“A lost Hanoverian Fort on the Gaelic Frontier – Oughterard Barracks in context”

Aarchaeologist Michael Gibbons was born and raised in Clifden, Connemara where he still lives with his family, Michael is a graduate of University College Galway with a degree in History and Archaeology. He has a wide and broad range of managerial, field and publishing experience and has spent twenty-five years studying archaeology and carrying out fieldwork in Ireland and elsewhere.

Research into the survival of Gaelic elite culture in Connemara following the supposed downfall of Gaelic Ireland in the 17th century has revealed that the old Gaelic aristocracy retained much of their previous authority and even some of their military strength into the 1750s. During this period Gaelic rulers continued to control many of the areas from which they had supposedly been displaced, the Royal Navy proved largely powerless to prevent smuggling and the O’Flaherties were strong enough to defy the law and drive out the latest wave of imported tenants. The supposedly 19th century barracks at Oughterard was in fact an 18th century Hanoverian Barracks, built in the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellions in Scotland. In combination with the newly constructed military road from Galway the fort/barracks played a major role in what could be described as the last military campaign against the old Gaelic order. 

Michael Gibbons is a member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland and is one of Ireland’s leading field archaeologists. He has a broad range of managerial, field and publishing experience. He has lectured extensively at home and abroad. A former co-director of the Sites and Monuments Record of the office of Public Works, he has recently completed a preliminary survey of the intertidal zone archaeology of the Galway and south Mayo coastline which has identified hundreds of new sites ranging in date from the Mesolithic to the nineteenth century.