16. DHS - Grianan of Aileach
Location: 55.02526, -7.424698
Speaker: Sean McMahon (RIP) and Dessie McCallion
Theme: gathering where once the mighty reigned.
Grianan of Aileach, the stonehouse of the sun. According to legend, it was built by Daghda, an ancient King of the Tuatha de Danann. A hillfort that once was at the historical centre where 18 high kings ruled over Ireland. During that time, the acts of its kings, warriors, tribes saints and sages dominate many of the pages of Ireland's history but with scarcely any acknowledgement of the particular place from whence they sprang. Many gifted writers have waxed lyrical regarding the glories of Royal Meath, but as Harry Percival Swan puts it "none have thought fit to mention Royal Inishowen which has an equal if not better right to regal appellation."
Legend has it that Fionn McCool and his warriors lie asleep under this mountain and at Ireland's moment of need, they will rise up and reclaim their ancient land. Anytime now would be good lads! As you look across a vast expanse, consider that this site was once the epicentre of power on this island. It's a fact long forgotten and one that the wording on the nearby rather dull signage won't tell you, but what Swan wrote is well documented and deserves to be remembered for here is a sacred site, a stonehouse of the sun. Grianan of Aileach - turn off by the iconic Burt church Burt Inishowen.
Audio taken from Donegal's Hallowed Sites on the Racontour Archive.
Spotify URL: Donegal's Hallowed Sites playlist on Spotify