Baron Longford Baron Annaly - Feudal Barons

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Lord Baron of Inchcleraun Island

Priory and Lands  of The Holy Island to Lord Delvin 1552 by King Edward VI


[ocr errors]   Also Known as Quaker Island



InishClothran: - Commonly known as Quaker Island: derives its name from Clothran, Sister of Maeve, Queen of Connaught who had her place at Croghan. The interest of this Island is its connection with primitive Celtic Christianity.  

 This island formerly formed part of the kingdom of Hy-Many. It is now included in the County Longford. Clothra was the mother of Lughaidh who was, at a remote period, king of Ireland. “In the reign of Lughaidh the lakes Neagh and Ree began to make their appearance.” St. Diarmid, patron of Inis Clothrann was brother of St. Fedliminus, who was Bishop of Kilmore; both were descended from Dathy, the last pagan king of Ireland, who was killed in year 427.


St. Diarmid was the teacher of St. Ciaran of Inisangin, afterwards the founder of Clonmacnoise. Inis Clothrann, as a religious seat, is probably older than Clonmacnoise. St. Diarmid wrote a pious work which the learned Colgan states was in his possession. His festival is honoured on the Ioth of January. St. Diarmid's church, measuring eight feet by seven, is said to be the smallest in Ireland. To the north-west of Grianan Meadhbha, or Queen Meave's palace, is Temple Clogas, the first church erected by St. Diarmid on Inis Clothrann. The belfry of this church was thirty feet high and its bell so loud-sounding as to be heard a distance of seven miles. It is one of the few ancient square belfries now existing in Ireland.

“I shall visit Inis Clothrann,
Which exceeds all the others far in beauty.
It was on this isle of grass and beauty
That Meave of Croghan, Queen of Connaught,
Fell by the son of the King of Uladh.
In time of war and bloody murders,
The Clanna Rory and the sons of Uisneach,
Mighty men of strength and courage,
Rose up to war and emulation,
For one fair damsel, yoleped Deirdre.

Five hundred years after the Saviour Had suffered for the sins of mankind, The holy Diarmid here erected Seven churches and a steeple; He also placed on Inis Clothrann, That beauteous, fertile, airy, island, Two convents of which the ruins Are to be seen still on the island.” —MSS. of Ord. Survey. This island, sometimes called “ Quaker Island,” also “Island of the Seven Churches,” is about one mile long and one-third of a mile broad. By reason of its churches it is the most important island in Lough Ree. From the middle of the eighth to the end of the thirteenth century, bishops, priests, poets, historians, professors, princes, chiefs, without count, lived, died, and were buried, on this holy isle. “Fair City of the Lake, the day is long gone past, When choral voices lent rich echoes to the blast.”


Inchcleraun (Irish: Inis Cloithrinn), also called Quaker Island or Holy Island, is an island situated inLough Ree on theRiver Shannon, in County Longford of centralIreland.[1][2][3][4][5] which was granted to Baron Delvin in 1552. The island has the ruins of St. Diarmaid’s Monastery, a monastery founded by Diarmaid the Just in AD 560. These buildings constitute a National Monument.   Inchcleraun island  has(143 acres) located in the centre of Lough Ree    , with Knockcroghery    , County Roscommon to its west and Newtowncashel   , County Longford to its east..


Inchcleraun Priory

early monastic site, founded 6th century (c.540 or probably earlier) by St Diarmuid (Dermod);
Augustinian Canons Regular (— Arroasian)
refounded after 1140;
plundered several times;
plundered 1098 by O'Brien
dissolved c.1541

Granted to Baron Delvin 1552
Quaker Island


 Cashel Monastery

Augustinian Canons Regular ruins near parish church purportedly remains of a foundation dependent on Inchcleraun


Grant 1552 - Holy Island - Inchcleraun Island, Lough Ree

With the government showing little inclination to reach a more permanent settlement with the O’Farrells, Delvin led a raid across Lough Ree shortly before Christmas 1548.21 Despite opposition from the nearby Dillons, it seems that Delvin succeeded in gaining a foothold in the southern reaches of the O’Farrell lordship. In 1552 the crown granted the dissolved monastery of Holy Island, Lough Ree, to the baron, together with associated lands and tithes.22 This was more than a mundane grant of ecclesiastical land in one’s county of residence, which many peers, gentry and officials received: it must be viewed in the context of mid-Tudor expansionism. The government was willing in 1553 to nominate a ‘captain and governor’ of the O’Farrell Boy branch, yet allowed Delvin to build up a landholding profile within the branch’s sphere of influence on the banks of Lough Ree. Lord Deputy Croft and his advisors described these lands as in ‘a waste, wylde Countrey amonge the yrishe where lytle obedyence doth contynue’, but Delvin had announced his intention to fortify his new territory.23

The Baron Delvin was also granted the monastic site at Granard, in the northeast of the Annaly lordship in what is now called the County Longford; this also represented a projected expansion of English influence. Before the 15th century Granard Abbey had been an exclusively English foundation, but papal order forced it to admit Gaelic men. The house quickly lost its English identity, and fell completely under O’Farrell patronage.24 Thus Delvin’s acquisition of Granard represented an effort to reincorporate former English church lands into English society. Confirmation of the achievements of Baron Richard in enhancing the importance of his house came in 1553, when he joined O’Connor Roe in a devastating raid on the MacDermots of Moylurg, a lordship situated west of the Annaly and a considerable distance from Delvin territory.25

County Longford Monastery of Holy Island Lough Ree also Granted to Lord Delvin in 1552  CITATION

Inchcleraun (Inis Cloithrinn) (also known locally as Quaker Island) is home to a monastery founded by St Diarmuid in 560. St Diarmaid the Just was a teacher of St. Ciaran of Clonmacnoise, one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. The island is said to have been named after ‘Clothra’, sister of Queen Maeve who retired to the island after her husband Ailill, Kind of Connacht, was killed in battle in the 1  st century. On the east shore of the island she built a fortified garden called ‘Grianan Maeva’ (The beautiful sunny spot of Maeve). Apparently she also died on the island at the hands her nephew who killed her while she was bathing with a lump of cheese fired from a sling shot. Today the ruins of the monastery and seven churches remain, including one church with an usual square belfry which is visible from the shore of Lough Ree (round towers were more typical of the time period).



Annalistic references   [edit]

  • 719 St Sionnach of Inchcleraun died on the 20 April. 
  • 769 Curoi, the son of Alniadh, Abbot and Sage of Inchcleraun, and of Caill Fochladha (Lough Derravaragh) in Meath died. 
  • 780 Eochaidh, the son of Focartach, Abbot of Fochladha and of Inchcleraun, died. 
  • 1010 The men of Munster plundered Inchcleraun and Inis Bo-finne 
  • 1050 Inchcleraun was plundered 
  • 1087 The fleet of the men of Munster, with Muirchertach Ua Briain, sailed on the Shannon to Lough Ree and plundered the islands of the lake (inc. Inchcleraun) 
  • 1136  Áed Ua Finn (Hugh O'Flynn), the Bishop of Bréifne, died in Inchcleraun 
  • 1141 Giolla na Naomh Mac Fearghail, chief of the people of Annaly (  Angaile), the most prosperous man in Ireland, died at a great age and was buried at Inchcleraun. 
  • 1150 Morogh, the son of the above, the tower of splendour and nobility in East Connacht died in Inchcleraun. 
  • 1160 Gilla na Naomh Ó Duinn, ollam of Inchcleraun, teacher of history and poetry sent his spirit to the Supreme Father amidst a choir of angels on the 17th day of December in the year of his 58th birthday. 
  • 1167 Cinaeth Ua Cethearnaigh, Priest of Inchcleraun died. 
  • 1168 Dubhcobhlach, the daughter of O'Quinn, wife of Mac Corgamna, died and was interred in Inchcleraun 
  • 1170 Diarmaid Ó Briain, Coarb of Comman, was chief senior of the east of Connaught, died in Inchcleraun in the 95th year of his age. 
  • 1174 Rory O'Carroll, Lord of Éile, was slain in the middle of Inchcleraun 
  • 1189 It was at Inchcleraun on Lough Ree that the hostages of O'Connor Maon-Moy were kept at the time. 
  • 1193 Inchcleraun was plundered by the sons of Costelloe and by the sons of O'Connor Maon-Moy 
  • 1232 Tiapraide O' Breen, Coarb of Saint Coman, an ecclesiastic learned in History and Law, died on his pilgrimage on the island of Inchcleraun 
  • 1244 Donnchad mac Fíngein Ó Conchobhair, who was the grandson of Hugh, son of Torlogh O'Connor, Bishop of Elphin, died the 23rd of April on Inchcleraun,and was interred in the monastery of Boyle. 
  • 1552 - Lands and Tithes of the Holy Island of Lough Ree granted to Nugents and Lord Delvin  by King Edward VI.


Reference: History of Longford

Related image

Inchcleraun Island / Quaker Island – Aran Sweaters Direct

Aran Sweaters  
Just off the shore of Lough Ree, the peaceful island of Inchcleraun. Known locally as “Quaker Island”, it is one of the largest (albeit only 1 mile / 1.5 km ...  




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Louqh Ree (for steamer service see pink pages) is smaller than Derg, being 17 miles in length. Formerly it was called Lough Ribh, and sometimes "Great Lough Allen." A boat for visiting Lough Ree may be hired at Athlone, with or without rowers. The numerous promontories, bays, and creeks of the lake greatly add to the charm and variety of its Bcenery, and some of the islands are very beautiful; but it all wants sun.

This "Lough of the Kings" formed the frontier line between Hy-Many, the principality of the O'Kellys, on the west, and " Kilkenny West," in the kingdom of Meath, on the east.

Among several interesting islands we may mention Inis Clothrann (or Quaker Island), named after the sister of Queen Mab (or Meave). On the highest point of it once stood that queen's palace, and it was on the sunny strand below that she was bathing when the cowardly Ulster chief struck her dead with a stone from his sling. Professor Stokes states that St. Dermot is said to have lived here about the year 500; and many remains of churches and buildings remain.

"The monastery of Inisbofin (or White Cow Island) is, in some respects, the most interesting of any upon Lough Ree, because its foundation is attributed to St. Rioch, the nephew of St. Patrick, ... a Briton or Welshman by birth." On Bare Island no hares are now living to explain the name; they have relinquished it in favour of the later tenant, Lord Castlemaine. On the western shore is the interesting ruin of Randoum Castle, "a famous spot in Irish history for the last 2000 years." In ancient times it was called John's (Eoin) House after a local Celtic saint; when the Normans, who hated the Celts, came and "established a castle of the Knights Hospitallers, they changed the dedication to that of St. John the Baptist. The castle still stands, with a round tower, "a church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and a fortified wall, "unique in Ireland."






InishClothran: - Commonly known as Quaker Island: derives its name from Clothran, Sister of Maeve, Queen of Connaught who had her place at Croghan. The interest of this Island is its connection with primitive Celtic Christianity.  


There are the remains of seven churches, six of which are within a cashel or fortification. There is a similar cluster of ecclesiastical ruins at Glendalough, and Clonmacnoise. Several arches and columns exhibit fine forms and remarkable symmetry, and one ruin presents in tolerable preservation the cloisters and refectory of an abbey. 


Most of the ruins are clustered together towards the south end of the Island, but one church with a square tower crowns an eminence considerably apart from the others and near the centre of the Island. This is called the Clogas or Belfry church, of Banagher, and evidently has lancet windows exactly resembling those of the older churches on Devenish near Enniskillen. This church has the unique feature of a square tower attached to the main building. Dr Petric says "It is most certain that the Irish ecclesiastics had from a very early period in connection with their churches, detached, belfries called in the Irish annals by the term "Cloigteach" of the Cluster of seven churches the smallest is temple Dermot the oratory of St. Dermot, the teacher of St Kieran of Clonmacnoise, the largest Templemurray, has the ruins of a penitential prison. Some remains indicate that a small cloister was erected in the 13th Century. 

Close by the church there stood almost 2000 years ago, the Grianan of Maeve. This summer house was built of wood or wattles, but outside this there was a stronghold composed of stones. These stones are yet close to the old church while most of them were used in construction of a ditch which now runs in a direct line, and shaded by beautiful trees from the Old Grianan Maeve down to a lovely shady bank to the brink of Lough Ree.  


Titles Honors of Abbeys – The Abbot and Orders  

Titles and honors associated with an abbey can vary depending on its history, significance, and the religious order to which it belongs. Here are some common titles and honors: 

1.      Abbey: The main title associated with the institution itself. An abbey is typically a complex of buildings comprising a monastery or convent, centered around the church where religious services are conducted. 

2.      Abbot/Abbess: The spiritual leader of an abbey is called an abbot if male or an abbess if female. They are responsible for the governance of the abbey and the spiritual well-being of its members. 

3.      Monastic Orders: Some abbeys belong to specific monastic orders, such as the Benedictines, Cistercians, or Trappists. The affiliation with a particular order may confer additional titles or distinctions. 

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These titles and honors reflect the diverse roles that abbeys have played throughout history, encompassing spiritual, cultural, educational, and social dimensions.