Malin Head

Wee House of Malin

You can venture east from Banba’s Crown to explore the headland and find the Wee House of Malin.

The ruins of the church here date as far back as the 16th Century. The site is still a popular pilgrimage site, with visitors arriving annually on the 15th August to commemorate the Feast of the Assumption. And celebrate in the form of a strange mixture of prayer and entertainment.

The "Saint" venerated was St. Muirdhealach. He supposedly blessed the well (located in a cavern underneath the large rock directly in front of the ruins of the church). This natural spring is said to be able to cure many diseases. They say that the small church standing in ruin was built by the saint.

Holy wells were originally associated with the pagan belief of the sanctity of water, in fact local tradition states that the original foundation was built to exorcise the evil from the area. Perhaps more interestingly that a pilgrimage is performed in summer with people dropping beads in the water

The Wee House of Malin" is the little cave behind the ruins of the old church. Supposedly the home of a family. Legend holds that no matter how many people entered his ‘Wee House’, there was always room for one more.

The location of this site is stunning and enchanting, it's history colourful and the presence in the past of a cursing stone (now in the National museum) helps to illustrate the contradictions of history, and the complexities of Christianity using pagan customs and beliefs to ease the strain of conversion.

 

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