Hermitages on the Mizen, Muinter Bháire, Beara Peninsulas and the Island and the Deserts of Sinai, the Middle Eastern influences of the Book of Kells.

A little while ago I met  an Iraqi, in Ireland for over 40 years.  . I don’t know whether was Christian or Muslim  but he had a great knowledge of early Irish History. He said that the refuges of the early monks in the isolated peninsulas and island have a common tradition with the hermitages of the Middle Eastern Deserts such as Sinai. Some of the old church sites and graveyards are the locations of these hermitages and indeed they may pre date the coming of Christianity to Ireland.

He then drew attention to the calligraphy of the Book of Kells and other such books and said that the decoration was Middle Eastern in origin. He felt that there were connections between Ireland and the Middle lands at that period.