Thursday, April 14, 2016
INTRODUCING MY CHILDREN TO THE TOWN OF ISLANDEADY
It was important to me that my son and daughter got the opportunity to visit Islandeady (the home town of my great grandmother Bridget Chambers) while on our trip to Ireland. So on our first full day in County Mayo, we drove to Bilberry Lake -- located near N5 road, halfway between Castlebar and Westport. We drove down a narrow country road -- thank heavens for signs! From there we could see the Old Islandeady Cemetery on a hill, across the lake. I love how lovely and peaceful this lake is, surrounded by green trees, green hills and green grass.
After admiring the view of the lake and taking lots of photos, we drove over to the Old Islandeady Cemetery. From the parking lot of the cemetery, you can see Croagh Patrick, where according to legend, Saint Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland. The four of us walked through the cemetery and to the ruins of St. Eiden's Church, located on the shores of Bilberry Lake,
St. Eiden's Church has been in ruins since the penal times and was restored in the 1990's. Of course we took photos to commemorate my kids' first visit to Islandeady!
We then drove a short distance to St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Islandeady. This was my first visit to St. Patrick's. According to legend, St. Patrick preached on the shores of the lake on his way to the holy mountain in 440 AD so hence the name of this church. The roof of this church was originally
thatched but the church building was slated in 1849. Other improvements and upgrades have been made since then. This was a very meaningful visit for me since this was the church that my 2nd great grandparents Thomas Chambers and Ann Kilroy Chambers attended Mass on Sundays and where their children, including my great grandmother Bridget Chambers was baptized. It is so exciting to me when I can actually walk in their "footprints". It makes me a little sad, though, to think that my Dad and Grandpa never got to visit this place. I think they would have enjoyed the peaceful lake, the old church ruins and just knowing that Bridget grew up not far from here.
Note: This is my 200th post in this Home of Sherlocks blog and thought it was very fitting that it would be about Islandeady.