Performing Oriel's Heritage

The opening sequences take in panoramic views of Sliabh Gullion, Narrow Water, Ravensdale and the Cooley Peninsula and the historic Hill of Faughart. From here, in all directions, we can see places that are central to the mythology and heritage of the region: the Magh Muirthemhne to the Moyry Pass; the Boyne to Brigid’s well. Where Cian, father of Lugh Lámhfhada, met the three sons of Tuireann; where Conchobar Mac Nessa sent Cúchulainn to catch wild horses; where Meabh sought the Brown Bull of Cooley; where Fionn mac Cumhaill swam in the enchanted lake. Christian and pre-Christian monuments, graves and sites are interspersed throughout the landscape.

The second sequence features some of the standing stones and ancient sites of the region. Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone, Jonesborough; Cú Chulainn’s Stone, Clochafarmore; Proleek Dolmen, Ballymacscanlon; Long Woman’s Grave, Corrakit; Clontygora Court Cairn, Cloughoge; Ballymacdermott Court Tomb, Bernish.

The third sequence features some of the architectural heritage of modern Ireland including Craigmore Viaduct, Newry; Carrickmacross Workhouse and Tassagh Viaduct, Keady. St Laurence’s Gate, Drogheda signifies the urbanisation of Ireland.

There is a legend that Conchobar Mac Nessa, who ruled from Navan Fort, died on the same day as the crucifixion of Christ. Christian heritage is very visible throughout the region and the fourth sequence features the Monasterboice High Cross and Round Tower; the High Cross at Termonfeckin; Dromiskin Round Tower; The Jumping Church, Millockstown; Round Tower, Inniskeen; and Old Mellifont Abbey, Tullyallen. It is reputed that the body of Brian Ború was carried from the Battle of Clontarf through the region, stopping at Louth Village (Mochta’s Abbey) and Inniskeen on its way to burial in Armagh.

The region has associations with two of Ireland’s patron saints and the video features St Brigid’s Shrine, Faughart and St Mochta’s Abbey, Louth near Ardpatrick. Later places of worship include Seatown Friary, Dundalk; Carlingford Priory; and St Peter’s ‘Tin Church’, Laragh.

The Oriel region sat at the edge of the Pale and castles are an impressive site throughout the region, each representing different periods of history. Those featured include Roodstown Castle, Stabannan; St Ledger’s Castle, Ardee; Termonfeckin Castle; Moyry Castle; Castleroche Castle, Ballinfuil; King John’s Castle, Carlingford; and Castletown Motte – Cúchulainn’s Castle, Dundalk. Famous battles include at Clontibret in County Monaghan (May 1595), during the Nine Years’ War when English troops were ambushed by a Gaelic Irish army led by Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone. Notable graves include that of Edward Bruce on the Hill of Faughart. Bruce declared himself King of Ireland in Dundalk

The video concludes with a quick recap of many of the sites featured, highlighting the wonderful diversity of built heritage in the region.

Performing Oriel’s Heritage was a project by the Heritage Office of Louth County Council in collaboration with the Oriel Traditional Orchestra.

Funded by The Creative Ireland Programme (Louth)

The OTO acknowledge the support of the DFC (NI) and OPW (ROI) for their co-operation and contribution towards the production of the video.
Music: The Oriel March composed by Daithí Kearney performed by the Oriel Traditional Orchestra.

Audio Editing: Stephanie Caffrey

Video Editing: Paul Hughes Video