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Holy Hills of Ireland

24 25 faCiNg east mountains of Leinster Leinster lore is often frustratingly uncertain. Dunamase Rock in Laois, for instance, may once have been so important that Ptolemy put it on his map, but today only a vague tale survives about a treasure inside it guarded by a hound who spews out flames. Equally unclear is the location of Da Dearga, the Red God of deaths house in which Conaire met his end it was perhaps somewhere in the Dublin Hills. However the Wicklow hilltops have many passage cairns, including an enormous one on Baltinglass, with a fine stone basin. Here, as on Seefin and the Sugarloaf, the passages point north, possibly to stellar positions and Br na Binne, which got its quartz from these hills. Kildares Hill of Allen, however, has well preserved traditions of Fionn mac Cumhaill, and at Ardagh Hill in Longford Midir, king of the Tuatha D Dannan, struggled for eons with Eochad Aiream of the Milesians over the fairy maiden tain. Locals said a giant in the hill pulled children inside, to where passages lead down to his subterranean castle. The best accounts of Leinster Lughnasa festivities are about Caher Roes Den on the Backstairs Mountains in Wexford, where, after dining on the years first potatoes, the locals climbed up for a day of singing, dancing, berry picking and fighting. Opposite above Enniskerry, Wicklow. BelowDunamase Rock, Co. Laois.
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