Know Thy Place recently completed work on the chart for the new Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. The Irish Prime Minister hails from the townland of Derrycoosh, Co. Mayo, in the west of Ireland. Apart from being in the midst of some of the most scenic landscapes anywhere in the Country, the Taoiseach is also fortunate to have grown up in one of the most interesting archaeological areas in Ireland. This history goes all the way back to the first settlers on the island, as evidenced by the Mesolithic finds discovered in nearby Belderrig. Incredibly, the earliest known field systems in Europe are also on his doorstep, at a Neolithic site called the Céide Fields.
Some of most interesting archaeology in Enda Kenny’s place takes the form of early medieval crannogs. These were lake-dwellings that were either adapted from natural islands or artificially constructed using brushwood, stone and debris. While some crannogs could only be reached via boat, others were situated close enough to the shore to be accessed by a causeway like the ones beside the Taoiseach’s Place in Dambaduff Lough and Lannagh/Castlebar Lough.
If Enda Kenny had been alive during the 1798 Rebellion he could have visited a French army under General Humbert at nearby Raheens townland. The French had landed in support of the United Irishmen, but after some initial success they were ultimately defeated at the Battle of Ballinamuck. The area was badly hit during the Famine, and many people emigrated from this part of Ireland to avoid starvation. Many of those who remained would have been involved in the Land League set up by Mayo native Michael Davitt, and the resulting Land War eventually led to the Land Acts of the late 1800s. This allowed people to finally begin to manage their own land. The benefit of this can still be seen around the Taoiseach’s Place, signaled by the increased number of small fields which were marked out at this time as people’s standard of living began its slow rise towards that we enjoy in the modern period.
Researching Enda Kenny’s Place has been one of the most enjoyable we have undertaken to date, and is an example of what can be revealed on a Know Thy Place Chart. Company Director Colm Moloney will be a guest tomorrow on Today With Pat Kenny on RTE Radio 1, to discuss the Taoiseach’s Chart and the services Know Thy Place provides. If you are interested to be sure to tune in after 11am GMT, you can listen here. Who knows, you might find that your very own Know Thy Place Chart is the perfect present to yourself!