Loop Head, properly Leap Head, takes its name from the Irish
term, Leim Chon Chulainn (Cuchulain's Leap), a legendary feat
of that hero who jumped from the mainland to the crag some
distance away, to escape the attentions of a witch or hag
called Mal. The isolated fragment of cliff on which Cuchulain
sought refuge is, for no very clear reason, called Diarmuid and
Milltown Malbay (Sraid na Cathrach - Village of the Stone Fort)
takes its name from neighbouring
Mal Bay, said to link this part of the coast with the same Mal.
Tradition claims that there is a "lost city" and church of
Kilstephen under Liscannor Bay.
Slieve Callan (Mount Callan)
Its summit (423 m) is the highest point in west Clare.
At Knocknalassa, to the right of the road as it skirts the
mountain, is a wedge-shaped gallery grave, romantically, but
incongruously named Leaba Dhiarmada agus Grainne (Diarmuid and
Near the summit is the site where Lughnasa (August or harvest)
celebrations used formerly take place.
Close by is Leacht Chonain, a cairn said to mark the burial place
of Conan, a comic anti-hero of the Fianna. The key to the legendary
church of Killstephen lies buried with him.
The waters of St. Brigid's Well south of the Cliffs of Moher are
believed to have miraculous powers to heal.
Pilgrims travelled from Clare and the Aran Islands for the Lughnasa
festivities on the last Saturday of July and continuing onto
'Garland Sunday' in Lahinch.
The Irish name for 'Garland Sunday' is taken from Crom Dubh, a
The banshee is probably one of the most enduring of Irish myths. She is heard to wail before someone
dies and all the great irish clans had their own banshee.
Aoibheal of Craglea is perhaps the most famous banshee of them all and the mythical link with the
other world is said to reside in Killaloe.
Aoibheal "The Lovely One" resided and perhaps still does at Craglea where a great rock almost 40 ft
high emerges from the side of Crag Hill. It was from here in 1014 that Aoibheal is said to have
hastened to Clontarf where she informed King Brian Boru that he was to die in the great battle of
Clontarf when united Irish Clans overcame, the Viking invaders.