5.2 Giant’s Sconce
From the top of the Giant’s Sconce, it is easy to see why it would make a good place to build a fort. There are views in all directions and it is a short distance by land to the River Bann and the sea beyond.
This monument is thought to be the site of the ancient fortress of Dún Ceithirn. Today the site is a flat-topped hill but it was once a fort with walls 5-8 metres thick.
Adomnán, Colmcille’s biographer, describes the saint as predicting the Battle of Dún Ceithirn during his visit to the Convention of Drum Ceat saying that a local well at Camus would flow with the blood of his kinsmen.
The battle in 632 was between Congal Cáech, a king of east Ulster, and Domnall mac Áedo, a Donegal relative of Colmcille’s and king of Tara – perhaps the most powerful kingship in Ireland.
Dún Ceithirn seems to have been under Congal’s control and he may have been attempting to undermine Domnall’s power. Domnall won the battle but had to attack Congal again in 639 in the Battle of Mag Roth, also allegedly predicted by Colmcille.
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