October 11th 1838.
George Petrie Esq,

Dear Sir,

You remember that I told you last year that I searched for Dumha Sealga in the plain of Magh aoi until I got wearied with searching and enquiring. I now can tell you with confidence that I had spent (before that time) several hours on the top of it* enjoying the beautiful prospects which it commands of the plain of Connaught, and the Mountain Baghna. You will also remember that I denied in one of my letters from Tuam, that Loch Sealga and Loch Cime were one and the same, as O'Flaherty makes them by inference, and I now repeat the same denial.

*I said in one of my letters from Roscommon "there are so many (nameless) dumha's or green mounds in Moy Aoi that it is impossible to identify Dumha Sealga (with any of them) until some written documents will turn up to shew its relative position with respect to some other objects already known".

I have known these many years from our best authorities that Dumha Sealga was in Magh Aoi, the limits of which I know better than my


prayers, and I was a good deal surprized at finding O'Flaherty place it in Munter Moroghoe in the barony of Clare, more than 40 (50?) miles from Elphin, though the Tripartite {corrupted as it is by Colgan} places it near Elphin!

There is some dreadful blunder in all this, which nothing but a collation of the ancient Irish lives of Patrick will correct, and I do again request that Mr. Curry will copy from the Leabbar Breac and the book of Lismore, the account of the Conversion of Duach Galbach by the apostle on the banks of Loch Sealga in Magh Aoi(?). If ye do not answer my queries regularly, I must necessarily forget many of those subjects; and Irish topography will remain for ever a mass of irreconcileable contradictions. There is no doubt in the world that Lough Hackett in Munter Moroghow is the Loch Cime of Irish history, near which Kellach King of Connaught lived in the [?]th century.

Da dtí Ceallach don bhanna
Gona thricaid céd ime
Giallfaidh gid leabhair a bhiach
Ceallach liath Locha Cime.
Should Kellach come to the Bann
With his thirty hundred men about him
He shall give hostages, tho' huge his penis!
Kellach, the grey of Loch Cime.

But it is very doubtful that Loch Sealga or Dumha Sealga near Elphin could be pushed so far to the west. The Dinnseanchus and the Annals of the 4 Masters place Dumha Sealga in Magh Aoi, and the following account of the conversion of Duach Galach will at once identify the place with a very conspicuous Dumha or mound near Tulsk in the County of Roscommon.

Echen, the son of Brian, was king of Connaught when St. Patrick came to Ireland, and when he heard that Patrick was coming towards him, he took a Gorman (loom) with its weaving rods on his back to disguise himself from him. It was (being) made known to Patrick that the King was shunning him, he met him face to face. "Art Echin", said Patrick. "I am not", said Echin. "Mayest thou not be he", said Patrick "and may neither thou thyself nor thy son or descendant be king". This was verified. And none of the sons of Brian believed in him until he came to the place where Duach Galach, the youngest of the children (was), who said "If I were king I would do the will of Patrick". Then Patrick replied, "In consequence of your consenting to do my will, thou and thy descendants after thee shall be kings". And this was verified.


All his brothers afterwards gave hostages to Duach Galach and he became Arch-King over them. And Patrick blessed him at Dumha Sealga which is at this day called the Dumha of Carnfree, and he promised the Kingdom to his posterity for ever.

Duald Mac Firbis p. 195.

Patrick acted like the English in this Country for he generally set up the Sosar against the Sinsear!! He knew how to manage them very well.

"Imperium his sine fine dedi"!

Compare this with the Books of Lecan and Ballymote. Carnfree, on which the kings of Connaught were inaugurated to a very late period, stands - a very conspicuous object - on the hill to the south of Tulsk near the demesne of Mr. Kelly of Cargins. The carn of Froech itself is not very large, but the Dumha or green mound, here called Dumha-Sealga is a very conspicuous and beautiful object commanding a view of (Rath) Croghan and other memorable localities in Magh aoi and the Teora Tuath. {See my letter on Carnfree} It gives me great pleasure to find that we can connect this beautiful feature with history. One of the Mac Brannans (chief) of Corcachland died here in the 15th century and was interred at Roscommon.

Hoping that you are well,
I remain your well-wisher,
John Na Dtuath O'Donovan