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Straid Church is situated approximately one mile out of Clonmany on the Urris road. Founded by St Colmb in the 6th century it is now a disused Protestant church. Incidentally, the village of Clonmany derived its name from a piece of land there which has three corners. The monastery which was situated across the water at Binnon has no ruins to speak of but was once inhabited by 350 monks.

On the Church grounds, a rock with the traces of St Colmcilles knees is said to act as a cure for any ailment. To avail of the cure , it is believed one should rub whatever part of the body that was ill or sore with the water in the rock and then to bless yourself. Tradition tells us that in the past the locals would swear by the well before they would swear by a Doctor.

The Muirgheasans family, had a raised slope on their farm called ‘Teampall Deas’. Before any funerals were to take place the coffin containing the dead body would be carried around the height three times. The ‘Teampall Deas’ is said to be an old pagan hillock which once had miraculous power before the earth below it was sold and its curing energy was then relinquished.

The following anecdote took place on a night when the Church was being repaired. In the village of Clonmany, lived a swindler called Gaddydubh or in English the ‘black thief’. Fed up with feeling hungry they plotted one night to have a mighty feast to themselves. Gaddydubh was to break into the Church and light a fire to boil water to cook a cabbage. His friend was to steal a sheep from a neighbouring farm. Little beknown to them a Scotch Roman Catholic of the name Ranald was on his way to visit a protestant friend when he spotted a light inside the Church. Given that it was extremely late at night, his curiosity got the better of him and of he went to investigate. Peeping through the keyhole of the main door he spied a man of some kind brandishing a knife slicing what he thought to be human heads. The burning fire and the steaming cauldron sitting over it caused him to run to his friends house. However, upon arrival he discovered only his friends poor rheumatoid mother who powerless to walk without crutches. He proclaimed that he has seen the Devil in her very own Church and said that he was going to carry her there if she didn’t believe him. So off they went, stumbling through the dead of night to look for the Devil. The ‘black thief heard them coming and thinking it was his friend shouted, ‘Is she fat?’ Ranalds’ nerves made him drop the poor old crippled woman to the ground and he fled back to her house alone. The old woman also got up, took a short cut and was home before Ranald. From that night onwards the old woman never suffered from an ache or a pain and walked with more energy than a spring lamb. When the ‘black thief’ died the village of Clonmany kept the same name, Gaddydubh.

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