Giants of the Sperrins


“The two giants, aptly named Nowanois (Nownow), draw their identity from the English word ‘now’ and the Irish ‘anois,’ both signifying the present moment. These sculptures symbolize the unifying essence of time, bridging past and future, where memories and stories converge. One giant represents the past, while the other embodies the future, together encapsulating the eternal ‘now.’

Nowanois is a heartfelt tribute to the tradition of storytelling and the custodians of our rich heritage. The elder Nowanois points to the sky, sharing tales with his younger self about the stars and ancestors who marveled at the heavens, evident in local prehistoric features like Goles Stone Row. This depiction mirrors the age-old tradition of passing folklore, songs, and heritage through generations by word of mouth.

Nestled within a ringfort or rath, sculpted into the landscape, the giants rest amidst stone boulders offering a place for contemplation. Visitors are encouraged to sit and reflect upon the myriad stories of the Sperrins. This rath pays homage to the six raths within a 3km radius, particularly southwest toward the Glenelly Valley, and the numerous raths found across Ireland, dating back to 500-1100 AD.

These sculptures celebrate myth and legend through the art of storytelling, conjuring images of ancient holy figures, noble families, heroic battles, long-lost warriors, loyal hounds, and mournful banshees. They evoke the haunting melodies of the Sperrin people, a music that stirs, celebrates, remembers, and laments.

You can find these giants at the former Sperrin Heritage Centre, 274 Glenelly Road, Omagh, Co. Tyrone BT79 8LS, approximately 1.5 miles from Cranagh village along the B47 road. Parking is available on-site, and you can access the sculptures via a gravel path. For restroom facilities, visit the nearby village of Cranagh.”

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