Shrule Civil Parish Characteristics, County Mayo, Ireland

Shrule Civil Parish is within Kilmaine Barony and is part of Shrule Roman Catholic Parish. The Records for this Catholic Parish cover the years 1831-1864. The only Catholic Chapels in this Civil Parish were in the Townlands of Cloghmoyne, Mount Henry and Ramolin and the only Graveyards were in Shrule and Moyne. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1857, there were 27 Townlands if you include the named, occupied islands in Lough Corrib.

As early as 1606 the Earl of Clanricard applied for and obtained a patent for markets and a fair for the Town of Shrule in Shrule Civil Parish. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 90). When the Statistical Survey of County Mayo was conducted in 1802, the town of Shrule was documented as having fairs on April 19, July 26 and November 11. (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 47-51). When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Shrule Civil Parish in 1857, the Town of Shrule within the Townland of Shrule was the obvious hub of commercial activity with a "Tolls and Customs of Fairs and Markets," a Malt House Brewery, Constabulary Force Barracks and a Forge. There was a Forge in the Townland of Ballycurrin Demesne and a Mill in Ballynalty, but other than Herd's Houses in the Townlands of Ballycurrin Demesne, Bunnafollistran, Cloghmoyne, Mocorha, Ramolin, Rooaunalaghta and Brodullagha South there was little else of economic interest. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Shrule).

Apparently Shrule is located on the River Blackwater that forms a border between County Mayo and County Galway. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 555). It is interesting that this River wasn't mentioned anywhere in the Shrule Civil Parish Griffith's Valuation. Lough Lee and the Islands of Lough Corrib were mentioned but not the River. There were no designated "Bog" parcels in this Civil Parish, but the number of herds houses and little else would seem to indicate that this area had significant pastoral, Grazing area. Samuel Lewis mentions that a Market for Corn was held every Thursday in Shrule. (Lewis, 1837;1984, p.555).

J. F Quinn in "A History of Mayo describes Shrule in the following manner:

"Trade is evidently dead, but all the people have land...recently the fairs have been very small, it is one of the few places where pigs are still sold on the streets. In other days Shrule was a busy spot, with its mills and other industries." He goes on to mention that the farmers in Shrule had their corn converted into flour and bran." (Quinn, Volume 3, Chapter 1, page 2).

As far as education goes, the Commissioners of National Education had a National Schoolhouse in the Townland of Bunnafollistran and there was a National Schoolhouse in the Townlands of Mounthenry and the Town of Shrule in the Townland of Shrule.

An assortment of landlords were represented in Shrule Civil Parish Griffith's Valuation, but Charles Lynch followed by Lady De Clifford, George O Higgins and Charles Knox were the most prevalent.

The population of Shrule Civil Parish declined during and after the famine years like most Civil Parishes in County Mayo. In 1841, the population was 5,087, dropping significantly to 3,004 in 1851. By the year 1911, the population of Shrule had dropped to 1,402 residents. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 8).