In the Fifth century A.D. Saint Patrick came to the
Hill of Slane in County Meath in an early on attempt to
convert pagan Ireland to Christianity. On the eve of
the Christian feast of Easter, 433 A.D. which coincides
with the Druid feast of Bealtine (Beal's fire) and the
Spring Equinox, St. Patrick lit a bonfire upon the Hill
of Slane. There was a law that no fire should be lit in
the vicinity when the great festival fire of Bealtine
blazed at the Royal seat of power on the visibly nearby
Hill of Tara.
The lighting of a fire seems trivial to us but at the
time it was equivalent to declaring war on the Druids
and their pagan beliefs and war against the King of
Ireland. That small act of starting a fire was a
turning point in St. Patrick's life and in the history
of Ireland. The Hill of Slane is where Saint Patrick
confronted Laoghaire (pronounced Leary) , the High King
of Tara and all Ireland. Patrick lit the Easter fire
contrary to the Druidic law, and changed the spiritual
landscape of Ireland forever.
"Slane -- Be Thou My Vision" (Irish: Bí Thusa 'mo
Shúile) is a traditional Irish hymn commonly attributed
to Dallán Forgaill. It is popular among
English-speaking churches around the world.