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Monday, January 8, 2018

Kilconnell Abbey (Cill Chonaill)

Figuring out how to get to the ruins of Kilconnell Abbey took us a bit of contemplation and further consultation at the local pub. Between the buildings and through the fields?  Through the gardens and by the sheep?  That turned out to be the easiest way. A well maintained path took us to the Abbey where we thoroughly examined the seemingly locked gate before realizing we just had to open it!

Located in Kilconnell, a small rural village, in County Galway, the Franciscan Abbey was founded in 1353 by William Bui O'Kelly, Lord of Uí Maine.  It was renovated by his grandson, William Mór O'Kelly in the early fifteenth century.  William Mór died in 1420 and is buried in the friary.  It is a major burial place for the O'Kelly Sept.

Although it lacks a roof (some sources state it was deroofed by Cromwellian soldiers, others that it was abandoned by the Franciscans as vocations fell) it is amazingly intact considering it has been unoccupied for hundreds of years.

As we continue to explore our Kelly heritage, it is exciting to know that is was our ancestors that built some of these wonderful ruins.  As I wandered through this and others, I did think that I probably like them best in this "ruin" form.  With roofs they would have been dark and cold.  Open to the air with sunlight...well daylight anyway.. pouring through they are places of great beauty and wonder.

More Pictures

Read more on the history of Kilconnell

Kilconnell - Monastic Ireland - History, a tour of the site, footprint....wish I had found this site before we visited!
History of Kilcennell Abbey - Schools Collection  - dú
The Irish Aesthete - Where there is Darkness Light
Ireland in Ruins
Kilconnell - Wikipedia

Monday, December 25, 2017

More Family Art

Madi's contribution to the family art collection.

Madison Carbullido (age 12)

Monday, December 18, 2017

Galey Castle

Lying on western shores of Lough Ree, near Knockcroghery, Co. Roscommon, the ruins of Galey castle are just across the road from Galey Caravan Park. But bring your wellies if you want to see the actual ruins.  In this picture it is the dense green just left of center.  

Galey Castle "...was once the stronghold of the O'Kelly clan and was instrumental in the naming of the nearby village of Knockcroghery. The name change of the village occurred in Cromwellian times (17th century) when Sir Charles Coote laid siege to Galey Castle. The garrison resisted and for their defiance were taken to Creggan (The old name for Knockcroghery) and hanged on the hill just north of the village, now commonly known as Hangman's Hill. To mark this, the name of the village was changed to "Cnoc na Crocaire," the Hill of the Hangings, or in english - "Knockcroghery"." Galey Bay Camping

According to historical resources, Galey Castle was built in 1348 by our 17th/18th g.grandpa, William McDonagh Moynach O'Kelly (William Bui O'Kelly / Uilliam Bui Ó Ceallaigh). In 1351 he held a great feast at the castle, inviting all the poets, brehons, bards, harpers, gamesters or common kearógs, and jesters and other of their kind of Ireland.  A month long party resulted in verses extolling William for his bounty. 

This is the translation of the O'Kelly Welcome purported to have been written at the feast. 

A blessed, long living, great, courteous welcome,    
An affectionate, charitable, just, proper, true hearted welcome,    
A welcome and twenty, and I add, hundreds to them,    
Like the surge of the stream is, my welcome to you.  

The website  Ó Ceallaigh - The Noble Clan of Ui Maine gives the translation of Filid Erin Go h-Aoin Teach (The Poets of Ireland to One House Are Coming) a product of the party.

The view from the castle must have been spectacular, it certainly is today!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Cnoc an Mhóicléaraigh

an update to Mocklershill

Maigh gCorbáin/Magorban
An Trian Meánach/Middlethird
Tiobraid Árann/Tipperary

The last family townland we visited in Sept 2017 was Mocklershill.  Well, kind of sort of.  We found no signs for the townland, but the GPS brought us here.  The weather cooperated, giving a sense of the true beauty of the area.  Mocklershill sits near the eastern end of the Golden Valley just a few kilometers from the Rock of Cashel and the town below it.

The Rock of Cashel is the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster, in use from at least the 5th century AD.  The oldest building on the site dates to about 1100 AD.
View of Hore Abbey

Sitting so close, it seems likely the Dunn family would have visited the ruins of Cashel through the years.

Mocklershill was in the parish of Killenaule, the town of Killenaule today is further from Mocklershill than Cashel, but as the crow flies, and as man was likely to travel in the 1830s Killenaule was closer.
Looking towards Mocklershill from Rock of Cashel

The church in Killenaule today was built about 1860, so it was not in place when the Dune family was baptised. According to the parish website a church located there in 1754 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary was T shaped with a thatched roof.   The website doesn't indicate whether the church was on the same grounds.  The burials in the cemetery all seemed to be after the new church was built.

Logainm - Mocklershill
Pictures of Mocklershill
The Rock of Cashel - Wikipedia
The Rock of Cashel -
Pictures of the Rock of Cashel
Hore Abbey
Pictures of Killenaule

Monday, October 30, 2017


One of the wonders of Ireland is that there are ancient ruins everywhere you look.

Clonmacnoise was perhaps a little out of the way in our travels to family townlands, but then it has a bit of a Kelly connection and was in fact the center of religion, learning, craftsmanship and trade by the 8th century.  Travelers from throughout Western Europe visited.

Founded in the mid-6th century by St. Ciarán, the site has ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (dating 10th to 13th centuries, two round towers, three high croses and the largest collection of Early Christian graveslabs found anywhere in Western Europe.  The crosses and some of the graveslabs have been moved inside for preservation purposes.

Located on the eastern bank of the Shannon, Clonmacnoise experienced the liberality of the chiefs of Hy-maine (our Kelly ancestors) and the kings of Connaught through the 9th century.  
Among the burials are  High Kings as well as Kings of Connaught.  In later times the monestary aligned with the Kings of Meath.   

The  monestary which survived plague in the 7th century and many attacks during the next four centuries by English, Irish, Vikings, and Normans, was in decline by the 12th century.  The end came in 1552 when the English garrison at Athlone looted it one more time, leaving it in ruins.

Monday, October 23, 2017