St. Dymphna Cemetery, Achill Island
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On the Island with St. Dymphna
St. Dymphna, a seventh-century peasant who was eventually canonized, is said to have founded the church that this atmospheric cemetery is centered around. Dymphna is the patron saint of mental and nervous disorders and if you're uptight or have anxiety, Achill will definitely put you at ease. After all, this aesthetically pleasing cemetery isn't the only reason to come to Achill Island, Ireland's largest island, located in County Mayo on the country's western shores. There's a ghostly deserted village, a 26-mile bike trail that leads you to the island (the Great Western Greenway, starting in the town of Westport) and people so friendly you'll wonder what is in the water (or the Guinness). But the main reason to come to Achill are for the spectacular views. Drive around the periphery of the island—as I recently did—and prepare to be shocked and awed by some of the most stunning scenery your eyes will encounter while in Ireland. You'll pray to St. Dymphna that luck and fortune will bring you back here some day.
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