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Kilronan Parish

Kilronan, or in ancient times Tier Tuaithail, in North Roscommon, is bordered by Lough Key (Ce) near Boyle to the West and Lough Allen - the first major lake of the Shannon system -to the East. This compact area contains the villages of Arigna, Keadue and Ballyfarnon

Photo's taken by Gerry & Carol Degnan 1986 & 1999

click on each thumbnail to view the larger photo

Ruins of Kilronan Abbey & Cemetery.

Inside the Abbey with the last full wall. This is where Turlough O'Carolan is buried.

St Lasser's Well

Part of the monument to the Four Masters in Donegal. You can see the name Peregrine O'Duigenan in Gaelic on it

St Lasser's Well - The plaque is in commemoration of Pope John Paul II visit to Ireland in 1979.

Area around the Abbey

Ruins of the castle, the older part of which was first built by Colonel King Tennison. There is no record of what year it was built

Another photo of the castle. The present structure was built by the Earl of Kingstone in 1876. This area was always known by the locals as the Duignan's

Kilronan Castle

Looking down the long walk to the entrance

Another shot

Distant view

More distant view

Just had to post the photo


                                                                        by James McGarry

The first Church at Kilronan, Ballyfarnon, Co. Roscommon, was built in the 8th century by St. Ronan and his daughter St. Lasser (Lasair), hence the name Kilronan (kil or cill meaning church). It was replaced in 1339 by one built by Fergal O'Duigenan which was burned down in 1340 and replace three years later by the Church, one gable of which stands today. Sheltered by that gable is the vault of the McDermott Roes, in which Turlough O'Carolan was interred in 1738.

This gable is a memorial to the Gaelic Literary tradition from the 13th -18th century as represented by the O'Duigenans, hereditary erenachs of Kilronan (lay abbots who held church land from generation to generation), and chroniclers (as well as bards and ollavs-hereditary poets) to the Mac Dermotts, Princes of Moylurg, down to Turlough O'Carolan, sometimes styled "The Last of the Bards". The O'Duigenans maintained a School of History on this site. The origin of the bards is lost in the mists of pre-historic Ireland.

...the O'Duigenans moved from Westmeath to Kilronan ca 1296, and about 1400, a branch of the family settled at Castlefore, Leitrim. The O'Duigenan family were associated with several of the Annals of Ireland. Such annals are the most reliable source of Irish history for 1,000 years down to the 16th century. The records for the early periods were taken from older manuscripts now lost. Members of the O'Duigenan family assisted in the compilation of the following Annals:

1. Annals of Lough Ce(Key) dealing mainly with events in Connacht from 1014 - 1571.

2. The Book of the O'Duigenans of Kilronan to which the Four Masters acknowledged their debt.

3. The Annals of the Four Masters, one of whom was Peregrine O'Duigenan of Castlefore.

4. Last but not least, The Book of Ballymote, one of the seven Great Books of Ireland, sometimes described as miniature mediaeval libraries, compiled about 1391 by Marcus O'Duigenan for Brian MacDonagh of Corran. Its chief distinction is that it preserved the key to Ogham writing.