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St.Patrick's Island PDF Print E-mail
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Written by David Walsh   
Thursday, 20 May 2010 13:46

O276-613 Sheet 43

A small island, outside Colt, known locally as Church Island. The accuracy as to whether St. Patrick ever landed here is a source of some debate. This is the jumping off point for Rockabill. Land easily at a sheltered storm beach, just W of the S tip, in almost any conditions. Landing is also possible at higher tides at a shingle cove just further E. There is a further landing place on the N facing shore near a ruined house and marked by two metal poles - a small beachlet among the rocks, for when southerlies prevail.

There is the ruin of an Early Christian Church and a small monastery, which dates back to Viking times. It was important enough to merit a synod being held in 1148 in which fifteen bishops, two hundred priests, and several other clergy assisted. The church towards the eastern tip is still very much worth the visit.

St Patrick's Island has an internationally important breeding population of Cormorants (2001 Census) of 550 pairs. There are breeding gulls, Shags and Fulmars in summer, while geese, ducks and waders provide winter interest. There is a colony of 70-80 Grey Seals, especially during winter.

The NE and eastern sides of the island catch the full ebb tide over a rocky underwater reef. Overfalls can develop, especially in S to SE winds against a spring ebb tide. In the sound between St. Patrick's and Colt Islands, a lesser overfall can develop over a small bar that extends westwards off the corner of St. Patrick's.

Text reproduced from Oileáin by kind permission of the author, David Walsh. Text was extracted from Oileáin (online edition) on 4th May 2010.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 June 2010 19:34

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