Cloonfad, Ballyhaunis, Co Roscommon
Cloonfad is a village built around a crossroads in County Roscommon, in the West of Ireland. The village, of several hundred inhabitants is situated where the three counties of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon meet. The name Cloonfad comes from the Irish “Cluain fada,” meaning a long meadow or bog clearing. (Source: Genealogy of Ireland)
The village is reputed to have been built other than in the area it was intended. The more likely place is thought to have been in the nearby townland of Lavallyroe, a one-time bishop’s original location for the local national school, according to a local historian.
Cloonfad is today served by a church, post office and school. The modern day village is expanding quickly, with many new housing developments going up since 2000. Many new residents are attracted by the convenience of Cloonfad to the thriving town of Ballyhaunis, ten kilometers away in County Mayo, as well as to the city of Galway, a 40 minute drive to the West. Cloonfad is one of three villages (the others are Granlahan and Ballinlough) forming the parish of Kiltullagh.
Published since 1992, the Cloonfad magazine is an annual round up of news and views from around the village. The magazine usually goes on sale in early December and every edition in the publication’s 15 year history has sold out. In 1999 the Cloonfad magazine was selected winner of the national competition for newsletters-magazines run by the Irish Episcopal Commission for Emigrants. A thrilled editorial committee travelled to Dublin to accept a crystal trophy and a travel voucher for £700, sponsored by Aer Rianta. Renowned writer Maeve Binchy, the competition judge, selected the Cloonfad Magazine from a short-list of seven finalists. Binchy said the magazine’s fine balance of information, nostalgia, local folklore and history put it ahead of the competition in one of the main judging criteria: What emigrants would like to read in a publication from their home place.
We greatly appreciate any articles or photographs from Cloonfad locals, visitors or emigrants.
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