Poll an Ionain

Poll an Eidhneáin or Doolin Cave
'Poll an Ionain' is the anglicised version of the Irish name 'Poll an Eidhneáin', which is said to translate into the 'Ivy Cliff Cave'. Poll translates as hole, cave, etc. and eidhneán translates to ivy. Not sure how the cliff ended up in the translation. It may have been loosely added because of the location of the entrance.

The cave was discovered by J.M. Dickenson and Brian Varley in 1952 during Whit holiday. Dickenson and Varley were members of the Craven Pothole Club (CPC), an English caving club based in the Yorkshire Dales.

The cave is now open to the public and is marketed as the 'Doolin Cave'. This name can be confusing to cavers and potholers who have used this term for the cave system that connects the Fisherstreet Pot with the sinks up behind Aran View House and at St. Catherine’s. This system consists of 6 miles (10km) of passage, which makes it the second longest cave system not only in County Clare but indeed in the whole of Ireland and is still fully accessible to cavers. Only Pol an Ionain is now developed as a showcave.

Many thanks for information supplied to me by Graham Mullan who compiled and edited the latest edition of the book ' Caves of County Clare and South Galway' for the University of Bristol Spelæological Society

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Doolin, County Clare