May 2013 – Pentecost C
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The Clonfert Monastic site is located close to Shannonbridge across the rivers Shannon and Suck.The statue of Our Lady of Clonfert was hidden in a tree for safety during the Penal Days. A farmer cutting down the tree many years after cut off one of the arms.It is said that the statue bled.There is great devotion every day for the month of May in Clonfert.
The monastery was founded by St. Brendan the Voyager who was famous for his travels.
The site was important in olden times as can be seen from the following extract of a publication by Banagher Parish Council, 1951.
"WHERE TRINITY COLLEGE MIGHT HAVE BEEN"
The following letter was sent by Queen Elizabeth I to the Bishop of Clonfert, 1579:-
"Orders to be observed, by Sir Nicholas Maltby for the better government of the province of Connaught.
Also where we are desirous that a college should be erected in the nature of a university, in some convenient place in Irelande, for instruction and education of youth in lerning, And we conceive the town of Clonfert within the Province of Connaught to be apti1e seated both for helth and comodity of the ryver Shenen running by it, and because it is also neere to the middle of the realme whereby all men may with small travel send their children thither, we have thought good that you view the place, and consider with what charge the same may be circuited with a wall, and what buildings be already there, and what necessary to be added, and what maintenance the bishopricks of Clonfert and Elfine (if they were, united to that college) might give to the exhibition of learned men there, and whether the other bishops of that province be not sufficient for the same if they were well divided into several dioceses. Of all which we will that advertise your opinion to us, to end we may hereafter give further order to our justice to assemble the bishops of the hole realme for a contribution to be yielded for the maintenance of learned men in that or some other convenient place in Irlande; for we find that the Runagates of that nation, under pretence of study in the universities beyond the seas do retorne freight with superstition and treason are the very instruments to stirre up our subjects to undoubtfulness and rebellion for whom we mean shortly to provide by parliament, and in the mean season (we) will you to apprehend all such as you shall learn to remain within your rule that be so evil affected.