Hidden Treasure – The Abbey Portumna
“Outside the old ruined castle of Clan Rickard which lies south west of the village of Portumna is built a tunnel. People say that when Ireland was convulsed by a struggle with the Danes, the monks – who then had a monastery about 300 hundred yards away – used to hide their gold in this tunnel. The tunnel leads to a field beside the Shannon owned by a man called Elliot.
When the Danes were found to be coming, the monks used to hide the gold in it and leave the tunnel by Elliot’s field beside the Shannon and take to the boats moored nearby to escape. The Danes were very fond of gold and on this account the monks built the tunnel to store their gold.
A land agent for Viscount Harewood named Moran and a couple of workmen on the Harewood estate opened the mouth of the tunnel; they went in some little distance with a lighted candle. After a while the candle quenched which proved there was no air therein. All the party saw a large dog which is supposed to guard the treasure, night and day, and it is believed will not allow anyone to touch it, so they fled in terror.
The Lord Abbots name was O’Madden and to him belonged the priceless treasure hidden in the tunnel. He was replaced by a man named McEgan, one of the McEgan’s from Ballymcegan in Munster. A big black wolf is said to have guarded the tunnel. The value of the treasure is unknown.
Hearing the story a man by the name of O’Toole decided to unearth it – being half way in the tunnel he was eaten by the big black wolf.
Some years after, another man by the name of Ryan made up his mind to explore the tunnel. This time with success, he emerged from the tunnel with a handful of precious jewels which weighed 3lbs.
The treasure is believed to be buried in the old castle now hidden from sight under the earth, in Silk’s Wood (called after the man who planted it) believed to be in a tunnel in chests consisting of precious stones and silver chalices, hidden in a smaller tunnel running into a larger one going to Stoneyisland.
While others believe The Danes to have taken the sacred vessels and thrown into the River Shannon.
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