Sun ready to roll on August 24

Going Out

ROCK OF AGES The Boheh Stone, one of the finest examples of neolithic rock art in Ireland and Britain, and the viewing point of the bi-annual spectacular called the Rolling Sun.


Mark your diaries for Tuesday, August 24, when the famous phenomenon of the Rolling Sun will be take place near Westport.
On two specific dates every year year, August 24 and April 18, the setting sun appears to ‘roll’ down the northern flank of Croagh Patrick. This phenomenon is visible from the vicinity of the ancient Boheh Stone, a national monument lying six kilometers south of Westport town, off the Leenane Road.
Although the view from the Boheh Stone is presently hindered by the growth of trees, this remarkable sunset can be enjoyed from other nearby locations along the same ridge of hills.
The Boheh Stone itself is worth a visit, even on days when the bi-annual solar spectacle is not scheduled. This natural outcrop of rock is the canvas for one of Ireland’s finest pieces of megalithic art, being liberally coated with cup and ring motifs.
Precisely what these mean is presently unknown. Could the Rolling Sun spectacle have inspired the neolithic artists to decorate the stone, their chosen vantage point? Were the motifs part of ancient pagan worship? Perhaps they were. Similar rock carvings have been found in what was the Land of Canaan, in the area described in the Bible as being given to the Israelites after the eviction of the pagan Canaanite people: The Promised Land.
While milk and honey may not flow, an enjoyable evening and an unforgettable spectacle (weather permitting) is on the cards on August 24.
The folks at the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail normally organise a guided walk for this event. Due to the ongoing situation with Covid there are no official arrangements this year. However, feel free to visit the Boheh Stone to witness the August phenomenon. Sunset is officially at 8.47pm, but expect things to start rolling a bit before that.