an ancient shrine to St Columba, a Norman effigy & A great pint of Guinness across the road

Skreen is situated on a hill with stunning views over much of county Meath and towards the Hill of Tara. An earlier church at this location reputedly held a shrine of St Columcille, which had been brought to Ireland from the Island of Iona in Scotland for safe-keeping. As a consequence, the name changed from Scrín Colum Chille to Skreen. Under this name and for this valuable reason it was plundered many times including in 974, 986, 1037, 1058, and in 1127 when the shrine was stolen but returned soon afterward! The stone church in the photo was built in 1341 and the big square tower was added in the 15th century for defensive purposes. Inside the tower are the fragments of a baptismal font, a tomb slab, and to the northeast of the church stands a medieval cross. The great thing about this site is that you can enjoy a pint across the road in the famous O’Connell’s Pub. This lovely traditional drinking establishment was made famous as it was used in a Christmas Guinness advertisement.