This article comes to us from David Keohan. It is through his research and legwork that the Challenge Stone of Inishmore, Ireland has been found.
It all stems from a short story named, "The stone" by famed Irish novelist Liam o Flaherty.
Liam was born on Inishmore and he wrote about the natural beauty and hardiness of island life.
In his story he talks of the stone and that from the time of the most remote ancestors of the people, men from the village lifted the challenge stone to prove their strength and improve their social status.
This intrigued me! As you can probably guess, the possibility of a HISTORICAL irish lifting stone. So I researched and found that the late great Peter Martin was also aware of this and spoke about in a piece he wrote about ancestral irish stone lifting.
Then i came across this intriguing post about the possibile location of said stone by a local woman on a post 10yrs ago on Facebook😳.
So with these clues in our bag, (and a fair few cans of stout), myself and my friend Petr set off to follow the trail 💪
So after much time and effort consisting of a 4.5 hr van trip from Waterford to Rossaveal Harbour in co. Galway , a 50 min ferry in high seas, a 25 min bike journey (you rent them on the island, great fun) and a 10 min walk.... we arrived at the area.
And this stone stood out amongst all the others. The colour , the shape, it was on its own little patch of grass beside a wee plinth... it. Had to be it!
It was also HEAVY. So it fitted the theme of getting the wind under as a valid lift, and someone having "HEROIC STRENGTH" to be able to lift to chest.
Myself and Jamie Gorrian recently revisited the stone and found 2 others beside the main stone, on the same small patch of grass. very similar to the Dritvik stone set up in Iceland.
Through meeting some old islanders and a local tour guide i was told my suspicions were correct and this 100% was the lifting stone and was given its proper name.
MOUILÍN PORT BHÉAL AN DÚN.
Myself and Jamie Brought our weighing equipment and it weighs an impressive 171KG/376lb
I managed to get the wind under which im Delighted with, and Jamie got it to chest in a fantastic show of strength. Historic strength indeed.
It's a beautiful lump of pink granite,
Which stands out like a sore thumb amidst all the local natural deep grey limestone. This is what is known as a "glacial erratic" stone. Dropped by a passing glacier thousands of years ago.
I'm incredibly excited and proud to have found this. Couldn't have been done without the brilliant research and stories by great men before me.
We stood on the shoulders of giant's and took the next step.
THE CHALLENGE STONE OF INISHMORE....
MOUILÍN PORT BHÉAL AN DÚN .
found! And lifted!
GRÁ AGUS BEANNACHT MÓ CHAIRDE GO LÉIR