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Diarmuid and Grainne's cave , Glenliff horseshoe.

The legendary Diarmuid and Grainne's cave in the Horseshoe Glen.
Another magical location inspiration for Garrett Crowley in the exciting adventures of Liam O'Leamy, is the cave in the Horseshoe Glen. The Gleniff horseshoe is a beautiful 10 kilometre loop along quiet roads. It boasts many spectacular views amidst the backdrop of the dramatic and wild Dartry Mountains. The walk also provides wonderful views of the Donegal Bay and the Ulster County beyond. 
   Travelling North from Sligo take the N15 towards Bundoran, take the first right turn 1.5km after the village of Cliffoney signposted Ballintrillick. Follow this road for 4.8 kilometres through four minor cross roads until you reach the Gleniff Horseshoe. Continue straight following sign for Gleniff Horseshoe Valley. The 19th century Bartyes Mill Site is located on the left as you walk into the horse shoe. A woodland walk has been developed at the Mill Site which takes you along under native Irish trees, babbling mountain streams and pretty waterfalls. It is a lovely spot to stop for a picnic.
   The tall cliffs on the left after the road begins to turn back to the north are the Cliffs of Annacoona. As you emerge through the trees the legendary Diarmuid and Grainne's cave becomes visible high up on the steep slopes, this is reputed to be the last hiding place of the ill fated lovers. 
   The story of Diarmuid and Grainne is replete with myth and legend. The story begins with the ageing Fionn, leader of the warrior band the Fianna, grieving over the death of his wife. He marries Gráinne, the daughter of High King Cormac mac Airt. At their wedding feast Grainne becomes enamoured with Fionn's handsome warrior Diarmuid. They elope and hide in a forest across the River Shannon. Fionn immediately pursues them. They evade him several times with the help of other Fianna members and Aengus Óg, Diarmuid's foster father, who conceals Gráinne in his cloak of invisibility while Diarmuid leaps over the pursuers' heads. It is said that the cave in the Horseshoe Glen was one of their hiding places when they were fleeing. The beauty and mystery surrounding this cave and its surroundings has inspired many the tale of adventure and magic. Dana and Liam too, find that the plot thickens and their adventures continue as they edge their way further and further into the darkened caverns of the cave in chapter eight.
'“This must be the place. Let's explore” They moved forward into the cave where giant carrot-shaped rocks grew up from the ground and down from the darkness above'.

Glencar Waterfall Leitrim

Glencar waterfall

  Photo:  www.PdPhoto.org

 

World renowned poet, WB Yeats, wrote about the lovely Glencar Waterfall in his poem titled 'The Stolen Child'.

 

 

“Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,”

 

 

 

 

Almost another character in this book, the waterfall at Ballyboreen forest was inspired by the beauty of Glencar Waterfall. In chapter one, Liam O'Leamy receives a message from Uncle Patrick inviting him that night to 'Come to the waterfall at Ballyboreen Forest'.

 

Upon viewing Glencar Waterfall, I imagined magical midnight feasts awaiting throngs of Leprechauns dancing, singing and telling stories of old. Inspired by the beauty of those I wanted to conjured up an exciting world of myths, legends and Leprechauns. We can almost hear WB Yeats' call to us to 'Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild, With a faery, hand in hand...'

 

 

 

 


Directions

 

Glencar Waterfall is situated near Glencar Lake, 11 kilometres west of Manorhamilton in County Leitrim, Ireland. This impressive waterfall sparkles after rainfall and can be viewed from a winding, wooded walk.

 

Slish Wood, Sligo

Sleuth Wood or Slishwood

Sligo's Slish Wood features in the poetry of William Butler Yeats, in his poem 'The Stolen Child'. However, he refers to it as 'Sleuth Wood'. It's easy to see in your mind's eye the silhouettes of our heroes, Liam and Dana, chasing through this leafy wood where danger wears many faces. Liam and Dana are super sleuths, so it is only fitting that the inspiration for a setting in this story is a place called Sleuth Wood!

It is known locally by the beautiful sounding name of Slishwood. Liam and Dana sneak through this forest on their quest to discover the Treasure Hunter. Slish wood is a truly spectacular woodland area where people go for long, leisurely walks with friends and family. It is located on the southern shore of a large expanse of water known as Lough Gill.

Come visit this stunning location between the lake and the beautiful Ox Mountains. Maybe you will uncover a stolen treasure under a leaf or a branch...a golden crown perchance! Bring a picnic!