Taylor's hill Aug. 27th 1839

Dear Sir,

I shall start for Dublin tomorrow morning at 6 o'Clock. The next day I shall call out to see you {having to stop for securing myself against the winter &c in Dublin} and the day after I shall start for Kilkenny.

Today I paid a visit to the ruins of the house of Roderic O'Flaherty author of the Ogygia and made a pilgrimage to his tomb. I never felt so much moved as when I sat on the little hill on which he was accustomed to study in summer.

Mr. Petrie has been all along under the impression that the author of the Ogygia lived at a place called Park lying between Galway and Oughterard, but it is a mistake which he cannot support by any argument that could for a moment satisfy me.

Roderic O'Flaherty, the author of the Ogygia, lived at Park midway between Forbagh and Spiddle exactly seven Irish miles to the west


of Galway. The ruins of his house are still shewn about 20 perches to the north of the road exactly 1½ mile west of Forbagh. It is a small rude house built of small stones with lime and (sand) mortar cement, about 60 feet in length and having a rude chamber off it on the west side measuring about 15 feet in length and 10 in breadth. The ruins of several small cabins and the site of his garden are also to be seen. It is said that he ordered his body to be interred in this house for the purpose, as is foolishly supposed, of keeping possession for his heir.

Tradition calls him Ruaidhri mac Aodha, and states that he was a great Shanaghie and Scholar.

A (very) short distance to the South of the ruins of his house there is a low rock covered with a mossy sward {commanding a panoramic view of the sea, the three islands of Aran and of a considerable extent of the northern coast of the Co. Clare} on which the historian is said to have spent a great part of his time in the summer season studying and enjoying the beauty of the prospect before him.


That this is the Park at which the Ogygian lived and not the Park between this and Oughterard will appear as clear as day light from Molyneux's visit to him in 1709.

Wednesday April 21,t.

I went to visit old O'Flaherty, who lives very old in a miserable condition at Parke some three houre's {journey} west of Galway in H-iar or west Connaught, &c. {See a former letter} I never saw so strangely stoney and wild a Country. I did not see all this way three living creatures, not one house or ditch, not one bit of corn, nor, I may say one bit of land (but) for stones; in short nothing appeared but stones and sea. &c.

Now it is evident from all this that he was not going in the direction of Oughterard, for from the Park in that direction he could not see the sea at all.* I wish Mr. Petrie to compare this with his note book, for when here he did not feel inclined to agree with me on this subject.

The story which the old people tell about

*[Written landscape in In LH margin:] O'Flaherty dates his "historical letter addressed to Lynch" Armorie, Galway 1684. Armorie here is a translation of Cois fhairge, the name of the district in which Park is situated.


Rory and Cromwell is curious but not worth attention. He was 29 years old when the devil went to Cromwell's funeral!

I can see very plainly why Rory Mac Hugh O'Flaherty was never restored to his estate, from the following Inquisition about his father.

Be it knowne &c, that the aforesaid Hugh O'Flahertye died on the 20th of October 1631, and that Roger O'Flahertie is his son and heir {he was ½ year older than Charles II, according to his own statement in Ogygia} aged two years; that the aforesaid Hugh had four daughters, viz Onora, Una, Evyllin, and Maria; that Elizabetha Flaherty alias Darcy, the late wife of the aforesaid Hugh, is now living and dotable out of the premises; that the aforesaid premises of Moycullen &c. are held by Knights Service; that the Earl of Clanrickard claims the Castle & 8 quarters of Moycullen to be his and his hereditary estate; that Morogh O'Flaherty claims that the 1/3 part of Carrowmore, and Andrew Linch Fitz-Thomas claims the ¼ part of the village of Moycullen.

The Earl of Clanrickard was the man who ruined the minor. See the Chapter of Ogygia in which O'Flaherty carps at Walsh, the protegee of Clanrickard.

Your obedient Servant,
J. O'Donovan.