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Dunnaman Sheela-na-Gig
 

County

Limerick

Coordinates

N 52° 31' 42.5"   W 008° 46' 42.1"

Nearest town

Adare

Grid Ref.

R 47224 42141

Map No.

65

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

36

Date of visit

Wednesday 12 September 2012

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The castle seen from the east. An oil tank and a tractor are just in front of it.


This sheela-na-gig is placed high on the east-southeast (110°) wall of the Dunnaman Castle, at about 6.30 metres from the ground. Its dimensions are about 68 cm x 68 cm.
The carved figure is of a woman with a big round head and a big right ear, the other ear seems missing. The face is smiling, or at least it looks so. Her legs are wide spread with the feet pointing outwards and the toes touching the edge of the slab. Her arms go behind the legs to reach and keep her vulva open. Something that might be a menstrual flow is coming out of her vulva. The torso is visibly grooved and the breasts are hanging apart.
The castle is a three-storey square tower house, a little more than 8.50 metres tall, and has some interesting details. In the same wall where the sheela-na-gig is there are three windows asymmetrically positioned. The window right under the sheela is just a slit. The rightmost of the three windows has decorations on both side of the moulding above it. The upper window has some decorations as well, but they are less visible. There are other windows in the other walls too. The castle is partially ruined, but the worst thing is that it is currently used as part of a working farm, and tractors and oil tanks are put against the walls.
The owners of the place are very good people and the young man that we found at the farm loved to chat with us and told us interesting aspects of the life in this part of the country.


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