The Churches of County Clare
By T. J. Westropp, M.A.
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Clare County Library

Modern Changes and Buildings

Ennis Friary was adapted as a parish church for the parishioners of Doora and Dromcliff in 1615 at the expense of the Earl of Thomond. We have no record of such adaptation in the cases of Corcomroe and Clare, though in the eighteenth century a portion of Oughtmama parish seems to have been annexed to the former as “Abbey” Parish, while the old parish of Killoe, and a section on the western bank of the Fergus, representing it may be the Kellargenayn of 1302, were united to form “Clare Abbey” parish.

Clonrush and Iniscaltra were assigned to Galway before 1610. [88] I have found no definite record of the transfer. It evidently took place gradually, as there is an Elizabethan map in the Hardiman collection, [89] in which Iniscaltra is shown in Thomond, and Clonrush in Galway. They are understood to have been restored to Clare in 1898, under the Local Government Act. Inagh seems to have been merged into Drumcliff in 1610.

Hely Dutton, in the “Statistical Survey,” [90] gives a series of parish churches, among which appear several which cannot be identified. In Burrin, Glunning, Glenvaan, Crunane; Inchiquin, Kiltullogh, Kilmacduagh; Bunratty, Doroney, Coonock, Killeby; Tullagh, Frenagheragh, Cruight; Ibrickan, Innisclea; Moyferta, Killenedane, Kilnagleagh and Mollough.

As for the modern Protestant churches, Lewis gives the following dates, which, in some cases at least, mark the desertion or destruction of an older building:?

Clare Castle, 1813; Clondagad, 1808; Clonlara, 1815 (Belfry, 1831); Clonlea (Kilkishen), 1811; Ennis (struck by lightning and repaired), 1817; Ennistymon, 1830; Feakle, about 1823; “Kilfarboy,” i.e., Miltown Malbay, 1802; Kilnasoola, 1815 (older church removed); Kilmurry-MacMahon (old church removed), 1810; Kilnaboy, i.e., Corofin, 1829; Kilquane, 1819; Kilrush, 1813; “Kilseily,” i.e., Broadford, 1811; Quin, 1797; “Rathbourney,” about 1797; Sixmilebridge (rebuilt), just before 1837; Tulla, 1812; “Killard,” i.e. Dunbeg, 1807. I may also add Ennis new church, consecrated 30th Nov., 1871. In only one case (Kilmurry), however, was a mediæval church destroyed.

The modern Roman Catholic churches are not recorded in any accessible authority, so I have not been hitherto able to procure the dates of any except the cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in Ennis, 1843 (consecrated Feb. 26th, 1843, by Right Rev. Dr. Kennedy), the old chapel was in Chapel-lane, a wing was added, 1773; Corofin, 1822; Clonlara, 1815, (rebuilt) 1875; Mountshannon, 1836; Tomgraney, 1893; and Kilshanny, 1896.

The Presbyterian Church of Ennis was built, 1855 and 1856; and Dysert Moravian Church, 1793. In none of these cases was an ancient site affected.

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