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Ardbraccan cedar tree
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A large cedar tree of historical significance has split in two in Co Meath, in circumstances that have revived local interest in "sacred" trees - and the omens attached to them.
The 270-year-old cedar, located on the lands of the Spiritans - otherwise known as the Holy Ghost Fathers - in Ardbraccan, near Navan, Co Meath, was severely damaged in an apparent thunderstorm earlier this week.
Two brothers were praying in the chapel at 6.30am last Tuesday when they heard what sounded like three claps of thunder.
He said Brother Conleth Tyrell saw what looked like a ball of fire and the sky turning red before he heard a large crash.
On investigation, they found the cedar tree had split in two. Fr Nealon said it was not clear if it had been struck by lightning or a meteorite, but an astronomy group was interested enough to plan a visit to investigate.

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Bile Tortan, Eo Rossa, Craebh Mughna, Craebh Dathi, Bile Uisnigh were five ancient trees which sprang up in Erin in the reign of Conaing Begeglach (Anno Mundi 4388). Conaing held a certain assembly at Tara . . . and they saw coming towards them from the west a man of wonderful size, carrying in his hand a branch of a tree bearing apples, nuts, acorns, and berries. . . . He told them he had come from the place of the sun's rising in the east to the place of its going down in the west, to know why it had stood still for a day, and having obtained the cause of this irregularity that he was now on his return again to the east. He shook the produce of this branch on the ground; and these being taken up by various persons and planted in various localities, produced these wonderful trees which were all blown down in the seventh century.
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