Places of Interest
ST. CATHERINE'S CHURCH : It was
built by Catherine Keightley between 1715 and 1720 and was renovated
one hundered years later. By 1829 the steeple and vestry had been
CLARE HERITAGE CENTRE is now housed
in St. Catherine's Church. It holds comprehensive research material
to enable people with Clare roots to trace their ancestry. This genealogical
centre also houses a small interpretative museum.
THE TAU CROSS is on display in
the Heritage Centre. This t-shaped monument, carved from a single
piece of carboniferous limestone, has been the subject of several
theories and arguments. It was originally set in a large boulder-like
rock on top of Roughan Hill but was moved several times for safe keeping.
A replica has been set up on the original site. This cross has often
been referred to as CROIS INNEENBOY, the cross of the daughter of
Baoth. In 1937 Dr. Adolf Mahr, then keeper of Irish Antiquities and
Director of the National Museum of Ireland, put forward the theory
that this double-headed cross, the two-faced termon cross of Kilnaboy,
might be compared to the well-known Celtic double-heads from Roquepertuse
in south-east France. Three years later Dr. Joseph Raftery seemed
to confirm this theory when he wrote that the Tau Cross seemed to
belong to the same series of La Tene sculptures mentioned by Mahr.
Dr. Etienne Rynne, however, wrote a definitive article on the Tau
Cross in 1967. By comparing the craft style of the two carved heads
with other work in the locality - the immediate neighbourhood supplied
three representations of tau-croziers - he was able to justify his
conclusion that the cross was in fact a boundary mark of the Romanesque
period and not a pagan idol of the early Iron Age.
RICHMOND HOUSE near the bridge,
dates from the eighteenth century. It was the home of Richard Brew
in 1814. By 1837 it was occupied by the Rev. S. Walsh, parish priest
of Kilnaboy. He was still in occupation in 1855. The building became
an R.I.C. barracks around the turn of the century. It was restored
during the middle of this century by Patrick McLoughlin.
INCHIQUIN CASTLE is called after
the original O'Quin stronghold of Inchiquin, O'Quin's Island on Lake
Inchiquin. It may have been built by Teige-an-Chomhaid O'Brien who
died in 1466. It belonged to Turlough, son of Murrogh, first baron
of Inchiquin, in 1542. Murrogh O'Brien, the fourth baron, was in possession
in 1580. Situated on the northern side of the lake, it was the residence
of the O'Brien family whose descendant, the Marquess of Thomond, derived
his title of Earl of Inchiquin from this estate. During O'Donnell's
raid on Clare it was attacked and captured by Maguire of Fermanagh,
one of his lieutenants. Some time after this a more comfortable house,
sometimes referred to locally as the banquet hall, was added to the
old castle. Part of the old castle tower can still be seen and a good
portion of the banquet hall is still intact. Christopher O'Brien,
Murrogh the Burner's brother, lived here during the Confederate Wars.
Murrogh's son, Colonel John O'Brien, abandoned Inchiquin towards the
end of the seventeenth century. By then it was in a ruinous condition.
BALLYPORTRY CASTLE derives it's
name from BAILE PORTRAITHE, or hog's town according to James Frost.
It may also be a derivation of BAILE PORTACH or BAILE PORTAIGH, meaning
the fortified town or home of the banks or ridges. In 1580 it was
occupied by Mahone, the son of Brian O'Brien. Sir William Petty took
a census of the county in 1659 and the castle featured on it as Ballyportrea.
It appears to have escaped the ravages of both war and time. By the
time O'Curry visited it in 1839 the walls were still intact and it
afforded shelter to a poor family. In recent years it was the home
of Bob Browne, who restored it lovingly and with care.
STATION HOUSE in Corofin has been tastefully renovated and many of
the old features have been retained. The old station platform, the
trackway and the garden blend with the original design of the station.
LAKES: Corofin is an ideal spot
for anglers. A chain of lakes stretches away to the north-east. These
include Lough Atedaun, Lough Cullaun, the Ballyeighter Loughs and
Lough George near Ruan. The Fergus River flows through Lough Atedaun,
then runs north-east to Ballyteigue Lake before turning south into