This Holy Site turned out to be one of the hardest to find off Slea Head Drive. The signage in much of the Dingle peninsula is all still in Gaelic. There is very little correlation, at least to me, between the two languages for you to dissect in English. I have to think, in this part of Dingle, it is especially deliberate (in a clear attempt to preserve the Past which they so dearly honor and keep tourists at bay). This to me was one the Best Sights in the whole trip to Ireland. If you're NOT a 'Shallow Hal', you can't help but, be moved. If you admit you are, I'd skip it. Reading the other reviews here. It is NOT "Worth A Quick Stop", contain "Christian Crosses", or "Worth A Laugh"...
It IS a Irish Romanesque Church in ruins that has stood the test of time back to the 12th Century, it is surrounded by a 'populated' Cemetery with large Celtic Crosses and the very special portion of a monument/ we'll call it a cross that stood there 900 years BEFORE the Church was even built. You'll have to look close but, it is covered with Ogham script used from the 3rd to 7th Century and it marked a pre-Christian grave and Holy place. The fact this remains for us to even fondle amazes me. The hole drilled, Centuries ago, through the top of this stone is a place where people would come to 'seal a deal', an Irish custom where your word WAS your bond. You 'Swear to God' and "touched fingers through the hole". People now use it to re-affirm their wedding vows, which is what my wife and I did.
We attended this beautiful photographic site Alone...... till amazingly, one large Tour Bus showed up and blocked traffic in. They stayed 10 minutes !! Particularly shameful as there was a actual Gaelic Funeral taking place at the time. We whispered the entire time we were there and quietly snapped pictures of the ruins. But, the bus crowd had no respect and did not. There are stone slab steps you have to climb to enter but, it most likely was part of a ritual of respect.
We were so grateful we found this beautiful site, and if asked, I would say- it MADE our entire trip to Ireland. You will feel 'touched' once you visit there. Especially if you're a romantic. So, you can take lightly what is written here, or read up on Kilmarlkedar Church (Cill Mhaoilcheadair) before seeking it out. It IS hard to find but, it is one of a handful of sites not commercialized and... it's free. One footnote; there are the ruins, of yet another un-named church, not far just sitting there, still fully standing, in some farmers pasture (not the Rahinneane Castle). It's locked , completely closed to visitors. I was able to photograph that as well from the road. If you have a soul..add this to your list of Must See.
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