I have always thought of Knocknarea as a mountain, but it seems it’s a hill, standing at 327m! Despite seeing it every day from Coney Island over the years, I had never been to the top so we decided to climb it. Not sure it would qualify as a hike but it was good to be vertical and stretching the legs and the views of Sligo are enjoyable from the top.
On the top of Knocknarea is a large cairn measuring nearly 55m wide and 10m high, known as Meascan Meadhbha or Maeve’s Cairn. The largest unopened cairn in Ireland and is thought to conceal a neolithic passage tomb dating to 3,000BC. It is the alleged burial site of the Iron Age queen of Connaught, Maeve, now supposedly watches over Connaught from her vantage point to be ready for invaders from Ulster.
The legend of Queen Maeve’s death is a little unusual, according to an 11th Century writing, she is said to have been killed by a sling-shot, consisting of hard cheese, which was fired by her nephew. Here’s a link to a page on Queen Maeve on Wiki, if you would like to learn more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meabh
We had a fun day out and no slingshots in sight!