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CIIC 200. Coolmagort IV, Co. Kerry

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© COPYRIGHT, 2009 2015-07-23

© COPYRIGHT, 2009 2015-07-23

National Monuments Service Record Number: KE065-078005-

Site Type




This souterrain (KE065-078----), marked ‘Cave’ on the OS maps, was discovered in 1838 by workmen building a field boundary across a slight rise in Dunloe Castle demesne, a short distance W of the River Loe. A total of seven ogham stones were incorporated into its structure. Atkinson and Romilly Allen visited it individually several decades later, and recorded that the accessible section of its passage was c. 5.7m in overall length and averaged l.3m in height (1866, 523-4; 1892, 166-70). Access was gained through an opening at S, where the passage was 7 feet (2.15m) wide. From here it curved to NE, decreasing in width to 3 feet 3 inches (1m). The walls were of drystone construction and inclined slightly to reduce the passage width at roof level. It was roofed by nine slabs, six of which bore ogham inscriptions. One of the larger ogham stones had cracked in antiquity and was supported by a seventh, which stood upright in the souterrain passage. A number of bones and skulls, some of which were reputedly human, were found in the souterrain. In 1940 the ogham stones were removed from the site by the OPW, and were erected close to a public roadway nearby. The souterrain was subsequently filled back and no surface trace remains (Extract from ASI database, www.archaeology.ie).


Red sandstone (Macalister 1945, 193), 1.48m x 0.30m x 0.15m (O'Sullivan et al 1996, no. 863 (3)). This stone was the fourth lintel stone in the souterrain (Macalister 1945, 193).


'Inscription pocked on two angles (up-top-down)' (Macalister 1945, 193).




'of Mac-Táil son of Fuirg descendant of Toicacas?'


  • As noted by others, including McManus (1991, 53, 112), three of the seven stones at this site appear to commemorate members of the kin group of *Toicacas (see also TOICAKI on CIIC 197 and TOICACI on CIIC 198). This name has been equated by MacNeill (1911, 69, n.1.) with the population known as Tóecraige.

  • Mahon (1990, 13) has convincingly suggested an identification for three of the names of the descendants of *Toicacas occurring on stones CIIC 197 and 198 to be found 'at the head of the Rawlinson B.502 genealogy for the Glasraige'.

  • The lack of a final -I in MAQI-TTAL[I] (later Mac-Táil, Latinised Mactaleus, tál 'adze') and TOICAC[I] (compare CIIC 197 and CIIC 198 with final -I still present) suggests that this inscription postdates apocope. However, case endings are in tact in VORGOS and MUCOI (McManus 1991, 109, 82). Therefore, this inscription best fits the category dating to the first half of the sixth century (McManus 1991, 94, 97).



along with six other ogham stones in a souterrain known as 'the cave of Dunloe' in the townland of Coolmagort and barony of Dunkerron North (GPS coordinates -9.633466, 52.060741).



Last Recorded

In a small modern enclosure (together with CIIC 241 Kilbonane) near the entrance to the Gap of Dunloe, close to where originally found. The present location of this stone may be accessed via the National Monuments Service Historic Environment viewer on www.archaeology.ie. (GPS coordinates -9.634923, 52.06042)

History of Recording

discovered in 1838 by workmen building a field boundary. Gippert: The site was first visited by `Mr. Abell, of Cork' who `on that occasion took copies of such of the inscriptions as were then accessible'. After that, it was inspected by J. Windele `and a party of antiquaries from Cork'; Brash saw the spot in the autumn of 1869.


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