Places of Interest
CLOGHAUN RIVER, which drains a number of coarse fish lakes to the
west, flows into Lough O'Grady. Lough Atorick drains, by way of the
Black River, into Lough Graney and holds numerous small trout. The
Graney River which connects Scarriff with Scarriff Bay was used by
the Grand Canal Company, and a good harbour was constructed with quays
over one hundred feet long with eight feet depth of water. It is sheltered
and lies about a mile from the Lough and half a mile from the town.
Around 1960 the first chipboard factory in the country was opened
SCARRIFF CASTLE, belonged to Edmond
O'Grady in 1580. In 1598 Teige O'Brien captured it from the attorney
of the Bishop of Meath's son. This was recorded in the Annals of the
Four Masters. The earliest mention of the castle was in 1564. The
town developed around the castle and the fact that it was shown on
the Down Survey as a village proved that it was of some importance
during the seventeenth century.
MOYNOE CHURCH is not far from that
arm of Lough Derg running up in the direction of Scarriff. The west
gable was destroyed by the time O'Donovan visited it in 1839 and only
a few feet of the north wall close to the east gable remained. According
to O'Donovan's estimate, the church dated from the thirteenth or fourteenth
century. Frost found it in a good state of preservation in 1893. He
recorded that the Connaught men burned it to the ground in 1084. On
May 21st the anniversary of St. Colman Lobhar, St. Colman the Leper,
was commemorated in Moynoe. The full name of this parish was originally
Moynoe Norbree. Moynoe may signify the plain of the yew but the meaning
of Norbree or n-Orbach is still very much a mystery.
MOYNOE CASTLE was close to Moynoe
church. O'Donovan believed that a pointed arch leading into the graveyard
of the church was probably the castle gateway. In 1580 Edmond O'Grady
was listed as the castle owner.
THE MILL was built around 1828
and was the property of Ringrose Lambert Drew. The mill was leased
to Charles Walnutt of Limerick who ran the business until the outbreak
of the Famine. During the terrible years of the Great Famine the Mill
was leased to the Scarriff Board of Guardians as a refuge for the
local famine victims. Following the famine, Mr. Walnutt continued
to run the mill until 1866 in which year it was, according to local
tradition, struck by lightening during an electric storm and burnt
to the ground. At the time of its destruction the mill was the property
of the new Landlord of Scarriff, Michael Skehan. It was included in
the Bill-of- Sale for the Skehan Estate in 1869 and was bought by
George Samson of Moynoe House. Although sold as a "going concern"
the Mill was never re-opened.
THE MARKET HOUSE was completed
in 1894. An extension was built to it around 1897. The purpose of
the extension was to provide a service area for those who were involved
in the buying and selling of butter and eggs. The extension was a
timbered structure with a galvanised roof.
The market opened each year about the first Tuesday in May and went
on until the Autumn.
Following the destruction of the Scarriff R.I.C. Barracks in 1920
the Black and Tans frequently used the extension as a detention centre
for suspect I.R.A. Volunteers. Over the years the Market House has
been used by the Derg Credit Union and as a meeting place for the
Senior Citizens Club.
In the year following the 1916 Rising,
a Sinn Féin Club was founded in Scarriff. In March 1918 a homemade
bomb was thrown into the back premises of a Mrs Moroney, where Captain
Rigby, Commander of the local military unit, was staying. No serious
damage was caused. There was an attack on machinery at Cullane, owned
by Raheen Rural Industries, which had been established by Edward
Mc Lysaght. The Clare Champion of 3rd July reported on an ambush
which took place near Scarriff in July 1918. On September 9th, 1920,
the R.I.C. Barracks was attacked. Grenades thrown into the building
proved to be faulty and failed to explode. There were no casualties
among the attackers, but Sergeant Sullivan and Constable Broderick
who were returning to the Barracks, were shot and severely wounded
by Michael Brennan, who led the assault. The burning of the Workhouse
in June 1921 is thought to have been carried out by the local I.R.A.
in a bid to prevent it being used as a barracks by Black and Tans.
SCARRIFF BAY is a triangular section
of Lough Derg jutting inland from the lake to form a safe haven or
bay for small craft. Its northern shore, stretching south-west from
east of Mountshannon to Scarriff Quay, is sheltered by a line of islands
acting almost like a reef. From Scarriff Quay the shore extends almost
directly east for about four miles, forming the southern shore before
extending back into Lough Derg opposite Parker Point on the Tipperary
shore. The main islands from Scarriff north-eastwards are Rabbit Island,
Red Island, Holy Island, Young Island, Bushy Island and Cribby Island.