In the Footsteps of Fursa

The day I arrived in Ireland to teach at the recent writers’ tour and retreat, my host (the fabulous Fiona Claire of Ireland Writer Tours) and I stopped off at Killursa Cemetery, which lies between Galway and Headford near the Western coast of Ireland. The cemetery remains in use today, though it dates to the seventh century–the time of Saint Fursa, whose name it bears. (Killursa is an Anglicized version of “Cill Fursa”–Fursa’s Church.)  A statue of Fursa sits just inside the entrance, watching over the cemetery, church and surrounding countryside: The church exhibits some curious features common to churches of

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