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IRISH ARCHÆOLOGICAL SOCIETY.
Patron: HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE ALBERT.
Elected December 19th, 1845.
HE following Chorographical Description of the Ter
ritory of West or H-Iar Connaught, now first printed, T
was written in A.D. 1684, by Roderic O'Flaherty, author of the Ogygia, or Chronology of Irish events. It is one of many similar treatises, compiled about
that period by several learned individuals, for the purpose, as is said, of illustrating the celebrated Down Survey of Ireland, by Sir William Petty. After a general view of the boundaries, extent, and baronies of H-Iar Connaught, the author, p. 7, defines its borders, beginning with Lough Measg (Mask), in the north of the barony of Ross, and proceeding, by the eastern limits, towards the south, including Lough Orbsen (Corrib), he turns to the west, by the Bay of Galway, and thence continues northward, along the shores of the Atlantic, to the Killary harbour, which flows inland, in the direction of Lough Mask, where he began. A general description is then given of the state and appearance of the interior, its mountains, mines, woods, soil, rivers, and lakes ; the bays and harbours round the coast; the productions of the country, as fish, fowl, IRISH ARCH. SOC. 15.
beasts, &c.; the ruins of ancient churches, chapels, and other religious places; and, finally, the natural disposition of the natives. After which, p. 17, the two great lakes, Mask and Corrib, with some of the islands in the latter, are particularly described ; p. 27, the river, town, and bay of Galway; p. 44, the half barony of Ross; p. 52, the barony of Moycullen ; p. 65, the three islands of Aran ; and p. 92, to the end, the barony of Ballynahinch (Conamara), which completes the district. The boundaries, extent, and remarkable places so described, may be traced by their ancient names on the annexed map IarConnaught, and of Ui Briuin Seola, the present barony of Clare, in the County of Galway, as they existed in and previous to the sixteenth century
In this work Mr. O'Flaherty has given additional proofs of his discrimination, judgment, and learning. That he has far exceeded his contemporary contributors, will appear by a comparison of his treatise with the others produced at the same time, and for the same purpose. One only of these has been hitherto published, being a Description of the County of Westmeath, by Sir Henry Piers, printed by Vallancey in the first Number of his Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis, and also in a separate form; but the puérility, prejudice, and irrelevant disquisitions which pervade that “ Itinerary,” render its inferiority to this of our author at once manifest. Some of the other treatises alluded to still remain in MS. in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin. Among them is a short description of the County of Leitrim, compiled by Thady Rody, which appears deserving of preservation ; and is, indeed, the only one of the entire, worthy of being classed with the following description of West-Connaught.
As nearly two hundred years had elapsed since our Author collected the information contained in this curious treatise, it was found necessary, as soon as its publication had been resolved upon by the Irish Archæological Society, to illustrate the text with