The Kilconnell Memorial Cross near the village of Kilconnell in Galway is a monument erected by the Donnellan family in 1682 to honour their ancestor John Donnellan, who died in 1641.

John Donnellan was a prominent member of the O’Donnellan clan, a powerful Irish family that ruled over parts of Galway and Roscommon. He was also a loyal supporter of the Catholic Confederation, a coalition of Irish Catholics who rebelled against the English rule during the 1641 Rebellion. He fought bravely in several battles, but was eventually captured and executed by the English forces.

The Donnellan family wanted to commemorate his life and sacrifice, so they commissioned a cross to be carved with his name and an inscription that reads: “Pray for John Donnellan, who was killed by the English in 1641”. The cross is made of limestone and has a simple design, with a circular head and four arms. The inscription is written in Latin on one side, and in Irish on the other.

The cross was originally placed near the entrance of the Kilconnell Franciscan Friary, where the Donnellan family had a private chapel. However, in 1844, the cross was damaged by a storm and fell to the ground. It was then re-erected by Reverend W. Manning, a local priest who restored the inscription and moved the cross to its current location at the crossroads.

The Kilconnell Memorial Cross is not only a historical monument, but also a symbol of faith and resilience. It reminds us of the struggles and sacrifices of the Irish people during the turbulent times of the 17th century. It also shows us how one family honoured their ancestor and preserved his memory for generations to come.


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Kilconnell Cross



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