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Ecclesiastical Ruins on Inniscaltra, or Holy Island, Lough Derg, Co. Galway, after Sunset:

Photo credit: National Museums NI

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Inniscaltra, also called Holy Island, is one mile south-east of the village of Mountshannon, in the stretch of Lough Derg which is situated in Co. Clare (not in Co. Galway, as stated in the title). The monastery on the island was founded by Saint Caimin in the seventh century but was burned by the Vikings in AD 836 and 922; however, Saint Caimin’s church continued in use until the fourteenth century. Buildings remaining include five churches, an anchorite’s cell and a round tower. Watkins specialized in Irish mountain scenery, such as in the Killarney area and monastic ruins and castles in various parts of the country. His works are simply and realistically executed, with a strong feeling for light; witness the magnificent sunset effects of this painting.

Ulster Museum



Ecclesiastical Ruins on Inniscaltra, or Holy Island, Lough Derg, Co. Galway, after Sunset: "This Island is One of Great Historic Interest" – Petrie




oil on canvas


H 104.3 x W 153 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1968

Work type



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Ulster Museum

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