I drove through the little village of Ardrahan, through County Galway, County Roscommon and County Offaly. I saw more ruins and castles and crossed Shannonbridge, one of the oldest bridges still in use over the River Shannon.
Coming into the little village of Ardrahan. The building is a Board of First Fruits, Church of Ireland Church, built in 1809. The graveyard is older. Also behind that wall are the ruins of a castle built by Maurice Fitzgerald in the early 1200s, ruins of a round tower from some time earlier and ruins of an earlier church.
Shannonbridge is one of the oldest bridges still in use over the River Shannon, completed in 1757. The Shannon is Ireland’s largest river.
Clonony is a hamlet in County Offaly, Ireland between the River Brosna and the Grand Canal.
Clonony Castle is a Tudor castle built in 1500 by the MacCoughlan clan. In the early 1500s, it was ceded to Henry VIII, who gave it to Anne Boleyn’s father. Matthew de Renzi, the man who researched and wrote the first Irish/English dictionary lived in Clonony Castle in the early 1600s.
In reading about Clonony Castle, I read Clonony Castle – A tale of three tombstones at dailyscribbling.com/the-secret-life-of-irish-castles/clonony-castle-a-tale-of-three-tombstones
One of the tombstones he talks about I had heard of before; the grave of “Lady O’Looney”. Now that the internet exists, I could find it. It is reprinted in The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1902 edition. 501 words, and yes, it mentions Clonony Castle.
“Sacred to the memory of Mrs. Jane Molony who lies interred in a vault underneath this Chapel, daughter of Anthony Shee of Castlebar in the County of May Esq. who was married to Miss Burke of Curry in the said County and cousin to the Rt Hon Edmond Burke commonly called The Sublime whose bust is here surmounted or subjoined. The said Jane was cousin to the late Countess of Buckinghamshire and was married to three successive husbands first – Stuart Esq, cousin to the late Marquis of Bute; secondly William Collins Jackson of Langley Lodge in the County of Bucks formerly Military Secretary to the Hon East India Company in India Esq, thirdly Edmond Molony of Clonony Castle King’s County Ireland Esq Barrister at Law and late of Woodlands in the County of Dublin and also of Granby Row in the City of Dublin cousin to the Earl of Roscommon who is brother-in-law of the present Earl of Shrewsbury and also cousin of Lord Viscount Dillon of Costello and Gallon in the Kingdom of Ireland. The first wife of the said Edmond Molony was Jane Malone who is interred in the mausoleum in the demesne of Barinstown in the County of Westmeath with her brother Anthony Malone Esq also with her cousins Lord Sunderlin and his predeceased brother Anthony Malone Esq also with her cousins Lord Sunderlin and his predeceased brother Edmond Malone commonly called Shakespear Malone late of Queen Anne Street East London. She was daughter of Serjeant Richard Malone an eminent Lawyer and a great statesman who possessed great estates in the said King’s County and niece to the Rt Hon Anthony Malone, Deceased, who was greatly regretted of whom it was said by one of the most elegant writers of that day that he possessed one of the sweetest voices that ever uttered the dictates of reason. He was a great patriot and refused the Great Seal of Ireland the situation being at the pleasure of the Crown while Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ireland from which he was removed without cause or his own consent. He availed himself of the judicial place attached to it and sat on the Bench above the Chief Baron and decided many cases which gave general satisfaction and his decrees were never questioned. He died in 1776 aged 76. The said Mrs Molony otherwise Molony otherwise Shee died in London in January 1839 aged 74. She was hot passionate and tender and a highly accomplished lady and a superb drawer in water colours which was much admired in the Exhibition Room in Somerset House some years past.
“‘Though lost for ever still a friend is dear
The heart yet pays a tributary tear.’
“This monument was erected by her deeply afflicted husband the said Edmond Molony in memory of her great virtue and talent Beloved and deeply regretted by all who knew her. For such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”