X-PO Heritage Talk


This heritage talk in the X-PO is entitled “In the Name of Colmcille – A Pattern Day in the Burren”. The guest speaker is Tony Kirby. 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 - including 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 www.heartofburrenwalks.com