Clonfert Cathedral, Co Galway.
In the existing Cathedral there is a Mermaid on a pillar to the right, near the altar and dated as 15th century. This is a reminder of the voyage of St. Brendan, when he sailed to America.
This used to be a city housing up to 3000 pupils in the 16th century but it lost it’s university status to Dublin by order of QE 1. It went into decline after that and all thats left is the Cathedral.
The sheela in question was on Clonfert Abbey, of which there is no sign, so I assume it ended up as building material in an area short of suitable stone.
Another mermaid is in Kilcooley Cistercian Abbey, 10k south of Urlingford. It’s becoming a habit!
Map No. 47…GR No. M 962/212
Holiday Map East
22k SW of Athlone and 4k S of Shannonbridge
Last Updated: 27 July 04
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