Audio Guide: Cú Chulainn

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This audio guide in the Ring of Gullion starts of at the Ti Chulainn Cultural and Activity Centre and Mullaghbane, and goes on to Ballykeel Portal Tomb, Siverbridge and the Dorsey and from there to Annaghmare Court Tomb. It then takes you to visit Creggan graveyard, Castle Roche, Urney Graveyard and Forkhill, then Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone, before finishing at Moyry Castle.

On this tour, you’ll discover some of the rich cultural heritage of this region, and experience the sheer beauty of its landscape… Listen to Welcome (4mb) (Gaeilge) (Français) (Deutsche)

Ti Chulainn Cultural Activity Centre and Mullaghbane. Our first point on today’s tour is here at Ti Chulainn Cultural Activity Centre, at the heart of the Ring of Gullion.   Opened in 1998, this community project enables visitors to experience and take part in the rich cultural heritage of this region, through exhibitions and live performances. But it’s really much more than that…Ti Culchainn lies on the historical boundary between Leinster and Ulster.  This is a region that is a traditional meeting place of peoples…it’s a place that that has kept its long traditions of music, song, dance, Irish language, folklore and history.  And Ti Chulainn is dedicated to developing and sharing this cultural heritage of the Ring of Gullion… Listen to the full Ti Chulainn Cultural Activity Centre and Mullaghbane audio (5mb) (Gaeilge) (Français) (Deutsche)

Ballykeel portal tomb. This Neolithic burial site is known as the ‘Hag’s Chair’ … although perhaps ‘hag’s stool’ would be a more accurate name, because it takes the form of a tripod.  The monument is around 5,000 years old and like many other burial sites in the Ring of Gullion, it overlooks a stream, which in this case, is a tributary of the Forkhill River… Listen to the full Ballykeel portal tomb audio (4mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français 

Silverbridge and The Dorsey. The first point to bear in mind about Silver Bridge…is that it doesn’t exist.  It’s actually the meeting point of three townlands…Legmoylin, Carrigans and Carnally.  Locally, the folk story of why it’s called Silver Bridge has to do with the imprisoning in Dublin castle of the Ulster chieftains, O’Neill and O’Donnell.  The pair of them escaped and made their way back to their own people at Glasdrummond.  While they were heading back to Tyrone, they met an old man at this river crossing and they gave him  a few coins…some of which fell into the river…and it became known as Silver Bridge… Listen to the full Silverbridge and The Dorsey* audio (5mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français

Annaghmare Court Tomb. Here…sitting on a rocky knoll….in the middle of a remote bog in south Armagh… is one of the finest surviving court tombs anywhere in Ireland.  This may be due in part to its remote and inaccessible location in this low, boggy area, at Annaghmare – Eanach Mar – the plain of the marsh.  The monument’s certainly in a remarkable state of preservation, given that it’s six thousand years old… and this is a remarkable testament to the early farming communities who built it… Listen to the full Annaghmare Court Tomb audio (3mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français

Creggan Graveyard and Creggan Glen.This beautiful church and churchyard is one of the most important and historic in Ulster. Creggan Church was founded by the O’Neills, the chieftains of Tyrone,  in 1480.  They did what every family did at that time….they gave their lands to their first son…. and they sent their other sons out to colonise.  So one son came here to Creggan… at the same time another son was sent out to Clandboye and he founded an O’Neill dynasty there. So the O’Neills built their church here a Creggan….and they built their castle a few miles away at Glasdrummond… Listen to the full Creggan Graveyard and Creggan Glen audio (8mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français

Castle Roche. As you make your approach to Castle Roche, you can’t help but be struck by the sheer bulk of this menacing Anglo-Norman fortress.  There’s no doubt about, Castle Roche emanates a real sense of shock and awe.    And even after almost 800 years, it still has the power to impress… Listen to the full Castle Roche audio (4mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français

Urney Graveyard is a very ancient graveyard with Patrician connections. The word ‘urnai ‘of course means ‘prayer’ and in time, the word progressed beyond the simple idea of prayer and came to also signify the place where prayer was offered. It even became associated with the locality where the place of prayer was situated.  And so here Urney is a church and graveyard within the townland of Dungooley.   It’s a most peaceful place and well worth a visit… Listen to the full Urney Graveyard & Forkhill audio (4mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français

Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone, originally a boundary marker, it’s the earliest inscribed Christian monument in all of Ireland. its location is of considerable significance – it’s in this valley, known as the Gap of the North, on the path of one of Ireland’s great roads, the Slighe Midhluachra, which ran from Tara through the Moyry Pass to Dunseverick in north Antrim…Listen to Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone (3mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français

Moyry Castle. The Gap of the North controlled the main direct north-south access route into the north of Ireland.  O’Neill had held it for some years and he’d successfully defended it against Mountjoy in 1600, but for some reason it was left undefended the following year.   Mountjoy seized this opportunity to take control of this all-important pass and he built Moyry Castle as the base for a permanent garrison to hold it. This was a turning point in the war against the Ulster chieftains… Listen to the full Moyry Castle audio (5mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français