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serious consequences but for the gallant conduct of the first officer of the ship. This accident was caused by an act of great carelessness on the part of a young boatman.
While the Caloric " lay at Aran, a second party of the Members of the Society, shunning the perils of the sea, had started from Dublin on Thursday afternoon, and occupied the Railway Hotel at Galway, ready to start for Aran in the morning.
An early start was made on Friday morning, and by 8.30 most of the "Caloric's" party were being rowed in corraghs swiftly over the mile of sea which separated the ship from the island. A landing was effected in a rocky creek near Temple Brecan. Two hours later the Galway party, in the steamer " Duras " arrived at Kilmurvey. All then scattered over "the island to study the antiquities in which it is so rich. A description of these, prepared specially for this visit, is appended on pp. 250-278.
The party of the " Caloric" returned to the ship in corraghs from Kilronan near the other end of the island, a distance of about five miles. "With three or four rowers the passage was made in excellent time. The second party shipped on the "Duras" from the pier at Kilronan, and returned to Galway for the night.
On Saturday both parties visited the middle and south islands of the Aran group. On the former the Members met with the only instance of inhospitality experienced during the excursion. Unlike the friendly interest shown in our movements on all the other islands, the women here made a determined attempt to levy blackmail on our party.
The chief glory of the middle island is the great fort of Dun Conor. Its vast wall presents an imposing impression at a distance, but within, the work of renovation has been carried out to such an extent that all appearance of antiquity has vanished. The work as it now stands is of so flimsy a character that in many parts of the wall it is necessary to tread carefully lest an incautious step should dislodge a newly-placed stone that might bring down some of the battlements in ruin.
The south island, Inisheer, was then visited. Here the interesting little church Teampull Choemhain, which having been completely enveloped in a sand-dune, has been dug out, was examined.
The two steamers then returned to Galway, and the Members of the large united party settled down in their various hotels and lodgings. After dinner presentations were made to the Captain of the " Caloric," and to Mr. S. F. Milligan, Vice-President, in recognition of their efforts to secure the success of the sea excursion.
On Sunday a large number of the party attended the church of St. Nicholas, where a sermon suited to the occasion was preached by the Rev. J. Fleetwood Berry, M.a.
In the afternoon many of the party drove to Clare Galway Abbey (described p. 287) where after an inspection of the ruins not a few were entertained by the ltev. Martin Cummins, P.p. Others continued the drive to Roseam, and examined the Round Tower, holestone, &c., there (see p. 284).
On Monday, a very wet morning prevented the programme for the day being carried out as intended. As the weather afterwards cleared, most of the party left Gal way by the steamer "Duras," and crossed the bay, in a stiff breeze and heavy rolling sea, to Ballyvaughan. Here wagonettes and cars were in waiting to take them to Corcomroe Abbey, a Cistercian house described on p. 280. Time pressing, the return was soon made by BallyTaughan, and again by steamer across to Galway.
At dinner in the evening, the Most Rev. Dr. Healy, Vice-President for Connaught, presided, supported by the Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagb, Sir Valentine Blake, and Colonel O'Hara. The Chairman in very happy terms, welcomed the Society to Connaught. His speech of welcome was replied to on behalf of the visitors by Rev. Dr. Buick, Vice-President.
After dinner the Quarterly Meeting was held, as detailed in the Proceedings, p. 235.
On Tuesday the party visited S. Nicholas Church (described p. 293),' the Queen's College, and other objects of interest in the town.
After lunch at Galway, a special train carried the party to Athenry, where the castle, town wall, and Dominican and Franciscan Friaries, described at pp. 297-302, having been visited, the special train continued its journey to Athlone.
On Wednesday morning all left by train for Roscommon. Here the O'Conor Don met the party and conducted it to the Dominican Friary, situated in private grounds to the right of the road leading to the town. The nave and choir of the priory church are in fair preservation. The north side of the nave presents a line of light columns resembling the original form of those in the Dominican church at Athenry. In a niche, in the north wall of the chancel, is the tomb, with recumbent effigy, said to be that of Phelim O'Conor, King of Connaught, who died 1265.1 The
1 Particular attention was directed to an early French tombstone reported to contain a twelfth-century inscription. The stone is in a dark recess at the junction of the south transept with the choir. From a rubbing, rather hastily taken by a Member of the party, Canon Eeene gives the following reading :—
|^| ... O BVRE . . GIST DEV8 DB 8A ALME . . . XBECI.
of which he suggests the following translation:—
"Here lies .... Bure. May God have mercy on his soul.
The latter part of the inscription is very uncertain. Further rubbings of this part, and of the name, are very desirable.
1 A paper on this tomb, by the late Thomas O'Oorman, with plate of the effigy, appears in our Journal, 1866, p. 546. An excellent engraving of two of the eight armed figures which decorate the base of the monument will be found in the Journal, 1870, p. 252. It should be noted that Mr. O'Gorman, in the paper quoted, has urged good reasons for supposing that these armed figures did not originally belong to O'Conor's tomb, but to a later monument now ruined, from which they were long ago removed to their present position.
tomb has recently been reset, and a new masonry arch built over it. "While this, in some degree, protects the monument from the weather, it is causing it serious injury by the incrustation of lime forming in places from the drip from the new mortar.
Then passing through the town, the fine castle was visited and examined. This was erected as a royal castle in the thirteenth century. In plan it must have much resembled, on a smaller scale, the castle of Dublin, built about half a century earlier. A quadrangle, about 160 x 120 feet, is enclosed by high curtain walls. At each corner was a tower, circular externally. In the centre of one of the longer sides (the eastern) two massive towers formed a gateway; while a square postern tower was in the opposite wall. The eastern and northern sides have been remodelled, and large additional buildings added in the sixteenth, or early in the seventeenth, century. Of this new work only a number of inserted windows remain. The west wall has been greatly injured by the removal of stones in large quantities from its base, both inside and outside. A Paper descriptive of this castle, by Rev. D. Murphy, S.j., appeared in our Journal for 1891, p. 549.
Returning to the Railway station, the train was taken to the next station, Ballymoe. From this the party walked or drove a little more than a mile, to the remains of the great castle of Ballintubber. An account of this castle, with drawings and plan, by the Right Hon. O'Conor Don, appeared in our Journal for 1889, page 24. Here, in a marquee erected for the purpose in the great courtyard, surrounded by the lofty towers that have awed the foes without, and looked down, within, on the hospitality of centuries of O'Conor Dons, the present noble holder of that princely title entertained the Society. Having partaken of luncheon, served with generous hospitality, the thanks of the Society were expressed to O'Conor Don and Madame O'Conor, by the Most Rev. Dr. Healy, Vice-President. The ruins were then examined, and the party returned to the Railway station to be carried away to their various homes, having completed the eminently successful Summer Excursion of 1895.
Tn dealing with " Aran of the Saints" for an archaeological guide, one is confronted at once by two difficulties—first, to keep from the temptation of adding another to the many exhaustive accounts of the place; secondly, to avoid flying into the opposite extreme and saying too little, leaving those who trust to your description uninformed, and letting them pass by objects of interest. Therefore I shall refer those who seek for a thorough knowledge, to the long list of valuable works on the subject,2
1 By Thomas J. Westropp, M.a., M.u.i.a.
* First and most important come those invaluable photographs and descriptions in Lord Dunraven's "Notes on Irish Architecture," edited by Miss Stokes, so exhaustive as to leave little room for any addition to the descriptions of the principal buildings.
Then a careful scries of articles in the Irish Suilder, beginning April 15th, 1886.
"Acta Sanctorum." Colgnn.
"The Aran Isles—a Report of the Excursion of the Ethnological Section of the British Association," by Martin Haverty.
"A Visit to Aran of St. Enda," 1870, by the Most Eev. George Conroy, Bishop of Ardagh.
"Villages near Dunoghil," by 6. H. Kinahan.—Proceedings R.I. A., 1866-70. Transactions R.J.A., xiv., pp. 19-140.
"Iararna," by the Rev. W. Kilbride.—Journal, series III., vol. i., 1868, p. 109.
"Aran of the SainU," by J. G. Barry. —Journal, 1885, p. 488.
"Firbolg Forts on South Isles of Arran," by C. C. Babington.—Archaologia Cambrensis, January, 1858.
"Aran, Pagan and Christian," by W. F. Wakeman, in Duffy's Hibernian Magazine, vol. i., p. 577.
"Age of Dun dingus," Dr. Colley Marsh.—Society of Antiquaries, London, 1894.
O'Hanlon's "Lives of the Irish Saints," vol. iii., has much information about St. Enda.
"The South Isles of Aran," by Oliver J. Bourke, 1887.
"Ethnography of the Aran Islands," by A. C. Haddon, M.a., and C. R. Browne, h.D., 1893.
Of manuscripts, the most valuable are the letters of Dr. O'Donovan in 1839, preserved among the Ordnanco Survey notes in the Royal Irish Academy (many of the views of details by Mr. Wakeman are excellent). On the information contained in these letters most of the subsequent descriptions more or less depend.
and briefly tell what there is to be seen in these the most interesting islands off our coasts.
It may lead to less confusion to describe the buildings in their position from west to east rather than on the lines of supposed excursions.
Temple Bhecan.—This interesting church, with its monastic houses and later neighbour, Teampull-a-phoill, is often absurdly called "the Seven Churches," a name which originated in Ireland among non-archaeologists in the last century, and conveys an absurdly erroneous idea of
the motives of building groups of churches so conspicuous among the early Irish monks. It is extremely improbable that any group of "seven churches" was ever erected at one time; certainly the popular idea that the Irish deliberately built them in imitation of the churches of the Apocalypse, has no shred of tradition or fact in its favour.1
In a grassy field, fenced in to the south and west by steep crags, and with a fine view across the bay to the Twelve Pins of Benbeola and Golden Head, stand the churches. Temple Brecan is a large building, much tampered with in late times, for the west end has evidently been rebuilt, a round-headed, but comparatively late, door set in the south wall, and an end room, probably for a priest, partitioned off at the west end. Inside its west gable is the little slab inscribed "opap u canoin," "Pray for the two canons." A recess appears in the thickness of the partition wall. The rest of the building consists of a nave (32 feet x 18 feet) and chancel (20 feet 6 inches x 18 feet) of equal breadth, an unusual feature, divided by an early semicircular chancel arch. The north wall of the nave has one of those primitive windows, of which we see two other examples in Tea in pull Choemhain and Kilcananagh (p. 269), the head formed of two slabs leaning together. The east window is slightly pointed. Three stones, with crosses, stand on S.W. of the church, one with "VII Romani" (an important testimony to the fame of our schools, bringing alumni even from Rome itself); others have "op bo mamach "; "ci bpecani," said to have been dug up by a Don Pedro, and carried away before 1839 by an antiquary. Though
■ Glendalough has 9; Scatter)', 5; Clonmacnoise, 9; Iniscaltra, 4; Killeany group formerly 6. See an excellent paper on the subject in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1864, pp. 547, 774.