Scattery Island

Located approximately one mile off Kilrush, Scattery Island is home to a monastic settlement founded in the early 6th century by St. Senan, who was born locally.  Access to the island is dependent on tidal/weather conditions and boat trips leave from Kilrush Marina.

Origin of Name: It is believed that ‘Scattery’ is a derivation of the Norse word for treasure, which is ‘Scatty’.

Scattery saw many invasions down through the centuries; the Vikings invaded during the early 9th century but Brian Boru later recaptured the island. On the island, there are ruins of six churches and one of the highest Round Towers in Ireland. The tower is 120 feet high and has an unusual feature of a door at ground level. The main church on the island is Teampall Naomh Mhuire (Cathedral of Saint Mary), situated next to the round tower.  For a time in the 12th century, Scattery administered to a diocese and there is an effigy of a bishop’s head on the outside of the east window of the Cathedral – believed to be that of St. Senan.  A holy well, called Tobar Sinean, is situated beside the round tower and was greatly revered and respected by islanders. It was also associated with a pattern held on St. Senan’s Feast Day on 8th March.  St. Senan is believed to have died in the year 544 and to be buried in St. Senan’s Bed, beside Temple Senan,  a small 12th Century Romanesque church.

You can see an exhibition of the history of the island in the Scattery Island Visitor Reception building which is situated near the pier.

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