Clare County Library
Clare History
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | Search this Website | Copyright Notice

Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839

Parish of Kilrush (i)

About one hundred and fifty yards to the north of this Church are the vaults of a Castle. We learn the date of the erection of this Castle from an Inquisition taken in the 18th year of the reign of Elizabeth, which states, that the Converb (Coarb) “hath in his possession a new castle party builded, a small stone house and three cottages, annual value, 10s. 8d.”

The same Inquisition finds that “in the Island are two Chapels in ruins, the Abbey of St. Synan with a small cemetery, annual value 2s. Irish; also a Parish Church.”

The two Chapels here mentioned are the Churches Nos. 4 and 5 which I have above described; the Abbey of St. Synan is the one now called Teampull na Marbh and the Parish Church is certainly the Damliag, No. 2 supra. The southern point of this island is called Rinn Eanaigh, which could seem to be the place mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters at the year 1564; (It is not the Rinn Eanaigh of the Annals. See Parish of Kilcorney - J. O’D. December 24th 1840) but see more of this hereafter. The nearest point to Inisbeg or Hog Island is called Pointe an Mheill, and the northwest point is called Pointe an Chroisin. There is a rock in the Channel between this Island and Hog Island called Carraig Dhonáin after Donán, one of St. Senan’s monks; and outside Rinn Eanaigh Point is a rock called Carraig a Draoi, the remains of an island called Dair-Inis which is mentioned in St. Senan’s Life. On the west side of Rinn Eanaigh Point there is a flag said to cover the body of the lady who desired to obtain entrance to the island for sepulture, but who was repulsed by St. Senán - See Moore’s little song on this subject.

A.A. S.S. page 542 Col. 1.
Caput IV. Appendicis ad Vitam S. Senani of Inis-Cathaigh.

The Prelates of this Island and Church of Inis-Cathaigh, in other respects noble and antique are one time read to have been Bishops, another time Abbots, of whom I have been able to find very few by reason of the fewness of antique monuments. I find however, the following; the first three in the Menologies, the rest in the Annals of the Four Masters:-

S. Senanus, Bishop and Abbot of Inis-Cathaigh, and probably Archbishop of Armagh, flourished about the year 540.
S. Odranus, Bishop, Disciple, and in the government of the Church of Inis-Cathaigh, immediate successor of S. Senanus, who flourished about the year 580.
S. Aidanus, Bishop of Inis-Cathaigh, is venerated on the 31st of August according to S. Marianus, on which day, according to S. Aengussius, the Martyrology of Tamlact and others, the festival of S. Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarn (is celebrated).
Olcobharius, son of Flannius, Air-chennachus, or Ethnarcha of Inis-Cathuigh, died in the year 792.
Aidanus, Abbot of Inis-Cathuigh, died in the year 861.
Flathbertus, Abbot of Inis-Cathuigh, and afterwards King of Munster after St. Cormac who died in the year 903, died in the 37th year of his reign according to the Catalogue of the Kings of Munster, and by consequence in the year 940. The Island and Church of Inis-Cathuigh were laid waste by Marcus, the son of Harold, a Dane, in the year 972.
The island of Inis-Cathuigh was recovered in the year 975, by Brian, King of Munster and afterwards (King) of Ireland, who vanquished the forces of Imarius, the Norman, and of his sons Amlaus and Dubgenius (on the occasion).
Colla, Abbot and Master or Teacher (Doctor) of Inis-Cathuigh, died in the year 994.
Hua-Schula, Ethnarcha of Inis-Cathuigh, died in the year 1050.
O’Burgus, Comorhanus of Inis-Cathuigh, died in the year 1081.
Inis-Cathuigh with its Churches was laid waste by Guilielmus Hoelmil, an English (man) in the year 1179.
Aidus O’Beachain (now anglicised Behán and Vaughan - J O’D.) Bishop of Inis-Cathaigh, died in the year 1188.

So far Colgan.

A.D. 1119. Dermot O’Leanain, Coarb of St. Senán of Inis-Cathy, a penitential sage, died. - Quat. Mag.
A.D. 1445. Conor, the son of O’Conor Kerry, was slain by his kinsman Mahon O’Conor, as both were going in a boat to the Island of Inis-Cathy. - Quat. Mag.
A.D. 1581. A barbarous and cruel act was committed by Mac Mahon of East Corca-Bhaiscinn on this Island. - Quat. Mag.
A.D. 1583. The Lady Honora, the wife of O’Conor Kerry, was buried on this Island. - Quat. Mag.
A.D. 1591. The Lady Margaret, wife of Mac Mahon, died at Kill Mac Dubhain (Kilmacduane) and was interred on this Island. - Quat. Mag.