Ard Rathain, what it means:

The Irish name of Ardrahan parish, which lies about four and a half miles north by east from the town of Gort in the county of Galway, is Ard Ratháin, which may signify the height of the fort (or rath). (In the word ‘rathin’ as locally pronounced), The vowels are short in both syllables, which seems to show that it may not be ‘rathan’, the primary diminutive of ‘rath’ a fort, which has ‘a’ in both syllables. Perhaps, therefore, it may be from the old Irish word ‘rathan’-ferns – as well as ‘cuil rathan’ now Colraine, which is translated ‘secessus filicis’ (secluded nook of the fern) in the ‘Triparte Life of St Patrick.)

The ráth in which the name originated is not pointed out by the inhabitants of the place, nor is there such a feature in existence, as far as I could learn, at present about the village of Ardrahan, that might be considered as the one which became designate. The village is certainly at the original locality which bore the name, for it is on the declivity of a rising ground, the highest part of which is occupied by an old church in ruins, by the parish church close by it, a small remnant of a round tower and an old castle, which stands in ruins, a short distance to the north-east of the church yard, within a square fortification.

Tom O'Doherty
Walter LAMBERT held by lease from Dominick BOURKE of Ballamana, Co. Mayo, the lands of Cregclare. In 1726 he acquired the lands "for himself and his heirs made forever", by a deed of sale, of which John TAYLOR of Castletaylor and a certain Walter TAYLOR of Ballamana were witnesses. The property was small, 837 acres, all situated in Cregclare and its immediate vicinity. The property remained in the family till 1854, when it was purchased from James LAMBERT by Lord Clan-morris, (BINGHAM).

The Tuam Herald of 2nd September 1854 has the entry, "Cregclare sold by James LAMBERT in the Encumbered Estates Court". Algy PERSSE farmed Cregclare from the early years of this century to his death. His family left in 1918 and Ben TAYLOR bought Cregclare. Ben's nephew Dick TAYLOR farmed there from 1936 to 1938 when the land was divided.

                In the 1700's the parish church of Ardrahan stood within the old fort 
        of Cahercre, within the Cregclare demense. It continued to be used for 
        divine worship to the beginning of the last century. The site on which 
        it stands formed part of the grounds of Mr. LAMBERT, a protestant resident 
        proprietor - a fact which deserves to be recorded as a striking evidence 
        of liberality at a time when the Catholic religion was banned by laws 
        of the realm.

        Hely DUTTON in his "Statistical Survey of Galway" refers to chapels erected 
        in Co. Galway. He tells us that "there was a new chapel erected at Labane, 
        a village situated a mile from Cregclare and about an equal distance from 
        Ardrahan". The site for the church was granted by Lambert with a subscription 
        of £50 towards its erection. The church was built around 1810 and is referred 
        to as "handsome and comfortable" by DUTTON. However according to Rev. 
        Mons. J. FAHEY, author of "The History and Antiquities of the Diocese 
        of Kilmacduagh", it was " but a low thatched cruciform building, quite 
        inadequate in its dimensions to the accommodation of the increased population 
        of some years later".

        As recorded in "Muintir Amháin" 1981, Fr. John NAGLE became parish priest 
        of Ardrahan in 1799, and was well into his 90's when he died in 1829. 
        It was he who built the church in Labane in 1810.

        In the 1850's the opinion was general that the Labane church was neither 
        "handsome" nor suitable and the then parish priest Fr. Daniel GERAGHTY 
        undertook to build a more suitable church. This task was undertaken in 
        1856. The old site was too small and additional room was necessary. The 
        LAMBERT estate at Cregclare had, as we have said, passed into the ownership 
        of Clanmorris, who generously offered, free of charge, any accommodation 
        that might be necessary. It would appear that Cahercre in Cregclare with 
        its old church in ruins was ''taken over by LAMBERT when he granted the 
        site for the church in Labane.

        When John Charles Robert BINGHAM, 4th Baron Clanmorris died in 1876 his 
        widow Sarah Selina had him buried temporarily in the old church in Cregclare. 
        She planned to build a family mausoleum later.

        The mausoleum was built and the coffin bearing the remains of the 4th 
        Baron Clanmorris was exhumed and placed in the Mausoleum. Burton P. BINGHAM, 
        brother of the 4th Baron was buried in the mausoleum on December 12th 
        1898. Sarah Selina, widow of the 4th Baron, who had built the mausoleum 
        was buried on 30th November 1907 in the mausoleum.

        £100 was invested by Clanmorris at 3½% - the interest to be spent on the 
        upkeep of the Mausoleum. By the 1940's it was becoming more difficult 
        to maintain the mausoleum in good condition. Michael Shane TAYLOR, as 
        Churchwarden, had been in communication with Lord Clanmorris at Bangor 
        Castle, Co. Down on the subject, and his Lordship had decided to request 
        the Ardrahan Churchwardens to allot to him a plot in the church yard in 
        Ardrahan in which to re-inter the three coffins in the mausoleum. It was 
        agreed that the £3.50 per annum, which still comes, be spent towards the 
        upkeep of the church yard in Ardrahan.

        It was arranged that the coffins be removed from the mausoleum and re-interred 
        in Ardrahan. The permission of the Ministry of Justice was received. On 
        the morning of 13th September 1945, the Rev. Canon HIPWELL, Rector and 
        Michael Shaw TAYLOR, Churchwarden, oversaw the removal of the sealed leaded 
        coffins. The three coffins were placed in Willie KELLY'S lorry and escorted 
        to their final resting place under the east window in Ardrahan church 

        Dick TAYLOR and Mick MARTIN were present at the removal of the coffins. 
        John Charles Robert BINGHAM 4th Baron Clanmorris who had died on the 5th 
        April 1876 at Lismany, Ballinasloe, had finally found his resting place. 
        He was interred three times, first in the church at Caher Cre, Cregclare, 
        then but a few yards away in the Mausoleum and now in Ardrahan.
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