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The Mermaid Stones

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Enniscrone, Sligo, Republic of Ireland
T: +353(0)719161201
E: northwestinfo@failteireland.ie

The Mermaid Stones are located on top of a low ridge, in Enniscrone County Sligo. There are numerous legends attached to the stones one telling that the stones are the children of a mermaid sorceress who turned them to stone.

The Mermaid Stones of Enniscrone are located on top of a mound in County Sligo. Mounds like this are dated to the Bronze or early Iron Age and are considered to be burial sites. The whole area is covered in dense undergrowth and trees. A ditch and an outer bank surround the small circular flat topped mound. It is around 18 metres in diameter and has a height of about 25 metres.

Immediately adjacent to the mound, on the same level and on the north east side are six stones, which are of varying dimension. They do not form a symmetrical pattern and may not be in their original positions. The are called The Children of the Mermaid.

The following story is one of the legends told of the Mermaid Stones of Enniscrone: "Thady O'Dowd, Chieftan of the O'Dowd clan, was walking on the seashore and spotted a beautiful mermaid wearing a beautiful cloak. Without her cloak she would remain human and unable to return to the sea. Thady stole her cloak and asked her to marry him.

They lived happily for many years and she bore him seven children. One day his eldest child saw the father hiding the cloak and told the mother where it was. While he was away at battle the mermaid/woman took the cloak and her children and went to Scurmore.

Her children tried to stop her returning to the sea but its call was so strong she could not resist. She turned six of the seven into stone and brought the youngest off with her. It is said that every time an O'Dowd dies the rocks here weep."