The Emerald Isle

Fechin built a monastery here in around AD 630. Local legend has it that the saint himself placed the huge lintel, carved with a rare Greek cross, over the church’s west door, having used the power of prayer to get it there. This feat is one of the “Seven Wonders of Fore,” which among others include such things as water that flows uphill, water that will not boil, wood that will not burn, and a monastery built on quaking sod; the last is easily explained, for the Benedictine priory at Fore was built on reclaimed bogland. As for the rest, local people are happy to explain them, and the establishment of a regular tourist trail around them has also been discussed. 173 The Emerald Isle OPPOSITE: The oldest building in Drumlane, County Cavan, is the church and round tower on the banks of the river Erne. It is possibly late 13th-century in date, although the first monastery here was founded in the early Christian period. It was much altered in the 15th century, its west doorway preserving some fine stonework. BELOW: The site at Fore was founded by St. Fechin in the seventh century. Fore Abbey was largely rebuilt by the Benedictines in the 13th century and these ruins are largely what remians at the site today. Fore Abbey lies to the north of Lough Lene, County Westmeath.

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