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Re-enactment of the McMahon Inauguration.

On Thursday, July 25th 2013 an historic event took place at Lough Leck when the local heritage committee organised the re-enactment of the McMahon inauguration. Normally the inauguration of McMahon as King of Oriel would have been held on Leck Hill but due to weather conditions with heavy rain it was decided to hold the event at the lake shore. The remains of part of the McMahon Crannog and stronghold on the lake is still visible

By 1300 all of Co. Monaghan was under MacMahon control as the Kingdom of Oriel included County Monaghan, and parts of Armagh, Tyrone and Fermanagh. Eochaidh was the first King in 1250 and was assisted by the Connollys and McCabes. The ruled for four centuries but the McKennas of the Barony of Truagh reduced the size of their control and eventually they were defeated and Ardle was the last King. The McMahons divided into three groups - Dartry, Farney and Lucht Tighe. Soldier Bishop, Heber McMahon led and Ulster army in 1650 and over the centuries since then McMahons have distinguished themselves as soldiers, statesmen and clergy all over the world, including a President of France in 1873, who was Marshall MacMahon.

The re-enactment began with a procession to the Lake led by piper Andrew Richie, McMahon Standard Bearer (Niall Murphy)the Priest (Eddie Keelan), Chieftain elect (Thomas McCabe), The abbot of Drumsnat (Patrick McCarvill), followed by kinsmen and women who would pay homage to the new chieftain. A mock combat ensued between three warriors representing the Three Collas, from whom some historians would claim the McMahons originated. The Abbot instructed the new Chieftain of his duties and made him swear an oath on the pain of death, to carry out his duties as King of Oriel and to extend his Kingdom as far as possible. The Priest then annointed the new chieftain and then one of the warriors cut his arm and the blood was mixed with the earth symbolising mans bond with the earth. Nature played a part as the flash of lightening and the rattle of thunder followed by the falling rain came at an appropriate time. A Golden Rod was then presented to the Chieftain and the music of the Harps followed by the fiddle, both played by Claire McCabe, floated across the waters of the lake. The new King then addressed the gathering, which was representative of a wide area, after which he released four doves to the four quarters of the earth. He then bowed to three directions representing the Holy Trinity and then moved off on the fourth direction followed by the procession but led by the women and children who scattered wheat and flour on the path before him. All then retired to Corcaghan Community Centre for refreshments and an exhibition presented by Monaghan County Museum. Well done to all involved and to Pat McArdle, who directed, and Narrator Eamonn Mulligan. The following Night the McKennas crowned their new chieftain and rumours are abroad that the McMahons are planning to retake control of McKennas’ territory.

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