Clonmacnois (Offaly)


This carving on the stump of the North Cross (pre-12th century) at the famous monastery has been interpreted on the one hand as the god Lug, and, on the other, as an early sheela-na-gig.

It is one of several enigmatic figures on Irish crosses, and has many artistic resonances - from India to France.

It belongs to the 'squatting' group of figures (see Lusty More and White Island) rather than to the exhibitionists.

See also Bredwardine, Kilmainham, and Monasterboice.