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Devenish Island

A Mystical Oasis in the Heart of Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

Nestled serenely in Lower Lough Erne, near the enchanting town of Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, Devenish Island stands as a living testament to the rich history and spirituality that has graced the landscapes of Northern Ireland for centuries. This enchanting island is a place where the past meets the present, inviting visitors to explore its ancient ruins, lush landscapes, and the palpable sense of tranquility that envelops the entire isle.

A Journey Through Time

The history of Devenish Island stretches back over a thousand years. Founded by Saint Molaise, a Christian monk, around the 6th century, it has served as a spiritual sanctuary and a place of worship. The island’s name, “Daimhinis” in Irish, means “Ox Island,” likely referring to the grazing animals that once populated its fields.

Monastic Settlement

One of the island’s most striking features is its early Christian monastic settlement. The ruins of this sacred place include a round tower that has withstood the test of time for more than 1,000 years. These stone structures, adorned with intricate carvings, offer a glimpse into the island’s monastic past and the spiritual significance it held for generations of Irish people.

Lingering Legends

Devenish Island is steeped in folklore and legends that have been passed down through generations. Stories of miraculous events, holy relics, and the island’s association with Saint Molaise have made it a destination for pilgrims and history enthusiasts alike. The aura of mysticism and spirituality is palpable as you explore the ancient ruins and walk in the footsteps of those who sought solace on this sacred isle.

Natural Beauty

In addition to its spiritual heritage, Devenish Island boasts remarkable natural beauty. The island’s lush fields and gardens provide a vibrant contrast to its ancient stone structures. Exploring the island’s well-preserved trails offers the chance to soak in the serene surroundings, enjoy a leisurely picnic, and embrace the peace that permeates the landscape.

Access and Visitors

Devenish Island is accessible by boat from nearby Enniskillen. Several boat tour operators offer guided trips to the island, providing historical context and local insight along the way. It’s recommended to check the boat schedules and book your trip in advance, particularly during peak tourist seasons.

Preservation and Conservation

Devenish Island, along with its historical structures and natural beauty, is cared for by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. Their dedicated efforts ensure that this enchanting island remains accessible to the public, preserving the island’s spiritual and historical significance for generations to come.

A Timeless Experience

A visit to Devenish Island is like stepping back in time and immersing yourself in the spiritual history and natural beauty that Ireland’s ancient landscapes offer. It’s a place where the echoes of the past resonate with every breeze that rustles through the trees and the ancient stones that silently tell their tales. A visit to Devenish Island in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, is an experience that lingers long after you’ve left its mystical shores, leaving you with a profound appreciation for the heritage, spirituality, and enduring beauty of this remarkable destination.

The most important of Lough Erne’s many island church settlements, Devenish was founded in the sixth century by Saint Molaise. Admire the beautifully carved, intricate details including a ruined Augustinian abbey with figures and sculptures and climb the round tower. The round tower stands at 30 metres (100ft) tall – internal ladders inside the tower mean the visitor can climb to the top and marvel at the spectacular views.

Also situated on the island are the walls of the Oratory of Saint Molaise who established the monastery in the 6th century, on a pilgrim route to Croagh Patrick.

Devenish Island can be found just outside Enniskillen, County Fermanagh approximately 1 and half miles by car, followed by a short boat trip.

For more details on boat tours to Devenish contact: Fermanagh Tourist Information Centre T: 028 6632 3110


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