Holy Trinity, Errislannan was due to be demolished. In 1961 "The Friends of St Flannan's" was founded by Maurice O'Connell, Donal Brooks and Rex Allen to repair and maintain the church for future generations







After the famine many landowners were insolvent as tenants could pay no rents and Mr. Lambert of Errislannan was one of them. He sold the estate in 1850 to the Rev. Wall, DD, who had a school in Dublin near St. Stephen's Green. At that time all of Errislannan belonged to the estate except the drumlin in the middle, and was completely self supporting with turf, salmon fishery, oyster beds, limekiln, quarries etc. After the Rev. Wall had settled in he built Holy Trinity Church Errislannan with the help of the Inland Church Mission and other sources.

Old photo of church His daughters were horrified as it meant their weekly jaunt to Clifden was unnecessary and protestant suitors were few and far between - the nearest being the Clifden curates! However Holy Trinity flourished and among the rectors was Garnet Irwin's grandfather - she remembers as a child apples being thrown down to the children from an upstairs window by Mrs. Wall. The Rectory was Drinagh House, just opposite the church, now occupied by a French family.
One of the Wall family married a Rev. George Heather and it was from Janie Heather, then nearing her death, that we, the Brooks bought the Manor at Christmas 1957. By that time the estate was much reduced and the surviving two old ladies had lived on rents from the cottages and fields rented on the conacre system. It was very delapidated - all the roofs were in need of repair and not a gate on the place except one that Christie McDonagh had provided in lieu of rent!

ariel map by Alana Bent

The Church was likewise in a very bad state. The two Heather ladies had kept it going -inviting friends to tea and a service after and one of them had played the harmonium. However by 1957 it had been condemned and was due to be demolished - like the Ballyconeely church that stood near the Mannin road. Dr. Maurice O'Connell, a well known Dublin G.P., and Rex Allen, a quaker, (related to the Ballimaloe cookery ones) both had holiday houses on Errislannan and together with my husband decided to repair and revive the church. They founded the "Friends of St. Flannan" - called after the patron saint. St. Flannan was "of noble Tuamonian Bloud; consecrated by Pope John the 4th 640 AD 1st Bishop of Killaloe". His festival is Decemaber 18th and his church, holy well and grave are near the Manor. The ruins of his little church built about 700 AD stand in the old graveyard adjoining the modern graveyard - rather overgrown and with a circular wall, Hence "IrrosĀ­flannan" or "Errislannan" nowadays. To return to Holy Trinity, Wall's church was in a bad state; the stone walls had been lined with huge slates and the nails rusted so the slates came down like guillotines. The Friends were marvellous and very enthusiastic -holding fetes and seeking friends and funds from parishes in the north of Ireland and elsewhere involved, and eventually reroofing the whole church - for which we must thank Eamon Guy who did a great job .

Old church photo from west Alas the pretty round tower, where kestrels nested, had to be demolished but the church itself was sound; it is whitewashed and very plain with white painted pews and pulpit. The Friends of St. Flannan were and are entireley responsible for the upkeep of the fabric of the church though of course it is under the jurisdiction of the Church of Ireland. One of the first services was the baptism of our youngest son, Seamus in 1957. "The first open-air christening I've been to" remarked my mother. The last previous baptism had been one of the Teague family. Mr. Teague was an engineer at the Marconi Station and Mrs.Teague had had a terrifying escape in an open cart clutching the small baby and driving all the way on a very cold night, after the Marconi station was burnt down. Since then we have had three weddings and a quaker wedding. We often have presbyterians and quakers at the services or sometimes the quakers hold one of their own meetings in the little church and the pews are put in a circle - rather a nice idea. There is an annual service for the Friends of St. Flannan when the Bishop comes to preach and a visiting clergyman combines a holiday with helping out with the extra services for visitors required for the four Omey Union churches of Clifden, Roundstone, Ballinakill and Errislannan. Our Evening Service is 7 p.m in July and August.
The windows have been double glazed and renewed and for the Millennium we erected a steeple to hang the old bell inscribed "1854 Thos. Hodges Foundry, Abbey St. Dublin". Stephanie Brooks