McHarp: St. Kieran's Cross 117
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This wonderfully simple cross is named after St. Kieran who was a student of the great saint of the Aran Islands, St. Enda, who brought Christianity to the islands in the 5th century, starting a long monastic tradition. St. Kieran later founded the famous monastery Clonmacnoise in County Offaly. Teampall Chiarain, a ruined 12th century church, bearing St. Kieran’s name, lies in pasture on Inishmore. The church has striking doorway and several stones inscribed with crosses nearby. Inishmore (the largest of the three Aran Islands in the Galway Bay) is 8 miles long with just one road, which runs the length of the island. The early monks, pursuing the lives of hermits, used to live in tiny ‘beehive cells’, houses constructed entirely of dry-stone masonry which is staggered gently inwards to form a corbelled, dome-like roof. The knotwork on the four points of this cross is a triad, which symbolizes the Divine Trinity.
Inishmore, Aran Islands, Co. Galway, Ireland
5” x 5 1/2"