Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

SOME ANTIQUITIES OF TUAM DISTRICT.
BY T. B. COSTELLO, M.D.
[Read Auoust 9, 1904.]

Tk the drive this afternoon of about eight miles, we will not be at any time more than three miles from Tuam ; and a fair knowledge of the country round Tuam can be obtained: over a score of raths and half a dozen souterrains can be inspected.

Leaving Tuam by the Dunmore-road, and passing through the "Turlough" of Gurranes, famous for centuries for its races, we come to Marley-hill, where there are nine lisses quite near each other; in one of these is a fine souterrain of three chambers, connected as usual by narrow passages. It is in a fine state of preservation ; and the innermost chamber has two air-shafts communicating probably with the fosse of the Rath.

On the other side of the road by which we travel there are a natural cave and subterranean watercourse known as the Fairy Mill, or TTluilin an Luippia6din ; but the people no longer leave their corn to be ground there by the fairies.

"We come immediately to the Claremorris-road, where a halt will be made to visit the Lally monument, and the raths and souterrain of Ardicong. One of the raths here marked Lismore on the Ordnance sheet is an oval-shaped lis; and many of the large stones that backed the inner face of the mound still remain in situ. In a half-levelled rath near it is a souterrain of two chambers, the inner one only perfect. A drive of two miles brings us to Kilcreevanty, where stand the dilapidated remains of the old nunnery.

"We now turn towards Tuam, cross the river Clare, and at the end of a mile reach Kilbannon Round Tower and old Church; and within a couple of minutes' walk of the tower iB situated Leaba pdbpaig, inBallygaddy. Here will be shown the rude stone altar at which, tradition says, St. Patrick knelt; and the two spots where his knees rested still remain bare of grass.

Crossing the Clare river again at Ballygaddy, our next stopping-place is the well-wooded demesne of Gardenfield, in which will be shown a well-preserved souterrain, several raths, and the old house of Gardenfield, interesting from the fact that it was used as headquarters by Lord Cornwallis for three days in August, 1798, whilst collecting troops to resist the French under Humbert, who were believed to be marching on Tuam after their victory at Castlebar. General Lake at the same time occupied Ballygaddy House, on the opposite bank of the river; and the troops pitched their tents along the river between Gardenfield and Kilbannon. The French never came nearer than Hollymount in Mayo, turning north towards Sligo from there. Tuam will be reached by a short drive of two miles.

The Laixy Monument.

The Lally monument is situated one and a half miles from Tuam, and about 100 yards from the Claremorris-road. It is exactly half way between Tuam and Tullinadaly, where stood the castle of theLallys, of which the foundations now only remain. This monument is the only thing now left to remind us of a family, many of whose members have been prominent in this country and abroad.

The custom of erecting a cenotaph in the form of a lea6c, or monument, has come down to us from prehistoric times, and continues in this county down to our own day. Groups of the more modern ones can be seen in Aranmore and about Cong. In the vicinity of Tuam there are about half a dozen erected in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Lally monument is typical of the others, consisting of a column of masonry about six feet high and four in diameter; and inserted in one of the sides is a flag 20 inches by 17 inches, with the following inscription in raised letters :—

1 s

Pbay : For : The
Souls : Of : Ia
Mes : Lally : A
Nd : His : Fam
Ily: 1673

This monument must have been erected by James Lally of Tullinadaly, who died there on 5th September, 1676. As stated in the pedigree of the family published in the "Tribes and Customs of Hymaine," edited by J. O'Donovan, he was grandfather of Captain James Lally, who sat as member for Tuam in the Dublin Parliament of King James II. in 1689, his colleague being William Bourke of Carrantrila. This Captain Lally was the last who held the family estates, as he was attainted and the estates forfeited. He went to France after the Battle of Aughrim, and was mortally wounded at the siege of Montmelian in 1691. The Counts Lally de Tolendal, who figure so prominently in European history, are descended from his brother Gerald, who also went to France at that time, Tolendal being the French form of Tullinadaly.

Though the Lallys lost all their estates by their devotion to the Stuarts, their zeal in the cause remained unabated, one of the family being present at the raising of his standard by Prince Charles in Scotland in 1745.

The Lallys or O'Maelallaidhs came originally from Maenmagh in Hymaine, a district about the present town of Loughrea, where they shared the kingship with the TTluincip Nea6cain; but they lived in Tullinadaly for centuries. Among the prominent members of the family in early timeswere Thomas O'Mullaly, who, as archbishop, presided at the Synod of Tuam in 1523, and William O'Mullally, who was appointed Archbishop of Tuam in 1573 (died 1595). Some members of the family continued to reside in this neighbourhood till the year 1838, when the last of them died. They always kept up a correspondence with the French branch of the Lallys.

The name Tullinadaly, in Irish Cula6 na t)dile, means * the hill of the assembly '; and it is interesting to note that a flourishing fair is still held here twice a year, in spite of many disadvantages. The patent of the present fair was given by James I.; but centuries before his time a fair was held here, as the name testifies.

s

ANTIQUITIES OF TUAM AND DISTRICT.

BY RICHARD J. KELLY, B.L., J.P.
[Read August 9, 1904.]

'tvam takes its name from a tumulus or mound, -where afterwards was erected a curious structure known as the Chair of Tuam, whereon the mayors or sovereigns of the municipality sat on the day of their inauguration. St. Jarlath was the disciple of St. Benin; his church and well are at Kilbannon; he was educated by St. Benin, who was himself a disciple of St. Patrick; he was the founder of the See of Tuam; and from his date in the sixth century to the present—with some gaps in the beginning, owing to the fact that the abbacy and the bishopric were one and the same, and more a conventual than an episcopal dignity in those times—but without any break from 1151; we can trace the long line of Tuam's bishops. St. Jarlath, leaving Kilbannon, went to Cluainfois, distant about two miles, and there he founded the famous school of Cluainfois, or, as popularly called, Cloonfush—an establishment co-eval with, and the rival of, Clonard, Clonmacnois, and Bangor; two of its sons became distinguished afterwards: St. Brendan, as the founder of Clonfert; and St. Colman, the founder of Cloyne. When an old man, having done good service in the church as a missionary and a teacher, St. Jarlath was told by a vision, as interpreted to him by his friend Brendan, that he should leave Cloonfush, and found a See where the wheels of his chariot broke down. Although that commission might mean a travelling through the whole country, for aught he knew, and a far distant pilgrimage, the old man readily obeyed. Where the wheels of his chariot broke down, he founded the See and town of Tuam. It was but three miles from his old place, but here he settled and never left it. When he died, about the latter end of the sixth century, here he was buried, and a church was erected, which contained his remains. It was called Tempul na Serin, or the Church of the Shrine. In a beautiful silver case or shrine his relics were kept. Troubled times came about the sixteenth century, and the church of the shrine was dismantled, and Divine Service no longer held within its hallowed walls. The shrine disappeared, and, in the seventeenth century, Dr. Lynch, author of "Cambrenais Eversus," describes how mysteriously it was found. The Shrine Church was unroofed and a ruin, but one day, in 1650, as two men were threshing corn on its floor, they noticed something shining up on the ground, and, uncovering some earth, found the silver shrine of St. Jarlath intact and perfect. They gave it to Father Heveran, the clergyman, who undoubtedly gave it to the bishop; for in a deed of gift Dr. John Burke, one of the Clanricardes, who was then archbishop of Tuam (and of which document I saw a copy, and have elsewhere made a translation), makes mention of the shrine, and gives it for safe keeping to one Malachy O'Conor, an ancestor of the O'Conor Donelans, of Sylan, near Tuara. The relic remained in that family down to the year 1830, when one of the name, Captain O'Conor, then living in Claremorris, who had it, died of fever, and from that date it disappeared. All that could be done to trace its whereabouts failed, and the shrine was as completely lost to sight as it was before it was accidentally found beneath the threshing-floor of the old church in 1650—181 years before.

Tuam had seven churches, and we can with fair approximation of accuracy trace some of their sites. Some are mentioned by Archdall. "We have St. Mary's Abbey on the site of the old cathedral; opposite to it the Abbey Trinity Church; then the Priory of John the Baptist, founded in 1140 by Turlough O'Conor. The Abbey Trinity was a De Burgh foundation of the time of King John or Henry III., and of Prsemonstatensian Canons. Then the Church of St. Jarlath and Shrine Church. These we can even now fairly trace. At a period before the Norman Invasion, when Turlough O'Conor, the Augustus of Ireland's monarchs, was king, Tuam was the seat and centre of arts and learning. The first stone castle in Ireland was built here, and from the circumstance called "the wonderful castle "—caster mirificum. The arch in the chancel of the cathedral is described by Petrie as the finest specimen of Norman architecture in Ireland. The Processional Cross of Cong was brought there from Tuam, when Boderick, a disappointed, a defeated, and a downfallen monarch, repaired to its beautiful abbey to prepare for eternity, laying down the sceptre like another Charles V.—with the difference, however, that the one abandoned a grand empire, the other a divided and a distracted kingdom.

The archbishopric was founded in 1152 at the Synod of Kells, when Cardinal Paparo brought the pallium to Tuam, Dublin, Armagh, and Cashel; and Catholicus O'Dufly was the first archbishop. He was a party to the Treaty of "Windsor between Henry II. and the Irish king, being surety for Roderick O'Conor. The Synod of Cashel in 1172 was attended by the Archbishop of Tuam, then eighty years of age; and at the time of the Invasion the Irish episcopacy consisted of four archbishoprics and twenty-eight bishoprics—the suffragan Sees of Tuam being then Killala, Achonry, Clonfert, Elphin, and possibly Kilmacduagh.

Giraldus Cambrensis says, that after the Synod of Dublin, in 1177, the English troops penetrated as far as Tuam, which, he said, was "the chief city of these parts." There they stayed eight days. It was subsequently burned—its fate and fortune many times; and even so late as the battle of Aughrim, in 1691, Tuam did not escape destruction by fire. This accounts for so few comparatively old ruins remaining with

« AnteriorContinuar »