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Previously unknown cliff ring fort discovered by drone operator in Clare

Matthew Kelly was operating a drone near Lahinch when he made the find.

Image: Matthew Kelly

A PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN cliff ring fort has been discovered in Co Clare by a drone operator during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Matthew Kelly was operating a drone near Crag, Lahinch when he made the archaeological find.

His discovery came two years after he previously uncovered a group of 5000-year-old forts in Dundalk, Co Louth

Kelly’s latest find had not been previously recorded in the National Monuments Service (NMS) database, but has since been officially added.

“I found the fort while flying my drone around the small cliffs at Lahinch during lockdown,” he said.

“I have been filming forts and stone circles for years so I knew what it was when I found it. I emailed the National Monuments Service who checked it out and added it to their database which means it is now recorded and protected.”

The discovery is classed as a ‘cliff-edge fort’ in the townland of Crag and is scheduled for inclusion in the next revision of the Record of Monuments and Places.

However, Kelly isn’t claiming all of the credit for his latest discovery.

“The artist Jim Fitzpatrick inspired me to get into Irish mythology years ago so I asked him to name the fort,” he said.

“He suggested Cliodhna of the Waves so we will call it Dun Cliodhna. Cliodhna is the goddess of love and beauty and is said to have three brightly coloured birds who eat apples from an otherworldly tree and whose sweet song heals the sick.”

The confirmation from the NMS states that the fort is “situated on a steep cliff-edge c. 450m south of Lahinch beach backing onto a NE-SW cliff”.

It adds: “A sub-circular enclosure, reported to the National Monuments Service by Matthew Kelly.”

About the author:

Pat Flynn

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