Cloich Cheann Fhaola Mythological Site




N 55° 08' 26.94"   W 008° 05' 48.72"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

B 93824 32613

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Sunday 2 June 2019

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The stone on the tall pillar.

Behind the GAA pitch northeast of Falcarragh, there's a mythological stone, the Cloich Cheann Fhaola, meaning "The Stone of the Head of Mac Aneely".

The folklore tells of Balor na Súile Nimhe (Balor of the Evil Eye), a mythological king of Tory Island, who stole Glas Gaibhleann, a highly-prized cow, from Mac Aneely, a mainland chieftain.
So Mac Aneely decided to kill Balor for this theft, but his druid warned him that Balor could only be killed by the hand of his own grandson. The rumours of Mac Aneely's evil intent reached Balor who quickly put her daughter Eithne in prison on the eastern end of Tory Island. Mac Aneely arrived on the island disguised as a lady and managed to sneak into the prison. Upon meeting Mac Aneely, Eithne soon fell in love with him.
Later on, Mac Aneely returned to the mainland leaving Eithne pregnant of his children. She gave birth to three sons, and Balor ordered them to be drowned. But one of them, Lugh, survived and was fostered by his uncle Gavida, the blacksmith.
Meanwhile Balor got to the mainland and killed Mac Aneely by laying his head on a white stone and cutting his head off with his sword.
A few years later Lugh avenged the death of his father by thrusting a red hot spear through Balor's evil eye, killing him.
The white stone retained a red stain, which is said to be Mac Aneely's blood.
Lugh became known as the God of Light.

The roundish quartzite stone here at Falcarragh is said to be the stone where Balor killed Mac Aneely. A reddish small stain can be seen on its surface on the southeast (130°) side. It was placed on an about 5 metres tall pillar by Wybrant Olphert of Ballyconnell House in 1774.

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