Home WAW Stories Donegal Oileán na Márbh – Isle of the Dead

Oileán na Márbh – Isle of the Dead


Episode 52 – Oileán na Márbh – Isle of the Dead

This is a story about a very sad part of Irish history – The Cilliní.

A cillín (plural cilliní) is a historic burial site in Ireland, primarily used for stillborn and unbaptized infants. These burial areas were sometimes also used for the recently deceased who were not allowed in consecrated churchyards, including the mentally disabled, suicides, beggars, executed criminals, and shipwreck victims.

Cilliní are now recognized as a class of archaeological monument. They have attracted the attention of archaeologists and historians. Today, many towns and villages in Ireland are recovering human remains from cilliní and moving these once excluded individuals to consecrated churchyards. Other sites remain intact, and have been consecrated by special religious ceremonies as this one was in 2009.

It is not known how many still born babies, famine children and shipwreck victims are buried here. May they Rest in Peace.


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