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Church Island (Lough Gill) facts for kids

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Church Island
Native name:
Inis Mór
Church Island sunset.jpg
Sunset at Church Island
Church Island is located in island of Ireland
Church Island
Church Island
Location in island of Ireland
Location Lough Gill
Coordinates 54°15′06″N 8°23′28″W / 54.251791°N 8.390983°W / 54.251791; -8.390983
Area 0.17 km2 (0.066 sq mi)
Province Connacht
County Sligo
Population 0

Church Island (Irish: Inis Mór, "big island") is an island situated in Lough Gill, Ireland.

The island

Church Island (official title, Inis Mór) is an island of 16.8 ha (42 acres) located in the centre of Lough Gill.

It is believed by locals that this island is the one referred to in Yeats poem, The Lake Isle of Inishfree, as the actual Inishfree island is too small to be inhabited and does not line up with his description. Former staff members of the nearby Clogherevagh House back up this story by recalling Yeats visits to the house and frequent trips to Church Island.


Church on Church Island, Sligo
Church on Church Island

The church is said to have been founded by Lommán of Trim. The church on Church Island is National Monument #118.

It is an early Christian ruin and belonged to the Ó Ruairc, rulers of Bréifne. The building is oblong, has loophole windows and a recess at one end. Near the door there is a cavity in a rock, known as ‘lady's bed’, which was a frequent place of pilgrimage for pregnant woman. In 1416, according to the Annals, ‘The church of Inis Mor, in Lough Gill, was burned; and Screaptra ui Chuirnin [O'Curnin's manuscripts], and the Leabhar Gearr of the O'Cuirnins, as well as many other precious articles, were burned also.’

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