Diarmuid & Grainne, 10,000 year old cave bears & Irish mythology
The limestone caves of Kesh are located halfway up the side of a mountain near Ballymote in County Sligo. They can be reached by a 200m ascent up a steep grassy slope. There are many mythological stories associated with these caves including the legend that Cormac Mac Art, a famous King of Ireland was reputedly born and raised in them by a she-wolf. Diarmuid and Gráinne are also said to have taken refuge from the vengeful Fionn mac Cumhail in one of the caves and the festival of Lughnasa, a festival to honor the Celtic God Lugh was also held on the top of this mountain on the last Sunday in July (‘Garland Sunday’). The area around the caves is one of the richest places in Ireland for archeology and the prehistoric Keshcorran passage tomb crowns the summit of the mountain. Human remains and animal bones of cave bears, arctic lemmings, reindeer, and Irish elk have been found here, some dating back 10,000 years. The views are also stunning.