Dennis King wrote:
>> I think "léir" is semi-meaningless filler, used here to pad the syllable
> count, creating a compound with "magh". DIL mentions such use at L 89:41.
> For "fan magh", compare Mod. Irish "amuigh faoin tuath = out in the
> country. I think you could translate "fan léir-magh" as "on the open
Ah, the filler idea is very helpful. Your parallel with the Modern Irish
phrase sounds very good, I'm just a little hesitant, because Kincora does
not seem to have been on a plain at all, but on a sizeable hill overlooking
the narrows of the Shannon where it debouches from Lough Derg, overlooked at
no great distance, moreover, by mountainous country both front and back (not
that our Irish mountains are any great shakes for the most part). Given
that poetic license might take little heed of such pedantries, I am quite
willing to fall in with your suggestion, but could I first just raise the
point that the area within a ringfort was called the 'lioss', and it is
perhaps this open area that is being referred to?