Grianan Of Aileach Fort Restoration
Posted 20 May 2009 - 10:55
THE Office of Public Works yesterday confirmed that unauthorised removal of stones from Grianan of Aileach ringfort had take place in recent weeks.
However, the stones were reinstated about ten days ago after members of the public reported the damage to the authorities.
An OPW spokesperson said a member of the National Monuments maintenance staff in Donegal returned to the stone fort in Burt at lunchtime yesterday to check on the structure. He reported that everything "was as it should be" at the historic site.
"The stones that had been removed were reinstated between seven and ten days ago. The structure was checked again at lunchtime today and everything was as it should be," said the spokesperson yesterday.
Big structural works were undertaken between 2006 and last year to restore the famous monument. The use of concrete to bind the stones in what was historically a dry stone fort, has been roundly criticised.
Buncrana-based Bettina Linke, who is a tireless observer of Grianan of Aileach, was among those who noticed the recent damage to the important site.
The OPW spokesperson said the latest damage was not done by stormy weather or instability and was likely the work of vandals.
However, he said it had since been repaired and would continue to be checked on a regular basis.
The OPW's reply is as always interesting, particular the part of the 'unauthorised removal of stones'. But I suppose, removal of stones from the monument is authorised when it is carried out by the OPW. I only passed the two large piles of such removed stones on the foot of the hill last Friday, which were a result of all the concrete. In 2007 the OPW decided to dump the left over stones, which were lying for a couple of years on the outside of Grianan's Swilly facing side, in a field below.
I also had a look at the 'replaced' stones. Give it two or three years and they will fall out again.
Posted 9 November 2009 - 19:05
Sent: Mon 11/02/09 1:55 PM
Here is the story on an grianne which means the sun all day, a clock like a sun dial.
The place was built by the Dagdas carpenters and stone mason after the death of his son Aedh who was killed by Corrgenn of Connacht who came to visit dagda and brough his wife.
the son Aedh was flirting with his wife and corrgenn thought he had cucoled him and therefore he killed the young man in front of his father Dagda the great cheif and warrior of the Danaans. Known also as the red man he had red hair .
Because Dagda felt this jelous rage killing had some merit and his son was guilty instread of killing Corrgenn he made the man carry this dead son on his back until he found the perfect flagstone to fit the body.
This coorgenn could not do in all ireland except a perfect stone he found onthe shore of Loch Feabaill.[this if foyle I belive]
His instructions were to bury the body of Aedh on the closest hill top and place the stone over him.
this corrgenn did and he than dropped dead there from exuastion
having carried the flagstone up the hill to place over the grave from the lock strand.
dagda now ordered his two carpenters Garban and Imeall to build a rath round the grave.
this they did Garban cutting the stone and and Imeall set the stones all round this rath house they had built.
they than closed the top of the house with a slab and this hill is called the Hill of Aileac the hill of the flagstone or the hill of sighs as dagda mourned for his lost son with tears of blood.
the present site has in its center a smooth round stone whick looks a bit like a stone to stand on to give a speach to waiting students the tribes.
I did not take the libety to go stand on it But i felt that someone may have been buried under it a grave inthe center and the druids were there giving a eulogy.
Just a thought those genetic memories again.
This story found in the gregory book is probalby the truth to the matter.
although where she got the word sighs from out of leac is beyong me. the peasant english again.
The paper you printed out next speenoge now calling the mountain the greenan or griane mountain overlooking loch foyle, loch swilly and derry 5 miles to the east.
apparently there is an inner stone stairwell as wellas the outer one but did not go into any of those holes myself or even look in with my newfound friend barney right behind me and being a helpless little old lady he might have overpowered me up there all alone and done me in.
Women think that way although I am sure barney is a pure as a monk.
the roundness of the central stone may indicate either to cap stone of the rath around the grave of Aedh below or a place where a sun dail was placed giving it the new name of Grianne as it kept the time all day long.
When we went up it rained the first rain i had in ireland so overcast.
below the ring fort are clear marks of the 3 outher ditches.
the paper says the interior is 5 acres but not so about 2 inside the stone walls but they may have included the outer 3 earthworks probably.
who knows how these educted people think.
there are some bogs tothe west of the wall to the right of the enterance place now nice spagum fields.
I wonder if they are recent or were there centuries ago.
this hill is massive a large place now full of fields and old roads and such.
the o Doughterty castle is below around burt area and of course my nice church up there just a mile norht of the hotel.
The oneill s took it over inthe 5 centruy Ad and occupied this hill and fort etal till it was distroyed by Obrian in the 11oos and the stones removed. to munster I guess.
The 5 Ad would have been Niall 9 era and his dad muigmedoin but the O Neill of the brother of donghaile is where the neill name comes from not niall 9.
grianan of Aileac meaning the sun place of the large flagstone.
Dr Bernard of Derry rebuilt it in 1870 a nice make work project for the recoverign irish of the great hunger era.
I do bleive this old fort is closer to Derry than letterkenney as derry is a beter port of entry for the republic than that raphoe area we have some connection to that place all prods up there .
what did glachan say to you onthe phone anyway.
its the missing clue .
this isprobablya prechristain inaguration cite as well. jd
Posted 26 November 2009 - 12:39
The courses below the concreted sections are falling out, watch out for large undermined concrete sections collapsing and bringing whole sections of wall down.
Cold winter? water freezing in the wall trapped by concrete and blowing holes through the wall!
Some of the stonework and pointed in sections around the gate are terrible - cement thrown in as an after thought.
and a heaven in a wild flower
hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and eternity in an hour
Posted 27 December 2009 - 14:39
And to everyone one this great website.
In the past year I found what appears to be an ogham like inscription on a rock near the monument and a small standing stone with hole markings on both sides laying in a field wall on the summit. Some research also revealed that until 800AD Grianan Aileach was at Aileach Mor just outside Derry, some miles away from the monument, and that it is physically impossible to have to have a functioning and rather very busy royal seat at the location, we are told since 1836, is the Grianan of Aileach.
It is everyones guess what the monument was originally used for, never mind what it was called, but a site of habitation or a royal seat - it was not.
I hope that someone will be able to read what I believe is an inscription nearby. If it is, no doubt, it would be a clue in finding the true identity of this monument.
Have you been at Grianan?
Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:57
Article by Roisin McLaughlin from the Inish Times, September 13, 2011
Inishowens communties must work together with state bodies to protect our sites of historical interest, thats the message from one of the countrys top politicians.
Minister of State Brian Hayes, who has a special responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW), was speaking to local councillor Peter McLaughlin last week.
Cllr McLaughlin said the Minister had committed to visiting the area in order to assess how to move forward with OPW-manged sites, such as An Grianan of Aileach.
The Buncrana councillor said: The Minister explained how his empahsis is on working with and getting assistance from local communities regarding these sites.
He said he would be looking to take direction from the local communities.
He added: Amongst other sites, we talked about Grianan and its rich historical significance. I got him to commit himself to coming up and taking a look at it.
Cllr McLaughlin said he would now be talking to the West Inishowen Historical Society and other local groups to discuss ideas on how to move forward.
Grianan is something I think is under-utilised, its importance cannot be underestimated, he explained.
We all know what we have here but sometimes it felt like the OPW werent pulling their weight when it came to the site. However it is in their interest to work with us in order to help protect it.
Local committees should now start putting forward ideas to enable us to maximise the potential of this magnificent site.
Cllr McLaughlin said he loved taking people up to visit the ancient ring fort and said Minister Hayes shared his enthusiasm once he heard some of the tales about it.
I am delighted he committed to coming up here to visit the site. Once I told him about it being marked on the oldest known map of the world he got very excited!
There was widespread outrage in the area in 2007 after the Grianan site was partially closed as it underwent repair by the OPW. Many locals were also upset by the quality of the restoration work itself.
Cllr McLaughlin said he hoped this latest commitment for Minister Hayes would prevent a repeat of that scenario.
Posted 22 September 2011 - 20:06
"".....Cllr McLaughlin said he loved taking people up to visit the ancient ring fort and said Minister Hayes shared his enthusiasm once he heard some of the tales about it.
“I am delighted he committed to coming up here to visit the site. Once I told him about it being marked on the oldest known map of the world he got very excited!”..... ""
I'm wondering what the oldest world map is?
Posted 16 December 2012 - 21:07
A great festival took place in June - Féile Grianán Ailigh (),
which saw warriors on the hill, leading to the conclusion that "Grianan Fort may not be a fort after all".
There was of course the autumn equinox, repeating the spectacle of six month earlier:
and quite breath-taking sun rises and sets inbetween and since.
The name of the hill before the Ordnance Survey of 1837 has been confirmed as Grianán Gormlaig with Gormlaig being possibly a variation on Carrlaeg, mentioned in the Three Fragments of Irish Annals, which was known at the time of Patrick and Columba as Carrig Eolairg - the rock of knowledge.
With a tremendous portion of luck there will be only a very few clouds between December 21 - 23, when hopefully the setting sun will drop into Barnes Mor Gap, the entrance to the rest of Donegal, and establishing a further aligment of the monument.
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