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2nd April     Ballyelly Townland, North West Sliabh Eilbh



Sunny: Cloud dissipating: Wind NE, F5/6. Wind Chill: Ground drying: Visibility >20Nm. The Plan; check sites adjacent to souterrain CL004-016040 and inspect the depression. Parked at Poul an Phúca III, walked to the depression; area much drier. Sink 1 is small, a minor hollow is present. Sink 2 is larger, some two metres in diameter; appearing a soak away; no obvious opening. Sink 3 is of similar size and conditions to Sink 2. Sink 4 is the most interesting thus far; at the edge of the depression against the exposed surrounding limestone, here the area is silty, with a depth of 0.4m; very wet. Through the ancient surface drain gulley the previous estimated invert height, above the depression floor is incorrect; being closer to two metres; though four if measured from the invert of sink 2. The gulley drains north, discharging onto a broad area, sloping down to an elongated depression: in the distance a cave tree is visible among taller, healthy looking grass/reed growth at what appears the depressions lowest point. Before doing any more will obtain permission to poke about.

Walked two kilometres north to an area containing several archaeological sites; of which one particular sub-square ringfort may be of greater significance. This is one sector of the wider souterrain project area. Some of these sites may be contemporaneous with the souterrain; located one kilometre East-south-east. Such sites may help explain why the souterrain was constructed in its host ringfort location. Bumped into Christy O’Brien and Alan; searching for calving cattle. Alan expressed an interest in caving. Headed over to a pile of rocks, three hundred metres off the drovers track; found the remains of a Clochan, ITM 515422 x 705757, a form of religious habitation; no obvious features survive among the extensive pile of stones. Its original shape would be like a large, stone beehive. In this elevated position, (≈950ft), it would have been visible for miles, perhaps the whole point; establishment some form of spiritual authority elevated above the secular? 

Cashel, CL004-016022, at first appears a modern farm enclosure, the south wall set with large thin boulders placed vertically. Deep joy: two parts of cashel wall survive. The west portion, some 1.2m wide, two metres high by some six metres long. At the south end of the eastern wall appears to be the cashels original entrance threshold. The north end of the eastern wall turns to the west here the internal corner is built as a very neat radius; this attractive, uniform shape is replicated externally. The interior floor of the cashel constitutes a broad flat surface, with no obvious features. This Cashel appears to have been an important settlement or place where a Noble’s authority was manifest. Extensive effort has repaired and raised its severely denuded walls, it is highly likely the stone was used to build the nearby, substantial boundary wall between the townlands of Ballyelly and Coolmeen. Headed for the Wedge Tomb, encountering an unregistered hut circle, three metres diameter,  ITM 515322 x 705918; a hundred metres east of said wedge tomb. This is not the only unregistered site; there are many other shapeless piles of stone which need a far more practiced eye. Ancient field system walls crisscross the landscape.

Pat Cronin

2nd  April 21.JPG

3rd April     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Mild: Sunny: Cloud 10%: Wind S, F2: Ground drying: Small stream: Visibility >25Nm. The Plan: replace the dodgy pallet. Arrived 10:00, with tubing, tools and tea. While CC stripped apart the safety surround of the shaft collar, PC stripped out a pallet to remove the dodgy one via the east side and install two more galvanized scaffold tubes as extra support to the new pallet. The confined area beneath the platform above the yawning maw was problematic removing the existing secured timber work, which was immensely heavy being soaking wet. After three tough hours the scaffolding was secured in place and a new heavy duty pallet in position. The previous two scaffold tubes were relocated in their final position and secured. Wrapping up PC suggested a solution to sort the issue of replacing the rotten lower shaft collar pallet, which fell apart during the initial process. The new structure will have greater support; so, much safer and stronger. Another session will complete this present task; possibly tomorrow night. The alteration to the present 5k travel restrictions changes the 12th April, to travel county wide.  Generator ¾ full, but not run, oil check required.

Hours 6 (2729), Southend (1679), Kibbles 0 (5331), Nets 0 (869), Total lifts 6200

Pat Cronin

4th April     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



18:00. Cloud 100%: Cool: Wind N, F2: Visibility <20Nm. Ground drying. The Plan: complete the lower shaft collar assembly. Visited CC earlier on, picked up 2 x heavy 4x2 timbers to support the edges of the shaft collar pallet; carried same, harness, tools and other pallets to dig. Installed the new supports across the shaft to secure collar pallet to; followed by finally securing in place a heavy duty pallet that forms the crawl way to the fixed ladder. Installed support rails, and guides which carry the lower, sliding shaft safety cover: (800mm x 1200mm plastic pallet). Inspecting the platform pallet adjacent the shaft, decided to replace it; as it takes the weight of the barrow when receiving spoil from winching. Outstanding; the open side beneath the platform, thorough which this work was carried out requires closing off, securing/safeguarding from dogs and the curious. Generator ¾ full, not run: no fuel on site.

Hours 4 (2733), Southend (1683), Kibbles 0 (5331), Nets 0 (869), Total lifts 6200

Pat Cronin

3rd April 21 1.JPG

View northwest of north shaft with scaffold grill cover; left are two scaffold poles to improve support to the replacement pallet. The area exposed is the normal access route to the fixed ladder

3rd April 21 3.JPG

View northwest of replacement red pallet secured in position; directly above the south shaft, (-23m)

7th April     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Cloud 90%: Wind NW, F2/3: Visibility >25Nm: Ground drying: Small stream.  The Plan: continue maintenance. Replaced the pallet on which the barrow is loaded; installing two separate supports to facilitate ease of its/any future replacement. Reassembled the shaft collar structure; reducing risk of debris falling down the shaft when loading the barrow. Refitted the pallet on the east side, closing off the crawl way. Refitted the draw rope that opens the lower shaft cover both lines secured to the plastic pallet. Generator not run: no spare fuel on site. National travel restrictions ease the 12th April; travel allowed within the County.  


Outstanding tasks, at the very least:

Fit final pallet to platform area

Close off open area beneath platform

Cut out the new lower shaft collar opening

Close off west side of platform at the shaft edge

Re-route underground lighting cable through to the winch house

Clean kibble hook and lubricate

Test comm’s and signal systems

Re-route power cable from generator

Check generator oil

Re-roof generator shed

Descend fixed ladder and check its fixings are secure

Clean all fallen debris from shaft ledges, pipework and the “Plank”  

Check fixed lifeline

Install “flyline” to facilitate return of lifeline to the shaft base

Survey -22.5m level in shaft

Install “pallet wall” as rain protection for winch house from southwest weather

Re-cover the tripod with new weather cover


Hours 5 (2738), Southend (1688), Kibbles 0 (5331), Nets 0 (869), Total lifts 6200

Pat Cronin

9th April     North West Sliabh Eilbh



Cloud 60%: Wind N, F3/4: Visibility >35Nm: Ground drying: The Plan: explore sinks MQ42 and MQ43. Parked at Faunarooska Cross; fifteen minutes to walk in. Started at MQ43; once again no suitable belays, used a 0.5m long nail bar pushed into soft bog. The pot is -3m; a water worn rift swiftly narrows, becoming blocked with fallen fragments of water worn limestone and lumps of bog. Recovered kit; moved twenty metres north to MQ42. Firmer ground here for the nail bar. This hole is -3m, at its base the circular pot was uninspiring; pulling aside a moss curtain, exposed a 0.5m wide, two metre long rift heading south. Of all the sinks so far this one is wide enough to dig with relative ease.

Pat Cronin

9th April 21 1.JPG

View north of MQ43 depression. Its size, shape and camouflage is the norm for the terrain; the entrance is in front of the rucksack.

9th April 21 2.JPG

View of MQ 43 entrance; almost all entrances are obscured by reed growth and are a potential threat to both man and beast

10th April     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Chill: Cloud 20%: Wind N, F2: Visibility >35Nm: Ground drying: Small stream: The Plan: maintenance. Installed a temporary pallet, (ideally needs a heavier duty), adjacent the shaft, closed off the opening beneath this area of the platform; also closed off the gap on the west side of the lower shaft collar.  Re-routed the power cable from the generator to the winch; now run at high level. Re-threaded the underground lighting cable between the shaft and the winch house; a metre of length is spare. Checked and topped up the generator oil. Cleaned accumulated silt from the large water cistern; refitted cover.         

Hours 2 (2740), Southend (1690), Kibbles 0 (5331), Nets 0 (869), Total lifts 6200

Pat Cronin

11th April     Souterrain CL004 062002


Ruth Hollingsworth, Katie Theasby, Ritchie Jones, PC

Cool: Cloud 60%: Wind NW, F2: Ground drying. Waiting for the others to arrive at Oughtdarra church, PC was approached by John Morgan; Farmer, who, recognizing the Hilux, is aware of the digging at Considines. Twenty enjoyable minutes chatting about the world beneath the earth and local archaeology. During which he enquired if PC was out looking for caves “up above”, indicating the vast lower limestone terrace, just east of Noel Thynnes land. Answered, no, not today, but would love too; go ahead was the reply. When the others arrived, clarified with JM a route to his land; asking if OK to wander today looking at archaeology; again, no problem: a really nice bloke.


RH and KT are reading archaeology at Galway Uni; the same previously undertaken by RJ and PC. The Plan: introduce them to archaeology in the Oughtdarra and Ballynahown townlands. Enclosures, Cashels, Souterrains: a great selection. The Covid restrictions have severely curtailed their involvement with tutors, so such an outing gave them some level of introduction to field work, preparing them for their forthcoming field survey project. Witnessed the spectacle of some thirty odd feral goats effortlessly scaling the near vertical upper terrace cliff face. Four hours of sun, fun and laughter: Primroses, Orchids and many other blooms delighted the eye, a cracking trip.

Pat Cronin

13th April     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Cloud 30%: Wind N, F2: Visibility >35Nm: Ground drying: Small trickle: The Plan: maintenance. PC descended, cleaning fallen debris after installation of the scaffold grill. Applied the hose to expose the fill in the lower part of the gap between the north and south shafts; managing to wash away most of the loose items. Ascending, all stemple securing’s were checked; staging at -14m and “The Plank were washed clean of its mud coating and loose debris. Gazing out into the shaft noticed a pink cylinder resting on the RSJ; it is a container for washing powder in which interesting items are placed exposed during operations. This was left at -23m; the RSJ is at -12m; water has filled the shaft to at least this level to set this item at its present elevation. The signal box had previously been raised to -3m to avoid such an inundation: continued ascent. Lower shaft collar cut open. Weather cover replaced on the generator shed and weather cover fixed to the open side of winch shed. Telecommunication system checked; hauling signal system requires checking. Generator ¾ full: no spare fuel on site. Almost, almost, ready to start digging.

Hours 4 (2744), Southend (1694), Kibbles 0 (5331), Nets 0 (869), Total lifts 6200

Pat Cronin

15th April     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Cloud 60%: Wind W, F2: Visibility <25Nm: Ground Drying: Stream a bare trickle. The Plan: maintenance. Managed to cover one half of the head-frame; the remainder likely completed tomorrow, as the weather will deteriorate into showers over the weekend. The black plastic replacement is not as heavy duty as expected; time will tell of its strength. Generator not run: ¾ full: no fuel on site.

Hours 4 (2748), Southend (1698), Kibbles 0 (5331), Nets 0 (869), Total lifts 6200

Pat Cronin

16th April     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Cloud 80%: Wind SE, F3/4: Cool: Visibility <20Nm: Ground drying: Stream barely a trickle. The Plan: maintenance. Western side of the weather canopy was finished; task completed. CC prepared a route through the undergrowth behind the winch shed to the new spoil area. Generator topped up with fuel: no spare on site. Outstanding task, prior to winching is test the winch clutch under load. Need to clean and return hook.

Hours 4 (2748), Southend (1698), Kibbles 0 (5331), Nets 0 (869), Total lifts 6200

Pat Cronin

16th April 21.JPG

The Considine's dig site sporting it's new weather canopy.

Black Plastic Matters.

22nd April     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Cloud 50%: Wind SE, F4: Visibility <25Nm: Ground drying: Stream a trickle. The Plan: maintenance. Secured the lifting hook to the hauling line with a steel, oval, screwgate karabiner; tested the winch under load to check its recent servicing. Dismantled and reassembled the winch counter balance, to allow the wheel barrow to access the spoil area behind the winch shed. Trimmed Blackthorn along passageway to improving access and avoid injury. Telephone and signaling systems operational; some minor tasks remain outstanding but do not impact on digging. Generator full: no spare fuel on site.

Hours 4 (2752), Southend (1602), Kibbles 0 (5331), Nets 0 (869), Total lifts 6200

Pat Cronin

24th April     Lough Awaddy



Cloud 10%: Wind E, F2: Ground drying: Visibility ≈25Km.  The Plan: investigate the lough. Lough Awaddy is located five hundred metres SSE of Lough Aughrim, among a vast karst landscape. PC believes this area has similar, significant aquifers to what he discovered west of Gort in the 1980s. Further to an aerial image taken during a fly over, piloted by Dig Hastilow in 2002, Lough Aughrim was dived by PC in December 2003. The vertical walled, oval shaft was dived to -13m, during winter water levels. The base of the large pot exhibits an almost level silt floor; the sediment more than leg length deep. Its uniformity suggests a constant upwelling of flow. Wider scrutiny found several sites, in the area; Lough Awaddy was the next of this project. The almost featureless landscape caused issues identifying the site. Crystal clear water showed a depth of the northern pot to be perhaps ten metres; viewed from an adjacent limestone bench. Forty metres to the south the main pot is estimated at twenty five metres diameter from the aerial image. A weighted plumb line was repeatedly deployed unsuccessfully from a position behind a reed bank. Estimated depth for part of the pot is similar the adjacent site of perhaps six to ten metres. The plan is to conduct a dive to ascertain its shape and depth. Theory; prior to glacial advance, such vertical pots may have linked an upper system to the present inaccessible aquifer. A worthwhile project to explore the nature of any and all submerged pots in the area: a cracking day in excellent company.

Pat Cronin

24th April 21.JPG

Lough Awaddy; one of at least two vertical developments into an aquifer.

24th April 21-2.JPG

View north showing surface hydrology.

26th April     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Almost cloudless: Wind NE, F1: Visibility <25Nm: Ground drying. The Plan: DIG. The availability of CM allowed the first actual excavating session since the 23rd January. CC winching: PC unloading and barrowing: CM digging. Arrived 09:30 to get the dig ready. CC and CM arrived 10:15. Set up a 2:1 hauling, to start removing the pile of boulders left since KLD’s shift; the first lift caused concern. Clunks and knocks were emitted from the winch assembly. From the noise assumed the boulder to be very big; this was not in fact the case. Disassembled the 2:1, reverting to single hauling; noises lessened, but remained to a degree. Believe the issue to be the dry, stiff rope. Using the 2:1 noted only 100mm was left, available to hold, once the rope was around the capstan; need replace this rope. With the boulder pile left in situ, CM dug the south end, noting the subtle continued widening of the west wall. At surface, spoil was deposited in the original western area, however PC’s upper body strength had deteriorated since the regular digging, that, or the residual affect of the Covid-19 jab yesterday pm. As weariness increased, spoil was placed in the new area behind the winch shed. Of the twenty six lifts, twenty five were very full kibbles, and one net. Generator all but full: five litres of spare fuel on site. Delighted to be actually digging again. Noted error in running totals: corrected same.

Hours 6 (2765), Southend (1715), Kibbles 25 (5356), Nets 1 (870), Total lifts 6226

Pat Cronin

29th April     Considine’s Cave, (South End)


14:00. Cloud 50%: Wind NE, F2/3: Visibility >35Nm: Ground drying: Tiny trickle of a stream: The Plan: Digging, introduce PMcG to safe digging operations and procedures.

CC winching: PC unloading and barrowing: PMcG digging. PC arrived 13:00 to install the remaining scaffold clips, securing the outstanding east side poles; there remains a small area which will need a further scaffold pole purchase: scaffold clips will soon arrive from the UK. 14:00 CC and PMcG arrived. The fitting of a longer hauling rope for 2:1 lifts was deferred. Following an introduction to operational procedures PMcG descended, swiftly familiarized himself with the dig and safe hauling practices. The session produced a very satisfying twenty five kibbles. Generator ¾ full: five litres on site. Total number of lifts corrected, to date. CC absent in the UK for the next while. Potentially digging Thursday.

Hours 7 (2772), Southend (1722), Kibbles 25 (5381), Nets 0 (870), Total lifts 6251

Pat Cronin

1st May     MQ45, Sliabh Eilbh


ITM 514379 x 704899

Depth          4m

Length        5m

Elevation   ≈270m

Cloud 50%: Wind WSW, F2: Visibility >30Nm: Ground drying. Parked at Faunarooska cross; twenty minutes walk in, with pack. The Plan: explore MQ45. MQ45 is one of many unrecorded sinks discovered Dec 2020 – Jan 2021 by PC; MQ45 is one of four near the southern limit of the line of sinks. A similar formation of sinks was discovered along the western flank of Knockaunsmountain in the early/mid 1980s in association with Mark Lumley, Steve Milner and Mike McDonald. A GPSR was used to relocate the site among the featureless landscape and adjacent similar sinks. MQ45 is situated within an oval depression, measuring fifteen metres long, east –west and ten metres wide; some two metres below moorland level. Three collapses have formed; the eastern, at two metres deep, is choked with fallen peat overburden. The western, also two metres deep is also choked with humic debris. The central, open pot was laddered. Except for the entrance of Halliday’s Hole, at almost five metres wide, this is the largest shaft size of those so far descended along this sinuous line of sinks; the entrance rift a metre wide. This pot is also choked with humic debris; westward a vertical squeeze enters another section of rift, (beneath the western collapse). Here a small, clean section of floor is exposed; shards of thin stone, (shale?), are scattered in the bedding: here, no stream evidence is obvious passing the tumbled, intact lumps of peat. It may be this bedding indicates a shale, or chert bed, it’s difficult to determine. The presence of such a formation may explain why many of the sinks descended only reach a depth of around three metres, and no more. Depth of this bedding within MQ45 is -4m; the rift is five metres in length. This trip completes investigation of this group of four sinks; MQ42 to MQ45. Prior to checking the original established ITM, a GPSR was left to stabilize whilst the trip took place; accuracy improved from an initial error of 14m to a final error of just 3m, over thirty minutes.

Pat Cronin

5th May     S4


Cloud 60%: Wind NE, F4: Visibility <25Nm: Ground drying. The Plan; review the coastal dig S4. Nice walk in blustery conditions; scrutinized the site with the view that previous was really only visiting, so time, and equipment constrained. Really fancy opening it, but will need to protect the excavation from ingress to the sea and storm tossed debris.

6th May     Considine’s Cave, (South End)


Cloud 10%: Wind NW, F3: Visibility <30Nm: Ground drying: Very small stream. The Plan: Dig. PMcG digging: PC winching, unloading and barrowing. A minor delay meant digging was underway by 11:00. PMcG continued to excavate around the eastern wall, almost up to the projecting limestone rib; though not actually entering the potential Danger Zone. Of the twenty kibbles raised, six were of gravels and clays, the remainder boulders. The gravels were deposited in the spoil area behind the winch shed, the boulders cast upon the eastern end of the boulder pile; there is room enough for a good many more loads. The generator is ½ full: spare fuel on site. PMcG is a swift learner. KLD is presently occupied assisting with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout; will return as soon as practicable. 

Hours 5 (2777), Southend (1727), Kibbles 20 (5401), Nets 0 (870), Total lifts 6271

Pat Cronin

7th May     Gratton Dale Mines


An initial walk to look for mine workings in Gratton Dale along with Pete Forster, was made on the 5th May. Today a more thorough investigation was made with the second visit centered around the site of the old waterworks pump house. An obvious large opening high on the dale side behind the pump house (SK 2085.6074), was first looked at, a short cutting leads to a large entrance with several low workings leading off, a worked mineral vein can be seen at the entrance, ( see photos 1 & 2). Above this entrance on the valley top, near the wall, a possibly diggable collapse was seen (SK 2087.6074, see photo 3).

Looking over the wall towards Oddo Farm can be seen the spoil heaps of workings of Cowlica Rake and associated mines ( see photo 4). On descending the valley side another small opening was found (SK 2086.6074, photo 5), this is situated almost directly above the first site. Continuing to the valley floor we walked down the dale to an opening noticed earlier in the woodland (SK 2086.6087), this appears to be a collapse into a level, the original entrance can still be seen below ( see photos 6 & 7). As with the other sites a return visit is necessary to explore them properly. Photos by Nigel Burns, panarama Cheg Chester.

Nigel Burns


Photo 1. Looking North out of the Entrance across the dale


Photo 2. Working leading off either side of the central mineral vein


Photo 3. The collapse, top of the valley near the wall, looking North


Photo 4. Looking South above the working with Oddo Farm in the distance and the spoil heaps of Cowlica Rake


Photo 5. The small level directly above the Main Entrance


Photo 6. The collapsed entrance with possible access above


Photo 7. Access to working beyond the collapsed lower level entrance

10th May     Poulnagollum


Cloud 100%: Wind NW, F4: Showers: Visibility <20Nm: Ground damp: The Plan: visit Branch Passage cascade. Resurgence stream noted as quite high at the bridge. En-route, several surface streams noted as having a good flow. Upper Poulnagollum cascade clearly audible when half way across the field. Rigged a fifteen metre rope off two tapes; abseiled in. Found a tree had fallen into the main pot, beneath the cascade. Water clarity, crystal; Gunman’s stream had enough flow to produce two cascades into the main streamway. Evidence of very recent higher flow averaged six to eight inches above extant stream. Other tree branches encountered along the stream way. Approaching the first cascade, main stream depth averaged ankle deep, in cobble free sections. Minor inlets produced decent showers. At main junction installed a tell-tale within the sandbank; scampered off upstream toward Branch passage cascade. Along the crawling section found stream flow quite high; returned to Tell-Tale after twenty minute absence noting main stream level had increased 27mm. Decided to exit; saw no obvious increase from the inlets. The first cascade showed a significant increase; beyond, the previous ankle deep stream appeared unchanged. Surfaced to a heavy shower; used self lifeliner to ascend climb. No obvious stream level increase at the bridge. The field in which Poul Eilbh is located appears for sale; For Sale sign, with arrow pointing in its direction, is erected at the field gate.

Pat Cronin

14th May     Considine’s Cave, (South End)


10:00. Cloud 100%, base 1200ft: Showers: Wind SW, F2: Visibility<3Nm: Ground damp: Tiny stream. Enroute PC liberated a heavy pallet. The Plan: Dig.  PMcG digging/photos: PC winching, unloading and barrowing. PMcG took photos, before wresting two boulders from the floor; inadvertently creating a 0.6m high face. Taking the initiative, PMcG dug out the spoil northward, finding this horizontal digging method simpler and easier. The bothersome gap between the two projecting ribs is all but centre of the hauling way; the extant, almost parallel gap may continue downward, but remains to be seen. Presently, two steps, in the shaft floor ascend from the South End to the “Ribs”. This spoil needs complete removal to see if the gap between the “Ribs” continues. In line with the centre of the hauling way, if the present gap width continues, there should be no hauling issues. If however the gap does narrow, or heal up, then CC’s suggestion to deviate the hauling rope whilst in motion will require design, installation and implementation. Of the twenty kibbles raised one was of small stones sorted specifically to surface the new barrow way behind the winch shed: eight kibbles were clays and stones, the others of boulders. Winch working well since CC serviced the motor. Generator ½ full: spare fuel on site.

Hours 5 (2782), Southend (1732), Kibbles 20 (5421), Nets 0 (870), Total lifts 6291

Pat Cronin

21st May     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Cloud base 2000ft: Wind N, F3: Visibility <20Nm: Showers: Ground soft: Small stream. The Plan: Dig. CC winching: PMcG digging: PC unloading and barrowing. PMcG dug from the east wall around to the southern rift, lowering the floor by about a foot, (0.3m). Using the “cheating sticks”, the fill in the south rift was removed to within a foot of the shaft floor. The base of the hole, excavated adjacent the southeast rift is estimated to be around -24m; if accurate, this depth is approaching only two metres above the bottom of the North End shaft. The session resulted with a delightful thirty kibbles lifted of clays, cobbles and boulders. Finishing off the session PC topped up the generator, immediately noticing a lack of petrol odour from said fluid. Some two litres were poured into the tank containing some two litres. At home PC found it was not all petrol, but mostly water. Prior to the planned maintenance session, Monday 09:30, PC will drain the generator tank and replenish. Said fluid was bought at Aran View Station; visited to remonstrate with the staff, without success. PMcG related the place has a reputation for dodgy fuel.

Hours 6 (2788), Southend (1738), Kibbles 30 (5451), Nets 0 (870), Total lifts 6321

Pat Cronin

24th May     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Cloud 70%: Wind NW, F3: Visibility 30<Nm: Ground wet: Small stream. The Plan: Survey and maintenance. With two planned to survey the issue of the lifeline arose again; rather the inability to get the line down to the next man waiting to ascend. PC secured a 13mm polypropylene line, (courtesy PMcG), adjacent the top of the fixed ladder. At the bottom this line was tensioned, by hand, and secured to a piece of rebar inserted into the drilled 14mm hole, adjacent the south rift. The process; the first man to surface clips the krab around this line, down which it slides, returning to the bottom, well away from the ladder, staging, cables and hoses. PMcG and PC began to survey; the uneven floor meant this planning was best made at -21.5m. A laser level was sited in the south rift to assist centering lateral measurements. A plumb bob from the surface centered the hauling way. The tape measure was secured into each narrow end of the north and south rifts. With the excellent help of PMcG recording the survey was swiftly concluded. Whilst PC then phaffed about, PMcG was itching to wrest rocks from the south rift, exposing gaps and an elongated cavity, some metre in depth. Meanwhile, upstairs, CC had investigated an intermittent vibration from the winch. Then cutting a hole in the pallet through which to easier deploy the lifeline, had laid boulders along the dry stone spoil retaining wall, (to increase its containment capacity), and trimmed the large shrub obstructing the east end of the boulder pile. PMcG topped up the generator with fuel: a cracking session.

Hours 6 (2796), Southend (1746), Kibbles 30 (5481), Nets 0 (870), Total lifts 6351

Pat Cronin

Considines at -21.5 1.JPG
Considines at -21.5 2.JPG


These plans compare the shape of the shaft at regular depths. Surveys have been taken at -18.5m, -20.sni and -21.5m. The image above displays the change in shape and how me south shaft is presently not connected to the northern shaft.
The dashed outline of -21.5 level shows how the shaft continues to increase in size and alter shape toward the south end. The developing southeast rift, though narrow at present has an estimated depth of a further four metres. This places its invert just below that of the stream in the lowest part of the northern shaft. © P.C.N.

27th May     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Cloud 100%, base 600ft: Rain: Visibility <4Nm: Ground wet: Small stream: The Plan: dig. CC winching: PMcG digging: PC unloading and barrowing. PMcG continued to dig around the south end, toward the “Ribs”; lowering the uneven floor to an average of twenty three metres, deepest measured at 23.9m. A steady pace raised  thirty kibbles containing grim clays and boulders; PMcG manages to load the kibbles with many of the big rocks encountered, even so, five very large boulders await removal, requiring the net and 2:1, will do this next session. Need to install hangers for the mechanism to facilitate the vertical hauling process deviating around the “Ribs”. Increasing depth will mean positioning the bolts will become more difficult. The small horizontal passage, beneath “The Pinch” in the North End, may very likely appear in the South Shaft as the floor is removed at the base of the fixed ladder. From it may be expected some southward development. There is the potential to utilize the area between the “Ribs” and the fixed ladder as a hopper, reducing the need for boulder spoil to be brought to surface. The spot depth of 24m is some 2.5m above where the stream disappears in the North End; these measurements suggest an estimated volume of nine cubic metres to clear the shaft to -26.5, being some eighteen tonnes.

That the South Shaft continues to increase in diameter with depth, the South Rift is a constant feature, the Southeast Rift is formed at 90° to the fault and the approaching reappearance of the stream from the North Shaft are all encouraging: a cracking session. Generator ½ full: no spare fuel on site.

Hours 7 (2803), Southend (1753), Kibbles 30 (5511), Nets 0 (870), Total lifts 6381

Pat Cronin

31st May     Considine’s Cave, (South End



Cloud 90%, Wind SW, F4, gusting 5: Visibility <25Nm: Ground wet: Small stream: The Plan: lift assembled large boulders. PC arrived early to set the 2:1 hauling. The existing rope is short for the 2:1; therefore a seventy metre rope was substituted. CC winching: PMcG digging. To raise a net with the 2:1 took four minutes; during this PMcG continued to fill any available kibble. Planned as a short session, two nets of multiple boulders were raised along with eight nets containing one boulder; at an average off seventy kilograms each, these barely manageable boulders could only be placed along the edge of the path to the stile. The entire shaft floor is now workable; when the gravel layer is cleared large gaps are visible through the loosely compacted boulders. The 2:1 system was stowed and the fifty metre hauling line reinstated. Comms and signal cables need rerouting to avoid future entanglement with each other. The lightweight pallet, fitted temporarily, needs replacing with one on site. Generator ¼ full: no spare fuel on site. A maintenance session is planned for Thursday, 09:30. Believe JW and “Sparky” enroute from Thailand.

Hours 6 (2809), Southend (1759), Kibbles 0 (5511), Nets 10 (880), Total lifts 6391

Pat Cronin

3rd June     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Cloud 50% Wind SW, F2: Visibility <30Nm: Ground drying: Small stream: The Plan: photography/dig. CC below PC up top. CC descended to take photographs recording the emerging, developing features I.E. southeast rift and the ribs. A minor collapse of the floor up against the western wall of the shaft, adjacent the south rift opening, occurred since the previous session. Like the cavity exposed below the south rift, the visible depth of this collapse is also about one metre, possibly two. Difficult to assess, a bedding joint in the west wall appears to step back perhaps six inches, (0.15m). To make use of a man below ten kibbles were sent to surface, several remain against the far south end. Filled generator to 5/8ths: fuel CC. Signal box brought to surface for service and repositioning away from the suspended light, to avoid cable and line entanglements.

Hours 5 (2814), Southend (1764), Kibbles 10 (5521), Nets 0 (880), Total lifts 6401

Pat Cronin

June 3rd 2021 3.JPG

View looking north where the cleft between the north and south shafts heal up.

June 3rd 2021 2.JPG

The 'Ribs', where the east and west wall cause the hauling way to narrow

4th June     Polduagh Resurgence Gort

Max Depth: 31m    
Duration: 49min
Configuration: Sidewinder and 2x7l Ean 32

First dive of the year. Just dove to the deep drop off and back.
Jim Warny


7th June     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Cloud 90%: Wind SE, F2: Visibility >30Nm: Midges: Ground drying: Small stream. The Plan: Dig. PMcG digging: CC winching: PC unloading and barrowing. PMcG continued to level off the floor at ≈23m, clearing up to “The Ribs”; producing thirty well filled kibbles. The floor appears to be assuming a looser compaction; a minor subsidence occurred adjacent the east “Rib”. The recent collapse up against the west wall, exposing an undercut, seems to be mirrored on the east wall.  Shaft floor level is now about one metre below that of the ladder way. Boulder spoil deposited along side the northern boundary wall; will require retaining wall. Need to drill new 14mm hole to secure signal box, as is now two metres above shaft floor. Also install fixings for the potential deviation needed for Hauling, should the present gap between “The Ribs” close up. Generator ½ full: no fuel on site. 

Hours 6 (2820), Southend (1770), Kibbles 30 (5551), Nets 0 (880), Total lifts 6431

Pat Cronin

10th June     Considine’s Cave, (South End)



Cloud 100%, base 700ft: Wind SW, F2, increasing: Visibility >30Nm: Midges: Ground drying: Small stream. The Plan: maintenance. PC descended to drill holes to allow relocating the signal box at a lower level. Also installed two ringbolts, at -20m, opposite each other in the East and West walls; suspended from each will be the deviation system. Installation now avoids difficulties as the shaft depth increases. Relocated the travel line which allows the lifeline to be sent easily back to the base of the shaft. The depth of the undercut below the West wall varies from 0.5m near the southern rift, to 0.3m, as the wall morphs into the western “Rib”. Photos required. Washed out the gap for a better view; unlike the “undercuts” encountered in the northern shaft this does not appear to be in a hurry to return outward again; adjacent the south rift its depth is almost two metres. Adjacent the southeast rift a minor collapse exposes a small projection, this lump forms part of the southeast rift wall; visible depth, two metres. The southeast rift wall was also washed obtaining a better view; depth estimated as three metres, though closer to four. PC believes as the ladder way spoil is removed it will expose the original stream route from the northern shaft; its junction with the southern shaft may be an addition issue for the hauling of kibbles. Up top, CC was plagued by midges, attempting build a new section of boulder spoil retaining wall. PMcG’s systematic digging has lowered the leveled shaft floor almost a metre below the adjacent floor of the ladder way: one small step for PMcG, a big one for PC. JW donated a new wheel barrow; the previous one’s trough worn out having only carried a little over three hundred tonnes. PMcG donated an elderly heavy duty extension lead; tested fine so, with a length of 30 odd metres it will provide lighting to at the very least -30m. Generator not run: no fuel on site. Depth South End, -23.5m.

Hours 4(2824), Southend (1774), Kibbles 0 (5551), Nets 0 (880), Total lifts 6431

Pat Cronin

New Barrow.JPG

Lets hope the new barrow doesn't have to carry another three hundred tons before the shaft is emptied!

Unknown Pot

18th June     Unknown Pot, Bishops Dale, near Cray



Situated on the banks of Buckden Pike. North Yorks. NGR SD9597-8002
Descended an open shaft with a scramble and clatter. Reached the base of a 30ft shaft above and falling water with the sound of water below. Base of shaft cluttered with farm waste but obvious passage continues. ..  . TBA. ...

Aaron Smith


11th June     Oughtdarra



Cloud 90%: Humid: Midges: Wind W, F2/3: Visibility <30Nm: Walked north from the church in Oughtdarra to the base of the upper terrace of cliffs; dark holed strong drink to support walkers from Ballyvaghan to Doolin; planning to overnight here. Almost all the resurgences were dry; only west and central Lackinaska springs flowing. Unable to reconcile the published ITM references of the resurgences; the data requires work to clarify/correct them. Found a small collapse, open, with small stream draining southeast from Lackinaska; recorded it as ITM; need return with kit. The sink below Lackinaska needs digging.

Pat Cronin

12th June     Michael Keating of Loughrea, County Galway

Further to his recent email, spoke with MK at length; arranged visit for 10:30, 19th June. Strongly suspect these holes and tunnels are souterrains. The fact, his friend, a digger driver has found several implies unrecorded sites, delighted.

Hi Pat

I am making contact with you regarding a large series of tunnels and chambers in the Loughrea area. There are miles of these tunnels which are very tight at the opening but expand inside it seems. Where they have collapsed it gives a better idea of the size of chambers etc. Would any of your team be interested in having a look, or have you come across anything like this in Ireland before? I would love to know what they were used for, but don’t have experience in this field. Kind regards. Michael Keating.

Pat Cronin

14th June     Walk, Ballyvaghan – Doolin, Burren Way



Cloud 90%, thin layer: Bright: Wind WNW, F2/3: Ground drying: The Plan: walk to Doolin. Pauline dropped PMcG and PC in Ballyvaghan at 10:00. Meandered through Blackthorn and Hazel thickets; around the southern flanks of Cappanawalla Mountain: into the Rathborney valley. Visited Rathborney Church and Souterrain: (5k). Pre 12th, rebuilt 15th century, built within a curiously shaped enclosure, of a much earlier period. Located among the graves, the souterrains extant opening may be the likely result of gravediggers inadvertently breaching the 1.5 metre wide flagstone roof: suddenly faced with a deep, dank, dark void, an unwelcome view into the ever feared underworld.


Headed north following the drovers track crossing the western ridge; as it descends into the Caher Valley, (9k (13:00), a Cashel has been constructed, (≈1000AD?), most likely to guard the pass and demand tithe. Inside the cashel two later dry stone buildings have been built with material from the cashel ramparts; the stonework of excellent quality, by a good mason. One appears to have been a dwelling, the other supposedly a church; the latter could well be accurate. Penal Laws introduced during the 17th century, prescribed fines, imprisonment and death for celebration of the Catholic faith. Though eased in the 18th century, Penal Laws were finally repealed in the 1920s. If this discreet building were such a place of worship, its elevation offered clear commanding views of the Caher and Rathborney valleys, providing adequate warning of an approach by crown forces. If so, its period of construction may be dated to the first half of the 18th century.

West from the ruined church of Formoyle, (10k), in the Caher Valley, the drovers track ascends the northeastern flank of Sliabh Eilbh on its route to Doolin. Welcomed respite, as the track assumed a level nature. Experienced minor sciatic issues; yet made steady progress. Left the Burren Way, turning west onto the limestone cliffs above Oughtdarra, a hundred metres north of Christy O’Brien’s farm, (18k (≈16:00). Landscape above the cliff is of fractured limestone pavement and rich pastures. Near the steep pass found RM pitching camp. Relocated same to the meadow some fifty metres below; en-route PC recovered the dark-holed wines and fresh water from inside the resurgence. Stiff of limb: established camp by 18:00, at Lackinaska resurgences, (20k). Tea, food, wine, sleep: a fine day out in good company. Pack weight is light, but not light enough.

Pat Cronin

15th June     Ballyvaghan - Doolin



Cloud 100%, Wind SE F2: Minor showers: Midges: Humid: Ground drying: The Plan: continue to Doolin. Cleared camp; securing all signs of presence. RM returned to his car, parked near the church at Oughtdarra; PMcG and PC resumed their walk. En-route, passing out the Promontory Fort and other sites: the place stiff with archaeology. RM had offered to meet the pair at Poulsallagh, (21k), to ferry their backpacks to Doolin; this significantly eased the sciatica. Showed PMcG the Cliff edge fort; deteriorated since the storms of 2012. Ascending the coast to the boreen to Killilagh, Roadford, (26k), met RM who had arrived to offer the pair a lift home; nice.

Pat Cronin

19th June     Loughrea, County Galway



Cloud 100%, Wind W F2: Visibility>20Nm: Ground drying: The Plan: meet with Michael Keating to visit the sites discussed; MK had previously contacted PC, 12th June 2021,


Hi Pat

I am making contact with you regarding a large series of tunnels and chambers in the Loughrea area. There are miles of these tunnels which are very tight at the opening but expand inside it seems. Where they have collapsed it gives a better idea of the size of chambers etc. Would any of your team be interested in having a look, or have you come across anything like this in Ireland before? I would love to know what they were used for, but don’t have experience in this field. Kind regards. Michael Keating.


Arrived 10:20; after an eighty minute drive. Went straight to the first site, potentially a souterrain; possibly a ruined lime kiln: requires digging to assess nature of the cavity. No souterrain is recorded at this point. Crossing two fields, heading south: cave tree seen to the west: obvious sink. Informed it was indeed a sink; backfilled with a car and leveled. Further south shown a four metre hole at the field edge; informed in the 1970s several locals ventured in. After walking through a chamber and across a muddy slope, they stopped, as the passage was getting smaller. It was into this sink wheat and chaff was thrown, reported appearing in the small lough eleven hundred metres to the northeast. East of the open cave, (Chrissie’s Cave?), another active sink, (Roadside Sink?), was visited; the remains of a five gallon drum protrudes among the boulders and silt. This hollow regularly fills, and swiftly drains. In the adjacent field a series of collapses over some fifteen metres appear to drain toward Roadside Sink passing through a culvert under the road. After tea, drove to a cultivated area in which MK believes mining may have taken place. The photos shown are inconclusive, as there is no scale, and PC didn’t have reading glasses to view the pictures of the passage. An immensely convivial time, with a nice bloke; MK will approach the land owner to clarify and finalize permissions. The lessee of the land appears quite happy to find out what is below.

Pat Cronin

20th June     Pollaloghaboo upstream, Gort lowlands, Kinvarra

Max Depth: 27m
Duration: 118min
Configuration: Sidewinder, 2 x 7l Ean32, AL80 Ean32 and UV18 scooter

Dived past the 1Km mark using the scooter.
Turned the dive at 45min, well over the kilometre mark.
Scooter ran out of battery 400m from the entrance resulting in a slow swim out from there.
Jim Warny


20th June     Considine’s Cave, (South End) 


Cloud 100%, Wind N, F2: Visibility, haze >30Nm: Midges: Ground drying: Small stream.

The Plan: maintenance and photography. CC and PC installed the converted extension lead, donated by PMcG; its new route to illuminate the bottom, passes over the higher lateral support to the “Guillotine”, away from entanglement with the signalling cable. The previous light relocated to -3m to better illuminate large boulder nets approaching the shaft collar opening. CM descended to record exposed features and overall progress; later joined by model, PC: to make the place look bigger. The photographic extravaganza recorded all angles and features. Scallop shells noted protruding from the west shaft wall around -22m; adjacent, and a little above is a longitudinal exposed crinoid, 125mm; a nice example Popeye would appreciate. CC has calculated the floor area from the -22.5m plan survey as 9.25 square metres. The east, west and south walls continue to slowly recede; the outward angle is estimated at 70°.

Observation; the undercut around much of the shaft perimeter, at -24m may be a function of where the northern stream entered the Southern shaft from the Northern shaft. As the shaft floor level lowers the combined, piped surface streams, presently discharging into the northern-most shaft, to ensure dry digging, should reappear around -27m. Most likely arriving through the gap between “The Ribs”; this narrow, natural gap may be utilized as a dam. In the south rift at around -23.5m the subtle outline of passage abandoned development is now exposed as PMcG removed the fill. Generator almost ½ full: no fuel on site.

Hours 8 (2832), Southend (1782), Kibbles 0 (5551), Nets 0 (880), Total lifts 6431

Pat Cronin


View North of “South End” AKA Main Shaft

Photo: Cathal Mullane


View South, base of Main Shaft, (-23.2m).
Photo: Cathal Mullane


21st June     Considine’s Cave, (South End)


Cloud 80%: Cool: Wind NE, F4: Visibility, >20Nm: Ground drying: Small stream. The Plan: Dig. PMcG digging: CC winching: PC unloading and barrowing. PMcG cleared the base of the ladderway; AKA “The Death Zone”.  Excavating this dangerous, exposed site, directly below the hauling route, was strictly conducted; the shaft lid closed and firmly secured, only opened for hauling when specifically instructed by PMcG below, from his safe, (safe?), location. Clearing around “The Ribs” exposed a possible undercut; perhaps part of the original water route from the north side? Much of the ladderway was cleared level to the main shaft floor. A cautious session due to imposed safety protocols by Old Mother Cronin, producing twenty-seven kibbles, three nets and no injuries. A plan to descend the North End to precisely measure depths to “The Pinch” and the old water course to the South Shaft is planned for, soon. PMcG fuel: Generator ½ full: no fuel on site.

Hours 6 (2838), Southend (1788), Kibbles 27 (5578), Nets 3 (883), Total lifts 6461

Pat Cronin

22nd June     Considine’s Cave, (South End)

Cloud 100%: Wind NW, F2: Showers: Visibility, <5Nm: Ground drying: Tiny stream. The Plan: Measure depth to significant features in the North End.

Prior to CC’s arrival PC fitted the final two metre galvanized scaffold pole to the 2 x 2 metre shaft grill. It’s ready to receive the 200mm x 6mm square reinforcing mesh cover. Also replaced two 50mm pulleys in the lifelining system, and lubricated steel karabiners. Descended the north shaft, recording “The Narrows” healing up point at -21.5m; “The Pinch” is -22m. Measured the top of the water rift at -23.5m; it slopes gently down to the South; this narrow rift, some two/three metres high, was backfilled with spoil during digging. Managed to hover in the squeeze, to clear remaining ginging from the very bottom of “The Narrows”; casting it and several recovered supports, (short lengths of reinforcing bar), through the gap into the South Shaft. Remain impressed at CC’s ability to dig in this vertically confined space; removing the spoil upon which he was standing.  Where “The Narrows” finally heal up is clearly visible from the South End, behind the fixed ladder; a useful reference. Bottom of North End shaft is -25.2m; where the stream sinks -26.5m. No stream visible in the area. Began ascent, encountered issues passing the vertical squeeze; gravity no longer an asset. Memory of where the rebar steps were located by foot feel was no longer available. Generator not run: ½ full: no fuel on site. Very likely digging Thursday: 18:00.
Hours 3 (2841), Southend (1791), Kibbles 0 (5578), Nets 0 (883), Total lifts 6461

24th June     Considine’s Cave, (South End)

Cloud 100%, base 500ft: Showers: Midges: Wind SW, F3: Visibility 300 metres: Small stream: Ground wet: The Plan: Dig. CC winching: PMcG & JW digging: PC unloading and barrowing. PMcG & JW leveled the ladderway floor with the South shaft. Doing so exposed the southern end of the rift coming from North shaft. While JW cleared the rift into the North shaft, PMcG returned to the south rift, uncovering the one metre deep cavity previously noted. Digging was brisk, the pair below assisting each other, sending up loads as the other dug. Thirty kibbles and six nets sent to surface. JW emerged into the North shaft, almost two metres above the Northern shaft bottom. The formation of this rift passage, an extension of “The Gap”, will likely bottom out at around -24.5m, as it passes between “the Ribs” into the South shaft. Generator about ¼ full: no fuel on site. "New passage" entered, both Shafts now linked, round trip available: cracking.

Hours 12 (2853), Southend (1803), Kibbles 30 (5608), Nets 6 (889), Total lifts 6497

26th June     Carsington Pasture Cave


Nathan Bartlett had 2 hats on; member and visitor from another club bringing with him 3 other club visitors.

Still overshadowed by Covid regulations, there had been some relaxation in the Government’s rules to allow visits underground albeit with minimal numbers.

Today’s main objective was to measure up for a new lid. The original was now showing its age, particularly after numerous attempts by folk to break in. These days, why they can’t approach the club, for access, is beyond me.
In addition, we arranged to meet-up with some members, from another caving club to visit the cave. A newly formed club headed by Larry, a former member of Pegasus.

We all met around 10am and parked up at the usual place, Harboro Rocks and then walked over to the cave. Dave. G quickly got into measuring mode and then made his farewell’s. Not before arranging with Nathan, who lives nearby in Brassington, for permission to fabricate the lid at Nathan’s.

Steve S descended to the Pig Pen in Yorick, waiting for the arrival of the visitors. Condition of the scaffolding and ackrow bar appeared to be standing upto to the test of time. Steve gave an overview of the dig and it’s finds to the visitors, who were suitably impressed. All then returned to the surface. Steve left to catch up on some sleep after coming straight off night shift. Nathan, with his other club’s hat on, organised the visitors SRT trip down 'The Great Cavern'.
This left yours truly and Geordie Dave to do some digging in Flasid. Digging through the glutinous mud, we managed to get down to the cobbles in one corner of Flasid, but little in the way of Archaeology was discovered. After about an hours digging we finished, only because we were limited by the absence of manpower. To make it work effectively, digging in Flasid and beyond, requires a minimum of 3 to 4 people there to dig and remove waste.

On exiting Pasture cave at 1:15, we returned to the cars, changed and then went onto The Bell public house in Cromford.
Malcolm Scothon

WhatsApp Image 2021-06-28 at 15.50.38.jpeg

Left to right: Malc Scothon, Steve Sheldon, Dave (Geordie) Walker and Dave Gough: Photo M. Scothon

26th June 21 1.JPG

Geordie Dave emerging into Flasid Chamber.

Photo: M. Scothon

28th June     Crab Island, Doolin

Max Depth: 16.5m
Duration: 50min
Configuration:  FRXS rebreather, 1 x 7l Air and UV18 Scooter

The plan was to test a prototype rebreather and investigate possible cave entrances on the North side of Crab Island (reported by Pat Cronin).
Diving under the channel between the mainland and island proved nerve wrecking with the heavy ferry traffic, even at low tide the ferries pass between the island and mainland.

Once at the far side of crab island no entrances where located, the dive was cut short due to the rebreather not working as it should (Positioning needs adjusting). A swift return to shore was made. The area needs more investigation, but with a different Plan.
Jim Warny

28th June 21.JPG

The dive start point with Crab island in the background.   Photo: JIm Warny

28th June     Considine’s Cave, (South End)

Cloud 50%, Cirrus: Warm, (20°C ish): Wind NE, F2: Visibility >35Nm: Ground dry: Tiny stream: a beautiful evening. The Plan: Dig. CC winching: PMcG digging: PC unloading and barrowing. JW unavailable as diving a site near Crab Island, reported to him by PC: (springs, HW 14:26). PMcG descended to dig the entrance area of the South Rift; further exposing the significant undercutting, creating a working face one metre high. Of the thirty loads raised six were nets; of the twenty four kibbles, ten were of awful clays and silts. JN has recently had large drainage channels dug across his land. These collect the springs issuing along the shale boundary, all discharge into the ditch and swallow hole in the upper area of said ditch, which feed toward the dig. NB. Winch drive belts need checking, generator oil may need changing, need install barrow way boards to convey spoil to the far end of the new tipping area. Generator ½ full: Fuel PC: No fuel on site: a fine session.
Hours 7 (2860), Southend (1810), Kibbles 24 (5632), Nets 6 (895), Total lifts 6527

28th June 21.JPG

The area of floor photographed before todays dig showing the significant undercutting on the west wall. Photo: Cathal Mullane

30th June     Chrissies Cave, Loughrea


Met in Gort 09:45: Chrissie’s Cave by 10:20. This is an unrecorded cave; previously explored, in part, by locals in the 1970s. Producing a survey of their find; named by PC after the owner of the field. Permission previously obtained to park inside the field gate, off the narrow lane. The Plan: Press beyond their previous limit; survey and photograph. JW flew his drone over the area to record the landscape and relevant features; shortly after Wing Commander NG flew over in his microlight, also recording the area.

At Chrissies Cave cleared away nettles and briars, installed aluminium ladder down the three metre entrance pot. At the bottom found a classic sink bedding structure, alas presently partly choked with clay, slumped in from the lower part of the entrance: bugger, bugger.

Examined the choke; will return with spade: plenty of room to dump the clay in the adjacent undercut. Examined the larger, lowest, impressive sink; it’s….impressive. The stream feeding it dry today, but appears to emerge/resurge among scrubland in the adjacent field. This choked sink was filled in the 1970s, and if practicable will arrange for the guy renting the field to use one of his diggers and clear it out. Perhaps install a pipe to encourage its continued existence. Examined the sink adjacent the road (Roadside Sink), CC removed an old tin can exposing backfilling, also of the 1970s. There is exposed limestone bedding present; this site might, just might be the area on the 1970s survey alluding to daylight entering the cave. Spoke to MK updating him on the initial disappointment explaining the intention to dig the underground choke; also asking him to arranging a meet with the land renter, who is a digger contractor to discuss the area and possible opening of the larger sink: proposed a meet Saturday 10:30/11:00.


Pat 1.JPG

Aerial  view of the Loughrea site.   Photo: Nick Geh


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