Tuesday 21 May 2019

Saturday 23 March 2019

Diocese of Achonry

Walsh c. xxx, p. 305

The great Saint Finian of Clonard placed Nathy in th chnrch of Achad commonly called Achonry Nathy was his scholar The foundation of the see seems to have taken place about the year 560 if it be admitted that Nathi was a bishop He is constantly called Cruimthir Nathi ie the Priest Nathi The birth of Nathi can be assigned to the year 520 having lived or survived until the time of St Fechin's ordination which took place in 605 he must have reached the age of ninety years When St Finian arrived at Achad where dwelt a man of God Nathi a priest it follows that he had received holy orders before his acquaintance with Finian St Finian having performed a miracle the dynast of the district gave him the place on which it occurred and it is since called Achadchonaire Here a school was established in which St Fechin of Fore received his ecclesiastical and literary education under Nathy Our saint is always mentioned with great respect and his festival is observed in the diocese of Achonry on the 9th of August The bishops of this see are frequently called after the barony of Lyney in the annals of Ireland The catalogue of its prelates is incomplete until the year 1170 Melruan O Ruadan is the next bishop of Achonry met with He died in 1170 having presided upwards of eighteen years Was at the synod of Kells in 1152 and esteemed a man of wisdom and of considerable reputation in the country Gelasy O Ruadan died in 1214 Clement O Sinadaig died in 1219 having sat five years Carus or Cormftc O Tarpa a Cistercian and abbot of Mellifont bishop of Luigney died in the said abbey on the 15th of January 1220 and was buried there Gelasy O Clery who succeeded is called bishop of Luigney in the of Connaught and his death is placed AD 1230


Thomas O Ruadan succeeded died in 1237 and was buried in his own cathedral Aengus O Cluman succeeded in 1238 and voluntarily resigned in the year 1250 Having embraced a monastic life he died in the abbey of Boyle AD 1263 worn out with age and infirmities Thomas O Miachan succeeded in June 1251 and died about the year 1265 The see was at this time worth no more than twenty marks in rent Denis O Miachan archdeacon of Achonry was elected in 1266 He sat nineteen years died in November 1285 and was buried in his own church Benedict elect of Achonry was restored to the temporals on the 27th of September 1286 Henry MacOreghty a Cistercian monk succeededj and died AD 1297 Benedict O Bragan bishop of Luigney died about the close of the year 1311 David de Kilkenny was chosen his successor in 1312 Murchard O Hara abbot of Boyle bishop of Achonry died AD 1344 David bishop of Achonry died in 1348 Nicholas O Hedram a Cistercian monk of the abbey of Easroe or de Samario Ballyshannon succeeded by provision of Pope Clement VI He sat twenty five years and died in 1373 William Andrew a Dominican friar and a native of England doctor of divinity succeeded by provision of Pope Gregory XL in August 1374 ruled the see six years and was translated to Meath and having sat there five years he died on the eve of St Michael Archangel AD 1385 He was a prelate of great wisdom and learning and like Socrates he could never consent to publish any of his writings though much was expected from him Thomas MacDonough bishop of Achonry died in 1398 In 1409 Brian O Hara bishop of Achonry died Lawrence Peter Jacopini a Dominican friar was bishop of Achonry in 1414 and died in 1442 It seems that Lawrence resigned as Richard Belmer bachelor of Theology a Dominican also was bishop in 1424 by provision of Pope Martin V In 1435 the Red bishop O Hara of Achonry died Thady bishop of Achonry died AD 1448 Cornelius a Cistercian and abbot of Boyle succeeded AD 1449 James Blakedon a Dominican bishop of Achonry in 1453 was translated to the see of Bangor


Cornelius next succeeded and died in 1472 Robert Wellys a ininorite succeeded by provision of Pope Sixtns IV in July 1473 Bernard bishop of Achonry died in 1488 John de Buclamant a Spaniard preceptor of the convent of St Catharine at Toledo of the order of the Blessed Virgin for the redemption of captives succeeded by provision of Pope Innocent YiiI in September 1489 Richard next successor Presided a short time as he died in 1492 Thomas Fort master of arts and an Augustin canon was elected in 1492 but the time of his death is unknown Cormac was bishop of Achonry in 1523 Eugene O Flanagan a Dominican friar and bachelor of divinity was by Pope Julius H appointed to the see of Achonry in December 1508 Eugene O Hart a Dominican of Sligo abbey was promoted to the see of Achonry in 1562 was one of the fathers of the council of Trent He lived 100 years and died in 1603 Dominick O Daly master of theology and a predicant of the convent of Athenry he completed his studies at St Clement's and partly at the Minerva in Rome Having returned to his native country he diligently performed the duties of missionary apostolic He attended the chapter of his order held at Rome in 1721 and was at last provided by Pope Benedict XTTT to the see of Achonry AD 1725 and was consecrated at Brussels by Cardinal Joseph Spinelli afterwards prefect of the Propaganda He died piously AD 1735 and was buried at Athenry Philip Phillips was translated to Tuam from 1759 to 1780 Boetius Egan translated to Tuam 1791 died in 1798 Thomas O Connor was living in 1800 John Lynagh John O Flynne died AD 1817 Patrick MaaNicholas was some time professor of the college of Maynooth and a man of extraordinary talent consecrated in May 1818 died in a good old age in February 1852 In March following the election of a successor took place in the cathedral at Ballaghader reen his grace of Tuam presiding Dean Durkan of Achonry and PP of Colooney wag chosen by a large majority of votes The other candidates obtained only four between them Dean Durkan was consecrated on the 30th of November following and now happily presides

Diocese of Killala

Walsh c. xxviii., p. 272.

t IOOESE OP KILLALA Was founded by Saint Muredach son of Eochaid who is erroneously supposed to have been contemporary with St Patrick Its founder was descended of the royal house of Leogaire In tracing his genealogy Colgan shows that he must have lived much later than St Patrick's time St Muredach was contemporary with St Columba and was one of those who assembled at Ballysadare in the county of Sligo to pay their respects to the apostle of the Hebrides after the meeting at Drumceat he was then bishop of Killala No account of his promotion or of his death remains The 12th of August is assigned to his festival and may have been the day of his death It is recorded among the people of the diocese that his remains were deposited in the island of Innismurray which belonged to the parish of Aughris but it is now attached to the diocese of Elphin The assembly of Drumceat was held in the year 590 and consequently the see of Killala must have been founded in that century In the life of St Cormac we read that St Patrick St Bridget St Columba St Cannech and St Muredach bishop blessed the port of Killala In the town of Killala is to be seen one of the round towers concerning which there has been so much controversy or conjecture The erection of this tower the most perfect of its kind at present in Ireland and of the first church of Killala is attributed to Gobhan an architect and divine of the sixth and seventh centuries The pious builder retired to a cell within a mile of Killala where the stone intended for the apex of the tower is still to be seen the cell was called Kilgobhan and scarcely a vestige of it remains It has shared the fate of other monuments which like it reminded one of the glory of other days It was situated in the townland of Cartoon which belongs to Knox of Castle reagh whose herds of cattle now tread over this venerable spot Nearer


the town is another cell Killibron or the cell of Bronus with whom St Patrick is said to have sojourned a considerable time during his important mission in Tyrawley It has become a victim also to the devastating fury of the sixteenth century Some years since the round tower of Killala was struck by lightning and a hideous chasm was formed in its side but the last Protestant bishop has repaired it The ancient name of this district was Hy Fiachra but it has obtained its present one from Awley the prince who divided his possessions among his sons and retired to a cell built here hence Killala or church of Awley Kellach bishop of Killala in the reign of Tuathal Maelgarb was the son of Doghan or according to others of Owen Beol king of Con naught Tuathal began his reign in the year 528 and died in the year 544 The Bishop Kellach was the great grandson of Oliol Molt of the Hy Fiachras of Connaught who succeeded to the throne in 463 Kellach the bishop was murdered about the year 544 by his fosterers near Ballina the murderers were brought to justice and torn asunder by four horses The hill of Ardnaree on which they were executed was called Ardnariagh ie the hill of the execution We have then the incumbency of a bishop in Tyrawley before the time of St Muredach who met St Columba at Ballysadare in the year 590 Muredach was not then the first of this see who attended there as bishop nor can it be supposed that a district so important as Tyrawley and one to which St Patrick was attentive would be without a local bishop to provide for the spiritual wants of the people while in places of lesser note we read of his appointing bishops as at Caisseal Jora in Sligo If Muredach had been the first bishop the district of Killala must have been without a bishop from the departure of St Patrick in 441 until the middle of the sixth century It is more reasonable to suppose that it was not erected into a regular see until the time of St Muredach Ware asserts that St Muredach was consecrated by St Patrick about 440 In the tripartite life of St Patrick it is said that he made Muredach one of his disciples the first bishop of Killala But as St Muredach is to be found in the sixth generation from the monarch Leogaire it is impossible that he could have then flourished O Maelfogamair called bishop of Tyrawley and O Fiachra died in 1151 We have in the records of the bishops of Killala an awful chasm the Danes having done their work of destruction Imar O Ruadan bishop of O Fiachra died in 1177 Donatus O Beoda bishop of Killala on the 30th of March 1198 obtained from Pope Innocent III the confirmation of the possessions belonging to this see Donatus died in 1207


Seven MacCeles bishops of Killala are mentioned in the book of of Leacan compiled by MacFirbis Leacan is situated in the parish of Kilglass Tireragh The ruins of the castle of MacFirbis are scarcely more than traceable Cormac OTarpaid bishop of Killala succeeded and died in 1226 John O Melfogamair called bishop of O Fiachra Mui died in 1234 Gilla Kelly O Ruadhin bishop of Killala died in 1253 He accompanied Florence MaeFlyn archbishop of Tuam to England to seek redress of grievances O Laideg bishop of Killala died in 1275 John O Laidig or O Loyn a Dominican friar died in October 1280 Donatus O Flaherty was elected bishop of Killala and obtained the royal assent on the 16th of Aprill 281 He was the most eminent of the Irish in piety He fell sick on his way to Dublin and died at Dun boyne in 1306 He was honorably interred in the house of the Virgin Mary at Mullingar John Tankard archdeacon of Killala was elected on the 13th of June 1306 and was confirmed by the archbishop of Tuam John O Laitin bishop of Killala died in 1343 The see was vacant almost three years William O Dowda succeeded swore fealty to the king and obtained the temporals on the 25th of March 1347 and sat three years He was the founder of churches and sanctuaries and eminent for his piety alms giving and humanity Robert a native of Waterford succeeded AD 1350 Brian FitzDonagh O Dowda was elected in 1381 but his consecration is doubtful Thomas Lodowis a Dominican friar was advanced to the see by Pope Urban VI on the 9th of August 1381 This bishop died about the close of the year 1388 Thomas Orwell succeeded in 1389 was a Franciscan friar Translated in 1400 to a diocese not known Thomas archdeacon of Killala succeeded by the provision of Pope Boniface IX in March 1400 but he sat only a very short time Muredach Cleragh succeeded and died in 1403 O Hanik dean of Killala was promoted to the see in 1416 and diod this year Connor O Connell succeeded and died in 1423 Martin succeeded and died in 1431 Manus FitzFultagh O Dowda archdeacon of Killala was advanced to the see and died in 1436


Connor O Connell bishop of Killala was slain in the year 1461 by Manus O Dowda's son Donatus O Connor a Dominican friar was made bishop of this see in 1461 John O Cashin bishop of Killala resigned about the year 1490 Thomas bishop of Killala assisted at a provincial council held at Tnam in 1493 and died in 1497 Thomas Clerk archdeacon of Soder succeeded by the Pope's provision on the 3d of June 1498 and died in 1508 Majachy O Clowan succeeded in 1505 by provision of Pope Julius IL the see being then vacant by the resignation of his predecessor Thomas He was consecrated in 1508 by Octavian de Palatio the primate Richard Barrett was bishop of Killala in 1523 Assisted by his proctor at a provincial synod held in Galway in 1536 The chiefs of North Connaught the O Dowdas and MacDonaghs at the instigation of the bishop Richard Barrett marched against the sept of Richard Bnrke The people of the country fled before them with their property to the monastery of St Ternan Errew Crossmalina but the bishop carried off the preys to the forces and would not restore them in honor of St Tiernan Redmond Gallagher sat in the see AD 1549 A bishop Walsh was appointed at this time but was not constituted the ordinary of the diocese His name is found in the archives of the Propaganda at Rome See Abbey of Moyne Francis Kirwan bishop of Killala was a native of Galway and was born in 1589 His parents were Mathew Kirwan and Juliana Lynch both of whom were descended of the most distinguished families of this city While a boy Francis was placed under the tuition of his maternal uncle Arthur Lynch a venerable priest who devoted fifty years of his life in administering the consolations of religion to the people of Galway Having received the first rudiments of education in Ireland he proceeded to Lisbon where he studied in the higher classes and returning thence to his own country he was ordained priest by David Kearney archbishop of Cashel in the year 1614 In the following year he repaired to France to acquire a greater amount of knowledge and having joined the congregation of the Oratory he taught philosophy at Dieppe in the year 1618 Francis was appointed vicar general of Tuam by the illustrious Florence Conry who was at this time promoted to that see Francis having reached Ireland in 1620 began the visitation of the diocese which he performed on foot everywhere eradicating vice and instructing


ing the people in the knowledge of virtue Francis Kirwan was a distinguished preacher and employed able and efficient cooperators in instructing the people who were entrusted to his care The candidates for holy orders he did not permit to be invested with the sacred character until they had spent a year in his own society The Pope appointed Francis abbot in commendam of the abbey of Knockmoy in him orphans found a father and the poor and indigent a protector The illustrious archbishop of Tuam having died in the year 1629 Francis ceased to be vicar general His friends at Rome were anxious to have him promoted to the see of Tuam and those at home were prepared to defray all the necessary expenses but Francis shrunk from the responsibility Malachy O Queely succeeded to the vacant see and appreciating the valuable services of Francis appointed him also his vicar general Francis set his heart on training a band of young men to be brought up for the benefit of the missions Having selected those he resolved to repair to France to procure them instruction and having journeyed to Dover he refused to affirm on oath the supremacy of the king and thereon returned to London with the hope of procuring an exemption for the Catholics from this oath but his exertion proved unsuccessful whereupon he sailed from Dover and arrived safely at Dieppe in France Soon after he proceeded from Caen in Normandy to Paris where he became acquainted with St Vincent de Paul Geoffry and the Baron de Renty The Archbishop Malachy constantly impressed on Francis the propriety of his receiving consecration and urged Edmond O Dwyer then his agent at Rome to entreat of his holiness to confer the see of Killala on Francis without delay and Boetius Egan the learned and pious bishop of Elphin likewise strove to have the bishopric of Killala conferred on him At length lest he should resist the divine will by his perseverance in refusing Francis assented to his promotion and was consecrated on Sunday the 7th of May 1645 in the church of St Lazarus at Paris and on this solemn occasion thirteen bishops fifteen abbots and thirty doctors of the Sorbonne were present Having collected a considerable supply of books and apparel for the altar which he intended for his native land and having put them on shipboard he embarked in another vessel and reached the shores of Ireland in safety but they were lost as the ship was plundered by pirates While ho staid at Kilkenny he was warmly received by the supreme council and became intimate with Rinuccini archbishop and prince of


Fermo and nuncio extraordinary from the court of Rome to the Irish people From Kilkenny he proceeded to Galway and soon after to his diocese which was then harassed and wasted by the hostile movements of the confederates and the Puritan rebels He took possession of his see on the 5th of November 1646 He was elected to the supreme council and on his journeys to Kilkenny and Waterford to attend the assemblies of the kingdom he was wont to tarry with the Marquis of Clanrickard who though a Catholic was appointed Lord Lieutenant by the king when his affairs were becoming desperate when a present of two hundred golden coins was offered by the marchioness he declined and forbade his chaplain to accept them When the cessation was agreed upon with Inchiquin Francis adopted the party of the supreme council but when he found that there were articles prejudicial to the Catholic religion he was heard in the years 1650 and 1651 to reprobate his former opinion He afterwards sought and obtained absolution from the censure at the hands of James Fallon vicar apostolic of Achonry who was empowered by the nuncio to absolve all whd applied and again when in exile he on bended knees implored the absolution of Robert Barry bishop of Cork who also held a similar faculty and who absolved him for the greater caution sake In 1649 Francis again returned to his diocese and labored ardently for three years in performing his episcopal functions To those who were expelled their homes he gave the shelter of his own house and to some nuns who were almost destitute he appropriated a portion of his own revenues Francis was a man of meekness and patience A certain friar of the diocese preached a sermon at which the bishop was present the friar coolly launched into imprecations against Francis but instead of exhibiting any signs of displeasure during its delivery he sent for the preacher and for his brotherhood and calmly convinced them with indisputable documents of the magnitude of the injury His cathedral was at this time crumbling and in order to repair it he collected a vast mass of materials and moreover caused the area of the episcopal residence to be closed in with a wall While Francis was intent on these good works the hostile army marched into the province laying it waste with fire and sword and on the 8th of July 1651 laid siege to Galway Francis hoping that the Catholics might be able to raise the siege and drive out the Puritans ordered his chaplain to precede him wit the cross and all over his diocese entreated the people to do battle for their king their country and their creed Moyne and Meelick are said to have been the theatre of a bloody conflict with the


Puritans On the second day the Puritans were defeated at the castle of Meelick with great slaughter hardly one of them escaped being drowned in the waters of the lakes which then surrounded the castle It was afterwards demolished as well as the castle of Carrickanas iu the parish of Lacken At length on the 12th of April 1652 Galway yielded to the terms of the besiegers terms which were far from being fulfilled in a few months after the whole province passed into the hands of the Crom wellians who becoming the dominant party bestowed the episcopal residence of Killala on Walter Scoavola de Burgo a Catholic who was driven from his inheritance Walter de Burgo permitted Francis to conceal himself in a narrow apartment of the castle in which the bishop and his chaplain were compelled to sleep In this room was also a chest on which the bishop used to celebrate the holy mysteries Here he lay cooped up for eight months in order that he might have the consolation of attending to the wants of his flock A body of troops more ferocious and infuriated against the clergy and their protectors as the dismantled edifices of the diocese strongly attest were marched into this territory and Francisjdreading to be instrumental in bringing ruin on his friend de Burgo retired of necessity from his perilous situation He was on this painful occasion surrounded by his priests and people who like those of Miletus at the departure of St Paul wept bitterly as he directed his steps towards Galway There ho expected to find an asylum but he labored under a mistake as the terms of the treaty were shamefully violated On his journey thither he narrowly escaped falling into the hands of some troopers who suddenly issued out from their garrison He however reached Galway in disguise and by his vigilance and precaution avoided for some time the pursuit of the soldiers Weary of fatigue and prostrate in sickness which suffering and privation brought on he was advised to surrender himself to the governor of Galway Having recovered from his illness contrary to expectation he and John de Burgo and other ecclesiastics who were scattered through the country being summoned by the governor surrendered themselves and were driven into custody at Galway all of whom were treated as galley slaves marched in bodies and surrounded with soldiers Many more were soon added to the number already in custody and by a wise regulation of the caterers they were locked up in houses hired at the cost of the prisoners After fourteen months spent in this manner all of them were suddenly hurried ofl to a ship escorted by spearmen and musketmen without the least notice lest their friends could supply them with means or succour them in their distress After a voyage of four days they dropped anchoi


at the port of N antes in the August of 1658 Having spent two years in the city of Nantes he retired to Renncs where he died on the 27th of August 1661 and was buried in the church of the Jesuits having been admitted a member of that order before his death In Rennes he enjoyed the care and hospitality of Monsienr de la Potiere and Madame de la Potiere the daughter of Monsieur de Bicqueneuil who enjoined in his will that Francis should have everything necessary for his honorable maintenance during life John Lynch archdeacon of Tuam and the biographer of Francis Kir wan became his successor in the see of Killala in 1670 was a native of Galway and in that city presided over a literary establishment and powerfully contributed to promote the cause of religion He received his ecclesiastical education in France was ordained a secular priest and returned to his native country The severe laws and harsh measures of the Puritan rebels being relaxed and as a just reward for his piety virtues and learning he was promoted to the see of Killala John Lynch was the intimate friend and correspondent of Roderick O Fla herty author of the Ogygia and of the celebrated Dudley Mac Firbis of Leacan According to tradition John Lynch was a man of the greatest benevolence conciliatory manners and of amiable disposition He was particularly distinguished by his humanity and love of country During the troubles of 1641 he disapproved of the violent measures of the warden of Galway Walter Lynch and in 1647 opposed the nuncio Rinuccini who was then in that city While John Lynch conducted the celebrated school of Galway Usher the Protestant primate in accordance with the commission which James I issued to inquire into the state of education in Ireland visited Galway and called Lynch to account We says Usher found at Galway a public schoolmaster John Lynch placed there by the citizens and to whose school great numbers of scholars not only of the province of Connaught but also of the pale and other parts resorted We had proof during our stay in that city how his scholars profited under him by the verses and orations which they brought us Wc sent for the teacher and seriously advised him to conform to the established religion and not prevailing with our advices we enjoined him to forbear teachi ug and I the chancellor of St Patrick's did take recognizance of him and some others of his relations in that city in the sum of 400 sterling to his majesty's use that from henceforth he should forbear teaching any more without the licence of the lord deputy John Lynch in his exile wrote some works which were mostly published at St Maloe's and among them was the life of Francis Kirwan


But his great work which entitles him to the gratitude of his country was published under the name of Gratianus Lucius It was printed in London and immediately after the impression was struck off the fire of London took place and the greater part of it was consumed The history of Ireland written by Gerald Barry a priest of Wales who came over in the year 1185 as chaplain to King John was and has been declared a collection of slanders and falsehoods against the country and its people To his books Gerald gave the name of Topography of the Island and the Vaticinal history of its conquest By his works he the consecrated one of the sanctuary has left himself open to the imputation of being the hired traducer instead of the faithful historian and to the poison which his works spread over England and the continent of Europe Lynch has offered an antidote by which its virus has been stayed Untaught by the well merited castigation which Gerald deserved other revilers of more modern date phrenzied with malice and hatred towards our country and our creed have brought upon themselves the avenging fire of the sanctuary which Lynch enkindled and which a Magin and a Machale have fed and nourished In his reply Cambrensis eversus published under the feigned name of Gratianus Lucius John Lynch has left to his country a work to which Catholic and Protestant writers refer with confidence and admiration This work is now exceedingly rare and when offered for sale brings the large price of 30 sterling Though it is not exactly a history of Ireland it contains a mass of information relating to the antiquities learning and the arts of the ancient Irish John Lynch we find conducting the school of Galway in 1662 and in 1670 presiding as bishop over the see of Killala The year of his promotion or of his death is not known but we may presume from the dates before us that he lived to a good old age His life of Francis Kirwan was printed in the year 1669 at St Maloe's before his return to his native country We have then a pretty correct idea of the time of his promotion to the episcopal dignity Richard Archdeacon bishop in 1734 Thomas O Rourke in 1742 John Brett consecrated in 1743 and translated to Elphin in 1748 Bonaventure MacDonnell whose name is still remembered by the patriarchal natives of the diocese was consecrated in 1749 From the death of John Lynch the bishops were necessarily absent until Bonaventure succeeded In the interim the archbishop of Tuam or his vicar general administered the affairs of the diocese Mark Skerrett was the bishop in 1750 Philip Philips was the bishop in 1776


Bishop Irwin about 1790 Dominick Bellew a native of Louth succeeded in 1791 Was on a visit to the Eternal City and obtained the see through the influence of the cardinal duke of York strenuously opposed the veto question Returning to his diocese from the metropolis of Ireland his death was caused by a fall from his carriage near Mullingar He was buried in the abbey of Moyne in a recess under the tower His death took place in 1812 Peter Waldron a native of Tuam and parish priest of Becan in the archdiocese succeeded in 1815 A vacancy of three years occurred and as a contention arose among the native clergy Doctor Waldron was wisely selected by the archbishop of Tuam to fill the vacant chair Peter Waldron was educated in the college of Nantes of which he was a graduate was a prelate of extensive erudition and theological knowledge eminent in every virtue social and religions beloved by his clergy with more than filial affection regarded by all classes as a model of the Christian bishop venerable in appearance and more so in years An accident terminated his valuable life accustomed to wind the clock which was adjacent to his sleeping chamber and in order to reach it obliged to use a chair he was precipitated over the banister of the staircase left by the fall two or three days in a state of insensibility he expired on the 20th of May 1834 in the eighty second year of his age His obsequies were celebrated by his successor clergy and people during three successive days and his remain were deposited in a vault prepared for them under the sacristry of the cathedral He presided worthily and holily more than eighteen years John Machale his coadjutor bishop succeeded obtained his bulls in the month of June following and was translated to the archiepiscopal see of Tuam in the same year Francis Joseph O Finan a Dominican friar and a native of the diocese for he was born in Corimbla a village of the mensal parish of Ballina succeeded his family were an ancient and respectable sept of Tyrawley and are become extinct Though the harmony of the diocese was distracted when Dr Waldron of pious memory assumed the reins of its episcopal government still by his blandness and clemency as well as fortitude he moulded contending elements into concord and good will and this desirable state of things continued during his own life and the short succession of John Machale but the smouldering embers of jealousy and restless ambition were soon after rekindled into active vigor Of the illustrious subject of this memoir little was known to the clergy of Killala When seventeen years of age he repaired to Rome


to prepare himself for the ecclesiastical state Having completed his studies in the college of St Clement and been promoted to the priesthood Doctor O Finan returned to his native country and for some time officiated at Waterford where he was esteemed and appreciated Having repaired to Lishon he was constituted the superior of the Dominican establishment of Corpo Santo which the Portuguese government had founded for the benefit of the Irish nation Having some time presided over this convent he withdrew to Rome and entered the Dominican college of the Minerva of which he had been rector and assistant to the general of the order While sojourning in the Eternal City and engaged in business I believe of national importance to the church of Ireland Dr Machale met this venerable ecclesiastic whose commanding appearance refined and elegant manners made such an impression on the mind of this shrewd observer that upon the first opportunity he was recommended to the clergy of his native diocese as likely to be not only the ornament of Killala but of the whole Irish church Doctor O Finan was then more than forty years absent from Killala and to few if any of the cjergy his name was barely known It is then certain that his elevation to the chair of Muredach was chiefly owing to the recommendation of the illustrious archbishop of Tuam and perhaps also to a desire on the part of the clergy to exclude a stranger for it was hinted that the archdiocese enjoyed a monopoly in this respect and that the time had arrived in which Killala could and ought to assert its dignity and self respect Such had been the familiar conversation of the agitators who were interested in the event and hence arose the spiritual patriotism by which the candidates as well as the electors were animated It will be recollected that in 1834 the see of Killala became vacant by the translation of John Machale and to provide for the exercise of the necessary authority the archbishop appointed the Rev Bartholomew Costello administrator of Ballina the vicar capitular of the diocese It seems that there had been some doubt in the mind of the archbishop regarding this step as he was tardy in making the appointment On the 12th of Sovember 1834 the day fixed in order to take initiatory steps towards appointing a chief pastor the clergy of the diocese who were competent to share in the proceedings assembled in the cathedral his Grace of Tuam presiding and assisted by Michael Conway PP of Kilphian and Anthony Corcoran PP of Killala as scrutators Doctor O Finan was unanimously chosen as the most worthy Flan nelly of Easkey next in order and Costello vicar capitular as last in the series The number of votes between the latter would have been equal j but Flannelly recorded his own vote in favor of Hart PP of


Dunfeeny and explained this trifling incident as an artless mistake when the result of the scrutiny became known Be it then observed and kept in mind that not even a solitary vote was given to John Patrick Lyons though he evinced a desire to be put in nomination by the clergy Nor did his unanimous exclusion extinguish in his breast those dazzling aspirations to which he subsequently strove to give reality Well pleased with the events of the day the clergy retired to their respective parishes In the meantime John Lyons PP of Kilmore Erris visited the sister of Doctor O Finan recounted his efforts and his success in securing the election of her brother though in his desire to be nominated as a candidate his dislike to an absent friar was propounded in very unguarded terms Thus was laid the groundwork of that intrigue by which he attained the dignities of dean and vicar general by which he brought trouble and confusion to his own breast and by which he accomplished the ruin of Doctor O Finan and his exile from the land of his birth While Lyons was thus engaged in concerting measures whereby his promotion would be secured the calculations against Dr O Finan were accounted certain because said the interested ones his age being then sixty five unsuited him to a mountainous district such as Killala is and his long seclusion from the world unfitted him for the arduous as well as the active labors of an episcopal life After the lapse of a few weeks it became known that the Holy See ratified the choice of the clergy Doctor O Finan was consecrated in March 1S35 by his Eminence Cardinal Fransoni Prefect of the Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide at Rome Though the venerable Doctor O Finan was far advanced in years when promoted to the dignity of bishop it was anticipated that from his long and varied experience in ecclesiastical affair his profound knowledge of canon law and his well tried integrity for he was deemed the most perfect ecclesiastic in Rome the government of his diocese would be attended with results highly satisfactory to religion and morals and assuredly his zeal in dispensing the bread of life his charity ever ardent and unostentatious and his sympathy with the suffering portion of his flock who are ever cherished by the holy pastor and the most dear to their Redeemer gained him the respect and reverence of the community All classes rich as well as those in lowly station whom he charmed and captivated by manners the most refined nay apostolically simple and unpretending still remember Doctor O Finan as the model of the Christian prelate Before leaving the Eternal City a design of reviving the chapter of his diocese and of founding an ecclesiastical seminary in conformity


with the injunction of the Council of Trent engaged his serious attention To those projects he obtained the sanction of the Supreme Pontiff but circumstances over which Doctor O Finan could not exercise control and which were brought into action immediately on his arrival in the diocese prevented the accomplishment of either As the trials of this life are according to the will of Heaven the test of virtue or the penalty of crime the frustration of those designs must be attributed to the wise dispensations of Providence for rugged and thorny are the paths in which the chosen of God tread The diocese still mourns the want of her chapter and those who love to drink in the fountains of knowledge and literature may deplore the failure of the other for its loss is still sensibly felt and regretted In the bull of the Supreme Pontiff sanctioning and authorizing this literary establishment Doctor O Finan solicitous to confer honor on his native diocese and to stimulate a laudable ambition in the breasts of its alumni in the pursuit of knowledge took care to secure the privilege of granting degrees in both laws a privilege that is still to be sought in foreign countries by the ecclesiastic whose talents entitle him to this mark of distinction and literary fame while the locality of Ballina in which Doctor O Finan would have erected this college is debarred or deprived of the benefit which the collation of this privilege was sure to procure Engaged in maturing his plans for the welfare of religion and his diocese Doctor O Finan by his protracted delay at Rome afforded an ample opportunity of entering on these aggressive measures by which he was ultimately driven from his inheritance During the summer conferences of the clergy it was arranged to resist the payment of a stipend which was not in unison with the provincial statute The episcopal stipend of marriage in Killala was 10s 6d while the standard amount of the province was fixed at 5s 6d The clergy of the diocese the poorest in Ireland considered this as a grievance which ought to bo redressed During the incumbency of Doctor Bellew efforts were made by the enemies of our faith to sever from the fold the poorer members of Christ Hence the bishop and clergy viewing with alarm but without dismay the progress of systematic proselytism resolved to adopt measures whereby this evil would be averted In council assembled it was agreed to allocate the sum of five shillings of the marriage fees in order that Doctor Bellew might be able to found purely Catholic schools in the towns of the diocese This practice was continued during the episcopate of Doctor Waldron Nor was it resisted in that of John Machale though appearances in the ecclesiastical horizon foreboded an approaching storm Hence the source of so much trouble to Doctor


OTinan and of detriment to religion A meeting of the clergy was convened Rev Mr Harte in the chair in order to adopt some definite plan of action by which this innovation or departure from established usage would bo regulated From this meeting none were absent except Lyons of Kilmore Erris and Costello vicar capitular as it seemed indecorous in the official to participate in its proceedings Nor was he as yet alarmed for the safety of religion as he did not dream of the promotion to which his rival Lyons was aspiring Doctor O Finan warned of this conspiracy as Lyons termed it arrived in his diocese under the impression that his clergy were hostile to him and that strong measures were absolutely necessary to restore a spirit of obedience and subordination to episcopal authority In the month of October 1835 the bishop arrived in Dublin and Lyons having notice of the event hastened thither to greet his ordinary Thither also repaired the vicar capitular who perceived on his arrival that his administration of the diocese was not viewed in that light with which he himself and his admirers regarded it He was also informed that John Lyons was dean as well as vicar general of Killala and assured that he could without delay enjoy the calm and the quiet of his rural parish Humbled as well as incensed at the promotion of Dean Lyons as nothing in the sudden and unexpected elevation of a rival could be viewed but ruin and loss irreparable to religion the vicar capitular hastened to Tuam to make known the result of this interview to the illustrious metropolitan When St Paul announced the glad tidings of redemption to the inhabitants of Ephesus forthwith the votaries of folly and of error are loud in their praises of thegoddess and the silversmiths who could not perceive that in the utensils of the altar a more honorable source of gain and traffic wcnld be opened are the most zealous in sustaining the religion of Diana Similar was the confusion nay greater was the alarm as it arose from selfishness and ambition that artificial tyrant of the human breast by which it upheaves and becomes agitated as the foaming billow of those who censured the promotion of John Lyons Ia this dreadful position of affairs in this alarming uncertainty the safety of religion and discipline must be upheld and while a shadow of authority yet remained the vicar capitular repairs to Ballina and announces to the clergy the changed posture of the diocese and skilfully plays off it is not known whether truly or otherwise the name of the illustrious metropolitan as the adviser of a protest against the qualifications of Lyons Having wrought on the inflammable material before him by dilating on the want of those qualities in Lyons which


arc necessary in the humblest minister of the altar the agitation proceeded prosperously as a large majority of the clergy concurred in the sentiments of the vicar capitular John Lyons PP of Kilmore Erris was a native of the archdiocese of Tuam and became attached to the see of Killala at the desire of Doctor Waldron who discerned in him talents of a superior order His acts and his manly bearing his hospitality and his efforts in mitigating the periodical distress of his parish gained him friends and admirers and his abilities as a writer well known and appreciated by Lavelle of the Freeman's Journal then tarrying at Rome for the improvement of his health were mainly conducive to the elevation of Lyons Dean Burke the amiable and respected PP of Westport then at Rome arranging some private business was supposed to be another advocate in Lyons cause and to have formed in Dr O Finan's mind an impression which tended to strengthen the bishop in the resolution of constituting Lyons his dean and vicar general It was moreover observed that opposition to the archbishop of Tuam might have dictated such advocacy as Lyons was not in good odour with his grace To have imputed such an unworthy motive to Dean Burke in the absence of positive information was improper and unjust Such however were the surmises current in Killala as certain Dean Burke assured the writer of these observations that he never conversed with Doctor O Finan till they met in the French capital Lyons was then dean Be this interference as it may the appointment of Lyons was we believe reluctantly obtained from the Pontiff as he was averse to any such step being taken until Doctor O Finan could by personal observation pronounce on the relative merits of his clergy But the bishop of Killala satisfied with the reports of the worth and talents of Lyons urged on the Holy Father through Cardinal Gregorio then penitentiary the rectitude of an appointment premature indeed and unfortunate as it exiled the venerable prelate from the chair of his native diocese The Rev Mr Flannelly of Easkey was assuredly adverse to the movement of Costello and his adherents until the remonstrance of the vicar capitular reminded him of the insult to both which the promotion of Lyons conveyed The protest to which allusion has been already made was then prepared as an affair to unsettle the pretensions of the newly created dean and the marriage fee which the clergy viewed as a grievance was remonstrated against as a sort of diversion for Doctor O Finan With regard to the confederates in this contest they were conscientiously impressed that danger might accrue to religion in the appointment


ment of Lyons and that their rights were not respected in the continuation of the excessive banns money Thus it is that those admirable proficients in mischief Flannelly and Costello under the mask of zeal for the religion of the diocese carried on a crusade utterly subversive of the object it contemplated to effect artfully keeping before the eyes of the clergy the overthrow of Lyons as necessary to promote so desirable a consummation and thereby remove the grand obstacle in the way of their own selfishness and aggrandizement The fine order the discipline and the harmony which Dr Waldron had the happiness of introducing and to which the illustrious John Machale gave testimony in his farewell address to the clergy was interrupted and thrown into unspeakable confusion Let the fault rest where it may a worse state of things coxild not possibly happen under the government of Doctor O Finan and Lyons as religion mourns under his successor and the successful rivals of his dean John Lyons The decay of religion has been since patent to the most careless observer for authority could not be wielded with the bracing vigor which the force of example imparts The favorite virtue of even Pagan Italy has been scoffed at the existence of that bright jewel in the minister of the altar treated as romance and though the public thoroughfares reechoed the scathing denunciations that were directed against the beam that shot forth scandal from the eye of religion still it was not plucked out until the vengeance of the Roman see was demanded The resistance then to the dignities conferred on Dean Lyons as the rival of his opponents and far far their superior in acquirements inust have been based in the leaven of ambition and hypocrisy that homage which vice pays to virtue in order that lurking passion for preferment might be the more securely concealed Under the regime which was established on the downfall of Doctor O Finan and Lyons the children of Killala could only like the prophet Jeremy bewail the desolation of their beloved diocese her fair face was sadly disfigured her lofty hills the green and lovely vallies the holy islands trodden and the venerable ruins inhabited and sanctified by the steps of her saints and solitaries may weep over the calamity that has befallen the land of their labors and the ancient homesteads of ancient piety and devotion Under this regime vice was enthroned and virtue trampled in the dust In 1847 Rome was held forth as the terror of tyrants as the scourge of delinquents In 1848 formal notice was given that the affairs of Killala would be laid before the sovereign judge of the


I church and again in 1S49 the seven hilled city was pointed out in the vista and yet the vigilance of authority so signally abused was more intent on its own preservation than on the safety of religion and morals for every effort that could stifle the expression of censure and nip in the bud the inchoate shoots of disaffection or of disinterestedness in the sacred cause of religion was recurred to in order that an administration which in its very infancy earned the scorn and the contempt of the public might be at least externally supported and respected The arrival of the venerable Doctor O Finan was hourly expected and in order to greet him on his safety as well as his promotion to the episcopacy many of the clergy remained in Ballina till the close of the week About the middle of October he reached Ardnaree accompanied by John Lyons a few of the clergy being presented the writer of these pages among the first The news of his safe arrival quickly spread over the diocese and on the following Tuesday having reached two or three days before the clergy collected from all quarters in order to meet their bishop and obtain confirmation of the jurisdiction necessary to each one in the discharge of his sacred functions After the usual salutations the Rov Patrick Flannelly PP of Easky who was on this occasion constituted the exponent of the feelings of the clergy with a firmness not always characteristic of him acquitted himself in a manner that gave satisfaction to those whose censure and dissatisfaction he had so energetically expressed The protest was read in which were enumerated the charges against Lyons they were five in number and impeached him with avarice contention with his parishioners an irascibility of temper that unsuited him to govern others exaction unwarranted by the provincial statutes and neglect in complying with an obligation which he voluntarily undertook of supporting a priest who was worn out with age and infirmity While these things were being unfolded the prelate listened with attention and restrained the impetuous temper of the dean but at the conclusion of the protest pronounced it as a calumny the clergy as levellers and destructives ignorant of canon law negligent of discipline and order and adding that rebellion to authority engendered evils and scandals a hundred fold Words such as these were not of peace but they were full of prophetic import and assuredly the long and varied experience of Doctor O Finan in ecclesiastical affairs taught him that insubordination becomes disastrous to religion and discipline however he intimated his intention of issuing citations within a month in order to give them an opportunity of proving the charges which they alleged against the dean As the least delay might produce wavering in the counsels of the


clergy and dimmution in their ranks the leaders forthwith adjourned to the hotel to consider the propriety of ulterior measures whereupon the prosecution of this affair was resolved on and an appeal was forwarded to the archbishop of Tuam An unwise threat of invalidating the collations which Dr Machale had granted before his departure to Tuam strengthened the views of the leaders This imprudent disclosure then which Lyons deemed sufficient to shake the firmness of those whom it might affect was singularly effective in cementing the league against himself for if such a threat could be successfully tried the ranks of the appellants would be thinned and the illustrious archbishop of Tuam would be placed in the condition of defendant as he should maintain the validity of his own acts John Barrett of Crossmolina who was considered one of the most determined opponents of Lyons was the first against whom the hostility of the dean was directed He was the administrator of this parish during the coadjutorship of Dr Machale and as it was the mensal one of the bishop of Maronia it was matter of doubt whether the validity of its collation could be maintained Hence it was that John Barrett was not secured in the possession of Crossmolina An application made soon after to the court of Rome by the archbishop of Tuam for authority to collate the Rev John Barrett to this parish was rejected as it would interfere with the rights of Doctor OTinan who had at this time been consecrated The fiery disposition of Lyons prompted him to adopt that aggressive policy by which the diocese was thrown into a ferment Barrett was sent an order to retire to the parish of Lacken on the octave of the Nativity 1836 and the Rev Edward Murray was constituted the parish priest of the more important one of Crossmolina Lyons solicitous of the success of his first movement towards victory proceeded with the new pastor in order to induct him to his future charge Barrett was then in a distant country chapel and before his arrival in the town the people of the parish gave sensible expression of their dislike towards the dignitary as well as the pastor whom he patronized and forcibly drove both from the parish church The move of Lyons was both sinister and ungenerous towards Barrett and by this hasty step with which he intended to defeat opposition if any to his measures accelerated the resentment of the parishioners as on Barrett's arrival the town presented a scene of indescribable tumult and confusion Barrett would have proceeded to Lacken in the meantime would have appealed for Crossmolina to the court of Rome and thus would have


been avoided the injury to religion which continued during three successive years Lyons wrote to Barrett as vicar general ordering him to appear that he might allay the fury of the people and by his influence over them calm their agitated feelings but Barrett paid no attention to his instructions Having now evoked a storm which he could not subdue John Lyons returned to Ballina not at all pleased with his adventure It is but justice to the memory of Barrett to observe that he had no participation whatever in this tumult as he was afterwards before the apostolical delegate fully acquitted of either connivance or passiveness in resisting it The Rev Edward Murray was not permitted by the people now more infuriated by the suspension of Barrett on the plea of disobedience and participation in the tumult to enter the precmcts of the parish Barrett having been thus precluded from the administration of Lacken to which he was appointed appealed to the holy see for the removal of the censure and for his restoration to the parish of Crossmolina Other changes took place which caused murmur and dissatisfaction among the laity as they saw clergymen removed to inferior stations in the meantime Lyons left nothing undone to withdraw some of the clergy from the coalition but without success His adherents were altogether of that stamp remarkable in their attention and support of those who are vested with authority to confer place and patronage During some weeks of gloom and uncertainty in the minds of the appellants and of dismay and fear on the part of Lyons his removal from the functions of vicar general was determined on at Rome and the fiat of its judgment was made known to the venerable Doctor O Finan on the 31st of March 1836 Though known to the appellants the prelate did not disclose the fact as he was still intent on maintaining the propriety of the appointment Lyons however continued to administer the affairs of Doctor O Finan until arrangements for his journey to Rome were fully completed He set out as if on a journey to the capital of Ireland in order to procure the means of sustenance for his parishioners who were then suffering from the effects of recurring distress to which this dreary spot of the island is exposed by the fury of the Atlantic blasts Strict as was the silence of his movements his astute opponents were not deceived as to the real object of his journey Forthwith letters were despatched to his Eminence Cardinal Fransoni that he might be prepared with that wariness with which it was necessary to meet a man of undoubted ability and talent such as Lyons assuredly was Having reached the Eternal City Lyons could accomplish nothing


important as Cardinal Fransoni was inflexible the decision of his unfitness to continue as Vicar general being final A petition presented by him to the Sacred Congregation was equally unsuccessful as Cardinal Weld whom Doctor O Finan regarded as his sincerest friend would not assent to support its prayer Plainly perceiving that his restoration to the authority which he was forced to abdicate was impossible he procured an appointment as censor morum and also his nomination of doctor of divinity It may excite surprise that to such an important office as censor of the province he had been promoted but at this stage of the proceedings his own morals were hot impeached In the month of June following the illustrious archbishop of Tuam made known to the Rev John Barrett that his suspension was invalid and contrary to the canons He immediately had an interview with Doctor O Finan who replied th at he was not bound to make known his Roman commands Though a request on the part of the Holy See is tantamount to an order Doctor O Finan resisted its desire in this instance and as such conduct was deemed at variance with his fidelity to Rome this act alienated from him the support of some of the clergy Doctor O Finan at this time collated Messieurs Duffy and Hopkins to the parishes of Castleconner and Ardagh the former in the deanery of Tyrcragh and the latter in Tirawley and constituted the Rev Thomas Walsh secretary and chancellor of the diocese In a few days after Dr O Finan was informed that an investigation was necessary through which correct information could be procured before the Congregation of the Propaganda could pronounce definitively on this important controversy and that the primate of all Ireland William Crolly and the archbishop of Tuam John Machale were appointed the delegates of the Holy See This communication was not calculated to inspire Doctor O Finan with confidence in its result as a little before he expressed his fears of such a step being taken by the Court of Rome He was well aware of the practice of the Holy See in affairs of this kind having been afforded an opportunity of exerting his valuable services to the church with a devotedness and zeal which procured him the respect and esteem of the cardinals and prelates of the various congregations while he was the confidential agent of Doctor Milner celebrated for his stern and uncompromising advocacy of the Catholic cause The courteous demeanor of Dr O Finan to even the most lowly of his flock could not escape the censure of those who were intent on his overthrow An abandoned female recollecting for a moment the respect due to the sacred person of the prelate and awed perhaps by the venerableness of his advanced years and sanctified appearance threw


herself on bended knees to obtain his benediction The simple and apostolic prelate not wishing to repel the humblest of his flock and unwilling like unto the Redeemer to condemn another Magdalene returned her salute and imparted the episcopal benediction Little did the prelate suspect that he was thus affording an opponent the opportunity of impugning his motives that he was supplying the material of an epistle to Rome which the writer thereof deemed creditable to his own zeal while inflicting a blow on the aged prelate Could the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda for a moment entertain such a heinous opinion as was that of Costello regarding Doctor O Finan that in imparting his benediction to an unfortunate female his object was one which would be particularly criminal in his advanced age in him whose life and training under the very eye of Rome gained him the reputation of perfection and sanctity His long seclusion from the world and a life spent in the cloister could not protect him from the vile malignity of a priest who was under the pressure of circumstances constituted the vicar capitular of the diocese in its widowhood In this pilgrimage of life as there is no Jacob without an Esau no David without a Semei no Redeemer without Scribes and Pharisees there has been no O Finan without a Costello to misrepresent even an act of religion According to arrangement the joint visitors of the diocese met in the cathedral at Ardnaree on the 22d of August 1836 Doctor Denvir bishop of Down and Connor acting as secretary As Lyons was still at Rome and besides the most prominent character of the cause it was mutually agreed to postpone the proceedings for two months in order to give him time to return and to remove as far as possible any suspicion of partiality or advantage to either party It is also important to observe that Lyons had information of this inquiry to be held on the charges of the protest as Cardinal Fransoni distinctly referred him to it Doctor O Finan also undertook to give him notice of this inquiry His absence then must have been the result of design and his subsequent complaints on this head must be viewed as factious and ill founded The day fixed for the resumption of business having arrived Dr O Finan assumed the defence of the dean admitting that his absence could not be justified Indeed to postpone the investigation one moment longer would be protracting the evils of the diocese and putting off the remedy that was every day more and more necessary to calm the irritation that prevailed During this interval of two months the leaders of the opposition were actively employed in procuring evidence against Lyons Wiles caresses promises were lavished on those who could supply it nay a


written instrument promising indemnity to every one who would suffer in this glorious cause was producible as a guarantee of their sincerity and flying about in every direction as the swallows whose nests are imperiled by the clefts in the tottering fabric the defeat of O Finan once secured comfort and happiness would be the lot of those who would aid in the noble deed Their friendship and patronage promised to be as enduring as their lives but it became in the time of victory similar to that of the bee to the flower until it extracts the sweetest juice or to that of the vine to the stately elm to obtain a loftier height Basking in the sunshine of success they have diverted themselves and played the part of those who during the oppressive heat of summer repose under the shade of the beech tree but who on the approach of winter apply the axe and shiver it to pieces It is true that in the onset Rev John Barrett who in his own person bore the heat of the contest received some recompense for the loss of his parish but at a more advanced period of those proceedings when fiscal distress embittered his sorrows the leaders of the opposition could not be induced to rescue him from difficulty To the Rev Anthony Corcoran parish priest of Killala the merit of this generous act of sympathy is solely due for his purse and residence were ever at the disposal of the distressed and indigent particularly the afflicted minister of the altar Having fully entered into the merits of the protest the archbishops adjourned to Crossmolina in order to give the people there an opportunity of accounting for the extraordinary confusion already alluded to and of exculpating John Barrett from any share in the tumult Here the proceedings were interrupted by a formal protest on the part of Doctor O Finan directed against the primate as a partizan and as disposed to prejudge the whole case though there was no just ground for the assumption for throughout this lengthened enquiry the primate evinced a desire to know the truth and bearing of the case and his patience and fatigue from dreary winter journeys through the most mountainous region of Ireland won the admiration of the clergy the primate deferred to this remonstrance until new instructions were received from Rome which gave Lyons the benefit of being present when the proceedings were resumed in January 1837 After the annual meeting of the prelates in the metropolis the apostolic delegates reinvested with authority from Rome to continue the enquiry and bring it to a close with all possible despatch arrived in Ballina Doctor O Finan laboring under illness was unable to attend Dean Lyons was his representative he insisted on a reopening of the evidence described the proceedings as partial that hearsay


was admitted as testimony and assertion as proof In this his first mterview with the primate impressions by no means favorable to the dean were made on the mind of the delegate apostolic As the protest of Dr O Finan debarred Barrett from a full and entire vindication of his conduct this part of the enquiry was reopened as any participation in the tumult would enable the bishop to disqualify him for the parish of Crossmolina and consequently vitiate the appeal which Barrett was prosecuting As Barrett's case became the cardinal point of the controversy no effort was left untried however base or vile to mar his prospects nay damage his reputation but the venerable Francis Joseph O Finan had no knowledge of the plot on the contrary the spirit of charity which ever emanated from his lips and which inspired his actions would recoil from such a deed A mass of evidence being procured and deemed sufficient to convince the most dispassionate that the charges of the protest were well founded the apostolic delegates departed leaving priests and people in a ferment As already seen Doctor O Finan before his wearied limbs could have enjoyed a little repose after an October journey discovered that the dignity to which ho had been promoted would be one requiring the practice of patience and resignation The local prints were at once employed by his subtle adversaries venting the bitterest effusions against Lyons and acrimoniously impugning the acts of the prelate and those of the clergy who were disposed to be calm spectators of the conflict rather than distnrb that peace of mind and tranquillity so desirable in the discharge of sacerdotal functions Though Lyons was disposed to engage his pen in his own defence and in that of his prelate Doctor O Finan invariably withheld his assent Every act of his was criticized his motives were impugned his life was declared a series of omissions not only against the present welfare but the future of religion and was particularly inculpated with neglect in not providing candidates for the missions though he had sent one of his subjects the Rev James MacDonagh DD to the college of the Propaganda and others whom he called his first born in due season to the royal college of Maynooth Because unnoticed by the Bishop or Dean Lyons these publications became every day more offensive and libellous One in particular is worthy of notice as it became the subject of a civil prosecution against the honorable proprietor of the Telegraph newspaper The author assumed the name of Alladensis and time has disclosed him to be Patrick Flannelly PP of Easkey On the morning of its publication general as was the voice of the people against the ecclesiastical government of the diocese a feeling of indignation against the writer and of


sympathy with Dr O Finan pervaded them Several of the parishioners of Ballina had an immediate interview with the prelate whose feelings were unmercifully lacerated and urged upon him the necessity of recurring to an action at law As yet adverse to such a step and undecided in deference to the advice of some of his clergy and parishioners instructions were given a solicitor to proceed against the proprietor of the journal in which the libel was published Sligo jurors were those selected as most likely to award important damages In the spring assizes of 1837 this important case was tried before Judge Perryn by a special jury As soon as the list of jurors was returned the Rev Bartholomew Costello waited on some of them with whom he had been acquainted and on whom influence by others could be exercised in order to impress on their minds opinions unfavorable to the cause of Dr O Finan Sir James Crofton now dead who arrived too late for the trial Captain Moore of Templeboy now also dead Samuel Barrett of Knocknarey and Bernard Fury whose property is in the parish of Skreene and of which Costello was then pastor were those of the jurors who he thought were likely to be predisposed either through motives of friendship towards himself or to others of his relatives in the cause of which they would be sworn to form an unbiased and impartial judgment The Rev P Flannelly declared himself as the author of the publication Though its consequences were foreseen Cavendish inserted it in his journal but the author promised an indemnity in case of legal proceedings An utter disregard to his engagement has thrown the whole weight of the burden on the journalist who confided in his promise or compact The primate of all Ireland the archbishop of Tuam the bishop of Elphin and Catholic jurors of Sligo and Roscommon before the trial had an interview with Dr O Finan urging on him the propriety of abandoning the proceedings but without success The clergy of the diocese being cited to Sligo the parishes were left without the celebration of the divine mysteries on the Sunday intervening an incident rendered available against Dr O Finan though it happened contrary to his intention and had been a manoeuvre of his adversaries The trial occupied the greater part of the week and damages to the amount of 500 sterling were obtained against the publisher Doctor O Finan at a later period generously remitted the damages as such were not his object in instituting proceedings It is to be hoped that in future proprietors of journals will acquire a profitable lesson by the experience of Cavendish ere they publish effusions which religion could not dictate as in this instance between Dr O Finan and Iris clergy The leader of the opposition as Flannelly assuredly was and the


prominent asserter of the rights of the clergy it may he matter of surprise why an effort was not made to liberate Cavendish from the embarrassing position in which the cause of the diocese placed him The clergy did not sanction or even know the author of this epistle It was merely an adventure which was prompted by a desire to injure the prelate with his flock It was an admirable specimen of composition and of talent with which the writer is gifted It was moreover contrary to the forms by which ecclesiastical controversies are regulated and it was even by the judge on the bench reprobated as derogatory to the character of the priest who wrote and to the dignity of Rome the tribunal to which the cause had been referred Against the venerable prelate the current of opinion ran high because he persisted in going to trial contrary to the remonstrance of the primate and the archbishop of Tuam and the other members of the deputation As ere this the reports of the apostolical delegates had reached the authorities at Rome the affairs of Doctor O Finan were hastening to a crisis His recall to Rome was determined on and in the May of 1837 letters arrived from Cardinal Fransoni the prefect of the Propaganda in which he was advised to hasten towards the Eternal City as nothing could be done there in his absence Immediately preparations for his journey were made in obedience to the voice of the Supreme Pontiff After a lengthened stay in the Eternal City he gave his assent to resign his charge of a diocese over which he could not preside with advantage to religion or peace and calm to his own mind A little before his departure positive instructions had arrived relative to the suspension which was unjustly inflicted on the Rev John Barrett and forthwith the prelate gave him notice that his unmerited punishment had ceased The letter on this occasion bespoke a reluctance on the part of Dr O Finan which was utterly at variance with that grace and pleasure which should ever accompany an act of mercy or of justice Barrett did not long survive to enjoy a victory so dearly purchased as an untimely death with which it pleased Providence to remove him from the conflict left his antagonist sole possessor of the field Free and familiar sincere in friendship of very distinguished talent at Maynooth zealous of God's glory and the beauty of religion kind and attentive to his curates hospitable to all in Barrett Killala deplores the loss of an excellent priest and patriot Doctor O Finan having resigned the archbishop of Dublin was constituted apostolical administrator of Killala and in him was also vested authority to provide for the vacant see The apostolical administrator of Killala in his letter to the Rev Patrick Gildea the vicar general


liberating him froni the responsibilty of office observed that he had no reason to regret once more entering on a less arduous sphere of action as the affairs of Killala did not promise either ease or comfort to its future chief pastor As the nomination of a chief pastor was not left to the clergy of the diocese because of the disorder prevailing among themselves the archbishop and bishops of the province met to recommend the choice of a successor to the Holy See It is certain that the Rev Martin Loftus PP of Dunmore and the representative of his Grace of Tuam at the Court of Rome while the merits of the national system of education for the children of Ireland were submitted to the judgment of the Sovereign Pontiff was the favorite candidate of the archbishop Dean Durkan of Achonry and Thomas Feeny the PP of Kiltolla in the archdiocese were the other candidates The choice being made by ballot Feeny was declared the object of their selection and Doctor Murray the apostolical administrator having sanctioned the proceedings he repaired to Ballina in order to enter on the administration of the diocese Doctor Feeny was utterly unknown to the clergy and his appearance amongst them was regarded as a well merited censure on that disastrous litigation through which the rightful heir was driven from his inheritance by the unthinking children of Killala and which his promotion was as if destined to heal or to terminate His succession to the chair of Doctor O Finan was well nigh combated with success by Dean Lyons who with just fears on his mind for the safety of himself and friends among the clergy hastened to forward a remonstrance to the Court of Rome A delay of nine months took place before the bulls for his consecration were dispatched to the archbishop of Tuam A life hitherto chequered and untempered with prudence and impelled by an unbounded confidence in his own abilities was not capable of resisting long the shocks of those contests into which ambition and the thirst for preferment had hurried him Dean Lyons weary of that life which was it must be admitted of essential service to his flock in periods of distress and the loss of which was so sensibly felt during the awful privations of the late famine seized by illness which had been neglected in its onset departed this life in March 1845 His fervent appeal to a crucified Redeemer it is to be hoped has not been unheard at the bar of justice and of mercy Had he shown the humility of his dying moments when dazzling prospects of grandeur and dignity are forgotten in the awfully important affair of eternity through his boisterous and troubled life had he endeavored by a timely and prudent retreat to calm the tempest which he could not control had he thrown oil on the surface of the ruffled waters or held forth the olive branch of


peace and conciliation the fine order of Killala would have been undisturbed and smooth as the summer sea He would have accomplished a victory the more glorious as it would be the conquest of religion and its maxims By his death however were silenced those prophets of evil who foretold with confidence his defection from our holy faith And would to Heaven that to his tomb were consigned those disorders which his ambitious views brought to light which religion still has to mourn and which have not been corrected by the example of those to whom the helm of Killala had been entrusted It is now time to record the death of the venerable Francis Joseph O Finan Having attained his 77th year and seized by his last illness the rites of the church were administered which he received with the most lively and perfect sentiments of recollection and piety and his death bed was attended by Lord Clifford his long and devoted friend Doctor Mullock the bishop of Newfoundland and by the superiors of the Irish College He departed this life on the 27th of November 1847 Francis Joseph O Finan venerable in your misfortune too late have we known you too late have we loved you The bitterness of the closing years of your life was not alleviated by the sweet and pleasing reflection that your inheritance had been cultivated with that care and tenderness which would have recompensed you for the sacrifice Alas 1 we now know the evil tendency of the untoward event by which your exile has been accomplished and of its unfortunate result to religion and the character of the priesthood Peace to your spirit your meekness charity and piety in life and respect for your memory place on my pen a restraint by which the public scorn is averted from that impiety and profanation which have so well merited the public chastisement While Doctor O Finan was passing over the tedious years of Ms exile from the loved land of his birth letters from the secretary of state to the colonies of Great Britain arrived offering Dr O Finan an annual pension and also the interference of the British government Let those who undertake to criticise Lord Palmerston's diplomacy form an opinion of the motive which originated an offer which if accepted would lead to a schism in the church of Ireland The answer of Dr O Finan will endear him to his country and the order to which he belonged It was worthy of the child of the cloister and of that church which has spurned the yoke of the British government during successive ages His noble and dignified reply to the foreign secretary of state assured him that much as he prized the land of his birth he loved still more his religion and his obedience to the successor of St Peter


His remains were deposited in the church of the Dominican convent of the Minerva at Rome Thomas Feeny was consecrated on the 13th of October 1839 Succeeded to the diocese of Killala in 1848 Is a native of the diocese of Tuam

Abbeys of Galway

Walsh c. xlvi., p. 444

Abbey Knockmoy of the Hill of Victory in the barony of Tiaquin six miles south east of Tuam This abbey was founded by Cathol O Connor crovdearg king of Connaught for Cistercians in the year 1190 and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary Cathol O Connor having gained a victory over the English built this monastery in thanksgiving for the victory and hence it was called the Hill of Victory It was a daughter to the abbey of Boyle King Cathol the founder was expelled his kingdom in the year 1200 During bis exile William Burke called the Conqueror of Connaught totally spoiled the abbey Cathol was again restored in 1202 AD 1204 died the Conqueror of Connaught William FitzAdelm de Burgo His awful death is recorded in the annals of Clonmacnois as follows William Burke took the spoils of all the churches in Connaught and God and the patrons of these churches shewed their miracles upon him that his entrails and fundament fell from his privy place and it trailed after him to the very earth whereof he died impenitently


without shrive confession or extreme unction or good burial in the kingdom but in a waste town Gerald Barry gives a frightful character of this warrior and it seems it was not overdrawn as the natives of Connaught give the same picture of him and his descendants to the present day They are said to be men of honeyed lips ahd hearts of poison Sed quicquid honoris says Barry cuiquam impendit semper in insidiis semper in dolo semper propinans sub melle venenum semper latens anguis in herba vir in facie liberalis et lenis intus vero plus aloes quam mellis habens AD 1224 the royal founder having assumed the Cistercian habit in this abbey died on the 28th of May and was interred in the abbey where his tomb yet remains The monument of O Connor is adorned with fresco paintings One compartment represents our Saviour on the cross another exhibits six kings Roderick O Connor the last monarch of Ireland is represented in the group with a shamrock a plant which the Irish greatly regard as St Patrick is said to have held it up as an emblem of the blessed Trinity The princes on his side are his vassals The grand falconer holds a hawk in his hand the other with a sword is the grand marshal Below sits a brehon or judge with his roll of laws having pronounced sentence of death on MacMurrogh's son who was his hostage for the crime of his father because he joined the English The boy is tied to a tree and two archers are executing the sentence his body being transfixed with arrows Hugh O Kelly the last abbot having acknowledged the supremacy of Henry VIII obtamed a grant of the abbey possessions but he enjoyed it a short time only as death put an end to his career The property in the counties of Gal way and Sligo was extensive In 1620 Valentine Blake held the abbey and a considerable part of its possessions

The islands of Arran There are three of those islands in the Western Ocean opposite to the bay of Galway the principal isle is called Aran of the Saints Arran na Naomh Saint Enda having obtained through the


influence of Saint Ailbe of Emly a grant of the island of Arran from Aengus king of Cashell who it appears did not know of such an island hastened from Ca hell to Arran and immediately set about building a monastery in which he governed one hundred and fifty monks according to the strictest rules of monastic discipline Enda was of the illustrious family of the Princes of Orgiel and son of Conal of Clogher perhaps having been born at or near that place according to some accounts he was brother in law to king Aengus who is said to have been married to his sister Dairine The resort of so many celebrated persons to his monastery and the mention of his name in the calendars and martyrologies shew that ho was a saint both eminent and highly respected It does not appear that he attained a higher dignity than that of abbott it is likely that he founded the monastery about the year 4S0 The festival of this eminent saint is fixed at the 21st of March and his death is assigned to the year 540 St Benedict succeeded He was the brother of Saint Kieran of Saigir In the Calendar of Cashell Benedict is called the Papa of the island of Arran Papa means a father and the Greeks give that name Pappas to every priest Saint Cronan is said to have been abbot of Arran AD 650 Saint Nemius who died the 19th of June is called the comorb of Enda his tomb is shewn in the churchyard of Teglagh Enda AD 755 died the abbot Goimdibla AD 865 died the abbot Moeltulius AD 916 died Egnech bishop anchorite and comorb of Enda AD 1020 the abbey was destroyed by fire AD 1081 the Danes pillaged and destroyed the abbey AD 1334 the isles of Arran and Bophin were plundered burned and hostages taken thence by Sir John Darcy Lord Justice of Ireland who surrounded the island with a fleet of fifty six sail AD 1400 Donatus O Leyne was abbot of Arran The middle or second island subordinate to the first The third is called Ardoilean A description of those islands was furnished by Malachy O Quely archbishop of Tuam to Colgan when compiling the acts of the Irish saints This archbishop was slain near the town of Sligo some of the Puritan troops having lain in ambush for him and his followers 1st The parish church on the great island commonly called Kill Enda lies in the county of Galway it formerly belonged to Munster and hence the application of Enda to the king of that province and


half barony of Aran and in it is venerated Enda as patron on the 21st of March 2d The church called Teglach Enda to which is annexed a cemetery wherein is the tomb of Saint Enda with one hundred and twenty v seven other sepulchres in which none were ever buried but saints 3d The church called Temple MacLonga dedicated to a Saint Mac Longuis is situated near the parish church sometimes called Kill Enda 4th The church called Temple Mic Canonnagh near the said parish church 5th The church called of St Mary not far from the parish church 6th The church called Temple Benain or the temple of Saint Benignus 7th The church called Mainistir Conachtach or the Connaught Church it was afterwards demolished and a chapel built in its stead dedicated to Saint Kieran 8th Th e church called Killnamanach cell of the monks which was dedicated to Saint Caradoc suniamed the rough 9th The church called Temple Assurnuidhe which is said to be dedicated to Saint Assurnidhe or perhaps Asserninus this church is held in the greatest veneration among the islanders 10th Called Tempuil na Creathuir aluin church of the four beautiful saints who were Fursey Brendan of Birr Conall and Berchan whose bodies are also said to be buried in the same tomb lying in the cemetery of the same church 11th Called Tempuil Mic Duach or the church of Colman and is a handsome church dedicated to that saiut 12th Tempuil Brecain or the church of Brecan a handsome one and formerly the parochial church dedicated to this saint and in which his feast is celebrated on the 22d of May 13th Another church of Brecan The second island has a church called Tempuil Ceannannach dedicated to the same Saint Ceannannach and another dedicated to the Blessed Virgin both of which are subject to the parish of Saint Enda The third island called Ard oilen or High Island 1st The church of Kill Choemhain dedicated to Saint Coeman and in which he is also venerated 2d A church consecrated to Saint Paul 3d Killgradh an Domhain in which is venerated Saint Gobnata on the 11th of February High Island does not properly belong to the isles of Arran it is several leagues north west of Arran and is at present known by its modern name High Island


In this High Island is the church of St Coeman in it was a monastery of note which was erected by St Fechin The abbot St Gormgal died on the 5th of August 1017 and was there interred together with divers holy hermits who lived there with him ten of whom are mentioned by Colgan in the life of St Endens Maelsuthunius Celecharius Dubhtacus Dunadachus Cellachus Tfessa chus Ultanus Maelmartinus Coromachns Conmachus et alii plures Gormgall was a very spiritual person and of renowned sanctity and in the annals of the Four Masters is styled chief anchoret of the Irish High Island is situated about six miles from the coast of Omey and contains about eighty acres It is only accessible in the calmest weather and besides its antiquities affords views of the Connemara and Mayo mountains of unsurpassable beauty The church of this island is among the rudest of the ancient structures which the fervor of the Christian religion raised when it was introduced into Ireland Its internal measurement long and broad is but twelve feet by ten and in height ten feet the doorway is two feet wide and four feet six inches high and its horizontal lintel is inscribed with a cross like unto that of the one of the doorway of St Fechin's great church at Fore and of others of the same period The east window the only one in the building is semicircular headed and is but one foot high and six inches wide The altar still remains and is covered with offerings such as nails buttons and shells but chiefly fishing hooks which may have been tributes characteristic of the calling of the votaries On the east side of the chapel is an ancient stone sepulchre composed of large mica slates with a cover of limestone The stones at the ends are rudely sculptured with ornamental crosses and a human figure and the covering slab was also carved The chapel is surrounded with a wall allowing a passage of four feet between them and from this a covered passage about fifteen feet long by three in width leads to a cell which was probably the abbot's habitation This cell which is nearly circular and dome roofed is internally seven feet by six and eight high It is built like those in Aran without cement and with much rude art On the east side there is a larger cell externally round but within a square of nine feet and seven feet six inches in height The doorways in those cells are two feet four inches wide and three feet six inches in height On the other side of the chapel are a number of small cells large enough to contain each a single person they are but six feet long three wide and four feet high and they formed a laura like the dwellings of Egyptian ascetics There is also a covered gallery twenty four feet long four feet wide and four


feet six inches high and the doorway or entrance is but two feet three inches square This apartment may have been a store for provisions The monastery is surrounded by a stone wall without cement nearly circular enclosing an area of one hundred and eight feet in diameter The entrance into this enclosure is at the south east side and from it leads a stone passage twenty one feet in length and three wide At each side of this entrance and outside the great circular wall were round building which probably were for the use of pilgrims Within the enclosure are several rude stone crosses and flags sculptured with rude crosses In the surrounding ground there are several rude stone altars or penitential stations on which are small stone crosses and on the south side of the enclosure there is a small lake from which an artificial outlet is formed which turned a small mill And along the west side of this lake there is an artificial stone path two hundred and twenty yarda in length which leads to another stone cell of an oval form at the south side of the valley in which the monastery is situated This house is eighteen feet long and nine wide and there is a small walled enclosure joined to it There is also adjoining to it a stone altar surmounted by a cross and a small lake which like the former one seems to have been formed by art Near the church of St Brecan on the great island of Aran is a monumental slab with a cross engraved thereon and which marked the grave of seven Romans who were there interred and on which around the arms of the cross is an inscription in Roman letters denoting the fact The troops of Oliver Cromwell battered the sacred edifices on the islands of Aran On the preaching of St Patrick and the consequent conversion of the kingdom the pagan priests who obstinately refused to submit to the truths of the gospel fled to those islands and there practised the errors of their superstition But to the zeal of St Enda and his disciples paganism yielded its last stronghold and those islands became the isles of saints and anchorites whose orisons ascended to heaven bringing back those special benedictions through which Ireland is and has been the fruitful olive of God's church continually though oppressed and persecuted engendering faithful sons whose tenacity to the faith of their fathers is without parallel in the annals of the world May that tenacity continue and if the chastening hand of the Almighty strike still longer in order to propagate and strengthen the spiritual kingdom of his divine Son may the Irish people be ever ready to bear every trial to make every sacrifice of temporal weal sooner than forego their right to those treasures that are to us invaluable because purchased for us by an infinite price


Franciscan Friary according to Allemande was founded in one of those isles in the year 1483 Athenry which gives its name to the barony is a market town Meylcr de Bermingham the second baron of Athenry gave to the Dominicans 160 marcs to assist in building their house and granted the site on which to erect the monastery he also presented them with a hogshead of wine This nobje monastery was dedicated under the invocation of SS Peter and Paul AD 1241 AD 1242 a general chapter of the order was held here AD 1252 Meyler the founder was buried in this abbey AD 1256 died Florence McFlynne archbishop of Tuam He founded a house for scholars in this friary and bequeathed many exemplary rules for the friars AD 1263 Thomas O Kelly bishop of Clonfert was interred in this abbey He was a great benefactor to it AD 1374 Thomas Lord Athenry who died in this year was a liberal benefactor to this abbey AD 1423 Pope Martin V the monastery being consumed by fire granted indulgences to all persons visiting it on the feasts of Saint Patrick and Saint Peter ad vincula and contributing to its repairs The same Pope issued them a license to found two convents here AD 1445 Pope Eugene IV enforced the bull of Pope Martin the V and it appears from his bull that there were thirty friars in Athenry Many persons of distinction have been interred in the monastery In the reign of Elizabeth the convent with thirty acres of land in Athenry and twelve in Ballidana was granted to the portrieve and burgesses of the town of Athenry at the yearly rent of 6s 4d Irish money In the year 1296 a sanguinary battle was fought at Athenry by the English and Irish troops Feidhlim O Connor the last of his name who assumed the sovereignty of Connanght with a powerful army met Sir William Leigh de Burgh and Richard de Bermingham the fourth baron of Athenry who were sent against him and one of the most bloody battles on record was fought near the town of Athenry in which the native troops were signally defeated O Connor fell in the battle and 8000 of his troops are said to have been slain The walls of Athenry are said to have been built from the spoils of the vanquished and the power of the O Connors which in this bloody struggle received its final blow was totally destroyed The ruins of this monastery shew it to have been a magnificent building part of it was taken down to erect the present barracks in its


stead The great east window is bold and of good workmanship The tombs of the many distinguished persons buried in the church have been defaced by the soldiers and thoir fragments scattered over the church Franciscan Friary of Athenry was founded A D 1464 under the invocation of Saint Michael by Thomas earl of Kildare His wife Margaret Gibbon erected the first chapel the second was built by an earl of Desmond and the third by OTully Ballynahinch gives name to the barony A monastery for carmelites or white friars was founded by O Fla herty in the year 1356 No more is known of this house Beagh A monastery for Franciscans of the third order was founded in this place about the year 1441 In an inquisition the 28th of Elizabeth it is called the ruined church of Beagh in the barony of Clare its possessions were half a quarter of land pasture arable &c with its appurtenances and tithes which were long concealed and were of the yearly value of 6s 8d Irish money Boilean Clair in the diocese of Tuam A monastery was founded here for Franciscans in the year 1291 Wadding affirms that this house was very rich and had considerable possessions Clare Galway in the barony of Clare five miles north east of Gal way on a small river which falls into Lough Corrib About the year 1290 John de Cogan built this monastery for Franciscan friars in a very elegant and expensive style On the 7th of March 1368 Thomas lord Athenry granted the lands of Cloy melayn which were contiguous to the town of Clare for the purpose of purchasing bread wine and wax for the celebrating of mass in this friary The high tower in the centre of the church and erected on arches is a curious piece of architecture De Burgo erected a strong castle at this monastery Clochin Cantualaig O Madden founded a monastery for the Franciscans about the beginning of the 15th century It is supposed that this abbey was in the barony of Longford the territory of that family




possessions Cloonyvornoge a cell of the third order of Franciscans was built about the year 1442 By an inquisition held in the 28th year of queen Elizabeth this chapel was found in possession of half a quarter of land arable and pasture &c and the tithes of the same all of the yearly value of 6s 8d Cluain fois An abbey of this name was founded by St Jarlath of Tuam Hero was a celebrated school about the year 550 Crevehawn a friary of Carmelites which it is supposed owes its foundation to an earl of Clanrickard in the 14th century This monastery with a quarter of land sixteen acres of arable and twelve of pasture in the town and lands of Crevaghbawn was granted to the burgesses and commonalty of the town of Athenry Dundrynan Thomas was abbot of this monastery in the year 1374 and in the 29th year of king Edward III it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary Of this house no more is known Dunmore gives name to the barony and is six miles north of Tuam This place was called Domnach patruic either because St Patrick founded this church or it was dedicated to him Archdall places here a bishop Fulartach whose memory is revered on the 29th of March See Clonard A friary for Augustine Eremites was founded here by Walter de Bermingham lord Athenry in the year 1425 A portion of this building now forms the market place the remaining oart was levelled while another was converted into a parish church Enaghdune in the barony of Clare and on Lough Corrib


The nunnery was founded by St Brendan lor his sister Briga under the invocation of the Virgin Mary Pope Celestine II by a bull dated the 26th of February AD 1195 did confirm this church together with the town of Kelgel to the nuns of the order of Aroasia The steeple or round tower of this nunnery was erected in the year 1238 At the suppression it was granted to Richard earl of Clanrickard Saint Mary's Abbey de portu patrum was founded for white canons of the order of Premonstre Nicholas was abbot in the year 1311 Gilbert bishop of Enaghdune recovered from him in right of his church a messuage twenty acres of arable land six of meadow forty of wood twenty of moor and sixty of pasture all in Shanthill Franciscan friary of Enaghdune was considerable having had a custody to which the Franciscan monasteries of Connaught and Ulster were subordinate College of Saint Brendan in which four priests were supported It was long concealed from the royal inquisitors of Elizabeth Twenty threo quarters of tithes belonged to this college While it was concealed it was in the hands of Clement Skerrett and Thady Maclnyllis both of whom were priests Fallig the name of the founder who was according to Wadding an Irishman This house was erected for gray friars in the year 1390 It is now a vicarage of course a Protestant one in the barony of Longford Fidhard St Patrick is said to have built this abbey and to have placed St Justus over it A St Justus is said to have baptized as well as instructed Saint Kieran of Clonmacnois Galway is a remarkable seaport and sends representatives to Parliament Franciscan friary AD 1296 Sir William de Burgh the gray founded this monastery for Franciscans in St Stephen's island without the north gate of the town The founder died AD 1324 and was interred in the abbey AD 1494 died Edward Philbin who built the dormitory of this house AD 1513 the celebrated archbishop of Tuam Maurice O Fihely known as Flos mundi the flower of the world and was interred in this monastery His humble monument is still shewn AD 1520 William de Burgh granted this abbey the fishery of the river of Galway


AD 1536 the archbishop of Tuam died and was buried in the same tomb with his predecessor Maurice Provincial chapters of the order were held in this abbey in the years 1470 1522 and 1562 March the 9th 1570 Queen Elizabeth granted part of the possessions of this abbey to the corporation and their successors which grant was renewed in September 1578 for forty years AD 1603 James I granted the entire possessions of this house to Sir George Carew his heirs and assigns forever AD 1057 all the buildings of the abbey were demolished except the church in which assizes were held AD 1698 the several members of this and the other religious houses of the town were banished they afterwards gradually returned and for many years suffered the most severe persecutions having been frequently imprisoned tried transported and often in danger of their lives Galway was until the mitigation of the penal laws one of the principal places in Ireland which afforded refuge to the proscribed ecclesiastics of the religious orders Dominican friary is situated on an elevated spot near the sea shore in the west suburbs of the town It stands on the site of an ancient convent of St Mary of the Hill a daughter of the Holy Trinity of the Premonstratenses of Tuam which was founded by the O Hallerans On the nuns forsaking it the secular clergy entered and retained possession a considerable time The inhabitants of the town having petitioned Pope Innocent VIII it was granted to the Dominicans of Athenry AD 1488 The Dominican order being thus established in Galway the convent was richly endowed by many individuals of the town and several considerable additions were made to the church and monastery James Lynch Fitzstcphen who was mayor of Galway in 1493 and celebrated for immolating his only son because that son stained his hands in the blood of a young Spaniard at the shrine of public justice erected the choir of this church AD 1570 March 9th Queen Elizabeth granted to the corporation and their successors part of the possessions of this monastery then lately dissolved AD 1642 Lord Forbes landing at Galway took possession of this house which he converted into a battery with the intent to reduce the town Having failed in his design he defaced the church and in his brutal rage dug up the graves and burned the coffins and bones of the dead


AD 1652 the friars surrendered the chnrch and monastery to the corporation which were soon after razed to the ground lest they should be converted by Cromwell's troops into a fortification against the town Henceforth the friars of this house suffered in common with their brethren of the other orders all the persecutions to which they were subjected Augustinian friary was situated on an eminence near tlte sea in the south suburbs of the town and within a few hundred yards of the walls It was founded in 1508 by Margaret Athy wife of Stephen Lynch FitzDominick at the instance of Kichard Nangle an Augustinian hermit who afterwards became archbishop of Tuam This monastery was commenced by this pious lady during the absence of her husband in Spain The church and the steeple having been finished on his return he was surprised at beholding from the bay a building so stately erected in a place where there was not a single stone laid at the time of his departure When on landing he discovered that it had been erected by his own wife in honor of St Augustine his surprise was converted into joy and the good man falling down on his knees on the sea shore returned thanks to Heaven for inspiring her with that pious resolution This lady afterwards made a pilgrimage to Saint James's tomb in Gallicia Spain AD 1517 Richard Edmund de Burgo made grants to this monastery for the souls of himself his parents and successors AD 1570 Queen Elizabeth granted to the corporation and their successors part of the possessions of this monastery then lately dissolved and which grant she afterwards renewed for forty years James I AD 1603 granted all its possessions to Sir George Carew his heirs and assigns for ever On the suppression of the monastery the friars removed to a large house within the town in which they resided for many years The church however remained standing and on the building of St Augustine's fort in 1602 it was converted into a store for the use of the soldiery When this fort was demolished in 1643 the monastery was spared and delivered up to the friars by whom it was repaired but in 1652 being again surrendered to the corporation it was pulled down lest it should be fortified against the town Since that time not a vestige of it remains Carmelite friary is said to have been founded by the de Burgo family but upon what authority or at what period is not recorded In 1647 those friars opposed the Pope's nuncio Binuccini and his treatment of them on the occasion formed one of tho principal articles of


accusation against him by the supreme council The friars having shewn resistance to the wishes of the nuncio their dwelling was assaulted by night and their persons abused In a fit of rage he ordered their bell to be pulled down and placed two priests at the entry to their chapel to keep the people from resorting there to prayers These friars were soon after banished with the other religious and clergy and have never since been reinstated in the town Capuchin friars On the restoration of the Catholics in 1689 the Capuchins petitioned the corporation for leave to return and be established in as full and ample manner within the town as their predecessors formerly had been The request was granted but they soon shared the fate of the other religious and have not since revived in Galway Knights Templar were established beyond the east gate The order being suppressed in 1312 its possessions were given to the Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem Franciscan nunnery of Saint Clare In 1511 Walter Lynch Fitz Thomas who was mayor of Galway in 1504 and again in 1513 bestowed on his daughter a dwelling house near St Nicholas church which was afterwards known as the house of the poor nuns of the third order of St Francis These nuns having presented a memorial to the corporation in 1049 praying a grant of as much ground in island Attenagh at the west end of the town as would bo sufficient for erecting a monastery and other necessary buildings their petition being acceded to they erected a handsome convent on that island but they enjoyed it only for a short period as they were on the surrender of Galway in 1652 to the troops Of the Parliamentarians obliged to disperse and retreat to foreign parts where those persecuted and defenceless females endured all the miseries of a long and comfortless exile After a lapse of many years and on the change of political circumstances which took place during the short reign of James II the few who survived returned to Galway and have ever since continued During the persecution of 1698 all the convents of the town were on the 1st of May broken into by the military the chapels torn down and every religious emblem destroyed The nuns were at the same time forced out obliged to change their habits and take shelter with their friends in the country The heat of the persecution somewhat relaxing they reassembled and came back to their former dwellings They remained unmolested until the mayor of Galway Edward Eyre was directed in 1712 to suppress the nunneries Those defenceless servants of the Most High whose only offence was the consecration of their lives to solitude and prayer were again turned out of doors and obliged


to have refuge with their friends In the height of their distress John Bourke the then provincial of their order in Ireland obtained permission from Edmund Byrne the archbishop of Dublin to admit them into his diocese hoping they would be less noticed in the capital than in Galway as the government watched the latter so closely A few of those ladies were sent to Dublin but scarcely had they reached there when the lords justices received information of the fact and immediately orders were issued for their apprehension as if the arrival of a few weak and helpless females was calculated to overthrow the government or endanger the stronghold of the Protestant Church In consequence of the alarm which this event caused these ladies were arrested in the habits of their order A proclamation then issued dated the 20th of September 1712 to apprehend the aforesaid John Bourke the archbishop of Dublin and doctor Nary popish priests who presumed to exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction contrary to the laws of the realm and laws which German bayonets mainly established and it was ordered that all the laws in force against the Papists should be strictly carried into execution In the meantime the convents of Galway were converted into barracks The storm again subsiding the nuns again came forth from their retreats and at length succeeded in regaining their former habitations They were visited again in 1731 and have continued since without molestation Dominican nunnery The inhabitants of Galway founded this nunnery by the consent of the general and provincial chapter about the year 1644 Father Gregory French a learned and virtuous Dominican who was afterwards banished from his native country and who died an exile in Italy was appointed the first superior When Galway was taken in 1652 by Cromwell's forces the nuns with their then vicar father Gregory O Ferrall went to Spain Two only of the number survived Julia Nowlan and Maria Lynch who returned to Galway in 1686 by direction of John Browne provincial of the order in Ireland On their arrival Julia Nowlan was appointed prioress and the companion of her exile subprioress a house being provided for them in the town the community soon increased and became before the end of two years completely established In 1698 they were again dispersed It was most deplorable says O Heyne the historian of those distressing scenes to witness the cries and teal's of those oppressed females by which their very persecutors were moved to compassion The convent was converted into a barrack however the nuns remained secretly in town amongst their friends under the direction of Julia Nowlan the prioress who was released by


death from all her sufferings in 1701 at the age of ninety years and was succeeded by the sub prioress Maria Lynch They were soon after obliged to depart from the town altogether and disperse among their relatives in the country without the most distant hope of returning In this forlorn condition Hugh O Callanan the provincial of the order having obtained permission from doctor Byrne the archbishop of Dublin to admit them into his diocese eight of the nuns repaired to the capital where they arrived in March 1717 and dwelt together in a house in Fisher's lane on the north side of the river In September following they removed to Channel row afterwards Brunswick street where they originated the convent of Jesus Mary and Joseph of Dublin In the meantime the ladies who remained near Galway returned to the town and having obtained possession of their former abode have ever since continued The names of the sisters who founded the convent of Dublin are Maria Bellew Elizabeth Weever Julia Browne JJonoria Vaughan Alicia Rice Helena Keating Catharine Plunkett and Maria Plunkett Maria Bellew was constituted the prioress of the new convent Catharine Plunkett having obtained the permission of her superiors repaired to Brussels where she remained until recalled for the purpose of establishing a convent at Drogheda In the year 1756 there were thirty one nuns in the convent of Galway their names are Anastasia Lynch prioress Maria Lynch subprioress Maria Lynch Margaret Darcy Christina Darcy Juliana Bodkin Elizabeth Lynch Margaret Browne Brigid Kirwan Rosa Kelly Cecilia Kelly Brigid Geraldine Marcella French Catharine Lynch Elizabeth Browne Brigid Browne Barbara Blake Maria Browne Theresia Browne Catharine Nowlan Elizabeth Bodkin Mar cella Darcy Anna French Monica Bodkin Elizabeth Vaughan Maria Bodkin Anna Bodkin Marcella Blake Anastasia Blake Monica Joyce and Maria Joyce May the constancy of those faithful souls and their heroic example under trial and persecution for the sake of their holy faith tend to strengthen and support those of their sex who are scattered over this vast country under every affliction and under every danger to which their morals as well as their faith may be exposed Augustinian nunnery was established in Middle street early in the last century In 1731 the mayor reported that he had searched the house and that none were found but servants therein but that he discovered in it seven rooms ten beds in which it was apprehended the reputed nuns lay before their dispersion Nunnery to the west of the town was situated in an island of


Lough Corrib but of its history nothing is recorded With regard to this nunnery being situated in the island Archdall must be under a mistake There is an island called Inisnagoile on which there are extensive ruins This nunnery according to the tradition of the natives was situated near the shore of the lake where they still point out an artificial stone path leading from the building See Inis an Ghoil &c Imay an island on the coast of Galway county Saint Fechin founded the monastery of this island The annals of the Four Masters record the death of Fergus vicar of Iomaith It appears that this island was one of the last retreats of Paganism in Ireland The account of the erection of this monastery is as follows from the latin of Colgan On a certain night the holy man Fechin being in the monastery of Bally sadare county of Sligo was by an angel admonished in his sleep that it was the divine will that he should go to a certain island of the ocean Imay situated in the western district of Connaught Saint Fechin obeys the warning of the angel and with the intention of gaining many souls to God and increasing the monastic institute accompanied by some disciples he sought the island where he proposed to dwell and build a church But the inhabitants at the suggestion of the devil endeavoured by all means to exclude him hence at night they several times cast into the sea the spades axes iron tools and other instruments which the monks used in the work of building but as often as they were thus cast so often being thrown back on shore they were found by the monks in the morning But when the man of God and his monks thus meeting with the opposition of the people persisted in continual labours watchings and fastings and the people hardened in malice denied them all nourishment at length two of the brethren perished being exhausted through want But Saint Fechin having poured forth for his servants a prayer to the Lord in complying with whose will those who were thus exhausted had perished merited that they should be recalled to life And when the reports of the occurrence had reached the ears of the king Guarius son of Cohnan he took care that sufficient nonrishment in meat and drink should be brought to Saint Fechin He added also his royal phial which even to this day is called Cruach Fechin Afterwards all the islanders being converted to Christ were baptized by Saint Fechin and they consigned themselves and their island to the use and service of the saint and his successors The king mentioned in this account was the generous and hospitable Guaire of Connaught who died AD 663 Inis na Ghoil Craibhtaigh the island of the devout foreigner This island has two chapels the one dedicated to Saint Patrick the


other to the saint from whom it is named and in which it seems no one is huried Murgesius O Xioc archbishop of Tuam died in this island AD 1128 The first chapel is called Temple Patrick and undoubtedly bearg marks of a very high antiquity and is perhaps as the tradition of the country asserts of the same age with the apostle It is not easy to determine who the devout stranger is from whom the island has derived its name A monumental slab or pillar about four feet high situated at a little distance from Temple Patrick serves to throw light on the history of the devout foreigner The letters on this slab are very deeply cut and in perfect preservation and are read as follows in English Lie Lugnaedon Mac Lmenueh The stone of Lugnaedon son of Limenueh It is related in the transactions of Saint Patrick that when at Oran in Magh Aoi the very neighbourhood of which we treat he was solicited by his Gallic disciples and followers to assign them situations in which they could lead lives of retirement and contemplation a request with which the saint complied Of these Galls or Franks who were fifteen in number with one sister the names of three are only given Bernicius Ernicius and Inaepius As those foreigners have settled in this locality at so early a period the devout foreigner seems to be one of them In an ancient list of Saint Patrick's followers or household a Saint Lugnath is set down as the pilot of the apostle and again the most ancient authorities concur in stating that Lugnath was one of the seven sons of the Lombard the nephew of Saint Patrick by his sister Liemania Their names are as follow Sechnall or Secundums a bishop Nechtan a bishop Dabonna a saint Mogornan a saint Darioc a saint Auxilius a bishop Lughnat a saint The ancient martyrologies state that the mother of these sons of the Lombard was Liemania the daughter of Calphurnius and sister of Saint Patrick It does not appear that Restitutus called the Lombard was ever in Ireland Liemania has been buried in Finnuair abha on the banks of the Boyne See Kill Clogher county Louth Other sisters of Saint Patrick are also spoken of such as Lupita and Darerca and though there may be room to question the authorities respecting the latter there seems to be no just ground to call in question the history of the Lombard and Liemania the constant tradition of the country moreover records those seven sons and also reference is frequently made to the seven churches of those seven brothers Inisquin an island of Lough Corrib and in the barony of Clare St Brendan founded the monastery of Inisquin and having resigned the


government of Clonfert he spent the latter part of his life in tins retreat preparing himself for the way of all flesh Saint Meldan was the successor of the founder and was of the Sept Hua cuin from which the island took its name and which possessed the country about Lough Orbsen the ancient name of Lough Corrib St Meldan was abbot of Liis hua cuin about the beginning of the 7th century and was also probably a bishop The memory of St Meldan was universally respected In this island the great St Fursey whose mother was a native of Hy brun in Connaught repaired to the monastery of Meldan and spent some years under his guidance St Meldan died some time before the year 626 and his festival is observed on the 7th of February Kilbought in the barony of Athenry and four miles east of Lough rea The family of Waley founded this monastery and in the inquisition the 6th of Elizabeth express mention is made that the Franciscans of the third order were possessed of this friary AD 1507 Mathew Macreagh bishop of Clonfert died here Kilbrenan The monastery of Kilbrenan with its appurtenances containing one acre six Small cottages in the town of Kilbrenan thirty acres of arable land and fifteen of pasture in the said town were granted together with the abbey of Mayo to the burgesses and commonalty of Athenry Kilcorban The church of this monastery was dedicated to St Cor ban This saint is suppossd to be the Cerban of Kilcerban near Tarah in Meath who died AD 500 This church was afterwards dedicated to the Virgin Mary AD 1446 Thomas de Burgo bishop of Clonfert with the consent of his chapter granted this chapel with some land adjoining to the friars of the third order of St Dominick at the earnest entreaty of John Fitzrery vicar general of that order and his brethren Pope Eugene IV confirmed the donation by bull directed to the abbot of Vianova or abbey Gormogan in the diocese of Clonfert The bishop died the same year In this church of the Rosary of the blessed Virgin there was a statue of the immaculate mother of our Redeemer of which John O Heyne thus speaks The frequent miracles which God performs through that statue daily confirm the Catholics in the true faith and in the veneration of the Queen of Heaven Killcolgan in the baron of Doonkillen and diocese of Kilmacduach St Colgan or Colga was the brother of St Foila a holy virgin of the house of Hy Fiachra in South Connaught Another branch of this family of Hy Fiachra is the O Dowda of Tireragh North Connaught


Saint Colga was the son of Aidus or Hugh a great grandson of Dathy or David the king of Ireland who was killed by lightning at the foot of the Alps while on a military expedition in that country The festival of Colga is marked at the 20th of February Kilcolgan in the diocese of Clonfert over which another Colga a disciple of St Columbkille presided and to whom Adamnan introduces the sainted abbot of Hy as speaking about his diocese His feast is also observed on the 20th of February Killconnell see Tearmondearbhill county Mayo gives its name to the barony and is seven miles west of Ballinasloe An ancient abbey or church over which St Conall presided or it was dedicated to him Of this saint scarcely any record remains except that ho is spoken of as the brother of the holy virgin Athracta whose name we shall meet with in another place Conall is supposed to have been a bishop His festival is marked at the 18th of March A monastery for Franciscan friars was founded in Killconnell about the year 1400 by William O Kelly whose death is recorded in the obituary of the abbey as having occurred in May 1464 At the dissolution of monasteries it was granted to Charles CaV thorpe AD 1604 the Catholics repaired this monastery Saint Conall is called one of the four beautiful saints of Ireland The reform of the strict observance was received in this abbey about the year 1460 The property of this house was given to Lewis Brisket Esq by queen Elizabeth for the term of fifty years at the annual rent of 32s Irish Killcoonagh in the barony of Clare St Cuanna was maternal brother to St Carthag of Lismore Having governed Killcoonagh either as abbot or pastor he is supposed to have been the abbot of Lismore immediately succeeding Carthag and perhaps as bishop Another saint of this name occurs in the Irish calendars who was a disciple of Saint Columba and whose church was situated in the county of Sligo also called after him The festival of St Cuanna is observed on the 4th of February the year of his death being unknown i Tipraid prince of Hy Fiachra is said to have given the site of this religious foundation Kilcreunata called the nunnery of the Chaste wood was founded by Cathal Crovbh dearg O Connor AD 1200 for Benedictine nuns The cells of Inchmean in Mayo and Ardcarn in Roscommon were afterwards annexed to this nunnery


AD 1301 died the lady abbess Fynola Penelope daughter of Felym O Connor Derbhill O Connor was the last abbess At the suppression of monasteries it was granted to Richard earl of Clanrickard Killfaile in the diocese of Kilmacduach St Faila or Foila whose memory is revered in this church was the daughter of Hugh or Aidus great grandson of Dathy king of Ireland Three brothers of hers are reckoned among the Irish saints Colgan Aidus and Sorar The year of her death is not known Her festival is observed on the 3d of March The reputation of this holy woman is very great as her church has been the resort of pilgrims during centuries Killine Bondina AD 1428 was built this monastery for Franciscans of the third order which according to Wadding became one of the most considerable houses of that order Killoebhain in the diocese of Clonfert It is related that St Mac cecht of Domnach Loebhain made the famous relic called Finfai dheach He was one of the artificers of St Patrick The relic was a bell St Patrick is recorded to have distributed bells for the use of the churches and an officer called aistire in Irish which means a bellman existed in his time Thus at Armagh St Sinell is styled Cam panarius the Latin of the Irish word referred to It is then apparent that bells existed in the early ages of the Irish church There has been one preserved on Croagh Patrick in Mayo which is said to have belonged to the apostle Bells have been first invented iu a town of Italy called Campana Kilmacduach called after St Colman the son of Duach a bishop's see Maurice Heyan bishop of this see erected AD 1283 a monastery here for canons regular of St Augustine AD 1289 John was abbot There is a holy well in this place with a circular inclosure The church of this building though small was a very handsome one The pillars and arches from the entrance to the altar and east window are finished in an elegant style and the angles at the east end are worked in pillars Tbe round tower of Kilmacdnagh leans seventeen feet and a half from the perpendicular The celebrated tower of Pisa in Italy leans only thirteen feet Killmac Dara off the coast of Connemara and in the parish of Moy rus This saint is known by the name of Senach the son of Dara The island is an inviolable sanctuary dedicated to this saint Here his statue of wood remained for ages until Malachy O Quely archbishop of


Tnam caused it to be buried under ground probably to prevent asseverations which were customary and which the clergy strove to prevent The bronze cross of the saint still exists and his altar is still preserved in the parish church His festival is observed as patron of Moyrus on the 16th of July though marked in the Irish calendars at the 28th of September The little church of MacDara measures fifteen feet in length and eleven broad and its walls two feet eight inches thick are built of stones of great size and its roof of the same material The circular stone house of this saint built without cement and in the same style still remains but greatly dilapidated it is an oval of twenty four feet by eighteen and its walls are seven feet in thickness MacDara is venerated as the principal saint of the western coast of Ireland Kiltullagh a cell of the third order of St Francis was built here some time before the year 1441 Kilmurry in the barony of Beallymoe was given to Gilleduff O Cahan for a certain term of years by Elizabeth It was a mendicant friary Kinalckin a commandery of knights hospitallers was founded here in the thirteenth century by O Flaherty AD 1310 John was prior John de Blohely was prior and a third John succeeded who sued John de Burgh for a townland in Tullagh M Ruskyn of which John O Leyn bishop of Clonfert had unlawfully disseized the former prior A Franciscan friary was founded here before the year 1325 AD 1359 Hugh Bernard was provincial of the Franciscans in Ireland AD 1438 John O Heyn the provincial was made bishop of Clonfert AD 1447 John With minister of the order was elected bishop but was not consecrated Loughreagh a market town in the barony of Doonkillen Carmelite friary Richard de Burgo earl of Ulster founded this monastery in the year 1300 for the Carmelites under the invocation of the Virgin Mary This abbey was granted to Richard earl of Clanrickard A leper house was also founded in this town Maghele St Abban who died AD 630 built three churches in this plain Meelick in the barony of Longford and four miles east of Clonfert O Madden lord of the country founded this abbey for conventual Franciscans


ciscans The situation of it was delightful and the building itself spacious and beautiful During the winter months the friary was surrounded by the inundations of the river Shannon In the year 1203 William do Burgo the conqueror of Connaught marched at the head of a great army into that province and on to llee lick profanely converted the church into a stable round which he erected a castle of a circular form wherein he was seen to eat flesh during the whole time of lent The monastery of Meelick was granted to Sir John King who assigned it to the earl of Clanrickard Muck enis in Lougk dearg and bordering on the county of Gal way The festival of St Regulus is held here on the 16th of October Ivar a northman or Dane having arrived at Limerick proceeded along the Shannon with his followers and set fire to this establishment AD 946 In this year they were defeated by Comgall II and again in 948 this king defeated them in another battle in which the Danish king Blacar and a thousand of his men lost their lives Pallice eleven miles north west of Portumna A friary for Carmelites under the invocation of the Virgin Mary was founded at Kal tragh na Pallice by Bermingham lord of Athenry in the fourteenth century August 27th thirty first of Elizabeth a grant was made to John Rawson of this monastery with a church and chapel in ruins a quarter of land sixty acres of arable and sundry other lands in the county to hold the same forever in free soccage at the annual rent of 8 12s 7d Irish money Portumna a town on the river Shannon in the barony of Longford The Cistercians of Dunbrody having forsaken this cell 0 Madden the dynast of the country gave it with the approbation of the former possessors to the Dominicans who erected a convent and church dedicated to the blessed Virgin and to SS Peter and Paul they also erected a steeple cemetery and all other necessary buildings Pope Martin V confirmed by bull their possessions and granted in November 1426 indulgences to all who contributed towards the building The walls are still nearly entire and shew that the monastery of Portumna was not an ignoble structure When de Burgo wrote his Hibernia Dominicana the earl of Clanrickard was in possession of the property belonging to this abbey Among the brothers of this abbey Malachy O Loghlin Richard O Madden Edmund MacEgan and de Burgo adds another to the number Christopher Walsh were men of publicly acknowledged virtue Christopher Walsh was a missionary apostolic having studied in Spain


and having returned to Ireland he suffered much during the usurpation of Cromwell The sisterhood of the order bnilt a hut for him in which he lay concealed He was beloved by all for his candor and religion Christopher died AD 1 707 Rathmat or Kill Fursa Saint Fursey founded this establishment It was situated near Lough Corrib and in the deanery of Annadown Saint Fursey is call 3d one of the four beautiful saints of Ireland His acts as a missionary aro elsewhere noticed He is said to have had visions in which he saw the bishops Becan and Meldan whom he thought on their approaching him to be dead from them he received much instruction concerning the dreadful effects of pride and of disobedience to superiors of every description the duties of ecclesiastics and monks but particularly the nature and heinousness of inward and spiritual or sacrilegious sins They told him that some glory in what they have received from God as if they acquired it by their own labor Others afflict their bodies by abstinence and fasting abstinence nowadays is ridiculed by the adversaries of the Catholic church who glory in the Bible and nothing but the Bible should they read in that sacred volume of the fall of man they will find that the only law which the Lord God imposed on man the masterpiece of creation was the law of abstinence and are shocked at the slightest external transgressions while they think nothing of pride which drove angels from heaven because according to St John Crysostom those proud spirits refused to adore the divine Word when the Eternal Father revealed the incarnation in time nor of avarice ie the desire of knowing good and evil by which our first parents forfeited the bliss of the terrestrial paradise nor of envy which induced Cain to kill his brother Abel nor of false testimony by which our Saviour was condemned and thus they regard those that are the most grievous in tho sight of God as sins of the lightest description And those saints added it is not enough to chastise the body unless the BOul be cured of malice and iniquity Charity said they is the root and source of all good works St Fursey is said to have had those visions in the year 627 having probably founded Rathmat two or three years previously It seems he resigned the administration of this house as we find him announcing over Ireland what he saw and heard in those visions and for ten years preaching and exhorting the people to repentance There are no traces of this monastery Ross a monastery for conventual Franciscans was founded in this place which is in the diocese of Tuam AD 1431 It is a very solitary place surrounded on all sides by water


AD 1470 the reform of the strict observance was introduced Rosserelly in the barony of Clare situated on the river of Ross The Lord Granard founded this monastery for the strict observants AD 1498 AD 1509 a chapter of the Franciscan order was held here At the suppression of religious houses this monastery was granted to the earl of Clanrickard AD 1604 the Roman Catholics repaired the abbey of Rosserelly its ruins which still remain show it to have been a very extensive building it has been lately purchased by the archbishop of Tuam Sleushancogh a monastery of conventual Franciscans which was at the suppression of religious houses granted to Sir Francis Sammes or Symes Teagh Saxon two miles west of Athenry This ancient establishment was burned by lightning in the year 1177 Its name tells its purpose and shews that Ireland was at one time the mart of literature and the home of the Saxon stranger A friary of small dimensions was erected in the reign of Henry VH of England by a member of the Bourke family for Franciscans of the third order It was with its appurtenances granted to the burgesses and commonalty of Athenry Temple Moyle another friary of the third order of St Francis founded after the year 1441 It was granted to Edmond Barrett Tombeola in the barony of Ballynahinch a monastery of Dominicans founded by O Flaherty about 1427 assisted by the friars of Athenry There were usually eight members in this house Though the building was wholly demolished in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign and the stones even of the church were made use of towards building a castle in the neighbourhood the friars remained till they were expelled by the Cromwellians Richard Martin of Dangan had been the possessor of its property when De Burgo wrote Tuam in the barony of Tuam is a market town and borough and the archiepiscopal see of Connaught Saint Jarlath is the patron saint Three abbots of Tuam are expressly mentioned AD 808 died the abbot Cellach son of Eochad AD 877 died in October Nuadat Hua Bolcain abbot and anchorite


AD 879 died Cormac son of Kieran abbot of Tuam and prior of Clonfert Priory of St John the Baptist Tirdelvac O Connor king of Ireland founded this priory about the year 1140 the order of which is not known The property of this abbey was granted to Richard earl oi Clanrickard Abbey of the Holy Trinity was founded by a member of the Do Burgo family about the beginning of the reign of Henry HI of England for Premonstre canons AD 1204 William Bourke burned the churches of Tuam His death has been noticed at Knockmoy The posterity and followers of this man have supplanted the O Connors O Flaherties and the Celtic tribes of Connaught and their Celtic descendants have been with some few exceptions reduced to the condition of hewers of wood and drawers of water Such has been the bitter fruit of those unnatural dissensions which have prostrated the energies of the kingdom and rendered triumphant the adventures of the Anglo Norman invaders Giolla Chriost O Laghtnan abbot of this house was drowned in the Irish sea AD 1251 August 20th twentieth of Elizabeth this monastery and its possessions half an acre of land and two quarters containing eighty acres of arable and twenty of pasture with the tithes of corn were granted to the burgesses and commonalty of Athenry AD 1134 the town of Tuam was stormed and the cathedral burned by the Dalcassians AD 1164 the cathedral was again burned The cathedral was it seems erected between the years 1130 and 1150 when Aod O Hoissin became bishop of Tuam In this pious undertaking he was assisted by Turlogh O Connor king of Ireland Of this church the chancel only remains and that portion of it makes us acquainted with the general stylo of its architecture and shews that it was not only a larger but a more splendid structure than Cormac's church at Cashell and fully worthy of the monarch by whom it was chiefly erected The chancel is a square of twenty six ieet in external measurement and the walls four feet in thickness Its east end is perforated by three circular headed windows each five feet in height and eighteen inches in width externally but splayed on the inside to the width of five feet These windows are ornamented with zig zag and other mouldings both within and without and are connected with each other by stringcourse mouldings of which the external one is ornamented with paterae


In the south wall there is a window similarly decorated but of smaller size The great feature of this chancel is its triumphal arch which is considered the most magnificent specimen of its kind remaining in Ireland It is composed externally of six semicircular concentric and recessed arches of which the outer is twenty feet six inches wide at its base and nineteen feet five inches in height and the inner fifteen feet eight inches in width and sixteen in height The shafts of the columns which with the exception of the outermost at each side are semicircular and unornamented but their capitals which are rectangular on a semicircular torus are very richly sculptured chiefly with a variety of interlaced tracery and in two instances with grotesque human heads The imposts are at one side very richly sculptured with a scroll and other ornaments and at the other side present a kind of inverted ogive and these imposts are carried along the face of the wall as tablets The bases are unadorned and consist of a torus and double plinth The arch mouldings consist of the nebule diamond frette and varieties of the chevron tho execution of which is remarkable for its beauty The cross of Tuam which justly ranks as the finest monument of its class and age remaining in Ireland has been noticed elsewhere See the transactions of Aod O Hoissin archbishop of Tuam