007 Aran Islands and Places of Resurrection with Dara Molloy

Welcome to Episode 7 of the Thin Places Travel Podcast. In this episode, we’ll travel to the Aran Islands and talk with Celtic priest and druid, Dara Molloy about Places of Resurrection. 

Dara Molloy - Celtic Priest from the Aran Islands
Dara Molloy – Celtic Priest from the Aran Islands

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#007 Aran Islands and Places of Resurrection with Dara Molloy
Host – Mindie Burgoyne
Guests – Dara Molloy – Celtic Priest and Pilgrimage Guide
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Dara Molloy Talks about Aran Islands
and Places of Resurrection

Highlights from the Dara Molloy interview


The term Places of Resurrection came from the Celtic monks. The Celtic monks, I think they were very creative and imaginative in the way that they understood scripture. And particularly I think they were interested in images and parables and stories and metaphors because that’s the approach to spirituality that the Celtic monks have always taken. It’s not logical. It’s not analytical. They never became theologians. They more became poets.

Part of their whole way of life as spiritual people was to – in their earlier part of life – was to wander … ‘wander for Christ’ they ended up calling it. … This wandering generally didn’t have a focal point. It wasn’t like they were on pilgrimage to place X or place Y.  It was more that they were allowing the spirit to guide them wherever it led them. And they believed that if they did that authentically, eventually they would find their place of resurrection – that’s what they called it.

The place of resurrection would be where they settled down and that would be where they would discover who they were really meant to be, and the work they were meant to do.


The best way to describe Inis Mór is that it’s magical. It’s amazing. It’s an experiential place. You might go to a library where you learn something that you might get into your head. But when you come to Inis Mór, you experience something… you can then go off and have a look at your experience and put words on it and give a narrative and so on – which, of course, is what I did and what I continue to do – but the island itself has an energy about it which is very light in the sense of “bright”… and it has a depth to it that you can sense especially in the spiritual places.


Our pagan traditions influenced hugely the development of Christianity in Ireland. It’s like a seamless robe that has some threads from the pagan tradition and some threads from the Christian tradition. Doing the “rounds” began in the pagan tradition. So if you take a holy well today, they’re all named in Ireland after a saint… but before Christianity, these wells were also sacred places. And for the druids who were the spiritual leaders for these Celtic peoples, the wells were sacred because they marked an entrance into the womb of the earth itself. And the earth was a mother, and she was a goddess.


When you come to any of the three Aran Islands, they’re quite flat, there are no trees and there isn’t anything to block your view. And what you see are stone walls – everywhere. And I think it’s kind of surprising and shocking to people to see just how many stone walls are, how intricately they’re built, how many different styles there are to building a stone wall, how small the fields are, and just how far they can see in every direction. So when you come to Aran, you get a long distance view of life… Aran is expansive.
– Getting Married on the Aran Island
– Thin places and how we can use them.


The Cloud of Unknowing

A Pocket Guide to Aran – Legends in the Landscape by Dara Molloy

The Globalisation of God: A Celtic Christianity’s Nemesis

Dara Molloy website

Aisling Publications

Facebook Celtic Spirituality with Dara Molloy

Facebook – Tour Pilgrim Guide

Facebook – Celtic Wedding Celebrant


Mindie Recommends – 2 Books

 The Aran Islands by John Millington Synge, c. 1907

Commentary written about the years he spend in the Aran Islands, the people, traditions, culture and landscape. Written as beautifully as any great travel writer could do.

A Pocket Guide to Arain – Legends in the Landscape by Dara Molloy.

The perfect little guidebook – written by a local guide who blends history, mythology, and spirituality all through the descriptions.


Thank you for listening to the Thin Places Travel Podcast. If you have questions, thoughts, travel stories or sites you’d like us to feature on this podcast, you can find us on the web at thinplacespodcast.com. Just click the contact link. You can also find me on twitter at @travelhags and on Facebook at facebook.com/thinplaces.

 And if you enjoyed this episode, please give us quick rating and review on iTunes – under Thin Places Travel Podcast., and consider subscribing.  In our next episode, our guest will be Carmel Costello, a spiritual healer and kinesiologist from Kilkenny who will talk about the energy in nature and beings of the Otherworld. So long, for now. 


2 Replies to “007 Aran Islands and Places of Resurrection with Dara Molloy”

  1. What a wonderful podcast. Resonates with my own spirituality. I learned how to correlate both Christian Traditions and the Mystery that is… Thank you!

  2. Mindie mentions St Gobnait in her introduction to this podcast. On St Gobnait’s feastday, beekeepers all over Ireland feed their bees with sugar syrup. This keeps them alive until the flowers of spring begin to blossom. The feastday is February 19th. St Gobnait is the patron saint of beekeepers. Her bees helped her to protect her monastery from attack. If you visit Ballyvourney today, you will see beehives everywhere. It is still a tradition in the area.

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