Turoe, county Galway:
detail of phallic stone

M 630 223

Nearest town: Loughrea

This remarkable (and miraculously, remarkably-preserved) sculpture is no longer in its original position not far away inside the Rath (fortified farmstead) of Feerwore (Fír Mhór = Big [orGreat] Men).

Excavations suggested that an open site dating to the last centuries before the Christian Era was later enclosed. The stone is of granite, 90 cms high, and the top half is covered with a continuous abstract curvilinear design carved in relief in the Celtic style known as La Tène, with a -line of Greek-key pattern beneath it suggesting the line where the foreskin meets the shaft of the penis. The flowing design can easily be interpreted as ornamental semen. It is amazing that such a wonderful object - resembling (and obviously as important as) the Navel Stone at Delphi, has survived in Ireland up to the 21st century, remaining outdoors, albeit somewhat spoiled first by a concrete surround and cattle-grid, then completely enclosed by a pathetic construction resembling a garden shed.

It has a kind of "sister" in the egg-shaped Castlestrange Stone, county Roscommon.

click to see its shamefully blasphemous modern setting



click on the picture to return to a complete view