Sunday, 26 August 2012

On the scent of an ancient mystery in Wexford

During the past week or so I have visited County Wexford, where I had been invited by the newly formed JFK Heritage Group to help them research ancient sites of interest around the Slieve Coillte area, not far from New Ross.
Members of the JFK Park Memorial Heritage Group, from left: Mairead Cairbre,
Tommy Grennan, John Flynn, Simon Kennedy and Jim Foley with (third from left)
Fr. Seán Ó Duinn and (third from right) Anthony Murphy.

It was a very exciting week. Perhaps the big discovery of the week was the probable location of the Teampall Geal, an ancient healing centre at Whitechurch, very close to the location of a standing stone alignment of three stones which point towards Slieve Coillte. Several stones which were possibly part of this 'temple of healing' remain, in a heap under a sycamore tree at Whitechurch. They include what members of the JFK group think might be Dolerite, a blueish granite, from which the famous 'blue stones' at Stonehenge are made. These stones are said to have curative properties.

The stone alignment at Whitechurch might point to the Major Northern Standstill rising position of the moon, but further observations will have to be made to determine if that is the case.

The investigations took place during Heritage Week, with a public meeting on Wednesday last at the JFK Arboretum followed by a symposium on Saturday night to discuss findings and future lines of research.

On Wednesday, the group was joined by Fr. Seán Ó Duinn, of Glenstal Abbey, author of 'In Search of the Awesome Mystery'. I was delighted to meet Fr. Seán, whose writings on pre-Christian and Early Christian Ireland are very insightful.

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