|Clare County Library
|The History and Topography of the County of Clare by James Frost
Killadysert Parish; Abbey of Canon
In the Irish language this parish was called Disertmurtuile, and sometimes Tuaith-na-fearna, from the alder trees which, it would appear, had in olden times grown plentifully there. The old church resembled a monastery rather than a parish church of the usual character. It is firmly built, large in size, and has a square tower at the west end. Three holy wells are found in the parish; one on Lackanashinnagh, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin; a second at Crovraghan called Tobar Bechain; and a third at Cooga named Tobar Ruadhan.
Canon Island Abbey
No festivals of those two saints are either celebrated or remembered in the parish. To the parish of Killadysert belongs the island of Inis-na-Canánach, or Canon Island, on which there is an abbey church of considerable size and in good preservation, founded in the twelfth century by Donald O’Brien King of Limerick, for Canons Regular of the Rule of St. Augustine.  In a rental of the Crown Estate of 1577 the Queen was the owner of this abbey, of the island, of three other islands, viz. Inishoul, Inishcarker, and Inishtubrid; also of two-thirds of the tithe of Killadysert and of Kilchreest. In June, 1605, a grant was made to Donogh, Earl of Thomond, of these tithes, of the abbey lands, and a moiety of the abbey of Clare, and of the churches of Kilchreest, Kilmihill, Kilmacduane, together with other church lands and tithes in Clonderalaw and Islands. The grant was confirmed to him in 1609, and again in 1661. Nothing of antiquarian interest remains in the abbey of Canon Island, except an inscription which cannot be deciphered. A little to the east of Canon Island is Inisloe (Inishluaidhe), upon which St. Senán founded a church; no remains of it now exist, and nothing to indicate his presence there except a large tree said to have been blessed by him. Inistubrid, upon which also he raised a church, is without a trace of such a building. Inisdadroum (Coney Island), shows the remains of two churches; one of these was founded by St. Brendan of Ardfert, about A.D. 550.  The islands of Inishdadroum and Inishmacowney, in this parish, had each a castle, belonging in 1580 to Teige MacConor O’Brien, ancestor of the Ballycorick family of that name. Crovraghan also had a castle, now levelled to the ground, which was owned by him.