‘The story of Inishmurray Island is a tale of two communities, each now deserted, each in its own era confronting great challenges. Today a visitor on a day trip from Mullaghmore might be tempted to idealise an imagined life on a small island 7 km out in Donegal Bay, with a postcard-perfect view of Ben Bulben and Knocknarea at the front door. But the monks who lived here were terrorised by the Norsemen starting early in the ninth century, forcing them to take their monastic life to the mainland. And in the modern era the last six households of Inishmurray—46 souls—abandoned their modest homes in 1948, trading their lives of sparse but splendid isolation on an island with neither doctor nor priest for cottages on the Sligo coast.’ Excerpt from Voices from the Dawn
The 10th of October saw our ‘Gappers’ take a two day trip to the island of Inishmurray, where they visited the monastic site and village that has long since been abandoned. The weather was cold and crisp, but the fire and steaming coffee kept it at bay. Exploring the monastic site had Molly pondering, but let’s hope that she wasn’t tempted to pick up the ‘Cursing Stones’ and put a curse on any of her fellow travellers.
“When vengeance is desired…the stones are thrice turned, the curse being ‘loosed’ at each revolution…Woe to him, however, who anathematizes his neighbour wrongly, as the curse can have no effect on the innocent, and is sure to recoil, exactly as uttered, on the head of the issuer”