Location: Lisdoonvarna, Ireland. December 2007.
Mum and I took ourselves an amazing tour around Ireland in December 2007. Starting from Dublin, we (well, Mum) drove us clockwise around that wonderful, magical country. Every now and then we would turn off the main road, walk into a fairy ring in a farmer’s field, visit a beehive hut or a prehistoric fort. I was fascinated by the stone walls, crumbling castles and carvings that we came across.
One place which made an impression on me was on the West Coast of Ireland. The Burren felt wild, atmospheric, sometimes eerie. We saw carved faces like the one in the photo in a few different spots – peering out at us. It was near Lisdoonvarna (I think) that we came across a very well-maintained church building, full of carefully protected and spot-lit ancient Celtic crosses, tombstones and other religious carvings. The set-up was so beautiful, but the Church essentially no longer had a congregation. It was a Church of Ireland church, and the locals in the area went to the Catholic church instead.
Despite the historic animosities between the Catholic and Protestant faiths in Ireland, the value of the stone carvings within the Church without a real congregation had been recognised and these had not been abandoned.
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