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Ireland: 31 Days, 31 Photos: Day 26- O’Brien’s Castle

Day 26: O’Brien’s Castle

The Castle oversees Inisheer from one of the highest points of the island, with views of the beach, pier, and ruins below. This castle is thought to have been built in 14th century making it one of the oldest ruins on the Aran Islands. It would pre-date the other ruins in surrounding areas of County Clare such as the Burren Tower Houses and other stone forts on the Aran Islands.
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The early Tribal Kingdoms that divided Ireland often competed for resources and were not exactly known for their peace making. It is not surprising that in 1582 the O’Flaherty’s of Connemara sieged and occupied the castle from the ruling O’Brien’s of Munster. The O’Flaherty family was driven west due to the invasion of Norman conquerors but fought ferociously to maintain their influence in the area.

 

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Ireland: 31 Days, 31 Pictures: Day 25- Teampall Chaomhán

Day 25: Teampall Chaomhán

St Cavan’s Church (also “St Kevin’s Church”, Irish: Teampall Chaomhán) is a ruined church, built in the 10th century, at the location of the saint’s grave. The entrance is now below ground level, as the church was nearly buried by drifting sands; it has now been excavated and is kept clear of sand by the islanders. All that remains visible of this structure today is the chancel.

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The grave of St Caomhan (Irish: Leaba Chaomhain or “Caomhán’s Bed”) is located to the north-east of the church. It is a tradition on the island to spend the vigil of the saint’s feast praying at his grave.

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And what a location for your final resting place!

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Ireland; 31 Days, 31 Pictures: Day 20- Burren Nature Sanctuary

The day I got lost on Gort Road I stumbled across the Burren Nature Sanctuary. I stopped in on the long walk home for something to eat, and decided to take the self-guided walk around the sanctuary while I was there. Along the walk I happened upon a traditional Irish Traveller wagon.

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The traditional horse-drawn wagon was used by Irish Travellers as their home. It is commonly thought of as being highly decorated, intricately carved, brightly painted, and even gilded. This one even had a little fairy residence!

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