Close by the church there stood almost 2000 years ago, the Grianan of Maeve. This summer house was built of wood or wattles, but outside this there was a stronghold composed of stones. These stones are yet close to the old church while most of them were used in construction of a ditch which now runs in a direct line, and shaded by beautiful trees from the Old Grianan Maeve down to a lovely shady bank to the brink of Lough Ree.
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The Danes under Turgesius sailed up the Shannon, and established a fleet on Lough Ree. Turgesius had a stronghold on St Johns (Roscommon side) and he frequently plundered the islands. In 1089 the Abbey in Inish Clothran was finally destroyed by the Danes and Munster men under Murkertack O'Brien of Thomond. It was restored about 1100, and in 1136 Aed O'Fionn who was also Bishop of Ardagh reigned over it. On 29th June 1155 the Abbey was again burned to the ground but was restored in 1160, for at this time the death of the teacher of the schools in this abbey a celebrated poet scholar and historian named Gilda is recorded. In 1110 a refuge prince of the O'Carrol line took shelter in the Island. He had attempted to seize the kingdom of the Ely which belonged to his brother. The latter pursued him to the island and murdered him there. A Norman knight called Gilbert De Nangle who came over after Strongbow murdered all the inhabitans and razed the monastery to the ground.