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The monastery of Clonmacnoise (Cluain Mhic Nóis in Irish, meaning Meadow of the Sons of Nós) is situated in County Offaly, Ireland on the River Shannon south of Athlone. It was visited by the Pope in 1979. The site can be visited for a fee, via an Interpretative Centre.
The modern village of Clonmacnoise is beside the monastery on the R444 regional road 7 km north of Shannonbridge, County Offaly.
Clonmacnoise was founded in 545 by Saint Ciarán in the territory of Ui Maine at the point where the major east-west land route through the bogs of central Ireland along the Eiscir Riada, an esker or moraine left by the receding glaciers of the last ice age crossed the River Shannon. Saint Ciarán had been educated by St. Finnian of Clonard and also by Abbot St. Enda of Aran.
Shortly after his arrival with eight companions, Ciarán met Diarmait mac Cerbaill who helped him build the first church — a small wooden structure and the first of many small churches to be clustered on the site. Diarmuid was to claim the title of the first Christian High King of Ireland. Ciaran died about one year later of the yellow plague and was buried reputedly in the building now known as Temple Ciaran; he was in his early thirties.
The strategic location of the monastery helped it become a major centre of religion, learning, craftsmanship and trade by the 9th century and together with Clonard it was the most famous in Ireland, being visited by scholars from all over Europe. Until the 9th century it had close associations with the kings of Connacht and then until the 11th century it was alliance with the kings of Mide. Many of the high kings of Tara and Connacht were buried here. It was attacked frequently, by the Vikings, Anglo-Normans and other Irish forces.
Clonmacnoise CastleAll the early buildings including churches were of wood and have not survived. They were replaced in stone by the tenth century onwards when Clonmacnoise became a bishopric. It also produced many fine examples of Celtic gold and silverware, which is preserved in Dublin museums.
After the 12th century it fell into decline. The English built a castle next to the monastery in the 13th century and the whole settlement was finally sacked in 1552 by an English garrison from Athlone which reduced it to a ruin.
On behalf of the Nagle family who travelled from Australia, America, Great Britain and Ireland for our family reunion I would like to thank Milda Grigone and Irish Tourism for all they have done for us since we started to organise our family reunion well over 1 year ago.
Any time I sent Milda an email she got back to me straight away no problem to big to solve.
We found them to be very professional.
Iris Tourism made our reunion a memorable occasion which we will be forever grateful.
Many thanks to
Steve Royston and a very special thanks to Milda Grigone who I found to be a very easy person to communicate with her professionalism is to be commended.
We stayed at the Glenroyle Hotel in Maymooth for 4 nights.
The staff at the hotel could not do enough for us from the time we arrived to the time we left.
The rooms were perfect and very clean as you would expect.
On the Saturday night we had a gala night the function room had a very homely feel to it and the food was excellent.
The leisure centre kept the children occupied.
This is a hotel I would recommend to anyone having a family reunion many thanks to the Glenroyle Hotel.
Once again thanks to everyone who made this a very memorable occasion for the Nagle Family.
On behalf of the Nagle Family
Nagle Family Reunion