Men Who Eat Ringforts. Publication, 2020.

by Sinead Mercier and Michael Holly, featuring Eddie Lenihan

64 pages, 240 x 320mm, Extensive colour and b/w images, printed with neon Pantone ink


Ringforts are Ireland’s most common archaeological monument, liberally spread throughout the countryside. Seen as circular enclosures in the rural landscape and many existent for hundreds and thousands of years, they are often overgrown with trees and bushes, forming an unassuming yet encompassing presence, one grown from habitation, lived life and ritual. With increasing regularity, the Irish state has sanctioned the destruction of ringforts as part of motorway schemes and infrastructural development. How can we understand a nation hell-bent on the demolition of its own history for the expedient delivery of perceived notions of progress? And what forms of resistance should be formulated to counteract the barbarism of these tendencies?

Environmentalist Sinead Mercier explores the legal and moral complexities surrounding the nature of ringforts, while artist Michael Holly’s fieldwork with folklorist Eddie Lenihan reveals and analyses many sites of resonance in County Clare. In addition, extensive large format aerial imagery and historical maps licensed from Ordnance Survey Ireland detail changes over recent decades to these landscapes.

Designed by Daly & Lyon, Men Who Eat Ringforts appears with standard cyan, magenta and yellow process colours substituted by fluorescent Pantone inks, resulting in a luminous effect to images throughout.

Co-published with Askeaton Contemporary Arts and Gaining Ground, a public art programme based in County Clare. ACA Ring Forts final Lo-30.jpg ACA Ring Forts final Lo-16.jpg