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The Battle of the Giants and the ‘Ironing Stone’

Cú Chulainn and Fionn McCool are two of Ireland’s best known mythological heroes and legend has it they often fought each other on the Connemara mountains. Fionn McCool resided on the distinctive mountain know as ‘The Diamond’ which faces the Kylemore Abbey from the South. It is known as the diamond as much of its quartz stone is exposed. When the sun shines on the mountain, it sparkles – like a diamond.

Cú Chulainn lived on the opposite side of the valley on the mountain known as ‘Dúchruach’ meaning ‘Black Stack’which sits directly behind Kylemore Abbey. It takes its name from its unusual black stone and stands out from all the other mountains in the area. The giants were hot tempered and regularly didn’t see eye-to-eye. One day, during one of their heated arguments, Cú Chulainn picked up a massive stone and threw it towards Fionn McCool. The stone narrowly missed Fionn McCool and landed at an unusual angle on the Kylemore estate where it lies today. The shape of the stone resembles a traditional iron used for ironing clothes and is known locally as ‘The Ironing Stone’ or the ‘Smoothing Iron’. Local children use it as a wishing stone. If you stand with your back against the stone, make a wish and throw a small pebble back over the stone three times, that wish will be granted. It is bad luck to wish for money but you can wish for love!

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