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Skreen, Sligo, Republic of Ireland
An Scrín
Skreen Church of Ireland
Skreen, Sligo, Republic of Ireland is located in Ireland
Skreen, Sligo, Republic of Ireland
Skreen, Sligo, Republic of Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 54°14′36″N 8°43′52″W / 54.2433°N 8.7311°W / 54.2433; -8.7311Coordinates: 54°14′36″N 8°43′52″W / 54.2433°N 8.7311°W / 54.2433; -8.7311
Country Ireland
Province Connacht
County County Sligo
Elevation 76 m (249 ft)
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference G523329

Skreen (Irish: An Scrín, meaning "the shrine") is a small village and parish in County Sligo, Ireland.


St Adomnán, the first biographer of St Columba (Colmcille) and one of his successors at Iona, first served as abbot at Skreen Abbey, which allegedly acquired its name from the relics of Adomnán. The abbey was possessed by Viking raiders in the 9th century, who pillaged and razed it. Besides his Columba biography, Adomnán is known for his "Law of the Innocents", protecting women, children, and other non-combatants from being casualties of war.

The name Adamnan is, according to Cormac’s Glossary, an Irish diminutive of Adam. It is generally pronounced in three syllables, but its proper Irish pronunciation is Awnaun, the d and the m being both aspirated. In the life of St Farannan, published by Colgan, we are informed that Tibraide, lord of Hy Fiachrach, bestowed on St.Columba a place called Cnoc-na-maoile; but that it was subsequently called Scrin-Adhamhnain from a shrine that saint erected there. From this shrine the parish of Skreen in County Sligo derived its name. There, he is called Awnaun, and his well, Toberawnaun (which gives name to a townland), lies a little south of the old church.(p.156 "Irish Names pf Places" P.W.Joyce).

The Abbey, of which there is no remaining trace, was located at the site of the present Skreen Church of Ireland church, next to which are an old graveyard and the extensive remains of the medieval church. Within the ruin is the gravesite of Reverend Gabriel Stokes, a 19th-century pastor of the Church of Ireland parish and father of mathematician Sir George Stokes.

In the graveyard may be found many fine 18th-19th-century limestone box tombs, the most celebrated of which is the 1824 Alexander Black tomb, carved by "Old Frank" Diamond. His descendants are still, after seven generations, in the stonecutting business on the Coast Road.

Also in the parish are the considerable ruins of Ardnaglass Castle, originally a possession of the O'Dowds, then the MacSweeneys, and after the Cromwellian conquest the Joneses and the Blacks. It is just off the Coast Road on Protestant lane. It is now owned by Gerry Clarke.

There are two Churches in Skreen, the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic. The Catholic Order, The Spiritual Life Institute, consisting of Hermits of the Carmelite Order, also have a Monastery in Skreen, Holy Hill which is also a retreat centre.


See also[edit]