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HISTORY OF STRAFFAN CO KILDARE, THE HOME OF THE FAMOUS LEADER, THE EARL OF TYRCONNELL


Leinster Leader Saturday September 1st 1934

 

ROMANCE OF STRAFFAN

THE HOME OF THE EARL OF TYRCONNELL

FAMOUS LEADER

The name Straffan means the house or the church, which place first bears mention in an ancient copy of Diudsenchus transcribed into the Book of Leinster by Finn McGormaile, Bishop of Kildare, who died in 1160.  Straffan inhabitants today may be surprised to learn there once lived a saint of that name from whom our village derived its name.  According to the Four Masters Saint Straffan of Srafan is mentioned in the masterpieces of Gorman and Donegal.  He is named Srafan of Clonmore whose feast is celebrated on the 23rd May and was one of the Leinster clerics who accompanied St. Moliney, founder of St.Mullins in Co. Carlow.  In 693 St. Srafan resided about 5 miles from Straffan.  St. Srafan is regarded as having been buried at Kill.  Another more romantic form of how the name Straffan originated is related as follows: - There was once a warrior called Lummale of Tech Straffan.  Now Corbs MacCinaia had a shield that seven of the Kings of Ireland dared not face.  At this time there lived a warrior, a seer and a poet named Fern Ben who went with a poem to demand the shield from Corbs MacCinaia who gave up the shield.  In a battle which took place after the event mentioned Fern Ben took the side Corbs MacCinaia and on turning homeward after the battle he reached Tich Straffan sorely wounded.  Here he succumbed to his wounds at which place his gillie dug his grave in which he placed him with his sword at one side of him, his spear on the other and his shield across him.  He said the name of this spot shall be Tumman till doom’s day.  Hence the name Tumman Tech Strafain (Straffan) .  During its history many different owners were in possession of Straffan.  Sir John Fannyn at one period was Chief Lord of Straffan.  In 1288 his tenants of the town of Straffan styled Burgesses holding their tenements in free soccafe while his tenants of Irishtown then named Ballaspadagh were paying a fixed rent.  A man named John Gaylon in 1490 is said to have purchased Straffan Demense Richard de Penkiston.  During the Commonwealth as he was a Catholic he forfeited these estates which passed to the possession of a Mr. Thomas Bowels.  Straffan afterwards became associated with a prominent figure of Irish history named Richard Talbot who later became the Earl of Tyrconnell of history fame who purchased Straffan Demense in 1679.   The gate near the Straffan Bridge in by-gone days was known as Tyreconnell’s Gate


The Leinster Leader  of September 1st 1934 gives us an historical insight into how the village of Straffan, Co. Kildare the home of the Earl of Tyrconnell derived its name.


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