Beg-Erin, or Begerin as it is also spelt, is one of this areas  - if not the county’s - most notable Christian sites. The island is known and well regarded by many local people I met during the course of this project. However, the numbers of people who visited it in person are low. 

Some people spoke of the old bridge that crossed to the island before it was reclaimed into the present day north slob. Nellie Roche told me that when she was a young one she crossed the bridge in a Ford Prefect car while Kathleen Halpin told me that when she was younger she used the bridge to bring cows across. By today’s standards, the small wooden bridge would be frowned upon in regards to health and safety but in its day, it served its purpose. All that’s left today are its uprights and one cross plank; the entrance to a site for a bird hide. The lane, the old road to the bridge from Beg-Erin Lodge, is passable now only on foot. 
 
The island itself is now wedged tightly into the reclaimed land that surrounds it and as you travel on the reclaimed flat land, the outline of the church and graveyard can be seen with the naked eye. As I stood among the remains of the old church, the headstones and the old bridge I thought about the countless other similar sites throughout our landscape which were such a part of the early Christian community in Ireland. I imagine the site surrounded by water and think of the island charm of other islands with settlements by saints with strong Wexford connections including: St. Mogue’s Island in Co. Cavan and St. Senan’s, on Scattery Island off Co. Clare. Unfortunately due to land reclamation Begerin does not now have such an island status.
 
Many accounts regarding this site have been written by people more informed than myself and you can access them through the local library service. Of note would be Edward Cullenton’s book ‘Celtic and Early Christian Wexford’ and Fr. Seamus de Vals essay which was written for the Castlebridge Bridge Historical Societies magazine, The Bridge. You can read a general account of the Island’s history by clicking here. 
 
One final thing which kept cropping up in conversation is the story that Scotland’s Stone of Scone (‘Stone of Destiny/ An Lia Fáil or The Coronation Stone as called by The English) came from Beg-Erin. Although the red-sandstone is claimed to have been quarried near the monastery at Scone in Scotland, various people had versions of a story that the stone originated from here. Where could this story have originated? Could it be confused with the granite Lia Fáil that stands on the Hill of Tara in Meath? Any takers?
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Beg-Erin

Beg-Erin, Castlebridge, Co. Wexford

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