Fáilte go hÁrainn
Official Guide to the Aran Islands

Teampall an Ceathrar Álainn( The Church of the Four Beauties)

Teampall an Ceathrar Álainn( The Church of the Four Beauties) is found in the village of Corrúch in the middle of the island of Inis Mór. Dating from about the 15th century it is a small church built in Gothic style. The doorway is beautifully pointed. In the east window stands a statue of Our Lady which was donated to the site by local woman Bridget Dirrane on her 100th birthday. Bridget lived to be 109 years old . She wrote the book ‘ Woman of Aran’( Dublin 1997). The four beauties are said to be buried under the stone flags in an enclosure to the east of the church. These flags are said to have healing powers. Local lore is un-certain as to who the four beauties are but they are improbably identified on a wall-plaque as; SS Conall, Berchan, Brendan of Birr and Fursey.


Teampall Chiaráin

Teampall Chiaráin is in the village of Mainistir (meaning monastery). It is said to have been founded by St Ciarán of Clonmacnoise who studied here under St Enda before sailing up the Shannon to establish his foundation at Clonmacnoise. The church which dates from about 12th century stands on the old site of Mainistir Chonnacht. Several cross-decorated slabs stand near the church. These may be old Tearmann crosses( boundary crosses). The most striking one is immediately to the east of the church. It is well decorated and has a hole in it indicating it may have been used as a sundial. Traditionally islanders draw a handkerchief or scarf through the hole for luck or fertility.


Havel’s Place in Dublin

Today I’d like to tell you about my new favorite place in Dublin. As I am Czech and I live in Dublin, 
the international day of human rights made my day today. I was so proud to be part of opening the first Havel’s place in Europe – Dublin, st. Patrick’s park, Dublin Ireland.

Havel's Place in Dublin
Havel’s Place, St. Patrick’s park, Dublin

Since today if you enter the St. Patrick’s park by the cathedral you get to see two benches which are designed to bring people into conversation and discussion. It is dedicated to the memory and legacy of Václav Havel was my hero. I grew up in the 80.ties and 90.ties in a new democracy forming state the Czech republic and work of Vaclav Havel was always very fascinating for me. I was inspired by his life, importance and his kindness. The person who never gave up his fight for freedom and resisted even though he had the chance to leave. I am fully aware of the difference between the life I have and my parents had. No freedom of traveling or speech and the propaganda all together caused to make people think less and be afraid of the war and believe in the great ideology.
One day as a proud Czech I will tell my children about people like Vaclav Havel. I will also tell them about how Ireland helped me realize what I have. That’s why I am delighted to write about such and important event.

Havel's Place in Dublin

The fact that Havel’s Place will be opened in my beloved Dublin where I have lived in the last five years made me really excited.
Havel’s Place is a bench for two people to bring them in a discussion. The seats are really cosy and the table is decorated with Vaclav Havel’s word “Truth and love will win against lies and hate one day”.  The glass hearts are typical for Mr. Havel, he used to use them in his signature, lime tree in the middle is the national tree. My big thanks to all the team to put so much afford in this project because the idea only came up a couple weeks ago after opening the first Havel’s Place in the USA.

Havel's Place in Dublin
Four important man

Havel’s Place is designed by Borek Sipek (on the left at the back), for me personally a very important designer, Czech origin and a close friend of Vaclav Havel. Borek Sipek did incredible work on the castle of Prague in the 90.ties together with Václav Havel. He is an architect and a designer.

The actual idea to have Havel’s Place in Dublin was conceived by Bill Shipsey (on the right at the back) on behalf of Amnesty International. The city of Dublin, Czech embassy, Irish Skoda and friends of Vaclav Havel supported this idea and it was opened as a second Havel place in the world. The next one will take place in Barcelona and I believe there will be more.

The opening was accompanied by three speeches. First from Bill Shipsey about the importance of Vaclav Havel’s fight and the connection with the park for example: to be surrounded by lots of great Irish writers at the back of St. Patrick’s park is a really convenient place for such a great playwright. The lord mayor of Dublin (on the right sitting) mentioned that the city Dublin is honored to have such a place and mentioned the great work the city council did on this project in such a short time period. Last speech was held by Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg (sitting on the left) who was a former adviser of Mr. Havel and a close friend. He was delighted and thanked to the city of Dublin on behalf of the Czech republic.  I was personally really delighted to see him there.

Havel's Place in Dublin
People who attended 
As you can see this little Czech gathering in the heart of Dublin was full of people who came to remember this great person who was also known as the last Czechoslovak and the first Czech president. I remember my grandfather had his picture at home after the Velvet revolution. I will always keep a piece of Vaclav Havel with me. 

If you have time and you go to see the St. Patrick’s cathedral, make sure you pop in to see the little place and sit down. I hope it will bring you peace and good spirit as it did to me today. Big thanks again to the Amnesty International, Czech Embassy, Dublin city council and friends of Vaclav Havel for this gift!