Poll Gonzo is located a few kilometres north of Carron village in the East Burren. A vertically developed cave of ninety meters depth, it was discovered and explored in 2009. Its vertical nature is somewhat atypical of the more celebrated of Burren caves, wwith most being horizontally developed active streamways. The geology of the immediate area is also unusual in that it sees Gonzo developed along a silica band fault line trending north-south.
The deep glacial deposits that obscure much of the area around Gonzo, as well as its entrance hidden in thick scrub, likely kept the cave hidden to all but a local hunter and his dog, Gonzo. Members of the Clare Caving Club were quick to open, dig and explore this cave to 90 meters depth and 406 meters in length. The cave itself features numerous vertical pitches, most notably the particularly ﬁne 18m deep second shaft.
There are also a number of small but highly decorated chambers, and a large river that turns into a waterfall over the third pitch. Of particular note is the large ‘central’ chamber which features a void-bridging angular slab of such large dimensions that it can clearly be discerned from the cave’s survey! Standing here one can see the boulder’s origin having collapsed from the cave’s wall.
Poll Gonzo is a beautiful and exciting little cave and I hope to expand on it and showcase some more photos in the near future.
Text based loosely on Colin Bunce’s articles for Irish Speleology:
Bunce, C., 2010. Poll Gonzo, Irish Speleology, 19, 16-21.
Bunce, C., 2013. Poll Gonzo North, Irish Speleology, 20, 50-51.