Standing at a cairn in the Bricklieve mountains, on ridges of karst limestone and surrounded by hills, you can see down over Sligo, to Sligo Bay and even as far Donegal Bay in the distance. The carboniferous limestone here is full of ancient sea creatures and coral from the time this hilltop was actually the sea bed, more than 300 million years ago.
Before lockdown, I went on a tour with maritime archaeologist Auriel Robinson from Seatrails, who told me about the fossils, and also how the hills were formed after glacial deposits were left a mere 15,000 years ago, when Ireland was under ice a mile thick. An old miners’ track led across the mountains to Arigna coal mines.
Thinking back on it now,