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‘Inishmurray Island’


Offshore County Sligo, Ireland
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Offshore County Sligo, Ireland
Four miles out to sea overlooking Benbulben and the Dartry Mountain range on the mainland of Sligo, rests the Monastic ‘Isle of Inishmurray’ literally hidden in plain sight. An early Christian settlement was founded on this island by Saint Molaise in the 6th century. This site contains various buildings including a stone-roofed oratory, two churches, a clochán (large beehive-shaped cell) a holy well, cross slabs and countless gravestones. As you can see the remains of which are remarkably intact to this day.
The island’s monastic settlement was attacked in 795 AD & again in 807 by the Vikings! Eventually the monks abandoned the island & it remained uninhabited until the 12th century. A thousand years later the island’s population peaked at just over 100 in the 1880s, but the last islanders moved on to the mainland on November 12th 1948. Thankfully most of these buildings are still standing including 15 houses & a school.

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