The Institute Logo is based on the boat of St. Brendan the Navigator. St. Brendan was born in Fenit, 12km west of Tralee in 483AD and died in 562AD. St. Brendan founded monasteries at Ardfert and Clonfert. He led his monks on many long ocean voyages of discovery. These voyages are chronicled in "Navigato Brandani", first committed to manuscript in 750AD.
The Institute chose this symbol to reflect the nature of higher education. It reflects the voyage of personal growth and self discovery every student must undertake. It also reflects engagement with the wider world. The full sail is symbolic of assistance on our voyage received from other members of the academic community; the oars remind us of the hard work we must do ourselves to achieve our goals; the star shows us how far we can reach.
The stories of the 'Navigato' were popular in the early medieval period, particularly with pilgrims to Santiago di Compostela. Christopher Columbus is said to have been familiar with the Navigato prior to his voyage to the New World in 1492. More recently Tim Severin retraced some of the voyages of Brendan and his monks.
These voyages cover visits to the islands of sheep (Faroes); the land with fire erupting through ice (Iceland); the land with cliffs of ice lining the shore (Greenland); the land of fog teeming with big fish (Newfoundland) and the lands further south with warmer waters and bluer skies. The chronicler(s) write not only of the voyages of physical discovery, but also of the inner voyage of discovery of oneself, one's strengths and weaknesses, in facing the journey of life itself.
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