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<b>Slievenamon</b>Posted by bawn79Image © Bawn79
Also known as:
  • Sliabh na mBan Feimhin

Nearest Town:Clonmel (13km SW)
OS Ref (IE):   S298307 / Sheet: 67
Latitude:52° 25' 37.55" N
Longitude:   7° 33' 42.72" W

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<b>Slievenamon</b>Posted by bawn79 <b>Slievenamon</b>Posted by bawn79 <b>Slievenamon</b>Posted by bawn79


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The cairn on top of Slievenamon or Mountain of the Woman is at a height of 721m. It is a good walk and there is a path all the way up to the cairn which makes access easy.
Coming from Dublin on the Cashel by-pass N8 take the sign for Fethard then the Kilsheelan road and follow the signs for Ballypatrick and Kilcash. There are signs for the walk in Kilcash.
It takes about an hour to climb up to it.
The cairn itself isnt as impressive as I hoped and the day I climbed it was pretty hazy so couldnt get an idea as to any significant features on the landscape around it. It is mentioned in the link I have that it is thought to be a passage grave, to me it didnt seem big enough but I would love to be proven wrong!. I would think it is approx 3-4m high by maybe a diameter of 20-25m.
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
28th March 2007ce
Edited 28th March 2007ce


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Some stoney folklore from the large number of stories in 'Folk-lore no. 1: The Fenian traditions of Sliabh-Na-M-Ban' by John Dunne, in 'Transactions of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society' v1 (1851) pp333-362.
Drom-seann-bho, situate on the high road between Callan and Kilkenny. This means, "back of the old cow." I have often been told that a neighbouring nobleman (the late Earl of Desart) blasted this rock, thereby reducing it to a level nearly with the road; and after the operation, he jokingly remarked to a seannchaidhe, who was stood hard by, and whose favourite theme was prophecy - "Now can the raven drink of human blood from the top of Drom-seann-bho?" Whereupon the seannchaidhe at once replied - "Until now, my lord, I had thought it impossible; but no longer does the shadow of a doubt remain on my mind as regards the prophecy; your lordship has now made Drom-seann-bho low enough for the raven, whilst standing upon it, to dip his bill in human blood - all will come to pass in due time!"

It is said to have been a detached fragment of rock, about five feet in height, of a different kind of stone from that of the locality. It was very remarkable from having in the centre of its smooth face an indentation resembling the impression of a giant hand on the soft surface of stucco. It is traditinoally said to have been cast by the hero Fionn, from the top of Sliabh-na-m-ban, and the indentation was looked upon as the impression made by his hand as he balanced it for the throw. As it lay by the road side it may have been considered an impediment to the traffic, or the object in removing it was, perhaps, to falsify the prophecy concerning which the peasantry were so credulous.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
9th December 2012ce
Edited 9th December 2012ce

Fionn [Mac Cumhail], as the tale goes, like many a modern "gallant gay," had from time to time paid his addresses to several of the fairest belles of his day, on all of whose hearts he had made a strong impression, but without actually committing himself to any by asking the important question which decides such delicate affairs. Each fair lady fondly flattered herself that she would be the chosen bride of the great chieftain, but each of course cordially hated her numberless rivals, and the result was a general quarrel amongst them, carried on with such implacable acrimony as threatened to throw the whole country into a hopeless embroilment.

Fionn saw that with him alone rested the power of putting an end to this very unpleasant controversy, but as it was possible that he could only please one of his admirers by taking her hand, and he was sure to make relentless enemies of all the rest - a consummation which he by no means devoutly wished - he found himself placed in a very unpleasant position, to relieve himself from which it was necessary that some stratagem should be resorted to without delay. Accordingly he made a public declaration of equal affection and admiration of all the numerous candidates for his hand, but announced that, as he could not marry them all, he would leave the decision of the important question to the agility of their own pretty feet.

Sliabh-na-m-ban was chosen as the site of the memorable race, and the chieftain himself stood at the top of the hill to receive and proclaim the successful competitor. Amongst the bevy of beauties, however, there was one whose charms had made a deeper impression upon the hero's heart than all the rest, and to her he did not scruple to whisper in private a word of advice, by adopting which she might be certain to gain the much coveted prize. This lady was Graine, or Grace, the beauteous daughter of Cormac Ulihada, monarch of Ireland; and the counsel which her lover gave her was simply this, that she should not attempt to run too fast in the outset, so as to exhaust her breath.

The advice was strictly followed. Graine for some moments appeared to have been left far behind all the other runners, who put forth their utmost strength at once to breast the acclivity. The exertion, however, was too much for them; soon they became heated, lost breath, and finally sank down one after another, completely exhausted, on the heath; and had the mortification to see the princess, who had at first seemed to make little way, pass by them fresh and unruffled, and smiling triumphantly in full consciousness of possessing the secret of success. Several made a last effort again to outstrip her, but in vain; for she alone gained the summit and won the much coveted prize.

The princess had now gained as firm possession of the chieftain's hand, as formerly she had won his heart, and a long life of connubial bliss was fondly anticipated for the distinguished pair. But the lady proved as frail and false as her lord was chivalrous and confiding, and after the expiration of a few short months she eloped with the most cherished friend of her husband, Diarmuid O'Duibhne.
From 'Folk-lore no. 1: The Fenian traditions of Sliabh-Na-M-Ban' by John Dunne, in 'Transactions of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society' v1 (1851) pp333-362.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
9th December 2012ce

This website mentions footprints of Goll as below.

"At Slievenamon (The Mountain of the Women) at South Tipperary in Ireland is the rock that bears the footprints of Goll - 'the One-Eyed' - who made a giant leap across the valley to catch up with the hunt of the Fianna"
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
24th October 2007ce
Edited 4th December 2014ce