Myths & Legends

Loughcrew Cairns; Hill of the Witch

The grandest concentration of Neolithic passage tombs in Ireland can be found at Loughcrew. Local folklore maintains that the site is the work of the “monster woman” who once ruled the area. Loughcrew`s name in Irish is Sliabh na Callaí meaning “Hill of the Witch” or “Hags Hill.” The name of the ancient hag was Garavogue, known locally as An Cailleach Bhéara. This witch or hag may have had her origins in the Celtic goddess Buí, whom we encounter at Knowth in Brú na Bóinne. She was a Moon Goddess or Earth Mother.

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Loughcrew Cairns; Hill of the Witch

Kells; the home of Ireland`s finest treasure

Kells is synonymous with early Christian architecture and it remains one of Ireland`s greatest monastic settlements. Before the arrival of Christianity Ceanannas Mór, the Irish for Kells, meaning “great residence,” was a royal residence much like the famous Hill of Tara. It wasn`t until the 6th century that Kells came to prominence as a monastic settlement. St. Colmcille or Columba was granted Kells by the then High King, Diarmuid MacCarroll, of the Uí Neill. He was the cousin of Colmcille and it is said that the two had many disagreements.

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Kells; the home of Ireland`s finest treasure

Drogheda; the walled town

Sir Arthur Aston's golden leg: Drogheda was obviously an important defensive location as a bridging point and a port. This is evident in the walled town's history and none more so than when Oliver Cromwell and his forces laid siege to the town in 1649. The unfortunate Sir Arthur Aston had been made Governor of Drogheda a year earlier. It was supposed to be an easier assignment for the career soldier who had served military campaigns in Europe and the English Civil War. He had lost his leg in a riding accident and so he was appointed to Drogheda to ease into retirement.

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Drogheda; the walled town

Trim; Ireland`s first great church

Trim is famous as a Medieval town, it contains more Medieval buildings than any other town in Ireland. However, as with much of the Boyne Valley, the town's history predates this time period. Whilst St. Patrick was busy converting King Laoghaire, another one of his followers, Loman, had been ordered upstream to carry on with their work. He arrived at Trim, where the townscape would have contained none of today's impressive medieval ruins, and met with Feidlimid, son of King Laoghaire. Feidlimid immediately converted to Christianity and dedicated all of his territory to Patrick.

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Trim; Ireland`s first great church

The origins of Navan

While in Spain, éremón (son of Míl Espáine) married Odhbha, who bore him three sons. After a time he abandoned her in favour of a Dé Danann woman (Tea, who would later give her name to Tara). When éremón invaded Ireland his wife Odhbha followed him. Stricken by the grief of her husband's rejection she died soon after arriving. Her three children raised a mound in which to bury her. It is thought that Navan may take its name from the Irish word for cave (An Uaimh) – the cave within the mound in which Odhbha's remains have rested for the past three thousand years.

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The origins of Navan

Teltown; the Táilteann Games

There was an ancient games played at modern day Teltown that predate the Olympics in Greece. The games held every year brought people from all over Ireland to compete over the course of three days. Mythology says that the games originated as a tribute to Taillte, the former wife of a slain Fir Bolg King. She remarried to a Tuatha Dé Danann. She became foster mother to Lugh. She chose her burial site at Teltown and requested that the trees be cleared to make space for her funeral games. Lugh honoured his mother with the inaugural Táilteann games when she died on the first of August.

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Teltown; the Táilteann Games

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