The monastic island of Inishmurray has arguably the best-preserved and most coherent set of pilgrimage monuments of any early Irish church site. The recent excavation of three of these suggests that they were erected around the end of the 1st millennium. This article considers Irish and European evidence for the sorts of rituals that these monuments may originally have been constructed, including masses, liturgical processions and individual devotions by both monks and lay people. Documentary sources and analogies with other sites suggest that the pilgrimage was carefully designed to convey a sense of the sacredness of the monastery and the holiness of its founder to the general population. It is also suggested that the growth of regional pilgrimages like this one contributed to the broader societal changes that Ireland experienced towards the end of the early medieval period including the decline of the local kingdom (tuath) as a political unit.