In north Leitrim near Kiltyclogher and Rossinver you will find a section of what is known as The Black Pig’s Dyke. It got this name as it’s thought the ditch may have been dug with the tusks of wild pigs and there is a legend that a huge wild boar dug it up. It is a large long running ditch dating from perhaps as early as 390 BC but no one knows for sure how old it is or even what it was used for. It’s thought it may have been to stop cattle raiding which was common in those times or may have been to form a defensive border between kingdoms. While there would have been wide gaps in it if it had been used for either of those purposes one thing for certain is that it eerily traces the current border between northern and southern Ireland. For whatever reason it appears this region has had a man made intersection of sorts for a long time.

Part of Garrett Carr’s project, New Maps of Ulster, follows the border route looking for unofficial crossing points. These form a Map of Connections and were usually a farmers gate in a field, a plank across a stream or a stepping stone bridge. These moving images show that people still managed to live there and would naturally find ways to cross this imaginary fault-line of the mind as I’m sure they would also have done in the past and will continue to do in the future. (Stephen Rennicks)

Location on map


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