The history of Tuam as a
settlement dates from the early 6th century. The story goes
that a monk called "Jarlath", who was a member of a
religious community at Cloonfush some four miles west of
Tuam and adjacent to the religious settlement at
In time, Jarlath's life became
uncertain as he wished to go further afield.
Eventually, Jarlath's abbot St.
Benin told him to "Go, and where ever your chariot wheel
breaks, there shall be the site of your new monastery and
the place of your resurrection". So it was that Jarlath's
wheel broke at Tuam and a monastery and Town grew here that
was to have the broken chariot wheel as it's symbol.
a village located approximately 2 miles from Tuam in County
Galway, Ireland. It is substantially surrounded by River
Clare, which flows into
Cloonfush was the location of St. Jarlath's Temple, the
ruins of which still exist to this day, some 1600 years
later. The adjacent graveyard (cemetery) is still in use,
and is the location of an annual Mass on the feast day of
St. Jarlath (June 6th) since 2000.
Cloonfush is accessed via the main N17 at Clashroe, and is a
cul-de-sac single-lane road. The village of Kilmore is
reached first, then Cloonfush approx. 1km later. There is no
separation between the two villages today, as houses now
line the road almost over its complete length through both
villages. The road leading through the village was finally
surfaced in the 1950's, with the last 400m remaing with a
grass strip in the middle until the early 1980's. There is a
peat bog to the south of the village, used predominantly by
the inhabitants of both Cloonfush and Kilmore for harvesting
turf, which is used as a solid fuel for domestic heating.
Cloonfush has seen it's population swell in recent years as
many new houses have been constructed. It offers a peaceful,
scenic setting for any family. However, the increased number
of houses has led in turn to increased traffic, slightly
tarnishing the peaceful rural existence. There is a limited
local misconception that Cloonfush can be translated to mean
"Meadow of the Lark"; "Meadow of peace" (tranquility) is
generally regarded as the more accurate translation. "Meadow
of peace" is certainly a fitting description when compared
to the neighbouring congested existence of Tuam. Whilst
roadside construction of houses has continued, the remaining
area can be considered farmland.