Bás Thadhg na Buille

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  • Teideal (Title): Bás Thadhg na Buille.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): none.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): Irish.
  • Catagóir (Category): lore.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Michael Tom Mac Con Iomaire.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Seán Ó Guairim.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 2001.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Coillín, Carna, County Galway, Ireland.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): private.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

The O’Flahertys

Here Joe shares some stories and lore about the ‘Ferocious’ O’Flahertys, who held sway in Conamara for some three hundred years prior to the Cromwellian settlement. One chieftain who was particularly despised for his cruelty was Tadhg ‘na mBuille’ Ó Flathartaigh – Tim O’Flaherty ‘of the Blows’ – whose death at the hands of a widow’s son from Renvyle is among the stories Joe tells here. Additional folklore has it that Tadhg forbade any person to cut turf within seven miles of the castle, and that he poisoned the nearby lake, killing all the fish in it.

Among the many castles built by the O’Flahertys throughout Conamara was one in Ard East (Áird Thoir) a short distance from the house where Joe was raised. It is built at the isthmus separating Áird Thoir from Áird Thiar, and is said to have had a trap door that enabled the chieftain to dispose of troublesome guests directly into the sea below.

Ruins of the castle, which is the reason why Áird Thoir is also called Áird an Chaisleáin, are still visible.


An account, in Irish, of the death of Tadhg na Buille was recorded from the late Michael Tom Mac Con Iomaire, An Coillín, Carna in 2001 at the request of Seán Ó Guairim. The recording is held in the archives of Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Roisín na Mainiach, Carna.