Atlantic sunsets blazing blood red have nothing to do with its name, rather a reddish mineral staining the interlaid beds of quartzite and granite visible from the road near Meenlagha.
The summit is one of the best coastal viewpoints on this island.
Off to the south the noble quartzite cone of Errigal, then rushing towards you a visual cachophony of islands and inlets , rocky, brutal, savage.
Over the horizon to the northwest the kingdoms of Greenland, Iceland and Tir na nOg, a land of eternal youth where you grew not a day older while those you left behind withered to old age, but if you returned and touched the ground all the cheated years were given back to you in an instant.
Oisin, the warrior poet, spent many years in Tir na nOg with his lover Niamh, and when he finally returned fell from his horse and immediately became old, grey, wrinkled and bent. The pagan ways of the Fianna had passed and St Patrick was spreading the Christian gospels in Ireland.
Lady Gregory translated their conversations, one is
Patrick. "O Oisin of the sharp blades, it is mad words you are saying. God is better for one day than the whole of the Fianna of Ireland."
Oisin. "Though I am now without sway and my life is spent to the end, do not put abuse, Patrick, on the great men of the sons of Baiscne.
"If I had Conan with me, the man that used to be running down the Fianna, it is he would break your head within among your clerks and your priests."
To the North Tory Island , home of Balor , King of the giant race , the Fomorians , a glance from his single eye killed. He gained this power as a child when watching his father's druids preparing poisonous spells, the fumes of which rose into his eye. His eye was normally kept closed, only to be opened on the battlefield by four men using a handle fitted to his eyelid.
According to prophecy, Balor was to be killed by his grandson. To avoid his fate, he locked his daughter, Ethlinn, in a tower made of crystal to keep her from becoming pregnant. However, Cian, one of the Tuatha Dé Danann, with the help of the druidess Birog, managed to enter the tower. She gave birth to triplets by him, but Balor threw them into the ocean. Birog saved one, Lugh, and gave him to Manannan mac Lir, who became his foster father.
Lugh led the Tuatha in the second Battle of Magh Tuiredh against the Fomorians. Lugh shot a sling-stone which drove Balor's eye out the back of his head, where it continued to wreak its deadly power on the Fomorian army. One legend tells that, when Balor was slain by Lugh, Balor's eye was still open when he fell face first into the ground. Thus his deadly eye beam burned a hole into the earth. Long after, the hole filled with water and became a lake which is now known as Loch na Súl, or "Lake of the Eye", which is to be found in County Sligo.
Today though one blight is the plethora of white bungalows dumped across the coastal landscape, maybe Balor would have been glad to put out his own eye. Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/939/comment/6062/