Tara Sheela-na-Gig at dusk

Description

This is the taller of two standing stones in the churchyard of St. Patrick's Church on the Hill of Tara. It features a figurine engraved in relief on its eastern side, said to be a Sheela-na-gig, one of 117 known examples in Ireland. Sheela-na-gigs are carvings of naked females often posing in a manner where they display their (often exaggerated) genitalia. They were carved mostly between the 12th and 16th centuries AD, although their origins are shrouded in mystery. They are quite often found on churches and other religious structures, but many were erected on Norman castles and non-religious structures too.