School: Rathkenny (roll number 15483)

Rathkenny, Co. Meath
Tomás Mac Cárthaigh

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The Druid's Altar

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0714, Page 227

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This is situated on a farm locally known as "Fortip", called after the owner Fortescue. It later came into the hands of a man named Joseph Slevin of Milltown (adjoining) who had a water mill here for grinding corn.

Criostoir Bhillí Dúnaigh (Christy Villey Dooney) was a small-holder living in the "Sean-Bhaile" a lane in Clogher, a sub-townland of Rathkenny. He used to work with Slevin, who decided to blast the "Druid's Altar" out of the way in preparation for tilling the land. He prepared powder and fuse for the purpose, intending to start on the job next morning. That night Christy Villy was "a céilidh" in a neighbour's house and when going home he saw a light moving round the Cromlech. Further on he had to cross a Kesh (or pathway) over the river coming from "Hussey's Gorse". In the river under the Kesh he found his cow and calf in danger of being drowned. He shouted for help, and the neighbours came and rescued the animals. That was the end of Slevin's attempt on the Cromlech. There are two forts in the same field as the "Druid's Altar".

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