Hill forts are believed to have been built from the time of the late Bronze Age some 2,500 years ago. Many townlands in Corduff-Raferagh have been named after these Forts. The Gaelic words for a Fort are “lios” or “Rath”, and so we have the origin of place names like Lisdrumturk (Fort of the Ridge of the Hogs). This is perhaps the largest and best-defined fort in Farney. There is a tradition that there is a treasure of gold hidden there, left by the Norsemen. A legend is told about a cat, which guards the treasure, and the slaughter of a black sheep, which would ensure the discovery of the gold.
Other townlands are named Lisaquillan (the Fort of the Holly), Liserril (Irial’s Fort) and Lisnafedally (Fort of the Whistling). Ardragh means (The High Fort) and Raferagh is translated as the (Grassy Fort). From these names we can see that these forts were considered as important landmarks down through the ages, and indeed many of them probably remain untouched through the centuries. Indeed the widely-held belief in fairies contribute greatly to their preservation and stories of ill-luck and dire revenge from the Wee People have prompted simple country folk to look further afield for stones which were in constant demand for building ditches and houses.
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Corduff in the Fight for Freedom, 1915-1921
There is no doubt that the national flame burned brightly in the Corduff area from the early years of this century. Patrick Pearse delivered an address at Commemoration for the Manchester Martyrs in the Catholic Hall, Carrickmacross, in November 1915, and by St. Patrick’s Day, 1916, a company of Corduff Volunteers were parading in Carrickmacross. The other companies in the district were at Carrickmacross, Mile River and Magheracloone.
At a meeting on Easter Sunday, 1916, orders were issued to the four Volunteer Companies to stand ready with arms and rations for three days. However due to some confusion at the time in Dublin, no further action was taken. The struggle during Easter week and the arrest and execution of the leaders further inflamed the spirit of Nationalism in the area.
In February, 1920 detachments from Corduff and Carrickmacross, Mile river, Magheracloone Lower and Killanny took part in the attack and capture of Ballytrain R.I.C Barracks.
Music in Corduff and Raferagh
When looking for the source of the modern revival of Irish Traditional Music in the area, we need look no further than the figure of Mickey Connor of Carrigartha. Mickey Connor was born about 1880 and died in 1935. He was a very talented musician, a fine fiddler, and a great step dancer. His home was always open to any person who wanted to play the fiddle, or learn to play it. So it is quite easy to understand why we had on the first and second decade of this century such noted musicians as Peter Walshe, Jimmy Walshe, Lisnafedely; Charlie and Packey McKeown, Farthagorman; Tommy Callan, Corbane; Phil Marron, Cornasassanagh, and Pat Sheridan. It is not surprising that in this area we now have an abundance of musical talent.