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‘The Monastic Island of Inishmurray’


Offshore County Sligo, Ireland
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Offshore County Sligo, Ireland

Inishmurray is hidden 4 miles out to sea overlooking County Sligo. 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 clochan (large beehive-shaped cell) a holy well and other remains including cross slabs suggesting foreign influences. As you can see the remains of which are remarkably intact to this day.

The island’s monastic settlement was attacked in 795 & 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 12 November 1948. Some of these buildings are still visible including 15 houses & a school.

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