ORAN

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

ORAN, a parish, in the half-barony of BALLYMOE, county of ROSCOMMON, and province of CONNAUGHT, 5 ¼ miles (N. W.) from Roscommon, on the road to Castlerea, and on the river Suck; containing 1560 inhabitants. This place was anciently called Huaran-Hichlaback, and is of great antiquity. St. Patrick is said to have founded a church here, of which St. Cethecus was bishop; this prelate was interred here. The old cemetery, adjacent to the high road, is still a favourite place of burial, and the reputation of its sanctity attracts many pilgrims.

The parish comprises 4859 ¼ statute acres of good land, chiefly under tillage, there being neither waste nor bog: the soil rests on limestone, of which there are quarries. It is a prebend and rectory, in the diocese of Elphin, episcopally united from time immemorial to the vicarage of Drimtemple, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is impropriate in the Earl of Essex.

The tithes amount to £146, and the gross tithes of the union to £179. 6. 8, The church of the union is at Drimtemple; it was erected in 1815, at an expense of £554, a gift from the late Board of First Fruits.

In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Glinsk and Kilcroan. There are still some ruins of the old church, and the remote antiquity of the place is proved by the fragment of an ancient round tower, now only 12 feet high, and 11 feet 3 inches in internal diameter, having walls 4 feet 6 inches thick, well built of two different kinds of limestone.

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