You couldn’t have picked a better place to follow your passion for mythology. We recommend you start with venturing into Ireland’s Ancient East
. Much of this region of the island is easily accessible from Dublin City, and it’s filled with mystical lands and ancient legends just waiting to be explored!
One of the oldest historical sites in Ireland is the Loughcrew Cairns
in Co. Meath. The tombs stand on a megalithic burial ground and are estimated to have been built more than 5000 years ago (that’s older than some Pyramids of Egypt!). The Loughcrew tombs lie next to the Slieve na Calliagh, or “Mountain of the Witch.” Legend tells us that Calliagh, a divine hag or deity, created this hill as she strode across the land and accidentally dropped some stones from her wicker basket. The fallen stones created the rocky hills that you see today.
Not too far east of the Cairns stands the Hill of Tara
, another popular sacred site in Co. Meath. In ancient Irish mythology, Tara was once the dwelling of the gods and entrance to the otherworld of eternal joy and plenty. It was said that in this place, no mortal ever grew old. During your visit, be sure to approach the Stone of Destiny that sits atop the hill. According to tradition, the Stone is said to roar when touched by the rightful king of Tara…
Linked by a trail to the Hill of Tara is another famous site of the Ancient East: the Hill of Uisneach
in Co. Westmeath. It was told that Uisneach was a gate to the mythical fifth province, which held the four other provinces together. According to legend, the goddess after who Ireland got its name, Ériu, lies buried underneath the hill. Every May, things heat up on the hill with the celebration of the Uisneach FireFestival, which honours the Celtic Sun God Lugh. The festival consists of feasting, music, dance and more tales of the legends of Uisneach.
Still wanting more? Listen to these captivating stories
from locals of the Ancient East. And these are just a few of the tales that live in this land – there are plenty more stories of treasures, fairies and magic just waiting to be told…