Work has begun on the first of six giant murals in Drogheda which will feature scenes from Irish mythology associated with the famous Boyne Valley.
Artist Ciarán Dunlevy has been commissioned to work on the first mural in the series, which will feature two giant panels depicting the story of the Salmon of Knowledge. The first panel features the boy Demne sucking his thumb after burning it on the cooking salmon - a moment at which he receives great inspiration and knowledge and becomes Fionn Mac Cumhaill.
The second panel, closer to the river Boyne (where the Salmon of Knowledge was caught) will show the druid and wise elder Finnegas catching the salmon as it leaps from the river.
The idea for large public murals in Drogheda based on mythological themes arose seven years ago, when artist Ciarán Dunlevy read a book by two friends, Richard Moore and Anthony Murphy (of Mythical Ireland), called 'Island of the Setting Sun'.
In November of 2014, Ciarán came up with a design for a local wall featuring the myths and monuments of the Boyne Valley as they were described in the book.
Now, seven years later, their dream is becoming a reality. Thanks to the support of Drogheda Business Improvement District (BID) committee under the leadership of manager Trevor Connolly, a series of six murals has been planned, with the first one commissioned and under way.
The mural is located on the eastern gable walls of the Fitzwilliam Court complex in Dyer Street, Drogheda, close to the river Boyne. It features the story of the Salmon of Knowledge, one of Ireland's most famous ancient stories. However, a lot of people living in Drogheda and the surrounding area may not know that the famous fish was supposed to have been caught at Rossnaree, just five miles upstream of the town.
Other mythological characters to feature on future murals include Dagda, Amergin, Étaín, Bóinn and the Cailleach. Sites for those murals will be chosen over the coming weeks and months.
Ciarán Dunlevy is an artist who was born in Drogheda and currently lives in Co. Donegal. He has been commissioned to create a substantial number of large murals and public art works in various parts of the country. Some of his work can be seen on his website.
Enter the ‘Ancient Sites’ section of this blog for a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the megalithic and sacred sites of Ireland. Find out all about the Stone Age and prehistoric ruins and learn more about the possible functions and alignments of these sites. Visit the great temples of Brú na Bóinne, the Hill of Tara, the ancient cairns of Loughcrew among many others.
Explore the ancient myths, legends and folklore of Ireland and their meaning. Read the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, or the place-name myths in the Dindshenchas. Learn about how the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians came to Ireland and how the early texts describe various invasions of prehistoric Éire. Hear about Fionn and the Fianna, and discover how some myths might contain information about astronomy and the stars.
There is no doubt that the ancient megalith builders had a substantial knowledge of the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars through the heavens. Learn more about just how complex and impressive this knowledge was. There is evidence that the people of the Neolithic knew about the 19-year Metonic cycle of the moon, as well as being able to predict eclipses.