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Legends – Ancient Ireland

It's easy to see why so many people believe there just might be real magic here. Looking up at the ancient stone and earth mounds on these green hills dotted by standing stones, I can imagine the solstice sun lighting its mysterious path into the cairn.  And entertain the legends of the fairy folk and druids that still have believers who flock here on the longest and shortest days of the year to celebrate ancient rites. The standing stones and prehistoric cairns and ring forts that cover these green hills of County Meath, north of Dublin, have inspired generations of stories and myths and magic. As we visit the stones and the funeral mounds of the ancients at Bru na Boinne, some of the best preserved stone age sites in the world, the mystery is explained away somewhat, though no-one really knows why these stone rings and tombs are here.  They are 5000 years old, older than the pyramids, and you can still see the geometric carvings on the massive stones that were brought in to make the base stones of the walls and the standing stones outside. The neolithic people built these rings and monuments to track the sunlight on the shortest and longest day was a way to mark the seasons ... perhaps to try and control and predict the uncontrollable, the coming of spring and the end of winter.  Perhaps because even today we dread winter darkness and crave the rejuvenation of spring, and the ancient people believed life-bringing spring needed the help of rituals and rites to make sure it arrived. But those ancient mysteries are woven into the tales of ancient history.  This is the land where heroic tales of Brian Boru and Queen Maeve and Cuculain have been retold for centuries.  The hill of Tara, now a green park