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GPS: (51.842168,-9.127021)

No one can know the age of Inchigeelagh village, the first reference to it is found in 1479 and again in Vatican records in 1493, when it was, and still is, in the diocese of Cork. Of course, it is probably much older that that.  The name (Inse Geimlagh in Irish) translates as 'the island of the hostages' and it is told that it derives from a time when 'Danish' raiders were caught and confined to the island that is now the local park - 'River Island'.   In this case it must have been here in the tenth century. 

Traditionally the O'Learys  arrived here in about 1192ce (or around that time), having been driven out of their home place in Ross Carbery which was then re-occupied by the de Butler family (Normans). They seem to have settled along the upper Laoi valley mostly on the north side of the river.  Some settled in Inchigeelagh at a place called Manynge or Mannen, which was a little south of present Inchigeelagh where the village bridge now stands and there built a Rath.  This became the home  of an O'Leary Chieftain until round about 1515 A.D. when Carrignacurra Castle, a tower house, was built a mile outside the village, for the tanaiste of the clan, at another fording point. You can still see the substantial remains of that castle.

A 'mass rock' surviving from Penal Times when the Catholic faith was outlawed still survives by the roadside just outside the village and is still occasionly used.

Aerial view- probably early 1990s


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