A Catholic Guide to Ireland, The “Emerald Isle”
A country long known for its steadfast faith and troubled history, Ireland has only recently regained the population it had back in the 1800’s. Emigration (especially to the U.S.) and starvation saw the population dwindle to about 2 million. As a result, many people in the U.S. and Canada have a connection to Ireland, since almost one quarter of the population emigrated to the U.S. and Canada.
Yet the influence Ireland has had around the world on the Catholic faith has been very significant. In fact much of our Catholic identity was preserved in the monasteries of Ireland through the middle ages.
It is a beautiful country filled with beautiful people and many Catholic shrines. Although there was an economic boom in the past few years (with its accompanying loss of spirituality), it has always been a country steeped in Catholic tradition.
There are two Irelands: Northern Ireland, part of Great Britain and home, until recently, of a certain amount of unrest. It is now relatively peaceful. And then there is the independent Republic of Ireland in the south.
Most of the Catholic sites listed here are in the Republic of Ireland, although we will be adding some in the north as well.
Attymass, Ballina (County Mayo): Father Patrick Peyton Memorial Centre
Ballintubber (County Mayo): Ballintubber Abbey
Cashel (County Tipperary): The Rock of Cashel
Clonmacnois: Ancient Monastic Settlement
Croagh Patrick (County Mayo): Ireland’s Holy Mountain
Drogheda: Shrine of St. Oliver Plunkett
Dublin (County Dublin): Many Shrines & Places of Interest
Glendalough: Monastic Settlement of Saint Kevin
Knock (County Mayo): Our Lady of Knock Shrine
Lough Derg (County Donegal): Saint Patrick’s Purgatory
And if you are traveling to Western Ireland, here is one
of our favorite towns in which to base your trip: Westport