A suitcase full of soap

Part three

The wandering Ellie with a house on her back

St Mogue’s Island

With thanks to the Templeport Development Association community page:

Templeport Lake, County Cavan, 1940

“A view of Templeport Lake near Bawnboy in County Cavan in about 1940. An island on this lake is the birthplace of Saint Máedóc or Saint Mogue (in Irish: ‘Moadhóg’), or more commonly Saint Aidan (an Anglicized form of his name), the first bishop of Ferns who was born in about 558 AD. The island on Lake Templeport was previously called in Irish ‘Inis Brechmaighe’ (sometimes spelt ‘Bréachmhaí’ or ‘Bréach mhaigh’) meaning the ‘Island of the Wolf Plain’. The island is now known as Inch Island or Saint Mogue’s Island. Aidan built his first church and established his first monastery at Fearna (Ferns) in the territory of Uí Cinsealaigh in present-day County Wexford in 598 AD.

He would go on to establish about thirty churches and monastic settlements. An annotation on the reverse of the photograph provides some additional detail. It reads ‘Saint Aidan of Ferns / 31st January [his feast-day] / Templeport Lake, County Cavan. On the wooded island in which St. Aidan was born. The “cot” in the foreground is the “hearse” used to bring to the island the bodies of those who have the right of burial on it. Crom Cruagh in the distance’. Accessible only by boat or ‘cot’ (a type of small flat-bottomed craft), the island was used as a burial ground for many centuries. About twenty-five graves are marked with headstones and crosses in a cemetery adjoining the ruins of an ancient church on the island. It is now officially closed except for a few families whose ancestors are buried in the cemetery. A concise history of Templeport Lake by Chris Maguire can be read at http://www.bawnboy.com/History…/pages/st-mogue-of-tp.html The original photograph forms part of the photographic collection of ‘The Capuchin Annual’. (Image Identifier: https://catholicarchives.ie/…/templeport-lake-county-cavan)”


It is said…that the clay or mortar from inside the ruins of the church on St Mogue’s will protect you against fire or drowning. People keep them in the walls of their houses, in cars, in the lining of their clothes when sailing.

Images from Bawnboy and Templeport histor/heritage/folklore association.
http://www.bawnboy.com/History-Heritage-Folklore/pages/st-mogue-of-tp.htmlJune 1939 – Photo taken by Fr Brown S.J. (“the Protestant Priest”) who was giving a mission in Kilnavart Church. 
Location: Templeport Lake enroute to St Mogue’s Island. Subjects: Canon Tiernan (18 years old). Boatman, Micheal McGovern