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Darrary, Dairbhre, Darraraidhe, translated as the place of the oak wood, and is one of approximately 1,500 places in Ireland  whose names are derived from the oak , “that most sacred of trees in ancient Ireland”, and which has also been described as “the pride and glory of the forest”. Darrary is the only village in our half-parish which has two divisions, Darrary North and Darrary South, known to the locals as Darrary above(South) and Darrary below(North).It borders Garrafrauns on the north end, Gortnagine on the east,  Ardcloon to the west and the Sinking River  on the south end separates it from Cloonagh.

Records from the Tithe Applotment books,(1820’s) list three tenants who paid the tax to the Church of Ireland. These families were Thady Connally, Peter Quinn, and a Mr. Keane;( the Christian name is unclear). Between the three of them they paid £6-11s-o., a hefty sum in those days. Griffith’s Valuation Books (1855), give the area of Darrary North as 160a-. 0rd.- 7p. and valued it at £40-2s-0d. Darrary South was valued at £96-7-0, having an area of 168a.-2rd.-22p. The landlord was Martin Kirwan.

Census figures from 1841 record a population of 61 in Darrary North which had dropped to 37 by 1901. Darrary South had 105 in 1841; by 1901 this too had decreased to 65. Sadly,that downward trend has continued and at the present time 7 people live in Darrary North while 11 is the approximate figure for Darrary South. It is interesting to note that the surnames Connally, Connell, Cosgrove, Meehan and Quinn which are present in Darrary today were also among the tenants on the 1855 list.

   The land in Darrary is of good quality and farming has always been the main means of livelihood.There are some sandhills in Darrary North which are being excavated at the present time by Farragher Contractors.

One well known landmark in Darrary is the Hag’s Well or Tobar a Chailleach. . Folklore has it that an old woman was minding a team of horses and plough in a field while her husband was having tea. Suddenly, the ground opened and swallowed up the woman, horses and plough. It is believed that this well has no bottom and so local children were always warned to stay away from it for fear of drowning. This well was the source of water for the local scheme from 1970 until recently, when it was replaced by a new scheme run by Galway County Council. It supplied the villages of Darrary, Ardcloon, Gortnagine and part of Knockatee. Another item of folklore relating to Darrary concerns Clocheen, that mischievous spirit whose exploits and antics are already recorded in Volume 1.