All Saints Day is November 1 -  here are some of the top sites in Ireland associated with saints

If you're planning a vacation or pilgrimage to Ireland, it's worth taking a look at some of the top blessed and beautiful spots in Ireland that have an association with an Irish saint.

Read More: Remember the blessed on All Saints’ Day in prayer

There are over 300 saints directly associated with the island, so it's no wonder Ireland earned the title of “the land of saints and scholars.”

Here are a few wonderful places in Ireland that are associated with Irish saints:

St. Dervla: Blessed well in Belmullet Peninsula, Co Mayo

St. Dervla's Well (Getty Images)

St. Dervla's Well (Getty Images)

Having plucked out her eyes to avoid marriage, St Dervla’s sight was later miraculously restored. Her holy well on the Belmullet Penninsula in Co Mayo is not only a sight to behold, but it’s also the go-to place for those suffering from eye ailments.

St. Canice: Cathedral and Round Tower, Co Kilkenny

St. Canice's Cathedral and Round Tower (Getty Images)

St. Canice's Cathedral and Round Tower (Getty Images)

The town of Kilkenny gets its name from this saint, and at St Canice’s Cathedral visitors get the unique opportunity to climb to the top of the round tower.

St. Ciaran: Monastery at Clonmacnoise, Co Offaly

Monastery at Clonmacnoise (Getty Images)

Monastery at Clonmacnoise (Getty Images)

Ciaran founded the monastery at Clonmacnoise in Co. Offaly which is a popular stop along the Shannon River for those planning a trip between Dublin and Galway.

Read More:  Saints named me - my very Irish names and its legacy

St. Columba: Derry City, Co Derry

St. Columb's Cathedral in Derry City (Getty Images)

St. Columb's Cathedral in Derry City (Getty Images)

The city of Derry offers a self-guided walking tour of sites associated with their city’s patron saint. He later left Ireland for the island of Iona and also went on to become closely associated with Scotland.

St. Finbarr: Gougane Barra, Co Cork

Gougane Barra (Getty Images)

Gougane Barra (Getty Images)

It is said that Finbarr built the first church at Gougane Barra in County Cork. Although a popular pilgrimage and hiking destination, the idyllic valley doesn’t see many tourists from beyond the Emerald Isle.

St. Brendan: Cathedral at Clonfert, Co Galway

Cathedral at Clonfert (Ireland's Content Pool)

Cathedral at Clonfert (Ireland's Content Pool)

Known as Brendan the Navigator, it’s believed he traveled by sea to North America almost 1,000 years before Columbus. The cathedral at Clonfert, Co Galway, displays a beautiful Romanesque doorway, and Craggaunowen – the Living Past Experience in County Clare - houses the boat used by Tim Severin who followed Brendan’s possible route.

Read More: Walking in the footsteps of St. Brendan through 6,000 years of Irish history

St. Brigid: Church and shrines, Co Kildare

St. Brigid's Cathedral (Getty Images)

St. Brigid's Cathedral (Getty Images)

Ireland’s second most well-known saint, Brigid is likely based on a pre-Christian goddess. Although she’s most associated with Kildare, shrines and holy wells bearing her name pop up throughout Ireland. St Brigid’s crosses which are woven from reeds or rushes often appear in Irish homes.   

St. Kevin: Glendalough, Co Wicklow

St. Kevin's in Glendalough (Getty Images)

St. Kevin's in Glendalough (Getty Images)

The famed hermit lived in a cave in the valley of Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. The peaceful spot attracted disciples who built a church, round tower, and monastery. They are now a popular tourist destination that includes beautiful nature walks.

St. Oliver Plunkett: St. Peter's Church, Drogheda, Co Louth

St. Peter's Church in Drogheda (Getty Images)

St. Peter's Church in Drogheda (Getty Images)

When canonized in 1975, St Oliver Plunket was the first new Irish saint in nearly 700 years. Executed by Charles II, Plunket’s head is displayed in a reliquary in St Peter’s Church in Drogheda, Co Louth.

Read More: Was the ghost of St. Oliver Plunkett captured on video?

St. Buíthe: High Cross at Monasterboice, Co Meath

The Celtic High Cross at Monasterboice (Getty Images)

The Celtic High Cross at Monasterboice (Getty Images)

St. Buíthe is known as the founder of the religious settlement at Monasterboice in County Meath. Today visitors explore the church and round tower ruins, which are surrounded by some of the best Celtic crosses in Ireland.

St. Cronan: Monastery at Roscrea, Co Tipperary

The High Cross in Roscrea taken from nearby St. Cronan's Church (Ireland's Content Pool)

The High Cross in Roscrea taken from nearby St. Cronan's Church (Ireland's Content Pool)

Although he founded several monasteries, his most famous one was in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, where visitors can wander the ruins which include churches, a round tower, and high cross.

St. Colman: Kilmacduagh, Co Clare

Kilmacduagh (Getty Images)

Kilmacduagh (Getty Images)

Spending most of his holy life in County Clare and on the Aran Island of Inishmore, Colman is associated with the monastery at Kilmacduagh, near Gort in County Galway, which is home to a round tower that leans … a bit like the Tower of Pisa.

Read More: All of Ireland’s Catholic Church records to go online

St. Declan: St. Declan’s Oratory overlooking Ardmore beach, Co Waterford

St. Declan's at Ardmore Beach (Ireland's Content Pool)

St. Declan's at Ardmore Beach (Ireland's Content Pool)

St. Declan’s Pilgrim Path between Cashel, Co. Tipperary, and Ardmore, Co. Waterford, has been nicknamed the “Irish Camino.” In Ardmore, the dramatic seaside walk takes visitors to ruined churches, old holy wells, and sacred spots associated with the saint.

St. Féchín: Fore, Co Westmeath

Fore Abbey (Getty Images)

Fore Abbey (Getty Images)

With ties to Fore, Co. Westmeath, visitors can walk a path celebrating the Seven Wonders of Fore which represent seven miracles associated with the site and St Féchín.

Read More: Ireland’s most famous pilgrimage sites

Saints associated with places that aren’t quite holy sites:

St. Bécán: Killbeggan Distillery, Co Westmeath

Kilbeggan Distillery (Ireland's Content Pool)

Kilbeggan Distillery (Ireland's Content Pool)

Founded a monastery in Killbeggan, County Westmeath, which is a town that is home to Ireland’s oldest whiskey distillery and is situated only a few miles from Tullamore, Co. Offaly, the birthplace of Tullamore Dew.

St. Brendan of Birr: Telescope at Birr Castle and Demesne, Co Offaly

The telescope at Birr Castle (Ireland's Content Pool)

The telescope at Birr Castle (Ireland's Content Pool)

This Brendan founded a monastery at Birr, Co Offaly. At Birr Castle and Demesne, visitors can visit a science center and view the enormous telescope, which was built in the mid-1800s and held the title of the largest telescope in the world for over 70 years.

St. Lomman - Trim Castle, Co Meath

Trim Castle (Getty Images)

Trim Castle (Getty Images)

The Irish saint is associated with Trim, Co Meath, which is home to notable Trim Castle.

Read More: St. Patrick’s Day pilgrimage in Connemara - the trip of a lifetime

* Originally published in July 2014. 

Liam Hughes is a jeweler and Irish Fireside podcast host who splits his time between County Tipperary in Ireland and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the United States. You can follow him @LiamJazz or read more at IrishFireside.com.

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Ist tile july 2019

A Celtic High Cross in Co Wicklow. Ireland has a multitude of sites associated with saints.Getty Images