The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #52311 Message #801712
Posted By: Big Tim
12-Oct-02 - 10:16 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Eoghan Coir /Owen Coir
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Eoghan Coir /Owen Coir
Can't find anything abou Bingham or Conway. Just a little on the geography of the area, a part of Ireland of which I was previously totally ignorant. Amazing where a song can lead!
The Barony of Erris is located in the Belmullet peninsula in far west Mayo. Lonely Plantet says it is "probably the least visited corner of the whole of Ireland...known as the Mullet or the Western Barony of Erris...strange and remote land, has a pop density of only 10 people per square kilometre...rising to more tham 30 metres above sea level...obvious that the boggy land offers a poor livliehood". The Rough Guide says, "the seaward side of the Penin. is raked by Atlantic winds to the extent that almost no vegetation can survive" (Reminds me of the Yeats line from "A Prayer for my daughter" - "there is no obstacle but Gregory's Wood and one bare hill, whereby the haystack and roof levelling wind, bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed").
Most of the place names, including Owen Coir's burial place Termoncarragh, are marked on reasonably detailed maps. I couldn't find "Creagan-a-line", could it be a variant of "Knocknalina" at the north end of the Penin? Fallmore is in the south.
According to Woodham-Smith, Erris suffered badly in the Great Famine, "Erris, a vast tract of desolate country where distress wore its most appalling form. In Erris today  there are people who have never seen a train; in 1847 there were many who had never seen a living tree larger than a shrub... in 1847 the pop. of Erris was est. at 30,000 and before the failure of the potato, though life in Erris was primitive, there was some gaiety..."
The village name of Binghamstown provides an historical link to the Bingham family.