Drone operator finds previously undocumented ring fort in Co Clare

An award-winning app developer and drone operator has discovered a previously unknown cliff fort near his home.
Drone operator finds previously undocumented ring fort in Co Clare

An award-winning app developer and drone operator has discovered a previously unknown cliff fort near his home in Co Clare.

Satellite, Communications and Electronic Engineer Matthew Kelly was operating a drone near Crag, Lahinch during the current lockdown when he made the archaeological find.

Picture: Matthew Kelly
Picture: Matthew Kelly

Kelly, however, has history in this area having previously uncovered ancient forts in Dundalk in 2018.

His latest find had not been previously recorded in the National Monuments Service (NMS) database but has since been officially added.

“I found the fort while flying my drone around the small cliffs at Lahinch during lockdown," Mr Kelly explained.

"I have been filming forts and stone circles for years so I knew what it was when I found it. I emailed the National Monuments Service who checked it out and added it to their database which means it is now recorded and protected.”

Kelly isn’t however claiming all the credit for his latest discovery.

“The artist Jim Fitzpatrick inspired me to get into Irish mythology years ago so I asked him to name the fort. He suggested 'Cliodna of the Waves' so we will call it 'Dun Cliodna' (Cliodna's fort).

"Clíodhna is the goddess of love and beauty and is said to have three brightly coloured birds who eat apples from an otherworldly tree and whose sweet song heals the sick,” he said.

The discovery is now classed as a ‘cliff-edge fort’ in the townland of Crag and is “scheduled for inclusion in the next revision of the RMP (Record of Monuments and Places).

The confirmation from the NMS states that the fort is: “Situated on a steep cliff-edge c. 450m S of Lahinch beach backing onto a NE-SW cliff. A sub-circular enclosure, reported to the National Monuments Service by Matthew Kelly.”

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