Clare County Library
Clare Places: Towns & Villages
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Places of Interest

  • ScariffTHE CLOGHAUN RIVER, which drains a number of coarse fish lakes to the west, flows into Lough O'Grady. Lough Atorick drains, by way of the Black River, into Lough Graney and holds numerous small trout. The Graney River which connects Scarriff with Scarriff Bay was used by the Grand Canal Company, and a good harbour was constructed with quays over one hundred feet long with eight feet depth of water. It is sheltered and lies about a mile from the Lough and half a mile from the town. Around 1960 the first chipboard factory in the country was opened here.
  • SCARRIFF CASTLE, belonged to Edmond O'Grady in 1580. In 1598 Teige O'Brien captured it from the attorney of the Bishop of Meath's son. This was recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters. The earliest mention of the castle was in 1564. The town developed around the castle and the fact that it was shown on the Down Survey as a village proved that it was of some importance during the seventeenth century.
  • MOYNOE CHURCH is not far from that arm of Lough Derg running up in the direction of Scarriff. The west gable was destroyed by the time O'Donovan visited it in 1839 and only a few feet of the north wall close to the east gable remained. According to O'Donovan's estimate, the church dated from the thirteenth or fourteenth century. Frost found it in a good state of preservation in 1893. He recorded that the Connaught men burned it to the ground in 1084. On May 21st the anniversary of St. Colman Lobhar, St. Colman the Leper, was commemorated in Moynoe. The full name of this parish was originally Moynoe Norbree. Moynoe may signify the plain of the yew but the meaning of Norbree or n-Orbach is still very much a mystery.
  • MOYNOE CASTLE was close to Moynoe church. O'Donovan believed that a pointed arch leading into the graveyard of the church was probably the castle gateway. In 1580 Edmond O'Grady was listed as the castle owner.
  • THE MILL was built around 1828 and was the property of Ringrose Lambert Drew. The mill was leased to Charles Walnutt of Limerick who ran the business until the outbreak of the Famine. During the terrible years of the Great Famine the Mill was leased to the Scarriff Board of Guardians as a refuge for the local famine victims. Following the famine, Mr. Walnutt continued to run the mill until 1866 in which year it was, according to local tradition, struck by lightening during an electric storm and burnt to the ground. At the time of its destruction the mill was the property of the new Landlord of Scarriff, Michael Skehan. It was included in the Bill-of- Sale for the Skehan Estate in 1869 and was bought by George Samson of Moynoe House. Although sold as a "going concern" the Mill was never re-opened.
  • THE MARKET HOUSE was completed in 1894. An extension was built to it around 1897. The purpose of the extension was to provide a service area for those who were involved in the buying and selling of butter and eggs. The extension was a timbered structure with a galvanised roof.
    The market opened each year about the first Tuesday in May and went on until the Autumn.
    Following the destruction of the Scarriff R.I.C. Barracks in 1920 the Black and Tans frequently used the extension as a detention centre for suspect I.R.A. Volunteers. Over the years the Market House has been used by the Derg Credit Union and as a meeting place for the Senior Citizens Club.

    In the year following the 1916 Rising, a Sinn Féin Club was founded in Scarriff. In March 1918 a homemade bomb was thrown into the back premises of a Mrs Moroney, where Captain Rigby, Commander of the local military unit, was staying. No serious damage was caused. There was an attack on machinery at Cullane, owned by Raheen Rural Industries, which had been established by Edward Mc Lysaght. The Clare Champion of 3rd July reported on an ambush which took place near Scarriff in July 1918. On September 9th, 1920, the R.I.C. Barracks was attacked. Grenades thrown into the building proved to be faulty and failed to explode. There were no casualties among the attackers, but Sergeant Sullivan and Constable Broderick who were returning to the Barracks, were shot and severely wounded by Michael Brennan, who led the assault. The burning of the Workhouse in June 1921 is thought to have been carried out by the local I.R.A. in a bid to prevent it being used as a barracks by Black and Tans.

  • SCARRIFF BAY is a triangular section of Lough Derg jutting inland from the lake to form a safe haven or bay for small craft. Its northern shore, stretching south-west from east of Mountshannon to Scarriff Quay, is sheltered by a line of islands acting almost like a reef. From Scarriff Quay the shore extends almost directly east for about four miles, forming the southern shore before extending back into Lough Derg opposite Parker Point on the Tipperary shore. The main islands from Scarriff north-eastwards are Rabbit Island, Red Island, Holy Island, Young Island, Bushy Island and Cribby Island.