Formoyle West Cave
Alternate name :-
PC had been contacted by John Brown, (Doolin Show Cave owner), who imparted news that Farmer Patsy Corrucan spoke of a hole high above Formoyle, Co. Clare and would like to know more of the site. This turned out to be a previously unrecorded cave.
3rd August 3, 2017
JW, CC, TB, Patsy Corrucan, John Brown and PC.
The team assembled outside O’Donaghues, Fanore, before driving up to the green road that heads north from the Faunarooska crossroads. Passing out the Poulnagollum track the motorcade eventually parked off another green track, before its descent toward the ocean. The Team then walked northward for some fifteen minutes keeping the wall on their left, (west). Cloud base hovered around 900 feet. As the ground began to descend into the Caher valley, at the second terrace down, a small cairn marks the entrance, some is twenty metres eastward from the wall. JW, already in kit, entered the rift passage, which swiftly lowered to a wet crawl then turned sharply to the west. Here an elongated boulder obstructs progress along the lowering passage.
27th December 2017
TB and PC
A significant excavated channel was noted leading from the lowest point of the scrub covered terrace in to the actual entrance. It was decided to include this archaeological feature with the cave survey. The volume of water dripping into the passage was not as previously experienced though the pool was the same size. TB wriggled up to the boulder to establish a survey station, and see beyond; almost three metres distant the passage turns to the left, decreasing to some 0.2 metres high, and some 0.6 metres wide, (confirmed by PC). To reach this point will require digging out the entire passage floor to facilitate removing the boulder. Unfortunately this will require the digger laying in pool of water whilst digging at the face, (perhaps a focused summer dig?).
At this altitude, (290m), this valuable water resource is the likely reason for the narrow excavated gully. Possibly created to convey water flow out onto the surface for farm stock usage. A Holy Well is one mile or so to the WSW. Several seepage's were noted en-route to this site emerging from the low limestone terraces. This summit consists of stunted grasses and shrubs covering karst pavement; flat in overall appearance with shallow dolines here and there. The glaciated landscape may be the reason for what appears to be these truncated passage remains perched high upon the edge of the Caher valley. No bats present but several Moths in hibernation were undisturbed. The walls exhibit a quantity of speleothems, a minor amount of skeletal remains are located along the east wall, either goat or sheep.
Pat Cronin at the Entrance. Note channel size.
Tony Boycott in the entrance channel.
View taken looking from just inside the entrance. Jim Warny for scale.
Beginning of the crawl.
Looking towards the bend before the boulder obstruction.
Nice legs at the exit.