The true origin of a famous landmark known as “The Nine Stones” is lost in antiquity. The stones are probably of the early or pre-Christian era when nine was a mystical number being a trinity of trinities etc., but varying traditions mark it as: the final resting place of nine chieftains; a place where nine rebels were killed; the burial place of 1798 heroes killed by Yoemen returning from the battle of Newtownbarry (Bunclody); or the burial place of nine shepherds. A custom in the old days was for those passing to place a small stone on the graves of those buried there.

The Nine Stones

One of the more unusual stories about the legend of the Nine Stones was recorded in 1945 by an Irish Tourist Board survey which said St. Moling, travelling hungrily on the road met a man who had a bag on his back. The Saint asked the man if there was bread in the bag (which there was) but he replied “No! Stones”. St. Moling replied, “If stones may they be turned into bread and if bread may they be turned into stones”. The man unburdened himself and the stones are there still!

Sepulchral cairn on Sliabh Ban

Mount Leinster
Dawn Mass, Easter Sunday on Mount Leinster

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