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Joyce's Clane

Extracted from "Know your Clane" series.

The following is taken from Joyce's 'Dublin and district' which is remarkable, from a local point of view, for the fact that it includes a photograph of the village street with the church on the wrong side. Obviously, the negative was printed the wrong way round.

"Nearly opposite Clane Abbey, and on the banks of the Butterstream, is a large block of stone, with a hollow cut in it, supposed by some to be the pedestal of a cross, by others believed to be what is known as a bullaun, or rock basin, a relic of pre-Christian time, used in certain ceremonials connected with pagan worship. The rain-water which collects in the basin is reputed to be a cure for warts, in consequence of which it is locally known as 'The Wart Stone'."

"A short distance south of the village, and immediately to the right of the road before meeting Clane Bridge, is the Moat of Clane, traditionally reputed to mark the grave of Mesgegra, the King of Leinster, who, in the first century, was slain in single combat with Connall Cernach, a famous warrior of the Red Branch Knights, and champion of Ulster. At the ford of Clane, near where Clane Bridge now stands, these two warriors met, and after a brief combat, the Ulster champion beheaded the ill-fated Leinster King, and carried off his head in his chariot. Soon afterwards he met Queen Buan, the Royal Consort of Mesgegra, attended by her retinue, who in reply to Connall's enquiry , informed him that she was Mesgegra's Queen. Connall then told her that he had her husband's head in his chariot, whereupon she raised a loud cry of lamentation, and fell down dead. A detailed account of this tragedy is given in an old romance, entitled "The Siege of Howth", in the Book of Leinster. The moat at Mainham, a conspicuous object in the little village, about a mile and a half north of Clane, is believed to be the resting place of the broken-hearted Queen, who, it is recorded in the old romance, was buried by the wayside, where in time a hazel tree grew over her grave."

"It was in the neighbourhood of Clane that the rebellion commenced in 1798, and at the adjacent village of Prosperous, the temporary barracks occupied by the North Cork Militia and 'The Ancient Britons' , was attacked by insurgents and burnt. Prosperous had been built only eighteen years previously by Captain Brooke, who established there an extensive cotton factory, but ruined himself by the expenditure. Portion of Clane Parish Church (Church of Ireland) was burnt during the disturbances, and about the same time all the old parochial records mysteriously disappeared."

Reproduced from "Le Chéile" by kind permission


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