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Journals 1888-1916

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Kilrush Parish

1892, Vol. II (1)

The church of Kilrush is said to be very ancient. A traditional elegy is preserved in the neighbourhood, ascribing its building to Senanus, the successor of St. Patrick.

The ruined church of Kilcarrol stands on a sequestered spot, within half a mile of Kilrush. In it are the remains of a worm-eaten wooden image, held in the greatest veneration by the peasantry; and near the church is a circular mound of earth and stones, from the top of which, tradition says, St. Carrol preached. This is a popular burial-place.

Scattery Island.
The remains of the monument of Senanus, which was defaced by the Danes in 816, are still to be seen in Scattery Island, with the ruins of eleven churches, and several cells. In the stone that closes the top of the altar window of the cathedral church, is the head of a saint, with his mitre, boldly executed, and but little defaced. This is one of the most popular burial-places in the county; but it is not very easy of access in stormy weather: the inconvenience is remedied by a burial-place called SHANAKILL (the old church), in the townlands of Leadmore, near Kilrush. The country people believe that all the bodies buried in this latter place, are miraculously conveyed under the bed of the river into the holy ground of INNISCATTERY.

List of Incumbents, extracted from the First Friuts’ Records.

“Rect. sive prebend. de Kilrush, MARCUS LYNCH, student deprived; the preb. sequest. to ROB. TUESDEN, val. £30.
ROBERT WILSON, admiss. et institut. fuit ac installat. prio. die Oct. 1670, in Præbend. de Eniscathie, als. Kilrush, in Com. Clare, £4 ster.
GULIEL. BEDELL, institut. et collat. installat. fuit prim. die Septemb. eod. anno (1670) in Prebend. de Enniscathie, als. Kilrush, in Kilrush Com. Clare, £4 ster.
JOHES PATERSON, cler. institut. et installat. fuit 25° die ffebruar. 1685, in Prebend. de inniscathy, als. Iniscatrie, als. Kilrush, et eod. die institut. fuit ad in Vicar. de Killard.

Killfieragh, Killballyhone, et Moyarta, Com. Clare.

JOHES VANDALEUR, cler. in Artibs. magr. collat. fuit 6° die May, 1687, ad Prebend. de Iniscathrie, als. Kilrush, £4, Vicar. de Moyferta 10s., Killard 10s., Killfeiragh 20s., et Killballyhane 13s. 4d., Com. Clare.
RICHARD BULLEN, Rect. Kilrush, 1 Nov. 1752.
WILLIAM LEWIS, Rect. Kilrush, 4 June, 1753, Clare.
WILLIAM WATSON, R. Kilrush, 1 Aug. 1767, Clare.
IRWINE WHITTY, collated 24 July, 1777, P. Enniscathrie, £4, Kilfieragh, Moyarta, Killballyhone, and Killard, Clare n. t.
GEORGE BAKER, A.B., instituted 9 April, 1799, R. Kilrush, Clare.
GEORGE GUSTAVAS BAKER, instituted 1 Aug., 1796, R. Kilrush, Clare.
STANDISH GRADY, instituted 19 June, 1805, vice G.G. Baker, resigned, who held, 7 August, 1796, R. Kilrush, Clare.”


1912, Vol. VIII (3)

Scattery Island.
From Lord Walter FitzGerald.

Scattery Island (anciently called Inish Cathy) lies in the mouth of the Shannon, about a mile from the shore, south of Kilrush. It contains 179 acres; on it there are a few thatched houses on the east side, occupied since 1843 by pilots, and a lighthouse at its western extremity. There are said to have been seven church on the island, the ruins or sites of six of which are shown on the six-inch Ordnance Survey Map. Besides the churches there is the butt of a doubly vaulted castle near the pier, a Round Tower, nearly perfect, with its doorway on ground-level, St. Senan or Synan’s Blessed Well, and one Irish-inscribed slab.
The “Martyrology of Donegal” gives two festival days for this St. Synan, viz., the 1st and the 3rd of March, the latter being the date of his death.
This church near the pilots’ houses, known as Tampulnamarve or Kilnamarve (i.e. the Church of the Dead), is the only one in and around which interments take place: large flat tomb-slabs, overlapping one another, simply pave the interior of this church ruin. As far as I could see, during a hurried visit, there were no monuments of any interest or age among them. The “Annals of the Four Masters” state that in:—

1583. Honora, the daughter of Donnell, son of Conor, son of Turlough O’Brien, and wife of O’Conor Kerry (Conor) died, and was interred in Inis-Cathy.

And her sister in:—

1591. Margaret, the daughter of Donnell, son of Conor, son of Turlough, son of Teige, son of Turlough, son of Brian Chatha-an-Aenaigh (i.e. of the Battle of the Fair) O’Brien, and wife of Turlough, the son of Brian, son Donough MacMahon, died at Kilmacduane, and was interred at Inis-Catha (Scattery Island).

There is a large slab broken in two, lying flat on the ground near the Pier, which at one time was removed by one of the Stoddart family to a house of his called “Nabochlish” in Kilkee, occupied by a Captain Kennedy, and which was brought back to Scattery Island a few years since. It belongs to the nineteenth century, and as far as I could ascertain originally stood near the church ruin called Kilnamarve. It bears an undated inscription giving instructions as to how “Rounds” performed on the Island should be carried out; the inscription runs thus:—

In the name of God amen.
Bare head, bare feet.
All Pious Christians are to kneel
At every station say or read [5]
Paters, Aves, and a Creed;
[5] times round each blessed place,
Singing Hymns & partner (sic) beads.
Round this Altar is the first
& 2nd stations on The Strand annex (sic),
Ro[und the Island at] water [edge the 3rd].
4th the Nun’s tomb on the strand du Wst (sic).
Who ever kneels & reads a prayer
will not meet a watery grave.
Bring up a stone to Monument hill,
Perform there and that’s the 5th.
6th N. East a place called Laoth,
& at Our Lady’s church, women stop.
8th the large church, 9th is the [Srs]
10 is the bed called St Synan’s grave.
The Well is the 11th, Finish and Pray
for ye souls of ye Erector of this
Blessed Plaic (sic).
Tho. Cusack (C?) C. T.
Ino & Patt. Ck Fecit.

The words which appear in brackets in the above inscription (and which are illegible owing to the bread or peeling of the stone) are restored from a copy of the inscription on p. 399 of the volume for 1908 of the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland.

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