Glencolumbkille, or Gleann Cholm Cille in Irish, St. Columba's Valley,
is named after Saint Columba, or Colmcille who came from Iona , who is
said to have lived in the area with his followers in the 6th
century. There are many early christian remains bearing his name.
Glencolumbkille is quite cut off from other towns and villages in the
area because of the bleak surrounding landscape, because of this the
village was always quite poor. In 1950 Father James McDyer was
appointed parish priest. He set up a machine knitting business and
vegetable processing plant. Before his arrival the glen didn't
even have electricity and a lot of people emmigrated to get away from
their poor surroundings. These enterprises were successful
and in 1967 he opened the Folk Village Museum.
On Saint Columba's feast day, June 9th, there is a penitential tour that
visiting 15 holy sites in the area. Pilgrims complete the walk in bare
starting at midnight and uttering prayers as they go, aiming to be finished
dawn. The sites they visit include cairns, grave slabs, pillars, chapels
on all decorated with cross patterns and geometric patterns. The route
is some 3 1/2 miles long.
The coastline round here is very beautiful too as you can see by the photograph.