The Irish in America

DAY 23: Clonmacnoise


Clon 5

I visited Clonmacnoise for the first time in 1988. I stayed with the Walsh family of Ballinasloe, County Galway for the “family stay” part of my summer study program. They brought me to the monastic ruins on the River Shannon in nearby County Offaly.

ClonLater that summer when I had returned home from Ireland, I remember my Grandma McCormack asked me to name my favorite thing about my trip. I told her Clonmacnoise. I didn’t realize it was my favorite until she asked. There is just something about the place, something more than the round tower and chapel ruins. Those are a dime a dozen in Ireland. Clonmacnoise is very special, and I have been back many times in the past twenty-five years.

Regan has taken some really cool photos at Clonmacnoise over the years, but sadly most were captured before she entered the digital age, so they are relegated to photo albums. Compiling this series of my favorite things has proven to me that I must scan all of our old photos! That might be a great project for next month.

Photos by Regan McCormack


Author: Aine

I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. My heritage pretty much covers the map of Ireland: great-great-grandparents from Cork (Crowley, Foley, Regan), a great-great-grandmother from Clare (Quinn), a great-great-grandfather from Fermanagh (McMahon) and his wife's parents from Mayo (McAndrew), a great-grandmother from Connemara (Hannon) married to my great-grandfather from Laois (McCormack), great-grandparents from Sligo (Flannery), and a great-grandmother from Kildare (Hill). All of those people ended up in Minnesota, where my four grandparents were born. Three and four generations after my people left Ireland for America, I retain all Irish heritage. So much for the melting pot...

2 thoughts on “DAY 23: Clonmacnoise

  1. A truly special place indeed there on the bank of the River Shannon.

  2. How old are these ruins? They are really impressive. Those stone constructions!

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