It is believed that the cairns a top of Knockma hill are not only the burial ground of the legendary Queen Maeve of Connacht, but also home to Finvarra (Finnbheara), the fairy king of Connacht, who is believed to have built his fortress and holds court on the hill. 

It is believed Finvarra lives in his castle, Finvarra’s Castle (one of the 3 cairns a top of the hill), with his queen Oona. Finvarra is a benevolent figure in Gaelic folklore for ensuring good harvests, strong horses and great riches to those who assist him. 

Further to this, legend suggests that the 1846-47 potato famine was caused by Finvarra as people did not assist him and rather caused disturbances by moving the stones on his hill. 

At the top of Knockma hill you will see mysterious fairy forts which are built among the trees and stone walls – caution is advised however – do not move any stones.


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