County Galway Connemara
The ‘Island of the Foreigner’ is an island in Lough Corrib. There are 2 churches on the island, St Patrick’s and the Church of the Saint.
St Patrick is said to have been banished to the island by the local chief and his druids. He took with him his pilot St Lugna. The church named after St Patrick has a fine trabeate doorway. In the graveyard are two early cross-inscribed pillars and cross slabs. One has an early inscription indicating that it is the grave of Lugna, son of Limanin, apparently a sister of St Patrick; it is also shaped in what appears to be a rudder.
The other church has a fine Romanesque doorway. It is said to commemorate ten local saints of Lough Corrib, St Patrick, St Brendar the Navigator, St Brigit, St Fursey, St Fechin, St Feargal, St Jarlath, St Cuimin represent with a cross-pillar and 2 cross slabs, one of which has a remarkable ancient Byzantine cross. Inside is an altar and bullaun. Outside and close to it is what may once have been an outdoor altar and said to be the tomb of a 12C Archbishop of Tuam.
The mortar of this church, I am told, was made ofcows blood, horses hair and sand.
The island acted as a place of retreat in the heyday of Cong Abbey which was very large.
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