Loughcrew Hill View

On the Ground in County Meath

The popular name of the Loughcrew megalithic site is, “The Hill of the Witch” (In Irish, Sliabh na Caillí). In lore sites such as this are associated with The Others (“fairies”), living lives parallel and invisible to ours, touched now and then with resolutely ill effect to our side though sometimes theirs as well. Resolute as in these meetings are fated to end poorly unless…..unless the mortal knows the rules. “If you are ever in an Other’s mansion for a party never, ever eat or drink anything. Eating or drinking will condemn you to an eternal round of parties. You will dance till dropping every night.” Rules such as that, and others, can be used to turn the tables, gain an advantage, of beings from the Other Side.
The story of my wife, Pam, how our lives came to be touched by this afternoon of May 27, 2014, is parallel to the tales of mortals benefiting from contact with The Others. The immediate source was the passing of my mother, Catherine Ann Wills (McCardle), at the age of 90. Mom’s passport gave her place of birth as Proleek, a place in Louth. My maternal grandmother, Mary Catherine McCardle (Mills) spoke with a brogue, less a lilt than a down to earth and kind warmth. I remembered the stories of Mom’s passage to Canada with her mother and father in 1926 at the age of three. The Ireland connection with my father was less direct as I never met his mother as an adult and we seldom spoke of her. It was left to me in the time between my Mom’s passing, an invitation for a visit from our cousin’s in County Louth, and our arrival May 2014 to understand more about Elizabeth (Duffy) Wills, my paternal grandmother.
In this way, I discovered Elizabeth came from a family of Dunderry, County Meath, Ireland, her parents Matthew and Teresa (Plunket) Duffy; our tour of Ireland came to start from a bed and breakfast near Trim, County Meath, with Dunderry up the road. May 27th, we planned as an exploration of all things County Meath, to include Loughcrew, the highest point of the county in the west.
Along the steep path to the hilltop a hawthorn tree covered with flowers and offerings welcomes visitors. May is the month for decorating hawthorns, the blossoms are also known as “Mayflowers” as in the ship the pilgrims sailed to Plymouth Rock.

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Pam and Hawthorn– CLICK ME!!!!

As if we entered a gateway, when pausing and turning high on the hill, this view was revealed, otherworldly in its fullness, scope and wonder as though we passed to the other side to the fairies.
Cairnbane East of the Loughcrew Cairns site, County Meath Ireland, is also known as Hag’s Mountain. We are looking south, southwest from the north side toward Cairnbane West. Flowering yellow whin bush, also known as gorse, is in foreground; white flowering hawthorn trees in distance. No elements of this photograph hint at the year 2014.

Hag's– CLICK ME!!!!

A solitary standing stone below the trail to the Loughcrew site surrounded by whin bush in yellow flower and white blooms of hawthorn hedge rows. A fieldstone fence, farmhouses, a patchwork quilt of fields completes the view.

Hag's– CLICK ME!!!!

Meanwhile, in the real world, when Pam and I complete our round of the island to return to my cousins in County Louth, they told us, on this day, two young men were discovered parked next to a nearby lough, murdered during a drug deal gone bad.

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24 thoughts on “Loughcrew Hill View

  1. Absolutely beautiful countryside shots! Who wouldn’t want to live there? But as aluded to with the recent murder
    … even an idyllic setting is never devoid of human conflict. We’ve never been to Ireland – but it one of my favourite places to go if I get a chance (Scotland too)

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    1. Good morning, Michael;

      Touring Ireland in a rental car we needed to be alert, mostly for parking in out of the way places (such as the Loughcrew Cairns) because that is where the attacks on tourists are said to happen. Some places even have warning signs about the crime potential. We had absolutely no problems. One thing, we rented a very small car of the type most people drive, so we did not stand out. Another, is when we drove with all our stuff it was covered and disguised as a back seat.

      We will do this type of touring in Ireland again, if the opportunity arises.

      Thanks for visiting and the compliments.


  2. Lovely photographs Michael – our home in Ireland before we left for 17 years was in Beabeg on the Meath Louth border a few miles inland from Bettystown and the coast. My husband was a hill runner and we would head out to these wonderful places often. There are some locations that definitely give off a different vibe.. sorry that your memory of these places was tainted by such a discovery. Will pop in the blogger daily this evening.

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    1. Our first day, from the airport, we headed to Newgrange, Hill of Slane and then along the coast, starting with Clougherhead before meeting my cousin at the M1 exit for Jenkinstown, on the turnabout. Remember the area well. I felt quite at home there. Pam was tickled we hit the ground running, this way. I don’t know any other.

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  3. I am always stunned by the beauty of Ireland and Scottish Highland areas, very picturequo and stunning as always.

    I will keep your advice in mind about the crimes part. Was not aware that things happened. Love to have some insight in this regard.

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    1. Thank you for visiting ladyfi and for the compliment. Most appreciated. Where are your relatives living? How do they like it? What are they telling you about Brexit? That’s quite a few questions, so I will sign off for now. All the best, Mike


  4. Beautiful photographs — as always, and I enjoyed the travelogue. What an unexpected twist to the story! Funny how we don’t expect criminal activity in picturesque settings.

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