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16 October 2014
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St Patrick stayed on Slemish for six long years because he was captured and brought to Ireland

Co Antrim


by Charlotte Rainey (P6 St Mary's Primary School, Ballymena)

St Patrick, drawn by Charlotte Rainey
'St Patrick'
by Charlotte Rainey P.6

St Patrick stayed on Slemish for six long years because he was captured and brought to Ireland as a slave by Niall of the Nine Hostages. There he was sold to a farmer called Meliuc, who made him a shepherd.

When he was lonely he'd pray to God. So every St Patrick's Day lots of people climb Slemish as a tradition in memory of St Patrick's lonely life there. Many tourists still come from all over the world to see this wonderful mountain and some will even attempt to climb it.

Slemish used to be a volcano, but that was a long time ago and it hasn't erupted yet. I think it closed over hundreds of years ago so it's completely dormant.

I live quite near to Slemish and around my part it is a beautiful sight. When you climb it you can see Scotland and if it's not misty you might see far beyond that. On very clear days you can see five counties.

Some farmers from surrounding areas still keep their sheep on Slemish. It is ideal because of the rough grasses and ground.

The Irish name for Slemish is Sliabh Mish.

by Karl Connon (P6 St Mary's Primary School, Ballymena)

Snakes being chased out of Ireland

I know a bit about Slemish because I live near it. From my point of view I think it is a good mountain to climb and good to make a camp to stay overnight in.

About two centuries ago Slemish used to erupt and you know what that means, yes it was a volcano. Hot melting lava came out and poured over the land. My teacher Mr Kearney told us that when lava comes out of the volcano and it clears up, the grass is very fertile.

There was a Saint called Patrick who lived on Slemish. Every year on St Patrick's Day everybody would climb it and sit on the chair that Saint Patrick sat on.

From my mind I recommend Slemish as the best mountain in County Antrim. If any of you have been up climbing Slemish it is very rocky and you have to get past the rocks to get to the top of it.

I like Slemish the best because I want it to be there till the day I die.

Have you ever climbed Slemish? Can you see it from where you live? Do you have any stories about the mountain and the people who have been associated with it? What does Slemish mean to you?

Share your comments and thoughts with others by either e-mailing "Your Place & mine" at or posting your remarks directly yourself at the bottom of the page.

St Mary's P6 pupils are obviously proud of where they live. Pick a tower and click on it to read more of their contributions....

Motte and Bailey
and Bailey
Headless Horseman
Ballymena today

Click to return to St Mary's Primary School page..


Janet Morrow - Apr '07
I remember at Easter rolling hard-boiled eggs (dyed yellow with whin blossom) down the wee road that led around Slemish. This was usually a family outing with my mum who drove us there, my granda (William McConnell Greer) directing and my grannie (Jeannie Greer), my brother John, cousin Billy and myself in the backseat. Magical times when you could roll an egg down the middle of a road and no traffic. We also used to lie in the middle of the road at Carncombe where my Uncle Charlie & Aunt Martha lived, the sound of a car engine could be heard from far enough & gave you enough time to get off the road into the sheugh. Try doing that today! My mother (Muriel) used to tell us that when she was young only one or two people had cars then. Thankyou for such an interesting site that can bring back such great memories!! Janet Greer Morrow (nee Campbell) March 2007

Charlotte - Mar '07
I'm Charlotte the girl that wrote the article on slemish who is now in 4th year at St Louis Grammar....couldn't believe it when i realised it was stil class ever only 12 of at skul with 6 of them...2 of them still my best mates....and have been since p.1. I'm still living up near Slemish and climb it every St Patricks Day as it is a strong tradition in my family. I would stongly recommend to anybody thinking about coming to Ballymena to visit Slemish as it is one of the most amazing historical parts of Northern Ireland. =D

Lee Joseph Evans - Feb '07
I think from my reseach that this could be the hidden place for the ark of Covenant due to so much evidence that points to the fact that when it dissapeares from history.All of a sudden myths of all sorts of things joined to the ten tribes of moses and a box of gold at the end of a rainbow appear in folk law.And there must be sum fire if there's smoke.I think that these tribes spread to wales and scotland. And that is why there is some deep rooted conection between the three and all three are like the green hilled promised land that everyone knows the ten tribes searched so long for. I think that St Patrick comes from the word patriarch HEAD OF CLAN. Maybe this head was Jeremiah the one i think brought the Ark from Jeruslem to hide it from the Romans in somewhere in 500bc. That would mean that celtic roots lay with the word of God and that the Romans were searching for the ark when they came to the British isles and thats why the celts would not be defeted. My search continues for some proof.

Paul and Judith Ironmonger - April '06
3rd April 2006
We love Slemish. Today is our 7th Wedding Anniversary On July 30th 1998 I climbed Slemish and asked my now wife if she would marry me. She said yes!
We returned in August 2004 and carried our first child, David, to the top when he was 11 months old. Our daughter Ruth has yet to encouter Slemish!
We will return to Slemish again to enjoy the rugged beauty.

Kelly Orr - July '05
These children are no longer children. These stories were written 4 years ago and i had the great pleasure of knowing them. Their class was of high standard. These stories of Ballymena needed to be told again through the eyes of a child because what a child sees is more real than what an adult sees. I smiled when i read these stories to see that Ballymena hasn't been forgotten and is still alive in people's hearts and it gives me great pleasure to say that i am very proud to live in Ballymena. When i went on holiday to Germany with my friends we met two lads who asked us where we were from and they had no idea were Ballymena was until we told them Northern Ireland. They were from Dorset, i'll give them that, but i think everybody should know where Ballymena is. I mean we take the time to know where everywhere else is including Dorset. Thank you.

Siobhan Mitchell - March '05
How great to see and hear about my old home town through the eyes of the next generation. Having left Ballymena 17 years ago, as a 'young lass', I will be returning to get married at the end of May, and have found these stories necessary to be retold and reread at our wedding!
I always delight in trying to educate others of the stories, intrigue and nostalgia of my home town and the surrounding fantastic scenery - the children have certainly prompted me to smile and think of home and have made my husband to laugh extremely hard. We are using the seven towers theme and local scenery e.g. Slemish as the theme for our wedding tables. Well done to everyone who has researched with their parents and families to rediscover some of the old tales from the city of the seven towers.

Reply from Pat Hanna (nee Armstrong), November 2004:
Congratulations to the children who researched and produced this site.I feel nostalgic as I read it.Although I live only"a bit down the road",I don't get to visit my home town very often.I remember the Pennybridge well and in my mind's eye I see the little cottages,although I don't remember anyone who lived there.As I was born and bred in Harryville,so a walk out the Larne Rd.was popular,especially on warm summer evenings.On one such walk I recall seeing Mr.Greave sitting by the bridge sketching.He was the Art master at the old wonder if any of his pictures are around? I have lovely memories of climbing Slemish,first as a teenager,cycling out from home,then in later years with my husband,children and other members of our family,usually on Easter Monday.By then we went by car!
I hope the children will grow up having good memories of their childhood days,which they will remember for the rest of their lives.



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