Lough Ree has many historic islands, some of which are in the parish of Cashel in Longford. The most important, from the historical perspective is Inis Clothrann or Inchcleraun, also called Quaker's Island.

A monastery was founded on Inchcleraun c. 540 by St Diarmuid, who taught St Ciarán of Clonmacnois. Diarmuid is buried there. Others associated with Inchcleraun include St Sionnach who died there in 719. The island was a place of learning and pilgrimage in the medieval period. It is recorded that Aedh Ua Finn, bishop of Breifne, died on Inchcleraun in 1136. This is significant because it is, apparently, the only reference to the diocese of Breifne (that area is now known as the diocese of Kilmore).

By the thirteenth century, Inchcleraun had an Augustinian priory. Members of the O'Farrell family are recorded as serving as priors. As with all monasteries, it was closed during the reign of King Henry VIII.

Saints' Island, with a land connection to the mainland, also had an Augustinian priory, founded in the thirteenth century by a member of the Dillon family. Its most famous canon was Augustine Magraidin, a noted scholar, who died in 1405. He wrote the 'Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae', a source used by the 'Four Masters' in compiling their annals in the 1630s. Following its suppression, the monastery passed to Sir Patrick Barnwall. Some manuscripts from Saints' Island are now in the Rawlinson collection in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

The 'Black Islands', to the south of Cashel, were inhabited until recent years. Unlike many of the other islands, they do not have ecclesiastical connections.

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