from the South West.
This is probably the “Kellonia”
given to Clare Abbey in 1189. It was evidently built at an earlier date
than the other churches of King Donald, and before the Norman style had
finally given way to the Gothic, which in Ireland was practically a contemporary,
if not a predecessor, of the Norman. This may seem paradoxical, but when
we see the Gothic arcades of Manister, dating from 1160, and the pointed
windows of Killaloe, dating 1182, while the contemporaneous Christ Church
in Dublin had Norman transepts, the conclusion is unavoidable.
Legend attributes Killone to Donald More, and its style and affinities
to his other buildings support the story. Its first appearance in our
Annals is in 1260, when “Slaney,
O’Bryan’s daughter, abbesse of Kill Eoni, chiefs in devotion,
almes-deedes and hospitality of all women in Munster, died. The King of
Heaven be prosperous to her soule! Thady O’Bryan (also) died. Good
news for the English!” Slaney was sister to Donchad Cairbrech, King
of Thomond, the founder of Ennis Friary.
In 1302 the “Monastery of St. John” appears in the Papal taxation,
assessed at 4 marks, but although the order of places seems to identify
this with Killone, it may be Tyone, in the county of Tipperary.
History is then silent till 1584, when we find it vested in the crown.
Tradition and an allusion in a satire
of 1617 tell how a Lady Honora O’Brien, in her youth, had embraced
the religious life in Killoan, county Clare, but ran off with Sir Roger
O’Shaughnessy, of Gort, and had a son and daughter before they got
the Pope’s dispensation for their marriage. The convent is briefly
mentioned in the visitation of Killaloe, as “Impr Dno. Baron Inchiquin,
church and chancel downe, no curate, sequest, 1617.” It does not
seem to have been revived in 1641.