The scenery is extremely wild and romantic, particularly on the south side of the island, where it presents to the Atlantic a steep and inaccessible cliff. At the south-west point of the island, overhanging the sea, and accessible only by a narrow and dangerous pathway, not more than three feet in breadth, are the ruins of Dunanore castle, or the "Golden Fort", which, from its distance from all the landing places, would appear to have been built more for the purpose of a safe retreat in case of invasion, than for the defence of the shores: the view from the battlements is very extensive, and embraces a great variety of objects of a bold and imposing character.
[From Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)]
"The O Driscolls were at one time 'rulers' and 'kings' of Cléire as well as of an extensive territory on the mainland. The family were part of the Corca Laoidhe and genealogists therefore gave them a descent from Ith son of Bregon a paternal uncle of Mil. The Ui Etersceoil or O Driscolls are named from one Eterscél who was head of the family sometime in the first half of the tenth century or from a later descendant Eterscél son of Finn who lived in the mid-eleventh century." This photo shows the ruins of a church known as Cill Chiarán which likely dates from the 12th or 13th century.
[From Lankford, É, Cape Clear Island: Its People and Landscape, Cape Clear Museum, Co. Cork, 1999]
As the above photo shows, the ground in and around Cill Chiarán is used as a graveyard. Most of the stones are modern genealogically speaking. Two of interest are shown below.
|i naíl cuimne
CÁIT F. Ó DRISCEOIL
D'ÉAG 12 IÚL 1914
SOLUS NA B.FLÁTAS
|SACRED TO THE
BRIDGET O DRISCOLL
DIED 28 Nov 1897
AGED 72 YEARS.
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