Overlooking Teampall Chaomháin in Inis Oírr. The sunken church in the graveyard is beside the grave of Saint Caomhán, who legend has it was the elder brother of St Kevin of Glendalough.
The Saint is referenced in Seamus Heaney’s beautiful poem St Kevin and the Blackbird.
Inis Oírr remains one of my favourite places in Ireland, the peacefulness of wandering a bóithrín between high stone walls, drifting off the beaten track. The sound of birds & the nearby roar of the sea pounding Ireland’s exposed western shore.
It’s a different world & even a few short days can sustain you & clear the mind.The roads radiate outwards from the West Village, whether you head past Cill Ghobnait [St Gobnait’s Church] towards Tobair Éanna [St Enda’s Well] or by an Bothar Nua to view the Plassy & the lighthouse, it’s a contemplative place to walk & be alone.
In the summer the air is a-buzz & a-flutter with butterflies & hoverflies. Occasionally a cow might peer between the gaps in the limestone wall bordering small the fields of soil made from sand & seaweed an age ago.
We visited when the electricity was out & the lack of power shocked the system in an even better way. No wifi, pints by candlelight & an imagining of a simpler island life.
Inis Oírr, a place to sample & return. To immerse if possible in the language & a slower simpler rhythm of life.
It is beautifully bleak & that is the charm. Time to plan a return visit again.
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