I rambled down south this afternoon to visit a spot I last visited with my good Mary many many years ago!
The song Eileen Aroon was written about a local lady Aileen Kavanagh who I’ve been told lived here, though others place her in nearby Poulmounty Castle (which is probably correct!).
The ballad was written by her lover Carol O Daly who on the eve of her marriage to another, appeared among the guests disguised as a harper and sang to the accompaniment of his harp this song, so sad and full of meaning, that Aileen recognised him beneath his disguise and that night fled with away with him.
I will have to visit the ruins of Poulmounty Castle next time I’m down!
Located in the same field is the ancient Coolhill Castle which guards the River Barrow from it’s lofty perch about the Barrow Gorge.
Sadly is barely visible because of the tress growing up around it. Something should be done to open the vista up as it is surely one of the finest river scenes in the country.
It was owned by a Norman family called De La Rupe, who were ‘felons and robbers as well Irish enemies as English rebels’. They owned this wooded land between the Barrow and the Nore.
They earned their reputation thanks to the heavy tolls they extorted from passing over traffic.