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The Writing on The Wall – Compass Drawings by Maura Kennedy

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Maura tells us ‘Lackeen Castle or tower house is in the parish of Lorrha in North Tipperary. It was built by the O’Kennedy family in the 1500’s. The Stowe Missal was found there in 1735, concealed within the walls.nnMore recently, Lackeen Castle has revealed another secret – etched into its ancient plaster are the thoughts of its last Gaelic Lord, Donogh O’Kennedy. Written in Latin, these are interpreted as Donogh O’Kennedy cursing how things had changed since his castle and lands, comprising over 3,000 acres, was confiscated by the Cromwellians and he was sent across the Shannon to Connaught.nnAD 1657 Donogh O’Kennedy                                AD 1657 Donogh O’KennedynnO JUREM                                                                 OH CURSESnnO QUAE                                                                    OH WHATnnMUTATO                                                                 A CHANGEnnRUM RUM RUM                                                   STRANGE STRANGE STRANGEnnTwo definite example of compass drawings or endless knot were identified by the use of strong light,  beside both doorways on the second floor. It is suggested that their function was to protect the inhabitants from evil spirits or the evil eye.nnThis work, together with the 3 other works, relates to the theme of Hidden Histories as these markings or ancient graffiti are on less-accessible walls of Lackeen Castle and will not be known by or have been seen by many.nnI would like to acknowledge the use of research and photographs from work by David Broderick, a wonderful historian from Lorrha. I am very grateful for his permission, and I have also used his title ‘Writing on the Wall’ from an article he published in Archaeology Ireland, Autumn 2020.nnOils on Canvas 30cm x 30cmnn

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