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St. Lua's Oratory
 

County

Clare

Coordinates

N 52° 48' 31.2"   W 008° 26' 39.96"

Nearest town

Killaloe

Grid Ref.

R 70034 72984

Map No.

58

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

61

Date of visit

Sunday 21 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The northwest corner of the building with the 1840 St. Flannan's Catholic Church in the background.


Killaloe's Irish name is Cill da Lua, and it is named after St. Molua whose original name was Lughaidh. It was an Irish abbot at the end of the 6th century who founded the town of Killaloe and had an oratory on Friar's Island.
It is said that he was very kind to all humans and animals and when he died in 609 all living creatures lamented his death.
His oratory was rebuilt in 11th or 12th century, but the island where it was on was meant to be submerged when the Ardnacrusha power station was built.
So in 1929 the St. Lua's Oratory was carefully dismantled and was reconstructed here, next to the 1840 St. Flannan's Catholic Church.
The small building has two sections, a nave and a chancel. The nave is partly destroyed and has a west doorway with a massive lintel. This was the original oratory. The chancel, narrower than the nave, was added in the 12th century. This section still retains a high pitched stone roof. There's a small splayed window in the east (85°) wall and a lintelled door in the south wall.


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