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The name Cloonbrisk or Cloonbrusk is of Gaelic origin and comes from the words Cluain (meadowland), brusc (loose soil).

The village is situated north of the Village of Garrafrauns and borders Co. Mayo along the Dalgin river. Cloonbrisk is in the Catholic parish of Milltown but the inhabitants have traditionally worshiped in Garrafrauns. The Griffith valuation tells us that the area of the village is 161 acres which includes 40 acres of bog. This has been the source of fuel for the villagers for many centuries. Much of the remaining land is marginal. During the late 1700’s and 1800’s all the inhabitants were tenant farmers and paid their annual rent to the landlord Admiral Dudley Oliver.

Oliver was descended from the Most Reverend John Ryder, Protestant Archbishop of Tuam in the late 18th century. Consequently at the time of Griffith's Valuation Dudley Oliver a native of Dalkey,  County Wicklow, held the land of Cloonbrusk from the Church of Ireland See of Tuam. He was an admiral in the British Navy and fought at the Battle of Trafalgar. 

 The largest holding in the village was 23 acres while the smallest was just 1 acre. Most of the tenants had to survive on farms of an average of 8 acres of land. They were mostly self-sufficient sowed potatoes and reared fowl, pigs and cows.


The number of families has remained relatively consistent during the 1800’s and the early part of the 1900’s. However during the famine the population dropped from 78 to 50.  All the houses were thatched and most had 2 to 3 rooms. During the 1900’s a shop existed in the village run by the Conway family.  Eggs were traded by the locals in lieu of basic groceries such as tea, sugar, salt and other spices. The Conway family also traded at Brownesgrove successfully up to the late 1960’s

Ruin Of Conway's ShopRuin Of Conway's Shop