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Standing Stones

The Leprechaun Watch

The Leprechaun Watch

Not far from the town of Thurles, in a picturesque part of Tipperary, is nestled the enchanting Glen of Cloongallon. To the north rise the Silvermine Mountains, and on a clear day it is possible to see the fabled seat of the kings of Munster. The mighty Rock of Cashel dominates the surrounding the plain.

A fairy ring lies in the heart of the Glen. (view the location...) This prehistoric earthwork, some 500 ft (170m) in diameter and averaging 10 ft (3m) in height, encloses an neolithic dolmen. It is here, following mysterious events on a nearby farm, that has been invited to establish a live cam Leprechaun Watch. We have set up a video camera connected via a satellite phone to the Internet. The apparatus is located in a 'hide' on the edge of the ring. The area has a reputation as a haunt for supernatural beings of various types. These include leprechauns, sheeries and pookas. They are regarded as being particularly active in the spring.

The Glen of Cloongallon is in the townland of Ballyseanrath. In a slight hollow lies the fairy ring itself. It is not obvious to passers-by as it is surrounded by hedges of hawthorn, ash, blackthorn hedges and early flowering gorse. There are trees ranged around the perimeter, mainly chestnut, with one magnificent specimen of oak. The oak is believed to be over 600 years old. Its magical reputation may stem from its providing leprechauns with acorns for their pipes. The tree is thought to be protected by a skeaghshee or tree spirit. Thus it may well have been spared the axe in Tudor times. Many of its species were felled to build Men O'War for Henry VIII's navy. It has been pressed into modern day service as a 'hide'. The camera is concealed in a cavity in its trunk, and a branch supports an antenna!

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