So you want to be more fertile? Then head to THIS cemetery in Ireland!

For some unknown, unexplainable reason, no matter where I travel to, I ALWAYS end up in a cemetery. Always.

There’s something peaceful about eternal rest, and something incredible about European cemeteries, for that matter. So you could imagine my odd happiness to find I’d be visiting a few different cemeteries during my tour of Ireland with Shamrocker Adventures. I particularly enjoyed the cemeteries located on the property of old church ruins; there’s just a different vibe to them. (yeah, I know, it sounds weird!) Most surprisingly, one of the single most odd beliefs I learned of, dating back to early pagan practices, was found here in Ireland… at a cemetery! Shocker!!

The Killnaboy Church and cemetery in Co. Clare has one of just a few known Sheela Na Gigs on display, which is supposed to be an old hag exposing her…er….”lady parts” as a symbol of fertility. If you touch it, you are said to have much luck in the fertility department. I did not touch the Sheela Na Gig, although I probably should have since I am in my thirties and my chances of bearing children are dwindling as I type this. The church also has the male version of this, which is extremely rare, though the important “male bits” are broken off. Sucks for him… Another interesting fact: this cemetery has numerous burial stones from the famine; these stones mark mass graves that contain an unknown amount of those who passed, and much more can also be seen all throughout Ireland.

That’s the Sheela Na Gig right above… See it?!

I also visited Poll na Brón, a megalithic tomb in the Burren, dated around 4200-2900 BC. This dolmen, or portal tomb, is one of just a few tombs out of almost 200 ever to be excavated in all of Ireland after a partial collapse. While there are no official reasons why these were built or who built them, dolmens are said to have been used for astrological reasons, religious ceremonies and places of burial. During the excavation of this dolmen, 33 bodies along with artifacts were found.

Poll na Brón

One cemetery that stood out among the rest was that of Monasterboice, which is also home to the most sought-after high crosses in all of Ireland. Once a monastery, this site also boasts Ireland’s tallest round tower as well as the highest high cross.

From cemeteries that boost fertility (and stumbling upon those random facts that stand out when reminiscing of your travels), to massive tombs and burial stones, Ireland’s final resting places are inspiring and fascinating. I can only hope that when I bite the big one, I can eternally chill in a spot as alluring as those in the Emerald Isle. Perhaps a burial under a Sheela Na Gig would be suitable, as it’s a bit ironic to have something aiding in the gift of life, while being surrounded by the dead….

What are your favorite cemeteries around the world?!

A HUGE thanks to Shamrocker Adventures for hosting my travels and allowing me to see the divine cemeteries of Ireland! All opinions, like always,are my own.

About The Roaming Bean (109 Articles)
You're probably wondering what the heck is a "Roaming Bean"... Given that I am clearly not a Bean, and my name is Jen, what gives with this Bean thing, right? A friend of mine called me JenBean as a child, and it kinda stuck. Actually, it really stuck... even my license plate says Jenbean. And seeing as I have this grand lust to wander the world, The Roaming Bean seemed suitable. I've changed my career path more times than I have my underwear (minus all the times I've gone commando).... from animating, to forensic pathology, to international business, to fashion marketing and even to my wonderful and favorite of the bunch, degree in culinary arts, nothing kept my attention. Nothing was fun enough to do every day for the rest of my life. I mean, even though I cooked for celebrities in the heart of Hollywood, CA, why the hell would I want to sweat my ass off in a ridiculously HOT kitchen for most of the day and go home smelling like beef and onions? And the chef hat?? Do you know what that did to my hair?? Enter traveling.... The rainy day I descended down the tower of Notre Dame in Paris, gripping on to the railing for dear life so not to slip and tumble to an early death from the torrential down pour that was causing a small flood in the stairwell, my life changed. When I safely made it to the ground, legs shaky from an apparent lack of fitness it requires to walk up and down 387 steep stairs, I realized my hands were stained a delightful copper color from the rusted hand rail I had so dearly clung to. Desperate to get the icky stuff off my supple hands, and no running water in sight, I did what any other hopeless idiot would have done: I washed my hands in the nearest Parisian gutter. It was that moment that changed my life... I threw away my hair dryer, my rolling luggage and my dignity. I let my hair go natural, I bought a back pack and I CAMPED through Europe for a month and a half. Yes my friends, I crossed over into a savage traveling beast. Ok, a lot of people travel that way. But I didn't. And I'm so incredibly thankful for that rainy day in Paris that made me realize the world is a pretty sweet place. That realization led me on a quest; a quest to get out there, see things, soak up some local culture and eat my way around the world (with minimal food-related illnesses, such as but not limited to raging diarrhea).

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  1. The Best of Ireland: What to see, Where to stay & How to do it YOURSELF for CHEAP! « The Roaming Bean

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