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Scattery Island

Teampall Naomh Mhuire Cathedral

The Cathedral and the 12th century romanesque oratory next to it where fenced off from the public during my visit. The Cathedral or Damliag is approximately 21 metres in length and over 8 metres wide. The North wall, the lower part of the west gable and parts of the south wall are possibly from the 8th/9th century. The east gable was rebuilt at a later date and a large gothic window was inserted. Gothic windows and a pointed doorway were also inserted into the south wall during that later period and the doorway in the west gable was blocked up. Hopefully I will get access to the Cathedral on my next visit to the island.

St. Senán (AKA Senán mac Geircinn) was born in Moylough, about 5 kilometres east of Kilrush in County Clare. He studied under Abbot Cassidan/Cassidus in Cork before establishing a monastery in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, where the Parish of Templeshannon is dedicated to him. After furthering his studies abroad St Senán returned to Ireland and founded a monastery at Inniscarra in Cork. He later moved to his native county where he finally established the monastery on Scattery Island (Inis Cathaigh). The rules of the monastery were very austere and no woman was allowed to land on the island. According to local legend St Senán had to defeat 'The Cathach' a sea monster that inhabited the island. The Angel Raphael led him to Ard na nAingeal where he faced the monster. Traditionally it is believed St Senán died on 8th March 544AD.

The west gable with antae

The Cathedral and oratory

The south wall with inserted windows and doorway

Situated: On Scattery Island. Boats sail to the Island from Kilrush Marina during the summer period.

Discovery Map 63: Q 9729 5252. Last visit July 2014.

Longitude: 9° 30' 60" W

Latitude: 52° 36' 51" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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