Oulart Hill heritage site contains Tulach a’ tSolais which is a burial mound. The burial mound was built in 1999, as a remembrance of the Battle of Oulart Hill – a battlefield of the United Irishman’s uprising in 1798. Fierce fighting took place at the site and the victory led to the establishment of the Wexford Republic. However, the short-lived victory ended on 21st June at the now famous battle of Vinegar Hill. The defeat at Vinegar Hill happened only three weeks later, on the summer solstice, (June 21st). The summer solstice plays a large part in the memorial with the burial mound being aligned with sunrise on the 21st June. This memorial is the collaborative work of the sculpturer Micheal Warren and Dr. Ronald Tallon.
The construction of a Tulach (or burial mound), was seen as a place of connection between the world of the living and the “other world”. It was common in ancient Ireland. The United Irishmen’s uprising of 1798, inspired by the revolutionary example of the United States and France, took place at Oulart Hill. Dr. Tallon wanted the memorial to just appear over a broken wall. He instructed the sculpturer “the approach should be like the surprise of finding a fairy ring”. Dr. Tallon chose white concrete for its “pallor of death”, illuminated by “the light of resurrection.” “We wanted a basic monolithic material of strength and nobility,” says Tallon, “with which to create a modern Stonehenge.” Therefore when you arrive at the monument, there are no carved names, no flames, no pools of water, no special effects of any kind.
The interior shrine is made up of two horizontal curving tablets constructed from 200 year old Irish oak. These have been likened to the cremation bowls found in Newgrange. A cut through the chamber reveals the golden section: the ratio of its height to width equals the ratio of its width to the sum of its height and width.