Tour Locations | Derrie Danders: A Guide to the Quayside and North City
LOCATION 21 | Derrie Danders: A Guide to the Quayside and North City
St Colmcille's Currach
We are now approaching a metal sculpture ahead of us called Colmcille's Currach. Stop for a moment once you reach it.
A currach is a type of boat with a wooden frame over which animal skins or hides were stretched, and was unique to Ireland. It can be propelled by oars or sails and was very stable in rough conditions. St Colmcille or St Columba established his monastery in the city in 542 AD and is the patron saint of the city, but he left the city in a boat like this in the 560's to go to Iona in Scotland.
Once you've had a good look, please start walking straight ahead through the car park towards Strand Road and I'll tell you some more about him.
St Columba was from Gartan in nearby Co. Donegal, and his name means dove in the Irish Gaelic language. He was a prince from the clan of Niall of the Nine hostages,a former High King of Ireland, and as a teenager he was sent to train under St Finnian. After his training completed, he founded several monasteries in Ireland, including in this area of "Doire", an oakgrove on an island in the River Foyle, now known as Derry.
I'll tell you some more about his life after we cross the road.