Leinsterman and Domnall the priest slabs

The Saint's Graveyard

This wonderful graveyard is oozing with atmosphere and history. Located around the grounds are eighty inscribed recumbent slabs. The vast majority of them bear incised crosses and about twenty bear inscriptions. Some of the slabs have been removed to the national museum for protection. Although burials have taken place here since the 6th century, almost all of the present decorated slabs date to around the 12th century. An unusual feature is that most of the inscriptions are written upside down above the head of the inscribed cross. One of the most well known is a 10th century slab bearing the inscription "COSRACH LAIGNEACH" - Cosrach the Leinsterman. There are two shod feet chiseled on the right hand side - one above and one below the arm. This suggests he may have been a pilgrim who died on the island. This slab is now in Athenry. The only known ancient cross slab commemorating a priest is also here on the island, the inscription translates as - a prayer for Domnall the priest. This slab lies in situ beside the west doorway of the Church of the Wounded Men, (see below). From here we made our way to The Confessional.

Situated: Access to the graveyard is through an arch behind St Caimin's Church.

Discovery Map 58: R 6986 8505. Last visit April 2012.

Longitude: 8° 26' 53" W

Latitude: 52° 54' 56" N

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Photos: Jim Dempsey and Deb Snelson.

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