Cloonlusk

Townland of Killererin

Taken from Killererin - A Parish History, published in 2015

Cloonlusk, Cluain Loiscthe, “the burnt pasture”[1]

The townland of Cloonlusk is located in the Civil Parish of Killererin in the Barony of Clare. The townland is bordered on the north by the townland of Coolrevagh, in the south by Gortbeg, the east by Cahergal and in the west by the townland of Clooninagh. The Down Survey, records the townland as ‘Cloncurry’[2]. In Cloonlusk in 1641, the owners were listed as ‘Laughlin O’Kelly (Catholic)’ and in 1670 ‘John Bodkin (Catholic)’ and there were 38 plantation acres of unprofitable land, 23 plantation acres of profitable land and 23 plantation acres forfeited[3].

O’Donovan’s Field Name Books

According to P.W. Joyce’s, Place Names, the ‘burnt pasture’ probably refers to the practice of burning the land for agricultural purposes, ‘for instance, when heath was burnt to encourage the growth of grass’[4]. In O’Donovan’s Field Name Books 1830,[5] early references to ‘Clownlosky’ and ‘Clonneloske’ are found in the Chancery Inquisitions of King James I (1603-1625). ‘Cloonlusk’ is also referred to in Larkin’s County Map of Galway 1819 and ‘Cloonlusk’ in the Boundary Survey Sketch Maps[6]. The Survey also cites an ‘authority source’ on the spelling of the townland as ‘Cloonlusk’, supplied by Thomas Gilmore, who was a Proprietor’s Tenant. The 1911 Census of Ireland records the spelling of the townland as ‘Clodulusk’. Today, locally, the townland is spelled ‘Cloonlusk’.

Ownership of Townland

The townland is described as the property of Mr. John Skerrett[7], Ballinduff, ‘containing 339 acres statute measure[8], including about ‘180 acres of bog’[9]. Skerrett also owned lands in Gortbeg, Ballina and Brackloon.

Census 1841-1851[10]

There were 12 households and 80 people living in Cloonlusk in 1841. These 12 households continued to be inhabited up to 1851 though the population decreased by that time to 67 people. The total area of land in the townland was 339 acres, 0 roods and 36 perches with an annual valuation of £45 10s 0d.

Griffith’s Valuation 1855[11]

There were 19 occupants listed on 5 plots in Griffith’s Valuation in Cloonlusk in 1855. All of the tenants leased their land from Martin J. Blake. He also retained 132 acres, 2 roods and 9 perches of bog for himself, at an annual valuation of 10s 0d.

In the 1830s the land in this townland belonged to the Skerretts of Ballinduff. Brooklodge near Ballyglunin was also Skerrett property during 1855 but was held by the Blakes of Ballyglunin on a lease dated 1775[12]. This may explain how the land in this townland in 1855 was held by Blake.  

The largest plot containing a house and land, measuring 89 acres, 3 roods and 8 perches was leased by Peter Tierney at an annual valuation of £36 0s 0d. In 1855, this house was valued at £1. Peter Tierney also leased a further area measuring 13 acres, 2 roods and 29 perches, listed as ‘bog’. Michael Lynskey, Michael Dellamere, Edmund Curley Junior, John Boghan, Thomas Glynn, James Glynn, John Curley, James Lynskey, Edmund Curley senior and Edmund Curley (Pat) each leased a house, altogether measuring 86 acres, 2 roods and 7 perches.

Michael Lynskey’s farm included a house and out-offices. All of this land belonged to Michael J. Blake. James Banne, John Curley, Edmund Curley, John Boghan, Thomas Glynn and Edmund Curley senior also leased land measuring 16 acres, 2 roods and 23 perches from Blake.

Census 1861-1881[13]

There were 16 households with 66 people living in the townland in 1861. By 1871, the population had increased by 10 to 76 people though the number of inhabited houses remained the same as the 1861 figure. By 1881, the households had decreased to 14 while the population remained the same at 76 people. The total area of land in 1881 measured 339 acres, 0 roods and 36 perches the same as in 1841, while the annual valuation of lands and property had increased to £66 5s 0d.

Census 1891[14]

There were 14 households and 67 people living in Cloonlusk in 1891.

Census 1901[15]

There were 62 people listed in Cloonlusk in the 1901 census.

John Tierney, aged 44 was married to Sarah, aged 42. John lived with his children; Peter aged 17, Maggie aged 15, Delia aged 12, Norah aged 10, Michael aged 9, Patrick aged 7 and John J. aged 4. Michael Furey who was a servant aged 85 also lived in this home.

John Curley aged 79 was married to Bridget aged 70. John lived with his son James aged 27.

Edward Curley aged 70 was married to Bridget aged 60. There is no record of any other occupier of this house.

John McDonell aged 50 was married to Bridget aged 48. John and Bridget lived with their children: John aged 22, Honor aged 20, Thomas aged 18, Bridget aged 17, Margaret aged 15 and Julia aged 13.

Lawrence Reynolds aged 45 was married to Mary aged 40. Laurence and Mary lived with their children: Delia aged 15, Kate aged 12, Mary aged 9, Malachy aged 8, Martin aged 6 and Anne aged 2.

Michael Reilly aged 48 was married to Bridget aged 49. Michael and Bridget lived with their children: Patrick aged 25, John aged 18, Thomas aged 16, Mary aged 20, Maggy aged 14 and Kate aged 12.

Patrick Curley aged 35 was married to Bridget aged 25. Patrick and Bridget lived with their children: Mary aged 5, John aged 4, Kate aged 2, Bernard aged 1 and Thomas who was less than 1 year old. Patrick’s sister-in-law, Celia Delmore also lived in this home.

Patrick Lynskey was a widower aged 98. There is no record of any other occupant in this house.

James Curley aged 79 was married to Bridget aged 70. James and Bridget lived with their son James aged 27.

Mary Glynn aged 65 was a widow. Mary lived with her children: Michael aged 25, Kate aged 22 and Martin aged 15.

Catherine Glynn was a widow aged 48. Catherine lived with her children: Bridget aged 12 and Thomas aged 9.

Patrick Curley was a widower aged 60. There is no record of any other occupier in this home.

Catherine Glynn lived in a 3rd class house, while the other occupiers lived in 2nd class houses. There were no 1st class houses in the townland in 1901. All of the households with the exception of Patrick Lynskey, Pat Curley and Michael Furey had a stable, 11 households had a piggery, 7 had a cowhouse, 3 had a calf-house, and 1 house, that of John Tierney, had a fowl-house and barn. John Tierney, probably a descendant of the Peter Tierney listed in Griffith’s Valuation above, had 7 out-buildings in total, the largest number in the townland. John McDonnell listed a workshop as part of his out-buildings.

Householders’ occupation

All householders list their occupations as ‘scholar’ or ‘farmer’ with the exception of John McDonnell and his son, also John, who were carpenters. The McDonnells had listed a workshop as one of their out-buildings, mentioned above. Michael Furey, aged 85 listed his occupation as ‘farm labourer’.

Householders’ Place of Birth

All householders listed their place of birth as ‘Galway’ or ‘County Galway’ with the exception of Peter, Patrick and Mary Furey children of Bridget Furey. Bridget was married, but no husband’s name is recorded in the census. The children’s place of birth was recorded as ‘England’. Bridget listed her place of birth as ‘Galway’.

Oldest person in townland in 1901

The oldest person in the townland in 1901 was Patrick Lynskey, aged 98. Patrick was a retired farmer, a widower, living alone in a 3rd class house with 3 rooms and 1 out-building. This house had 1 front window. The youngest person in the townland was Thomas Curley who was less than 1 year old.

Census 1911[16]

There were 41 people or 9 heads of households listed in the townland in 1911. The census of this year refers to the spelling as ‘Clodulusk’ and was therefore difficult to locate using the current spelling. It may be that the Anglicisation of a place name or the phonetic spelling of a name may have changed the spelling over time.

Patrick Curley aged 47 was married to Bridget aged 37. They lived with their children: Mary aged 15, John aged 14, Katie aged 13, Bernard aged 12, Tommie aged 11, Antoney (sic) aged 7, Celia aged 5, Norah aged 3 and Margaret who was less than 1 year old.

Michael Reilly aged 58 was married to Bridget aged 66. They lived with their daughter Margaret aged 24.

Patrick Curley aged 73 was unmarried and lived alone.

Margaret Curley was a widow aged 40. Margaret lived with her son Patrick aged 7. Ellen Higgins aged 13, also lived in this home and worked as a servant.

John Tierney aged 55 was married to Sarah aged 50. They lived with their children: Peter aged 27, Michael aged 19, Patrick aged 17, John aged 14 and Norah aged 20.

John McDonnell aged 70 lived with his wife Bridget aged 62.

Lawrence Reynolds aged 55 was married to Mary aged 56. They lived with their children: Lawrence aged 17, Martin aged 16 and Anne aged 11.

Edward Curley aged 80 lived with his wife Bridget aged 71.

James Curley aged 35 was married to Annie aged 35. They lived with their children: Patrick aged 7, Bridget aged 4 and Mary aged 1.

Type of houses lived in

Patrick Curley, Michael Reilly, Patrick Curley (no relation to the Patrick Curley mentioned previously), Margaret Curley, John Tierney and John McDonnell lived in 2nd class houses. John McDonnell lived in a 3rd class house. All of the houses were roofed with wood and thatch. James Curley’s house had 4 rooms, the most of any house in the townland and 3 people lived there. Meanwhile, in the home of Patrick Curley 11 people lived in just 3 rooms.

All households had a piggery and nearly all listed a fowl-house and stable in their out-buildings. John Tierney also listed a coach-house the only one in the townland. John McDonnell senior again recorded his carpentry workshop in the list of out-buildings. By 1911, his son John, also a carpenter had moved into another house with his brother Thomas. John was listed as the head of household. While John could not read, his brother Thomas, an agricultural labourer was recorded as being able to read and write.

Oldest person living in townland

All of those listed in 1911 recorded ‘Galway’ as their place of birth. The oldest person in the townland in 1911 was Edward Curley aged 80 who was married to Bridget aged 77. Edward was a retired farmer who could not read or write. This couple were married for 35 years and had 1 child. The youngest person in the townland in 1911 was Margaret Curley who was aged less than 1.

Many of those listed as ‘married’ and living in this townland in 1911 had been married for over 25 years including Sarah and John Tierney married for 28 years with 7 children born alive and 7 still living in 1911; Bridget and John McDonnell were married for 40 years with 7 children born alive and 6 living in 1911 and Michael and Bridget Curley were married for 38 years with 8 children born alive and 7 still living in 1911.

 

Census 1991-2006

The bar graph below plots the changes in population in this townland between 1841 and 2006 according to census information[17].

Cloonlusk graph

 

Mapping Change

The Ordnance Survey (OS) maps 1837-1842[18] show ecclesiastical remains and a graveyard in the east of the townland and a ringfort situated in the southeast. At the northern end of the townland just off the road, a gravel pit was located on the left-hand-side[19]. Also in the north, a river ran creating a natural border with the neighbouring townlands. A 7-arch bridge built in approximately 1740 that still exists today was located not far from this location[20]. A large area of this land encompassing northern Cloonlusk and Cahergal was liable to flooding and a sizeable flood plain was mapped at this location.

A comparison between the 25 inch map 1888-1913 and the Aerial map 2005 shows how the landscape and geography of the area has changed in the intervening years. The 25 inch map again shows Cloonlusk Fort and Graveyard in the east of the townland. Just outside the graveyard, a spring was located. This spring was not shown on the earlier 6 inch map (1837-1842).  Further south a smaller ringfort existed.

Only one road led into Cloonlusk

Only one road led into Cloonlusk from the direction of Cahergal Bridge and provided access for 16 dwellings and buildings. Within this line of buildings 2 wells were situated at the north-eastern edge of the road. According to the map, the farmed land was divided into small plots and this was reflected in Griffith’s Valuation mentioned earlier. All of these small plots were adjacent to the dwellings and with the larger plots situated behind them, took up the entire central area of the townland. This central area was ringed by bog or uncultivated ground demarcating the outer edges of Cloonlusk from its neighbours.

2006

In 2006, only 3 dwellings remained. It appears from the Aerial map 2000 that 2 farms are located where previously over a dozen houses existed. By 2005, a new house had been built along the north western road. The area is still surrounded by uncultivated ground and trees. The old fort and graveyard are still visible though the smaller fort to the south has all but disappeared and is not visible on the 2005 map. The small sub-divisions of land have been amalgamated and in 2005 some of this land was cut for hay or silage. A main road now runs along the north west of the townland leading in a south westerly direction across the old Tuam-Athenry Railway and in a north easterly direction towards Barbersfort.

 

[1] Placenames Database of Ireland (http://www.logainm.ie/)
[2] Trinity College, Dublin, ‘The Down Survey’ (http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/landowners)
[3] ibid
[4] Galway County Library, ‘O’Donovan’s Field Name Books’(http://places.galwaylibrary.ie/)
[5] ibid
[6] ibid
[7] Spelling of this surname differs – the Landed Estates Database refers to ‘Skerrett’ while O’Donovan’s Field Name Books found on Galway County Library website refers to ‘Skerritt’.
[8]
[9] Galway County Library, O’Donovan’s Field Name Books’(http://places.galwaylibrary.ie/)
[10] ‘Table VII –Area, Out-offices and Farm Steadings and Population together with the Valuation of  Each Parish, Townland and Township of the County of Galway in 1881’ (James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland, Galway, p56)
[11] Ask about Ireland, ‘Griffith’s Valuation’ (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/)
[12] National University of Ireland, ‘Landed Estates Database (http://landedestates.nuigalway.ie)
[13] ‘Table VII –Area, Out-offices and Farm Steadings and Population together with the Valuation of  Each Parish, Townland and Township of the County of Galway in 1881’ (James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland, Galway, p56)
[14] Census of Ireland for the Year 1911 [Province of Connaught, County of Galway] Area, Houses and Population, ‘Table VII-Area Houses Out-Buildings and Farm Steadings, and Population together with the Valuation of Each Poor Law Union, Dispensary District, Electoral Division, Townland in the County of Galway in 1911’ (Galway County Library, p99)
[15] The National Archives of Ireland, ‘Census Ireland 1901/1911’, (http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/)

[16] The National Archives of Ireland, ‘Census Ireland 1901/1911’, (http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/)
[17] Kids Zone Learning with NECS ‘Create a Graph’,  (http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/)
[18] Ordnance Survey Ireland, ‘25” Historical Map 1888-1913’ (www.osi.ie/publicviewer) (Apr 2011)
[19] Central Statistics Office, (www.cso.ie/census/reports) (Apr 2011)
[20] The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, ‘Buildings of Ireland-Cahergal Bridge’ (http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?county=GA&checkbox1=true&datefrom=0&dateto=2000&checkbox2=true&classification=bridge&checkbox3=true&name=Cahergal&checkbox4=true&town=&checkbox5=true&townland=&type=advanced&page=1) (Apr 2011)

This page was added on 04/09/2019.

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