Clareabbey (County Clare)


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Welcome to the Ireland Reaching Out web page for the civil parish of Clare Abbey / Killone in county Clare, Ireland.


This parish includes the villages of Clarecastle and Ballyea and their hinterland. There are Catholic churches at Clarecastle ( ) and Ballyea ( ) and national schools (for ages 4 to 12) at Clarecastle ( Ballyea(

The parish is situated on the Fergus Estuary in mid- Clare, and is bounded on the west by the civil parish of Clondegad, on the north by the civil parish of Drumcliff, and on the south the Fergus Estuary and to the east by Doora Parish.


Clare Abbey was founded in 1189 by Donal Mar O'Brien. It was an abbey of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine and was dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. The abbey was the scene of a great slaughter in 1278 between various factions of the O'Briens. Parts of the single-aisled church date from the late twelfth century but most of the buildings are fifteenth-century work. These include a well-preserved east window, the tower and the domestic buildings with their unusual floral window at the south-eastern corner. The church and charter were reconfirmed by Thady, Bishop of Killaloe, in 1461. Henry VIII granted the abbey to the Baron of Ibrickan in 1543 and the Earls of Thomond were confirmed as owners in 1620 and 1661. The Augustinians remained in the abbey until 1650. By 1703 the abbey was a ruin, but there was a good thatched house, an orchard and 2 or 3 cabins nearby, according to Moland's survey.

Clare Abbey 1862 by Rev. John Louis Petit Courtesy of Pat & Kitty Quinn


The convent of Cill Eoin or the convent of St. John's Church, was the first convent of Augustinian nuns in County Clare. The Annals of Inisfallen, 1259-1260, mention the death of Slaney, O Bryan's daughter, Abbess of Kill Eoin, chief in devotion, almes-deedes and hospitality of all women in Munster. Another abbess, Dubcollaithig Breyn, died in 1350. In 1584 the convent was vested in the Crown. One legend relates how Honora O'Brien became a nun in Killone but ran off with Sir Roger O'Shaughnessy of Gort and presented him with a son and daughter before getting the Pope's dispensation for their marriage. It is mentioned in the Visitation of Killaloe in 1617 as the property of Baron Inchiquin. It was last occupied at the end of the sixteenth century. The east window is its most interesting feature, being double with two semi-circular headed lights lined with smooth stonework.


Killow/Cill Lua Local spelling Killoo also spelled Killoe. The settlement of Cill Lua is reputed to have been founded by St Lua a grandson of a 5th century King of Thomond and is one of the oldest Churches in the Diocese of Killaloe. The Church measures 37ft 9inches by 19ft 4inches. Joe Poweras History of Clarecastle (p 21) states that Killow belonged to the Deanery of Tradaree up to the 17th century and must have been incorporated into Clareabbey during penal times. Hilary Gilmoreas research states: aIn the town land of Killow there is an ancient Church and Graveyard. There is no definite information available regarding the Church. It is probable that a Monastery was founded here about the middle of the 7th century AD by St Molua or Lugad of Killaloe. It seems to have survived the Viking wars and it became a Parish in its own right following the 12th century reorganisation of the Irish Church. The first record we have regarding this Church is the Papal taxation of 1302 where it is listed as a Parish with a valuation of 3 marks. It was united with Clareabbey later on. In the years following the Reformation many Churches were taken over and used by Ministers of the new Protestant religion. Bishop Rider, Protestant Bishop of Killaloe, reported in 1615 on the conditions of Churches in the Diocese His comments on Killow were aChurch and Chancel downa. It seems therefore that Killow Church was not used for public worship after that. T.J. Westropp in his Churches of Co Clare (1900) wrote aKillue a Clareabbey Parish; A small Church 37ft 9ins by 19ft 4ins. East window has a slightly pointed head and is chamfered; the splay is rudely built and other features defaced. Founder Lugad perhaps Molua. Killuga 1302 then a separate Parish. Monuments Stamer 1766.

Parish Registers

Clarecastle / Ballyea Baptisms 1835 a 1900

Clarecastle / Ballyea Marriages 1835 a 1900

National Schools Registers

Clarecastle Boys National School 1862 a 1900

Clarecastle Girls National School 1887- 1900

Above records are not online but are available to the Administrator

Sources online through Clare Library:

Ballyea National School Registers 1888 a 1966

Tiermaclane National School Registers 1865 a 1888

Online Sources through Clare Library

County Clare: A History and Topography 1837 by Samuel Lewis

Emigrants from Clareabbey & Killone Parishes through Ellis Island


Emigrants from Clareabbey & Killone Parishes through Ellis Island

Type of Material:

Ellis Island/Port of New York Passenger Records


1894 to 1924


Clareabbey & Killone Parishes


Ellis Island Website


Eric Shaw

St. Maryas Church of Ireland, Clare Castle a a short history

(This is an extract from aClare Castle & Ballyea: the parish remembersa by Eric Shaw, published by The Clare Roots Society, 2011)

Marriage Records, St. Maryas Church of Ireland, Clarecastle, 1845-1868


Marriage Records, St. Maryas Church of Ireland, Clarecastle


Marriage Records


1845 to 1868


Clare Abbey Parish




Eric Shaw

Members Of Clarecastle Ireland reaching Out Team

Christy Leyden,Eric Shaw,Dr.Catherine O'Connor,Dr Joe Power,John Power,Eddie Connors

Michael Sheedy,Gerry Breen,Jean Ryan

These Members are also part of the Clarecastle Ballyea Meet and greet Team

We are working on this parish profile and continue to add content. Feel free to post your message and we will respond as soon as possible. Remember to post as much information as you can with regard to the people you are researching. The more information you post, the more likely it is that one of our volunteers will be able to advise or assist you. Also include information concerning which sources you may have already used so others may further your search.

Please be patient - as our programme has only begun to rollout across
the island of Ireland and volunteers in some areas may not yet be


The 1821-1851 census returns were almost destroyed in a fire, the 1861-1891 census returns were destroyed by the Government. The 1901-1911 census returns are available on line free of charge on line on the National Archives of Ireland website.


Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out Parish of Clareabbey, County Clare.

Clareabbey and its History

Clare Abbey is a ruined Augustinian Monastery located about a mile north of the Clarecastle County Clare.

The abbey was founded in 1194 by Donald O'Brien, the then king of Thomond. The ruins include a church, cloister with ranges of domestic buildings to the east and south of the garth, and a gateway and enclosures. The church was originally a long oblong building. The interior was subsequently divided into a nave and chancel by a belfry tower. Today there are views of the ruins from the N18 Ennis Bypass.

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Clareabbey (Clare)

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