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Detailed notices of the Excursion appeared in Tfie Athetueum of July "2nd and 9th, 1904, in St. James's Gazette, and in the principal dailypapers, all congratulating the Society on the success of the Excursion, aud the enterprise exhibited by its conductors.
The following Members and Associates had berths for the ■Cruise :—
Hughes, Edwin, Esq., J.p., Craigavad,
County Down. Hughes, J. F., Esq., Llandilo, South
Jarlath, Rev. F., Kilkenny.
Kavanugh, Very Rev. P., P.p., V.f.,
Lawrence, Arthur, Esq., Penarth, South
Lepper, F. R., B.a.. J.p., Crawfordsbum,
County Down. Lepper, Robert S., Esq., M.a., Ll.k.,
Crawfordshurn, County Dow n. Lepper, Miss Nina, Crawfordshurn,
County Down. Lepper, Miss Jane, Crawfordshurn,
County Down. Lewis, R. Shipley, Esq., Llandilo, South
Lindesay, Rev. W. O'N., M.a., Baldoyle.
M'Afee, George, Esq., Belfast. MacEnemey, Rev. Francis, Dublin. Macllwaine, Robert, Esq., Downpatrick. Mayne, Thomas, Esq., P.u.g.s., Dublin. Milligan, S. F., Esq., M.u.i.a., Belfast. Morris, Rev. Canon, D. D., F. S. A.,
Warwick-square, London, S.W. Murray, David, Ll.d., F.s.a., Glasgow. Murray, Mrs. David, Glasgow. Murray, Miss, Glasgow. Murray, Miss , Glasgow.
Neville, Miss Katherine.Edenvale, County Clare.
O'Grady, Miss S. H., Aghamarta Castle,
County Cork. O'Leary, Rev. E., P.p., Portarlington. Owen, Rev.Canon R. Trevor, M.a., F.s.a.,
Rhuddlan, R. S. 0., Flintshire.
Parkinson, Miss D. C, Westbourne, Ennis.
Perceval, J. J., Esq., Wexford.
Redington, Miss, Kilcornan, County
Redington, Miss M., Kilcornan, County Galway.
Robb, A. A., Esq., M.a., Ph.d., Belfast.
Scott, Conway, Esq., C.E., Belfast.
Scott, Mrs. Conway, Belfast.
Shackleton, George, Esq., Luean.
Shackleton, Mrs. J. F., Luean.
Shaw, F. Haynes, Esq., Soutbport.
Shaw, Mrs., Southport.
Shaw, Thomas J., Esq., Mullingar.
Small, John F., Esq., Newry.
Stacpoole, Miss Gwendoline C, Edenvale, County Clare.
Stovrar, Andrew, Esq., Chichester-road, Chester.
Storar, Dr. W. M., Mountcharles, Belfast.
Strangeways, W. N., Esq., Muswell Hill, London, N.
Tempest, W., Esq., J.p., Dundalk. Thomus, The Veu. Archdeacon, F.s.a.,
Oswestry. Thomas, Thomas H., Esq., Cardiff. Thompson, Miss, Lame. Thompson, Rev. R. 0., M.a., Dundrum,
County Tipperary. Thompson, Mrs. R. 0., Dundrum, County
Tipperary. Townshend, T. C, Esq., F.s.i., Dublin.
Ussher, Beverley G., Esq., Shrewsbury.
Ussher, Richard J., Esq., D.l., Cappagli, County Waterford.
Vachell, Charles T., Esq., M.d., Cardiff.
Wnlker, Richard, Esq., Rathfarnham,
County Dublin. Ward, Joseph, Esq., J.p., Eilliney,
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL CRUISE AROUND THE IRISH COAST.
BY ROBERT COCHRANE, Hon. General Secretary.
The first excursion by sea around the Irish coast undertaken by the Society was in the Summer of 1895, in connexion with the meeting for the Province of Connaught, held in Galway, which terminated with a visit to Ballintubber Castle, in County Roscommon, a former residence of successive generations of the Kings of Connaught, whose descendant, O'Conor Don, received and entertained the Society within the roofless walls of the ancient fortress.
The sea excursion of 1895 left Belfast on 2nd July that year, and ended at Galway, so as to enable the members to take part in the meeting and excursions held there on 8th July and four following days.
This sea trip was so successful that, at the request of those who participated in it, as well as some of those who were debarred from going, a second excursion was organized in 1897, which took in the whole coastline from Belfast northwards, and on to Kingstown.
In connexion with each of these cruises Guide Books had been prepared descriptive of the places visited, which were greatly appreciated by the members of the party. These Guides were afterwards reproduced as "Antiquarian Handbooks," and formed Nos. 2 and 3 of the Society's Antiqtiarian Handbook Series. Of these, No. 2 embraced a description of the coast-line from Belfast to Galway; and No. 3, from Galway to Kingstown. They were placed on sale by the Society's publishers, were quickly sold off, and are now out of print.
In the year 1899 another cruise, but on a larger scale, was undertaken. The route was around the Western and Northern Coasts of Scotland, taking in the Western Islands and the Outer Hebrides, which abound in so many antiquities of the greatest interest to students of Irish Archaeology, owing to the intimate connexion between the Scottish Isles and the North of Ireland.
In this expedition the Society was joined by the Cambrian Archaeological Association; and a larger steamship than that obtained for the former trips, with better accommodation, was chartered. This cruise extended over the eight days from the 20th to the 28th June, 1899, and was a most interesting and successful one in every respect.
It was the desire of all who had taken part in it that a similar cruise should be again organized, and it was suggested that the Coast of Brittany, with inland excursions, would afford a desirable field for antiquarian studies. Negotiations were entered into with Shipping Companies at Southampton and London; but at the time freights ruled very high, and there was a difficulty in getting suitable accommodation.
It had now been found possible to undertake another Irish cruise, but on a larger scale, and taking in a greater number of islands and places than attempted on the two former cruises around the Irish coast.
The first stopping-place was the Island of Rathliu, which does not possess many archaeological remains within easy distance of the landing-place. It was, however, convenient to make a call here for other reasons, one of which was to afford a rest for any indifferent sailors of the party, and to prepare for the rather long stretch along the Northern coast to Lough Swilly, or Sheephaven, where there are frequently strong currents, and the sea is not always placid.
The usual landing-place for llathlin Island is in''Church Bay," a well-sheltered, natural harbour, though opening to the south-west, with good anchorage in five or six fathoms of water, in a position in a line with the " store " and the house above it. There is a small, dry stone pier where the ship's boats can land.
If the wind blows from the south-west, there is another landing-place on the east side of the island, at Doon, near which is a stone circle.
At the west end of the island there is to be seen the foundation of a "caher," the wall of which is 12 feet in thickness; and the internal measurements are 156 feet from east to west, and 96 feet from north to south. The caher is about an hour's walk from Church Bay.
The only objects near the landing-place at Church Bay are a standing stone and a kistvaen; the latter is in a field, and is now covered over.
Bruce Castle is over a mile away; the road is not good, and there is very little left to see. Many of the natives speak the Irish language.
Itathlin Island was used as a depot by the marauding Scots for storing the spoils acquired in the numerous forays into Down and Antrim. An incident -which occurred in 1551 may he noted as hearing on the difficulty of landing on the Atlantic seaboard. At the date mentioned the M'Donnells had seized n large prey of cattle, which they, as usual, collected on the island for safety before taking them over, at leisure, to Scotland. A force of 300 men was sent from Dublin, by order of Queen Elizabeth, to recover them for the owners—the O'Neills of Castlereagh; when the ships arrived and the force was about to be landed, a long roller wave from the Atlantic drove the boats high on the rocks, and capsized them. The M'Donnells, who were prepared for attack, slew those who were not drowned, and only two were allowed to escape; these were officers, who were held for ransom.
The Giant's Causeway is to be seen in the distance, near which is the ruin of Dunluce Castle, a residence formerly of the M'Donnells; and the coast of Deny, Lough Foyle, and the bold headlands of Donegal are passed. The Vidal submarine bank, discovered by Captain Vidal, lies off the north-west coast, extending many miles seaward.
The next island seen is Tory, off the Donegal coast, which has been described by Mr. "Westropp in the Guide, who gives an interesting account of its antiquities, and an illustration of its Bound Tower, by Edmund Getty, which appeared in a work on the Bound Towers by that author.
Passing along the west coast of Donegal, Inismurray, off the coast of Sligo, was reached. There is a suitable landing-place on tbe north side of the island.
The Island of Inismurray lias been described by Mr. Cooke, and illustrated from drawings prepared by the late W. F. Wakeman. These drawings were executed at the cost of the Society, Mr. "Wakeman having been commissioned, in 1884, to make a lengthened stay on the island, for the purpose of investigating and illustrating its antiquities. The result of his labours was- published by the Society, as an extra volume for the year 1892, to which the student is referred for more detailed information on the subject.
This island, until the middle of the last century, had its native king. His successor has not assumed the responsibility of that position, nor does he claim the emoluments which formerly pertained thereto.
Of the numerous islands off the coast of Mayo only a few were visited. It would take the whole time allotted for the cruise to investigate the islands of this county alone. The most important are described by Mr. Westropp, and are illustrated by photographs, many not before reproduced. Landing on these islands can only be effected under the direction of a local pilot, as the shores are foul, and there is the danger of ground-swells. Usually landing can only be effected at one place on each island.
Time did not permit of a visit to Iniskea, where there ore many antiquarian remains: on the north island is the little ruined church 0£