Darby’s Bed – Duntryleague Dolmen
On a high hill north-west of Galbally, only 4 miles from the Dolmens of Corderry Farm, there is a hidden passage that leads to a world of wonder and mystery. It is called Duntryleague, the Fort of the Three Pillar Stones, and it is one of the oldest megalithic tombs in Ireland. It is also known as Darby’s Bed, after a local hero who slept there. Find out what a Dolmen is here
The passage is long and narrow, and hard to access. It takes you to a chamber that has a roof like stairs, similar to the tombs in Brittany, France. The passage faces north-west in line the setting sun and catches the last glow of the day in Midsummer.
Around the tomb, there are other ancient mounds in the woodlands, some dating back 4,000 years to the Bronze Age. There is also a circular mound with stone walls, 19 metres in diameter, that would have been a ritual site.
High Kings of Munster and Ireland
But the most intriguing thing about this tomb is the legend that surrounds it. It is said that it was the resting place of Ailill Aulom, a King of Munster in the 3rd century. He was married to Sadb, the daughter of Conn of the Hundred Battles, and had three sons, Eogan, Cormac Cas, and Cian, who became powerful rulers and Eogan founded the dynasty of the Eòghanachta. He also had a foster son, Lugaid mac Con, who became the High King of Ireland.
But Ailill had a problem: his fields were barren, and his people were starving. Ferchess the druid, told him to go to Knockainey at Samhain Eve, where he would meet Aine, the goddess of fertility and abundance. He did as he was told, but when he saw Aine, he was overcome with lust and attacked her. Aine fought back and bit off his ear, making him Aulom, “one ear”. By doing so, she also made him unfit to be king, as only a perfect person could rule. Aine was the goddess of sovereignty, and she could give or take away a man’s power.
Discover two more magical and mysterious Dolmens that guests can visit and explore in Corderry Farm. Corderry Wedge tomb and Shrough Dolmen. You will be amazed by their beauty, their history, and their secrets. You will have an unforgettable experience that will enchant you forever.