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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.

  • 5.1 Droim Ceat, Limavady

    According to legend when Colmcille left Ireland it is said that he vowed never again to set foot on Irish soil. However he appears to have returned at least once - for the Convention of Drum Ceat probably in the 570s, here just south of Limavady. The event is recorded...

  • 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...

  • 5.3 St Patrick’s CofI, Coleraine

    The earliest record of Coleraine appears in Adomnán’s Life of St Columba. Adomnán was an Abbot of Iona and wrote his account of Colmcille’s life a century after the saint’s death in 597. Adomnán mentions that Colmcille stayed with the Bishop of Coleraine on his way home from the Convention of Drum...

  • 5.4 Camus

    The red sandstone fragment of the early medieval Camus cross now stands in a graveyard on the west side of the River Bann to the south of Coleraine. The cross is carved with religious scenes on the front and back - the Ark and the murder of Abel on the...

  • 5.5 Ballintemple

    It is believed that the first church on this site was founded by St Adomnán (c.628-704), Abbot of the monastery at Iona from 679 to 704 and the author of the Life of St Columba. According to tradition, Adomnán wanted to build his church two miles away at Lisnascreaghog but every time the walls were...


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Colmcille

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Colmcille

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Gaoth Dobhair
Donegal, Ireland. F92 EYT3

(+353) 074 9560113
colmcille@forasnagaeilge.ie