The 2017 Motor City Irish Fest Shirt was designed by Moose Loose LLC using a photograph by Castlehunter who presents a blog called “Ireland In Ruins – A guide to the best and sometimes off the beaten track historical ruins around Ireland and how to get there“. The Blog can be found at www.irelandinruins.blogspot.com. The page with the tower photo used can be found HERE. The photograph was used with his kind and generous permission.
Castlehunter describes the tower and the surroundings:
“Standing on elevated ground above the Kildare countryside and commanding a wide view ares the Round Tower and Church remains of Old Kilcullen.
“A monastery was founded here by St. Patrick in the 5th century and he placed it under the care of St. Mac Tail who he had himself ordained. Mac Tail died in 548 succumbing to the yellow plague that swept through Ireland at that time. He is said to be depicted on the panel of one of the High Crosses in the grounds.
“The Annals of the Four Masters record that the Monastery was ransacked by the Danes in 936AD and again in 944AD. All that remains today on this site are the incomplete Round Tower (circa 11th Century) and the scant walls of the old Church.
“The Tower stands at approximately 27 feet with a doorway about 6 feet from the ground. This Tower is believed to have been used as a Bell-Tower and a depository for valuables. The Tower was depicted in a drawing from 1792 showing much of the west side intact and part of the cornice on top, but it was already in a ruinous state and was reduced to it’s present size when damaged during a battle on this hill in the 1798 rebellion when over 300 Irish rebels entrenched themselves in the graveyard.
“The graveyard is still in use today and easily accessed (if gate is locked) by a sturdy stile in the wall just to the right of the gate. The lofty views from this site especially on a clear day are breathtaking. The remains of the Round Tower bear a plaque recording its damage during the rebellion but it still stands proudly over what is now a much decimated site. The Church ruins are reduced to low walls which just about give an indication of its original size and there are some interesting High Crosses adjacent”.
The Old Kilcullen Round Tower was chosen for the design because it represents the rich history and heritage of Ireland undimmed by centuries and catastrophes.
May the sons and daughters of Ireland and their friends always stand tall and unmoved as living monuments of the land, people and traditions of the Island they love.
NOTE: A very limited number of the 2017 Motor City Irish Fest shirts are still available. See Kevin Murphy if you would like to obtain one.