The Holed Stone

By Jack Sheehan, Farmer & Local Historian

“It’s a marriage stone. The hole in the stone is narrow on one side and wide at the other. The man had a bigger hand and he put his hand through the big side and the woman put her hand through the narrow side. They made their promises when they put their hands through the stone.”

A short distance past this house TURN RIGHT down a field and boreen onto the main road where you TURN LEFT and take your first RIGHT at the next cross and down to the pier at Tra Ruiam (“the strand of the barking”).

Fishermen used to boil their nets and rope here mixed with the bark of the alder. This rocess, known as “barking”, would act as a  reservative on their gear.

The Walk crosses some fields, goes through a laneway, onto a county council road, and past a house in Caher (“stone fort”). A short distance past this house on your right (south) you will see Caher burial ground. These burial grounds are thought to have been used for the burial of unbaptised infants,
as was this ground in Cahir, but here there are also larger graves of a more adult size. The low uninscribed stones mark the graves.

The Walk then comes to a T-junction where you TURN RIGHT, go down the road and then TURN LEFT. Here you are on an old fisherman’s path that takes you to the sea, and then up a field and to the council road at Dooneen (“little fortress or fortified headland”).

The Walk then goes up the main road, TURNS RIGHT, past McCarthy’s pub, and then about half a mile TURN RIGHT again. Go down the farmer’s boreen then just before the house, TURN LEFT, cross some fields, and down to the strand again.

The Walk then crosses some land by the sea and then turns up a field, then through a wettish laneway locally known as “the watery road”, and onto a county council road.

After a short distance east to the end of the county council road, TURN LEFT past a house (again, please respect people’s privacy) and through a series of paths you cross a stream over a big stone flag bridge.

The Walk continues straight across the county council road, but at this point an interesting detour is to TURN RIGHT and go down the road a small way to Kilcrohane church and graveyard.

Saint Crohan left Sneem, Co. Kerry, in early Christian times and founded a small settlement here, hence the name Kilcrohane (“church of Crohane).

The village is also known as the “Holy Ground”. The present church, late medieval in origin, probably stands on Crohan’s original site. It is recorded to have been standing in 1615, but in ruins in 1639. Just south of the church you can see an arch stone that has been used as a gravestone.