Glendun Viaduct

Glendun Viaduct is known as the Big Bridge by the Glens people. It spans the river Dun in the centre of the glen and is reputed to be one of the finest buildings of its kind in the British Isles. They were five years building it, from 1834 to 1839, though no work was done during the winter months. One of the master builders, Mr. Bowels, came from County Monaghan and others came from Donegal. They were lodged where McKay’s public house is and also in Dunourgan, built in 1828. The stones were quarried in Layde, taken by boat to Cushendun and then transported by cart to the Bridge. The arches were filled with grout, run in as slurry, and the range wall was drilled and filled with lead. The river was paved by McClarty of Layde, a master work of its own. Local labour was employed. John Kane from Cary did a turn of the sheep for Mr. Casement each morning and came to work at the Bridge after that. A man travelled from Skerry who carried a black box, yet he was never seen to open it. A labourer’s pay was ten pence a day; barrowmen, and they were very numerous, and cartmen were paid a shilling a day.

The only accident heard of was when a horse and cart went over the edge of the Bridge. The scaffolding was supported by ships’ masts, and when the building was finished the Keenans, who were building a new house in 1840, got one of the masts around a ton weight. Sharpe of Cornmaddy brought it with his horses up the old road, and used it for all makes of timber work for the house, and that woodwork is in perfect condition in 1978. A Glensman, Danny McKernan, tells that his father, Michael, went from school with lunch, oaten bread and sweet milk, to a foreman at the Bridge, McCambridge of Glendun. This man went every month in his horse and trap with two strong men to Ballycastle to lift the men’s wages. The architect was Mr. Lanyon and also a Mr. Young.

The men who cleaned the Bridge a few years ago tell that so well done was the work that it did not require any more work from them.

(The two preceeding articles were written specially for this number of “The Glynns” by the late Patrick McAuley who died on 4th February, 1979 Patsy was a true Glensman, a farmer, and in particular a Glendun man who took an immense interest in the local history and lore of his glen. He was a foundation member of our Society and a regular attender at our meetings where he contributed generously to discussion and where he is sadly missed. Ed.)

On the 17th January last, during a particularly severe spell of frost, a lorry laden with cement went out of control on its way into Cushendall and demolished the range walls of the bridge. Over 260 years ago, the bridge across the same river was damaged by a flood, and readers may be interested in the amount of money that was estimated to be necessary for its repair in those days. This information comes from an item in the Grand Jury Presentment Book for Co. Antrim (1711-1721) PRO. Ant.X1/IA.
“Whereas an arch of the bridge of Cassendal is come down by a most violent flood, Wee therefore present the sume of ten pounds to be raised of the four Lower Baronys and put into the hands of John Donelson of Drumnasole and William Hamilton of Casshendon gent for the rebuilding of the said arch.”


Cushendall (Bun Abhann Dalla)

Coastal village at the foot of Glenaan and Glenballyeamon, where the river Dall flows under an attractive stone bridge in the centre of the village. The most prominent attraction in the village centre is the Curfew Tower shown above where many a ruffian spent a night sobering up. The tower was built by Francis Turnley, landlord of the village, in 1817 to confine riotous prisoners. Dan McBride, an army pensioner was given the job of permanent garrison and was armed armed with one musket, a bayonnet, a brace of pistols and a thirteen foot pike. The windows on each side have opening which in the past where used to pour molten lead on unsuspecting attackers below. The tower is now owned by pop band KLF, who opened it to artists who reside in the building for periods. Cushendall, commonly known as ‘Capital of the Glens’ s a village is steeped in culture, with craft shows and regular folk events throughout the summer. The seafront is the main attraction in the summer with diving and yachting. Sporting activities include a challenging 9 hole golf course and hurling.

The village is nestled in the shadow of Lurigethan, a platued mountain that was home to an Iron Age fort



Fionn mac Cumhail

finnmaccool-5922708Fionn mac Cumhail (Finn Mac Cool) was the son of Cumhail who was slain by Goll mac Morna. Cumhail left behind a pregnant Muirne who bore a handsome fair haired child and fearing the wrath of the Clan Morna she named him Demne and sent him to be fostered. He was raised a fierce warrior skilled at weaponry and fighting as well as healing and magical arts. He could never reveal his true identity but due to his fair hair he became known as Fionn. Fionn is a semimythical character said to have been an Irish warrior was the greatest leader of the Fianna an ancient military elite founded 300BC responsible for the protection of the High King. Fionn implemented a code of honour into the Fianna that had previously a reputation for being somewhat unruly thinking themselves to a small degree as above the law.

Fionn also had a son called Oisín, who was a great poet. Oisín is said to have recorded many of his father’s great fetes in poems. Oisín’s final resting place is located just outside Cushendall.

Finn’s father, Cumhail, engages Urgriu (er-gru) in battle for the position of Chieftain of the Fianna. Cumhail is wounded and his attacker carries off his pouch of magical objects. Lacking his pouch, Cumhail is slain by a member of the Morna clan, who beheads him. Slain, Cumhail leaves behind a pregnant wife, Muirne, who gives birth to a beautiful fair-haired boy. Fearing for her son’s life at the hands of Clan Morna, she sends him to the forest to be raised by Bodhmal the Druidess and her sister, the warrior Liath Luachra. Reared by these strong, wise women and tutored by the Druid Finegas as well, Demne grew to become a fierce warrior skilled at weaponry and fighting as well as at the healing and magical arts. Unable to reveal his name lest clan Morna discover him, he becomes known as “Fionn”, meaning “fair or fair-haired”.

The druid Finegas catches the Salmon of Knowledge and gives it to him to cook. Finn burns himself while doing so and sucks his thumb, thus acquiring the gift of prophecy, which he uses to ensure his survival, bring peace to his homeland, and inspire the Fianna to greatness.

Fionn gains command of the Fianna by saving the life of the High King Cormac mac Airt, who much later promises his daughter Gráinne (grahn-ya) to him in gratitude for a lifetime of service. Gráinne, however, loves another man, with whom she flees. A large part of ballads and legends of Finn MacCool concern his sixteen-year pursuit of Gráinne and her lover. Eventually he makes peace with them; they set up house near Finn and have four sons and a daughter.

He has a series of adventures involving hunting, fighting, sorcery, love, and passion. Finn has many romances but it is with the goddess Sadb that he begets his famous son, Oisín (Ossian).

In one legend, he is the creator of the Giant’s Causeway, a peculiar series of volcanic rock formations on the coast of Ireland. One day, Finn grows angry when he hears that a Scottish giant is mocking his fighting ability. He throws a rock across the Irish Sea to Scotland; the rock includes a challenge to the giant.

The Scottish giant quickly throws a message in a rock back to Finn, stating he can’t take up the challenge because he can’t swim to reach Ireland.

Finn doesn’t let the Scottish giant off so easily. He tears down great pieces of volcanic rock that lay near the coast and stands the pieces upright, making them into pillars that form a causeway that sretches from Ireland to Scotland. The giant now has to accept the challenge. He comes to Finn’s house. Finn, masquerading as a 18-foot baby, bites the Scottish giant’s hand and then chases him back to Scotland, flinging huge lumps of earth after him. One of the large holes he creates fills with water and becomes Lough Neagh, the largest lake in Ireland. One large lump of earth misses the giant and falls into the Irish Sea; this lump is now known as the Isle of Man.

There are varying accounts of Finn’s death. One tale is that he is killed while stopping a fight between members of the Fianna. Another version is that he in fact does not die at all, but is sleeping in a cave, waiting to awaken and defend Ireland in her greatest hour of need.


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Ballycastle is a small rural seaside town placed on the most north-easterly tip of county Antrim, Northern Ireland surrounded with breath-taking beauty and steeped in cultural history. Ballycastle is best known for the ‘Ould Lammas Fair’, probably the largest of its kind in Ireland with its ‘dulse’ and ‘yellowman’. Ballycastle is the perfect central location from which to organise day trips. Go west along the Causeway coast to Kinbane, Carrickarede Ropebridge, Ballintoy, Dunseverick, Portbraddon, the Giant’s Causeway, the Bushmills Distillery. Go east through the Glens of Antrim to Cushendall, Cushendun, Glenariff, Glenann, Glencorp, Glenballyeamon, Glendun, Glenarm. Go north to Mull of Kintyre, Fairhead, Murlough Bay, Rathlin Island to enjoy some true wildlife, fishing and diving or just enjoy the warmth of the town and its people. Ballycastle is the ideal holiday destination for the family or explorer with a variety of activities and accommodation to suit the weekend break or summer holiday.


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This is what I know of my line & although I don’t know the parents of James I have learnt that there was a James Kennedy born 7th April 1809 at Knocknacully, Layd Parish, County Antrim, son of David Kennedy and Peggy McGennell. I don’t know if will ever be able to prove that this is the same James in my family .

My Great Great Grandfather, James KENNEDY, was born c 1809, in Layd, Antrim, Ireland, & in 1829 enlisted with the East India Company in Liverpool & went to India in 1830 with wife Susan, children, Mary Anne Pattison, b 1831, & George Jackson b 1834, who died 1835, just days before his mother. James married again to another Susan, the widow of William ADAM, they had children, James b & d 1838, James Higginson b. 1840 & David Blake/Black b 1842. James Snr became an Uncovenanted Civil Servant in the East India Company Army, and was a Police Sergent in the Army before he was discharged, at which time the family went to Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia, c 1852, sons James & David came to New Zealand 1863, to join a Waikato Regt. in the Land Wars. James Higginson remained in NZ & David returned to Australia, became an explorer & gold prospector, was taken from New Guinea in very poor health, died & was buried at sea 1897, a year after his father had died in Castlemaine. ( I have often wondered if the children’s second christian name may have been family names, )


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Taxis & Minicabs

Country Cabs 4a Fernmount Park Armoy Tel: +44 (0)77 8238 7987

Castle Cabs 10 Church Road Ballycastle BT54 6AR

Tel: +44 (0)28 2076 8884

Ronnies Cabs 43 Drumavoley Road Ballycastle BT54 6PQ

Tel: +44 (0)28 2076 3221

Fast Cabs 6 Whitepark Drive Ballycastle BT54 6WG

Tel: +44 (0)28 2076 1000

Connor’s Taxis 17 Whitehall Park Ballycastle BT54 6WP

Tel: +44 (0)28 2076 3611

Mark’s Taxis
19 Marconi Park Ballycastle BT54 6NS Mob: +44 (0)77 29 33 23 91

Mob: +44 (0)75 49 05 68 46

Any time Any place Any Where

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Arriving at Belfast International Airport

Avis Rent a Car Belfast International Airport Aldergrove, Crumlin Belfast County Antrim BT29 4AA

Tel: +44 (0)28 9442 2333

C.C Economy Car Hire 31, Crooked Stone Rd Aldergrove Crumlin County Antrim BT29 4EH

Tel: +44 (0)28 9442 2591

Europcar Arrivals Hall Belfast International Airport Belfast County Antrim BT29 4AA Tel: +44 (0)28 9442 3444

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Hertz Rent-a-Car
Terminal Building Belfast International Airport Belfast County Antrim BT29 4AA

Tel: +44 (0)28 9442 2533

McCausland Car Hire
171, Airport Rd Aldergrove Airport Crumlin County Antrim BT29 4DW

Tel: +44 (0)28 9442 2022

e Car Rental Ireland Collinstown Cross Industrial Estate Old Airport Road Co. Dublin

Tel: + 353 1 8869 934

Web Site


Arriving at Belfast Harbour Airport

Avis Rent a Car
Belfast City Airport Sydenham Bypass Belfast County Antrim BT3 9JH

Tel: +44 (0)28 9045 2017

Hertz Rent-a-Car
Belfast Harbour Airport Sydenham Bye Passage Belfast County Antrim BT3 9JH

Tel: +44 (0)28 9073 2451


Others Local Car Hire Companies

Avis Rent a Car 69-71 Great Victoria St Belfast County Antrim BT2 7AF

Tel: +44 (0)28 9024 0404

Ballymena Car Hire 205, Cullybackey Rd

Ballymena County Antrim BT43 5JH
Tel: +44 (0)28 2563 0077

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General Motor Works Ltd Larne Link Rd Ballymena County Antrim BT4 Tel: +44 (0)28 2565 2171

Fax: +44 (0)28 2565 2171

Rent-a-Merc Ltd 87 Dargan Rd Belfast County Antrim BT3 9JU

Tel: +44 (0)28 9077 9755

O’Malley Car Rental Ireland
28 Crane Yard Crane Lane Dublin 2 Ireland Tel: +353(0)1 677 8690



Various Other Car Hire Companies

Coach Hire

Logan’s Executive Travel
58, Galdanagh Rd Dunloy Ballymena County Antrim BT44 9DB

Tel: +44 (0)28 2765 7203

McGinns Coach Hire
29, North St Ballycastle County Antrim BT54 6BW

Tel: +44 (0)28 2076 3451

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maptru20-1508766 Clickable Maps

0601_ballycastlemilestone_sml-3117768Ballycastle Town, Ballycastle Forest
Ballycastle Golf Club
Bonamargy Friary 
Ballycastle Marina 
Ballycastle Beach 
(1)Glentaisie – Glen of Princess Taisie
(2)Glenshesk – Glen of the Sedges/Reeds
Knocklayde Mountain


Botanists, geologists, bird watchers take the ferry to Rathlin Island. If you’re a keen deep sea diver or angler and like a challenge visit some of the one hundred shipwrecks in the surrounding area. Looking for a more scenic route to Scotland then board the ferry to the Mull of Kintyre.

West – The Causeway Coast

The first port of call upon venturing west along Whitepark Road (B15) will be Kinbane Castle & Headland with spectacular views of Carrickamanon Rock, Rathlin Island, Fairhead, Islay and the Mull of Kintyre. Further along you can pull into Portaneevy Viewpoint for a picnic and see Carrickarede Rope Bridge and Sheep Island before stopping in Ballintoy village for a pint, continue on to enjoy a stroll along Whitepark Bay and visit the world’s smallest chapel in Portbradden. Continue along Whitepark Road and turn right onto the B146 where Dunseverick Harbour will be busy with holiday makers and Dunseverick Castle stands proudly on a crag, a little further is the world renowned Giant’s Causeway & Benbane Head leading to Dunseverick. Travel on to the quaint village of Bushmills  on the Giant’s Causeway to Bushmills Railway  to the village made most famous by the Bushmills Whisky Distillery where samples are free at the end of a tour. The coast road winds it’s way round to the spectacular ruins of Dunluce Castle and the White Rocks before ending at Portrush.

East – The Glens of Antrim

From Ballycastle Diamond go up Castle street and turn left at the top of the hill into Glentaisie Drive where you shall see an excellent side view of  Glentaisie. At the next junction turn right up the hill and then left down the hill at the next junction. This road takes you up Glentaisie, turn left at the end of the road stopping at the next junction to look around the old round tower at Armoy. The turn left and follow the road down Glenshesk back into Ballycastle. Upon entering the town limits turn right a the Sheskburn garage onto the Cushendall Road (A2) and turn left onto Carrickmore Road passing the beach. Turn left at Maguire’s Strand Caravan Park to discover Marconi’s Cottage were you can park and walk over Fairhead into Murlough Bay. Alternatively turn right at Maguire’s Strand Caravan Park follow Carrickmore Road and rejoin the Cushendall Road (A2) to enter the village of Ballyvoy, in the center of which there is junction beside the public house allowing for alternative routes to Cushendun/Cushendall. Turning left onto the coast road will take you to Fairhead car park and Loughs, Murlough Bay and then onto Torr Head, Tornamona Cashel, Dunloughan Farm Museum and Castle Carra before entering the village of Cushendun.
If however you choose the inland route it will take you past Watertop Farm and onto Ballypatrick Forest that adjoins Loughareema (Vanishing Lake) after which you can turn left onto the Cushendun Road (B92) taking you down into Glendun (Glen of the River Dun/Brown Glen) to the picturesque Cushendun village. Stop in Cushendun and enjoy the peacefulness before turning around and traveling up Glendun alongside the river to pass by Craigagh Churchyard, the Gloonan Stone and Saint Patrick’s Well to the forest edge with a gate to the Mass Rock then continue onward under the spectacular Glendun Viaduct. Drive right up Glendun, not forgetting to stop regularly to appreciate the spectacular views back down the glen. When you reach the top of the glen turn left at the crossroads and travel down Glenann (Glen of the Proverb/Blue Glen) alongside Glenaan River past Oisín’s Grave (3800BC) until you turn right onto the A2 in Glencorp (Glen of the dead) before entering the village of Cushendall. Upon entering Cushendall your will arrive at a crossroads that is over-shadowed by the Curfew Tower on the left, straight ahead will take you to Layd Church or turn right and follow the coast road through Glenballyeamon (Glen of Edwardstown) and under the Red Bay Arch and Castle ruins to enter the Queen of the Glens, Glenariff (Glen of the Plough/Arable Glen). Glenariff is the largest of the glens with a forest park, featuring picturesque waterfalls and several walks, and Waterfoot village at it’s base. After the Red Bay Arch look right into the cliff face and you will see the cave dwellings, one of which is called the Nanny’s cave and was inhabited by a woman called Anne Murray who supported herself by knitting, spinning and selling a drop of poteen. Another of the caves was used as a smith’s forge and a third was used as a school. Follow the A43 road up Glenariff stopping only to look back and understand why it is known as the ‘Queen of the Glens’ before continuing passing Altnagowna waterfall. Also known as Grey Mare’s Tail this is the tallest waterfall in Glenariff and is truly a magnificent sight. Next stop along the coast road is Carnlough village nestled in Glencloy (Glen of the Stone Ditches/Dykes) and finally you will enter Glenarm village in Glenarm (Glen of the Army).


Ballycastle Town Interactive Map

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Map of Causeway Coast and Glens of Antrim

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