone was discovered in the 1980's but only protrudes 24cm above the ground (Devane 2001, 369).


Sandstone, 1.07m x 0.41m x 0.20m (converted from Macalister 1945, 154)

'The upper face of the stone bears an unusual cross motif. The ends of the side arms take the form of a trident or 3-pronged fork, the arms themselves forming the middle prong. A short cross-bar directly below the end of the upper arm gives the impression of a small cross here. The lower arm has a bifurcated terminal and a short detached groove continues the line of the arm between the 2 prongs' (Cuppage et al 1986, 265).


'Inscription on two sides, with a cross of unusual design on the face intercepted between them. Lettering pocked and rubbed, but in fair condition. The two lines of writing are certainly independent of one another, that on the sinister side being in scores much bolder and broader than that on the dexter' (Macalister 1945, 154). Although there may well be two seperate inscriptions, differences in appearance of the scores could be due to more extensive weathering on one side of the stone.




'of the three sons of Máelán'
'of Cuircthe'


  • This is one of the inscriptions listed by McManus (1991, 93-4) to be among the earliest in the corpus showing no trace of vowel affection. It may be dated to the first half, or the early second half, of the fifth century (McManus 1991, 97).

  • TRIA MAQA MAILAGNI appears to be an example of the genative plural. 'One might have expected TRIAM MAQAM MAILAGNI but as Ogam does not use double consonants in a regular way the reading as it stands need not postdate the transfer of a final nasal across word boundary' (McManus 1991, 117, 176, note 38).

  • McManus (1991, 176, note 38) concurs with Macalister that 'this inscription is accompanied on the other side of the stone by a single name CURCITTI which to judge by the nature of execution of the scores and the direction of writing appears to be unrelated'.



This stone came from the cairn or the nearby 'tombs' (Cuppage et al 1986, 265) in the townland of Ballintaggart and barony of Corkaguiney. (GPS coordinates -10.243303,52.127798)



Last Recorded

On site inside stone enclosure. The present location of this stone may be accessed via the National Monuments Service Historic Environment viewer on www.archaeology.ie.

History of Recording

first mentioned, 1804 Vallancey (Macalister 1945, 151).


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