Clonbulloge, Co. Offaly.


This unusual figure was found in the Figile river near Kilcumber bridge by Thomas Lawlor who brought it to his home about 20 years ago, where it lay until it’s rediscovery approx. 2001AD. While there is no particular church or castle still surviving in the area, there are many mounds that have not been investigated and which could turn out to be the source of this sheela.
When I say unusual, I draw your attention to the fact that this figure has no legs and it would seem that this stone had been damaged, losing it’s lower half in the process. But on closer inspection it appears that the carver used the natural contours of the rock to create this unique piece.
The features to look for on this sheela are; ridges on forehead,  could be hair or frown lines; a growth on the right cheek; striations on the left cheek; only left ear visible; bug eyes and a large nose; mouth open (with small teeth) and a large triagular tongue pointing downwards; small breasts and leading into the corner of the stone the carver skilfully inserted the hands holding open the vulva to reveal a clitoris.I think on the last count there were only three or four others to display this feature.
This must have been carved by a female because men didn’t know what a clitoris was before the 1970’s.

Last modified 8 October 2015
Condition Good
Lat/Long 53.2882462,-7.0841913



O.S. Map No. 49

Grid Reference No. N 611/268 = Kilcumber Bridge

Holiday Map East

Finding Clonbulloge on the map is not difficult, it’s just South of Edenderry, Co Offaly. Where by chance the figure now resides in the Public Library on the Dublin side of the town. Check opening times on t’internet.