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Inchbofin (Irish: Inis Bó Finne) is an island situated in Lough Ree on the River Shannon, in central Ireland.

Inchbofin
[name]:
Inis Bó Finne
Inchbofin, Lough Ree - geograph.org.uk - 412925.jpg
Inchbofin is located in Ireland
Inchbofin
Inchbofin
Geography
LocationRiver Shannon
Coordinates53°32′17″N 7°55′12″W / 53.538°N 7.92°W / 53.538; -7.92Coordinates: 53°32′17″N 7°55′12″W / 53.538°N 7.92°W / 53.538; -7.92
Area0.266 km2 (0.103 sq mi)
Highest elevation41 m (135 ft)
Administration
ProvinceLeinster
CountyWestmeath
Demographics
Population0 (2018)
Ethnic groupsIrish

The islandEdit

Inchbofin is an island of 26.6 ha (66 acres) located in the eastern arm of Lough Ree, with Tang, County Westmeath the nearest village.

HistoryEdit

Inchbofin
Inis Bó Finne
Monastery information
Other namesInnisbofin
Insula Vaccae Albae
OrderCanons Regular of Saint Augustine
Established530
Disestablished1540
DioceseMeath
People
Founder(s)Ríoch
Architecture
StatusInactive
Heritage designation
Official nameInchbofin
Reference no.213
StyleRomanesque
Site
LocationLough Ree, County Westmeath
Visible remainstwo churches
Public accessyes

Saint Ríoch is said to have founded a Christian monastery on Inchbofin in AD 530.[1] The island's name is from the Irish Inis Bó Finne, meaning "Island of the white/fair cow", and so it is easily confused with Inishbofin, County Galway and Inishbofin, County Donegal, which have the same Irish name. The Latin calques Īnsula Vaccae Albae or Īnsula Vitulae Albae are also used on occasion.[2] The monastery was of the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine.

The Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837) said that of Inchbofin's 64 acres (26 ha), there were 27 acres (11 ha) suitable for arable use.[3] Griffith's Valuation (mid-19th century) mentions three families on the island: Skelly, Connell and Heffernan; the island was owned by Susan Galbraith. In the 1911 census, there were 13 people living on the island, of the same 3 families.[4]

In winter 2009, the Irish Air Corps sent a helicopter to the island to deliver cattle fodder for the last farmer on the island, John Connell, after Lough Ree froze solid.[5][6]

On the 12th February 2018, John Connell, the last permanent resident of the island, died.[7]

Annalistic referencesEdit

BuildingsEdit

The remains of two churches survive on Inchbofin. One (12th century) is at the north-eastern point of the island and has an irregular enclosure. It consists of a nave, transept and sacristy. To the north of the altar is a Romanesque window, and above a window is a carving of a bishop's head. The smaller church ruin to the south is from the 12th/13th centuries.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Inchbofin, County Westmeath".
  2. ^ "Inchboffin".
  3. ^ Grenham, John. "Lewis' Topographical Dictionary entries for".
  4. ^ "National Archives: Census of Ireland 1911".
  5. ^ "Secret Ireland: Lough Ree - Independent.ie".
  6. ^ "Westmeath Independent - Air Corps comes to Athlone to deliver fodder to Lough Ree islands".
  7. ^ End of an era as last islander passes, Westmeath Independent
  8. ^ "Part 58 of Annals of the Four Masters".
  9. ^ "The Annals of Ulster".
  10. ^ "Part 19 of Annals of the Four Masters".
  11. ^ "Inchbofin, St Rioch". The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain & Ireland.