WINTER SOLSTICE KNOCKROE PASSAGE TOMB
Eastern Chamber...Early morning at Knockroe Passage Tomb saw a crowd of 50 watching for a break in the cloud cover to allow the sun through to light the eastern chamber. Of special interest were the group of Druids who have become regular visitors to the site for the morning solstice and who paid homage with music and song.Unfortunately a low lying cloud on the horizon blocked out the sun and we will have to wait another year to witness the morning solstice.
Western Chamber...A crowd of approximately 300 people gathered to witness the evening solstice. Anticipation was high even though the sky was filled with dark grey clouds. Adding extra interest a film crew from Irish TV were interviewing visitors for a program to air in the New Year. The program is to appear on Sky 191 at 8 pm on the third Friday in January.
As the time drew near a small gap appeared in the clouds and the sun made a brief appearance. those around the chamber were disappointed when the light did not appear inside, however regular visitors over the years were able to offer reassurance as there were still a few minutes to go and the sun was still a bit over the horizon.
As quickly as it had disappeared the gap in the clouds re-opened and this time the sun blazed through. The rays of the sun entered the chamber hitting the floor just inside the inner cill stone, lighting a thin streak across the floor to light up the decorated stone at the rear of the chamber.
Of those close to the chamber many will have the image captured on film while the people on the fringes of the crowd will only have seen the setting sun blazing on the horizon but will know that they have witnessed a very special event.
A big topic of discussion among the crowd was the plans of developers to erect wind turbines in the area which would appear on the skyline to destroy the tranquility and sanctity of the site and possibly even block out the setting sun. Could this bring an end to a 6000 year old phenomenon? Visitors who had traveled long distance's were astonished to hear of the plans and could not believe that such a proposal would be even considered.