SHRULE, or SHRUEL, a parish, in the barony of KILMAINE, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 3 ¾ miles (N.) from Headford, on the road from Galway to Westport; containing 4167 inhabitants, of which number, 507 are in the village.
This parish is situated on the river Blackwater which, running through the village, separates the counties of Mayo and Galway: it comprises 8959 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act.
The land is of good quality, and chiefly under tillage; the system of agriculture is much improved, and the wheat produced here is considered to be the best in the county: the only wasteland is bog, which might be easily reclaimed and converted into good pasture.
Limestone of excellent quality is found in abundance and quarried for agricultural purposes and for building.
The principal seats are:
- Dalgan Park, the residence of P. Kirwan, Esq., a spacious mansion of hewn limestone, in the Grecian style, with a noble hall supported on lofty Corinthian columns and lighted by a finely proportioned dome;
- Riverview, of M. J. Hunt, Esq.;
- Glen Corrib, of A. Brown, Esq;
- Shrule, of R. Golden, Esq.;
- Ballycurrin Castle, of P. Lynch, Esq.; and
- Houndswood, of M. D’Arcy, Esq.
The village contains 86 houses, many of which are neatly built, and the salubrity of the climate is such as to render it a desirable residence for invalids. To the rear of Riverview is a hamlet called Gurtloygraph, in which are many instances of longevity. An extensive brewery is carried on, and there are large corn-mills, the property of R. Golden, Esq. A market for corn is held here every Thursday, which is abundantly supplied; and there are fairs on Easter-Monday, July 26th, and Nov. 11th. A constabulary police force is stationed in the village, and petty sessions are held on alternate Thursdays.
The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Tuam, and in the patronage of the Archbishop; the rectory forms part of the union or wardenship of Galway. The tithes amount to £264. 2. 8., of which £183. 17. 5. is payable to the Warden of Galway, and the remainder to the vicar.
In the R. C. divisions, the parish is in the diocese of Galway, and is co-extensive with that of the Established Church: the chapel is a neat edifice in the ancient English style, with a square tower, towards the erection of which £1300 was contributed by Mr. Kirwan, of Dalgan Park, who also gave the ground: it has a handsome marble altar-piece, presented by T. Martin, Esq.
About five miles from Shrule is a Franciscan convent, endowed by the Lynch family with 30 acres of land, to which is attached a chapel.
There are three private schools, in which are about 100 children.
Some interesting remains of the old castle and of the ancient abbey of Shrule are still in existence.
In the demesne of Ballycurrin are the remains of the castle of that name, in good preservation; the floors are still perfect, and it might easily be rendered habitable; from the summit are extensive views of Lough Corrib, Connemara, and the surrounding country.
SOURCE: A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis (pub 1837)
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