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Boa Island and the Caldragh Cemetery Stone Figures (County Fermanagh)

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Boa Island and the Caldragh Cemetery Stone Figures

Boa Island and the Caldragh Cemetery Stone Figures

© 2007 Bernd Biege licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Bottom Line

Boa Island and the Caldragh Cemetery Stone Figures - should you go there? Oh yes, if you are interested in pre-Christian Ireland and pagan sculpture you will be in for a treat. And if you are not, but passing anyway, make sure to stop and have a look. But if none of those scenarios applies to you ... don’t bother to go. As often this specialist sight is most appreciated by those with a specialist interest. Others may be left cold and ask themselves why they took the time to come here, just to see two not very huge and quite weather-worn primitive sculptures. Because this is all you get ...

Pros

  • Unique stone sculptures in an evocative setting.
  • Pagan idol with Janus-like qualities takes pride of place.
  • "Lusty Man" is another enigmatic piece of art.

Cons

  • Ultimately an attraction for fans of pagan sculpture only.
  • No parking spaces, visitor center or other tourist amenities.

Description

  • Medium-sized statue of pre-Christian origin shows a two-faced man or two men back to back.
  • Statue may have been a pagan idol or a convenient place for sacrifices.
  • A second, smaller and less well preserved statue has been transferred here from Lusty Beg - the "Lusty Man".

Guide Review - Boa Island and the Caldragh Cemetery Stone Figures (County Fermanagh)

When we drove up to Caldragh cemetery the only living beings noticing this were several dozen pointedly uninterested cows and around a million hectic crows. Which was fitting - Boa is not named after a snake (after all Saint Patrick did away with those) but after Babdb, Celtic goddess of Battles and frequently found in the company of (or disguise as) a crow.

Many people actually miss the small turnoff from the A47, the main road across Boa Island. A smallish sign suddenly appears at the roadside and you really have to follow that narrow track. Until you come to a cluster of barns, a sturdy gate and ... no parking space proper. Park at your discretion but take care not to block the access or any gates.

Then follow another short track on your own, go through two gates and you are in the smallish cemetery. The statues are right in the middle, take care on the uneven ground, complete with slippery slabs and some crevices best left unexplored.

The main attraction of Boa Island is a strange monument that is often describes as a "Janus", referring to the two-faced Roman god. The statue is more than likely pre-Christian, apart from this we do not know anything about it. Even the "Janus" reference is disputed as the carving may be of two men standing back to back. A depression between the two faces may have held a further carving, offerings or simply human blood - pick your own theory. Some people have even likened the facial features to "Greys", those alien visitors made popular by the "X Files".

Another, much smaller statue is nearby, equally enigmatic but "imported" from nearby Lusty Beg island - fittingly named the "Lusty Man".

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