By Sam Connolly
It may well come as a shock to some people, but there has been a huge debate among historians and archaeologists as to whether or not the famous St. Brigid was in fact an invention of the clergy. Was she originally the pre-Christian Celtic goddess named Brigid? It has been argued the cult of the Celtic goddess Brigid was too strong in Ireland for the missionaries to break its power, so instead, in either the 5th or 6th century, the early church made her a saint and thereby subjugated her worship into that of the church.
All of this is very exciting and intriguing, a genuine Da Vinci Code style of mystery.
Traditionally the seat of St. Brigid’s power and the location of her abbey was Kildare. However, I was intrigued by Kilranelagh Cemetery, a little-known ancient Irish Christian site overlooking Brigid’s traditional lands of Kildare, but actually located in west Wicklow, in the western foothills of the mountains.