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06 Oct 2022

Offaly's answer to the Camino is calling this summer

Offaly's answer to the Camino is calling this summer

Offaly's answer to the Camino is calling this summer

Offaly's answer to the Camino has been featured in the national newspapers recently as a location worth exploring for heritage and natural beauty.

With so many people out and about in Offaly, staying within the county, people ar being urged to explore all that the 'Pilgrim Path' from Ballycumber to Clonmacnoise via Leamonaghan.

There is a wealth of history attached to the area and it is home to Saint Manchans Shrine, the most valuable artefact outside of the National Museum, located in Boher Church. 

St Mellas Cell - unique architecture, St Manchans Monastery, holy well and tree as well as archeological remains of the ancient route can be found by exploring the area popular with walkers and cyclists. 

The Heritage Council developed a plan for the area, in which it states, "it is important that the options considered for the post-industrial use of the bog are sympathetic to the significance of the site."

In the Statement of Significance on the area in Section 4 of the plan, "Leamonaghan is a sacred place of great antiquity. The site was an important centre of Christian worship throughout the Middle Ages. There is also evidence to suggest that it may have provided a focus for pagan ritual before the establishment of the monastery. The place retains a sense of peace and tranquillity, and is relatively untouched by modern life."

Locals are objecting to a windfarm in the vicinity which is being planned by Bord na Mona. Many locals have requested that they pause Phase 1 until Covid restrictions are lifted and a public meeting can be held because many of the residents have no experience using Zoom and do not have Fibre powered internet infrastructure in the area. They said Bord na Mona have refused this request. 

Despite this, the area now is a glorious path to history and worship in the area, historically and culturally significant, and is well worth a visit. 

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