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CIIC 202. Coolmagort VI, Co. Kerry

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© COPYRIGHT, 2009 2015-07-23

© COPYRIGHT, 2009 2015-07-23

National Monuments Service Record Number: KE065-078007-

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).


Schist (Macalister 1945, 196), 1.30m x 0.23m x 0.23m (O'Sullivan et al 1996, no. 863 (5)). 'The sixth lintel... mutilated by the loss of the top of the stone' (Macalister 1945, 196).


chiselled, up-top-down around narrower side face of the stone. 'In the first word the TT is badly spaced, giving it the appearance of DC, and the E is broken. So also are the final I(2345)' Macalister (1945, 196). Most of the vowels in this inscription cannot be confidently read due to damage to the stone.




'of Nad-Froích son of ?-án'


  • NET(T)A 'champion' (later falling together with NIOT(T)A 'sister's son' when both became Nad-) is frequently found as an element in personal/kin group names (eg. NETA-SEGAMONAS on CIIC 263. Ardmore I and CIIC 300. Island). Here the number of scores following the N is uncertain. There is one other form attested with the -IO- vocalism (see CIIC 252) where it could be an example of NIOTTA 'sister's son' used as a formula word. The second element of the name -VRECC is probably OIr. Fróech, fróech 'heather' (Cf. CIIC 12. Rathcroghan I). The same name appears on CIIC 271. (NETA-VROQI) at Stradbally, Co. Waterford and on CIIC 26. (NETTA-VRECC), Donaghmore, Co. Kildare and 'all may be variants of an expected *NETA(S)-VROIC(I)' McManus (1991, 110).

  • Although a possible -AGNI ending in the last name looks early (later -ANN, OIr. -án), the first name appears to have already undergone apocope (with loss of -I) and syncope (with loss of -A of the first element), which would indicate a later date.



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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