In Ireland, lifting stones has historically held both practical and spiritual significance, used in tests of strength and cultural ceremonies. However, this practice largely disappeared during British colonization. A strongman named David Keohan, known as “Indiana Stones,” has embarked on a quest to locate and lift these lost stones, reviving a forgotten element of Irish culture and tradition.
- Lifting stones in Ireland had cultural importance, used in tests of strength, funerals, weddings, and determining a man’s fitness for work, but the practice faded during the 18th and 19th centuries.
- David Keohan, a 44-year-old world record holder in kettlebell lifting and known as “Indiana Stones,” has been traveling around Ireland to uncover and lift these lost stones.
- Keohan’s journey has led him to various locations, including churchyards and graveyards, where he has faced challenges in locating stones, such as the Flag of Denn, which only six men in history have lifted.
- A year after his quest began, Keohan has discovered 30 stones and successfully lifted 28 of them. He believes there could be 30 more hidden across the country.
- Keohan uses the Duchas Archives, a digital version of The National Folklore Collection from 1937, as a guide to locate these stones, aiming to preserve Irish history and culture.