3,500 BC (the Neolithic) With the arrival of the Neolithic people started the clearance of the forests. They were farmers, growing crops and domesticating animals. They were using stone tools of great craftsmanship. Two stone axes of that period, made from a black stone called porcelemite found mainly in county Antrim, were discovered near the Shrule Bridge, Co Mayo, during the drainage of the river. Over the following 3000 years a whole succession of invasions took place, bringing with them new cultures and knowledge in mining, metal work, building...

1700 BC start of the Bronze Age. Two spearheads were found near Shrule Bridge, at least one was sent to Dublin for testing and was found to be from the early Bronze Age

600 BC The first of the Celts to settle in Ireland were the Pretani, later called Cruithnigh and also known to the Romans as Picts. They came to Ulster from Scotland but they did not go much farther. Their descendants, the Dal Riada tribes, dominated the Northeast of Ulster until the tenth century.

500 BC The second and more numerous waves of Celts to land in Ireland was the Euerni later called Erainn, who gave their name to this country. They landed in the south and first established themselves there, afterwards extending their conquest to the rest of Ireland. The Erainn were part of the Belgae, who controlled a large part of the continent and gave their name to Belgium, Bolg was their sun god who, they claim, was their ancestor, so the Irish name Fir Bolg.They divided Ireland into 5 provinces (Kingdoms), and what is now Connacht was then called Olnemacht, after the daughter of one of their chief, Geanain, one of the five chieftains who shared Ireland between them. The Fir Bolg built great stone forts, and to them must be attributed the construction of Cahermore, a very large fort made of two concentric circles of loose stones, situated west of Shrule and North of Kinlough, Its size seems to indicate a place of importance, maybe the residence of a local chieftain.
The battle of Moytura This legend is from a set of stories relating the coming of the Danaan; many historians believe it to be based on a real battle that would have happened in the area north east of Cong between the Fir-Bolg, and possibly the Laighin. According to tradition, the Fir Bolg had their main camp near Cong, and the Danaan had theirs on Knockmaa, Southwest of Shrule, in the parish of Caherlistrane. In the earliest legendary period this area is said to have been part of the kingdom of Irrusdomnonn and was inhabited by a clan Umoir.

300 BC The third Celtic colonisation of Ireland took place at that time. The Laighin landed in Leinster to which they gave their name. They came from the western part of Normandy and slowly extended their power across the country, forcing the Fir Bolg towards the remoter parts of the West Coast, accounting for the greater concentration of stone forts in those areas.
Roderic O'Flaherty wrote: "There are many stories of great dramatic quality, of war between ruling families, of dirty deeds that went unpunished but which nevertheless had consequences for the subsequent generations. This is not fiction, this is a terrible reality". Oscar Wilde also said of history: "The wicked very often go unpunished, the good unrewarded, and the meek inherit the graveyard".

50 BC The last of the major Celtic invasion of Ireland was a direct result of the Roman attempts to dominate the Celtic tribes of Gaul, forcing the more independent amongst them to flee to the Great-Britain and Ireland. According to popular tradition they landed in south Kerry and the Boyne estuary, and from there, they spread North and West. By the 5th century they were dominant throughout Ireland. 

33 AD The province of Olnemacht was then divided in three, Gamaradii, Tuatha-taidhen and Fir Craibii was the name of the area that included our parish. Fergus of the Fir Craibii being the ancestor of most of the people then living in this area. 

100 AD King Conn is credited with having constructed great highways from Tara to Ulster, Munster and Connacht. 

200+ AD  The name Olnemacht was changed to Connacht, from the Milesian Tribe named Connachta, who settled here. Those tribes were the Conmaicne, the Ciarraighe and the Corcamogha, all descendants of Conn, brother of the ancestor-deity Eogan. They settled over the old tribes. In our area we find:The Conmaicne of Cuil Toladh in the baronies of Kilmaine and Ross. The Conmaicne Mara, it became Conemara. The Conmaicne Dunamoir, Dunmore O’Talcharain was a chieftain of the Conmaicne Cuile and is said to have resided near Kilmaine. However his name does not appear in later times and it is most likely that the clan became extinct at an early date. The legend of Naoise and Deirdre. A legend of the Ulster cycle with a connection with the Kilmaine. As it is a very long story and most of it concerns Ulster we will give only the main lines. At the birth of Deirdre it was professed that she would marry a king and cause the death of many Ulstermen. Warriors present at her father’s house would have killed her but for king Connor, a friend of her father, who decided to bring her up in an isolated place and marry her as soon as she is of age. As she was coming of age she eloped with Naoise, a warrior, to Scotland. After many years king Connor send Fergus McRoy, a man of influence and friend of Naoise’s family, with the message that all was for- given and that they could come back to Ulster. According to custom of the time Fergus as emissary and he and his clan would be responsible for Naoise and Deirdre’s safety. As they landed on the shore of Ulster one of the king’s men had a message for Fergus McRoy to go somewhere else. Fergus gave his protégés to the charge of his two sons and left. When the group arrived to Emain Macha, the king’s house, the king was having a feast with his warriors and could not received them, they settled for the night in a nearby lodging house. During the night the king’s men attacked them. One of Fergus’s son changed sides in exchange for land, the other was killed; all of Fergus and Naoise’s followers were also killed. Naoise and his two brothers were captured and beheaded in front of the king. Deirdre was wedded to Connor; she died of sorrows within the year. When Fergus McRoy returned to Emain Macha and found one of his sons a traitor, the other dead and his protégés massacred. He promised the king that he would take revenge with fire and sword and he left for Connacht, with him went members of his clan and of Naoise and Deirdre’s clan, also many warriors sickened by the king’s action did join them.

In Connacht they offered their services to Queen Maeve. The Queen’s forces being so strengthened she made alliance with the king of Leinster and attacked Ulster, this is the cattle raid of Quelgny that brought down the house of Ulster and caused the death of Cuchulain. According to tradition after the raid on Ulster Fergus McRoy and his followers settled in Conmaicne Cuile. For many years Fergus was a lover of Queen Maeve and when the Queen died she was first buried on Knockmaa, later her remain were removed to Sligo.

300+ AD Brian Orbsen is King of Connacht, the same that gave his name to Lough Corrib, ie: Lough Orbsen or Lough Orbs

350+ AD The Ui Briuin, also known as the Muintir Murchadha, move into Magh Seola (the area between Caherlistrane and Galway) from Roscommon, driving the original inhabitants across Lough Corrib. They traced their ancestry back to Brian Orbsen, later the royal family of the clan took the surname of O’Flaherty.

441-3 AD St Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, when on his western journey from Cruacha he proceeded through Dunmore, Cill Benein (Killbannon) to Donaghpatrick, and then he turned northward and crossed the Blackriver into the territory of Cuil Toladh. The natural ford over which he passed was Shrule, the traditional crossing from Magh Seola on the south.

Prior to his crossing he had visited the chieftain of Magh Seola at his residence near Lough Cime, now Lough Hacket, he also founded a great church at Donaghpatrick where he left his disciple, Bishop Felartus, in charge. The tradition is that the church in the graveyard at Shrule has been erected on the site of an earlier church founded by St Patrick and built where he rested his staff. But the ancient abbey of Cloghvanaha, that was situated on the shore of the Blackriver and is listed as an early Christian settlement, is most likely the earliest Christian foundation.

450 AD The book of Rights and Privileges attributed to St. Beinin who died in 468 AD shows the tributes paid annually to the King of Connacht, at his residence Cruachan, by the king of the Conmhaicne: 240 mantles, 200 cows and 80 hogs. In return the king of Connacht had to pay the King of the Conmhaicne for his services, tributes and loyalty. The annual payment was 4 cloaks, 4 swords, 4 slaves, 4 women, 4 corsets, 2 mantles, and 2 pairs of tables, 10 cups and 10 horses. 

500+ AD The early church in Shrule accepted the rule of Felartus of Donaghpatrick.Later Shrule belonged to the dioceses of Cong then Annaghdown, then the archdiocese of Tuam, later to the Wardenship of Galway that became the diocese of Galway. After the visit of St. Patrick, the work of the conversion of the population and the perfection of their Christianity took place, until a time when those who wanted to perfect their religion gathered round the existing churches to receive instruction from the Holy men who lived there. So the first monasteries were established. These monasteries were very different from those existing today. There was no communal dwelling and no stone building apart from the church which also had either a thatched or flagged roof. The church was the central structure, surrounded by a cluster of simple wooden huts for the monks, where they slept, had their frugal meal and spent their time in meditation. The whole colony was often encircled by a strong high wall, usually oval in shape, which enclosed the monastery’s entire possessions, Moyne’s pre- sent graveyard is a typical example of this type of early Christian settlement. Moyne

Referred to as Maigen, Maighin = a little plain, sometime called Maigencula, Maighin of Cuil Toladh, it is most likely the place referred to in the martyrologies as “Muicin and Eodusa of Maigen.”. The present ruins belong to the early gothic about the 12th century, but is believed to be originally Irish Romanesque from the 10th century or earlier. The foundation is one of the largest of its type in Ireland. The church is 52 ft. by 21 ft, situated on a little height near the centre of a cashel (wall) 8 ft. thick, 380 ft. long by 330 ft. wide in the shape of a perfect oval still in good condition. It used to contain all the monastic buildings but there is nothing left today.

Its size reflects the importance of its founders or/and its community and it is mentioned in many documents down to the end of the 16th century. Cloghvanaha (Shrule Abbey)

The ancient foundation of that name, which was situated at the south end of Church Park in Shrule, also must have been one of these settlements and probably sprang up around the earlier Patrician foundation. Regretfully there is little mention of it in medieval accounts.

Kilmainbeg...... Situated in the townland of Morgagach, about two miles north of Shrule, it was there that St. Patrick left the two sisters of the Bishop of Donaghpatrick, “two virgins dedicated to God, the sisters of St. Felartus”, and they were called Callecha and Crocha.

The king of Connaught kept twelve officers as his entourage, they were chosen from the leading clans of his country and their role was to attend on his person, give him counsels and help him to rule and govern the land. Those positions were hereditary. The twelve clans were O’Flannagan, Mac Gerachty, O’Mulbrenin, O’Finaghty, O’Fallon, O’Flin, O’Manachain, O’Concanon, Mac Branan, O’Hanly, O’Heyn, and O’Seachnusy. The Galengs and the clan Canans were to supply the chief officers and the champions. The Conmacnians, the three Luighnis and the men of Cera were the chosen spearmen of the armies.

 550+ Hugh, son of Eochaidh Tirmcharna, conferred Annaghdown on God and St. Brendan. From then on Annaghdown, having a more central position in Magh Seola, country of the O’Flaherty, than Donaghpatrick, became more and more important as time went by, until the encroaching power of the O’Connors on the north gave further reason for the change.

580 On the island of Insequin, St Brendan built a chapel and worked divers miracles. About 580, on the same island, St Meldan was abbot of a famous abbey, he was the spiritual father of the great St Furse of Peronne in France. St Colgan also remained there for a while with St Brendan

623 Fechim de Fore founded the Cong monastery, after working in the baronies of Ballynahinch and Ross. 

630  Fechim de Fore leave Cong, the monastery there became the great religious centre of the Conmaicne Cuile Toladh. 

It is important to note that the parish boundaries as they exist today belong to a later period. Moyne later replaced by Kinlough was a parish in its own right, so was Moorgagagh on the north. From that we can conclude that our Parish was a lot smaller than now and stayed that way for a long time, until penal time. The land was much more sparsely populated than now, indeed the total number of people in what is now Shrule parish may have been as little as three or four scores and at most a few hundred. They would have gathered around the early Christian foundations like Moyne and Cloghvanaha, with smaller groups scattered around. Towns and other centres of trade were non-existent until the coming of the Norman.

Another point worth mentioning here, is that from an early time it was normal for members of the local chieftain’s family or the local leading clan to be appointed in key positions in the local churches. So leaving the church open to inner conflicts and controversies when enmities arose between two clans. 

664 The yellow plague of Connell is ravaging the land.

688 The annals of Clonmacnoise mention that in Connacht:, “A wolf was seen and heard speak with human voice.” M. James Hardiman, historian ,in 1846 wrote: ”This wonderful wolf was probably what the old Germans called a were-wolf...”

766 The battle of Shrule between the Ui Bruin and the Conmaicne,where great numbers of the Conmaicne fell, andAedDubh,son of Taichlech,was slain.Dubh Indrecht,son of Cathal,was victor. The O’Fl;aherty are known to have controlled for a while Conmaicne Cuile up to Ballinrobe. It is possible that this battle was part of their invasion.

800+ The church is estimated to have possessed 1/5 of the land and the king 1/3, another third was reserved for his relations, nobles and professional...leaving 14% for the people. In tribal time the portion of land tilled by the people was negligible, their function was to work on the lord’s estate and to be compensated in flour and other food commodities. They were also required to fight when needed. In those days to be considered a ruling noble one had to have enough land to feed 42 cows, have 7 vassals, own 12 cows and 16 sheep, 1 kiln for drying grain, 1 mill, 1 barn, a minimum of 10 tenants. That noble would then have judicial power and be allowed to command 100 men in war.

835 Tuirgeis, leader of a marauding band, overran Connacht and destroyed the town of Galway.

900+ In that century the O’Connor came to power securing the sovereignty of Connacht. The O’Dowd’s power was almost extinct, the O’Connor having practically all northern Connacht in their grip, they could have absorbed the O’Flahertys and the O’Kellys but for the opposition of outside enemies, ie: the king of Thomond (O’Brien) in the south, the kings of Briefny and Tyrconnell in the north.

927-9 The Danes of Limerick took possession of Lough Corrib and pillaged its islands. Inchiquin, Inishmicatreer and Inchagoil were among the islands pillaged, but what about, Cloghvahana and Moyne, could they have been visited by the Danes? A round tower at Kilcoona (south-east of Headford), generally built as a direct result of a threat from the Danish raids, seems to indicate that the danger was real, even more so for Moyne as it is nearer to the lake.

1049 The O’Connor royal tribe of Connacht, shared the same lineage as the O’Flahertys in Brian Orbsen, and so were called Ui Briuin Ai, from their ancestral home of Magh Ai in Roscommon. In that century they took the surname O’Connor from one of their earlier Kings. So as to curb the rise of the O’Flahertys and to keep an eye on them, they moved their royal palace to Tuam on the eastern border of Magh Seola.

1051 Hugh O’Connor, King of Connacht, defeated and blinded Amhalghaidh O’Flaherty, putting his warriors out of action for many years.

1098 Flaighheartach O’Flaherty, overcame the O’Connors, blinding their King Rory Mac Aedha in revenge. He claimed the kingship of Connacht for himself.

1099 Rory, mustering all the power he could get, dethroned and slew O’Flaherty.

1100+ Tenants still pay their rent in kind, according to the ancient mode, i.e.: barley, butter, bread, drink, flesh...

1110 By the Synod of Rathbreasail Donaghpatrick had ceased to function as a diocese and the Abbot of Cong had taken Shrule and Moyne parishes into his territory. Both the dioceses of Cong and Annaghdown were not fully recognised at that Synod, and from then on hey both had to struggle for survival.

1114 Cong abbey is burn down.

1118 Turlogh Mór O’Connor reduced the strength of the warlike O’Flahertys by ousting them out of Conmaicne Cuile. He is said to have built a strong castle in Shrule and established another residence in Cong, so as to strengthen his position in this territory.

1131 Cong is burnt once again.

1135Both Annaghdown and Cong are burned to the ground.

1137 Cong and Tuam are burned by raiding party.

1141 Annaghdown is burned once again.

1152 At the Synod of Kells, Cardinal Paparo, the Papal Legate, appoin- ted four Archbishops, including one in Tuam. The Diocese of Cong was dissolved and integrated to the Diocese of Annaghdown, this included the ancient parishes of Moyne and Cloghvanaha. The Diocese of Annaghdown was to cease to exist, and to be transferred to Tuam on the demise of it’s reigning prelate. It seems that the decision of the Prelate was influenced by Turlough Mór O’Connor, King of Connacht and High King, as Tuam was his residence, the enmity between the O’Connor and the O’Flaherty being the cause for Annaghdown losing it’s status as an independant see.

1155 Kilmaine and Tuam are burned.

1168 Rory O’Connor incensed Donnell O’Brien by dividing his inheritance. Donnell ask assistance from his father in law Dermot McMurrough.

1169 Landing of Robert FitzStephen and Maurice Prendergast in Ireland.

1170 Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, better known as Strongbow landed at Waterford, so starting a full scale invasion. After occupying Dublin, the Normans including Fitzhenry and de Barry marched toward Limerick, on the instigation of Dermot McMurrough, to help Donnell against Rory.

1170-1230 During that period, Teampall Cholmain, the great parish church of Shrule was built, 91ft. long in Gothic style, by a descendant of Torlogh Mor O’Connor, in place of the older one founded by St. Patrick. That church stayed in use, except in penal times, until the nineteenth century. It replaced Cloghvanaha Abbey as an administrative church. There is a mention of a Bishop of Shrule in the old annals but his name is not given. Some said that a Bishop of Cong might have taken residence in Shrule, so as to be more independent from the O’Connor.To the same period as Teampall Cholmain also belongs the church of Kinlough, which replaced Moyne as the parish church for the western part of the present parish. Moyne continued to function for many years.

1171 Donnell O’Brien joined Rory O’Connor in an effort to recapture Dublin from the Normans, in vain.

In October of that year William Fitzadelm de Burgo landed in Ireland for the first time. He was accompanying Henry II with Hugh de Lacy. He was the brother of Hubert de Burgh a powerful English lord. Within 2 or 3 years he acquired much land in Tipperary.

1175 The Treaty of Windsor, ratified by Rory O’Connor and Henry II, safeguarded the kingship of Connacht from attacks by the Normans.

1176 De Burgo was appointed as viceroy by Henry. Over the years the King gave William grants of extensive tracts of land in Limerick, Tipperary and Connacht.

 1177 Milo de Cogan invaded Connacht, burning and plundering in his way. However Rory O’Connor was still strong enough to inflict a crushing defeat on the invaders.

1179 Kilmaine and Tuam are burned

1188 Rory O’Connor’s son Conor Moenmoy pushed his father from the throne and formed the Irish League to fight the Normans.

1189 Conor is murdered and the leaghe dissolved. 

1189   Concors  (Cormac) Bishop of Annaghdown is present at the coronation of King Richard I.

1190 William de Burgh is in Limerick as Governor or similar capacity.

1193 William de Burgh married a daughter of Donnell O’Brien, now king of Thomond, a second daughter of that King is married to the head of the O’Kelly clan and a third to Cathal Crovderg. Cathal Crovderg, brother of Rory O’Connor, had taken power in Connacht at the death of Conor Moenmoy, but his legitimacy being in doubt he found it hard to establish himself. Cathal Carrick, son of Conor was his main opposition

1199 Rory O’Connor died in the Abbey of Cong where he had been in retirement for a few years.

1200 Cathal Carrick O’Connor and Cathal Crovdhearg were engaged in fierce battle over the kingship of the province. William de Burgo entered from Munster on the side of Carrick, Crovdhearg, overpowered, withdrew to Ulster where he received additional help from O’Donnell.

1200+ The population of Ireland was undoubtedly very small. There was 185 tribes and the king of a tribe was supposed to command 700 fighting men. This would imply an average of 5000 people per tribe or 1,000,000 for the whole country. Estimates for 1660-70 are 1,320 000, this after the rebellion of 1641. We can assume that the population for Connacht in 1200 was about 100,000.It is also estimated that one quarter of the land was under forest.

 1200 Bishop of Annaghdown is given as witness to a grant by O’Flaherty, which seems to defy the synod of Kell’s rulings that the diocese of Annaghdown be dissolved at the death of the reigning prelate. Other Bishops of Annaghdown mentioned are: 1201 Conor O’Mellaigh, 1241 M. O’Flaherty,1250 Thomas O’Mellaigh...We will continue to follow the sporadic existence of the see of Annaghdown through the years even if it seems of no great concern to us, because it leads to the creation of Galway diocese of which we are part.

1202 Crovdhearg returned to Connacht, this time with De Burgo on his side. They defeated Cathal Carrick who was killed in the conflict, so ending that war. They also plundered the church and town of Cong. De Burgo planned and practically executed that conquest of Connacht. The new king and his Norman ally then made a triumphant tour of Connacht. They stayed at O’Connor’s residence in Cong and de Burgo’s men were billeted in the dwellings of the inhabitants over a wide area. The Baron then demanded wages for the services rendered by his army, advising Cathal to have it levied from the local people. This of course made the locals very angry and, when a rumor went around that William was dead in Cong, they turned on the soldiers billeted in their homes and massacred them to a total of 900 men. William, furious, left Cong for Munster to recruit a new army. It seems that William aimed at disposing Crovdhearg and take the sovereignty for himself. This was against the treaty of Windsor and King John confiscated all of William’s properties. William got them all back but with some difficulty.

1205 William de Burgo returned to Cong from where he plundered and burned the surrounding country, among the churches plundered Cong, Kilmaine and Tuam are mentioned. Cathal Crovdhearg was going to retaliate when trouble started in Munster and William had to leave. He never came back as he died that same year. His eldest son, Richard, was only 14 years old and the de Burgh estate passed to the crown. Crovdhearg was left free to consolidate his power in Connacht. 

1224 Cathal Crovdhearg died and was replaced as King by his son Aodh.Within a short time the O’Flahertys took arms against him, which resulted in the land of Magh Seola,Shrule and as far as Kilmaine being plundered again. Aodh’s men came after O’Flaherty into that land, taking hostages and extracting guarantees. 

1227 Aodh was in Tir Chonaill when Richard Mór de Burgo appeared, marching northward by the eastern shore of the Corrib, through Shrule and to Kilmaine, plundering, burning buildings, taking hostages...That same year a famine and a great plague (a fever) also killed many of the people in our area.

1228 Aodh O’Connor died, murdered by a foreigner. On the 21st May Richard de Burgh received a royal grant of twenty five of the thirty cantred of land in Connacht, the remaining five, in Athlone and Roscommon, being left to O’Connor. Richard was also appointed Viceroy. Of course that grant still had to be made effective, which resulted in another nine years of conflict without much success for the Norman Baron.

1228 Famine in Connacht that year, and its churches and lay properties were plundered and its clerics and men of skill driven to far foreign regions, having been exposed to cold and hunger through the war of Ruaidri’s son at the time.

1230 Richard attacked O’Flaherty in his castle in Galway and drove him out to the North, O’Connor came to his aid, many Connachtmen came through Cong to reinforce them and more crossed the lake by boats, many skirmishes then took place on the east side of the Corrib, as far as Shrule and even through Mayo, the Irish, using guerrilla tactics brought the efforts of Richard to nothing.

 1232 After two years of conflict, with Felim O’Connor taken hostage, Richard had made no real progress. Richard lost the support from Hubert de Burgh who had fallen from power in England. The King of England ordered Richard to release Felim but he failed to comply. Maurice Fitzgerald was then made Viceroy at his place and ordered to take up Connacht.

1233 Richard Mór de Burgo helped King Henry in Marshall’s rebellion, and in doing so regained favour. He then came back to the west of Ireland and captured Galway from O’Flaherty, building a castle there. The power of O’Flaherty was much lowered by that action.

1235 Fedhlim son of Cathal Crovdhearg and king of Connacht, with the support of the O’Brien of Thomond, refused to acknowledge submission to the English throne. This gave Richard all the excuse he needed to take Connacht. Fedhlin decided to take with him, towards O’Domhnaill, all the cows he found in Conmaicne Mara and Conmaicne Cuile and those belonging to all that obeyed his counsel, and to leave the country wasted for the foreigners.

1236 Shortly after this Richard asked the help of Maurice Fitzgerald and a expeditionary force was set up, it included Hugh de Lacy,Walter de Ridelesfort and John Cogan, the Birminghams, the Prendergasts, the Fitzgriffins and the Botillers. Other Normans mentioned are Staunton, Roche, de Barry, Barret, Cusack, Flemming and de Exeter.The Irish taken by surprise made a last minute alliance of the O’Connors, O’Flahertys, O’Briens, O’Heynes and some minor clans and chieftains. The Normans first plundered Roscommon and Sligo, then turned southward to meet the Irish forces who were easily defeated. At that point the O’Flahertys and the O’Heynes changed side. The invasion forces then turned north once again and went to Westport via Tuam and Ballinrobe where they broke up a tribal rally. Felhim O’Connor was captured and brought to Boyle, the Irish crushed. The Normans left the countryside wasted, Connacht “without food or clothing in church or territory, without peace or quiet or prosperity.”. Parishes suffered again from war and famine this time accompanied by “great rain and bad weather”. Richard build a castle in Loughrea then left for England. 
There followed the distribution of Connaught amongst the Normans.
5 cantred were reserved to the king of Connacht, who had to pay tributes to the crown of England. 
Richard de Burgh acquired the baronies of Loughrea, Leitrim and Longford plus some large track of lands. He was also the overlord for Connaught. 
Hugh de Lacy: 5 cantred in north Mayo, which he sold or exchanged. 
Maurice Fitzgerald: The western half of Conmhaicne Cuile and the baronies of Ross and Sligo. He later purchased two baronies from de Lacy and the eastern half of Conmhaicne Cuile from Stephen Roche. 
Walter de Ridelisford: Admekin and Corofin  
John de Coghan: South Claregalway 
Prendergast: Claremorris and the eastern half of Conmhaicne Cuile. He sold that half to Roche who in turn sold it to Fitzgerald. 
Staunton got Carra, 
Bermingham got Dunmore, Botiller Burrishoole,
4 cantred went to the O’Kellys, 
the rest was divided between Joedan, Nangle, Dillon, Roche, Petit, Carew, Barrett, Fleming.
Following the invasion the native chieftains were banished and their estates went derelict, in some cases the Normans used the existing Celtic defences as in Ballisnahiney where the castle is build on top of a ring fort. 
The annals of Connacht describe that year as follow:
“ This was a year of wet and storm and war, of hunger and scarcity of food and clothing, armed band and evil doers without reverence for church or privilege, being excommunicated by the hand of bi shops; the reverent clerics of the catholic church in fear and dread every day and night; frequent routs and escaping from Gael and Gall to the churches, and churches used as dormitories, this year and for the space of twelve years ever since O’Niell’s war; Galls and Gaels plundering by turns, no lordship or government, but Connacht lying open for the Galls to ruin whenever they came into it, and it’s king and eligible princes plundering and violating church and countryside in their wake.”
The Annals of the four masters shows that the practice of keeping the harvest stored in the church ground is still common at this time, and this might be the raison for so many churches being plundered as it would have being a good source of supply for the armies.
“ William Burke left neither rick nor basket of corn in the large churchyard of Mayo or in the yard of the church of St. Michael the Archangel, and carried away eighty baskets out of the churches themselves. They afterward went to Turlagh, on which they inflicted similar calamities.

1237 There was great quarrelling between the O’Connor and other native chiefs among themselves, after Felim visited Henry, accepting the lordship of the five cantred so becoming a vassal to the King and at peace with de Burgo. In the same year, the barons of Erinn came into Connacht and started to build castles in it.

1238 Castles were build in Muintir Murchadha, Conmaicne Cuile and Cera by the Norman barons. A garrison to maintain the lord’s authority, to protect his colonists and to command his country, was housed in this castle. The territory they controlled was generally the same as the old Irish Tuath. As Prendergast got the area around Shrule but soon after sold it to Roche who in turn sold it to Fitzgerald, it is not known which of the barons started the construction of Shrule castle. The land around each castle was then arranged into estates so as to raise revenue, those estates were like small kingdom. The lord of the “manor estate” was a law into himself, having the civil, judicial and military power into his own hand.

1243 Death of Richard Mór de Burgo. He is succeeded by his son, also named Richard. Maurice Fitzgerald had the possession of Shrule at that time, and he kept a garrison there, so the construction of Shrule castle must have been finished by then.

1248 Death of Richard II de Burgo, his brother Walter replaced him. 

1250+ The Normans encouraged traders to form small corporate towns, by grants of land on burgage tenure.

1251 Concors is chosen as Bishop of Annaghdown, the election was confirmed by Rome and assented to by the King of England, causing an embarrassing situation for the Archbishop of Tuam who stepped in, seizing Annaghdown and asserted the terms of the Kells Synod which seems to have been unknown to Rome.

1257 Maurice Fitzgerald is wounded by Godfrey O’Donnell, he died a short time later, leaving his estate to be divided between his two daughters, Amabil and Juliana. Eventually the estate went to John Fitzthomas Fitzgerald, Baron of Offaly. He was an absentee landlord, subletting portion of his territory.

1263 Thomas, Bishop of Annaghdown, is recorded to have died that year.

1263 O’Donnell invaded the area held by the Normans, he took part in the plundering of Sliabh Lugha, joined Aedh in raveging Mag Seola, then went home via Ballinrobe and Tirawley, obtaining his demand from all.

1264 Walter de Burgo, having married the widow of Hugh de Lacy, became Earl of Ulster. Being occupied by his affairs in the North he left his younger brother William Og taking care of Connacht. 

1265 A conference took place in Kilmaine, between Tomaltach O’Connor the Archbishop of Tuam, and the Prendergasts, at which many of the Archbishop’s people were slain.

1270 Death of William Og, killed by O’Connor, his son William Liath, the grey, replaced him in Connacht.

1271 Death of Walter de Burgo, his son Richard III “The Red Earl” was to succeed him as soon as he came of age in 1280, in the meantime the estate of Walter passed to the crown. William Liath used the opportunity of the lordship going to the crown to take control of Connacht for himself.

1273 Rory O’Flaherty was driven across Lough Corrib by the Normans, into the hills where his ancestors had driven others before.  

1279 The Normans managed to have one of their clergy, John de Ufford, elected as Bishop of Annaghdown, so restarting the controversy.

1280 Both the Red Earl and his brother John claimed Shrule castle, although property of the Fizgerald. From then on great dissension broke out between the Burkes and the Fitzgeralds over the land conquered. The Red Earl, busy with his affairs in Ulster, decided to leave his cousin William Liath in charge of Connacht. 

1282 De Ufford is still claiming to be Bishop of Annaghdown although the Papal confirmation is not forthcoming. At that time there was no Archbishop to refute his claim as the See of Tuam was vacant. 

1286 Fullburn, the new Archbishop of Tuam and a Norman, silenced Annaghdown’s new claim and re-affirmed the union with Tuam. 

1300 The quarrel between the Fitzgerald and the de Burgo ended, the Fitzgerald agreed to surrender all their properties in Connacht to the Burkes, about 79 000 acres with a population of about 4000 people.

1303 The Dean of Annaghdown made strong accusations in Rome against the Archbishop of Tuam ,Birminngham, and pleaded successfully with the Pope for recognition of a separate Diocese. Gilbert, a Franciscan, was elected as Bishop and the Primate made the consecration. The reason for the break was that Tuam was traditionally a Gaelic country and Annaghdown was now in an area fully controlled by Normans and the union of the two influences would not be successful.

1306 Ecclesiastical taxation in the form of tithes originated from the crusades and consisted of one tenth of all incomes, forming a fund for the armies, later they were levied on the clergy only. King Edward I received from Pope Clement V a grant allowing him to made the levy in his kingdom for his own needs, for a period of seven years. The report from the Edardine Commission shows clearly the importance of Teampall Cholmain and Shrule:
Shrule is listed as a deanery.
That deanery included nineteen churches, all of which were previously part of the see of Cong. They were Shrule, Kinlough, Moyne, The Neale, Cong, Innishmaine, Ballinrobe, Killosheheen, Ki molara, Ross, Kilmainemore, Kilmainebeg, Attyrickard, Ballinchal la, Templenalecka, Moorgagach, Kilcommon, Moyrus and Omey.
Smaller institution with no taxable income were not included. The taxation imposed for a year was: 
Shrule 2 pounds
Kinlough 13s. 4d.
Moyne 1 pounds
Moorgagach 1 pounds
Cloghvanaha was mentioned as an Abbey situated in Church Park but the tax was combined with that of Teampall Cholmain.

1308 On hearing of the petition of James, the king gaoler, in his castle of Sruthir (Shrule) complaining that the prison there is coming apart, is unroofed and not well shut, so that no prisoner can be kept there without the possibility of escape, it is agreed and granted by the Justiciar and Council that the gaoler have a writ from chancery to the Sheriff of Connacht to repair the said prison.

1308 During that year William Liath entered the war in Scotland on the side of the crown, rendering great service to the King, and in so doing gaining favours from the King including practically a free hand in Connacht.

1312 Malachy MacHugh, a Franciscan and a native of Annaghdown, was made Archbishop of Tuam.He resolutely persisted in reuniting Annaghdown to Tuam against all opposition, even from Armagh. He succeeded in 1324 with the support of Pope John XXII.

1315 Earl Richard was defeated in Robert de Bruce invasion of Ireland and in the same year William Liath was taken prisoner in Scotland. Felim O’Connor profited of the Norman being weakened and attacked them, among the Norman deeds we find names like de Exeter, Cogan, Prendergast, Staunton and Barry. After this success Felim formed a confederacy of Irish chieftains and tried to capture Athenry so as to isolate Galway. Earl Richard ransomed William, raised a new army and joining forces with Birmingham utterly defeated Felim.

1320 Due to the influx of Anglo-Norman merchants, Galway grew from a cluster of fishermen huts to one of the most populous town in Ireland, but unlike their compatriots those Anglo- Normans did not assimilate the Irish culture but stayed aloof, despising the natives. This attitude permeated everything including religious life. In 1320 they erected the church of St. Nicholas for themselves, but after the union of Annaghdown to Tuam in 1324 that church was governed by a vicar appointed by the diocese and generally of Irish descent and a certain amount of friction occurred at intervals.

1324 Death of William Liath.

1326 Death of the Red Earl, succeeded by his grandson William

1328 Walter, son of William Liath, decided to become sole Governor of Connacht.

1332 Walter fought against the Earl, Walter defeated and taken prisoner, was starved to death by William “the Brown Earl” in Ulster. His brother Edmund Albanach succeeded him but not as joint Governor of Connacht.

 1333 That year William de Burgo, "the brown Earl”, was murdered by his own people, on his way to mass, near Knockfergus. The murder of Walter brought the separation between the Ulster and Connacht Burkes, the latter proclaiming their independence and, in the hope of winning the Irish to their side, adopted Irish laws, customs and language, adopting the name McWilliam. Of the sons of William Liath, two became more prominent, the first one Ulick, who set up his castle at Annaghkeen in Headford parish, his descendants remained mainly in Galway. They were known as the Upper McWilliams, later the Earls of Clanricard sprang from that line. The second son Edmund, whose descendants settled north of the Blackriver and were known as Lower McWilliams.

1338 Edmund, the Earl of Ulster’s son, came to this area presumably to state his claim on Connacht, he was taken by Edmund McWilliam, a stone tied to his neck, and drowned in Lough Mask, so completing the break with the Ulster Burkes. After this the Mayo Burkes adopted Irish laws, custom and language, they issued a warning that they would not tolerate further interference from outsiders or foreigners.

1348 MacHugh, Archbishop of Tuam, laid the foundation for the friary of Ross, when the terrible plague of the black death was rampant in these parts. 

1351 The Franciscan Friar take up residence in Ross Abbey, they received vast grant of land for their upkeep, including Rostaff, in our parish, where they stored their corn.

1375 Death of Edmund Burke. His son Thomas became second McWilliam.

1381 A war now broke out betweem the Sligo and the Mayo chieftains, this seems to have originated from a quarrel among the O’Connors over the kingship of Connacht. Donnell O’Connor of Sligo, O’Dowda and O’Hara burnt Macwilliam’s country up to Carnglas and Belantondaight (?), and from Ballinrobe to Shrule and Killeenbrenin.

1393 Annaghdown is separated again from Tuam and the name of five Bishops came down to us: Henry Tarleton, James Britt, James Conery, John ?, Thomas Barret.

1401 Death of Thomas McWilliam. At this time it is certain that the castles and lands of Shrule, Moyne, Ballycurran, Ballisnahiney and Mocorha were in his possession and were divided among his five sons, three of them very important for our parish Walter 3rd McWilliam, from him came the Shrule line of Burke. Edmund II, 4rd. McWilliam, his line resided in Kinlough until the end of the 16th century. Thomas Og, 5th McWilliam, is said to have built the castle in Moyne. 

1430-1433 Upper McWilliam invaded Conmaicne Cuile, this seemed to have been an episode in the O’Connor Donn and Roe war. 

1433 A great famine ravage the land.

1465 Exceeding great frost and snow and stormy weather that year, so that no herb grew on the ground and no leaf budded on a tree until the feast of St. Brendan At this stage the Lower McWilliams had achieved absolute power in our area, so much so that he considered himself independent from the Crown. He was Catholic and founded churches and monasteries with many Burkes becoming churchmen some of whom won distinction. He adopted Irish customs, laws, language and our system of succession to chieftaincy. The Norman intermarried with the Irish, in all things he became Irish but one: He was a feudal lord, owning all the land, everyone else being tenants, contrary to the Brehon laws that guaranteed to everybody a God given right to possess some land from which no rent could be raised. This marked the Norman Lord as a foreigner, no matter how hard he tried to be Irish.

1484 After much friction,the haughty inhabitants of Galway appealed to Archbishop Donatus O’Murray to release them from his jurisdiction and to establish what is now known as the Wardenship of Galway, which was accepted in 1484, for the best spiritual welfare of all concerned, the church of St Nicholas being made a Collegiate Church. The inhabitants then sent a petition to Rome, Pope Innocent VIII confirming the Archbishop ‘s action. The church was to be governed by a Warden and eight vicars, those vicars being elected for life by the town mayor and equals, the warden being deputed annually by the vicars. The Wardenship was to be fully independent except for the administration of the sacrament of confirmation, Holy orders, and other consecrations, Though originally consisting of only two parishes, the wardenship would rapidly bring an end to the See of Annaghdown. 1486 A. Joyce, a native of Galway and member of one of the twelve tribes, was made Archbishop of Tuam and commanded all the following annexations to the Wardenship. 

1487 Oranmore and Ballinacourty were united to the collegiate church. 

1488 Rahoon was annexed, soon after followed by Moycullen

1491 The vicarage of the parish of Skryne was united to the Gal- way institution, leaving the ancient and controversial diocese no hope of ever being revived.

1501 The Archbishop of Tuam, Dr. Joyce, on the 17 Aug., united the vicarages of Kinlough and Shrule to the Wardenship of Galway. There is no visible reason for this unification other than the Archbishop’s personal interest, being a native of Galway, in the growth of the Wardenship.There was objections to the annexation, appeals were made in 1514 and 1516 without success. However later two of the diocesan clergy, Meyler and Thomas Mc.Shonyn, having laid claim “to those living there”, obtained letters from Rome allowing their claim, under which they received all the fruits, rents and profits of the vicarages. The Warden and Vicars charged them with having obtained those letters fraudulently, having concealed the fact of the union to Rome. In January 1526, the then Archbishop Thomas Mulally having been consulted, by a decree annulled the adverse claims and confirmed the previous union.

1536 The Dublin parliament passed the Act of Supremacy declaring Henry VIII to be supreme head of the Church in Ireland...The Oath of allegiance was made compulsory for all those who held state positions, and all the country’s monasteries and convents were suppressed. In those days Dr. O’Mullally, archbishop of Tuam, died and Henry quickly appointed Dr. Christopher Bodkin as his replacement. The Pope at first agreed with the choice, but because of the final break from Rome, Papal sanction were never sent. 

1537 The major and Aldermen of Galway took the oath of allegiance, more because of fear than belief. The Warden and Vicars retained their faith.

1538 The Pope appointed Dr. O’Frighil as Archbishop, but he never came to Tuam, leaving Bodkin in sole command of the archdiocese.  

1540+ Henry VIII guaranteed to all Irish or Norman chiefs, who surrendered all their land and property to the Crown and submitted to it’s authority, a regrant of their possessions and a title corresponding to their status, so as to legalise their right to their property. Of cause this led to their subjection to the English Crown. One of the first Normans to accept the offer was the Upper McWilliam, who received the title of Earl of Clanricarde and lands of Galway up to the Blackriver. The Lower McWilliam of Mayo refused to bow the knee, the new Earl soon cast covetous glances on their territory. 

1542 At a provincial Synod in Galway the archbishop confirmed to the Collegiate Church all its benefits including Shrule and Kinlough. 

1547 Death of Henry VIII, life continued unaltered in the Shrule area and contrary to the law, monasteries and religious houses were still active, ie: Ross abbey, Killeenbrenan and Kilnamanagh. The “mayor, bailiffs, co-burgesses and commonalty” of the city of Galway petitioned Edward VI, requesting him to confirm the status of the Collegiate church but with him as supreme head instead of the “Bishop of Rome.”, obviously wanting to guarantee their pos- sessions but when they listed them they omitted to mention Shrule and Kinlough though they listed the now deserted rectories and vicarages of Rahoon, Moycullen, Foranmore and Roscam.

1551 In response to the citizen’s request a Charter of the King dated 29th. April 1551, was issued, whereby the collegiate church was seized by the king and the Catholic Warden and vicars were dispossessed. The Wardenship was re-established with the king as the head and was to be known as the Royal College. The rules and the possessions of the college were guaranteed.

1555 During the short reign of Queen Mary the position of Bishop Bodkin was put under scrutiny, Cardinal Pole headed the inquiry held in London, The result must have been favourable to the Bishop as he remained in charge of the diocese. Tuam is reported to have five suffragan sees: Clonfert, Elphin, Killala, Kilmacduagh and Achorny, Annaghdown diocese had by now officially disappeared.

1558 Richard III succeded David as McWilliam of Mayo. 

1558-9 When Queen Elizabeth succeeded to the throne Bishop Bodkin was still in favour with the crown, he decided to undertake a visitation of the archdiocese to ascertain the state of the church. The resulting document shows: 
Dermot O’Ruain as vicar of Shrule
John O’Dorcay as vicar of Kinlough
That the profits of both vicarages were usurped by William son of John de Burgo That Shrule and Kinlough vicarages belonged to Cong monastery.The church in Moyne is also mentioned. The return of the catholic parishes of Kinlough and Shrule under Cong must have happened when the Wardenship was dissolved, Bodkin being acting Bishop for both Catholic and Reformed churches would have sanctioned the move and the Royal College having enough problems with the Catholics of Galway was not too bothered with Shrule or Kinlough. The usurpation of profits mentioned came from the action taken by the Catholic clergy in anticipation of the church land and property being confiscated by the state. They tried to turn it into private property, in some cases leasing or granting the land to their friends or benefactors, in other instances claiming that the property had been donated to them personally and not to the church, hoping to return it to the church when the danger had passed.

 1566 MacWilliam claimed Moyne as his hereditary rights and in his territory. Although his father had sold it to Lord Clanricarde. The claim was that under the feudal system the land and castle could not be sold without the consent of the feudal lord or without royal sanction. It was ordered that the castle be surrendered to the Lord Deputy, Lord Sydney, pending trial. The Earl won this dispute but another arose between him and Walter FitzJohn about the same castle, which took until 1571 to settle. In 1585 the Earl was confirmed as owner of Moyne castle, this was the first Mayo castle to be won by Upper McWilliam of Galway. 

1569 (Text left as in original document) Where a complaint hath bene made unto us by the Warden and Collegistts of St. Nycholas churche of Galway,that John Boorke, nowe Cheryfe of Connaght,and Walter and William Boorke FitzMeyller,wrongfullt dispossessed them of the profitts and fruicts of the vicaradges of Srowher,Skryne in Tome,and Kenlagh....Shall hensfourthe in no wyse interupte or moleste the pls;of or in their quiet and peaceable possession and enjoying the vicarrodgs of Srowher.....
Archbishop office. Tuam. William and Walter Burke were William of Shrule and his brother. Catholic Shrule is again forced to pay dues to the reformed Collegiate Church.

1568 Queen Elizabeth prohibits the public celebration of mass.

1569 On a visit to Galway, the Lord Deputy, Sir Henry Sydney, appointed Sir Edward Fitton as first President of Connaught. He was a cruel and tyrannical man, devoted to the crown he wanted above all to confiscate Connaught for the Queen. 

1570 The Pope excommunicates the Queen. 

1570 The Battle of Shrule Lord Thomond’s rebellion in Feb. 1570 forced Lord Fitton to retire into Galway and ask for help and he remained there for some time. The Lower Burkes rose also to rebellion, but did not submit when Lord Thomond was defeated. Fitton marched against them in June and began by laying the siege of Shrule castle. With him were Lord Clanricarde, about 500 Gallowglass of Clan Donnell of Leinster, of Clan Sweeny and of Clan Dowell , some artillery, three hundred cavalry, and some English foot bands. Feragh McDonnell of the Clooneen and Richart Barret of Kirennan were with him. The latter probably joined him more from hate of the Tirawley Burkes than from love of the Queen and her government. McWilliam assembled his forces,in which were the sons of Oliverus. Sleigh Meyler Bourke, the Clan Donnell (minus Feragh) and the O’Flahertys. McWilliam’s brother, Walter Cluas le Doinin, was the principal commander of the Burkes. On the 21st June the Burkes occupied a hill near the English camp and formed themselves into a compact body for the assault, having dismounted their cavalry. Fitton drew up his men with the Gallowglass into one body, keeping his cavalry in reserve. The charge of the Burkes was received with a volley of shot which did not stop them although many fell. In the close fighting that followed Sir Fitton and Captain Bassenet were unhorsed and wounded. Patrick Cusack and Calvagh McDonnell constable of the Queen’s Gallowglasses, and others were slain. The Burkes were being driven back by the English companies, when the Gallowglass, except for one hundred of Clan Sweeny, broke and fled, pursued by all the Burke’s men. Fitton’s cavalry and some infantry then fell on their rear, causing many casualties. This went on for about two miles until the Burke commanders stopped the pursuit, regrouped their men and faced the English, who in turn stopped their attack and to everyone’s surprise drew off their forces. The Burkes having loss 300 men, including Walter Burke, Randall son of McDonnell and two sons of John Erenagh, also O’Kelly of Donamona, returned home. Fitton, loosing 12 Englishmen and 40 Irish, could not pursue them into their country for want of powder. Back at the Shrule castle they put the garrison to the sword. They left the next day leaving ten horsemen under the command of Alexander, a Gallowglass, as guard. Soon Lord Clanricarde undertook the guard of the castle at his own expense. By the rule of war in those days, the victor had to hold the battle-field over night to ensure there would be no dispute on the outcome of the battle. Had the Burkes stayed they might have been able to claim full victory. Although they lost the battle, some say on a technical point ,the Burkes effectively kept Lord Fitton out of their country. Lord Fitton later claimed boastfully to have won the castle of Shrule for the Queen. Shortly after McWilliam Submitted and made peace.

8th Feb. 1571 John, known as Shane McOliverus, was made McWilliam. It was reported that he was engaging Scots and other troops which was a natural course of action to maintain his new position. He also issued a rebuke to some of his clansmen for paying rent to Clanricarde.

9th March 1571 Lord Fitton wrote that they” had indicted all the gentlemen of Eighter Connaught and hoped to have half Connaught at the Queen disposal by Easter.”

May 1571 The Lower Burkes agreed to pay 200 marks yearly as a fine for their rebellion of 1570.

Summer 1571 Lord Fitton was occupied in Roscommon, McWilliam and his people keep the peace. 

End of September 1571 The sons of McWilliam invade Galway, with a small troop, but were hunted out of it by the sheriff who pursued them to a ford beyond Shrule and killed five or six scores of them. This ford might be the one between Wakefield and Cloonbanaan, where local tradition said a battle took place there at about that time, with many being killed.

End of October 1571 Lord Fitton went into McWilliam’s country for five days. He had his own band, captain Collier’s band of foot soldiers and Malbie’s horses. He was accompanied by Lords Clanricarde and Thomond and others. They laid the country waste over an extent of 16 miles long and as many or more wide, destroying about 500 pounds worth of corn. They took nineteen towns and castles. 

1572 Death of Archbishop Bodkin who had succeeded so well in slowing down the tide of tyranny that, at that time, the reformation still had not touched the spiritual life of the people of Shrule parish. William Lally was appointed as Archbishop by the Queen, Rome decided to give him a chance to show his hand and waited. 

1574 Around that date the McSheoinin, descendant of John Mac William a younger brother of William Liath, were in possession of Moyne castle for a few years.

1574 The division of Connacht. This document shows Shrule and Kinlough given as rectories and vicarages, Moyne as a prebent, on the North Killinbrenan as a rectory and vicarage, South-East “Thabbay of Kilnamanagh” is mentioned and farther west in Killursa parish “Rosriell by the grey freers” (Ross Abbey).

1575 The Lord Deputy, Sir Sydney, visited Galway to assess the situation regarding the recent rising by Lord Clanricard’s sons. He then left the city on the 21st of September, and marched to Castlebar, which was besieged by a force he had send in advance.

1575 During the Lord Deputy’s visit to Galway, John son of Oliverus, the present MacWilliam and resident of Kinlough, went to visit Lord Sydney in the hope of securing protection against any further incursions into his territory by Lord Fitton. McWillam agreed to submit to the Queen by oath taken in the presence of the Deputy, to pay 250 mark a year to the treasury as a rent for his country, also to provide at his expense companies of fighting men when required. He further consented that the McDonnell, his tenants, should in future hold their land from the Queen. The Lord Deputy appointed an English Sheriff over McWilliam’s country, and, on the agreement being ratified, knighted McWilliam who then received the usual ceremonial presents. 

1578 William Burke of Shrule was elected Seneschal of Kilmaine at a meeting of clansmen. 

1579 Fitton was the subject of complaints by both Irish and Normans because of the atrocities he committed in the west. The Lord Deputy choose to ignore them, but at last in that year, it became evident to Dublin Castle that Fitton would continue to cause trouble and perhaps create anarchy in that area and he was unceremoniously removed from office. A much more considerate and human successor was appointed, and it seemed that our area would have some peace.

1579 The Earl of Desmond sought to raise up trouble in Connacht and he and Dr. Sandars wrote to McWilliam, to Lord Clanricard’s sons, to Richard an Iarain (next in autority to McWilliam),to the Clan Donnells and McSwynes, urging them to join them in rebellion for the sake of church and country. None would join but Richard. 158 years after the death of Archbishop Bodkin Rome appointed a Galwayman, Dr. Nicholas Skerret, to replace him. He was arrested but his family had him released on the pretence that he was a teacher and was going to open a school in Galway. A short time later he moved to Tuam, but with enemies all around him he had to leave. He was arrested again and put in jail in Athlone, where he suffered harsh treatment, he was released because of the intervention of secret influence, but with his health greatly impaired, he left for the continent, where he died in Lisbon in 1683 at the age of 37.

1580 Malbie having returned from Munster, arranged with O’Connor Sligo and O’Rourke to join forces in Athlone and go after Richard an Iarain. On the 6th February they moved on to Athenry, whence they sent the captains of their forces to take Richard’s plunder. Then they went to Shrule where they met the Archbishop of Tuam and Lord Athenry on the 11th. The next day they left together for Liskillen... Eventually Richard “not being able to keep the field nor make any other resistance,abandonned the country and fled.”

1584 Queen Elizabeth having received information that the friary of Ross was still in occupation, thanks to the protection of Lord Clanricarde, she granted the monastery to an Englishman (name unknown) who forthwith expelled the friars and plundered its library, books and other valuables. The Franciscans were sheltered in the humble homes of the people of Shrule and Headford, for a period of two years. 

1584 Sir John Perrot, Lord Deputy of Ireland, visited the town of Galway. This “able and excellent man, who was renowned for valor and justice”, and noted especially for a “humane and equitable attention to the ancient native”, soon after his arrival divided Connaught into five counties, Galway, Sligo, Mayo, Roscomon and Leitrim ,and appointed a sheriff in each of them. He also appointed Lord Richard Bingham as president of the province.

1585 The catholic clergy is banished from the realm by the Queen, also it is declared a felony to harbour a priest under penalty of death.

1585 Ferragh McDonnell of the Clooneen, in respect of his service done to her Majesty’s side at the meeting (battle) of Shrule, received that castle and four quarters of his land free. It seems that he sold the property to Lord Clanricarde soon after. The McDonnells were Gallowglasses, mercenaries descendant from Alastair Oge Mac Donnell of Scotland, some of whom were engaged by the Burkes and given castles for accommodation, the castle of Mochora being one of them. They were tenants of the Burkes but also held land as buannacht fees for military services. Richard Barrett of Kyherrenan, for the same reasons, received two quarters of land in the said town of Kyherrenan free. William Burke of Shrule was given the town and castle of Cloghan in the barony of Kilmaine and eight quarters of land free and a further eighteen quarters subject to composition, in recognition for his submission to the Queen. 

1585 The ancient district of the Conmaicne Cuile Toladh was created the barony of Kilmaine.

1585 The Earl of Clanricarde is now fully in possession of the castle of Moyne.

1586 Ulick, third Earl of Clanricarde, purchased the “Englishman”’s interest in Ross Abbey and immediately reinstated the friars.

1590 From about that date the Catholics of Galway reformed the Wardenship, they assembled in private to elect their Mayor, bailiffs, Sheriff, ... who in turn elected the vicars, they in turn chose the warden, who made the clerical appointments to the various parishes, so Galway, including Shrule, had both a Catholic and a Protestant Wardenship.  

1591 A document of that date shows the rectory and the vicarage of Shrule belonging to the Royal College of Galway, the rectory of Kinlough to the Queen, the vicarage of Kinlough to the College and the church of Moyne to a John Lynch. The same document shows all the priests around Shrule to be of Irish descent and, according to Knox, most likely Roman Catholic. It seems that once the Royal College collected the profits of the vicarage of Shrule they were happy enough to leave the people of that area to their own practices.


1594-5 Hugh O’Donnell toured McWilliam’s country, enlisting support for the war in which he was engaged, in alliance with the mighty Hugh O’Neill, against the Queen.

1595 After the death of a ruling McWilliam, a great confederation of the Mayo Burkes was held, where all eligible candidates attended, and at which a new leader would be chosen by popular acclaim. Rath Easa Caorach, north of Kilmaine, was where they met. That year Hugh O’Donnell was to perform the inauguration ceremony. He was late arriving and while waiting the Burkes held council and elected William of Cloghan for the leadership. As O’Donnell still had not arrived, many decided to go home including most of William supporters. When O’Donnell arrived, he was infuriated that proceedings were conducted in his absence and he declared them null, appointing two leaders instead, Theobald Burke and William Coach.

1596 The decision of O’Donnell was not popular among the Mayo Burkes and certain rumblings of discontent were felt by Dublin. Fearing a new outbreak of violence at a highly inopportune moment, the Lord Deputy sent a commission to our area to treat for peace. It was led by Lord Clanricarde but he had to retire for want of supply for his troops.

June 1596 A second commission for peace was sent at the Queen’s orders. It was led by the Lord General Sir John Norris and Sir G. Fenton, who were accompanied by a very large force. They were in Athlone on the 6th, then moved on to Boyle, finding no rebels there they went on to Moyne and Kinlough. The troops were billeted in the neighbourhood, the monastery of Ross was hastily evacuated by the friars and a company of soldiers found ample accommodation within it’s sacred walls. At the same time O’Donnell made camp on the North bank of the Robe. A battle would probably have taken place if not for a stroke of luck for Shrule area. The Lord Deputy, in Dublin, was planning an invasion of Ulster and required all available troops, so he ordered the return of the commissioners who left immediately with all their men.

1605 The Cordara lands, part of the patrimony of the Friary of Ross, were granted by the Crown to a John Kinge of Dublin.

11 August 1607 On that date an inquest made before the Master of the Rolls,Sir Anthony Sentle and the Second Justice of the Common Pleas, Peter Palmer, defined the County borders for Galway, as they stand today. “...and now returninge where we left, we followed the saide meare from the river of Conge into Lough Corb, including Inchevicketr yer and from thence to Carra-Inriddery there that goeth out of the lough,on the east side, into the river Owen-Dafferush (Black-river), and so on to Moyne, and from thence agaynste the streame to Srower,then to Clowne-Sheana....” The stream mentioned here between Moyne and Shrule does not exist anymore, during the drainage scheme in the sixties the river was straitened and that stream dried up, leaving the townlands of Cullagh, Anlacka and Cloonbanan seperated from the rest of the parish by the river. 

4 April 1609 Richard, Earl of Clanricarde, purchased the castle of Mocorha.  1609 James I granted to John Kinge and to John Bingley: “One moiety of the tithes great and small of the rectories, churches, chapels or parishes of Kilmainemore, Shrule, Kinlough, Kilnebrenin, Kilmainebeg.” “The church, chapel or rectory, tithes, ..., of Templecolman in the town of Shrule. A small parcel of land called Ramelin in Shrule.” So the Royal College of Galway losted the control of Shrule and Kinlough parishes and only the catholic Wardenship, then an underground institution, was looking after the spiritual welfare of those two parishes.

 1610 About that time Richard, Earl of Clanricarde, leased some land  south of the river to Pierce Lynch of Galway, and it was there in Shrulegrove that he built his “castle”. That same year we find John Burke, son of William, in occupation of the old Shrule castle. 

1612 The friars of Ross were reported to the then Lord Deputy, Chichester, who ordered William Daniel, Protestant Archbishop of Tuam, to arrest the community, six priests and two lay brothers, and to destroy the altars. The learned Archbishop sent word to Ross of his coming and advised them not to be there. On his arrival the friars were in Kilroe, part of the Wardenship and outside the Archbishop’s jurisdiction. The friars remained there for fourteen year dependant on the generosity of their neighbours.

1626 The Friar re-occupied Ross, on the promise of grace to Catholics from the crown.

1628 Walter Burke, son of John and grand son of McWilliam of Shrule, mortgaged the castle of Kinlough to Sir Valentine Blake of Menlo, thus marking the end of the Mayo Burke in our parish. Ballycurran in the possession of Edmund Burke of Cong in 1585, later had been granted to Earl Clanricarde and the same seems to have happened with Ballisnahiney castle, let by the Earl to a Mac Sheoinin. 

1635 The Lord Deputy Strafford surveyed the province of Connacht. Juries were set up to establish the King’s right to the land, and instructed to find in favour of the King which they did from fear. The Galway jury went against the Crown, they were jailed and replaced by another one .The Mayo jury, sitting in Ballinrobe in July of 1635, had no problem finding in favour of the King’s claim. After this legal farce Protestant planters were introduced in North Mayo and other places, Shrule seems to have escaped this plantation possibly because it already officially belonged to Protestants ie; Lord Clanricarde, J. Kinge and J. Bingley. Soon after that the Catholics of north Mayo, having lost half and in some cases three quarters of their land, took violent actions. The English sent troops to The area to stop the rebellion spread ing to Galway, the soldiers were billeted all over the barony of Kilmaine, causing great hardship to the population who had to lodge and feed them for free.

1641 Edmund Bourke is found to be in residence in Shrule Castle, he was not of the same lineage as the McWilliams. He probably subleased the place from Pierce Lynch and he was said to have been dispossessed of his properties in North Mayo.

1642 The massacre of Shruel (Shrule bridge) When the great insurrection, or civil war, broke out in October 1641,the English Protestant settlers of North Mayo fled for safety to the castles of some of the principal men in the county. Among these refugees was Dr. John Maxwell, the Protestant Bishop of Killala since 1640. He, his wife and three children, and some servants, first fled from Killala to Sir Henry Bingham’s castle at Castlebar, but that castle was surrendered by Sir Bingham to Myles Burke, 2nd. Lord Viscount Mayo, who had joined the insurgent Irish. Lord Mayo brought the English refugees to his own castle in Belcarra,where he supported and protected them for some time. He then made arrangements to escort them to Shrule and there deliver them over to another escort from County Galway.Accordingly ,on the 9th of february 1642, he, his eldest son Sir Theobald Burke with 5 companies of soldiers, escorted the refugees numbering about 100 persons, toward Shrule which they reached on the evening of the 12th. Lord Mayo had the refugees well taken care of that night. The next day, Lord Mayo send home four companies of the soldiers and gave over the custody of the refugees to the remaining company of soldiers commanded by one Edmund Burke, brother of Walter Burke of Cloghan in Kilmaine, with orders to escort them into the county of Galway to Kilnemannagh where the Galway escort was to meet them. Lord Mayo directed his son to accompany the escort, and provided Dr. Maxwell and his family with horses. Then he left with  two or three men for Cong to shelter from the weather. He was scarcely out of sight when Edmund Burke and the escort fell upon the refugees. Dr. Maxwell and his wife were stripped naked and the Bishop was wounded by a blow to the Head. Lord Mayo’s son did the best he could to prevent the massacre but the soldiers threatened him, and would have killed him if not for one John Garvey of Lehinch, brother in law of Edmund Burke the captain of the escort, who took him forcibly in his arm, carried him over the bridge and put him on a horse making him ride away. The killing went on for three hours, until Ulick Burke of Castlehacket and the friars of Ross abbey arrived with help to rescue the survivors, about 40 of them, Dr. Maxwell and his family stayed at Castlehacket and were seen by a doctor, while the others were lodged in houses around Headford and cared for by the Friars. Lord Clanricarde, sent a strong escort to convey the Bishop and his family to Galway and later on they were taken by boat to Dublin.

19 Feb. 1642 A letter from the Earl of Clanricarde.
“I received yesterday a large relation of inhuman and barbarous massacre of the poor English, from Pierce Lynch, my tenant in Shruell, who was an eye witness of that cruelty being done upon and on each side of the bridge before the castle; the number of English: one hundred,he affirmed it was done by those in the county of Mayo and who, being before with my Lord of Mayo, would fain have lodged within my castle.....”. He also relates that the Bishop of Killala, his wife and some of his company were preserved by Ulick Burke, of Castlehacket,who sent carriages to convey them to the castle, being sick and almost starved and some others were kept alive in other places thereabouts. If any in this county had a hand in that work, I shall hazard much to give them their due punishment.

 1642+ After the wars of 1641 the ravage caused by the wolves were so great throughout Ireland that they attracted the attention of the state. Wolf hunters were appointed in various districts, including Mayo, who helped to rid the country of these ferocious animals. The last one known to be killed here was in the mountain of Joyce country in the year 1700.

 1642 Galway had been peaceful and prosperous for many years but with rebellion all round them the inhabitants of the city started to reinforce their defences. The “official” Major declared that they would defend his majesty to the utmost of their power. On the other hand the catholic Major and corporation, backed by the catholic Warden and vicars, emerged from the shadows and vowed: “to uphold, maintain and defend, to the utmost of their power, the Roman Catholic religion; and that they would not willingly do, or suffer to be done, any harm or prejudice to any Roman Catholic that shall join in this union”. They also declared “that their sovereign Lord King Charles to be the lawful sovereign, Lord and King of this Kingdom”. So the two parties had a common bond of loyalty to the crown and the main stumbling block was their faith, specially the Oath of Supremacy. Shortly afterwards the people, whose fathers a century earlier had passed a by-law “that neither O’ ne Mac shall srutte ne swaggere thro’ the streets of Gallway”, made an alliance with Murchadh O’Flaherty, who was at the head of a considerable force of Irish insurgents, and invited him to come to the assistance of the Catholics of the city. They also appealed to the Catholics of Mayo, both Irish and Anglo-Irish to come to their aid, in defense of their faith.

Oct. 1642The General Assembly of Catholic of Kilkenny appointed a Supreme council with six members for Connacht: Dr. Malachy O’Queely, Archbishop of Tuam, Dr. John de Burgo, Bishop of Clonfert, Lord Mayo, the same that was in charge of the convoy to Shrule earlier that year, Patrick Darcy, ancestor of the Darcys of Ballybacagh, Houndwood and Gurteen, Sir Lucas Dillon and Geoffrey Browne. Lieutenant-General John Burke was given supreme command of the Catholic armies in Connacht. 

1643 Marching through Shrule with his Mayo forces and adding to his numbers on the way, John Burke arrived at Galway where the Protestants under Captain Willoughby, besieged by land and sea, were soon forced to surrender. Willoughby and his men were ordered to leave the city by boat in June. Shrule parish shared in the rejoicing at the deliverance of the Catholic Wardenship from it’s shadowy existence. The Warden was Dr. Walter Lynch, for the country parishes four priests are mentioned, Frs.William Gormuilly, Thomas Lany, James Sheoy and Teige Davilly but we do not know which one was in Shrule. Dr, O’Queely, Archbishop, took back the possession of Tuam cathedral. To mark the celebration he presented a beautiful gold chalice to the Franciscan of Ross, now back in full strength and freely serving the area around the abbey and Kilroe.

1645 A confederate force, after capturing Sligo, was defeated in a surprise return attack from the parliamentarians and Dr. O’Queely was captured on the shore of Lough Gill and put to death. Sir Charles Coote, in command of the protestant that day, was made president of Connacht as a reward. Dr. Maxwell was appointed Archbishop of Tuam, he died in 1647 The Papal Nuncio, Rinuccini, arrived in Kilkenny the same year, he favoured the Irish and so incurred the opposition of the Anglo- Irish. In great displeasure he left for Galway were he found some small support for his views. While the Nuncio was in Galway a proposal was made to appoint a native of Flanders as Abbot of Shrule, but as Rinuccini soon left the idea was abandoned.

1652 For nine months Galway held against Cromwell’s forces, the last bastion of the confederacy to be holding, but want of provisions and approaching famine forced them to surrender. The old corporation was dismissed and replaced by English protestants, Major and Officials. 

1652 That year Theobald Burke, who had been made 3rd. Viscount Mayo on the death of his father Myles in 1649, was taken prisoner by the cromwellian soldiers for his innaction on the day of the massacre at Shrule bridge. He was executed in Galway in January 1653 for his alleged complicity. It is reported that the soldiers appointed to kill him missed three times, “but at last a corporal, blind of one eye, hit him”. No one else was ever charged.

 1653-1679 There was a shortage of coin in Ireland during that period and merchants were given licenses to mint tokens. Patrick Lynch of Shrule obtained one of this licenses and made a coin showing his name on one side and Shrewell marked on the other side.

12 May 1653 “Declaration touching the poor Upon serious consideration had of the great multitudes of the poor, swarming in all part of this nation, occasioned by the devastations of the country, and the habit of licentiousness and idleness which the generality of the people have acquired in the time of this rebellion, insomuch, that frequently some are found feeding on carrions and weeds, some starved in the highways, and many times poor children, who lost their parents, or deserted by them, are found exposed to, some of them fed upon by, ravening wolves and other beasts and birds of prey.....that subscriptions shall be taken....for the relief of poor children...” Dublin Ch. Fleetwood J. Jones Ed. Ludlow Miles Corbet  

29 June 1653 Because of the increase in the quantity of wolves found in most part of the country, the Dublin government ordered the persons in charge in all districts to use any ways and means at their disposition to destroy them. Also payment per head of wolves killed was to be increased to: 
a bitch 6 pounds
a dog 5 pounds
a cubb that could kill a prey 40 shillings
a suckling 10 shillings. 

1 July 1653 “Order touching poor vagrant Upon consideration had of the multitude of persons, especially women and children, wandering up and down the country, that daily perish in ditches, and are starved for want of relief. It is thought fit that such women that have able bodies to work, and such children of about 12 years, whose husband or parents are dead or gone beyond the sea, or who have no friends to maintain them, or means of their own to preserve them from starving, may be taken by the overseers of the poor, and to prevent the said persons from starving, the overseers are hereby authorised to treat with merchants for the transporting of said persons into English plantations in America. Dublin 1 July 1653

1655 Armed troops rounded up to one thousand people, in and around Galway, on an alleged charge of vagrancy and had them transported as slaves.

1655 The new Governor, Colonel Peter Stubbers, appointed previously as Major of Galway passed an order that: “all the Irish and other popish inhabitants should be forthwith removed out of the town in order that accommodation should be provided for such English Protestants, whose integrity to the state would entitle them to be trusted in a place of such importance”. This and other orders started a mass exodus, bringing more catholic background’s to Shrule parish, the Burkes of Castlehacket were expelled to Ower, their estate given to a Cromwellian who sold it to the Kirwan, another Kirwan of the same family moved to Dalgan park, the Blakes and the Frenches moved to Moyne and Toorard, the Joyces to Kinlough, the Darcys to Ballybocagh, Gurteen and Houndswood, the catholic Pierce Lynch was removed to Ballycurran from Shrulegrove and replaced there by the protestant Ormsby and Edmund Skerret was replaced in Headford by the Cromwellian St. George. Most of those properties in Shrule parish belonged to Lord Clanricarde who was dispossessed at the same time by the Cromwellian commissioners.

1655 To hell or to Connaught. Order for transplanting To his highness Lord Protector, his council for the affair of Ireland. Baronies in the province of Connaught, and the county of Clare, appointed to receive the inhabitants of certain counties in the other three provinces; so that the transplanted persons may receive suitable lands, as near as may be, in quantity and quality to the places from whence they are removed. ......... The inhabitants of the counties of Downe and Antrim, to be transplanted into the Barronys of Clanmorris,Carew (Carra) and Kilmaine, in the county of Mayo.

Dublin 12 Feb. 1655 This order was the reason for the second large settlement of people from Ulster in our parish. 

1656 The Catholic clergy in Galway having been reduced to next to nothing, the Cromwellians then turned their attention on the surrounding country. In August it was the turn of Ross Abbey to be marked for destruction, a rider, having travelled all night from the city, warned the Friars and the 141 holy men made a hasty departure only a few hours before the coming of Stubbers and his troops. The soldiers enraged that their intended victims had escaped, searched the Abbey for loot but found none. Thinking that treasures may have been hidden in the tombs they opened them, dragged the coffin out and smashed them, leaving the remains in a heap. They also broke the crosses, destroyed the pictures and dismantled the altars. Tradition says that from the tower of Ross they saw the church of Kilroe, so they went there and knocked down the south wall and let the roof collapse. On returning later, the Friars, reluctant to move the remains of their dead, brought some earth from their nearby gardens to cover them, and that mound could be seen for a very long time after, near the West door of the church. As it was not safe to stay in the Abbey many friars were harbored by John Burke of Ower, previously of Castlehackett, posing as servants in his house. Tradition also tell us that Kinlough ceased to function as a parish from that same year and that the church there was destroyed by the Cromwellians. Teampall Cholmain and Moyne church continued to serve the people while the friars of Ross did the same in Kilroe.

1660 The restoration of the monarchy brought an air of general relief, specially to the protestant royalists, the Catholics being more wary. Charles II complimented the Galway peoples for their loyalty to him during the “nine months siege”, he also promised the return of all properties to the natives. In fact it was his protestant supporters who received priority for reinstatement, many catholic claims to former possessions being refused on the flimsiest of excuses. Lord Clanricarde ‘s claims were more successful, Shrule was granted back to him in 1663, and the friary of Ross in 1664, and under his protection the friars once more returned and rebuilt the abbey. During that period the castle and lands of Moyne and Ballicurran were also regranted to Lord Clanricarde. Dec. 

1665 Because of the large quantity of wolves being killed and a shortage of money, the Mayo peoples petitioned the Council of state that they might be at liberty to reduce the payment per head. This was granted.

1674 Charles II, yielding to the urgings of his Protestant advisers in Ireland, commanded by royal proclamation the departure from the kingdom of several of the “popish clergy” of Galway, and that the Major there “ is to do his duty in seeing them transported.

1678 Intensification of the persecution of Catholics throughout the country, but this does not seems to have affected our parish.  

1685 The crowning of James II, a Catholic, brought immediate relief to the persecuted, in Galway a Catholic Major is elected, Sir John Kirwan of Castlehackett. lord Clanricarde was appointed governor of the city and the Catholic Wardenship was once again restored, by royal charter, Fr. Henry Browne being chosen as warden. Shrule is found to be contributing one quarter of it’s tithes to the maintenance of the wardenship , Kinlough is not mentioned confirming that it has now ceased to exist as a parish.  

1688 James II is forced off the throne by his daughter’s husband, William of Orange.

1690 Balldiarg O’Donnell descended from a branch of the Tyrconnell family, he was born and educated in Spain where his family fled from persecution in 1607. A prediction that a descendant from that family, bearing a red mark, would free the country from the yoke of the English, was well known at the time. Balldiarg was sent for, and when he landed in Limerick in September 1690, several thousands flocked to his standard. Regretfully Balldiarg did not appear to possess any aptitude for leadership. During the battle of Aughrim he remained inactive at the house of a Mr. Miller of Ballycusheen, although he had a party of a 1000 men position at Headford, Ballinrobe and other parts of the country. Those troops , when they heard of the result of the battle, were for retreating to the mountains. With no sign of the English coming, Balldiarg, at the demands of Dr. Lynch titular Dean of Tuam, instead of going to the help of Galway, the only place where he could have done some good, sent a body of troops to pillage and burn Tuam, under the pretext that they were getting ready to welcome the English. He himself proceeded towards Cong, where he remained in the mountains until after the fall of Galway, when he joined the English army, having accepted a commission, and assisted at the taking of Sligo. 

1691 The Wardenship of Galway is once again handed over to the Established Church.

1695 The Parliament of 1695 can be pointed out as the start of the Penal Times and the years that followed as the “silent century”. The lack of written documents is described by some as the proof that at last everything has settled down and that with the new found peace came prosperity, a sort of no news = good news principle. In fact written records by/from Catholics were highly dangerous to keep and often proved veritable death warrants if found. The hardest hit were the Catholic Clergy who became so scarce that parish boundaries were disregarded and the few priests available did their best when and where they could.

1697 The Franciscans are banished from Ross Abbey and once more are seeking refuge with the locals.

1698 That year Dr. Lynch, Archbishop of Tuam was in hiding in the Neale, later he had to escape to France where he died.

1700-1710 For several years a hunt was on all around Shrule area for Fr. Duffy of Ballinrobe who was secretly functioning as Vicar of that Deanery. He was arrested by Robert Miller of Milford and transported to Spain. Lord St. George of Headford castle came to have possession of the friary of Ross but, although a Protestant Peer, he took no action against the friars, now numbering only eight.

24 Oct 1705 extract of a letter from Sir Richard Cox “Their youth and gentry are destroyed in the rebellion or gone to France. Those that are left are destitute of horses, arms or money capacity or courage. Five in six of the Irish are poor insignificant slaves, fit for nothing but to hew wood and draw water.”

1708 Shrule castle and land is leased to Ulick Burke of Colmanstown 

1715 A grand jury of Galway reported that some “popish priests had landed in the west and settled themselves in several places, including Ross Abbey.” No actions were taken against them.  

1739 There was a great frost that winter, in Galway the river froze over from the bridge to the mouth of Lough Corrib. This was followed by famine and pestilence in which multitudes of poor perished.

1741 An epidemic fever rages violently in Galway.

1745 That winter was marked by a great fall of snow, by which a vast number of sheep and black cattle were destroyed. Shrule castle is leased to Robert Waller of Rookwood, Co Roscommon, a year later he sublet it to Thomas Lindsay of Tuam 1747 Stratford Eyre, Governor of Galway, reported that there were thirty Papists to one Protestant in the city. In Shrule it is doubtful if there were a score of protestants living in the parish, and though Protestant churches and rectories were established in the neighbouring parishes, Headford and Kilmaine, there never was one in Shrule.

1750 By that time Kinlough and Moyne churches had ceased to function, Teampall Cholmain was abandoned by the clergy, partly because of it’s position near the road making a target it for inspection from crown agents, also partly because it’s eastern gable had cracked making it dangerous for a congregation. A chapel was erected in Brodullagh south, on the Glencorrib road, it was probably a thatched building without any belfry or tower which might have attracted undesirable attention. Two low arches with a portion of wall are said by some to have been made to decieve the passer-by into believing it was something else than a place of worship, also some large cellars existed underneath. 

1753 The passing of Ross Abbey. Lord St. George of Headford won a law suit against an O’Flaherty of Iar-Connacht and, bent on revenge, O’Flaherty swore information that his lordship was sheltering monks on his properties, contributing to their upkeep. The authorities decided to investigate the matter fully and a commission was sent with orders to imprison the friars and to report on the misconduct of St. George. The news of the impending visit was brought secretly to his Lord ship, who in turn warned the friars. The Abbey was then evacuated and the neighbouring people, including many from Shrule parish, began to give the place the appearance of a factory, whitewashing the walls and ceiling, so as to hide the frescoes, installing spinning wheels and looms. When the commission arrived the place looked as if it was housing a great woolen industry, so they left happy to report that all was well in Headford. The Franciscan then moved to an Island about a mile downstream on the river and far from the beaten track, because of the various drainage schemes this place is no longer an island. There they constructed some small cabins of wood and stones, and they stayed for thirty-six years, supported by the locals with food, fuel and clothing brought to them over a small wooden drawbridge. During that time the friars still said mass on Sundays in the Abbey, which was fast falling into disrepair.

1760 The records of a diocesan assembly held by Archbishop Mark Skerret of Tuam shows that the assembled clergy lamented that various parishes were so poor they could not support a priest or the Archbishop. Amalgamation of parishes was a solution proposed, another one was an annual charge of two shillings for every married couple, marriage offering were to be 2s.6p. and baptism 1s.6d.. However many Catholics were unable to pay even these small charges. Because of the reorganisation of parishes a dispute arose between Shrule and Kilmaine over some unspecified townland on which both parishes laid claim. Neither priest nor laity could solve the problem so the matter was referred to Archbishop Skerret then secretly residing near Ballinduff castle. The Archbishop found in favour of Kilmaine and rejected Shrule’s claim. The townland in question may be either Ballisnahiney, now part of Kilmaine parish but completely surrounded by Shrule, or Brackloon which has a part in Shrule and the remainder in Kilmaine.

1764 Edmund Kirwan of Dalgan was a member of the common council of Galway.

1766 On the death of Thomas Lindsay, his executors, Croasdaile Miller of Milford and Anthony Ormsby of Ballinamona got a lease for the castle and land of Shrule from Waller for the duration of his life. The land was stated to measure 441 acres. Shortly after this the Kirwans of Dalgan Park purchased the property. 18 August 1783 Edmund Kirwan, Esq., of Dalgan, presented himself for the election of two Knights of the shire, to represent the county of Galway to the parliament. There were three other candidates to fill the two posts and after a 52 day contest E. Kirwan failed to be elected.  

1789 The condition of the friars on Friars Island, whose cabins were fast becoming unfit for human habitation, came to the attention of Henry Lynch of Ballycurran, who offered them a lease of sixteen acres in Kilroe. The Franciscan gladly accepted and soon, with the help of the local people, had a small friary built there.

13 April 1795 An ad in the paper “Edmund Kirwan in the estate of Dalgin and Ballicushion, about 500 full grown ash trees, fit for coopers and turners, for sale. The receiver by Ed. Kirwan of Dalgin.”

1798-9 The year of the French, rebellion of the United Irishmen. The position of Connaught before 1798 was somewhat different than the rest of the country, racial hatred and religious prejudice were less apparent and the people were not as oppressed as they were in the other provinces. In consequence the position of the United Irishmen was not as strong in our area and they did not progress much farther than administering oaths to the people. The oath administered was: “I ... do voluntary declare, that I will persevere in endeavouring to form a brotherhood of affection among Irishmen of every religious persuasion, and that I will also persevere in my endeavour to obtain an equal, full and adequate representation of all the people of Ireland. I do further declare that neither hopes, fears, rewards or punishments shall ever induce me directly or indirectly to inform on or to give evidence against any member or members of this or similar societies for any act or expression of theirs done or made collectively or individually in or out of this society in pursuance of the spirit of this obligation.” As late as August 1798, when the French had landed, people in Hollymont were inquiring how to make pikes, and between Monivea and Tuam they were idling in ditches along the roads, waiting for news. As the English were routed out of Castlebar and fled towards Galway in what was to be known as the races of Castlebar, a contingent of soldiers from Galway was assembled and send north to come to their help. Once in Shrule they decided to stay south of the river and to encamp near Abbeytown ( highest point between Shrule and Headford), to wait for the Mayo troops and then give battle to the pursuing Irish and French. Thankfully the red coats turned at Hollymount toward Tuam, so sparing Shrule a bloody battle maybe followed by a gory aftermath. Following the declaration of the republic of Connaught, the recruitment of United Irishmen became more successful and a campaign of intimidation toward loyalists was soon started, mainly ploughing and maiming of sheep and cattle, destruction of property and forcibly taking goods. At no stage was any life taken. After the rebellion, the majority of the loyalists preferred to show leniency, an attitude not dictated by humanitarian feeling, but in the belief that it was the best way to bring back peace and stability on their estates. However a small minority sought revenge and achieved it by means of court martial and summary execution. A letter from some members of that minority: “Sir, we the undersigned proprietor and freeholder of the County of Mayo do give it to you as our opinion that under the existing circumstances of the country public justice can not be obtained of persons charged with treason or rebellion by the mode of trial by jury, and we conceive it would be injurious to the arrangements necessary for trying persons with those offences to bring them up to civil tribunal, we are sir your humble servants 
Thos Ormsby 
G. Jackson Tyrawly 
John Ormsby 
Denis Brown W, 
Orme Geoge Miller
Thos. Palmer Andw. Courtney

In accordance a court martial was set in Galway, to which people from Shrule were sent, accused of houghing cattle on the properties of Widow Golding of Shrule, Thomas Blake and Timothy Sheridan and for taking of unlawful oaths. Here is another letter giving much informations on the proceedings. To his Excellency Charles Marquis Corwallis Lord Lieutenant General and General Governor of Ireland. the Memorial of George Symmers of Montjoy Square in the city of Dublin. Gent. (MEMORIAL= record or chronicle, informal diplomatic paper, statement of fact as basis of petition... MEMORIALIST=signatory of memorial.) “ That previous to the month of February 1799 houghing of cattle swearing of united Irishmen and many other treasonable practices made such considerable progress in the county of Galway that it became expedient to put that district under military law, and to open a martial court in the tower of Galway for the trial of per- sons charged with those crimes. That such martial court commenced its sitting on the 21st of the said month of February when your memorialist was called on by General Meyriek who commanded that district, as a fit person to get as agent on the part of the crown in (?) on prosecutions against such persons as should be apprehended on the aforesaid charges and your memorialist in pursuance of such appointment took upon him the management of said prosecutions, and for the greatest part of the time that such martial court sat Memorialist was unassisted by council. That during the sitting of said martial court and previous the reto persons charged with treasonable offences murder and houghing to the number of 400 were apprehended and lodged in a place of confinement in the tower of Galway to abide their trial before said martial court That in order to bring such offenders to justice your Memorialist found it necessary to visit, and under the (?) of General Meyrick did at various times visit different and distinct part of the county of Galway and obtain information and procure evidence to substantiate the charges brought against those who were in custody and did arrest several persons against whom information had been lodged. That your Memorialist paid the expenses and supported almost the whole of the witnesses who appeared on the part of the crown and also expended considerable sums of money in traveling in search of delinquents and witnesses. That from Memorialist local knowledge of said County, the caused Francis Kirwan, Esq., Lieutenant in the loyal, Anaghdown Yeomanry, who it appeared was the principal instigator of rebellion and other acts of barbarism which were committed in that part of the county of Galway which was most disturbed, to be apprehended and brought to justice, the beneficial (?) of which your Memorialist shows is evident from this, and since the execution of said Kirwan no further outrages have been committed and for your Memorialist zeal and activity in bringing said Kirwan and several other offenders to punishment your Memorialist refers to General Meyrick, the magistrate of said county of Galway and to the entire of the gents of that county. That during the rendering of said Kirwan trials (a period of three weeks) your Memorialist supported fifteen persons who were considered as material witnesses to substantiate the several charges brought against said Kirwan. That of the 400 persons apprehended for acts of treason and rebellion one hundred and thirty were tried before said martial court, 30 of whom were sentenced to be hung, upwards of 50 to be transported or serve abroad for life and about 30 either whipped or put under the rule of bail, and the remainder being found upon examination of the witnesses who had sworn information against them that their crimes were of a lighter nature were by the direction of General Meyrick suffered to be enlarged on giving security for future allegiance and good conduct. That in consequence of such determination of General Meyrick and under his direction Memorialist had to prepare bail bonds to the above effort and to see such (?) acknowledged before magistrates Notwithstanding that your Memorialist had before then made out the charge and prepared the evidences and had every matter ready for the trial of said persons. 
That independant to those sentenced by the court there were several others who rather than abide trial before said court consented to serve his Majesty abroad for life (?) whom Memorialist had equal trouble as with those who had been sentenced Memorialist having everything ready for their trials. That after the said court martial had been dissolved informations were made against numbers of persons for houghing and treasonable practices and General Meyrick not wishing to resume said court martial yet desirous to have those against whom such informations had been made restrained in some manners directed Memorialist to go into the county arrest some of the leaders and obliged those guilty to enter into security for their future allegiance. That Memorialist accordingly went into different part s of the county of Galway and obliged numbers of persons who acknowledged themselves (?) houghers and to have taken the united Irishmen oath to deliver up their arms of various descriptions to Memorialist and to enter (?) with true sureties in a certain sum of money for

future allegiance and good conduct. That prior to the opening of the martial court your Memorialist was in good practice as an attorney in the city of Dublin and by reason of his having been so (?) agent on the part of the crown was necessarily obliged to absent himself from the city of Dublin for the month of February 1799 to the month of November last all which same Memorialist was actively concerned on the part of the  crown by which means he has been a considerable sufferer in his profession. That your Memorialist has never been reimbursed one shilling on his expenses here and before stated, nor has your memorialist recurred any sort of compensation for his labour trouble and loss of time save only 100 pounds advanced by Brig. Meyrick to Memorialist. Your Memorialist therefore humbly prays that your Excellency will be pleased to order the matter of your Memorialist said memorial to be referred to General Meyrick that the truth thereof may be certified by him to your Excellency and that your Excellency will be pleased to order such compensation to be made to your Memorialist for his disbursements services labour and time aforesaid as to your Excellency shall (sum meet ?).” G. Symmers Of the Shrule people arrested and tried during that period we find: 
Pat Tedders, Shrewell, houghing and taking of unlawful oaths, tried 4/3/99, hanged 13/3/99.
James Bohan, Shrewell, Houghing and taking of unlawful oaths, tried 4/3/99, sentenced to hang, commuted to serve abroad for life, send to New Geneva on 8/5/99 Edmund Naighton, Shrewell, houghing + unlawful oaths, tried 4/3/99, sentenced to find security to be of the peace for 7 years, discharged security being given. Owen Conmy, Shrewell, as above Patrick Connell, Shrewell, as above Thomas Burke, charged as above, acquitted, discharged. James Keane, Boula, robbery and intent to hough and maim cattle, tried 30/4/99, hanged 3/5/99 Simon Manion, Boula, as above, hanged 3/5/99 It was also sworn in the evidence that the man who was administering the oaths of secrecy in our area was named Hughes but he was never brought to trial. Some avoided a severe sentence by volunteering to serve abroad for life,the service was in the army of the King of Prussia.

1800 A survey made as a preparation for the emanticipation of Catholics and supplied by the bishops to the government, shows Fr. Lowther as P.P. for Shrule and Fr. Hubert Mac Nally as curate, Fr. McNally was also prior to the friary of Kilroe with Fr. John McNally and Fr. John Henon as friars, one of those two friars was also curate for the parish of Headford. There was 406 families paying their due and a few more who could not afford to pay, the average parochial income being given as 30 pounds 16 shillings. Shrule’s parish priests since 1800 Fr. Lowther,P.P.  

1817 Fr. Lowther was transferred because of a dispute with the parish priest of Kilmaine We do not know who took his place.  

1824 Fr. Patrick Monaghan was in charge of the parish  

1832 Fr. Lowther came back to Shrule but not as P.P., he died in 1844. 

1839 Fr. James Geraghty was acting P.P. at the time, he remained until the famine year of 1847. 

1844 Fr. Michael Phew of Rostaff

1864 Fr. John Geraghty, brother of James 

1867 Fr. John Goode, he died in 1885 aged 54  

1885 Fr Daniel Goode, brother of John, is appointed in his place.  

1891 Fr. John Conroy of Ballyhaunis, he built the parochial house, he died May 27 1917

1917 Fr. Lydon of Galway

1931 Fr. Feeney of Castlegar, he extended the parochial house, built the new school, renovated/extended the church, he died in 1945 

1945 Fr. T. Kyne of Caherlistrane, he retired in 1981 

1981 Canon Colman O’Halloran, who transferred in 1989

1989 Fr. Rooney our present Parish priest. Curates for the parish of Shrule. prior to 1840 the friars of Kilroe served as curate for the parish but they were not replaced after their departure.

1857 Fr. Andrew Phew until 1864, under his brother Fr. Michael.

1891-2 Fr. James Craddock of Shrule (for a short while) Fr. Patrick Davoren of Moycullen (also for a short while) ... no curate for a few years 

1905 Fr. Martin Kelly for 3 years ... no curate for 8 years

1916 Fr Considine

 1805 A dispute arose between Fr. Burke of Kilmaine and Fr. Lowther of Shrule over some unspecified townland, the same as forty years before. Archbishop Dillon set up a commission but Fr. Lowther’s representant failed to attend the meeting. The Archbishop then ordered Fr. Lowther to stop officiating in that townland until a full investigation had been completed. Later we find Fr. Lowther removed from Shrule and P.P. in Rahoon, and the matter definitively settled in favor of Kilmaine.

1820 After the death of their benefactor, Sir Henry Lynch of Ballycurran, the friars of Kilroe changed the name of their townland from Kilroe to Mounthenry, to perpetuate his memory. There was great hardship for a few years, because of severe wea- ther in the summer and autumn the potato crop was poor and the people suffered from hunger, malnourishment in turn bringing typhus and dysentery.

1824 To finance a campain for Catholic Emancipation, organised by O’Connell’s Catholic association, a rent was levied on every Catholic household and was collected on the first Sunday of the month at the church gate. On the 15 November of that year the Connaught Journal reported that Fr. Monahan, P.P. of Shrule, neglected to collect the rent in his parish, this may have been because of the poverty the people were in. However the following month the same paper noted that the Catholic rent in Shrule was now being paid.

1828  We saw earlier how the wardens and vicars of the wardenship of Galway were elected. By this time the system was greatly abused and only members of the tribal families were chosen, therefore it seems that it was influence instead of merit which mattered in the elections. In addition to the foregoing tension there was also a marked distinction between regular and secular clergy. Matters were further complicated when disagreement arose over funerals and High Mass arrangements, these were settled in 1828 but the overall situation was still far from satisfactory and the Pope had to be kept informed.

1830 The Pope, Pius VIII, sent the Bishop of Dromore and the Bishop of Down to consult with Archbishop Kelly of Tuam and Dr. French, Bishop of Kilmacduagh and Warden of Galway, in order to solve the problems in the Wardenship. Dr. French agreed to resign from the Wardenship and to keep his diocese where he was advised to reside. The tribal families agreed to abandon their ancient privileges and the visiting Bishops sent a strong recommendation to Rome for the constitution of an independant diocese of Galway. Around that date a new church was built in Shrule, it was erected by the Kirwan of Dalgan who contributed 1300 pounds and also do- nated the site. Tradition tells us that it was originally built as a protestant chapel but was not used because of lack of parishioners and that it was given to the Roman Catholics when the thatched roof of Teampall Cholmain burned down. Incidentally this seems to indicate that Teampall Cholmain was repaired and used once more when the persecution of Catholics relaxed, the chapel in Brodulah being abandoned. The main door of the new church was on the Kilmaine side of the building, it has since been blocked up but a decoration, consist ing of three balls placed in a triangle above that door, can still be seen. As this decoration is a freemasonic sign and cannot normally be found on a Catholic church, it seems to indicate the truthfulness of the above mentioned tradition. The altar piece was presented by the Martins, a local family who had a thriving woodwork and carpentry business in Shrule at that time.

1831 March Pope Gregory XVI created the new diocese of Galway 

1831 October Dr. George P. Browne became the first Bishop of Galway.

1837 A “Topographical Dictionary of Ireland”, published that year by Samuel Lewis, gives a good description of the parish in pre-famine times. It tells us that Shrule had 8,959 statute acres, as aplotted under the Tithe Act, and that under the said act Shrule paid 264 pounds-2s.-8d of which 183 pounds-17s.-5d. was payable to the protestant warden of Galway and the remainder to the vicar, as there was hardly any protestants in Shrule it means that Catholics were compelled to pay dues to the Protestant church when they could barely support their own clergy. It also tells us that there was 4167 inhabitants in the parish of which 507 were in Shrule village then containing 86 houses. The main System of agriculture was tillage with the wheat being considered as the best in the country. Limestone of excellent quality was found in abundance and quarried for building and for agricultural purposes. The main Landlords of the time were: In Dalgan park P. Kirwan, in Glencorrib A. Brown, in Ballycurran castle P. Lynch, in Houndswood M. D’Arcy, there was two absentee landlords, in Moyne Blake and in Kinlough Joyce, so it is that before the great famine all the landlords in Shrule parish were members of the Tribes of Galway, descendant of the Normans, strongly Irish and mainly Roman Catholic. In Shrule R. Golding was owner of an extensive brewery and a large corn mill. Three other mills were at Ballycurran, Ballynalty and Ower, owned by local landlords and rented out. It is worth mentioning that the Goldings were also devout Catholic who donated a stained glass window to the Church in Shrule. There was a corn market held every Thursdays and fairs were held every Easter Monday, July 26 and November 11. Four others were added at a later date, in May, August, September and October. A constabulary police force was stationed in Shrule and petty sessions were held on alternate Thursdays. There were three private schools but only about 100 pupils.

6 January 1839 The night of the big wind. At the time there were only two friars left in Kilroe and on the night in question they succoured and sheltered the local people whose home had been damaged or destroyed by the storm. 

1840 The Franciscan order decided to withdraw from Kilroe, definitively closing a chapter in our history. As the friars conducted a private school there, when they left the need for education was strongly felt and this prompted Mr. Lynch to make a donation for the construction of a national school in 1849. 

1843 Robert Dillon Browne, Esq., of Glencorrib, M.P. for Mayo, Head repeal inspector for Connaught. 28 August 1843 (Connaught Ranger) “Headford Petty Sessions An unusually large bench included: Richard Mansery St. George,Esq., Headford castle, as president.....J. Bourke,Esq.,Ower... To hear the charge of assault against the Headford Orangemen and anti-repealers brought by the repealers of Shruel and other towns in the vicinity.” (verdict unknown) 

27 October 1843 (Connaught Ranger) “Loyal repeal association We held in Shrule on yesterday the Mayo arbitration court, I had the honor of presiding and was associated with Mr. Hunt of River- view and Mr. Lynch of Ballycurren castle,1st cousin of Charles Lynch, who, in the absence of that gentleman, was unanimously selected by the people, and whose acting, though not yet published, we consider quite in conformity with the declaration made by the liberator in his speeches explanatory of the arbitration system.....however, on yesterday, so perfectly satisfied were the people that one man, who claimed a balance of rent for grazing, said (when we judged he had not established his claim) that so confident was he in the justice of our decision, that if we ruled that he was not entitled to the money he had already received he would restore it on the spot. We attend next Wednesday in Kilmaine, next Thursday in Shrule again and next Saturday in Cong. Mr. Lynch of Ballycurren Castle is nominated by the clergy and the Wardens as a fit person for the neighbouring district.” R.D. Browne

1845-49 The famine years In those years our parish was very fortunate in having sympathetic catholic landlords who were fully aware of the plight of their tenants, not only was there no evictions at that time but large concessions on the payment of rent were made, sometimes completely disregarding the amount due. The Kirwans of Dalgan are on record for having allowed tenants evicted from neighbouring areas to settle on waste ground on their estate. As we saw earlier a large amount of corn was being grown in Shrule at the time and during the famine an abundant harvest was ground into flour and meal in the mills of Shrule, Ballycurran, Ballynalty and the two mills at Ower, to be redistributed to the people. Also alternate crops were planted by some, allowing them to survive. Mention of family's living on turnips for long periods are not uncommon. Of course relief work was also available in the form of wall building and mainly drainage schemes. During that period the river was drained for the first time, causing the water level to drop considerably so putting the mill at Shrule bridge permanently out of action for lack of water. Because of these various reasons there seems to have been very few, if any, death from hunger in our parish, which does not mean that people were not undernourished. Regretfully hunger was not the only calamity during those terrible years, fever and disease, specially cholera, were also rampant. Because of malnutrition and a total lack of medical services in the area many people in Shrule parish died in these epidemics. There was neither a doctor nor a nurse available between Galway and Ballinrobe and no effort was made in providing one. It was mentioned to us that many from Shrule and Cloobannan who died from disease in those years were buried in Wakefield, properly called Gortlaggagh which is in the county of Galway, but this still has to be confirmed. Other consequences of the famine were people leaving the land and emigrating, new tenants being very hard to find, the more generous landlords going bankrupt and losing their estates and in many way it precipitated the end of the land tenancy system. This system had been imported into Ireland by the Normans and worked reasonably well while the population was low but by this time became obsolete because of the large increase of the that population over the years. In conclusion we can say that despite the popular opinion that the landlords were solely responsible for the effects of the famine, the evidence shows that the landlords in Shrule parish behaved responsibly and did their best to alleviate the hardship of the people, sometimes incurring great personal losses in doing so, especialy Robert Dillon Browne of Glencorrib and the Kirwans of Dalgan park.

1846 Fair days in Shruel 13/4 26/7 11/11, Headford 11/5 14/8, Castlehackett 2/6 2/10, Kilmaine 12/7 28/10, In Shrule there was also a corn market every Thursday and a horse fair in October. A fair on the 1st of every month has been mentioned for Shrule but this might have been a later practice. 

1849 Charles Lynch of Ballycurran donates one acre of land and some material help for the construction of a national school in Kilroe, the first of its kind in these parts.

1849 The Encumbered Estates Act was passed, it provided for the setting up of special courts to sell the estates which had gone bankrupt during the famine years.

1850 Proselytism As a result of the famine, Bible readers from Tuam became very active in our area, distributing tracts to Catholic homes, attributing the misfortune of the Catholics to their fidelity to Rome, promising bribes. There is even mention of distribution of anti Catholic literature outside the catholic churches on Sunday mornings. Bible reading and prayer houses were opened in Shrule and Headford, the mission house in Shrule, situated at the back of what is now Craddock’s bar, also ran a school, using it to indoctrinate children. This eventually brought much anti-protestant protest and disturbance in the village of Shrule.

1851 Sale of the Glencorrib estate, belonging to the Brownes, under the Encumbered Estates Act. In Shrule parish the main part of the estate was purchased by Captain Fitzgerald-Higgins, this included Ballynalty and Bunnafollistrane, (Ravenhill and Cahercat), the land of Mochorha was purchased by James D. Meldon, while Ballisnahyny became the property of Colonel Charles Knox.  

1852 Sale of the Moyne estate, belonging to the Blakes, the purchasers were: Philip Jones for Cloghmoyne, Paul Ward for Moyne and Toorard, Joseph Burke for Rosstaff and Boulah, Sale of the Kirwan’s Dalgan estate, the lot was purchased by Francis Russell, Duke of Bedford, his great grand son became Lord de Clifford from his mother’s side.

1853 Sales of the Kinlough estate under the same act, all passed into the hand of Pierce Joyce of Merview. 

853 ( Extract from The Mayo Constitution) “On the evening of the day when the sale of the Dalgan estate was announced in Shrule,as having being effected in the Encumbered court, the Romish inhabitants of the town, forgetful of all the claims which the Kirwan family had upon their gratitude and sympathy, testified their base joy by lighting a large bonfire. Thus our countrymen.....taught by a degraded priesthood to trample upon the ties which ought to bind them to their landlords. The Kirwans have always been......kind and indulgent to their tenancy. The best roman catholic chapel in Shrule was built by an ancestor of the late possessor, but because the members of the family are now protestants, all has been forgotten. What a lesson this teaches to the landlords of Ireland. It clearly show the necessity on their part to aid the deliverance of our countrymen from the instruction of those who crush the brightest......of our native for their unallowed purposes.”

1853 Two priests, Fr. Rinolphi and Fr. Lockhart, conducted a mission in Headford and in Cong, as counter measure to the proselytists. They also visited every Catholic home in the area, their actions were very successful and very few people here changed their religion (the ones who did were called jumpers and were much despised by all).

14/19 November 1853 Riots in the street(s) of Shrule as a direct result of the action of the more fanatic among the Protestants, especially the Bible readers. 

6 December 1853 (The Mayo Constitution) “Roman catholic intolerance in Shrule. In this herefore neglected locality, a protestant congregation has been collected. The Lord Bishop of Tuam has licenced the Irish... mission school house as a place of worship, until a church be built there. Already upwards of twenty two assembled every Sunday, and in doing so have to brave the shouts and threats of mobs who collect opposite the school house. Those misguided slaves of priestcraft spare neither age nor sex, all are alike receivers of their execration for daring to worship in the so called catholic town of Shrule. Some Sundays ago the Rev. W.D. Roe was interrupted when elevating the holy communion by the shouting of a mob outside, consisting of several hundreds; the same interruption has been frequently given to him while preaching. A lady of the congregation when returning to her car from prayers was shouted at by this mob, who in their intolerance seemed regardless whether loss of life would occur if the horse (which was a spirited animal) should take fright. A carriage containing ladies from Headford was passing through Shrule on a week day and because they were protestants were subjected to the shouting and abuses of those wretched bigots. It was with great difficulty that the coachman prevented the horses from running away. The windows of the mission house have been repeatedly broken and the children attending the school chased and insulted. Will such shouting and calling of names be tolerated in a free country, we are glad to learn that the executive seems determined to take steps for it’s repression. The att. General has ordered all arrested in the last riots at Shrule to be sent for trial at the assizes instead of the ... sessions. The resident magistrate Chas. Arabian, Esq., has been directed to take up his residence in Shrule and an additional force of police to be sent to support him in maintaining the peace. 

28 December 1853 A court case in Ballinrobe ¼ session, which happened on that day, gives us more detail of the troubles in Shrule that year. The plaintiff was Ellen Joyce ,a minor from Shrule, the defendant was Irwin Tighe, a constable of police based in Shrule. This was an action for twelve pounds damages sustained by the plaintiff by raison of the defendant having in September imprisoned and assaulted the plaintiff in Shrule. C. B. Jordan, J. Griffith, L. O’Donnell were attorney for the plaintiff and I. Kelly was attorney for the defendant. Judith Lawless was a witness for the plaintiff. The plaintiff examined by one of her attorney stated that sitting by the fire at her house at Shrule when she was called by a girl who came in the house. The girl told her that the minister was coming down the street and asked her to come at the door with her to shout at him. She went at the threshold and shouted at him but did no more. Two hours later the defendant came in and requested her to go before Mr. Arabian the magistrate. She refused to go with him, having considered that she had done nothing wrong, thereupon he took her by the shoulder and forced her to go with him. 
Mr. Kelly: You have three attorneys employed here. Who employed them? 
Plaintiff: I did, the day I was arrested. It was a Sunday, I know because the Rev. Rowe, he is a prod. clergyman, came to town that morning and he was shouted at. 
Mr. Kelly: Why? Is it because he is a minister? 
Plaintiff: Yes.
Mr. Kelly: Did he do anything to you or any other raison?
Plaintiff: No, but he is building a church and we had no ministers or Jumpers until he came. I shouted at him when I saw others do so.
Mr Kelly: A nice state that part of the country must be in.....
Plaintiff: I did not see any persons forming themselves into bands, playing flutes, using kettles as drum and following Mr. Rowe. The scripture readers are not like in Shrule. I live opposite the Barracks, I did not see stones being thrown at those barracks but the police came out with their guns loaded.
Judith Lawless as witness corroborated the plaintiff. After some evasion she admitted that it was at the suggestion of Fr. Phew, parish priest of Shrule, that she attended the court and that it was him who employed and paid the three attorneys for the plaintiff....
The defendant, examined by Mr. Kelly, said: He was standing opposite the house where the plaintiff resided and saw her hooting and shouting at the rev. Rowe, who was then going to prayer, and it was very likely a riot would have ensued, numbers at the time having acted in the same manners. He also stated that about two hours later Mr. Arabian came into town and he reported the matter to him and the magistrate directed him to bring the plaintiff before him. He then went to her house but she first refused to go with him. That the town had been for sometime past in a most riotous state, a band of boys having organised with whistles and kettles to follow and abuse the minister and the jumpers as they are so called, riots so constantly taking place that the police had to be rein forced considerably. It was a constant state of tumult, their barracks was attacked on a recent occasion and to protect their lives they had to load their guns. When he came to Shrule his party consisted to four sub-constables under his command, now there was ten men and himself and a royal Magistrate was stationed there.

The assistant Barrister said so audacious an action never was brought before him: A clergyman proceeding to his place of worship was insulted by the plaintiff and others, the defendant might have at once arrested her and detained her in custody until he brought her before the magistrate, but instead of which he with a degree of forbearance, finding she had not exited a riot to an extend to have called for his direct interference, had merely reported her to the magistrate and on his direction had brought her before him and for this damages were sought to be recovered. He therefore dismissed the case on the merits, he would further remark that he did not envy the feeling s of the party who had conceived this action and if any of the partners should after this become participants in the riots and be brought before him he should know how to deal with them. Mr. Griffith, attorney for the plaintiff, stated that he was mislead as the facts of the case otherwise he would not have fitted the civil bill.

14 March 1854 Patrick Greany, Ber...(?), James Jennings, Patrick Keane, Thomas K...(?) and Catherine Connely were brought before the bar and charged with having been guilty of riot and tumult in the town of Shrule on the 14 November 1853. Mr. Robinson represented the Crown and Mr. West the defendants. Pat. Keane and Cath. Connely were sentenced to one fortnight imprisonment, the others were bound to the peace.

1854 An action for false imprisonment was taken by a thirteen year old Shrule boy, James Grady, against the magistrate of County Galway at Headford. Grady, an employee of Mr. Golding, called a man a jumper one day while in Headford on an errand for his employer. A few days later he was arrested in Shrule on a warrant of Mr. Hunt, kept overnight in Shrule barracks without bed or fire, handcuffed and brought to the magistrate in Headford the next day. Bail was offered by friends of the boy but the magistrate wanted more. As this was not forthcoming Grady was kept overnight in the Headford barracks and transferred the next day to Galway gaol where he stayed four days until bail was produced by a Mr Rochford who also acted as the boy’s attorney. The counsel for Grady described the action of the magistrate as illegal and cruel. He deplored all religious feuds and went on to describe “Jumpers” and Bible readers as the veriest(?) pest of society who caused disturbance of the public peace, he used the situation in Shrule as evidence in the case. Grady was awarded twenty pounds in damages, as he was an orphan and could not pay the attorney and his three counselors a collection was made among the clergy to reward them for their work, forty pounds was collected.

1854 A mixed national school was erected in Glencorrib, where the hall stand today.

1855 Tuam post town, list of sub offices 
Glencorrib: postmaster: Patrick Hennelly

1857 Shrule national school built beside the bridge on land donated by lady de Clifford:
Master Daniel O’Connell, age 43
Teacher Margaret O’Connell, age 23
The master was trained in Malboro st. Dudlin and formerly taught at Rathmine, Dublin.
20 pounds per annum were donated by lady de Clifford toward school expences, the teacher’s salary was 10 pounds per annum.
Pupils contributed 1/ 1/6 2/6.

1857 The Mayo election. There were three candidates for these elections; Colonel Higgins of Glencorrib, George Henry Moore of Ballinrobe and Captain Palmer. Though Palmer was new to politics and his father got a bad reputation because of his behavior during the famine, he was not unpopular. Both Moore and Higgins had been for some years in parliament, Moore was the most popular with the people, Higgins had previously been elected on his pledge of independent opposition, he had great power and influence with the authority but that influence came to him as a sort of bribe to make him forego his pledge. Both clergy and laity of Mayo accused him of betraying the people and he lost his seat in favour of Palmer, Moore being reelected. Higgins then lodged an objection on the grounds of intimidation and interference from the clergy, a parliamentary committee was set up and found in favour of Higgins and George Moore was unseated. This was a severe set back for the people of Mayo and it took eleven years for Moore to regain his seat. 14 June 1861 Minutes of postmaster general (P.O. archives London.) Glencorrib Sub Office, salary 3 pounds per annum, abolish and pay postmaster usual gratuity.

23 Feb. 1867 The newspaper of the day report that the “Baroness de Clifford, with her accustomed liberalities, has during this inclement season, through her agent in Dalgan park, distributed a large quantity of blankets, garments and other clothes to the tenantry on her ladyship’s properties around Shrule.” It was hoped that others in like circumstance would follow her ladyship’s laudable example.

21 march 1867 A young girl aged about seven, residing near Shrule, was burned to death. Left in charge of house and young children while her mother went out, her clothes caught fire at the open fire place, she ran out but with the breeze the flames must have got worse, she was dead when found later in a field near the house. (No name given)

1869 After the Disestablishment Act, proselytism and other malpractices forced by a fanatical few upon an impoverished population were discontinued.

1870 Gladstone land act; provision for compensation on disturbances and for tenants purchase.

1876Dedication of the newly build church of Glencorrib, townland previously called Bunnafollistrane, to the Blessed Virgin under the title of the Immaculate Conception. This church was built to re place the one in Kilroe now in a very bad state of deterioration. Glencorrib was chosen to replace Kilroe because of it’s more central position. The name Glencorrib came from the name of the residence of the donor Col. George Higgins.

1877-79 Poor harvest, decreasing demand for agricultural produces, falling prices are causing much hardship to the tenants.

1879 Formation of Irish national land league.

1871-79 There was a large drop in the price of wheat during that period which badly affected Shrule parish as a wheat producing area. In 1871 the price of wheat was 31s. 11d. per barrel of 20 stones, that price progressively went down to 20s. 4d. per barrel by 1879

1881 no rent manifesto issued by land league.

1881 Large portions of the Dalgan estate were sold, about one third, this was when the land league agitation was gaining momentum, just a year after Captain Boycott was compelled to leave Lough Mask house.

Jan. 1883 Prices at Galway market, from newspaper report:
wheat 8s. 6d. to 9s. per cwt
oats 11d. to 11s. 6d. per stone
barley 15s. 4d. to 15s. 6d. per barrel
potatoes 6d. per stone
hay 2s. 6d. to 3s. per cwt
straw 2s. to 2s. 4d. per cwt
utter 3s. 6d. to 4s. per pound
eggs 1s. 10d. to 2s. per score
turnips 9d. per cwt
The high price of eggs, butter... provided a welcome source of income for the poor tenants. In some households the eggs produced were seldom, if ever, eaten as they were too valuable income wise.

1884 Poor harvest due to drought.

5 April, 1885 Death of Thadu McHugh of Shrule, farmer and shopkeeper, his estate passed to Julia Murphy, his great granddaughter. 1885 Ashbourne’s land purchase act provide 5 million pounds as loans for tenant purchase, it will be increased by 30 million in 1891 and again in 1896 

1887 Again poor harvest due to drought.  

5 January 1887 On that date Pat Moran of Shrule received a spirit licence at Ballinrobe sessions court

1897-8 Potatoes failed.


Gerard Metadger the compiler of this resource.

This book is an attempt at bringing together the information on the history of Shrule collected by many people around the parish. Thank you to all those who contributed in any way, including funds, printing, photocopies…
P. Geraghty, G. Heneghan, Sgt. S. Lohan, P. Gibbons, J. Reynolds, G. Geraghty, F. Mullin, S. Ryan, P.J. Dooley, a special mention for the St. Joseph S.E.S. for their help and support. Last but not least I like to mention J. Tedders (senior) and Ian and Angela Pitchford, whose contribution form a large part of this book, but who regretfully will not see it. May they rest in peace. 

Recommended reading
The history of the County of Mayo, to the close of the 16th century, by Hubert Thomas Knox.
The history of the towns and county of the towns of Galway by James Hardiman.
O'Flaherty's west or H-Iar Connacht with notes by James Hardiman.
De Burgh peoples and places by Eamonn Bourke.
Celtic Myths and Legends by T.W. Rolleston
Wilde's Loch Corrib
Medieval religious houses of Ireland by A. Gwynn and R.N. Hadcock.
Source for local studies by W. Nolan.
Revue from the Galway Archaeological and Historical society (various articles).
The Mantle various articles on Shrule by J.B. Mc Hugh.