Arch Cave features the largest cave entrance in Fermanagh. Despite this it does not dominate the landscape and is relatively hidden away, only being seen prominently upon approach. It’s traditional name ‘Ooghboraghan’, from the Irish Uaimh boragha, means ‘Roaring cave’ (Jones, Burns et al., 1997). The Irish name can be seen to refer to the impressive entrance, while to avers Arch describes the cave system which connects Ooghboraghan as the resurgence point for Noon’s Hole. This system is over 3km long and 90m deep.
Arch Cave itself consist of approximately one kilometre of wet passages. The cave begins to narrow down after the massive entrance and a swim through the tight Duncan’s Duck leads to two further flooded passageways that must be swum. The water always seems to be particularly cold in here but it is worth the effort. It comes to what seems like a premature end at a sump of 60 meters in length.
This cave makes a good argument for cave diving with, apparently, some very fine passageways that lead eventually to the bottom of the 80m pitch at Noone’s Hole. The route of descending Noon’s and diving its sumps to emerge at the entrance of Arch cave has been described as the finest through trip in Ireland and the UK (Jones et al., 1997).
Jones at. al., 1997. Caves of Fermanagh and Cavan. Florenececourt, Fermanagh: Lough Nilly Press.