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About Garrafrauns

Garrafrauns is a small rural area situated in the parish of Dunmore, in North Galway.  
The name Garrafrauns comes from the Gaelic words Garra bhfearán (Garden of the Wild Brambles) or Garbhthráin (Rough grassy place).
Garrafrauns parish borders the counties of Roscommon and Mayo and the village is situated about 3 St. Patrick's ChurchSt. Patrick's Churchkilometres from where the 3 counties meet. It nestles at the foothills of Sliabh Dart and is drained by the Rivers Clare and Dalgin. The underlying rock of the area is sandstone.

The villages of the area include Gortnagoyne, Adrigoolebeg, Darrary North, Darrary South, Ardcloon, Carranthomas, Corohan,Cloonfane, Kilmacnella, Cloonbrusk, Cloondergan, Quinaltagh, Shanballymore and Gortnalea.The villages of Kilmacnella, Cloonbrusk and Carranthomas belong to Milltown parish but their inhabitants are very much part of everyday life in our community.

Garrafrauns is about 4 miles west of Dunmore,  on the Claremorris road and our neighbouring towns are Cloonfad, Irishtown and Milltown.

The village of Garrafrauns is nestled right in the centre of this half-parish and with its church, school, post-office, 3 public houses, garage and community centre is typical of most rural communities

The sites of ring forts, dolmen and early Christian churches suggest that people settled in the area in ancient times. The land in general was poor and marshy and large areas were covered with pine forests or bog. Remains of the roots of these large pine trees are evident in the area still. The population greatly increased in the late 1700's and early 1800's with the arrival of many displaced families from other counties. These families proceeded to clear away and drain the land. Some local townlands contain in their the word "cluain" which means reclaimed meadows. Many families from Ulster settled in Quinaltagh and Shanballymore where they courageously established farms from the stony ground. Evidence of massive stone wall structures can still be widely found in these villages. 

The people of Garrafrauns suffered greatly during the 1800's and the population was decimated by the Great Famine of 1845. In post famine times a wave of evictions forced many families onto the side of the road. In is said that 13 families were evicted from Cloonfane on one day alone and the population of the village dropped from 365 to 160 in just 10 years. Threatened evictions in Quin
altagh sparked the monster meeting in Irishtown where Michael Davitt formally launched the Irish Land League. Emigration became the new scourge of the area right up to the 1960's. Due to lack of employment hundreds of young men and women were left with no option to emigrate to the U.S. and England.

Farming is still the important occupation in the locality, while many work in construction, the services and in industry in the neighbouring towns of Tuam and Galway.



Bridge at Garrafrauns built in Famine timesBridge at Garrafrauns built in Famine times

Community CentreCommunity Centre