In April, 2015, I learned of Dún an Óir and the massacre of 600 men and women. This morning’s update from Stair na hÉireann reminded that the killings took place on this day in 1580.
In April 2015, I was on my conversational Irish weekend down in Buailtín (Ballyferriter). Waking early after the first night, I set off for a walk along Béal Bán ending up at Dún an Óir where another dot of information and knowledge was added to my limited reservoir.
My first thought upon seeing the monument was that the faces were very similar to those thah I had seen at Kilmallock and Kilfinnane. I had to go back to my photos to compare and still think there is a likeness.
All three memorials are to people who died hundreds of years ago. The dead were all killed and nearly all, if not all, beheaded. These may be factors in the similarity – 'what image records might actually exist' has now gone on the list of , ‘To Find Out More’.
In searching for some more information, it appears that Bishop O’Healy, the first bishop executed by the English, arrived into Smerwick Harbour in 1579 – one year before the soldiers who built the fort at Dún an Óir – I assume its remoteness and isolation, which I appreciated that morning, did make it attractive for unseen entry to Ireland.
Just like those at Dún an Óir, Bishop O’Healy was killed in the same year as his arrival in Smerwick.
Just like part-way up Mount Brandon, the rules of bilingual signage are tweaked slightly.