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Legends of the O'Cahans

Many of the legends of the O'Cahans are remembered in place names. The best example of this is the town of Limavady. The name Limavady itself comes from the story of how the faithful hound of an O'Cahan chief leaped a gorge on the River Roe to get help during an unexpected enemy attack. Another version of the tale tells how the chief made the giant leap on horseback to escape pursuers, they being unable to attempt the same feat. A horseshoe shaped print on the rock of the far bank is used to support this legend.

Legends around Dungiven

Another Legend tells of the source of the Owenreagh River, outside Dungiven there is a pool called Lig-na-paistie , were an enormous serpent is said to lie curled up. It used to ravage the adjoining lands until St Murrough prayed to be able to put three bands of rushes on him, and then that these should become bands of iron, thus trapping the serpent forever.

Legends tell of the Celtics people of Ireland love for the Bards or Harpest, who played a very important part in the life of the Sept. The songs the Harpers sang and the tales they told are an important part of Irish tradition. A small field in Dungiven called Harpers' Walk is the site of a school for Harpers. One of the most famous of the O'Cahan harpers, Toal O'Cahan is said to have composed the well-known ballad "Finvola, The Gem of the Roe" . This song tells the story of Finvola, the beautiful daughter of an O'Cahan chief.

Ancient Fueds

In 1830 there was a long dispute between the O'kanes and McCloskeys over a spot of land in the Benady Glen , it was decided by both sides that the dispute should be settled by tshe sword, with honour and credit to both parties. Two champions were chosen as being fitted to fight the duel. They where John O'Kane and Bernard McCloskey, the two duellists arrived at the appointed time and where provided with ancient swords of each respective family. However the police intervened and put the two duellist under arrest before the issue could be settled.


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