Sometimes referred to as The O’Donoghues of Desmond
Garranes was the early capital of Eoghanacht Raithlinn and seat of the overlords of Desmond. Archaeological excavations there in the 1940s discovered evidence of an intense manufacturing centre of bronze and millefiori and extensive trade with the Byzantine Empire in the 500s, if not earlier.
By courtesy of Rod
Though the photo of the site shows little detail now, when excavated, three surrounding rings were discovered, making Garranes one of the most elaborate ring forts to have been found in all of Ireland. It is also the largest in circumference for a fort of this type – more than the length of a football pitch. There are over a dozen smaller ring fort remains within a mile of the central stronghold, with names such as Rath of the Ollamh, Rath of the Poets, Rath of the Trumpeter, Rath of the Harper, and Rath of the Women, which would indicate an extensive complex of habitation and manufacture during the period of its florescence.
At this time, it was long before there was any differentiation between the two families, O’Donoghue and O’Mahony, who came to share the leadership of the Eoghanacht Raithlind/Uí Eachach. The inhabitants of this stronghold, judging by the impressive size and extent of the main ring fort, would have had a significant prominence in the surrounding area. The manufacturing element would indicate they actively engaged in trade with the Byzantine Empire.
See Garranes –The Camelot of Ireland by Tighe and Elizabeth O'Donoghue/Ross in the January 2011 Journal where it is discussed more fully.