Claret for Sheriffs

In 1730 the Government expressed alarm at the "further increase of Popery," and ordered the Protestant bishops to make inquiry as to the "number of Popish chapels and mass-houses and the number of priests and friars and the number of Popish schools." The report sent in the following year is a valuable record of the condition of the Church at the time. A detailed report was made by the sheriffs in Galway about the Dominicans. They state that "they also searched the friary in the west suburbs, called the Dominican Friary, wherein is a large chapel with a gallery, some forms, and an altar-piece defaced ; in which said reputed friary there are ten chambers and eight beds, wherein, they believe, the friars belonging to the said friary usually lay, but could find none of them. That it is a very old friary but some repairs lately made in it."

Walter Taylor, the Mayor, was voted special thanks in the House for his zeal in searching out Popery, but the following item, taken from the account books of the GalwayDominicans, throws a strange light on the difficulty the sheriffs experienced in finding the Friars : - "For claret to treat ye Sheriffs in their search, ye 11th - 25, 2d." In only one instance have the Dominicans succeeded in getting back their ancient churches. In Sligo, Athenry and Ballindoon, however, the ravages of time and man have spared a good deal.


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