Listen & Watch


In the Name of Colmcille – A Pattern Day in the Burren


X-PO Heritage Talk // 31.01.19

Tony talks about the heyday of the pattern of St Colmcille, which was celebrated in Glencolmcille valley in Carran on the 9th of June each year.

The central focus of the celebration was the holy well. However, the ritual landscape was much wider than that and included a relic of the saint housed in a cross, a stone imprint of the saint’s fingers, the saint’s bed and a rich complex of penitential stations.

The secular geography of the pattern is equally interesting as it included a race course, a fair site and a holding station for faction fighters. The decline of the pattern and 20th century attempts to revive it will also be looked at.

Tony Kirby is a full-time walking tour guide in the Burren. He is the author of “The Burren and the Aran Islands A Walking Guide” (The Collins Press 2009). Kirby is also a Burren blogger at 


An Underground Connection – Carran To Killinaboy


X-PO Heritage Talk // 28.02.19

Colin Bunce is a geologist and caver and works as Senior Instructor in the Burren Outdoor Education Centre.

For over 30 years he has been exploring, discovering and photographing caves in the Burren. This talk focused on the fascinating Burren underworld and in particular on the results of recent water tracing experiments. The tracing was trying to determine the destination of water sinking underground in the Carron area. This follows the discovery of a new cave. Results have shown that water flows both north to Galway Bay and south to the River Fergus with Carran sitting on the divide.


Walking in the Magic of Dysert


X-PO Heritage Field Trip // 10.02.19

The first X-PO field trip of the year took place on Sunday February 10th at Dysert O’Dea castle, led by Dick Cronin.

The weather held out and all present were treated to a fascinating historical account of these important sites.

Highlights included the authentically-restored 15th century Dysert O’Dea castle, the mainly 12th century Dysert O’Dea Church, with its stunning Romanesque doorway, the remains of a round tower, and the glorious St Tola high cross.

Images of the sites visited and the field trip are available on the X-PO Facebook page for reference.

Many thanks to Dick Cronin for allowing us to share the talk with the public on X-PO Folk Radio.