Maumean is a mountain pass in Connemara that links the Maum and Inagh Valleys through the Maumturk mountains. The name comes from the Irish “Maum na Ean” which literally means “Pass of the Birds”. At a height of just over 250m, Maumean is a holy place that has attracted pilgrims since the early Christian period.
Two thousand years ago Maumeen was an important Celtic shrine. Later, the site was claimed by the early Christian church and they turned it into a shrine dedicated to Saint Patrick. During the 17th and 18th Centuries the “Penal Laws” outlawed the Catholic church. During that period Maumeen was used as a type of clandestine outdoor church known as a “mass rock”. Today, the area is popular with pilgrims. A small church, an outdoor altar, a rock known as St. Patricks bed, a statue of St Patrick, and a holy well can all be found at Maumean.