This photograph of Benbulben Mountain was taken just before sunset on a showery wet evening in February 2009. It is a panorama photograph where 5 individual photos were stitched together to form a single image. Benbulben forms part of the Dartry Mountain range and its dominance extends throughout much of County Sligo.

This photo focuses on dramatic cliffs of the northern face of Benbulben. These cliffs were formed as the harder Dartry limestone eroded at a different rate than the softer lower layers of Glencar limestone and shale.

Benbulben has many myths and legends associated with it, the most famous being The Boar of Benbulben. It is said that King Cormac, the High King of Ireland, had betroth this daughter Grainne to the warrior Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool). However rather than marry the aging McCool, Grainne elopes with a young Fianna warrior Diarmuid Ua Duibhne.

The enraged Fionn pursues the couple all over Ireland and catches up with Diarmuid on the slopes of Benbulben where he tricks him into fighting an enchanted wild boar. After a fierce battle Diarmuid manages to slay the boar with his sword but not before the beast was able to pierce his heart with its tusk.

Legend has it that when Grainne learned of Diarmuid's death she died on the spot and that the couple were buried in a cave that now bares their name on the Dartry mountain range, not far from the slopes of Benbulben.

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© Ciaran McHugh Photography 2009-2017, by Sea Design