Blessed John XXIII Church, Clooney
On the Clooney side of the parish, an eighteenth century mass house was replaced in 1801 by the parish priest, Fr. McMahon (later to be bishop of Killaloe), who built a small chapel, into which was inserted a stone with the inscription, ‘The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom’. Plans to replace this small structure by something more imposing in 1820 fell foul of the wishes of local landlord, Burton Bindon, who insisted that the new chapel be built on land owned by him, in order it was said, to fulfil an ambition of having ‘a church and chapel and a lake and a castle on his property.’ The 1820 building was enlarged in 1839, and was in use until 1975 when it was demolished to make way for the modern church now on the site. The building of this church was organised by Fr. Eamonn Gaynor, C.C., who retained Sean and Dermot Merry of Ennis as architects. As much of the furnishing of the old church as possible was transferred to the new, including the old tabernacle, some stained glass windows, and even an old spiral staircase linking sacristy with storeroom. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Michael Harty on 28 October 1975 the anniversary of the naming of Pope John XXIII to whose memory the church was dedicated on completion.
A medieval baptismal font now is the modern church, which has been transferred from earlier buildings, and probably from the medieval church in the first instance, testifies to a centuries-long history of worship at Clooney. The font is particularly interesting in that it still has its original lid. In the Clooney section of the parish there are holy wells to Tober-cill, near Killoghan Church, Tober-buran and St Patrick’s Well.