In October 2015, I had a very strange experience at Tlachtga, the Hill of Ward. As I walked the site, I became increasingly dizzy and developed a powerful headache. Half an hour after driving away from the site,… Read More
According to legend, there were five great roads which led to the Hill of Tara. One of them runs between the north and south campuses of my university at Maynooth, and I’ve been crossing it almost every day… Read More
Last week, I told you the legends of Macha; today we look at the monuments in the Irish landscape she is said to have inspired. EMAIN MACHA, also known by the name of Navan Fort, is real and… Read More
After all, we have plenty of them. Most of our holy wells are nowadays named after famous and beloved Christian saints, mostly Patrick and Bridget, but also some others, too. Personally, I think these were sacred springs long… Read More
The old festivals seem to me to fit perfectly into the cycle of seasons and the passing of the year. And also with the ebb and flow of my blood, or the beating of my heart, or my body clock, whatever you want to call that natural instinctual internal part of oneself. You may try and suppress it, but it’s always still there. If you feel the same, here are some places in Ireland that are associated with Samhain which you might like to visit: Tlachtga, the Mound of Hostages at Tara; Magh Slecht, and Oweynagat.
I love bogs. Not only do they provide us with sweet-smelling turf for burning over the winter, which keeps us so warm and cosy and drowsy, but they hide extraordinary secrets which they allow us to find, now… Read More
The Witches Throne is a huge kebstone carved with armrests at the base of cairn T at the highest point of Loughcrew. It measures 3 m (10 ft) across, and 1.8 m (6 ft) high, and is estimated to weigh in the region of 10 tons. From here, according to local legend, a giant witch known as the cailleach sat and surveyed the extent of her domain. If you are brave enough to sit in her seat, she may grant you a single wish!
St Féichín’s Way is a 3km loop walk around the ancient monastic settlement at Fore. It takes in a selection of the historic sites associated with the monastery, as well as areas of natural beauty. Fore comes from the Irish Fhobhair, meaning ‘the town of the water springs’. The monastery was founded there by St Féichín in 630AD, where it is said there were as many as three hundred monks and two thousand students in residence at any one time, so it was quite a busy and thriving community in its heyday.
Most of you will no doubt be aware by now that I have returned to full-time education. Well, I’m about to start my second year, but you can imagine how my ears pricked up during last year’s induction… Read More
It’s taken a long time, quite a few very late nights… by that I really mean early mornings 😂, a few a lot of glasses of wine, much foul language sweet blessings, blood, sweat and tears, but finally,… Read More
Teltown is a vast and complex ancient site of some significance dating to the Iron Age. Features include the remnants of mounds, ring forts, earthen ramparts, artificial lakes, and an ancient roadway, but much of these have been erased from the landscape through the actions of farming over the years.
Clochafarmore, or Cloch an Fhir Mhóir in Irish means ‘the stone of the big man’, and is located in the townland of Rathiddy, at Knockbridge, in County Louth. You might be thinking GIANT, and in a way, you’d be right… this particular man was a giant in reputation, if not in physicality. You probably know him as Cuchulainn, legendary hero of Ulster.