It took some time to find Tullaghoge Fort due to poor signposting but nothing was going to prevent me finding this place. To your casual observer there may be very little to get excited about visually when visiting Tullaghoge but the importance of this place throughout the ages adds to its beauty. Tullaghoge Fort (from the Irish Tulach Óg, meaning ‘hill of youth’) was an ancient ceremonial site where the chieftens of the O’Neills were inaugurated Its not known the date the fort was constructed but writings have informed our opinion that the site was originally associated with the Uí Tuirte of Airgialla, and later the O’ Hagans from the 11th to 17th centuries. The O’ Hagans were the protectors of the site and thus had an important part to play in the inauguration ceremony.
The inauguration took place on a stone chair when the chief of the O’Cahans (the O’Neills principal sub-chief) would throw a gold slipper over the head of the seated O’Neill chieften to signify good luck. Following this the chieften of the O’Hagans would then place the slipper on the foot of the new O’ Neill leader and present them with a rod of office. The last inauguration took place at this site in 1593 when Hugh O’ Neill was named chieften. During the Nine Years War the seat and fort were destroyed by Lord Deputy Mountjoy, as part of Elizabeth the first’s program of removing sites of importance to Irish heritage.
The site of the fort is as picturesque as they come and its mesmerising to stand in the centre of the embankment and imagine all that took place here.
GPS: 54.61023, -6.72384