Boho, County Fermanagh

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This article is about the area in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. For other uses, see Boho.

Coordinates: 54°20′59″N 7°47′45″W / 54.3497°N 7.7957°W / 54.3497; -7.7957

Boho
Irish: Botha
Boho Church of Ireland - geograph.org.uk - 487471.jpg
Boho Church of Ireland
Boho is located in Northern Ireland
Boho
Boho
 Boho shown within Northern Ireland
District Fermanagh
County County Fermanagh
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ENNISKILLEN
Postcode district BT74
Dialling code 028, +44 28
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
NI Assembly Fermanagh and South Tyrone
List of places
UK
Northern Ireland
Fermanagh

Boho (pronounced /ˈb/ BOH,[1] from Irish: Botha, meaning "huts")[2] is a hamlet and a civil parish 11 kilometres (7 mi) southwest of Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.[3]

Covering about 12 km × 7 km (7 mi × 4 mi) in southwest Fermanagh, Boho parish has a high density of historically significant sites stretching from the Neolithic Reyfad Stones, through the Bronze Age/Iron Age (Aghnaglack Tomb) and medieval (High Crosses) up to comparatively recent historical buildings such as the Linnett Inn.

Boho parish has a wide diversity of flora and fauna, due in part to the unique niches offered by the limestone karst substrata, some of which are unique to Northern Ireland. These features include large areas of three mountains that are found within the parish—namely Glenkeel, Knockmore and Belmore—which provide a landscape varying from high craggy bluffs, with views of neighbouring counties, to low, flat bogland punctuated by streams and lakes.[4] Below this landscape are two of the three most cave-rich mountains in Northern Ireland,[5] featuring the deepest cave system in Ireland at Reyfad Pot, the deepest daylight shaft in Ireland at Noon's Hole, as well as popular caves for local outdoor adventure centre groups at the Boho Caves and the nearby Pollnagollum Coolarkan.[5]

History[edit]

Ancient origins[edit]

Boho is an anglicisation of the Irish Botha, which is the plural of Both, an old word for tent, hut or booth. This is a truncation of Bhotha Mhuintir Uí Fhialáin, Bothach ui fhialain in Breifney or mBothaigh I Fhialain, which translates as the huts of the Uí Fhialáin.[6][7] The surname Ó Fialáin is sometimes rendered as Phelan.

Evidence of previous Neolithic habitation in Boho can be found in the townland of Reyfad, which contains ancient patterned stones dating to the late Stone Age, early Bronze Age period that are classified as a scheduled monument.[8] Further remnants of Neolithic habitation were unearthed in 1880 when an ancient settlement was discovered 6 12 m (21 ft) beneath the surface of a peat bog (the coal bog) in the townland of Kilnamadoo.[9][10] More neolithic remnants were also discovered in the townland of Moylehid where the famous archeologist Thomas Plunkett found the Eagle’s Knoll Cairn passage tomb and Moylehid ring in 1894.[11]

Later Bronze Age evidence of habitation came in the form of a copper knife, reported by George Coffey (1901) on display in the Dublin collection.[12] Iron Age artifacts were discovered in the Carn townland of Boho (1953), consisting of remnants of a hearth at the foot of an escarpment dating to first millennium AD.[13] Later evidence of Danish raiders to this area came in the form of an iron spear head, found in a Cromleac in Boho, on display at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.[14][15]

History[edit]

The Neolithic inscriptions on the Reyfad stones constitute the first primitive markings or writings from the Boho area.[8] It was then another few thousand years before mention of the wider geographical region was committed to paper by Ptolemy in 150 AD.[16] According to Ptolemy the region covering the Boho area was inhabited by the Erdini.[16] Later, according to a map from 700 AD, this area was encompassed by an ancient region known as Bréifne, which was within the kingdom of Connaught.[17]

The two predominant tribes in the region were the Cenel Enda and Cenel Laegaire, whose territories were marked out roughly similarly to the areas encompassed by the Clanawley, and the Magheraboy.[17] There was a third tribe in this region known as the Fir Manach but their territory did not cover the Boho region.[17] The barony of Clanawley at this time reached into the north of County Cavan.[17] Later the Boho area was considered to be in West Bréifne, also known as Bréifne Ó Ruairc.[18]

The first documented reference to Boho in print comes from a manuscript known as The Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee Óengus of Tallaght which was written in the first part of the 9th century .[19] This connects Boho, or as it is written Botha eich uaichnich, to the region which encompasses it known as Tuath Ratha (Tir Ratha) and also a local saint known as St Faber .[19] The area known as Tuath Ratha (from Irish Túath Rátha, meaning "people/tribe of the fort"), is anglicised as Tooraah,[20] and later as Toora and Trory,.[21] It has also been retained as the name of the mountain Tura.[22] Tuath-Ratha is mentioned again in 1103 in the Annals of the Loch where “a fierce conflict between the men of the Lurg and the Tuath-Ratha, in which fell a multitude on both sides”. Again in 1119, it states that Cuchollchaille O'Baighellain, chief Ollamh (Ollam) of Erinn in poetry, was slain by the Feara-Luirg and (by O Flannagain of) Tuath-Ratha.[23] In 1247 there is a mention of the Flannagans of Toorah and Boho in the "The History of Enniskillen", referring to the area as Boagh or Boho (Both Ui Fhialain) as follows:

Accordingly Maguire sent out his Bonaghs or
stewards to proceed on circuit for the tribute on his
behalf; and the Flanagan, of Toora, was the first to
refuse it, " till he saw his lord, to whom he would
give it on his feet ": and to show the guile of this
artful chief, he added with Irish blarney—"that they
would not store it more faithfully for him than
himself." With this rebel refusal the stewards seized
the cattle of Flanagan, and Flanagan pursued the
bonaghs to where we now call Glack, or Aghanaglack,
sometimes called Carn (Clais an Chairn), at Boho,
where a fight ensued for the cattle, in which many
were killed on both sides, including Flanagan and 15
of Maguire's party, and while the conflict was taking
place "the women and youngsters" of Toora took
back the cattle.[24]


This tract is a description by O Breislin (historian to Maguire) and O'Cassidy (physician to Maguire) of a time when MaGuidhir the then King of Fermanagh was unable to collect annual tribute from the seven tuaths of Fermanagh due to wasting of the joints.[25] Maguire sent his bonaghs (representatives) to collect this tribute, the first port of call was O' Flannagáin of Tuath Rátha.[25] At this time Mac Giolla Fheinnéin was also described as the chief the Muinntear Fhuadacháin.[25] The church termoners were Muinntear Leannáin for the parish of Inis Mhuighe Samh (inismacasaint)and O Fialáin and Clann Mhe Garacháin over Both Ui Fhialáin.[25] What followed was a pitched battle resulting in victory for O' Flanagain as described in the poem.[25] Incensed by this rebellion, Maguires sons, Maghnus and Giolla 'losa enlisted the help of some 700 men from Tyrconnell (Tir Chonnail) including Gallagher (O Gallchubhair), Bohill (O Baoighill) and the three Sweenys (Mac Suibhnes) who proceeded to Glenn Dha Chon to enforce the tribute.[25] Eventually the tribute from all seven Fermanagh tuaths was paid with eric (compensation) at Port Dobhrain, the Maguires royal residence at Knockninny.[25] An eric of 700 milk cows was levied on O' Flanagan for the 700 men who had come from Tyrconnell (Donegal).[25] This was followed by 3 days of feasting "to the high, to the lowly, to the laity, to the clergy, to the druids, to the ollambs in the royal household, and to the Tyrconnell (Tir Chonnail) party".[25]

At one point Tuath Ratha was reputed to have extended from Belmore mountain to Belleek and from Lough Melvin to Lough Erne.[26][27][28]

In 1483 Boho is mentioned in The Annals of Ulster upon the death of John O'Fialain (Ua Fialain), "the ollam in poetry" of the sons of Philip Mag Uidhir (McGuire) and herenagh of Botha.[29] Again in Annals of the Four Masters (Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, 1487) the area is mentioned on the death of Teige (Tadhg), the son of Brian Mac Amlaim Mag Uidhir (McGuire), son of Auliffe Mag Uidhir, who had first been Parson of Botha, and then Vicar of Cill-Laisre (Killesher)[30][31] In 1498 there are reports of Maine, the son of Melaghlin, son of Matthew Mac Manus, slain in Botha-Muintire-Fialain, by the sons of Cathal Ua Gallchobair (O'Gallagher).[32][33][34] There is also mention in 1520 of Nicholas, the son of Pierce O'Flanagan, Parson of Devenish, who was "unjustly removed from his place by the influence of the laity, and died at Bohoe".[35] In 1552 there is a mention of Tadhg, the son of Tadhg, son of Eoghan O'Ruairc, who was slain in treachery in Bothach-Ui-Fhialain, by the Davine, son of Lochlainn.[23]

Boho is again mentioned during the inquisition of church lands held during the reign of James I of England in 1609–1610, described as Boghae.[36] At that point in time, the land was divided amongst septs, the head of which was a herenagh who paid tribute to the bishop of Clogher. The herenagh in Boho at that time was known as O'Fellan and under him was another sept "in the nature of a herenagh", called Clan McGarraghan (Mac Arachain).[36][37] O'Fellan is described as having a free 'tate' or tathe, called Karme (Carn), to himself, and another, called Rostollon, which was divided among his sept of 'doughasaes' equally. The document also describes an area of land called KillmcIteggart or Farrennalter, one part of which belonging to the parson, and the other to the vicar.[36]

In 1610 the area of Boho is described as extending into the barony of Clonawley (Clanawley), whose limits are bounded by the lands of Aghara in the west, Sleveamwell Hill in Clanawley in the east, the river of Bealaghmore in the north, and by Ourae mountain, also to the north.[36] By 1837, before parish boundaries were altered, the parish was still quite large and was described as containing 2,581 inhabitants, comprising 15,058 12 statute acres, of which 6,151 14 are in the barony of Magheraboy and 8,907 14 in that of Clanawley.[38] In those times this area also included the village of Belcoo.[38] In more recent times due to restructuring the parish grew smaller until the mid-19th century when it contained 51 townlands.[39] Today the number of townlands in the area stands at 46.[40]

The name of a nearby school, Portora Royal School in Enniskillen (established 1618),[41] is purported to be derived from the Irish Port Abhla Faoláin, meaning "landing place of the apple trees of Faolán". This may refer to Bhotha Mhuintir Uí Fhialáin, a tribe that inhabited the Boho area.[42]
In the mid seventeenth century, historical records mention John McCormick, son of Cormick, who received a grant of land at Drumboy, Boho. It is stated that he gave evidence against Lord Conor Maguire and was later appointed as one of the commissioners who took evidence on the massacres of 1641. After his death, his estates in Boho and Cleenish were left to his wife and nephew William McCormick.[37]

Places of interest[edit]

Boho High Cross[edit]

Boho High Cross, June 2009, Toneel North, Boho

The high cross in Boho graveyard (grid ref H1167 4621) is on an eminence overlooking the Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart (patron St Feadhbar or St Faber) in the townland of Toneel North.[43][44] It has been speculated to date from as early as the 10th century and comprises a weathered sandstone shaft.[45] Excavation of the cross has suggested that it was moved to its present position after 1832, when the site was first reused for Roman Catholic worship, the new church being built in the original graveyard slightly south of the old one.[44][45]

The west face of the cross shaft depicts the presentation of the John the Baptist in the Temple. The central figure holds a child in their arms and is accompanied by a figure either side. Above this carving is the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, with the River Jordan flowing between their feet.[46] The East face of the cross shaft depicts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. This is represented by a tree which contains the serpent who is looking at one of the figures.[46] The accompanying socketed base of red sandstone in which the shaft rests measures 90 x 88 cm at ground level and 62 cm in height.[46] The base of the cross was alleged to be a bullán which men would resort to in cases of childless marriages.[47] The existing doorway of the nearby Church of Ireland at Farnaconnell is thought to have originated from the pre-reformation church at Toneel North.[48]

Reyfad Stones[edit]

Main article: Reyfad
Cup and Ring markings on the Reyfad Stones in Boho

The Reyfad stones, located behind the Sacred Heart Church in Boho, are inscribed with megalithic art similar to that found in Newgrange [49][50]

Noon's Hole[edit]

Main article: Noon's Hole

Noon's Hole lies about 5 kilometres (3 mi) north west of Boho. At 81 metres (266 ft), this pothole is the deepest daylight shaft in Ireland.[5][51]

Aghanaglack Tomb[edit]

Main article: Aghanaglack

This Neolithic dual court tomb was discovered by Prof. Oliver Davies(1938).[52]

Boho Waterfall[edit]

This is located at the entrance of Pollnagollum Cave in Belmore Forest.[53]

Waterfall over Pollnagollum, Boho

The Linnet Inn[edit]

1 km from the crossroads in Boho is The Linnet Inn which is over 200 years old[39] and is one of the few remaining thatched public houses in Ireland. It features some classic style elements such as an open hearth fire and the unique "cave bar", designed and constructed by its recently deceased owner of the past 40 years, Brian McKenzie, in homage to the local caves near the pub.[5]

Places of spiritual and religious significance[edit]

The Boho area is replete with sacred/religious sites, from the modern religious such as the Church of Ireland at Farnaconnell or the Sacred Heart Church in Toneel North, to the older pre-reformation churches. There were also places of worship situated outside conventional buildings that were used in times of religious and political struggle, when the need for secrecy was premium. These were found in the 18th century in places such as Aghakeeran where there was a Mass Garden and in nearby Aghanaglack during the same period, where there was a Mass Cave "Prison".[54][55]

Further up on the mountain in Knocknahunshin there was records of a Mass Garden, although this may refer to a place known locally as the Mass Rock.[54][55] During the 18th century, in the parish of Boho (Inishmacsaint), there was a Mass Garden in Tullygerravra.[54][55] In earlier periods, around the time of James I's inquisition into church lands, there were Mass Altars at Drumgamph, Fintonagh (which was also in the parish at this time) and Killyhoman as well as a report of a holy well in the Killydrum townland.[54][55]

There may have been a third traditional church in Boho parish called Templemollem or the Church of the Mill, which is mentioned in the Survey of 1603 and in the Inquisition of 1609.[48] This was the chapel of ease called Templemullin on a tate of land owned by the sept of the McGaraghan which had an annual tribute to pay to the former Lisgoole Abbey of five gallons of butter and one axe.[36] It is also thought that the pre-reformation church in Toneel North may have been built on an even older a pre-Christian pagan amphitheatre.[48]

Agriculture[edit]

Livestock and crops[edit]

The Boho area is mainly occupied by farmland devoted to grazing animals.

Red cow grazing on limestone grassland
Red shorthorn cow grazing on limestone grassland on the Boho hills

One of the difficulties encountered in livestock farming, aside from the high rainfall, is that the indigenous limestone grassland is low on some essential nutrients necessary for grazing animals in the winter such as copper, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium.[56] The cattle are kept indoors in the winter months and fed a diet of silage, hay and protein supplement.

There is little arable land in Boho and this is usually set aside for domestic use. Due to low farming revenues, there are few people employed as full-time farmers in the area, rather some people farm land while their main incomes derive from a "normal job". The positive side to this low intensity agriculture is that Boho still retains examples of environmentally important species that are in decline on a national scale, such as rich hay meadows, pastures and semi-natural habitats.[57][58]

Some of the land is managed by farmers under the Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) scheme, with more significant areas being designated as Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) or as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). Farmers can receive ESA payments for low intensity farming, i.e. cutting a meadow after the grass and wild herbs have seeded (ESA scheme).[59] In this area, cows were traditionally fed hay in the winter months as far up as the early 1980s, but silage has overtaken this practice due to its better nutritional value.

Harvesting hay[edit]

Traditional hay making in the Boho was a communal endeavour. Neighbours of the farmer and his family would gather round to help "win" the hay before any sign of rain. This was a long and arduous job compared to the modern process. Local people might even take a day off their regular job for this sole purpose. The meadow was cut using a scythe (originally), and then in more modern times by tractor with a side-mounted mower blade.[1] The grass swathes would be turned over by means of a hay rake and if the grass was dry enough it would be tedded with the ubiquitous pitchfork. The person that was tedding would lift as much as he/she could with a pitchfork and then shake it out vigorously over the ground. Once the grass was dry enough, the loose hay would be gathered into rows with hay rakes (this tedding might be repeated depending on how dry the grass was). The rows could also be made into small "laps" or "lappins" which are circularised stacks of dried grass.[60] The invention of a hay-right or tedding machine connected to the power take-off (PTO) of a tractor made tedding a lot less labour-intensive.

Once the tedding process had finished, the hay was made into a ruck. In Boho, depending on the moisture of the ground, it was traditional to place some branches on the ground or some old hay to stop the bottom of the new ruck getting wet. The ruck was constructed by two or three people pitching up hay to a person on top of the ruck (sometimes a child) who tramped the hay down so that it was compact. When the ruck was high enough, usually the height of the person pitching the hay plus the length of their pitchfork, somebody would pull out the bottom circumference of the ruck and pitch that hay up on top as well.[1] Two hay ropes made with a twister were usually thrown over the top of the ruck at right angles to each other and secured by pulling out a piece of hay at the bottom of the ruck and making another short attachment, so that the ropes and the bottom of the ruck could be connected. After this was done, the ruck would be "dressed" by raking down the outside so that water would run off the top during the rain. The surrounding ground was raked for hay, which was transferred over to the next ruck.[1]

The highlights of "winning the hay" would be having tea and "fadge" in the meadows, or riding on the hay if it was brought to the hay shed.[1] Later on in the 1970s and 80s the square baler was introduced, which revolutionized haymaking, making it far less labour-intensive. The 1980s–90s saw the introduction in the area of the circular disk mower which was used to directly transfer freshly cut grass to a silage pit. This changing technology was reflected in sociological changes; hay making was now no longer such a communal activity.[61]

Geological and hydrological environment[edit]

The area of Boho is replete with potholes, limestone pavement, dry valleys and other interesting geological formations due to the nature of its substratum, which is mainly composed of limestone with occasional overlying beds of sandstone. These features have been described as nationally significant by the environmental agency.[62] There are also three mountains in this region, namely Belmore at 398 m (1,306 ft), and Tullybrack, 386 m (1,266 ft) (incorporating Glenkeel, 1,223 ft (373 m) and Knockmore, 919 ft).[4][38]

The Carn townland of Boho has the distinction of having a type of rock named after it, i.e. Carn Limestone. This is also the case for the nearby Knockmore area which contains Knockmore Limestone and Knockmore Sandstone.[63]

Karst features[edit]

There are three principal cave/karst systems in the Boho area, namely the Boho Caves, Reyfad–Glenkeel and Noon's Hole–Arch Cave system, situated under the mountains of Belmore, Tullybrack and Knockmore respectively. Many of these caves would first have been explored by local people, but the first detailed exploration and surveying of any caves in the area was undertaken by two cavers known as Édouard-Alfred Martel (the father of French speleology) and naturalist Lyster Jameson in 1895.[64]

Amongst the most notable caves beneath Belmore are Boho Caves, Aghnaglack Cave, Aghnaglack Rising, Pollbeg, Pollkeeran and Pollnagollum Coolarkan.[65]

Within the Tullybrack area are Braad Dry Valley, Carrickbeg (Bunty Pot), Fairy Cave, Ivy Hole, Little Reyfad, Mad Pot, Murphy's Hole, Oweyglass Caves, Pollbeg, Pollmore, Pollnacrom, Polltullybrack, Rattle Hole, Reyfad Pot and Seltanacool Sinks.[62][63]

The most notable caves in the Knockmore region include Noon's Hole, Arch Cave, Aughakeeran Pot, Crunthelagh Sink, Killydrum Sink, Old Barr Sink, Pollanaffrin and Seltanahunny Sink.[62][63]

Panorama of grassy hills interspersed with limestone features and farm tracks.
Panoramic view of some of the hills of Boho.

Rivers and loughs[edit]

Rivers running through Boho include the Sillees River which runs from Lough Navar Forest Park to Lower Lough Erne and its tributaries, the Screenagh and Boho Rivers.[66] There are also five major streams which drain into the Reyfad/Carrickbeg catchment area and are linked to the Carrickbeg resurgence.[66] One of these streams, entering Polltullybrack (second entrance to Reyfad Pot), is known as the Reyfad stream.[66]

There are four loughs associated with the civil parish of Botha, including Lough Nacloyduff (Loch na Cloiche Duibhe) which is in the townland of Clogherbog and Lough Acrottan (Loch an Chrotáin) in Glenkeel.[67][68] There are two other lakes associated with older parish boundaries, those of Carran and Ross Loughs.

Lough Nacloyduff (meaning the lake of the Dark Pit or digging) is about 1-acre (4,000 m2) in surface area. To the north on Knockmore Mountain are some yellow sandstone cliffs which contain "the lettered caves". These three caverns, two of them artificial in appearance, include oghamic style writing on their walls, consisting of crosses and star like shapes inside rectangles.[69]

November 2009 flooding[edit]

Boho was one of several areas in County Fermanagh which suffered as a result of severe flooding in November 2009. With water in Lough Erne at its highest level since records began,[70] the Sillees River, which flows through the parish, burst its banks causing traffic disruption for several days. The flooding affected Corr Bridge, Drumaraw, Muckenagh, Carran Lake, Samsonagh and Mullygarry. Killyhommon Primary School had to be closed as bus drivers were struggling to negotiate the closed roads.[71]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Flora[edit]

As a consequence of the local geology and low intensity farming practices, the Boho area has a high diversity of floral habitat types that is almost unparalleled in the whole of Northern Ireland as evidenced by the number of Areas of Special Scientific Interest, provisional ASSI's (pASSI), candidate Special Areas of Conservation (cSAC) and proposed Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (pAONB).[63][72][73][74][75] These range from open freshwater lakes to high calcareous grasslands and upland bogs.

Fen meadow is a classic Boho habitat type, consisting of wet fields locally described as a bog meadow, typified by the species Devil's-bit Scabious, Bog Thistle, Sedges and occasionally Tormentil, Purple Moor Grass and rushes (Juncaceae). In Northern Ireland, this type of terrain only covers 0.4% of the total land area and has decreased by 18% over the last ten years mainly due to the 21% decrease in Fermanagh coverage.[76]

Limestone grassland in the foreground of Boho hills

Drier habitats include calcareous grassland, which is very rare in a Northern Ireland context covering only 0.1% of the total land area, and which in only ten years, between 1990–2000, underwent a 7% decrease in coverage.[76] Calcareous grassland is typified by a rich abundance of species (such as Blue Moor-Grass, Wild-Mountain Thyme, Lady's Bedstraw, Fairy Flax and Lady's-Mantle as well as Fescue Grasses, Sweet Vernal Grass, Bent Grass, Crested Dog's-tail Grass, Carnation Sedge Cyperaceae and Devil's-bit Scabious on the thin layer of soil which covers the limestone rock.[76][77] Within this type of habitat, limestone pavement can also often be found, which can promote an even greater diversity of species.

Limestone grassland habitat in Northern Ireland is exclusive to County Fermanagh from the Boho–Knockmore region to Cuilcagh Mountain Park, this habitat and its associated karst features are so environmentally important that the latter Marble Arch region was designated part of the European Geoparks Network, the Global Network of National Geoparks and the world's first International Geopark, consequently adding international significance to the Boho landscape.[78][79] In Boho, this type of land is often associated with dry stone walls, built from limestone, which are constructed in a peculiarly local style and are equally important from a wildlife habitat perspective.

There is also a lot of bogland in Boho, which is typified by species such as Bell Heather, Cross-leaved Heath and Ling (Common Heather).[80] Other interesting bog plants to look out for are Sundew (which are carnivorous) and Bog Asphodels. The woodlands of Boho consist of a mixture of plantation woodlands and semi-natural broadleaf woodlands (mainly ash and hazel).[81][82]

As well as these rich ecological resources, Boho is well known for its small field sizes, which consequently provides many field boundaries consisting of hedges and dry stone walls. Indeed in the whole of Northern Ireland it could be said that Fermanagh has the smallest field size, maybe 20–30 fields per square kilometre, whereas counties such as County Antrim may only have 3–8 fields covering the same area.[76]

Scheduled species[edit]

Added to the importance of the above habitats, the Boho area includes large numbers of rare and protected plant species specified as priority species by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, including Irish Eyebright (Euphrasia salisburgensis var. hibernica) which is located on the western edges of Boho near Knockmore cliffs,[83] Small White Orchid (Pseudorchis albida), also known as the White Mountain Orchid,[84] Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium bermudiana), which belongs to the American element of the Irish flora i.e. those plants being absent from any other part of Eurasia but exist in North America,[85] Green-Flowered Helleborine (Epipactis phyllanthes),[86] Cornish Heath (Erica vagans),[87] which is found near Boho, Yellow Bird’s-nest (Monotropa hypopitys),.[88]

Other notable species to be found in the area include Swedish Pouchwort (Calypogeia suecica), a bryophyte last found in Aghahoorin near Boho in 1961,[89] Bee Orchid, (Ophrys apifera),[90] Mountain Avens (Dryas octopetala),[91] Marsh Helleborine, (Epipactis palustris)[92] and Bird's-nest Orchid (Neottia nidus-avis)[93] located in proximity to Boho Caves.

Fauna[edit]

Non-domestic animals in the Boho area include the Irish Hare, wild goats, foxes, badgers, red squirrels, rats, mice and shrews and the occasional pine martin.[94][95] Amongst Northern Ireland's priority species are Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentoni) which was observed in a nursery roost located in Boho Caves in July 1895.[96]

Bird species are also well represented in Boho. In 1998 the number of breeding species recorded in a random transect of Boho was 26 and in 1999 that number was 27.[94][97]

With regards to the palæontological, the complete skeleton of an Irish Stag (cervus elaphus) was retrieved from the area and is now housed in the National Museum in Dublin.[98]

Folk tales[edit]

There are many stories of originating from the Boho area which tell of faeries, faerie bushes, banshees, swallow holes (potholes) and ancient stones.[99]

One recurring mention is of a changeling or faerie who has a prodigious talent for music. The author (or the teller) of the tale states that the faerie has a particular flair when it comes to musical instruments, traditionally the fiddle or the pipes. He develops such a gift that anyone who listens will be enchanted by the music (like the Greek myth of the sirens). Commenting on the appearance of the faerie, the story teller recounts that he saw him living with two old brothers beyond the "dogs well" and he looked like a "wizened wee monkey" ...the story teller estimates his age to be around 10 or 11 years but it appears that he could still could not walk, rather, "bobbed". His gift on the tin whistle was second to none, his particular penchant being long-forgotten tunes. All of a sudden he disappeared, never to be heard of by the story-teller again.[100]

There are other folk tales surrounding St Febor or St Faber, who placed a curse on Baron O Phelans castle in Boho causing it to sink into the earth although there are no reports as to where in the area this castle was located.[99] Some of the tales are recounted in the old country song, "Ma na Bh Fianna (Monea) – The Plain of the Deer".[101] according to Folklore, Francy Rasdale drank 15 pints one night and drove home, banter.

Notable residents[edit]

Bohos around the world[edit]

Places that share the same name as Boho around the world include Boho (also known as Fort Boho) in Bari, Somalia 11°56′00″N 50°53′00″E / 11.933333°N 50.883333°E / 11.933333; 50.883333 (Boho),[103] Ras Boho, Somalia 11°56′00″N 50°55′00″E / 11.933333°N 50.916667°E / 11.933333; 50.916667 (Ras Boho)[104] and Uadi Boho, Somalia 4°20′00″N 45°23′00″E / 4.333333°N 45.383333°E / 4.333333; 45.383333 (Uadi Boho),[105] as well as Boho, Leyte, Philippines 11°19′00″N 124°20′00″E / 11.31667°N 124.3333°E / 11.31667; 124.3333 (Boho),[106] and Boho, Australia 36°41′48″S 145°46′17″E / 36.696659°S 145.771354°E / -36.696659; 145.771354 (Boho).[107]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

Boho Heritage book[edit]

A local group of historians who formed The Boho Heritage Organisation in 2004, launched a book about the area on 17 April 2009. It features over 250 pages and 500 pictures of Boho and is entitled "Boho Heritage: A Treasure Trove of History and Lore". This book is available for a limited time from the Linnet Stores, next to The Linnet Inn.

External links[edit]

Media related to Boho, County Fermanagh at Wikimedia Commons