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The Stone of the Gathering

Jim Dempsey

Gorey, Ireland

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Artist's Description

Each year on the 9th of June An Turas(pilgrimage/Journey) takes place in Glencolumbkille. The Turas is dedicated to St Columba aka St Colmcille and dates back to the 6th century. There are 15 stations on the plgrimage, The journey takes between 3 and 4 hrs and many walk bare footed. Station 9 is Clo’n Aoineach (the stone of the gathering). Traditionally engaged couples would stand one either side of the stone and entwine their fingers through the hole. This was a symbol of their engagement and the ceremony would be watched by a large gathering of people (Aonach). Here the pilgrim circles the cairn three times whilst praying. They would then put their back to the 1.9 metre tall pillar stone and renounce the World, the Flesh and the Devil. It is also said that if the pilgrims peer through the hole they may get a glimpse of heaven. This is not surprising as the views looking down the valley from here are simply beautiful.

Artwork Comments

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  • Jim Dempsey
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  • Jim Dempsey
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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