|Elevation||127 m (417 ft)|
|Time zone||WET (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (WEST) (UTC-1)|
Glangevlin (Irish: Gleann Ghaibhle) or The Kingdom of Glan is situated in the northwest of County Cavan, Ireland, at the junction of the R200 and R207 regional roads. It is surrounded by the Cuilcagh Mountains and borders the counties of Leitrim and Fermanagh. A large stone known as 'Maguire's chair' is deposited on the right hand side of the road, roughly 4 miles from Glangevlin village, so-called because it was supposedly the inauguration site of the Maguire clan in medieval times.
Glangevlin has a strong traditional Irish background and Irish was spoken up until the 1920s, one of the last places in Cavan where this was commonplace.
The modern interpretation of Glangevlin is "Glen with the Fork", but traditionally the name is said to derive from the mythical cow Glas Gaibhleann which belonged to Gaibhnen, the blacksmith of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The Book of Magauran, written c.1340, spells it as Ghleann Gaibhle but it has also been spelled Gleann Gaibhneann, as in this scribal note to the Poems on the O'Reillys:
"I am in Gleann Gaibhneann, now called Gleann Gaibhle, to-day, the vigil of the feast of John the Baptist, 1599."
The Gap of Glan was supposedly created by the cow when it ran away from the blacksmith's forge. In the townland of Doire-na-tuan in Glan is shown the site of Gaibhlean's forge today. MacKillop's Celtic Dictionary gives:
”Glas Ghaibhleann, Gaibhleann, Ghaibhnann, Ghaibhnenn, Ghoibhneann, Gavelen, Gaivlen, Glasgavelen [Ir. glas, green, greenish blue; of Gaiblín (?), of Goibniu (?)]. Celebrated, magical cow, white with green spots, whose inexhaustible supply of milk signalled prosperity. The original owner is a matter of some dispute, possibly Goibniu the smith or Gaiblín, a farmer of Co. Cavan or Balor the Formorian of Tory Island".
Formula One Race
In early 2012, due to the troubles in Bahrain, it was reported in the Anglo Celt newspaper that Formula 1 head hocho Bernie Ecclestone was strongly considering bringing a leg of the Formula 1 world championship to Glangevlin. It was believed that due to its existing road infrastructure and thriving tourism industry Glangevlin would require very little capital investment to make this idea a reality. When asked local 'mechanic' Tom Cannon was said to be very excited about the chance of gaining a regular source of employment but said he would require a minimum of 60 minutes to change the tyres and fill her up, and €20 up front - as a sign of good faith - per car. In April 2013 Ecclestone announced that he wants to start the Grand Prix de Glaaaaaan in the 2015 season, but is at loggerheads with local councillor Eddie Feehily over the viability of filling in potholes on the proposed route pre-race. Feehily's proposal is to place cones around each hole deeper than 8 inches while Ecclestone wants them filled in completely. The impasse continues.
This region was reputedly inhabited as far back as 5000 years ago, when tribes such as the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Fomorians, the Milesians and the Celts found their way up the rivers Erne and Shannon. The evidence for this settlement can be seen in the form of the dolmens, ringed forts, caiseals, passage graves and lake dwellings associated with the area. These numerous caves and underground passages provided a shelter for these early settlers. The Ringed Forts were built as a defense against the wolves and eagles during the Bronze Age and were even used up to the 12th Century and later. They were built of clay, stone and bushes.
In the 1609 Plantation of Ulster, Glangevlin formed part of lands which were granted to John Sandford Esq. by letters patent dated 7 July 1613 (Pat. 11 James I – LXXI – 38, ‘Glangewley’). It was later granted to Sir Toby Caulfield, Master of the Ordnance by letters patent of 12 July 1620 (Pat. 19 James I. XI. 45, ‘Glangewly’).
In early 1708 the famous harpist Turlough O'Carolan was travelling to Mayo from Fermanagh when he was caught in a snowstorm in Glangevlin. He and his guide were forced to take shelter in a miserable cabin where he spent a few days waiting for the snow to clear. Whilst on the muddy mountainside with nothing but water to drink he composed the famous air "Lament for Sir Ulick Bourke".
The Roman Catholic parish of Glangevlin formed part of Templeport parish until 1750 when it was hived off into a separate parish.
John O'Donovan visited Glan on Monday 16 May 1836 for the purpose of the Ordnance Survey then taking place. He states:–
"After having procured a kind of a dinner at the head Inn of Swanlinbar, wishing to lose no time in that uninteresting village we directed our course southwestwards for about three miles through the Parish of Kil Naile, and then turned northwestwards to make our way into the centre of the wild valley of Glen Gavlen, a distance of 8 long Irish miles. This is the worst road and perhaps the wildest district I ever saw. Situated between the two lofty and barren Mountains of Cailceach and Sliabhan-Iarainn, this valley will never induce mankind to run a railroad through it; its sides are precipitous and rocky, defying the exertions of the plough and the wheeled car, and even of the side car! The loy (a peculiar long spade) only can be used to form the nidus for the potato and grain. The snow lies brooding on the mountains on either side till late in Spring (which prevents early tillage) and when dissolving before the south wind warmed by the sun of spring it (i.e. the snow turned into water) overfloods and injures the sloping fields, the Mistks and Meenies of this Valley of Gavlen. Its road (if road it might be called) is precipitous and stony, and intersected by many deep and rough glens with their mountain streams (now nearly dried up) which makes it very difficult to run a rail road from the City of Bawnboy to that of the Black Lion. Perhaps the future industry of the men of Hy Briuin Breifny may open this important communicaion after they shall have again set up Magauran as the Lord of the Tribe of Eochy (Tullyhaw)! We lodged in a farmer's house in Glen Gavlen for two days; on Tuesday we directed our course northwards through the parish of Templeport, over a very bad, rough, rocky road and indulged our curiosity by visiting the large spring well in the Townland of Derrylahan in which the Shannon (according to tradition) had its source. It is a round deep pool throwing out a stream of considerable size which the country people call the Shannon. The pool itself is called by some Poll Lagan Sionna, and Lag Bhun na Sionna by others. From this pool we directed our course through the Parish of Killoynagh to hear the names of the townlands in it prounouned in Irish by the natives. They speak the Irish very well but retain no traditions connected with the old Church except that it was built by St.Bridget and St. Leyny, from the latter of whom it and its Parish have received its name. There are two wells dedicated to them which are set down in the name Books and which will consequently appear on the Map. Of St. Leyny nothing is now remembered but that he was a Leinsterman who, falling in love with St. Bridget, followed her hither, but who, when St. Bridget plucked out her eyes to destroy her beauty, repented, became a Saint and built this Church by which he transmitted his memory to posterity with more success than he would have by marrying the beautiful-eyed Bridget. When St. Leynie declared that he was in love with St. Bridget she asked with what part of her he was in love. He answered, with her eyes, upon hearing which she plucked out her eyes saying, here they are for you - a wonderful thing for one to do, who was herself a bastard. After getting the names of the Parish of Kil-Loynie we returned from the Black Lion and Lough Macnean to our host in Glenn Gaibhlean, and the next morning we remeasured our journey along the craggy and precipitous road between the mountains, the only pass out of this dreary district and proceeded southwards through the Parish of Templeport with a view of seeing Father Philip Magauran, a lineal descendant of the last chief of the tribe of Eochy (Tullyhaw) but he was not at home."
The Kingdom of Glan is described by Lewis (1837) as a mountainous district between the counties of Fermanagh and Leitrim, generally known as the country of the MacGaurans. Around 1837 there was no public road, only one difficult pass; the Gap of Beal. At that time the area was approximately 16 miles in length by 7 in breadth, and was densely inhabited by a 'primitive race' known as Mac Gaurans and Dolans, who (it was reported) intermarried and observed some peculiar customs; electing their own king and queen from the ancient race of the Mac Gaurans, to whom they paid implicit obedience. It was also stated by Samuel Lewis that their sole occupation was tilling the land and attending the cattle; potatoes and milk, sometimes with oaten bread, being their chief food; and that "the want of a road by which the produce of the district might be taken to the neighbouring markets operates as a discouragement to industry and an incentive to the illicit application of their surplus corn."
- A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland I. S. Lewis & Co. 1837.
- Unknown (1947) [c. 1340]. "XXIII: Aonghus Ó hEoghusa .cc.". In McKenna, Lambert. Book of Magauran:Leabhar Méig Shamhradháin. p. 197. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
- Carney, James, ed. (1950). Poems on the O'Reillys. p. xi.
- MacKillop, James (1998). Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.