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Art O’Neill’s Grave

Art O’Neill’s Grave

The main photo here is of the Art O’Neill memorial found at the foot of the Flags of Glanree. According to the account in the Annals of the Four Masters, Art died here, most likely from hypothermia and was buried on the spot. Local tradition has also supported this, where it was known as the ‘Prince’s Grave’ according to Liam Price in 1928. He reported then that there was a row of five or six stones and two larger ones where the headstone would lie. The memorial pictured here was erected a few years later in 1932, same time as Art’s Cross which lies on the hill above.

There is also a tradition reported in Glenmalure that Art O’Neill was buried in sight of Glenmalure and that the grave is marked by a cairn known as the Cloughrawn or Clorawn. This is shown in the second photo here and can be found near the Three Crosses Pass above Drumgoff – see our Lugnaquilla & Glendalough map. Price is dismissive of this but the story has some persistence.

What is clearer is that the Cloughrawn is on an old funeral route between Kirikee and Glendalough and there was a tradition of putting a stone on the cairn when people passed. Prayers were also said here, according to the Fr.Richard Galvin notes of the later 1800s.

The name Cloughrawn / Clorawn/ Clogharan crops up in placenames elsewhere in various forms. There’s a Clorenawn near Lackan in West Wicklow and it’s probably also related to the word Clochán used for small stone beehive huts as found in Kerry. So perhaps the meaning extends to small stone structures in general – a little stony man made thing.