Knockanevin, Co. Cork
Just below the hill from the crumbling stone oratory are four standing stones, the remains of a stone circle. The oratory’s entrance, unique in Ireland, is composed of three similar pillars. Can these have been removed long ago from the stone circle?
Tullow, Co. Wicklow
The nineteenth century blarney depicted by travel writers in Ireland has not gone out of style. In June of 1979 our informants delighted in the competitive spirit, each trying to outdo the other in spinning the more outrageous tale of the Ring of the Rath.
Fuerty Fairy Fort, Co. Roscommon
According to Liam Connolly, the fairy fort in sight of his kitchen window was used as a burial ground during the terrible years of the Great Famine. This fact seems only to add to the mysterious atmosphere, as well as the sanctity of the place.
Woodville, Co. Sligo
The use of this stone in folk remedies did not end at the beginning of the twentieth century. A woman living very close to the stone was interviewed by the Gardaí about what may have been this ritual practice in the mid-1990s.
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.
Downpatrick, Co. Down
The Mound of Down, wildly overgrown with bushes and trees, is but a short walk down the hill from Down Cathedral. The Mound dates from the Iron Age; the Cathedral was first constructed in the 12th century.
Burren Forest Park, Co. Cavan
Known as “The Druid’s Altar,” for the legendary bloody sacrifices it was reputed to have witnessed, and as the “The Calf House,” for its use as an animal shelter in the historic era, this portal tomb is located within Co. Cavan’s Burren Forest Park.
Termon, Co. Donegal
The Rock of Doon is a craggy eminence with a storied past and a glorious panoramic view. On its flat summit there was reputed to be an inauguration ceremony in which the tribal leader was joined symbolically with the powers of nature during a brutal pagan rite.
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.