Monuments On Cuilcagh

On the top of Cuilcagh are two monuments about three miles apart, one of which is only a small one called Lacht an Phelim from Phelim O’Dolan who was an ancient proprietor of Gleann Gaibhle. It was erected some centuries ago. The O’Dolans.were a wealthy family and owned the townland of Gub.

The larger monument was known as Lacht a mhac a’ Whoole from a mac a’ Whoole [McEnhill in English) the head of a clan who were driven out of Tyrone by the O’Neills centuries ago and fled to the mountains with a party of followers and stayed there until they were betrayed. This monument resembles a fort surrounded by a large wall of dry stone. Near this erection bee-hived shaped huts can be seen. These were probably built by the Tyrone clan. Some say that writers used them and that one night a terrible storm of thunder and lightning broke out and that those writers fled and never returned.

In the late 1940s, workers tossed some stones and built a triangulation station by night on the top of the monument. A date, June 11th, 1949, is quite visible. Other stations were built at the same time all over Ireland and were used to map the country. In the 1950s other work was carried out by night. Those monuments form part of the border between Cavan and Fermanagh but it is easier to reach them from the Cavan side. Dean Henry climbed in 1739 from this side. Many schools and colleges organise bus tours to the large monument as it is a tourist attraction. St. Patrick is said to have prayed at the Monument.

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