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





Past writings


(Abstract from "The most Westerly Church in Europe"
(11.3.66. English Churchman)
The peninsula of' Errislannan juts out like a finger into the Atlantic, forming the southern arm of Clifden Bay. It is rocky and heather-strewn, a part of Connemara, of which William Makepeace Thackeray was to say "The only way I can describe Connemara is to lay down my pen and exclaim "Beautiful!" The church, dominating the promontory, was built for the Irish Church Missions during the time of the Great Famine, in days when Connemara was heavily populated,
Then, in thatched cottages width earthen floors, the many thousands who lived here, struggle to exist on holdings of a few acres. They were sustained for the most part by the potato, supplemented by milk and the occasional salted herring.


The Irish Church Missions

Into the midst of the semi-illiterate and starving people came the men and women of the Irish Church Missions, bringing the simple message of the Gospel, and the teachings of the Reformed, yet ancient Celtic Church. Within the limits of their resources they fed the hungry; especially the children. They built many churches and schools, including Holy Trinity, Errislannan. On the occasion of its consecration the preacher took as his text, "Till Ile come," which, we may believe, was the hope and belief of the congregation which filled the church for the event. During those years many thousands were converted. We read in the Societys Journal, The Banner of Truth, of Confirmation  for adults as well as younger folk, some walking many miles across bogs and through the mountain ranges.

Funds where raised to feed and clothe these people, and to assist their passage to other lands - many to the NewWorld across the ocean. It is understandable that the emphasis was on emigrations from what was then a bedraggled, barren and benighted land  -- very different from the present-day progressive West. This, as a short-term policy served the material needs of the people, but in the long run it denude to a great extent, the western seaboard of those who held the "Reformed Faith." With the post-famine general decease in population it left a small minority scattered through the West , exposed to the harsh winds of the "Nie Temerm Decree," thus they had little alternative but to emigrate, or be assimilated through mixed marriage. In these ecumenical days, some may no longer be in sympathy with the original work of the Missionaries but in their day it shone as a light in darkness, and none can deny their zeal, their courage, and their sincerity.


West of H-lar Connaught

Three miles from Irrosbeg is the castle and mannor of Bonnowan in Irrosmore. Westward of the castle is Knock a duin hill, the third land-mark discryed by such as saile from the main. On the east side the hill is a harbour for shiping, and the parish church just by, at the hill's fohere is an old fortress of a down on the top of the hill, which gives name to Balyndown, Balyndown haven, Balyndown parish. St. Flannan, of the noble Tuamonian blond, consecrated by Pope John the Fourth Anno 640, first bishiop of Killaloe, is patron of this parish; and therein his festival day kept, the 18th December.
Northward of Slimhead, towards the east, is Manin Bay, over which is Knocktuaskert towards Slimhead. In the same bay is lrrosflannan Point, and Ardberra haven; wherein is an oyster bank; and the salmon fish comes on Belathnabay River. In lrrosflannan is Saint Flanan's church, which they say was the parish church antiently.
This church admits no burial within the walls of it. Owanglin river failing from the mountaines of Bennabeola in to Ardberra haven, divides the north half barony from the south.
The above is quoted from "West of H-lar Connaught " written by Roderick O'Flaherty inn A.D. 1684.


Footnote by James Hardiman M.R.I.A. in 1846

A footnote written by James Hardiman M.R.I.A. in 1846 reads as follows
Belathnabay. now called Ballinaboy. A monthly market held here from time immemorial, has been lately removed to the town of Clifden. The ruins of St. Flannan's Church, may be seen in the townland of Kill (which townland should properly be called Kilflannan), on the north of Ballindoon parish; and near it a holy well dedicated to the saint.
This church "admits no buriall" i.e. bodies are not interred within it; and it is firmly believed that should any person be so interred, the body would be found over ground the next day.


Letter from Friends of St Flannans 1961

 There are no of Ireland residents on the Peninsula of Errislannan, and arrangements were in progress for the closing of the Church. It has now, however, been decided that it will remain open for Sunday Services during the months of July and August, provided that the Church is maintained in a reasonable state of repair by voluntary subscriptions.
The FRIENDS of St.FLANNAN'S have as their object-,-

  1. To keep the Church in repair.
  2. To maintain the Churchyard.
  3. To arrange for the cleaning and preparation of the Church for Sunday Services during the months of July and August.

Why the name FRIENDS of St.FLANNAN'S? There is a legend that in the VIIth Century St. Flannan founded an Abbey in Errislannan, the ruins are still to be seen in the grounds of Errislannan Manor.    The name, therefore, is closely associated with the Peninsula.
We are not a Vestry, and have no responsibility beyond our stated objects. A distinctive name, therefore, will avoid possible confusion.
During the winter the roof suffered: severe storm damage. This has been repaired under the Insurance Policy, but in order to re-insure it has been necessary to have the roof masticised at a cost of £125.
A portion of this debt has been paid out of Church Funds- the remainder must be raised by voluntary subscriptions,
There are many who no longer visit Errislannan, but who have in the past enjoyed holidays there and worshipped in the Church; Perhaps they would be willing to help us, even if only for this year.
We are deeply indebted to the Bishop of Tuam for all he has done on our behalf, and for his guidance and advice. We are grateful also to the Rector and Vestry of Omey (Clifden) Parish for allotting a sum of money to repair windows and doors and to re-decorate the inside of
the Church. We are most thankful to our Chairman, Mr.D. Brooks, for
supplying a furnished Bungalow for visiting Clergymen and their families during July and August.Friends
Subscriptions should be forwarded to the Hon. Treasurer,

(Hon. Secretary.)