Fionn MacCumhaill’s Rock

Fionn MacCumhaill’s Rock (location on map)

Flann O’Brien’s final and unfinished novel was to be Slattery’s Sago Saga aka From Under the Ground to the Top of the Trees, whose story could be considered a somewhat predictive metaphor for our present situation. It involves the purchase of all the land in Ireland by an eccentric American billionaire and the passing of a law to ban the planting of potatoes there. The crop to be used in substitution to keep its people alive was to be sago trees, “the one thing more productive of starch than the potato”. This was to prevent any recurrence of famine and the mass emigration to America it would cause. Only the first 7 chapters of the novel were written but from notes he made we know it was set to have its climax in a time bending and bloody battle on Sliabh an Iarainn between the main protagonists who would be joined at the last minute by his mythological characters from his debut novel, At Swim Two Birds. He notes the site at the pivotal moment of the scene was to be ‘Giants Rock’ on the slopes of Sliabh an Iarainn (an important site in Irish folklore as this is where the Tuatha DeDannan were said to have landed), also known locally as ‘The Rocking Stone’. In the hope of spreading awareness of this the real rock in question has been located and pictured above and its location placed on the map. The huge boulder is said to have been thrown by Fionn MacCumhaill from Kilronan Mountain across Lough Allen onto the facing slope of Sliabh an Iarainn. (Stephen Rennicks)


How Strange It Is To Be Anything At All

The Waterways, Keshkerrigan

Instead of allowing ghost estates to become the abandoned alien landing bases they were always intended to become, novel uses for them are being found. A class taught by H.U.R.L. (Home University of Roscommon & Leitrim) has already been using them as a training tool for teaching metaphysics and the unpredictability of reality due to quantum theory. Following their lead field trips from the more established universities are in the planning stages. (Stephen Rennicks)

The Land of Here Nor There

Originally Co. Leitrim fell within the Kingdom of Breifne and as early as 900AD it still had the same narrow (2.5km) coastline. The reasons for this has long been speculated upon as no fishing for instance can be safely done from this cliff, rock and boulder strewn region. Even today there is no need for an access road and only walkers can get to it through privately owned fields. One legend is that a large peninsula suddenly broke away at this point in the distant past. This has become known as the land of Here Nor There which was populated by a race of giants who remain here in spirit to protect the land and its people. The land does indeed clearly begin to subside away into the sea in one specific area which does backup this story and one rock formation here is known locally known as the ‘Giants Grave’. To acknowledge this and in the hope of attracting more people to this place and raising awareness of its legend a piece of land art has been created. A nest of 39 white stones, polished smooth by the sea, have been placed on an outcrop and arranged in a circle. It can only be properly viewed from an elevated vantage point, either from the cliff top above or from the air. It should even be visible in time on GoogleEarth. (Stephen Rennicks)