Canons’ Island in the Shannon estuary is the largest in a cluster of over twenty islands that occupy the expansive stretch of water formed by the confluence of the Shannon and Fergus estuaries.
The island is the site of a medieval Monastery and a traditional pilgrim site for people on both sides of the estuary. The Canons Regular of St Augustine who lived in the Abbey provided pastoral care for the nearby parishes until its suppression during the rule of Henry VIII. An article, by Michael Mac Mahon, detailing the history of the Abbey may be found on the website of Clare Library.
While the island are no longer inhabited, several of them continue to serve as pasture for cattle.
The island has continued to serve as a place of burial up to the present. In 1990 the late Fr Michael Hillery, PP revived the tradition of going on pilgrimage to the Canons’ Island A large number of pilgrims travel to the island now for the annual Mass. This year due to Clare’s participation in the All Ireland Hurling semi-final, the pilgrimage will take place on a Saturday. Mass will be celebrated in the ruins of the old Monastery on Saturday 17 August 2013. Boats will leave Crovraghan Pier at 1pm.