Tobar Paraic, Monivea

Tobar Paraic, Corrafaireen, Ryehill, Monivea, Co. Galway GA071-023003-
An ancient graveyard is situated on the south face of a series of low hills that culminate in Knockroe, one of the two prominences in the vicinity of Tuam, Co. Galway. Knockmaa is visible across the limestone plain and the River Clare.

The agricultural landscape of Ryehill around about was transformed by the Land Commission at the start of the 20th century, with new roads and houses. But many vestiges of a pre-enclosure landscape, especially the prominent Cashlaundarragh tower house, testify to a different pre-Ascendancy landscape. The hill at Corrafaireen provides views south to the Slieve Aughty mountains, South West to the Burren, Westwards to the Twelve Bens across the sliver off Lough Corrib, and on a clear day, North-Westwards to Croagh Patrick.
The graveyard contains a well, collecting water from the rough ground on the prominence to the north. According to local information, pilgrims walked around the well, using this path, on the pattern day (The day of the year on which this occurred has been lost in time). In the 18th Century, the pattern day was stopped by the local bishop because a man was killed in the annual faction fight!
On the wall of the well enclosure there is a plaque (H 0.7m, Width 0.5m) dated 1688, which depicts St Patrick standing on a snake and holding a double-armed cross. Its inscription reads – and it is notable that it is in English, not Latin, – ‘Pray for Fa. Thomas Keighery who made this image in remembranc 1688’

The 17th century carved image of St. Patrick at the well
Colm Murray
Tobar Paraic, Monivea

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