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"Castle of Z)oim." See page 113.
The castle of Down or Doon, in Irish Caiplean an Ouna, was situate on a high rugged rock on the mainland, N. E. of the island of Omey. Its site is now occupied by the ruins of an old house, but the outer walls of the original building, four feet thick, are still traceable. Opposite the castle, on the south side of the inlet of the ocean called Streamstown Bay, stood the chapel of Kill, said to have been erected about 250 years ago, by one Dubhdara Mac Conroi; who, according to tradition, was put to death by the O'Flaherty who then resided in Doon castle. The chapel and castle may be seen marked on Larkin's large map of the county of Gal way.
In this vicinity lived the bard Mac Sweeny (mentioned ante, p. 112, note r) who has celebrated the castle of Doon, in a curious poem in his native language, entitled "GBpan an phuca," the song of the Puca or Goblin, a hairy sprite somewhat akin to the well-known Brownie of Scotland, but more mischievous. This production I am induced to insert here as a specimen of modern Irish versification. It is popular among the natives of Iar-Connaught, and is generally sung to music.
"Gbpdn an phuca.
"eipeocaio me aip maiom a n-amm an oomnai j,
lp 6 iompc'16 na j-cailleac ip na peanrxioine cpfonna,
* It is generally believed that the Pica has sur- going ont on that night, for fear of encountering this
rived the deluge. He is supposed to be particularly formidable phantom of the imagination. To reason
busy on All-Hallow-eve; and many persons avoid with them on the subject is useless.
b See ante, p. 120, 'lomaipe an lionuin—See this place de
c The hill of Down or Doon, on which stood the scribed, p. 61.
castle of that name, mentioned pp. 113, 283. * Ballynahinch, for which see p. 92.
*i. e. Cnoc meada piuil.—For this well- hJohn Joyce, better known by the name of
known hill, see p. 147. Shane na Baine.—He was one of the gigantic race
• i. e. SliaB 6drna na o-cuac, a mountain inhabiting the Ross mountains; and was remarkable
in the county and barony of Roscommon. The name for bis stature, strength, and good-humour. He has
is incorrectly translated "white mountain" in the been frequently mentioned by modern tourists as a
Statistical Survey of that county, p. 19. fair specimen of a rural Irishman.
'S 6a6 TTlaiciap O'DuBain an piopcmac luerhap1,
Cpann peapca na cuipe nap clip a n-aon 566B,
t)a B-paja6 p6 jpeim piobain, no coppain na guailne aip,
Ceaj-pao p6 an puca ip mo e6mic a piaih.
Racpainn-pi a m-bannaio Da 5-cuippioe rap cuan 6,
VI ac o-nucpao an puaij aip an bealac po map,
'S nac peapao an cleapaio a n-aon ceapo oe'n coije,
Hiop jaipe lona Conooin no Cuaomumain Ui bpiain5.
C6 mumijjin maie ajam-pa ap jnfom phdopuij Seoi 515,
Ca B-pui5pe66-pa capall com maic leip an b-pfica,
1 O'Dubhain, Anglice Duane, an old Milesian fami- ■ Lackey or Malachy O'Malley, a wit and ly of Iar-Connaught, anciently attached to the O'Fla- "Khymer" who lived near the mountains of Partry, herties, and still highly respectable. Of this family and of whom many facetious stories are still related, was Counsellor Mat Duane of Lincoln's Inn, London, The ludicrous employment of Puca-driver here asdistinguished in the last century for his learning and signed him by his friend, Mac Sweeny, gave occaantiquarian knowledge. See an interesting letter sion to several good-humoured sallies between these from him in the Irish Magazine, Dublin, 1809, p. rival wits, which are still remembered by their ad425. mirers.
'The district of Thomond or Clare. m Kinvile, the residence of Henry Blake, Esq.
* This alludes to the British extraction of the This place, with Aughris, the seat of Geoffrey Coneys,
Joyces, for which see ante, p. 46; and Additional Esq., and the other localities mentioned in the suc
Note Q, p. 246. ceeding stanzas, are well known in this district
But the most popular of Mac Sweeny's compositions is an ironical description of a "Conamara Wedding," wherein he recapitulates, in a strain of considerable humour, the preparations made for the feast, and enumerates the guests to be invited on the occasion. It has been said of the description of an entertainment at Templehouse in Sligo, in the last century, that it might be considered "as the neplus ultra of all the subjects, that the wit of man has ever devised, to excite and continue the loudest peals of laughter."—Walker's Memoirs of the Irish Bards, vol. i. p. 331, Dub. Ed. 1818. To apply this to the following effusion might be thought presumptuous; but we may safely affirm that no one who understands the Irish language can hear the "Conamara Wedding" recited or sung by a native, without acknowledging the comic powers of the author". Had Mac Sweeny received the advantages of our well-known countryman, O'Keeffe, he would, probably, have displayed equal wit and humour.
&amip "In the first four stanzas, a rich assortment of dresses is ordered for the bride; and, for the feast, an abundant supply of wine and whiskey, beer in boatloads, tea and spices of all kinds, including " nutmegs and saltpetre:" with all the necessary apparatus of "knives and forks" (which, it appears, were not at that time in general use in Conamara), pipes, tobacco, cards, backgammon boxes, and "bands of
music." The eatables are next provided, beginning in the fifth stanza, with a profusion of fish, from the herring to the "tortoise;" in tJhe sixth stanza, wild fowl in great variety; and in the seventh, all kinds of meat, from the ox to the badger; with a humorous hint that it would be prudent to have these latter viands either boiled or roasted. In the three follow ing stanzas the guests are enumerated. Theee con
bainip phegi nf h-Gajpa°.
Q laBpaip pheicinp, jluaipgo capaio,
Qjup cloca pdoa piooa,'
Qjup pibinije oeapa cpioca,
Dap po^ann o'aon Bean 'pan pi jeacc.
'S lmri^ leac 50 h-eupja,
ml of the great Milesian families of Connaught, lish language in Iar-Connaught These alien addi
with some "Strongbonians" and "Cromwellians," tions would be indignantly rejected by the older bards. "lib nap cdip"; and they end with the neigh- t Laurence Fechin, i. c. Laurence the son of
bouring gentrj-, and others of Iar-Connaught, who Fechin. The surname was Coneely, for which
are summed up with some keen touches of wit To see ante, p. 27, note*. It is common in the
complete the irony, the father of the bride is intro- west of Ireland to make the Christian name of the
duced, and the furniture of his cabin displayed, viz., father answer as a surname for the son. Hence
a pot, a spinning-wheel, and a kneading-trough for Fechin Coneely's son is called Laurence Fechin.
dough; although bread was a luxury which the This practice has tended to multiply surnames,
family never tasted. The spirit of this curious poem With this Laurence the irony commences. He was
would be entirely lost by translation. See Tytler's a little lame tailor of Cloghaun (Clifden), a bad
"Principles," chap. xih. horseman, and certainly the most unfit provider of
•■'■" The wedding of Peggy O'Hara," but more a feast that could possibly be selected, generally called the " Conaraara wedding." The q Rascal. A slang name formerly given in the
number of English words, borrowed for want of corres- west of Ireland to an outside great-coat This is
ponding terms in Irish, shews the increase of the Eng- one of the borrowed words.