Unless a visitor was well versed in the history of the late 17th and 18th centuries he would find it hard to believe that the communities of Aughrim traces its roots back to the bloody hills and valleys that was once the scene of the battle of Aughrim, the fiercest fight ever fought in Ireland’s turbulent and bloody history. By visiting the Battle of Aughrim Interpretive Centre you can relive the scene of the fateful events the Battle of Aughrim 1691 where over 7,000 people lost their lives
An interesting landmark is a solitary whitethorn bush known as St Ruth’s Bush where St Ruth is supposed to have been killed. It is marked as a National Monument.
After visiting the Interpretive Centre, a leisurely stroll through the adjoining Park, with its various displays, will help the visitor to visualise the people and events that made and shaped Aughrim’s past.
The 7,000 who fell at Aughrim are commerated by 22 foot Celtic Cross close to the now in ruin O’ Kelly Castle.
On the 10th. January 1603- the day after the Shannon the hazardous Shannon crossing, O’ Sullivan Beara’s famished and battle- weary convoy had their passage blocked at Aughrim Hill by two troops of cavalry and five companies of soldiers under the command of Captain Henry Malby.
O’Sullivan Beare’s convoy scattered at the sight of this well- organised army. However, in a remarkable battle speech, O’ Sullivan Beare rallied his troops to fight, though vastly outnumbered, Henry Malby and Richard Burke, his senior officer, were killed.
Demoralised, the crown forces retreated to a nearby garrison. Despite his remarkable victory, O’Sullivan Beare and his camp, many of whom were wounded, marched 20 miles into the night to avoid further attacks from surrounding garrisons.
Points Of Interest Along The Way : Aughrim to Killure
1 A standing stone which may date back to the Bronze Age can be seen at Cappagh Bridge. It is a squat granite boulder, roughly D shaped in plan with a notable groove accroos the top. An “ axehead ‘’ was found nearby
2 Esker Riada and its exposed face is a series of ridges stretching from Dublin to Galway across the midlands. These geological features were created at the end of the last ice-age when silt, sand and gravel were deposited by rivers of glacial melt- water under the ice. “Eiscir’’is a mound or an elevation and this was the highway used by travellers going from east to west through the midland bogs of Ireland.
The eskers have developed an abundance of their own species of rich flora and wild flowers.
3 Cloonigny Castle, now in ruins, with its moated site, was occupied by “Shane De Moy’’ (O Kelly) in 1574. Close by is a ringfort containing a souterain.
4 Killure bog due to the ecological importance of its plants and animals Killure Bog was declared a Natural Heritage Area in 2003.
It consists of raised bog and cut over bog and part of it is afforested.
Raised bogs are valuable wetland habitats and are becoming increasingly rare in Ireland
Description of trail : Aughrim to Killure
Allowing 3.5 hrs for this section and leaving Aughrim behind, the walker goes on his northward journey, crosses over the bridge spanning the M 6 Motorway and follows a relatively quiet country road past the Wade estate before he branches left up a narrow boreen. As he traverses over pasture land he sees to the left the Esker Riada, once the path of traveller and pilgrim alike.
Following the fast moving stream, caution is advised as the road ahead can be busy but it is only for a few hundred metres, until reaching again another boreen where the walker travels over varied pasture land. Turning right on reaching a little used road, the walker will navigate varied types of moor-like lands, woodlands and farmers land tracks until he arrives at a cut-away bog and some raised bog. Arriving now at Killure, the walker may continue his journey or divert to Ballinasloe for refreshments - a distance of 6 km.
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