(Local legend from
Dromore West, Co. Sligo)
Cumhaill arrived at the top of the Ox Mountains in Sligo with
another big strong man named Cicsatóin. They spotted two great boulders close
by, and Fionn was challenged to throw one of these into the sea
at Easkey. In normal times this would not cause him any bother,
but he had a heavy heart at this time. The woman he wished to
marry, Gráinne, had eloped with Dermot, one of his own young
warriors, and he couldn't have that. He had to find her and
Dermot, and quickly at that. Whatever was on his mind anyway, he
did not give the task in hand enough attention, and his boulder
fell short. It landed just across the road from where
Killeenduff National School is now built. Cicsatóin hoisted
his boulder into the air, and with a great roar, lofted it far
away into the sea where it made a mighty splash. Some say it
created such waves that the sea hasn't been the same since, and that
is why the Easkey coastline is renowned internationally for
surfing. There are wild waves there every day of the year.
As to Fionn, when
he saw that he had lost the wager, on top of losing his would-be
bride in the same year, he took off from the mountain-top like the wind. He
passed out three hares on the way down, and never stopped until
he arrived at the rock. "There is magic at work in this boulder,
but it won't bother anybody else!," he said angrily to himself,
as he split the rock in two with his sword.
The rock is still there today,
where it fell many years ago.
It is said that the two halves of
the rock will come together to sandwich anyone brave enough to
pass through the opening three times.