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CIIC 300. Island, Co. Waterford

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© Nora White 2011-12-23

© COPYRIGHT, 2009 2011-12-23

National Monuments Service Record Number: WA032-029002

Site Type

Possible Ecclesiastical

Description

Site

Situated just below the summit of a gentle NE-facing slope, with sea cliffs c. 130m to the S. This is possibly an early ecclesiastical site (WA032-029001-). The enclosure is a large, grass-covered circular area (diam. 85.5m E-W; 83.5m N-S) defined by an overgrown earthen field bank with internal and external stone-facing (Wth c. 2-3m; H c. 1-2m). The entrance (Wth 2.1m) at W is possibly modern. There is an ogham stone lying just inside the perimeter close to the entrance with a small cross-inscribed stone (WA032-029004-) lying beside it (ASI database, www.archaeology.ie; see image below right). Brash (1879, 253) and Westropp (1906, 250) both mention a local tradition that there was a killeen (unbaptised children's burial ground) at the site.

Monument

Slate, in two fragments, 1.42m x 0.49m x 0.15m

Text

'Inscription on two angles and the top (up-top-down), and, except for some chipping, in good condition' (Macalister 1945, 290). As McManus indicates in his reading, there is space for an expected A between the two Ns of CUN[A]NETAS. Also, it makes more sense to read MM than G for the two strokes before UC[OI] (McManus 1991 7, 94).

Transliteration

CUN[A]NETAS MAQ/I MMUC/[OI] NETA-SEGAMONAS

Translation

'of Conda son of the descendant of Nad-Segamon'

Commentary

  • 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).

  • The personal name CUN[A]NETAS (OIr. Conda for Conne) contains the commonly occuring element CUNA- and may be translated 'champion of wolves' (McManus 1991, 102, 106).

  • The kindred or sept name NETA-SEGAMONAS consists of the element Nad- 'sister's son, champion' and a personal name Segamon (McManus 1991, 109-10, 112). One theory is that this may be the Gaulish name Segomo (McManus 1991, 179 n. 46). It is noteworthy that a Nia-Segamon is listed in the historical sources as a prehistoric king of Cashel (Bhreathnach 2014, 43-4). The fact that MUCOI NETA-SEGAMONAS '(of) the descendant of Nad/Nia-Segamon' is also found on an ogham stone at nearby Ardmore I (CIIC. 263) and possibly also Knockboy (CIIC. 292) may suggest that this was a dynasty which controlled the area of west Waterford in the 5th century.

Locations

Found

Originally recorded by Brash (1879, 253-4) as 'lying in the middle of a field' (enclosure). It was later incorporated with the surrounding wall and 'practically inaccessible' (Macalister 1945, 290) in the townland of (Old) Island and barony of Decies without Drum. (GPS coordinates -7.481665, 52.113809)

Original

Find location possibly original site

Last Recorded

Lying on the ground close to the edge of the field (enclosure) and near the modern entrance. 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 published mention appears to be Brash (1879, 253-4). According to Macalister (1907, 196), a boy at the site told him that the stone once stood in the centre of the enclosure with the small cross-inscribed stone placed on top of it. Apart from sketches by Brash (1879, PL. XXXV.) and Macalister (1907, 197), no other representation or image of the stone appears to have been made. Attempts were made to record the stone in 3d in 2012 but due to wet weather and the awkward position of the stone the result was unsatisfactory. The 3d model is nonetheless made available here as a record of the stone. The site was re-visited in 2017 but was too overgrown to locate the stone.

References

Websites and Online Databases

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