On the 3rd January the inaugural Illuminate Herstory Festival was launched at a special ceremony on the Hill of Uisneach in the Heart of Ireland.

In honour of the ancient tradition whereby the first fire of Bealtaine is lit on Uisneach, the first illumination of this new light festival saw the Catstone illuminate with Ériu, the Sovereign Goddess of Ireland, captured by artists Jim Fitzpatrick, Patsy Preston, and Courtney Davis.

Gemma, Treasa, Regina and Patsy lead a procession up the hill, drumming and chanting to the beat of this ancient land. After the illuminations, guests were treated to a magical evening of storytelling from mythologists, poets, historians, artists, archaeologists and musicians.

A wonderful team of people came together to share their talents and make this event spectacular. Thanks to Treasa Kerrigan, Sally from Fire Monkeys, Phil on guitar, Didier Riva Photography, Kevin Mathews, Gemma McGowanRegina Ni DinnCaroline CoylePatsy PrestonErica Follows-SmithGrace McEvoy, Ruth Illingworth, Maria B. BourkePatrick CartonJim Fitzpatrick Gallery and Courtney Davis. And a very special thanks to the Guardians of Uisneach: Angela Clarke and David ClarkeJustin MoffattMarty Mulligan and their amazing team.

We hope that Illuminate Herstory will become an annual international light festival and the first illumination will take place on Uisneach every year for years to come.

Curious about the Catstone?

The most famous feature on Uisneach is undoubtedly Ail na Mireann (the stone of divisions), known as The Catstone. It is also known as Umbilicus Hiberniae, Axis Mundi and the navel of Ireland. This huge glacial erratic symbolises Ireland, united in its divisions and it marks the centre of Ireland where the provinces came together. It is underneath this stone that Éiru, after whom the country is named, was laid to rest.

To find out more about Uisneach visit