Curiously signposted 'The Dolmen' as if there is only one on the planet, this is not a 'dolmen' but a kist. The massive 2m square, 1m thick capstone rests on three stones forming three sides of the square chamber. A fourth stone (probably the fourth side) lies 5m away.
The location offers unparalleled views of the railway freight yard below. On one side of the capstone are what seems to be a perfectly arranged hexagon of cup marks, but these are simply where a sign used to be attached to the it.
I met two American couples here who were heading back home. They had been all over Donnegal and Sligo and seen some great places, such as Carrowkeel and Creevykeel (County Sligo). I'd like to say "hi" to them, as they'll probably be checking up on this page. Hope you had a good trip home.
It's amazing how much a site can change in such a short time! What a difference there is between how this site felt when I was last here and what it feels like now. The proximity of the train depot was always an interference here, but now you have to try and cut out the rooftops of the buildings that have been built around the knoll upon which this monument stands.
Actually, these buildings have not been built 'around' the knoll. The knoll has been heavily cut away to provide more space for building and so the rooflines are just metres from the little enclosure around the stones.
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From the Garda station in the centre of Ballina take the N59 south towards Crossmolina. Turn left onto the N26 heading south (this is still inside Ballina). After 400m you will see a road to the right, just before the train depot, sign-posted 'The Dolmen'. Obviously follow this road. After 500m you will see another sign - 'The Dolmen' on the right. There is plenty of parking here. Go through the gate and walk 50m up the path.
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.