The Story of the Long Woman’s Grave

The Long Woman’s Grave or “The Cairn of Cauthleen” is the grave of a Spanish noble woman who married Lorcan O’Hanlon, the youngest son of the Chieftain of Omeath.
On his death the Chieftain ordered that his lands be divided between his two sons, Conn Óg and Lorcan.

However Conn Óg tricked his brother Lorcan by bringing him up to the Lug or hollow in the mountains, telling him that he would give him the land” as far as he could see”.

Lorcan was dismayed as he looked on at the mist and the bleakness of the hollow which was now his legacy.


Lorcan owned a ship and begun trading in the East, making his fortune and becoming prosperous.

On one of his voyages to Spain he bravely saved the lives of a Spanish nobleman and his daughter.

Lorcan was enchanted by Cauthleen and the pair made a handsome couple; she was 7ft tall, only three inches smaller than Lorcan.

Cauthleen was already engaged to be married but was wooed by Lorcan’s professions of love and the promises of the good life that they would have back in Omeath. The pair eloped when the couple arrived in Carlingford Lough the locals were enchanted by this tall beauty adorned with jewels.


The couple set along the mountain path until they came to the Lug or Hollow in the rocks.

Lorcan bade his bride to stand in the centre and look around as far as she could see as he “Was queen of all she could survey”.


Cauthleen looked around, so great was her disappointment and the realization of what she had left behind in Spain, she fell to the ground and died.


Lorcan was horrified that his dishonesty had caused his bride to die and flung himself into the murky waters of the marsh at the crossroads.

His body was never recovered.

The locals found the long woman’s’ body, and dug a grave for Cauthleen in the “Lug Bhan Fada” (Long woman’s hollow) where she lay.

Each person laid a stone on the grave to raise her burial cairn and here she sleeps today in the hollow of her disappointment and unfilled promises.

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