4 June 2023

~2 minutes read

Recent published book again draws attention to an old debate about the precise boundaries of Connemara

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Recent published book again draws attention to an old debate about the precise boundaries of Connemara

An item in a recently published book again draws attention to an old debate about the precise boundaries of Connemara.

The book entitled “Connemara Chronicles – Tales from Iorras Aithneach” has a prologue written by the late author and environmentalist Tim Robinson which places the Twelve Bens mountain range at the apex of the region.

The lines from the song “The Connemara Rose” say that the region is “far west from Galway town”. The song is tuneful but what are the facts?

Maybe no one knows but the late author Tim Robinson cast a scholarly eye on the matter.

In one of his last literary projects -the translation of a book of folklore from Connemara by Judge Seán Forde recently published – Tim Robinson added a prologue entitled “Connemara – Time and Space”.

He went back to the Con Maicne Mara clan who held sway far west about a thousand years ago. Quoting the writings of Roderick O Flaherty in the 17th Century Robinson goes on to conclude as follows: “For me”, he says “Connemara is the land that looks upon the Twelve Bens, that close-knit, mandala-like mountain range, as its stubborn and reclusive heart”. End of quote.

In short, it could mean – if you can see the Twelve Bens, you are in Connemara.

And on this Bank Holiday weekend, thousands are heading in that direction in sunshine blazing from the Atlantic to the mountain tops.

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