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Holy Hills of Ireland

26 27 oN the friNges promontories and coastline The edges of Ireland were venerated as points of contact with the beyond, and places where early incomers had either landed or were exiled. Uniquely amongst them the Hill of Howth, Dublin, is a shrine to love here adar died from loving goddess ine and the mountain was the lovers refuge both of Diarmaid and Grinne, and Deirdre and the sons of Uislu. By contrast Kerrys promontories hold fierce beings. Balar the thunder god is in Mizen Head, the hag goddess Cailleach Bharra in the Beara peninsula and Donn, god of the dead, on an island in Kenmare Bay. Kerry also has the ancestormother Scota lying in Slieve Mish, and the Daghdha was on Mount Brandon long before St Brendan. Indeed the myths made him the saints grandfather. The Tuatha D Dannan are also sacred to the South West, while the brutal Fomhire ended up north, on Tory island. They created the Giants Causeway in Antrim long before Fionn Mac Cumhaill, and nearby Fair Head is home to the Grey Man, the sea god Manannn. The Children of Lr, turned into swans, flew for centuries off these headlands before being banished to the wild Atlantic coast for several more hundred years, flying above the final strongholds of the Fr Bolg before they became gods of the Underworld. Opposite above Fair Head, Co. Antrim, home to the Grey Man. Below Natural Bridges near Kilkee, Co. Clare.
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