Cloonfush

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Cloonfush (Irish: Cluain Fois which means the lawn/meadow of the stay/rest) is a village located approximately 2 miles from Tuam in County Galway, Ireland. It is substantially surrounded by River Clare, which flows into the Corrib. Adjacent villages are Kilmore, Sylane, and Killaloonty.

Location[edit]

Cloonfush is accessed via the main N17 at Clashroe, and is a cul-de-sac single-lane road. The village of Kilmore is reached first, then Cloonfush approx. 1 km later. There is no separation between the two villages today, as houses now line the road almost over its complete length through both villages. The road leading through the village was finally surfaced in the 1950s, with the last 400m remaining with a grass strip in the middle until the early 1980s. There is a peat bog to the south of the village, used predominantly by the inhabitants of both Cloonfush and Kilmore for harvesting turf, which is used as a solid fuel for domestic heating.

Cloonfush has seen its population swell in recent years as many new houses have been constructed. It offers a peaceful, scenic setting for any family. However, the increased number of houses has led in turn to increased traffic, slightly tarnishing the peaceful rural existence. There is a limited local misconception that Cloonfush can be translated to mean "Meadow of the Lark"; "Meadow of peace" (tranquility) is generally regarded as the more accurate translation. Whilst roadside construction of houses has continued, the remaining area can be considered farmland.

Facilities[edit]

Despite its religious background, Cloonfush does not have any church. Similarly, there are no shops, schools or other infrastructural amenities. The inhabitants are therefore dependent on the neighbouring town of Tuam and the city of Galway for these services.

Until the late 1960s, there was no mains water supply to the village, with each household dependent on obtaining water from the hand water pump located in the village. A local committee was formed by Michael Cullinane, Thomas Fleming and Patrick Quinn, and a borehole was sunk near the old hand pump location. A pump house was erected over the borehole. A network of pipes was laid in trenches along the roadside, dug by Ned Lyons Contractors (of Renmore & Galway), and each house in turn connected. Once commissioned, this system provided fresh clean water to the villages of Kilmore & Cloonfush for almost four decades. Regular independent analysis of the water confirmed its potability. In the early 2000s, the pump house and pipe work were finally abandoned when the network was connected to the mains water supply by Galway County Council.

Various travelling shops served the area over the years, including Burke's of High Street (Brendan Whelan), Harry Campbell of Vicarschoroland and Jack Grady of High Street. Jack Grady was the last to offer this service, which ceased in the late 1970s. The late Jack Grady also provided a mobile threshing mill service to the local community from the late 1940s to the mid-1970s.

History[edit]

Cloonfush was the location of an abbey, where St.Jarlath was abbot, the ruins of which still exist to this day, some 1,600 years later. The adjacent graveyard (cemetery) is still in use, and since the year 2000 is the location of an annual Mass on the feast day of St. Jarlath (June 6).

Many local families can trace their roots in Cloonfush back at least 200 years. Cloonfush also features in Griffith's Valuation (Tuam Area)(1848–1864). The Higgins, Crisham (sp: Cresham) and Roche names can still be found in the village, whilst descendents of Bermingham (Fleming) are still living in the village. Many descendents married out to adjacent villages, whilst many families either died out, or chose the route of emigration.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 53°30′55″N 8°53′45″W / 53.51528°N 8.89583°W / 53.51528; -8.89583