Community explores Maguire heartland

THE Fermanagh community has been invited to take part in an exciting archaeological dig exploring the history of the Maguires.
Following on from the success of previous community digs, most recently at Enniskillen’s ‘backstreets’ last year, the Lough Erne Landscape Partnership (LELP) has once again teamed up with archaeologists from the Centre of Community Archaeology at Queen’s University for the Lisnaskea-based project.
Titled ‘People, Place, Power and Pageantry: Exploring Fermanagh in the time of the Maguires’, the dig began on September 7th and will continue until September 27th. Children from nearby schools have already been getting involved, and there are also slots for interested members of the community to come along and take part.
The Lisnaskea area is regarded as the heartland of the Maguire lordship during medieval times, with the clan’s famous inauguration site based at Cornashee outside the town.
This month’s dig will focus on an excavation of a large defensive ringfort at Lisdoo, which is believed to have been the main place of residence of the Maguire lords of the time, before they moved to what is now the site of Castle Balfour in the early 17th century.
Previous archaeological investigations were carried out at the Lisdoo site in the 1970s, which confirmed the importance of the place. The LELP said they hoped this latest dig would help add to our understanding of the monument and its part in the Maguire’s story.
“We are delighted to be carrying out this fabulous community excavation here in Lisnaskea, the Maguires are such an important part of the history of the Lough Erne region, especially the Lisnaskea area,” said LELP programme manager Elmarie Swanepoel.
“We are excited to see what the team and volunteers will uncover here on this site and would like to thank Mrs Jordan for allowing us to carry out the dig on her land.
“We look forward to welcoming members of the community to take part in the excavation and be part of unearthing the heritage of the site.”
Pupils from St Ronan’s PS in Lisnaskea have already been taking part in the dig, learning about their local history, with pupils from other schools expected to get ‘dug in’ between now and the end of the month.
There will be afternoon sessions available each day from 2-4pm, up until September 23rd.
If you would like to get involved, contact for further information visit

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