CHURCH OF IRELAND
This was a disappointing session and to make matters worse my two spare batteries proved to be exhausted. I did not realise that it was possible to take photographs by touching the screen and every few seconds the camera took random photographs … I do not know how the camera defaulted to this setting but it drained the battery at a rapid rate and I ended up with lots of unusable and random images.
The church grounds are south of the River Lee on Holy Island, on one of the many inlets forming the Great Marsh of Munster (Corcach Mor na Mumhan). Saint Fin Barre’s is on the site of at least two previous church buildings, each dedicated to Fin Barre of Cork, patron saint of Cork city and founder of the monastic hermitage at Gougane Barra.
Finbarr was born in about 550. He was, by legend, given Gougane Barra as a place of contemplation, and visited Cork city to lay the foundation stones for the “one true Christian faith”. According to tradition, after Finbarr died his remains were brought to Cork to be enclosed in a shrine near the site of today’s cathedral.
Archaeological evidence suggests the first site at Fin Barre’s probably dates from the 7th century, and consisted of a church and round tower that survived until the 12th century, after which it fell into neglect, or was destroyed during the Norman invasions.
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