Sunday 25 March 2012: Raffrigeen ringfort
A lovely day - the warm hazy sunshine materialised after a misty start, the socks came off and lunch was taken outside. I was good and worked for most of the morning then could stand it no longer and emerged out into the sunshine on the trail of ringforts. I was very successful and took in three. I've always admired this little one, its circular shape now defined by the tall Monterey pines. I didnt manage to get any closer as I couldn't work out how to get to it - just below sight level is a little water-logged valley. Everywhere looked so beautiful with the blackthorn and gorse competing for colour, and the hedgerows now full of violets, primroses and bluebells. Raffrigeen apparently means fort of Amhrigin.
Kitty Sheehan had this to say about it in the Folklore comission of 1938: I have a story about that fort. It happened a good while ago. A man planted wheat in the fort. Of course, it is supposed that it is unlucky to till forts. He disregraded that, however, and planted the wheat in the fort. When the wheat was ripe, he came this day to cut the wheat. When he was reaping the wheat, a blade of it struck him in the eye. He was blind ever after..'.
Dangerous places these forts. I also ventured to the fort at Ardahill which sits on top of a drumlin. As I started to go up the boreen I was approached by a three-legged dog - really!! If that wasn't a sign of fairydom I don't know what is. All was good though, the fairies recognise their own.