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Garrafrauns is a small rural area situated in the Parish of
Dunmore. The Garrafrauns half-parish borders on the Counties
of Mayo and Roscommon. Situated in the middle of the parish
is the village of
Garrafrauns with its church, school, post office, garage and
three public houses.
The name Garrafrauns comes from the Gaelic words Garra
bhfearán (Garden of the Wild Brambles) or Garbhthráin (Rough
Garrafrauns is about 4 miles from the town of
Dunmore along the Claremorris road. Our neighbouring towns are Cloonfad (5
miles), Irishtown (3 miles), Milltown (5 miles) and Dunmore (4 miles).
The sites of ring forts, dolmen and early Christian churches suggest that people
settled in the area in ancient times. The land in general was poor and marshy
and large areas were covered with pine forests or bog. Remains of the roots of
these large pine trees are evident in the area still. The population greatly
increased in the late 1700's and early 1800's with the arrival of many displaced
families from other counties. These families proceeded to clear away and drain
the land. Many townlands contain the word cluain which means reclaimed meadows.
Many families from Ulster settled in Quinaltagh and Shanballymore where they
courageously established farms from the stony ground. Evidence of massive stone
wall structures can still be widely found in these villages.
Dolmen - above
South east of the village of Garrafrauns stands the remains of a Portal Dolmen.
It is close to a footpath known as "Cloch Breac" used as short cut to
Garrafrauns by the people of upper Cloonfane. The monument dating from Bronze
Age times consists of 2 large standing stones and one capstone. The capstone is
over 4 metres in length and weighs between 2 and 3 tonnes. The monument has now
collapsed. The stones possibly were "erratics" left over from the last ice age
which ended about 10, 000 years ago. It was possibly used to mark the grave of a
local chieftain but more than likely was used as pagan sacrificial site or