is a large and rather disturbed cairn on the summit of a low drumlin,
just outside the village of Keshcarrigan in Co Leitrim. The mound is about
4 kilometers east of Sheemor, and measures
about 35 meters in diameter. There are wide views across the landscape
from the top of the cairn, which once again shows the importance of landscape
in relation to these monuments. The cairn itself stands out on its summit
and is highly visible from the surrounding landscape. There are several
ruinous megalithic remains in the locality.
music for Sheebeg and Sheemor, copyright Henrik Norbeck.
is known locally as Fionn Mac Cumhal's grave, and at some stage in the
past a local opened the mound, doubtless digging for treasure. He dug
down from the top of the cairn, and found a megalithic chamber which contained
two massive skeletons. These skeletons were displayed for a time in a
shed in Keshcarrigan, and could be viewed by the public for a charge of
sixpence. However, the man's mother had nightmares and insisted he replace
the skeletons in their grave.
It was at Sheebeg that Turlough O'Carolan (1670 - 1738), the famous blind
harper and composer, was said to have been given the gift of music by
the fairy people. One of his first compositions was Sheemor and Sheebeg,
a beautiful piece which was inspired by local stories of a great battle
between the sidhe or fairy hosts who lived within the two hills. There
is a strong tradition in Irish music of links with the 'little people'
and many tunes which are still played in the tradition are said to come
from the 'gentle people'. Carolan travelled the countryside on horseback,
visiting the houses of the nobility and composing tunes known as Planxtys