Brigid jpg

Greetings from the heart of St. Brigid country

Pictured at the launch of the new St. Brigid's Trail in Kildare Town were Sr. Rita from Solas Bhríde, Mayor of Kildare Town Martin Miley, and Kildare Tourism Development Manager, Aine Mangan. Photo by Michael Donnelly.

 

By Irish Echo Staff

Happy St. Brigid’s Day. Beannachtai Lá Féile Bríde.

And it’s a happy one indeed if you are marking it in county Kildare.

A new tourist trail dedicated to Ireland’s female patron saint has been launched by the County Kildare Tourism Board.

St. Brigid’s Trail takes in some of Kildare Town’s best-known landmarks creating a north-south trail which will be a major attraction for visitors to the town.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

The trail, said a release, was launched in conjunction with Ireland's Ancient East and will connect with the larger “Sacred Ireland” tourism trail in the future.

“Kildare Town is one of the most important ecclesiastical centers in Ireland, which we highlight with this new tourist trail,” said Kildare Tourism Development Manager, Aine Mangan.

“St. Brigid established her church and monastery close to an oak grove in Kildare, giving the town its name, Cill Dara, church of the oak,” Mangan said.

Unusually, it was a monastery for men and women.

Stated the release: “The legend surrounding the King of Leinster’s grant of land for the project has it that he agreed to give her only what her cloak would cover.

“When she laid down her cloak, it spread out to encompass the whole of the Curragh Plains.

“Starting at the Kildare Heritage Centre on Market Square, visitors can watch an audio-visual presentation on St. Brigid and her connection to the town.

“After the Heritage Centre, the trail then takes in St. Brigid’s Cathedral before heading south toward St. Brigid’s Church which was opened by Daniel O’Connell in 1833.

“Visitors then move on to the Solas Bhríde Centre – a purpose-built centre dedicated to the spiritual legacy of St. Brigid and its relevance for our time.”

The center, which is the home of the Brigidine Sisters, is a key stop on the trail.

The final spot on the tour is the ancient St. Brigid’s Well on Tully Road, where visitors can while away a peaceful hour.

Tourists will be guided around the trail by a new brochure and map which were launched this week by Kildare Tourism, Mayor Martin Miley, and Sr. Rita from Solas Bhríde.

“The St. Brigid’s Trail will interest visitors from both home and abroad who want to learn more about Ireland’s female patron saint,” said Aine Mangan.

“The trail can be completed in approximately two hours, allowing visitors plenty of time to explore everything the town has to offer afterwards.”

More information on St. Brigid’s trail can be found at www.intokildare.com