History

Have a look here now and again. We hope to add more articles about our local history over time. If you have a story to tell, let us know using the contact form.

Rose Window Corofin

The rose window of the Sacred Heart over the altar, a gift from the Blakes of Ballyglunin, was erected in memory of Fr. Patrick Duggan who served in his native parish before being consecrated Bishop of Clonfert in 1872.




Olivia Mary Taaffe Olivia Mary Taffe

From The Tuam Herald on the 150th anniversary of her birth.
On June 24th, 1832, at Annagh, Ballyglunin, the wife of John Blake, formerly one of the Bodkins, gave birth to a daughter, Olivia Mary. She was noted for her religious endeavour, and particularly her success in providing money for the education of prospective priests who otherwise would not be able to afford it.
After the death of her mother, when Olivia was still young, she was reared by her aunts and grandparents who brought her up in a strict, puritan manner with religion the dominant theme. When she was 35 she married a John Taffe from Louth on the understanding that if a son was born to them he would be consecrated a Jesuit. They did have one son but he was not healthy and died at an early age. When her husband died in 1893 she was not alone child-less and widowed but also in financial difficulty, and family jewellery and other articles had to be sold off.
Now for the French connection. Years earlier she had visited Maranville, a small town about 140 miles to the south-east of Paris where boys assisted at a shrine there and in return got preparatory training for the priesthood. Some of the boys were sponsored by generous benefactors. She sponsored one French boy so then she turned her attention to the Irish scene. The devotion in that French town was to St. Joseph, Protector to the Souls in Purgatory, and with the permission of Archbishop MacEvilly of Tuam she started a similar devotion in Ireland. She started off by sponsoring a young Dun Laoghaire altar boy for the priesthood with the help of subscriptions from readers of St. Joseph's Sheaf, a religious publication which she established. Gradually the St. Joseph's Young Priests Society blossomed, sending priests to all parts of the world, including China.

Cummer & Kilmoylan is the older title of the parish.

Belclare (the mouth of the plain) and Killower (the church beside the well) might also be added. 

Cummer, meaning confluence, refers to the meeting of the Clare and its tributaries - the Grange & the Abbert.

Kilmoylan is translated as the Church of the Mound.

The popular name for this parish is Corofin (Coire Finne), meaning a large pool of clean, clear water. Corofin was an important centre in Norman times because there was a ford at Corofin across a large expanse of water which covered one-third of the parish. This was the only crossing point available between the two large areas of water stretching from south west of Tuam to Lackagh.

As Penal Laws began to wane in 1760, a low thatched church was built at Corofin. The present church begun in 1829 by a Belclare man, Fr. Pat Canavan, was completed and dedicated to St. Colman in 1844.

Near Sylane National School is a Mass Rock, said to have been used in Penal times by Fr. Ulick Nally who evaded capture for many years by being employed as a butler by the landlord Malachy O'Connor. This family gave Corofin its second bishop - Dr. Thomas O'Connor, Bishop of Achonry (1788 - 1803)

The first Belclare Church was on the northern slope of Knockmea at Churchfriar or Pollaturk, on the site of an old Franciscan house once affiliated to Ross Errilly Abbey near Headford. In 1924 it was replaced by the new Church of the Sacred Heart.

A Corofin native, Bishop Patrick Duggan of Clonfert, declined the honour of being the first Patron of the GAA, giving the honour to the younger man, Archbishop Thomas Croke of Cashel.

Dr Duggan

Belclare
The ruins of the old church, dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel, are situated 200 yards away from the present Belclare Church in a place called Churchfriar, which was the site of an ancient Franciscan Monastery, founded with the help of the De Burgo's in 1291.
Belclare is the curacy of the parish of Corofin and the longest serving curate was Fr. Varden (1919 - 1931) whose tombstone is the only one beside the new church.
The first curate, Fr. Pat Canavan served as C.C. in Claretuam as it was then called,1812 - 1816, when he became P.P. of Corofin until his death in 1856,spending most of forty years in Belclare and his fine tomb is in Churchfriar, beside the ruins of the old church which he reroofed after it was stripped on the Night of the Big Wind, 6 Jan. 1839.
One of the many other curates to have served here is the present Archbishop of Tuam, Most Rev.Dr. Michael Neary who was here 1975 -'76.