The tallest shafts


To the south of Killucan in the townland of Rathwire Lower is a small enclosure. Inside the walls are the remains of three wayside crosses and a large bullaun stone. On previous visits the site was almost completely overgrown, I am delighted to say the enclosure has recently been cleared of the surrounding shrubbery. This is the original location of only one of the crosses, the others were moved to here in 1976. The original cross, pictured nearest left, bears the finest inscription it reads 'GOOD CHRISTIAN PRAY FOR T SOULE OF JOHN O MLAGHLIN WH DECEASED THE 14 DAY OF AUGUST 16' Inscription on W face reads 'AND FOR JOVAN HUGHES HIS WIFE DEPARTED THE 13 OF SEPTEMBE' John McLoghlin and his wife Jovan Hughes who were killed by a runaway horse in 1601. Traditionally funeral processions would stop here and place the coffin on the slab in front of the cross before internment. The middle cross is basically a stump broken in two parts. see middle cross in top image. The cross commemorates Arthur Darcy and his wife who died in 1604. The cross furthest left commemorates Tiriogh McKenny and his wife Alison Plunkett who died in a coaching accident in 1531. It is 1.38 metres high with badly worn decoration and ineligible inscription on the west face.

In the south side of the enclosure is a large rock with an enormous single bullaun in the upper surface.

Situated: From Killucan head west on the R156 When the road bends right for Mullingar (Signposted) you ignore this an go straight on for about 70 metres. The enclosure is on your left.

Discovery Map 42: N 5669 5161. Last visit April 2014.

Longitude:  7° 8' 43" W

Latitude: 53° 30' 41" N

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Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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