Inishmurray, Co. Sligo
Today a visitor on a day trip from Mullaghmore might be tempted to idealize life on this small island. But the story of Inishmurray is a tale of two communities, each now deserted, each in its own era confronting great challenges.
Finnis, Co. Down
Binder’s Cove souterrain may have been constructed as a place of refuge where its owners could escape when threatened, torches ablaze as they raced into the narrow tunnel. Today’s visitors need no flaming torches; they have the benefit of solar-cell lighting.
Tulsk, Co. Roscommon
Rathcroghan has both a geographic and a symbolic presence. It is an archaeological treasure trove, but it also is the venue of a queen-goddess with the power of conferring legitimacy on the tribal kings of ancient Ireland.
Malin More, Co. Donegal
After Cloghanmore was dug out of the bog in the nineteenth century, it was “a ruinous pile,” with its roofing-stones tossed aside by road and building contractors who used it as a stone quarry. Paddy the Miner, however, believed that the tomb held hidden treasure.
Killinaboy, Co. Clare
Paul Keane explains what happened to someone who attempted to remove stones from the tomb. “He went home, and he went into bed, and he never got up ’til he died. And he died several times.”
Achill Island, Co. Mayo
All ancient monuments carry within their stones a poignant reminder of the lives of long-departed people. However the stones of Keel East sit adjacent to an even starker memento of life gone by: an entire deserted village.
Dingle, Co. Kerry
You can still feel the community pack
This place: it’s like going into a turfstack,
A core of old dark walled up with stone
A yard thick…
“In Gallarus Oratory,” 1969
Bruff, Co. Limerick
There is no other spot in Ireland so rich in the evidence of prehistoric habitation and ceremony, and also in the mythic traditions of men and gods. The largest stone circle in Ireland lies close to a scenic lake reputed to harbor a magical realm beneath it.
Myths and Megaliths
The ancient Irish made their mark on the land with great stone and earthen structures. The legends that developed were thought to be among the earliest voices from the dawn of western civilization.