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Hill of Uisneach

The centre of Ireland in many ways, the enigmatic hill is one of the most sacred and historic sanctuaries in the world. Located in Westmeath, the Hill of Uisneach has been recently named on Ireland’s ‘Tentative List’ for World Heritage Site status. The historic Westmeath landmark is now in the running to receive UNESCO accreditation.

Festival of the Fires is Ireland’s oldest festival – a celebration of Irish culture, art, heritage, music, ceremony and sport which has been held at the historic Hill of Uisneach for over 1,400 years.

The burial site of the Earth Goddess Ériu & the Sun God Lugh and as such was regarded as sacred ground. Uisneach was seen as a gate to the mythical fifth province, Mide, which held the four more familiar provinces together. For centuries, the fifth province was accessed at ‘Aill na Mireann’ (the Stone of Divisions) a sacred, fissured and fragmenting limestone boulder on the south west slope of the Hill. Today, it is known as the ‘Catstone’, named so because it resembles a cat watching a mouse. It is under the ‘Catstone’ that Ériu is resting.

The Hill of Uisneach is part of a working farm and on private land so the only access to the Hill is via a guided tour. 

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Guided tours are available at selected times of the year, and are a 2 hour walk of approx. 3 km. 

The Famous Bealtaine Fire Festival takes place every year in May, while Samhain takes place in November to celebrate and welcome the dark half of the year.

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