'Fethard Wall' : Sheela-na-Gig

TownlandFethard
CountyTipperary
Grid RefS 209 349
GPSS 20892 34890 (12m)
Longitude7° 41' 33.26" W
Latitude52° 27' 54.53" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownClonmel (12.5 Km)
OS Sheet67
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 15th February 2004

Most directions to this Sheela just say that it is visible from the Medieval Bridge on the south side of thetown, but this isn't all that clear. If you drive out of Fethard to the west the road cross a bridge. Immediately after the bridge is a cross roads. Turn left here and drive down/ You will see a modern foot bridge on the left and 300m further down is the old bridge. The Sheela is mounted in a wall that faces you as you cross the bridge heading into town on the right of the road. Look for the little green plaque, as the stone blends in very well.

This one is completely different to the other Fethard Sheela. She is squatting with her legs splayed wide (the feet are broken off) and both hands reach below the thighs and very clearly indicate the vulva. There are ribs marked and there is also scarringon the cheeks and around the left eye. The right side of the face is damaged or uncarved, giving the impression of a defect. Very unusually there appears to be a beard or perhaps it indicates a very haggered neck.

The mouth is open showing the teeth and the left eye stares at you in a most disconcerting manner. This is not a benevolent looking carving at all.

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About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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