Welcome Ireland’s Eye Scenic Trips Fishing Trips Location About Us Gallery Contact Us Ireland’s Eye: A Brief History Around 700 AD three holy men, who were the sons of Nessan a prince of the Royal House of Leinster, established a church on Ireland’s Eye.  The church was named “Cill Mac Nessan”  . There they penned a holy manuscript copy of the four Gospels named the Garland of Howth.  This is of similar type to the famous Book of Kells and it too is preserved in Trinity College Dublin. The Vikings were besieged on the Island late in the 9th century and they returned in the 10th century to pillage and plunder it. Cill Mac Nessan ceased to function as a church in the 13th  century, with all monastic activities transferring to St. Mary’s Abbey in Howth. In Early Christian Times In 1803 the Martello Tower was one of three built in Howth on the instructions of the Duke of York, to repel a possible invasion by Napoleon. In 1852 the infamous Kirwan Murder took place at “the long hole” on the Island. Kirwan was an artist and a gentleman living in Dublin city who came to Howth on holiday with his wife. They were taken to the island one day by local boatmen. Kirwan was to do some painting and his wife needed to bathe in the sea for some ailment or other. When the boatmen returned to collect them, the wife was missing. Her body was later found washed up on rocks at a place known as the “long hole”. Kirwan claimed she got into difficulties while swimming and he was unaware of it as he was painting somewhere else on the island. He was later charged and convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The evidence was mainly circumstantial. Kirwan had been in dispute with a number of locals over payment for services and was known to be having an affair with a woman in the city with whom he had several children. His sentence was reduced to life in prison after representations from the British establishment. After serving 27 years hard labour he returned to the scene on the Island before setting off to America to meet the other woman. Today the island is a pleasant, peaceful place where one can relax and enjoy the wildlife, beach and catch some fresh air and be oblivious to the happenings of the past. In More Recent Times