JJ Fanagh

JJ Fanagh

Posted on 10/19/2008

Photo taken on October 18, 2008

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County Limerick
Lough Gur
Lough Guir
© Michael Billingsley
Michael Billingsley
JJ Fanagh

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Lough Gur - first panorama - 2003

Lough Gur - first panorama - 2003
This early panorama still seems valuable to me because it is ageless - there is not a hint of contemporary times (well, actually, there are a fence and a distant wall). It is almost just as it might have been when humans first arrived to make permanent settlements in Ireland - approximately 4800 BCE.

The place I'm standing, at the water's edge of Knockadoon, was once almost an island. The lake's level has been dropped almost 2.5 metres in the late 1800's to assist drainage of some desired land by the English (and supposedly also to assist retrieval of archaeological treasures). So in that respect it is definitely changed.

The lake is the centre of a complex of hills and a ritual landscape based upon seasons and sky/earth goddesses and gods. It is also the location of numerous sun and sky-sighting circles, including the largest stone circle in Ireland - Grange Lios.

"Gur" or "Guir" is derived from an ancient root word meaning "warm nest." The Knockadoon island community, and its circular homesteads, corrals and small pastures - surrounded as it was by water - proved to be Ireland's oldest continuously habitated settlement (up to the present day).