The Devils Bit

Astrid Hurley

There was always a conflicting tale growing up as to where the source of the River Suir actually starts. The Devil’s Bit mountain is the most favoured but Borrisnoe is also mentioned.

Thanks to Tipperary Tourism for the image

I grew up in the shadow and fabulous view of the Devil’s Bit.(Barnàn Èile.) From ancient days legend has it that the devil was been chased from Ireland by St Patrick. The flaw here is the Mountain was there before St Patrick. The story goes that the devil came across a mountain near where Templemore is now located, the devil is reputed to have taken a chunk of the mountain and hurled it in the air and it landed in Cashel and here stands the famous Rock of Cashel. The Devil’s Bit mountain is seen with a very large chunk missing out of it which looks like a Giants bite.

The Suir as a trickling stream in the area. Photo credit Brian Walsh

Another legend involves Fionn MacCumhaill, which is described by this Rock of Cashel site . Fionn MacCumhaill “…was having a serious quarrel with Satan. As Fionn had realized that the devil was losing his temper, he headed off to the mountains, and the devil went after him. While he was chasing Fionn, the Devil stuck his foot against something. Not able to bear the pain and filled with fury, he took a bite of the mountain breaking his teeth. He spat out whatever was in his mouth (including his teeth) forming the Rock of Cashel.”

As a child it was a fabulous day out to climb and reach the cross at the top from where on a clear day you can see the river Shannon.

Submitted by Astrid Hurley for Heritage Week 2020