Churches, Roundtower and Sile-na-gig

A monastery is believed to have been founded at Liathmore by St Mochoemog sometime in the 7th century. There are two church ruins remaining at the site and the foundations of a round tower, discovered between the two churches during excavations in the 1960s. The smaller church, pictured below, is the earliest and dates to the early medieval period and the larger church is late medieval. It is an interesting site to wander around, there is access to the roof of the larger church. Also at the later church are a number of stone carvings sitated above the south doorway and a sheela-na-gig is also present. There appears to be open access to the site and a track across farmland leads you to the churches, but a word of warning, wear boots as parts of the track can be very muddy.

Head carving southside

Small church


The sheela-na-gig at Liathmore would have been very difficult to find if I had no prior knowledge of it's existence. It is located on the left hand side of the romanesque north doorway belonging to the larger of the two churches. This sheela, like many others, is lying sideways. She has a large triangular shaped head and is standing straight with both hands holding the vulva. Below the legs is a form of decoration known as a palmette. Early morning is probably the best time to view the sheela-na-gig.

Situated: Heading south on the M8 take exit 4 for Urlingford. From there head south on the R639 for about 6 kilometres. There is a track on your left up to a farm. Signposted. Another sign points to the churches. Walk from here. Very muddy.

Discovery Map 67: S 2242 5765. Last Visit: Nov 2013.

Longitude: 7° 40' 7" W

Latitude: 52° 40' 11" N

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Pics Jim Dempsey.

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