December Moon

December Moon The sky was passable to offer long enough openings in the clouds one day before the full moon on December 5. I arrived just before 4 pm at the time of the moon’s rising but had to wait for nearly an hour for moon and beam to make an appearance, seeking as before shelter …

Lugnasad sunset from Sheriff’s Mountain

The most bewildering aspect about alignments seems to be the problem of how to establish with some certainty, if a possible alignment was an intended or unintended one. Having been able to see the sun setting behind the monument for two months by simply walking with the sun, a display, that in it’s full length …

Minkey Hill, solstice sunset take 2

The sun was seen setting for the second time behind the monument ten days later on June 15. Arriving early to inspect the hill closer and in particular the visibility towards the Grianán from its southern extremity, I discovered to my great relief that I will be still left with ridge to spare at the time …

Imbolg – Spring in waiting

With wintry winds wailing, clouds scattering across the sky like blood rushed warriors into the field of battle and neither sun nor warmth making any encouraging appearance, one could easily remain unconvinced by spring being just around the corner, never mind having arrived. Fast flying veils of low lying clouds with even more and much …

The meaning of grianan, part II

Something I read returned me to this unsolved and very crucial issue. A most startling phrase was fund at the Northern Ireland Place-Name Project under the entry for the townland of Grennan, Newry, Co. Down: “grianán nó tulach – a greenan or a hill”. But if a hill is called a tulach, instead of cnoc, …

The meaning of grianan

Colonel Colby’s fierce intensity, and its extent, in persuading the readers of his Ordnance Survey that Grianan always means palace, left me, from the first time I set my eyes on his survey, somehow noticeably estranged. “It is thus explained by O’Reilly: – “Grianán, a summer-house, a walk, arched or covered over a hill for …

The legend of Grían the Brightcheeked

Still searching for suspects and sense in vain, naively reasoning that there must be a trace of an all enlightening remark somewhere of such a dominant site. But so far, hills of the sun springing up everywhere, except in Inishowen. As for the legend below – What shame it does not belong to our hill. …