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Elevation 587 ft (179 m)
Translation Broad crown (summit) of Maistiu (Irish language)
Location County Kildare, Ireland
Coordinates 53°1′0.66″N 6°48′43.34″W / 53.0168500°N 6.8120389°W / 53.0168500; -6.8120389

Mullaghmast (Irish: Mullach Maistín), (modern spelling in English is Mullamast[1]) is a hill in the south of County Kildare, Leinster, near the village of Ballitore. It was an important site in prehistory, in early history and again in more recent times. It is classed as a National Monument by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Legend and prehistory[edit]

The Metrical Dindshenchas, or Lore of Places, a Middle Irish collection of poetry purporting to explain the origins of Irish place names, claims that Mullaghmast is named for Maistiu, wife of Dáire Derg, who was killed by the sorcery of the malicious faery Gris, who was in turned killed by Dáire Derg.[2]

A standing stone from Mullaghmast, decorated with a triskele, thought to belong to the very end of the prehistoric period, or perhaps to the early Christian period, is now in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.[3]

1577 massacre[edit]

From the Annals of the Four Masters:

  • M1577.14. A horrible and abominable act of treachery was committed by the English of Leinster and Meath upon that part of the people of Offally and Leix that remained in confederacy with them, and under their protection. It was effected thus: they were all summoned to shew themselves, with the greatest number they could be able to bring with them, at the great rath of Mullach-Maistean; and on their arrival at that place they were surrounded on every side by four lines of soldiers and cavalry, who proceeded to shoot and slaughter them without mercy, so that not a single individual escaped, by flight or force.
  • M1577.14. Feall urghranna adhuathmhar do dhénamh lá Gallaibh Laighean & Midhe ar an meid baoí ina rann fein, & ro an for a n-ionchaibh do Uíbh Failghe & do Laoighis. Bá h-amhlaidh do-rónadh ind sin. Ro toghairmeadh iad uile dia t-taisbénadh gusan líon as lia nó caomhsadaoís do thabairt leó go ráith mhóir Mhullaigh Mhaistean & iar rochtain dóibh gusan maighin-sin, ro h-iadadh ceithri sretha ina n-uirtimceall ima c-cuairt do shaighdiúiridhibh & do mharc-shluagh, & ro gabhadh occ á n-diubhraccadh gan dhicheall, occa mudhucchadh & occ á mór mharbhadh coná térna sceolanga, ná elaitheach ass a m-bethaidh díobh.

Monster meeting[edit]

Daniel O'Connell 1 October 1843 "a large number, to wit 100,000" present


  • St Laurence's GAA is based in the parish of Narraghmore, encompassing Kilmeade, Booley, Narraghmore, Calverstown, Kilgowan, Brewel, Ballymount, Ballitore and Mullaghmast.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Gwynn; MacKillop, "Mullaghmast". MacKillop notes that Dáire Derg may be a double of Goll mac Morna.
  3. ^ Mytum, plate XI and p. 73; MacKillop, "Mullaghmast".


  • Gwynn, Edward (1906), The Metrical Dindshenchas 3, Dublin, pp. 135–139, retrieved 2003-08-13 
  • Lennon, Colm (1994), Sixteenth Century Ireland: The Incomplete Conquest, New Gill History of Ireland, Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, ISBN 0-7171-3947-6 
  • MacKillop, James (1998), Oxford Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-860967-1 
  • Mytum, Harold (1992), The Origins of Early Christian Ireland, London: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-03258-X