Cloyne (Irish: Cluain)[2] is a small town to the southeast of Midleton in eastern County Cork. It is also a see city of the Anglican (Church of Ireland) Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, while also giving its name to a Roman Catholic diocese. St Colman's Cathedral in Cloyne is a cathedral church of the Church of Ireland while the Pro Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cloyne, Cobh Cathedral of Saint Colman, overlooks Cork Harbour.


Cluain Uamha
The Cloyne Round Tower in 2007.
The Cloyne Round Tower in 2007.
Cloyne is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 51°51′47″N 08°07′15″W / 51.86306°N 8.12083°W / 51.86306; -8.12083Coordinates: 51°51′47″N 08°07′15″W / 51.86306°N 8.12083°W / 51.86306; -8.12083
CountyCounty Cork
Dáil ÉireannCork East
EU ParliamentSouth
 • Total1,803
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−1 (IST (WEST))
Postal district(s)
Dialing code021, 465 2


Cloyne as painted by Sir Edward Fanshawe in 1856.

The first evidence of settlement in Cloyne is a 4000-year-old portal dolmen that lies to the West of the town. The bishopric of Cloyne was founded by St. Colman Mac Léníne, (530–606 A.D.) as his principal monastery in the sixth century.[8] The origin legend Conall Corc and the Corco Loígde claims that the land for the foundation of the monastery was not given by the local king, but by Coirpre mac Crimthainn (d. c. 580 A.D.), who was king of Munster from the Eóganacht Glendamnach:[9]

Coirpre mac Crimthainn it was who gave Cloyne to God and to Colman mac Colcon who is also called Mac Lénéne and Aired Cechtraige and Cell Náile. Because of this they [the Eoganacht Glendamnach] are entitled to secular rule.[10]

The Danes plundered Cloyne in 822, 824 and again in 885 when, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, the Abbot and Prior of the monastery were killed. The Annals of Inisfallen mention that in 978 A.D. the people of Ossory plundered Cloyne and that in 1088 A.D. Diarmait Ua Briain devastated it.[11] Cloyne was recognised as a diocese at the Synod of Kells in 1152.[12] The only major action of the Irish War of Independence in Cloyne was on 4 May 1920 when Irish Republican Army volunteers of the Fourth Battalion attacked the local Royal Irish Constabulary barracks. The volunteers at first failed to gain entry but succeed in setting fire to the building, which resulted in the entire surrender of the garrison. The prisoners had their hands tied before being ordered to march the road to Midleton while the flying column made their escape.[13]

Climate and geographyEdit

Cloyne is situated approximately 7.6 kilometres from the major town of Midleton.[14] The town is located at the bottom of a valley and is surrounded by large hills to the North and South as well as the Celtic Sea to the East and Cork Harbour to the West.

Being only 2 miles (3.2 km) from Cork harbour and 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from the open ocean, Cloyne has a mild climate with few extremes of temperature. The highest recorded temperature was 31.1 °C (88.0 °F), on 3 August 1995 and the lowest was −7.1 °C (19.2 °F), recorded on 2 January 1979 and also on 13 January 1987.

The climate of Cloyne is mild all year round, with an average of only six days of frost each year. Snow is almost unknown, especially in recent years, although a fall of 4 cm did occur on January 10, 2010, the first significant snow since March 1993. A severe cold spell in December 2010 produced some further light snowfalls but this period was much more notable for the persistence and severity of frost, with the record for the lowest temperature on record being threatened at times, but never actually broken; the absolute minimum being −6.6 °C on Christmas morning. 2010 was also the frostiest year on record, with 62 days recording an air frost, over 10 times the average.

Rainfall averages around 1041 mm (41.5 in) per annum, with the wettest weather usually occurring between October and January. The driest year ever recorded was in 1975 when 583.7 mm fell, while the wettest was in 2009 with 1433.4 mm. In common with the rest of Ireland, rainfall in Cloyne has increased over the past 10 years or so, with the sharpest rises in average being in the summer months. Winter rainfall has actually decreased slightly in the same period.

Notable peopleEdit

  • The philosopher George Berkeley was appointed the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cloyne in 1734, where he remained until his retirement in 1752. His monument is prominent in the north transept of the cathedral. The year after arriving in Cloyne he wrote The Querist, the first of three volumes containing questions on the social and economic problems of Ireland. Further pamphlets on Ireland followed, with appeals for religious toleration. He was known in the town as a dedicated pastor as well as a scholar, who personally ministered to the sick and destitute of the parish.[15]
  • Cloyne was the birthplace of the great Texas architect, Nicholas Joseph Clayton. Clayton and his widowed mother moved to the United States in the 1840s and eventually to Galveston, Texas. He quickly gained prominence in Galveston and Texas in the 1870s into the 1910s as a talented builder. The historic district of Galveston features many of Clayton's buildings that survived the ravages of storms and fires through the years.
  • The explorer Cynthia Longfield was born and lived in Cloyne up until her death on 27 June 1991. Longfield also served as a driver in the Royal Army Service Corps during World War I. She is buried in Cloyne Cathedral.[16][17]

Places of interestEdit

Cloyne has a round tower which is the town's symbol. The tower dates back to about 560 A.D. when St. Colman founded his monastery. In 1749 a lightning strike caused some damage to the top of the tower.[20] There is also ruins of a Norman watchtower on a hill overlooking the town.[21] The Church of Ireland Cathedral dates back to 1250 A.D. and is available to visit between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. after Sunday service is held at 12:00 p.m.[22] The local Catholic church, St. Colmans, was built in 1815 and celebrates Mass every day of the week.[23]


According to the 2011 Census, people of Irish ethnicity make up 86.2% of the population with mostly Polish and British people making up the rest. In terms of religion, 87% of Cloyne's population are Roman Catholic, 7% belong to other religions (e.g. Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Islam) and 6% state no religion. 601 persons could speak the Irish language and 71 people could speak Polish.[24]


The land around Cloyne is extremely rich and fertile, being mainly of limestone base. This makes it very suitable for agriculture, with many acres of wheat and barley harvested each year. The underlying limestone rock also gives rise to a spectacular network of caves under and to the south of the town. The cave, which is the biggest in Cork, are estimated to be up to 7 km long. A large section of the main street collapsed into the caves during the 20th century. Cloyne Cave is accessible from the grounds of Cloyne House on Rock Street. (Permission must be sought from the owner as these are private grounds).[25] The town boasts a number of pubs and small shop's in the centre of town while there is also a Thai and traditional Irish restaurant in the town.[26][27]


The local primary school is St. Colman's National School.[28]


Cloyne GAA is the local Gaelic Athletic Association club. They play in the traditional kit of red and black stripes. The club has two grounds known locally as the "old" and "new" pitches.[29]

Churchvilla FC is the local soccer club. The club was formed in 1968 and has since grown to 150 players in both juvenile and senior teams.[30]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Census 2016 - Small Area Population Statistics (SAPMAP Area) - Settlements - Cloyne". Census 2016. Central Statistics Office.
  2. ^ Cloyne Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved: 2012-10-03.
  3. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  4. ^ "Histpop - The Online Historical Population Reports Website". Archived from the original on 2016-05-07. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  5. ^ "NISRA - Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (c) 2013". 2010-09-27. Archived from the original on 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  6. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. (eds.). Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
  7. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. hdl:10197/1406.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Historical Cloyne". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 1 Dec 2013.
  9. ^ The Eóganacht Glendamnach were a branch claiming descent from Nad Froích, as did the Eóganacht of Cashel and the Éoganacht Áine.
  10. ^ Ó Corráin, "Creating the past"; Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland, pp. 522-3
  11. ^ "The Book of Cloyne" pg 7. by Rev JKS Ridley Barker
  12. ^ "The Book of Cloyne" by Rev JKS Ridley Barker
  13. ^ "Courthouse". Archived from the original on 30 August 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Midleton, Co. Cork to Cloyne, Co. Cork". Google Maps. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  15. ^ Boylan, Henry (1998). A Dictionary of Irish Biography, 3rd Edition. Dublin: Gill and MacMillan. p. 25. ISBN 0-7171-2945-4.
  16. ^ Staff. "Cynthia Longfield". The New Naturalists Online. Archived from the original on 2012-04-22. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
  17. ^ Ogilvie, Marilyn; Joy Harvey (2000). The biographical dictionary of women in science : pioneering lives from ancient times to the mid-20th century. New York: Routledge. p. 801. ISBN 041592040X.
  18. ^ "Donal Óg Cusack". Cork GAA. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  19. ^ "Paudie O'Sullivan". Cork GAA. 1988-11-28. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  20. ^ "Cloyne Round Tower Co. Cork". Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  21. ^ "Castle Hill, Cloyne". Retrieved 24 Nov 2013.
  22. ^ "Cloyne Union Information". Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  23. ^ "Parish-details Cloyne". Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  24. ^ "Area Profile for Town Cloyne Co. Cork". Central Statistics Office Ireland. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  25. ^ "Cloyne Cave Ireland Tourist Information". Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  26. ^ [1] Archived June 9, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Pubs Cloyne". Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  28. ^ "St. Colman's National School". Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  29. ^ "Cloyne Hurling and Football Club". Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  30. ^ "Welcome to Churhvilla F.C." Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2013.

External linksEdit