Scoil Naomh Fursa

History of Locality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our locality is steeped in history. From the earliest times people have inhabited this area. The first inhabitants were Stone Age hunters and gatherers. We know this from tools, weapons and Stone Age burial chambers which have been found at Annaghkeen. The remains of a cist ( Stone age Burial Chamber) can still be seen there.

 

In celtic times the tribe that ruled this area was known as Uí Briuin Seóla. Remains of a number of ring forts which these people built can still be seen. When St. Patrick brought Christianity to this vicinity he converted the Uí Briuin Séola.

 

The next major religious figure connected with our area was St. Brendan the Navigator. After returning from his voyage to America he founded a monastery on the island of Inchiquinn. It was in this monastery that the three brothers St. Fursa, St. Ultan and St. Foillan were born. They were taught by St. Meldan on Inchaquinn before they left to establish their own monasteries in Ireland, England and France. St. Fursa is the patron saint of our school, our parish and of many parishes in England and France. St. Foillan is venerated in Belgium where they hold a special march in his honour every seven years.

 

The monastery on Inchaquinn functioned until 929 when the Vikings of Limerick plundered the islands of Lough Corrib. The remains can still be seen a short distance from where the causeway meets the island.

 

In the 11th century we find O’Flaitheartaigh ruling our locality until he was expelled in 1273 by the Normans. He fled across Lough Corrib to Connemara. However he managed to keep control of the islands on the lake.

 

After De Burgo was granted the lands in this area we find Walter de Riddlesford was granted all O’Flaitheartaigh’s land. The Norman’s built castles in Headford in 1238, Annakeen c. 1300 and Cargin in c. 1320.

 

Later on the landlords we find owning the land in Claran area were St. George of Headford, Burkes of Ower, Lynch of Ballycurrin and Browne of Claran.

 

Claran church was built in 1859. It replaced “Seipéil na bFóidín, "The Church of the Sods", which functioned in Carrownacroagh in Penal Times. It got its name from the roof of the church which was constructed of sods of earth which helped to camouflage it.

fursa church

St. Fursa - The patron saint of our school and parish.

St. Mary's Church, Claran - built in 1859