The neolithic cairn, Shee Lugh is perched on the highest point of Moytura, and has one of the finest views in County Sligo. Visible are the hills and megalithic sites of Doomore, Croughan, Knocknarea, Carrowmore, Sliabh Da Ean and Benbulben.



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Shee Lugh.

Shee Lugh is the name given to the neolithic mound on the highest part of the ridge of Moytura. The cairn has a truely fantastic view across County Sligo, a panorama worthy of the Sun God. The mound is much disturbed: it was probably dug by the local antiquarian, Lady Louisa Tennison, who also dug into the Labby Rock further down the hill. The cairn was built by a massive boulder, which was probably sacred back in the mesolithic dreamtime. The has a trench through it, but no large structural stones are visible. The panorama is astonishing: something like 22 ancient monuments can be seen, all marking off points on the horizon. You can see the view HERE.

Looking from the shore of Lough na Suil to the ridge of Moytura. The Lake was formed by Balor's burning eye as it plunged into the earth at the climax of the Battle of Moytura.

I believe the cairn of Shee Lugh is one the the three major neolithic sites of the Lough Arrow region, the eastern component of a massive compex of megalithic structures. Each of the major cairn complexes is laid out in a trinity of sites. The best known is Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth in the Boyne Valley. At Loughcrew there are Patrickstown Hill, Sliabh na Cailli and Carnbane West. On the west coast near Moytura is the great complex fromed by Cairns Hill, Carrowmore and Knocknarea. At Lough Arrow we have Shee Lugh, Heapstown and the Bricklieve Mountain complex, which I count as one site. The Lough Arrow complex is joined to the Cuil Irra complex by the umbilical cord of the River Uinshin, which connects the lake to the sea at Ballisodare by Knocknarea.

The eight major alignments from Shee Lugh.

The cairn of Shee Lugh is said to have been Lugh's seat as he viewed the events of the Second Battle of Moytura. It is said that the warriors of The Tuatha De Danann were worried that Lugh might be killed or injured during the battle, so they sat him on the mound that bears his name with an honour guard of 27 warriors to protect him.

One of the most interesting aspects of the site is how it was chosen for its view across the landscape and its alignments to other monuments. From Shee Lugh, the winter solstice sun rises over the hill of Sheemor in Leitrim and sets over the cairns of Carrowkeel. The summer solstice sun rises over Carran Hill, where an ancient monument was destroyed in the past, and sets behind Knocknarea and Queen Maeve's cairn. North is marked by the Giant's Toe at Keelogeyboy, and south is marked by Sheegorey in the Curlew mountains across Lough Arrow. East is marked by Sliabh an Iariann and west by the cairn topped Muckelty hill.

The mid winter extreme lunar standstill or lunestice, when viewed from Shee Lugh, drops into the 'notch' at Sliabh Da Ean. This same extreme lunar alignment is found in the chamber of Cairn G at Carrowkeel across the lake.

The dramatic view from Shee Lugh: it is not difficult to believe that this is the site of a great cosmic battle. The mound on the left is Shee Lugh, or Lugh's Chair, where Lugh of the Long Arm sat during the battle.