Meelick, County Galway

''There are other places called Meelick in County Clare and County Mayo.

Meelick (Míleac in Irish) is a townland on the River Shannon in Ireland. It lies some 4 km southeast of Eyrecourt in County Galway.

Oldest Catholic Church in use

Meelick has the oldest Irish Roman Catholic church with continuous use since 1414 AD. Originally founded as a Franciscan abbey, the church and sacristy are still in use today. The ruins include traces of the transept chapel, friary and small mill. Papal permission for Meelick friary was granted by John XXII in 1414. The last friar of Meelick was Fr. Bonaventure Francis Reynolds. When he died in November 1852, there was no friar available to replace him. Since then the church has been maintained for weekly services.


Meelick is also a well-regarded location for fishing, primarily salmon and wild brown trout. The river here is wide (over 1.5 km from bank to bank at its broadest point) and full of islands, weirs, pools and streams. Meelick is a known angling location when the salmon are running and has some varied waters ranging from fast runs to glides and pools to slow deep stretches. There are islands separating an artificial cut on the Co. Offaly bank with the main River Shannon at Meelick on the Co. Galway bank. It has a very small spring salmon run: best time April into mid-May. Summer salmon arrive generally from mid-June in normal years and fishing is best up to mid-July and it is at this time that anglers tend to fish the area. Runs are moderate and variable from year to year. Meelick regularly attracts a large number of fishing tourists from England.

All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship 1887

In 1887 Meelick were one of the first teams to compete for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, the first national championship of the game of hurling ever held in Ireland. Representing County Galway in the final, Meelick were defeated by Thurles, representing County Tipperary. The game was held in Birr in County Offaly in front of a crowd of 5,000. Patrick Madden, captain of the Meelick side, is commemorated with a plaque on the gable end of his birthplace and lifetime home in the village.

Meelick-Eyrecourt is the name of the local Gaelic Athletic Association club today.


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