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Limerick Leader book review: Behold Aherlow

Critique : Michael’s book is the result of a couple of years of painstaking research and many hours of collecting anecdotal evidence from many residents of the Glen. Part of the charm and value of “Behold Aherlow” is the way the book blends the historical and the personal in the authors unobtrusive and easy writing style. The book is a portrait of a place and people and it is as entertaining as it is historically significant. The role of the Lynch family in the War of Independence is treated with honesty and frankness.
Limerick Leader

behold aherlow book

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Quote from Behold Aherlow

“Everyone has his or her own favourite walk in the Glen. Mine is the hike to Lake Muskry. The sense that one has upon seeing Muskry Lake is of being let in on one of natures precious secrets. The walk to Muskry is remarkable in itself, but it gives no notice of the natural wonder that waits at the top. The lake is not visible until you reach the top of the final steep climb. Then it opens out below you, brooding and still, bounded by the deep green walls of the surrounding hills. The place is beautiful in its ruggedness: it is not too difficult to imagine the violence of the movement of earth, rocks and ice that cut their way through the mountains”.

Michael Lynch

Historical Events/People covered

Geraldine Wars
Old IRA Irish Republican Army
IRB Irish Republican  Brotherhood
Tom Clarke and Sean Mac Diarmada
1916 Proclamation
1916 Rising
The Galtee Battalion
War of Independence
Irish Civil War
The 4th Battalion, 3rd Tipperary Brigade
Dinny Lacey’s Flying Column
Ambush at Soloheadbeg
Black and Tans
Ambush at Lisnagaul
RIC/Black and Tans
Rescue of Sean Hogan at Knocklong
United Irish League in Aherlow
Charles Stuart Parnell
Gaelic Athletic Association
Mungret College
Maryboro Jail
Annals of Clonmacnoise
Earl of Desmond
Edmund Spenser
Sir Walter Raleigh
Sir William Herbert
Battle of Kinsale
Flight of the Earls
Foras Feasa
Muintir na Tire
Fenian poet J.J. Finnan (Myles the Slasher)
Barony of Clanwilliam
The Land League and the Plan of Campaign
Darby Ryan ,the ‘Bard of Ashgrove’
J.J. Ryan of Drumline
Irish-American Club of New York
Dalcassian O’Briens and the Norman Fitzgeralds
Oliver Cromwell
The Penal Laws
Catholic Religion in Ireland
Catholic Emancipation
Galbally Wool Industries
Council of Muintir na Tire
Kingswell and Stagdale
Attack on Ballylanders Barracks
Yorkshire Regiment from Clonbeg Barracks
Sean MacDiarmada
Eoin MacNeill, Chief of Staff
Dan Breen
Thurles Jail
Battle of Knocklong
Galbally Memorial
War of Independence Volunteers
C/O “A” Company, East Limerick Brigade
Sean Lynch of Galbally
James Scanlon, Ned O’Brien, Liam Fraher
Sean Hogan, J.J.O’Brien
Liam Lynch (North Cork)
Dinny Lacey (South Tipp)
Kilworth Camp
Spike Island
Oglaigh na hEireann (Old IRA)
Tipperary Guild of Muintir na Tire
Canon Hayes
Tipperary LEADER Group
Bansha Muintir
ESB Rural Electrification Department
Aherlow Muintir
Galbally Muintir
Galbally Community Council
The Pattern of St. Peakaun
Brian Boru, King of Munster
Treaty of Limerick
Mass Rock at Ballinacourtie
Ogham Alphabet
Grainne, Daughter of Cormac, King of Ireland
Aherlow Failte Society
Charles J. Kickham

Behold Aherlow: locations mentioned

Tipperary
Galbally
Soloheadbeg
The Galtee Mountains
Slievenamuck Hills
River Aherlow
Bansha
Lisvernane
Barna
Ballinacourtie
Glencushabinna
Ardnamoher
Drombane
Templemore
Kilross
Parish of Lattin
Carrick-on-Suir
Mitchelstown
Ballylanders
Kilfinane
Clonmel
Sliab na Muc
Gurtavoher
Slievenamuck
Ballinacourtie
Kilmallock
Duntryleague
Lake Borheen
River Arra
Kilaldriffe
Golden
Rossadrehid
Cappauniacke
Ballinamuddy in the County of Limerick
Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
Cross of Barna
Clonbeg
Ballydavid
Garryspillane
Statue of Christ the King
Glen of Aherlow Antique and Sacred Sites
St. Sedna’s Well
St. Berrihert’s Kyle, Ardane,
Moor Abbey
Duntryleague Dolmen
Galteemore
Tipperary Town
The Glen of Aherlow
Lake Muskry and Farbreaga,
Mullinahone

Behold Aherlow: Excerpts

Aherlow Through Time

There are many variations of the name Aherlow: Atherloe, Ahirloe, Aherla, Arlo and some others. However, ask any local what or where is Aherlow and, without hesitation, you will be told that it is that part of the united parishes of Galbally in county Limerick, and Aherlow in county Tipperary. You will probably also be told that it runs from the townsland of Gurtavoher in the east, to a little beyond the village of Lisvernane in the west. You may also be told that a united parish it well may be, but that the rivalry between the two places can be intense, in particular when the blue and gold of Tipperary faces the green and white of Limerick in a hurling championship match.

The origin of the name Aherlow is anything but clear. There are at least two schools of thought in relation to it. Some claim that it comes from ‘the glen of atharla’ or ‘the glen of the heifer’. Others hold that the name pertains to three pre-Milesian tribes – the Crothaige, the Artaighe and the Eatharlaighe – that occupied the Glen area. Some variation or other of these names may have given the Glen the name Aherlow. Personally I very much favour the tribal derivation. There is more general agreement as to how the name ‘Galtees’ evolved. The original name of the mountains was Crotta Cliach or Sliabh na gCrotta Cliach. The name Galtees is comparatively modern and was certainly not in use in any records before the 16th century. It is probably derived from the Irish word “Coillte” (wood) Slieve na gCoillte – Slieve Goilthe – the Gailthes – The Galtees.

 

The War of Independence

There was much disappointment among the volunteers when word was received in rural areas that manoeuvres due to take place on Easter Sunday 1916 were called off. In the end, the 1916 Rising was confined to Dublin. However, small groups that had been organised to assist in the Rising, continued to drill and whenever possible to acquire arms. The South Tipperary and East Limerick Brigades were products of this activity. It should be remembered that the numbers involved in these brigades was quite small. There was a lot of opposition to “those volunteers” and even in 112 the Glen the number of “trusted houses” was small. For many the War of Independence began following the ambush at Soloheadbeg on 21st January 1919. The latter is a small village about 6 miles west of Tipperary town on the road to Limerick.

There were many ‘incidents’ in the general area of the Glen of Aherlow in the two to three years after Soloheadbeg. In some, ‘professional units’ such as Dinny Lacey’s Flying Column were involved. In others, local volunteers made life very uncomfortable for the Crown forces in a variety of ways. Reprisals followed many of the incidents.