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Clare Places: Towns & Villages
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Corofin (Corrofin)
Historical Background

Corrofin Church County Clare A History and Topography 1837 by Samuel Lewis
Parliamentary Gazeteer of Ireland 1845
Guy's Directory 1893
Lloyd's Tour of Clare 1780
ITA Survey 1942/3

Agrarian Conflict in Clare: 1815-1831

The peaceful village of Corofin is situated on the L53 road from Ennis which leads to the Burren. Steeped in folklore, music, song and dance, Corofin is one of the many tourist gems in North Clare. Nestling in the heart of the Clare lakelands, on the banks of the River Fergus with the Burren nearby, Corofin is the gateway to a most distinctive and dramatic landscape.

Corofin derives its name from CORADH FINNE, the weir of Finnia, Finnia here being a woman's name although other accounts translate it as FINN CORADH, the white weir. The earliest reference to Corofin appears in the Four Masters where there is an allusion to the finding of the head of Eochaidh Luchta, King of Thomond in the first century, in the year 1157.

One hundred and fifty years ago Corofin was described as a small market and post-town containing 900 inhabitants about three-quarters of a mile south-east of Inchiquin Lake and near the western extremity of Lough Atedaun. The two lakes were connected by the Fergus River which flowed through them and was crossed here by a stone bridge. The above description is still true of the village. In 1837 Corofin contained about 140 houses, mostly thatched. It consisted of one main street, commencing near the bridge, and a shorter one branching off towards the east, at the end of which stood St. Catherine's Church, with the Roman Catholic Church on the south side of this shorter street. This latter was considered a fine spacious building and was erected by public subscription.

Corofin first achieved importance when Maura Rua O'Brien lived here after her eviction from Leamaneh Castle. The Petty Census of 1659 recorded a population of ninety-two people, ninety Irish and two English. A small Huguenot colony was established here in 1694. Maura Rua's grandson, Lucius, and his wife, Catherine Keightley later lived in the building Maura had occupied, Corofin House, which was located down the paved lane towards the Fergus. Lucius was a bit of a rogue, always in debt and a continual source of embarrassment to his father Sir Donat, and his father-in-law Thomas Keightley. Yet the sojourn of the young couple in Corofin meant a lot to the fledgling town in the early decades of the eighteenth century. Servants and retainers needed accommodation. Stables had to be maintained and gardeners were in demand. Leamaneh Castle was abandoned although Robert White was retained to maintain the gardens and plantations there.