O’Rourke’s Tower
“Round towers were built in the 10th-12th centuries as bell-towers and also as places of refuge.  This tower is reputed to have been built by Fergal O’Rourke who died in 964.  It was restored around 1120 and repaired after it had been struck by lightning in 1135” (Bord Fáite Éireann).


Though much of early Irish literature has been lost over time, there still survive a few large medieval manuscripts in which is contained the four cycles that make up the bulk of Irish oral tradition: the Mythological Cycle, the Ulster Cycle, the Fianna Cycle, and the Cycle of the Kings (Rees, 26). The Táin Bó Cuailnge is a part of the Ulster Cycle.  One of the oldest surviving medieval manuscripts, Lebor na hUidre, known as ‘the Book of the Dun Cow,’ was compiled at Clonmacnoise in the twelfth century and contains the earliest known form of the Táin Bó Cuailnge.  Though the manuscript dates from the twelfth century, the origins of the Táin are much more ancient (The Táin).


Send Question or Comment