Mihanboy Portal Tomb, Roscommon, Ireland

Mahinboy is a collapsed portal tomb situated along an incredibly picturesque bridle path that has recently been restored and lovingly tended to by a local heritage group. The walkway to the tomb is excellent, signposted with information about its history both folkloric and topographic, and as the tomb is situated in an area with a lot of wild garlic much attention is paid to old herbal remedies and cures.  Mihanboy is known by other names/spellings, both as Meeambee and Meehambee, also as the Giant’s Bed and according to the Dúchas Schools Collection as Leabaidh Eirn. The capstone is monumental, measuring 3 by 3 metres and a depth of 60cm. It has subsided on the north side and rests on the rear, east and west side stones. It is generally believed that one of the portal stones was used as a headstone that stands about 3 metres east of the tomb, I did not see this on the day of my visit but it is inscribed with illegible inscription and the year 1748. This west facing tomb is in such an idyllic setting its easy to see how it captured the imagination of the locals. In the 1960s two schoolchildren unearthed two stones axes buried in the tomb. Local customs relating to the tomb feature in one report from the 1930s Dúchas Schools Collection, ‘In a field in Meeambee in the parish of [?], there is to be seen a cromlech. It is called locally Leabaidh Éirn. There were four upright slabs, some of which are now fallen, topped by a huge oblong slab, many tons weight. Near at hand there is a circular raised mound of earth enclosed by bushes called “The Fort” which his believed to be visited by the fairies. None of the bushes have been cut down, lest some dire misfortune should follow. A chieftain named Earn is popularly supposed to have lived in this district.”

I wholeheartedly recommend a visit to this beautiful bridle path and portal tomb and my respect and thanks goes to the local heritage volunteers who worked hard in setting up and maintaining such a captivating walk.

GPS: 53.411944, -8.019722

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