The Catstone on the Hill of Uisneach
The location of the Hill of Uisneach at the centre of Ireland, and its commanding position over the surrounding country, inspired the ancient Irish to select it as the place of assembly. Royal Uisneach, on whose summit St. Patrick preached and where St. Brigid made her religious profession was the seat of the Irish kings before Christianity and great pagan festivals were held here. On the hill the first Druid fires were lit by Midhe (Meath), son of Brath, son of Detha, for the sons of the Milesians in Erin, and it was from this fire that every chief’s fire in Erin used to be lit. Ireland from the very earliest times was divided into provinces – Ulster, Leinster, Munster and Connaught – and the meeting place was around the Great Stone Ail-na-Meeran (“the stone of the divisions”) which stands near the summit of the hill of Uisneach. King Tuathal Teachtmar, the Milesian, erected his palace here and he also enlarged the estate of the Ard Ri (High Kings) by cutting off from each of the four Provinces around Ail-na-Meeran a considerable tract of land which formed the then province of Meath.