This photograph of Lough Corrib was taken near Clonbur in County Galway. The nosey sheep were not a planned element of the photo but their unexpected intrusion into the final shot of the panorama really makes the shot for me.

Lough Corrib is the second largest lake in Ireland and is said to be home to 365 islands – one for every day of the year. It stretches nearly 40 miles from Cong and the Maam valley in Connemara to Galway city in the South where it flows into the Corrib River and on into the Atlantic.

Inchagoill Island is the largest of Lough Corrib's islands and sits half way between Cong & Oughterard. The island is home to several ancient monastic ruins, many of which date to the 5th Century. One of the ruined churches on Inchagoill is called Teampall Na Naoimh which is thought to have been built in 1180 by Augustine monks based in Cong (see Cong Abbey photograph)

To the east of Teampall Na Naoimh are St. Patrick's church and the Stone of Lugnad.St Patrick and his nephew Lugnad are said to have been banished to Inchagoill Island by powerful pagan druids in Cong in the 5th Century. Lugnad died on the island while building the church. There is a 5th century inscription on the Stone of Lugnad which can still be seen today.

It was written in ancient Gaelic as "Lia Lugnaedon Macc Lmenueh" which translates to "The standing stone of Lugnad Son of Limanin". It is thought that this is one of the earliest Christian inscriptions in Europe (and possibly a transliteration of an earlier Ogham inscription).

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© Ciaran McHugh Photography 2009-2017, by Sea Design