12 – Standing stones, Fualacht Fia and ringforts

These are scattered everywhere all over the parish, and it stands to reason why there should be so many of them. Standing Stones (2800 to 1800 BC) are mysterious. Are they markers along pre-historic track ways, memorials or burial plots? A Fualacht Fia was an ancient cooking pit, and groups of people would assemble to eat the wild boar, cooked in a water hole, made warm by hot stones. Anywhere you had a Fualacht Fia, you had a Ring Fort close by. Where people lived, they ate nearby. A case in point is the Ring fort or fairy fort, or earthen mound across the road from Johnny Billy Murphy’s entrance. It is in Noel Cantillons land. The cooking pit or Fualacht Fia is in the slope of the field in Johnny Billy’s land below Ballynora Cross, across the road from where Pat and Imelda O Connor live. You have to picture the slope of the land, like a theatre or an opera house, descending down to the stage by the stream, where all the cooking took place. Shelter and water were as important back then as they are today. Four Fualacht Fias once existed behind Tobar an Iarla, four more close to Old Abbey bridge, three at the back of Inniskenny graveyard. They are all linked to PRE CELTIC people, the Tuatha de Danann and the Fir Bolg, thousands of years ago, yet they are part of who we are. By knowing they existed, all in our own little parish, all those years ago, with the same streams still running today, and the same hills and valleys still in existence, enhances our status and dignity as human beings, and fills our hearts with awe and wonder.