The Dolmen of the Four Maols or The Giants Table as it is also known as is a striking megalithic tomb which proudly stands on Primrose Hill, Ballina. However, it is actually a kist rather than a dolmen and is an ancient burial ground which dates back to 2000 BC.
Legend has it, there were four brothers, the Maol brothers (Maelcroin, Maeldalua, Maelseanaigh and Mael Mac Deoruidh). These brothers had a foster brother Ceallach who upon his father’s death became rightful heir to the throne. But on his return home to take the crown, Colman, a cousin of the family, had already seized power therefore Ceallach, a peaceful person returned to his religious studies and eventually became Bishop of KIlmoremoy.
Years passed and so did Colman and his son Guaire inherited the throne. Unsettled by the thought of Ceallach’s possible return to dethrone him and take back what was his rightfully his, Guaire devised a plan. With the help of the four Maol brothers they plotted and successfully murdered Ceallach. The brothers were later captured and brought into custody by the Bishop’s brother Cu Coingelt, they were then executed in Ard na raigh/Ardnaree (The Hill of Execution) by quartering. As the brothers were of nobility a formal burial took place and they were transported via a secret tunnel under the River Moy and buried at the Dolmen.
The Ballina Dolmen is only a short 10-minute drive or 20-minute walk from the Ballina Manor Hotel and is well worth a visit!