Deciding whether to put this on megalithomania has caused me some deep contemplation, but because it appears in a top-selling guide book I can't see that I can put it under further threat. In fact, placing it on here might add a little protection to it.
When I first saw a picture of this I thought it was a bullaun, but it isn't. What we have here are seven large, river rolled pebbles on a flat slab, now cracked in two. These are 'cure stones', which have a lovely bit of lore attached to them.
é─˙A friend of the sufferer goes to Killery and brings a piece of thread, which should in strictness be unbleached linen, though this condition is not always adhered to. On arrival at the place, the thread is wrapped around the peg-like stone; the round stones are then turned separately while a prayer is said; afterwards a thread left by some former visitor is taken up, brought to the patient, and bound around the affected part: the cure soon follows. This process is called é─˛lifting a strain threadé─˘. It is equally effective for the cure of horses or cattle.é─¨ - Journals of the Royal Society for the Antiquities of Ireland XLIII (1913) [taken from Early Ireland: A Field Guide by Anthony Weir]
There were fresh pieces of string tied around the 'peg-stone' when I visited, so the practice is obviously still observed today and the survival of such a thing is, to me, truly splendid.
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.