Mullaghmast Standing Stone


The last port of call for myself & Dylan on the way home was the Standing Stone of Mullaghmast, one of Kildare’s ‘Magnificent Seven’. I have previously covered similar stones at Kilgowan, Punchestown Great, Craddockstown West  & Maudlins Holed Stone. Mullaghmast is a hill in south Kildare that is steeped in history from ancient times right up until modern days. Mullaghmast is also home to a number of earthworks, ringforts & barrows.  Thankfully the stone is now classed as a National Monument and is  protected under Irish Law. It is believed to have been moved to its current location at some point in time from its original position on the opposite side of the road, and now resides in a nice little enclosure just off the side of the road. Dylan got real excited once the stone came into view and had a good dance around it for a few minutes.


Just in front of the stone there is a stone plaque embedded in the ground which readsLia Fáil’ Mullaghmast Longstone. Now I’m not going to rant on too much, but the ‘Lia Fáil’ was a sacred stone of the Tuatha de Danann and was used to inaugurate the many kings of Ireland. It is claimed by some to reside on the Hill of Tara, but that argument I shall keep for another day. So in fact either way the stone at Mullaghmast should not be mistaken for the legendary ‘Lia Fáil’. Im not quite sure why this was even inscribed on the plaque unless the inscriber meant ‘Lia Fáil’ to mean Longstone. If anyone can clarify this, I would love to hear from you. Mullaghmast was once home to a fort of the O’Toole clan. The Annals tell many stories of battles taking place in the area. One of the most popular stories related to Mullaghmast dates back to New Years day in 1577 a number of Chieftains from the UiFailghe and Laoighis clans where lured into a trap by the O’Dempsey clan whom were said to be in league with the English. This resulted in a mass slaughter of the Gaelic chieftains. It is said that only two managed to escape with their lives.


The stone itself is quite a sight to behold and stands at almost 2m in height, with two deep grooves on the south-east side and another similar groove in the south-west side. There is still a very powerful energy emanating from this remarkable  stone. Like many of these Neolithic monuments which are scattered across the country, we can only speculate as to their true purpose? Were they burial markers or some form of sundial? Were they places of ritual or something else?  I was once told by an old Druid friend of mine that they were used by our ancestors like needles to harness or balance the natural energy of the land similar to how acupuncture works. I guess this is why I feel so much energy when I visit these sites!


A rather interesting story connected to Mullaghmast comes from an old text called the Metrical Dindshenchas, or Lore of Places. It is a collection of Irish Poetry, (author unknown) which claims to explain the origins of certain Irish place names. The book claims that Mullaghmast was named after Maistiu, the wife of Dáire Derg. The story goes that Maistiu was killed with sorcery by a nasty Faery known as Gris. In revenge Dáire Derg killed Gris. I recall mention of Dáire Derg from the Fenian Cycle, which tells the tales of the legendary Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Fianna, but only recently came across this connection to Mullaghmast. On a final note there was another standing stone in Mullaghmast dating back to prehistory, it was decorated with a triskle, but was removed at some stage, presumably for safe keeping. It now resides in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin and is well worth a visit..


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About edmooneyphotography

Photographer, Blogger, Ruinhunter, with an unhealthy obsession for history, mythology and the arcane.
This entry was posted in Diary of a Ruinhunter, Historical, Neolithic, Photography, Places of Interest, Ruins, Standing Stone and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Mullaghmast Standing Stone

  1. This is really amazing. I had no idea that there were so many stories and tales connected to such stones. Great stories and great pictures! 🙂


  2. Iksa says:

    Someone should make a film from the stories of these stones … Or there are already?


  3. Fantastic photos, Ed. Been poring over all the links to the other standing stones you’ve photographed – amazing and awesome. My great-grandmother was Irish, although I’ve got no idea where she came from, so looking at your photos is a small link to my heritage, however distant it is now from Ireland. Thanks so much not just for the photos but for your information about various sites. Fascinating stuff.


  4. viapina says:

    Love the story and the photos! Your son is a natural! I’m following you now on Twitter. Pina


  5. Dylan is a cutie! The stones and their stories are fascinating.


  6. Interesting story and much more than just a rock out in a field. Your ruin-hunter junior is a great aide in give some perspective as to the size of the standing stone – Good job Dylan!


  7. sueslaght says:

    Your son’s red hair against the stone makes a fabulous shot. Not to mention he is so darn cute!


  8. seaangel4444 says:

    Once again, Ed, brilliant! I absolutely love the photos with your wee Dylan; bless! The energy from the stones is fascinating to me. Loreena Mckennitt is a Canadian singer who has a song called, “Standing Stones”.
    Thanks as always, Ed! Fantastic job!!


  9. armenpogharian says:

    I always enjoy your posts. I’ve only been to Ireland once – had a great time – and you’re giving me plenty of reasons to return.


  10. Interesting narrative and pics, not to mention the cutie-patootie standing next to the stone.


  11. kiwiskan says:

    So cute. I haven’t worked out how to just get colour in one focal point. I have photoshop elements. Can you help?


    • Oh for sure, what version of elements are you using?


        • ok I use cs6 but i have a copy of elements 11. The process should be the same.

          Step 1:
          Open your image, and go to the Layers tab at the top of your screen. Select Adjusment Layer, and then Levels. A new window will open up, try selecting auto, this should improve the overall image. If you are not happy with the results try moving the sliders until you get the desired result.

          Step 2:
          Again go to your layers tab, Adjustment but this time select Hue/Saturation. Again a new window will pop up. To convert the image to B/W select the Saturation slider and drag it all the way to the left. You should now have a good looking B/W image on your screen.

          Step 3:
          This is where you get to paint back in a selection to colour. Select the brush tool from the palette on the left of the screen. You can adjust its size in the top toolbar. Make sure that your colour palette is set to black. Then paint over the part of the image you wish to bring out the colour in. Dont worry if you overdo it. You can fix it by changing the colour palette to white and then paint over the area you wish to return to B/W. Once your happy with the result save the image in whatever way you would normally do.

          Hope this helps, cant wait to see how you get on. Email me if you have any troubles,

          Eddie 🙂


  12. enmanscamera says:

    As always…I look forward to and enjoy your accompanying commentary with every image you post. Thanks for that.


  13. mengeleblog says:

    thish is amazing !


  14. Very interesting post. Amazing photos too, Ed. Thanks for sharing!


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  16. Jo Woolf says:

    What a lovely stone, Ed, and I am fascinated by the opinion of your druid friend about the standing stones being magnetic ‘needles’ set into the Earth. This sounds very plausible to me! There is so much wisdom that we have lost (or deliberately forgotten!)


  17. LB says:

    Love your dedication to history and the truth. I’ll be interested to hear if you learn any more about that inscribed plaque.


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