Gold Mines

In the reign of Tigern-Masius, or Tigearnmas, the thirteenth monarch of Ireland, a gold mine was, according to our old annalists, discovered near the River Liffey; and the gold was worked by an artificer skilled in metals, named Uachadan, of the men of Cualan, a territory which, as already explained, comprised the county Wicklow, with some of the southern parts of Dublin. This Uachadan is supposed to have been one of the Tua-de-Danans, who were famous for their skill in the arts, and who, after they had been conquered by the Milesians, continued to be the chief artificers of the kingdom—as workers in metals, builders, mechanics, etc. In an ancient Irish poem on the Tua-de-Danans, contained in the “Book of Ballymote,” an account is given of the gold mine discovered near the Liffey, which is thus mentioned in the following passage:—

“It was Tigearnmas first established in Ireland

The art of dyeing cloth of purple and other colours;

And the ornamenting of drinking cups and goblets;

And breast pins for mantles, of gold and silver.

“And by his directions Uachadan of Cualan

Was the first man of his tribe, as I record,

Who ingeniously introduced the operation

Of refining gold in this kingdom of Erin.”