Uisneach Bealtaine Fire Celebration, 5 May

5 May 2019
Image courtesy of Irish Medieval History FB page.

The Hill of Uisneach in Co. Westmeath has played a part in just about every significant Irish event, be it political, cultural, religious, mythological and geographical. The centre of Ireland in many ways, the enigmatic hill is one of the most sacred and historic sanctuaries in the world.  

One of the most enduring legends of Uisneach is that it was the location for the first great fire to be lit in Ireland. To usher in the first dawn of summer in May, the Uisneach hearth burned biggest and brightest  of all; visible to over a quarter of Ireland. Hearths were extinguished in every Irish home and fireplace in the country, in anticipation of a new flame from Uisneach’s Bealtaine fire. It must have been an extraordinary sight, with the country plunged into utter darkness ahead of this sacred festival. Using the flame from Uisneach, fires were then ignited on the other sacred hills of Ireland. When lit they created a unique ‘fire eye’ over the island,ushering in an entire summer of sunshine.  

Bealtaine will be celebrated in 2019 on Sunday 5th May from 5pm – 11.30pm.  Tickets will be €20 per adult / free for children and are available from:

In the event of postponement due to inclement weather tickets will be valid for the rescheduled date – There are no refunds.  Please sign up to “friends of uisneach” on for regular updates 


International Office

Oifig Idirnáisiúnta

Roseleigh, Western Road, Cork, T12 R229

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