The court of Crinnawn is an old ruin on the river Lung, which divides the counties of Roscommon and Mayo, about a couple of miles from the town of Ballaghadereen. I believe, despite the story, that it was built by one of the Dillon family, and not so long ago either. There is an Irish prophecy extant in these parts about the various great houses in Roscommon.
Clonalis, the seat of the O'Connor Donn or Don, as they perversely insist on spelling it; Dungar, the seat of the De Freynes; Loughlinn, of the Dillons, etc.; and amongst other verses, there is one which prophecies that no roof shall rise on Crinnawn, which the people say was fulfilled, the place having never been inhabited or even roofed. In the face of this, how the story of Crinnawn, son of Belore, sprang into being is to me quite incomprehensible, and I confess I have been unable to discover any trace of this particular story on the Roscommon side of the river, nor do I know from what source the shanachie, Mr. Lynch Blake, from whom I got it, became possessed of it. Balor of the evil eye, who figures in the tale of The Children of Tuireann was not Irish at all, but a Fomorian. The pattern, accompanied with such funest results for Mary Kerrigan, is a festival held in honour of the patron saint.
These patterns were common in many places half a century ago, and were great scenes of revelry and amusement, and often, too, of hard fighting. But these have been of late years stamped out, like everything else distinctively Irish and lively.
[This story is a curious mixture of common peasant belief about haunted raths and houses, with mythical matter probably derived from books. Balor appears in the well-known tale of MacKineely, taken down by O'Donovan, in 1855, from Shane O'Dugan of Tory Island (Annals. I. 18, and cf. Rhys, Hibbert Lect., p. 314), but I doubt whether in either case the appearance of the name testifies to a genuine folk-belief in this mythological personage, one of the principal representatives of the powers of darkness in the Irish god-saga. Alfred Nutt.]