The Mythical Gates in Co. Mayo

An ancient legend tells the mythical "gates of Erris" were erected here in the valley of Glencastle near Bangor.

It was told that an olden chief of the Tuata de Danann closed and locked them in order to protect the Mullet from enemies' attacks during the night and to block the way on the north coast route.

The natives believed this chief was a giant named Domhnall Dual-Bhuide or Donal of the Yellow Locks. The giant had enormous strength and two eyes unlike the other giants who had only one eye in the forehead. He was married to a beautiful real woman, daughter of the Lord of the Reeks.

After a fight against a rival warrior he took him home and his wife fell in love with him. The woman induced Domhnall to uncover the secret of his strength and so he was definitely defeated.

The natives also believed Dundonnel was the giant's stronghold. Dundonnel is a fortified hillock in the valley of Glencastle about four and a half miles west of Belmullet and on its top there are the remains of a doon or cassiol.

In 1838 Domhnall's grave was pointed out between two stones: one of which was removed soon afterwards, but the other still remains and his "corn stack" and his" turf rick" were formerly recognised.

Did you know?
County Mayo is the giants' land. Another olden giant lived near Ballina. He used to eat on a dolmen, the Clochogle (clock thoghbhaile, lifted stone), nowadays called the giant's table.
The giant Balor of the Evil Eye took part in the Battle of Moytura while on Slievemore in Achill Island it is told there is a giant's grave.

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