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

Part I. Topography of Thomond Chapter 9. Ui Fearmaic; Gleann Omra; Ui Bracain; Ui Floinn; Ui Ronghaile

Ui Floinn

Clonlea Parish

Ui Floinn is often mentioned in MacGrath’s Wars of Thomond as a sub-division of the country of Ui Bloid, and its extent can be ascertained with complete exactness from MacNamara’s Rental. It comprised the parishes of Clonlea, Kilseily, and part of O’Brien’s Bridge (Trúgh). The O’Flynns are scarcely mentioned in history. It is stated that Lachtna, the uncle of Brian Boroimhe, fought the battle of Magh Duine about the year 953, and slew there O’Floinn, O’Kearney Finn, and O’Kearney Duff.

As is obvious from the name, Clonlea is not of ecclesiastical origin. Its ancient church is very much ruined; it is encompassed by a graveyard in much use by the people of the surrounding neighbourhood. It is said to contain the remains of John Cusack of Kilkishin Castle, a man who rendered himself obnoxious to the people by his acting, according to popular belief, the part of a discoverer of the estates of the Catholic gentry. It is right to say that amongst the “Discoveries” relating to Clare preserved in the Public Record Office, Dublin, no trace of John Cusack’s name can be found. Another burial ground exists near the Protestant church of Kilkishen one for children in the townland of Enagh, and another at Mountallon. On the margin of the lake of Clonlea is a holy well dedicated to St. Senán of Iniscathy. Three castles, or at least their remains, are in this parish—that of Kilkishen, still in a good state of preservation, belonging in 1580 to Rory son of Mahone MacNamara; Enagh to his brother John, and Montallon to the son of John Mac Namara. In the townland of Enagh was held, until within the last few years, on the 21st of December, a fair called Enagh O’Floinn; it evidently was of great antiquity, seeing that it derived its name from a people who ceased to exist as a sept more than five hundred years ago.