St. Fortiarnan's Church

Killoughternane, Co. Carlow

St. Fortiarnan's Church
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About St. Fortiarnan's Church

St. Fortiarnan's Church in Killoughternane, Co. Carlow.

This diminutive rectangular church dates back to the 10th or 11th century. It is testament to the building skills of these early stone masons that all four walls are still intact almost one thousand years after they were first built.

Known as the 'white church', it is associated with St. Fortiarnan (Fortchern) who was a disciple of St. Loman of Trim, one of the companions of St. Patrick. Fortiarnan left his native Meath and travelled down to the kingdom of Ui Drona where he founded a monastic community at Killoughternane.

St. Fortiarnan's monastery is one of the earliest missionary schools in Ireland and among those who studied here was St. Finian. After Killoughternane, Finian went to St. David's monastery in Wales before returning to found the famous monastery at Clonard, Co. Meath.


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