A scented rose and silence as I watch the swallows kiss
And touch the ancient marble – I, too, am part of this.
Kind light and bougainvillea and an evening calm
And I think what prayers have circled all these stones…

…. I shall watch again in sunlight
Search the whole
For signs of those who prayed here
And wove the strands of history
In my soul

In the Cloister of Bom Sucesso , by Sr. Maria Mackey, O.P., (June 1999). (The Convent of Bom Sucesso in Belém near Lisbon was founded by Fr. Daniel Dominic O’Daly, OP, of Kilsarkan County Kerry in 1639, specifically for Irish Dominican nuns, some of whom came from this region of North Munster).

We the people of Tarbert, indeed of North Kerry are ‘part of this’ ancient sacred space of Kilnaughtin. Here among the medieval masonry of this roofless church, and among the headstones of our ancestors – our past generations – we think of them and pray for them, conscious of how they influenced our lives, and conscious of how they connect us to our origins, our past, our heritage that ‘wove the strands of history’ in our souls!

Timeline information provided with thanks to The Tarbert Historical Society and Declan M Downey


J. Anthony Gaughan, Listowel and its Vicinity (Cork, 1973, second & revised edition 1974), pp. 18,27, 32-3, 39, 131,165, 222, 235, 528-9, 531.

Denis & Josephine Holly, Tarbert on the Shannon (Ballyshannon, 1981), pp. 19-21.

Patrick Lynch, Tarbert – An Unfinished Biography (Shanagolden, 2008), pp. 153-155 and pp. 246-249

Dr. Declan Downey, ‘The origins and development of Anglicanism in Kilnaughtin -Tarbert , c. 1585 – 1816’, in Tarbert Historical & Heritage Society (Eds), St. Brendan’s Church of Ireland, Tarbert 1814-2014. 200 Years of Change (Shanagolden, 2014),pp. 18-45.