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A landscape of legends

Nowhere is history and legend more interwoven than in the west of Ireland. Here the ancient raths – the mounds and stone circles where the pre-Christian people worshipped the old gods – are treated with the same respect as the holy wells, where people still go to be healed of different ailments. Here in Mayo, the historical figure of St Patrick – brought to Ireland from Wales as a slave – battled the old gods and personally met with the queen of the Tuatha de Danaan.

A brooding landscape

Holy well near Killala, Co Mayo, festooned with ribbons, personal effects and religious items.

A tree growing from a Holy Well. Visitors looking for favours usually leave something on the tree.

A collapsed Court tomb in use over a thousand years before the Christian era by the side of the road.

Insode a sea cave at low tide.

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