Due west of that bog – on the Hill of Uisneach – a fire would be lit (and is lit still) each May, to spark the summer into life. This is Bealtaine – the festival of rebirth.
In earlier times this beacon was the signal to light the fire atop the Hill of Tara and then many another sacred and significant hill across Ireland. They talked of lighting a “fire eye”, with Uisneach being the eye’s pupil.
Back then, Ireland was divided into more than 100 kingdoms, but it was the High Kings crowned at Uisneach and then later Tara who held symbolic power.
They still drink the spirit the kings called Uisce Beatha (whiskey). They still play Poc Fada (hurling), the game the legendary warrior Cúchulainn played as a boy. And they still climb symbolic hills in the dark today, right across Ireland’s Ancient East … to see in the New Year, celebrate Halloween, and mark the changing of the seasons.