Reading My Way Around the World

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Cloughmór and Finn McCool

Clough Mór means big stone in Irish ... and the Big Stone dominates the local landscape here in Rostrevor .... It lies at the top of Slieve Meen in the Mourne Mountains about 1000ft above the village.
At the Big Stone

 But legend says it was thrown by the giant Finn McCool - who threw most of the big stones that are littered across the North of Ireland - he liked throwing things did Finn!  He was also responsible for creating the Giants Causeway, the Isle of Man and Lough Neagh and he gives his name to the mountains across the Lough - the Cooley mountains - where he sleeps on top of them.
Looking across the Carlingford Lough to the Cooley Mountains from CloughMor

The story goes that while Finn was out hunting boar one day, a huge shadow fell across the Lough and another giant stood there - as big as he himself was.
This giant was called Ruscaire, the giant of Snow and Ice.   He challenged Finn who was the giant of Summer, to a fight and both giants drew their swords each with a foot in Carlingford Lough and their other foot astride the mountains on either side.  They fought all day with swords and the second day with clubs.   On the third morning Ruscaire arose and stole Finn's sword while he still slept, although honour stopped him killing him.   But when Finn awoke and found that his sword was missing and that Ruscaire had taken it, he started throwing rocks and stones at him and a battle ensued that shook the mountains to the core. The Cloughmor Stone was beside him - it weighed 50 tons and with great effort Finn put his giant arms around it and hurled it at his enemy, burying him under the weight of it, where he melted away like ice into the mountain.

Finn McCool asleep on the mountain

Finn was so exhausted after the effort that he lay down and never wakened.   Some people say that the little people covered him stones when they couldn't waken him and others say that over the years he simply turned to stone.   We'll never know the truth but his image can still be seen there to this day.
Can you see him?

For more myths and legends about Finn, Queen Maeve, Cuthulainn and the little folk in and around Carlingford and Mourne, there's a great website -

This blog is also posted at my website -

I'm taking part in Effy's Blogalong Challenge and really enjoying posting a blog each day for the month of August. 


  1. *fangirl squeeeeeee*

    LOVE this..thank you so much for sharing the magic....*sigh* -- i spotted Finn right away....


  2. Thanks for sharing this story!


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