Ireland Travel February / March 2005

Clonmacnoise / Kilcormac

I visited with the Ryans of Portumana. Sean Ryan has a website that reflects his love of Irish history: Wild Geese Heritage Museum and Library . Although disabled by ALS he, with the help of his terrific family, continues to do research.

We visited Clonmacnoise in County Offaly on a chilly afternoon. I do have a "thing" for early monastic sites! Clonmacnoise was founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century on the banks of the River Shannon.

The Ryans

Clonmacnoise on the Shannon
One of my favorite photos from Clonmacnoise. The ruins are from the 9th or 12th century depending on who you read!

On our return trip we stopped in the town of Kilcormac, County Offaly to visit the Church of Kilcormac. Sean wanted to see a memorial placque to honor a once local family - McAwley. "The MacAwleys (Mac Amhalghaidh) were, prior to the English conquest of the sixteenth century, lords of a wide territory known as Calry (Calraighe) which in its broadest extent comprised land in the west of County Westmeath and north of County Offaly, but which was centered on Ballyloughloe in Westmeath. This territory was known to the English as MacGawley's Country. The Four Masters describe them as "Chiefs of Calry."

In this lovely church there was a statue - a Pieta that was buried in a bog in the time of Cromwell c 1650. It was carved from a solid block of Oak - truly lovely.

Ulster ~ Dublin / Wicklow Visit ~ Clonmacnoise / Kilcormac ~ Portumna ~ Loughglynn


Clonmacnoise ~ Kilcormac

Glendalough , lots of history here.
Another photo journal ~ Mountains of Mourne ~ Narrow Water Keep ~ Bovevagh Area

Back to Ulster ~ Dublin / Glendalough ~ Clonmacnoise / Kilcormac ~ Portumna