Adventures in Roscommon Bogs
There have been some strange things found in Irish bogs and the bogs of Roscommon are no different. First we have the ordinary every-day items, for instance; In Daummin Bog a wooden pail containing butter;
National Museum of Ireland.
And a wooden spoon was found, both were carbon dated and turned out to be Iron Age.
In Cappagh Bog near Sliabh Bán, a 12th century shoe was found, and strangely it was found quite close to the remains of an Iron Age Hurdle Road, perhaps an indication that this trackway was widely used for many centuries.
In a nearby bog the head of the red haired man was found in the 1930s and in the 1940s another head of another red haired man was found in the next bog over, the red hair would indicate how long the heads had been in the bog.
A few years later and not far away, near Ballyleague, a pair of shoes was found dating from the 1700s.
In the 1950s another head was found in Ballindrimley Bog near Castlerea.
A pair of Iron Age bracelets were found in a bog in Clooneenbane.
The two female Bog Bodies of Derrymaquirk and Derrycashel, are unusual as both are formal burials and not thought to be sacrificed. Derrymaquirk Woman was buried with an infant.
But perhaps the most unusual was found in a Clonown, near Athlone in 1937. Several men were cutting turf when they were attacked by a large fish-like creature that emerged from a bog pool. They said it had the head of a cat and hissed at them. The men killed the creature in self defence and many people came out to see the body before it was dumped back into the bog. But this was not the first time one of these creatures had been seen in the locality. Perhaps this was the mysterious Dobher Chu, or Otter King of ancient legend.
Compiled by B D'Alton