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The History and Topography of the County of Clare by James Frost


Part I. Topography of Thomond Chapter 11. Tradraighe; Tuath Echtghe

Tradraighe. Kilconry Parish; Feenish Island

This parish has as its saint, a patroness of great celebrity. She is the Saint Conaire made so memorable by her exclusion from the island of Iniscathy by St. Senán. The incident has been commemorated by Moore in one of the Irish Melodies.

“Oh! haste and leave this sacred isle,
Unholy bark, ere morning smile;
For on thy deck, though dark it be,
A female form I see;
And I have sworn this sainted sod
Shall ne’er by woman’s feet be trod.”

She sought St. Senán, and though, while living, she was excluded from his island, her remains were permitted to rest there after her death. She died early in life, about the year 530. A very full history of her acts is given by Colgan [15] and by the Rev. John O’Hanlon in his learned work on the Lives of the Irish Saints. [16] Her church is very much injured by time, and possesses no feature of interest.

No holy well is found in Kilconry. Two castles stood there. One of these was situate in the island of Feenish, and belonged in 1580 to Bryan MacMahon, surnamed na-Foraire (of the ambushes), and the other at Stonehall (Baile-na-cloiche), the property, in that year, of Teige MacClancy. It should be mentioned that Saint Senán founded a church on Feenish Island, but no trace of it remains, nor is there any tradition amongst the people that such a religious institution ever existed. [17] Yet it is clearly stated in the life of the saint, that in his time, St. Bridget, the daughter of Conchraid, of the family of Mactalius, presided over a convent of nuns in Feenish. [18]

 

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