Mahon's Rock

No matter what country one is in, there are always locations that have changed the direction of history. Some of these locations, like Gettysburg and Waterloo are well-known, and well visited. Other locations, like Mahon’s Rock in Ireland, are hardly visited, but are equally important. One of the most important historical figures in Ireland is Brian Boru, who became high king of Ireland in the late 900’s, before being killed at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. However, what is not well-known is that Brian’s rise was predicated on the killing of his brother, Mathgamain (Mahon), who was, prior to his death, Brian’s leige, and the King of Munster. While Irish medieval history is complex, what is known is that in 976, Mahon was betrayed at a meeting that he thought would be with the Bishop of Cork, and kidnapped. Once kidnapped, he was brought to a remote location - Mushera Mountain - far from his base of power - and killed on the rock that remains to this day. In order to avenge his brother, Brian started a series of campaigns that ended with him ruling Ireland, and occupying his fateful place in history - things that would not have happened without the actions that occurred on a remote mountain on a remote rock.

Today, Mahon’s Rock is still fairly remote, and Mushera Mountain is still wild, probably like it was in 976. In terms of actual directions, I can’t tell you how I ended up there as I was looking for something else during one of my drives across Ireland, but I do recall that I saw the sign for Mahon’s Rock shortly after passing through the very small town of Aubane. Online directions that do not appear on Google Maps tell you to turn onto Brandy Road, so my suggestion is that once one passes through Aubane, look for the sign that directs one to Mahon’s Rock, along with a sign for Brandy Road. A word about Brandy Road: while it is graded, it is not fully paved. Proceed at your own risk as it is narrow, and while passable at times in a standard drive car, may not be the best driving choice year-round. Once there, the sign, and rock pictured herein are readily visible, as they are the only thing for kilometers (or miles) visible on the mountain.