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Innisfallen Island facts for kids

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Native name:
Inis Faithlinn
Balanced innisfallen abbey front.jpg
The ruins of Innisfallen Abbey seen from the lake
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Location Lough Leane
Coordinates 52°02′45″N 9°33′13″W / 52.04583°N 9.55361°W / 52.04583; -9.55361
Province Munster
County Kerry
Population 0

Innisfallen or Inishfallen (from Irish: Inis Faithlinn, meaning "Faithlinn's island") is an island in Lough Leane; one of the three Lakes of Killarney in County Kerry, Ireland.

The history of Ireland - from the earliest period to the present time; derived from native annals, and from the researches of Dr. O'Donovan, Eugene Curry, C. P. Meehan, R. R. Madden, and other eminent (14598277540)
View of Innisfallen (W. H. Bartlett, 1884)


Innisfallen Island
View of Innisfallen Island from Ross Castle

Innisfallen is home to the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey, one of the most impressive archaeological remains dating from the early Christian period found in the Killarney National Park. The monastery was founded in 640 by St. Finian the Leper, and was occupied for approximately 950 years. Over a period of about 300 of these, the monks wrote the Annals of Innisfallen, which chronicle the early history of Ireland as it was known to the monks. The monks were dispossessed of the abbey on August 18, 1594, by Elizabeth I.

The location of the monastery on the island is thought to have given rise to the name Lough Leane (Irish Loch Léin), which in English means "Lake of Learning". According to tradition the Irish High King Brian Boru received his education at Innisfallen under Maelsuthain O'Carroll. Maelsuthain has been credited as the possible originator of the Annals.

Access to the island

It is possible for tourists to visit the island during the summer months, with boats leaving from Ross Castle throughout the day.


While the abbey dates back to the seventh century, the oldest extant structure, dated to the tenth century, is the western two-thirds of the abbey church. The remainder of the church and the main abbey complex were constructed in the thirteenth century. A third structure, an oratory with a Hiberno-Romanesque doorway, dates from the twelfth century.

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