Druids come out to witness winter solstice at Knockroe Passage Tomb, Kilkenny

Sean Keane


Sean Keane



At the winter solstice

Druid Eimear Burke with poet Nora Brennan

The druids were out in force on Thursday for the winter solstice at the magnificent Knockroe passage tomb in South Kilkenny.
The magnetism of this pagan pace of worship was evidenced by the crowd of well over 100 people that attended.
They were present, on the shortest day of the year, to witness the alignment of the sun with the stones in the burial chamber.
One druid, Eimear Burke from Threecastles explained that for druids the
winter solstice was a highlight of the year on their nature based spiritual path.
"We have no dogma, no guilt, just ethics, a responsibility for our actions," she said.
"We wait for the sun to come into the burial chamber and we reconnect with the landscape," she explained.
It's a simple, live-and-let-live philosophy that works for Eimear and many others.
And it's hard to argue with the resonance that Eimear and many others feel with the place when they enter the site on the Kilkenny-Tipperary border.
The Druid’s Alter the Red Hill, The Coshel, whatever you call at Knockroe Passage Tomb is by far the most important, intricate, complex and most interesting pre-historic site in this region and we are still literally, unearthing it’s secrets.
It predates the Pyramids of Egypt and is considerably older than Newgrange or Stonehenge and yet, is still shrouded in mystery.
Professor Muiris O'Sullivan is Associate Professor of Archaeology at UCD gave a potted history of the site and its importance.
There was tea, sausage rolls, buns and mulled wine made available by a local group in what was a wonderful evening.
The sun failed to make it through the clouds and there was no sunlit alignment but it was still magical.