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“Fun and educational, perfect combination” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Caherconnell Stone Fort

Caherconnell Stone Fort
Carron, Caherconnell, Ireland
+353 65 708 9999
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Owner description: Caherconnell Stone Fort, situated 1km south of Poulnabrone dolmen in the heart of the Burren Ireland , offers you the opportunity to visit an exceptionally well - preserved example of the stone forts or stone ringforts which are to be found in the Burren Ireland.The fort is in its original state. Its position, overlooking virtually all-surrounding areas suggests a defensive settlement. Archaeological excavations take place each summer in association with 'CAFS' - Caherconnell Archaeological Field School- an International Field School accredited by NUI, Galway. As well as a trip to the Fort, visitors can also take in the Burren's Premier Sheepdog Demonstrations at Caherconnell,enjoying the combined skills of the farmer and the border collie as they work in the natural habitat of the Burren.
West Sedona, Arizona
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Fun and educational, perfect combination”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2014

Can not say enough good about the sheep dog demonstration we enjoyed here. John, the owner of a farm that has been in his family for 4 generations, did the demonstration. He has a great sense of humor which obviously helps anyone working with animals. His dogs are highly trained and it was interesting to see the young dog that was just beginning his career. There were several different types of sheep in the flock and it was interesting to hear John explain the difference and uses of the various breeds. John demonstrated hand sheering which was informative also. He was most willing to talk to us after the demonstration and was friendly and outgoing. He hopes to have demonstrations next year of carding and spinning wool. Don't miss this special show.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caherconnell_1, Public Relations Manager at Caherconnell Stone Fort, responded to this review, July 10, 2014
Dear Micki B,

Thank you for your review and visiting us at Caherconnell. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit and the Sheepdog Demonstrations. Hopefully you will make a return visit in the near future to see how the carding and spinning is going, it should be fun!
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Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Terrible & Fake Demonstration & Not Original Stone Fort”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2014

Visited here recently with a group and was most disappointed. The Sheep Dog Demonstration was a total fake. This is Not a Working Sheep Farm and those dogs are not trained, they were just chasing the sheep and owner just using fake whisles. Little did he know that he had someone in the group that is very experienced with sheep and dogs and he was not able to fool me or the group.

It is clearly that the owner is after doing a copy cat show from other excellent sheep dog shows in other parts of Ireland and think it will work out.

This was a Rip of also price wise and also having the dogs chase the calves was not impressive either.

The sheep were 6 Suffolk pet sheep that were trained to come in. There was nothing real about this so called show.

My Group and myself were most disappointed and will not be returning.

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caherconnell_1, Owner at Caherconnell Stone Fort, responded to this review, May 22, 2014
Dear Group T,

We are very sorry to hear that you were unhappy with your visit to the Fort and Sheepdog Demonstrations here at Caherconnell.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion but we would like to address the following comments made by you in your review.

Not Original Stone Fort:
The Fort at Caherconnell has been excavated by our International Archaeological Field School , which is accredited by NUI , Galway and has been carbon dated as being built around 1000 AD and inhabited up to the 17th Century

Not a working Farm:
We are one of the oldest farming families in the Burren. Our family have been on this farm for more than 300 years and we run dairy cows, beef cattle and sheep.

Dogs not trained:
I have trained dogs for over 40 years and our dogs work on one of the most difficult terrains in the country, the high mountains of the Burren, Co. Clare. Because of the open grikes, if your dog is not properly trained you will be very likely to break the animals legs by rushing them over those grikes.

Expert:
We have had people from all over the world visit our Sheepdog Demonstrations including farmers from Australia, Scotland and the US with no issues.

Fake Whistles:
When the sheep were gathered both voice and whistle commands were demonstrated and the dog obeyed. Commands were walk up, sit down, left and right, wide and tight and back off. How can you fake whistles for these commands?


Dogs chasing calves:
2 of our dogs go out to work the calves, one is just over a year old and just beginning to train and their independent whistles for direction are demonstrated quite clearly. We do this to show the difference between a sheep and a cattle dog at work.


Pet Sheep:
The sheep here are first cross Suffolk from the Connemara horned breed and they are crossed back again with their lambs being bred from the Connemara horned ram. Anyone familiar with sheep will know that these are anything but a quiet breed, and had you taken notice on the day, you would have seen the Burren stone wall on your right, which is nearly 4 feet high . This has also had to be wired to prevent them from crossing. They are not a breed that would be referred to as tame, ask any Connemara man!

Trained to come in:
Did you miss the point that the sheep were driven out and taken back through or around 5 different gates and penned by the dog in a stone circle when they came in? If you can train sheep to do that on their own, you are a better man than me!

It is always disappointing for us when people are unhappy with a visit to Caherconnell, as we make every effort to ensure that everyone that visits has the best possible experience here.
We are sorry that you feel your experience was not all that you had hoped it would be.
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Chandler, Arizona
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
45 attraction reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“More Than a Ring Fort”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

This area teems with rign forts and this one exemplifies the typical ring fort although it was recently constructed. Our objective was the sheep dog training. The young gentlemen demonstrated the training process and skills acquired by both sheep dogs and cattle dogs. We enjoyed the soup of the day in the food area; the offerings were unique and very tasty.

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caherconnell_1, Front Office Manager at Caherconnell Stone Fort, responded to this review, May 19, 2014
Dear Jerry V,

Thank you for your review, we're glad you enjoyed your visit to Caherconnell and yes the food in the Cafe is delicious and worth taking the time to try. It is great testament to the first inhabitants of the fort and their skills that some people think it has been recently constructed! It has been there for over a thousand years and is steeped in archaeology and history. Archaeological excavations are still ongoing in the fort each summer as part of an International Field School.
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Dublin, Ohio
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Excellent blend of history with modern and the dogs were hit!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014 via mobile

We read the reviews on the fort and sheepdog demonstrations and decided to head out for the site. We were not disappointed as we walked right into the first demonstration with Greg and his three dogs, Sally, Rosie and Lee. Lee was seriously testing Greg's patience as she was of a mind to herd the sheep her way and not his way! We all had a laugh as she obeyed his commands about 10% of the time and he tirelessly called her back with voice commands and tried not to laugh at her antics.
The dogs herded sheep and cattle and Greg responded to all our questions with an easy smile and endless funny answers. He showed us how to shear a very fat ewe who wasn't all that keen to be sheared all the while Lee kept trying to "help".
The ladies at the visitors center were so sweet and helpful with our questions about the site and other Burren related things to see and do.
Our three sons; ages 20, 12 and 7 truly enjoyed the fort with it's ancient stones and stories as well as seeing the sheep herding live and up close.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caherconnell_1, Front Office Manager at Caherconnell Stone Fort, responded to this review, May 19, 2014
Dear Elizabeth M,

It is fair to say that Lee does have her moments, but mostly she is on her best behaviour! We're glad you enjoyed the demonstrations and everybody enjoyed the trip to the Fort, both are very different but they are wonderful examples of both the history/archaeology and farming in the Burren area. Thank you for your lovely review!
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Atlantic City
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Going to the dogs at Caherconnell Stone Fort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2014

The idea of a sheep dog demonstration in an area we would be traversing (the Burren) was tempting. We are glad we succumbed. The dogs were impressive, and the handler didn't take a back seat either. He was so personal, and of course, well informed and competent at his herding job. Our 11 year old got to pet the dogs and hold one of the brand new lambs. We even were able to give her a little ancient history with the walking tour of the digs. Can't say for sure, but it might have piqued an interest for later in our trip at Dublinia where she signed up for the "dig session:" Because we were there before Easter, the schedule wasn't firmed up but the staff was outstanding in e-mailing changes and opportunities.

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caherconnell_1, Front Office Manager at Caherconnell Stone Fort, responded to this review, May 19, 2014
Dear Noblegl,

We're glad to hear you enjoyed your time in Ireland and your trip to the Burren. Thank you for your review.

We hope the 'dig session' at Dublinia went well and the interest in history and archaeology stays with your daughter. The Fort is steeped in history and you do get a sense of that when you are there, it would be nice to think that Caherconnell piqued such an interest!
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