Ireland’s Celtic Cross of Donegal Forest can only be seen from above when the leaves change each autumn. Carefully planted by forester Liam Emmery, it was completely forgotten about after he died- until 10 years later, when a nearby filmmaker launched a drone and found a surprise hidden in his footage
The cross is now known as the Emmery Celtic Cross, named after its creator. Forester Liam Emmery (51), planted this amazing Celtic cross design nearly 11 years ago in the woods near Killea, in Donegal. Emmery used two different types of trees create the effect, which must have taken amazing planning skills.
Sadly, Emmery died six years ago after suffering brain damage and it was only this fall that his amazing creation in Killea became visible. It was first spotted by passengers flying into the City of Derry airport. The cross measures more than 100 meters in length and 70 meters wide.
Emmery’s wife, Norma, told Ulster Television, that she knew little about her husband’s work but said that his Celtic Cross would make him proud. She said “Liam was in an accident and he was unwell for two years and he had suffered brain damage.
“If he was here, we would all have heard about it because he would be so proud.”
She added “He would have been so proud. He loved things to be perfect and I think the Celtic Cross is perfect for him.”
Horticultural expert Gareth Austin told UTV that this vision of the cross in the forest could be visible for the next 60 or 70 years. He also commented on the massive amount of skill involved in creating such a piece of art.
Austin said “It’s not just cutting patterns in your back lawn, this is sizeable horticultural engineering.
“Liam created that and gave the gift of that to the rest of us, and we’re going to appreciate that for the next 60 or 70 years.”
What an amazing legacy to leave behind for generations of Irish and visitors to enjoy.
The symbolic meaning of the Celtic cross
According to popular legend, the Celtic Cross was introduced by St Patrick when he was converting the pagans in Ireland to Christianity. (Although others claim it was St Declan who introduced the cross.)
It has been said that St Patrick combined the Christian cross with the pagan sun to give the newly converted followers the idea of the importance of the cross by linking it with the symbolism of the life-giving properties of the sun, while others say that placing the cross on top of the circle represents Christ’s supremacy over the sun, which was worshiped by the pagans.
Much of the oral history and wisdom of the old Celtic ways has been lost and our understanding of the symbolism of the Celtic Cross today is largely based on Roman writing and Christian monks who transcribed the mythology of the Celts.
According to the website What’s Your Sign, the Celtic Cross represents the meeting place of Divine energies and can be seen as a symbolic compass, offering spiritual navigation.
“The symbolism of the Celtic cross is indicative of the human desire to know and experience the unfolding mystery of life. The arms of the cross offer four ways to ascension, an invitation to objectively know nature, wisdom, god/goddess, and the self.”
The circles around the intersection of the cross represents unification, totality, wholeness and inclusion.
In the mid-19th century, a Celtic revival led to an increased use of the ringed cross in Ireland, and the Celtic Cross became not only a religious symbol but an emblem of Celtic identity.