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Library >> GALLERY Oweynagat
An ancient legend tells us that a woman killed a monster cat that lived in this cave. She must have been a great warrior because her legend has survived. Oweynagat is the Irish name for this cave – it is pronounced as "Owen-ne-gatt” and it means Cave of the Cats. It is repeatedly associated with Samhain – the start of the Celtic New Year.
 
Oweynagat Cave of the Cats

Located at Rath Croghan / Cruachan in the great archaeological complex in north Co. Roscommon, this small cave has huge mythic importance. This is the ancient capital of the goddess-queen MEDB, often pronounced and spelt as Meave. Inside are two ogham slabs that when translated mean ‘the pillar of Fraech son of Madb’. The cave is refered to as the birth place of Medb.
 
Oweynagat Cave of the Cats

The entrance is small and you need to crawl to enter but once inside, the cave opens up to become a huge high space. Cats do not appear in the stories associated with the Cave of the Cats, strangely it has lots of association with Cows! Apparently, the Morrigan drove her cows through the cave. Another story tells us that a woman travelled for many miles underground because she held on to the tail of a calf that entered the cave…
 
Oweynagat Cave of the Cats

An 18th century text tells us that the cave is the “Hell-mouth of Ireland”. It is not visited much today but it is still freely accessible to the brave. Just don’t go inside the cave near Samhain, OK.

Ah -update Samhain 2010

Some brave Drui enter the Cave of the Cats....
 
Inside the Cave of the Cats

The above image is inside the Cave of the Cats, it was taken on the 2nd day of the Celtic New Year 2010. Some of our group entered the Cave - image below.
 
The Underworld Samhain 2010

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