Catholic Church, Cliffoney
The building of St Molaise’s Catholic Church in Cliffoney was financed by Lord Palmerston, as part of his improving works in the area, along with local Catholic schools.
The present day church as recently been refurbished. Among its notable features are three stained glass windows by Clarke Stained Glass Studios in Dublin. Cliffoney is part of Ahamlish parish.
The Rebel Priest
Fr. Michael O’Flanagan after his appointment to Cliffoney village in 1914, began a campaign to obtain turf cutting rights for the local people. In defiance of the orders of Bishop Coyne, he instructed the people to bring their turf cutting implements to Mass on the following Sunday. After Mass he led the people up to the bogs to cut their turf earning him the title of the Rebel Priest and a speedy transfer by the Bishop out of the area, this however did not dampen his rebel spirit. His memory lives on with a traditional music session on the last Saturday night of every month in his honour in the Local Pub.
It is told locally that after a typhoid attach in Sligo in the 1800’s, the bodies were brought along this road for burial but some were only concussed and woke up along the way. It is widely believed that Bram Stoker‘s mother, Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley from nearby Ballyshannon, told her son some of these ghostly stories which contributed to his nightmarish creation of Count Dracula.
Opposite the church is the parish hall which was originally the Boy’s School. This was burned down in the troubled times of the 1920 by the feared Black and Tans in reprisal for the ambush of Auxiliary British Forces at Moneygold one mile south of Cliffoney Village.