Enjoy tales Myth, Magic and History an this epic archaeological adventure on “Catherine” our traditional style sailing vessel , incorporating Irish Mythology, folklore and legend, viewing the Maam Turk and Twelve Bins Mountain ranges. Experience a huge variety of fora and fauna on the loughs ancient and unspoiled islands and waters. Your tour guide is a native of Connemara and is sailor, singer, storyteller and archaeologist; William Mc Evilly, will tell you of his experience of growing up in his native native Connemara and his own research into the mythological tales and historical facts of Irish history, and particularly this area’s links with the ancient stories of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the divine Faerie Race of ancient Ireland. William can trace his family’s connections with Lough Corrib as far back as the 12th Century AD and beyond. The family have had close connections to the 12th Century Norman knight Robert De Burgo, who conquered Connaught and the West of Ireland. There were also close family ties to Grace O’Malley the 16th Century legendary pirate queen of the west of Ireland who sailed the length and berth of Lough Corrib from the bustling port of Galway city, up the Canal and into the tranquil waters of lough Corrib on to her castle stronghold in Maam Valley. We sail to the largest of the islands which is located in the center of the Lough and was been occupied since the Stone Age.
Numerous Neolithic, Bronze Age and Viking boats have been found in the sediment of the lough and we will be sailing the same waters in our traditional style, craft thus recreating the magic and joy of traveling on a traditional style sailing boat. Upon reaching the island we make landfall on the old pier and stretch our legs . We have the opportunity to stroll around the island which is heavily wooded in ancient timber such as oak, ash, beach and pine etc. and take an opportunity to view the vast variety of plant and wildlife on the Island. The island was its own unique ecosystem and many planes and animals call this pristine environment home. There are miles of beautiful forested walks and sandy beaches ideal or bathing. We will explore the ancient monastic site founded by Saint Patrick in the early fifth century AD and one can experience exceptional ancient Irish archaeology in the form of Saint Patrick’s tiny chapel from the early fifth century AD. This early example of Christian temple was constructed in cut and hewn stone and these large rectangular blocks are Cyclopean masonry. To the west of the tiny oratory one can see a stone marker hewn in the shape of traditional tiller and dedicated to Lugnadh, Saint Patricks nephew.
The ancient Gaelic writing on this stone is regarded by the archaeologist to represent some of the oldest Gaelic and Christian writing in Europe. We can also see some beautifully preserved dry stone and rendered cottages of the more recent habitation sites dating from the medieval and early modern era. The last people left the island in the early to mid twentieth century and decedents of the renowned Inish Gill boat builders still live in the local area adjacent to the Lough. Inish Gill (Inchagill) and Lough Corrib are associated with many famous figures. Saint Brendan, who is renowned for discovering America in the seventh century AD while sailing on a canvas currach legend has it spent time on Inish Gill before embarking on his epic voyage across the Atlantic ocean. On our journey in the footsteps of the ancients, the Saints and Scholars, Pirate queens and heroes of old, we are transported back in time to the realm where history and mythology and folklore. On their return to the mainland after our voyage, many people has said that they experienced profound sense of peace and well being, and deep connection with the spirit of Ancient Ireland.