Caher Island - Cathair na Naomh

The mystical Caher Island, slightly more than 128 acres, lies close to Inishturk Island. On this striking, wedge-shaped little island is an Early Christian monastery with the remains of a chapel in an enclosure adorned with the original 6th/7th century carved crosses. These magnificent examples of early Christian art are hugely important in Irish early Christian Heritage. The Island also seems to have contained the hermitage sites of seventh-century monks, perhaps followers of St Columba. On the 15th of August each year, there is a pilgrimage to Caher Island. For many people, this pattern is an integral part of the annual pilgrimage to climb Croagh Patrick on the last Sunday in July.

A beautiful description of the annual pilgrimage is found here: https://pilgrimagemedievalireland.com

The ecclesiastical complex, developed over a number of phases, includes a chapel numerous stone crosses, and a holy well. One of the more peculiar pieces is a 30-inch high slab, known as Slab A, which is embossed with a large Greek cross above two dolphins. The late medieval landscape and built heritage of the island is now among the most valuable in Ireland and is has remained untouched by conservers and a good deal of its archaeological heritage remains unmapped.