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Slieve Gullion, Co. Armagh

A mythical mountain with two cairns on the summit

The mountain of Slieve Gullion is mentioned many many times in the ancient Irish battle epic, the Tin Bó Cuailnge, as Sliabh Cuilinn. Situated a few miles west of the Cooley Mountains, it lies just across the border in Northern Ireland. Gullion, along with the Cooley Mountains, is volcanic in origin. It is 573 metres at its tallest point. There is a lake at the top of the mountain, known as the "Lake of Sorrow", or the Calliag Bheara's lake. The Calliag is a witch or a hag, and she has associations with other peaks, such as the hills of Loughcrew in County Meath, and the hill of Bellewstown, home of the famous annual race meeting, also in Co. Meath. There are two cairns either side of the lake. The Northern Cairn is a round or circular mound of stones approximately 40 feet in diamet er, while the Southern Cairn is a large Passage-Grave standing at 570 meters above sea level, making this the highest surviving passage tomb in Ireland. This is an ancient area, people have lived here for over 6,000 years and have left their traces in stone, in megalithic tombs, burial chambers and cairns. See the story of Finn Mac Cumhaill and the Hunt of Slieve Gullion. The following are some photos I took while driving on the eight-mile scenic drive on the slopes of the mountain. In all cases, click the photo for a larger version.

Trees on the mountain
Moonrise over the mountain An erratic rock
Trying to see the wood from the trees on the slopes of Slieve Gullion! The moon rises over the slopes of the mountain. One of the many erratic rocks on the slopes of Slieve Gullion.
A lake on Slieve Gullion Down the road A forest at Slieve Gullion
A beautiful lake on the slopes of Slieve Gullion in County Armagh. Go néiri an bóthar leat! - May the road rise to meet you! There are many trees, particularly evergreen species, growing on the mountain.
View down the mountain Idyllic home Little waterfall
A view down the mountain towards other mountains. An idyllic home, plus derelict outbuildings, long since abandoned. A small waterfall at the edge of the road on Slieve Gullion.

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All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2012
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