Over a bit of time it's easy to see where stories, community and culture converged in the landscape of County Carlow. Local culture tells of men coming here to share their stories and stay, live, and serve.
From the little I know of early Christianity after Patrick and before the Celtic church disappeared, it sounded like an adventure, a risk, to have courage and come and be among people who weren't family and didn't know you. Names of men like Patrick, Lazerian, and Moling (Mullin) are a few I have stumbled across. (Sometimes literally as I crossed a field in pre-dawn light!)
The visible remains of structure and symbol are there in the landscape and I sense an echo of their own time and a legacy that's not just a daring faith story, but also reading skills, books and new techniques to harness the resources of land, water, and enrich the community.
Some of these adventurers and risk takers brought hope and light to darker parts of Europe after their season here in County Carlow, Ireland.
Here a few images of places in Carlow's landscape that have a hint or two of these 'Mad Irishmen'.