In local folklore Fionn Mac Cumhaill was the legendary Irish warrior/hunter who led a small band of warriors known as the Fianna.  There are many legends associated with Fionn, the most widely known is probably the creation of the Giant’s Causeway.

Fionn, however also has strong associations with the Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion.  Legend has it that Fionn, having pursed a wild boar across Slieve Foy mountain in Carlingford, caught it, slew it and cooked it on top of the smouldering volcano.  After eating the delicious meal he lay down to sleep.  When he woke, the dawn sun was beginning to rise in the Mourne Mountains.  As Fionn cast his eyes over Carlingford Lough, a shadow stretched over the Lough and momentarily blocked out the sun.  To his horror he saw another Giant, as big as himself, armed with a mighty sword in one hand, a club in the other and a white shield slung over his shoulder.

Fionn called out to the other Giant to identify himself. The other Giant shouted back “I am the cock of the North”.  Fionn was enraged and shouted “if I go across that Lough, I’ll put the crowing out of you”.  The other Giant retorted “cool down Fionn Mac Cumhaill, my name is Ruscaire, I am the Giant of Snow and Ice, the enemy of the whole human race and if it’s fighting you want I’m your man”.  Fionn did not like to be challenged.  He was the Giant of the summer.  He was not one to be conquered, he would always break free so the whole of nature could rejoice.  There was however, no escape from battle.  Both Giants drew their swords, each with one foot in Carlingford Lough and the other astride the mountains.  They fought day and night.  On the third morning Ruscaire awoke early and crossed the Lough stealing Fionn’s sword.  He could have slain him as he slept but he had some honour.  When Fionn awoke and found that his sword was gone and realised that Ruscaire had taken it, he fell into a great rage. He picked up stones and fired them at him across the water.  A great battle of stone and rock firing began. 

Close to where Fionn stood lay the Cloughmore stone.  It weighed nearly 50 tons.  With great effort, Fionn gathered it in his great arms and hurled it at Ruscaire.  It landed on Ruscaire’s head and crushed his great body back into the mountain where it melted away like ice beneath the stone.  The Cloughmore Stone sits in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor.

Fionn had overtaxed himself.  He was exhausted and lay down on top of the smouldering volcano to sleep.  His head lay at the mountain top and his feet rested in the Lough.  Such was his tiredness, he never awakened and as the years passed by his great body turned to rock.  The outline of the body can be seen to this day if you look across the Lough from the Mourne Mountains.

Come and see for yourself. 

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Fionn's Giant Adventure at Slieve Gullion Forest Park
A family reading a sign at the entrance to Fionn's Giant Adventure  at Slieve Gullion Forest Park.

Follow Fionn's Giant Adventure (previously known as the Giant's Lair) at Slieve Gullion Forest Park. Follow the trail, there's so much to explore. Seek out fairies, spells, music and more.  Help is at hand as you'll have fairies and warriors to help you follow the trail.

Wake The Giant
Poster promoting Wake the Giant 2024 in Warrenpoint this August.

Fionn Mac Cumhaill, the towering figure of the Wake the Giant Festival will make a spectacular return to Warrenpoint this year with the theme, ‘The Land of Giants’. Taking place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August, this year’s festival promises even more excitement with the arrival of two new Giant Guardians, Wee Binnian and Carley.  Find out more about Wake the Giant 2024 here.

Rostrevor - Cloughmore Stone
Walking & Hiking
Rostrevor - Cloughmore Stone

Walks though a woodland with steep climbs and hills in places

Rostrevor Forest
Nature and Wildlife
Rostrevor Forest

This beautiful area has superb views and good walking routes over Carlingford Lough. Rostrevor Forest is also known as one of the highest ranking woodlands in the East of Northern Ireland and is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The Rostrevor Inn
Guest Accommodation
The Rostrevor Inn

In a beautifully refurbished 18th century building, where the Crawford family first started serving drinks in the mid-1800s, the Rostrevor Inn hosts a charming traditional bar and stables area, an atmospheric main bar serving delicious food.

The Rostrevor Inn
The Rostrevor Inn

Famous for delicious, great value food & welcoming ambience, the award-winning Rostrevor Inn hosts a popular bistro, atmospheric traditional bar. The beautifully renovated 1800s building is yards from Kilbroney Park, the gateway to the Mournes.

Kilbroney Park
Forest Parks
Children being photographed in Kilbroney Park

Kilbroney Park features riverside walks and an arboretum. There is a two-mile forest drive which showcases panoramic views over Carlingford Lough. There is also a Play Park with children's play area and tennis courts, an Information area and a café all on site.