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The Cloyne Round Tower in 2007.
The Cloyne Round Tower in 2007.
Country Ireland
Province Munster
County County Cork
Dáil Éireann Cork East
EU Parliament South
 • Total 1,562
Time zone UTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−1 (IST (WEST))
Postal district(s)
Dialing code 021, 465 2

Cloyne (Irish: Cluain) is a small town to the southeast of Midleton in eastern County Cork. It is also a see city of the Anglican (Church of Ireland) Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, while also giving its name to a Roman Catholic diocese. St Coleman's Cathedral in Cloyne is a cathedral church of the Church of Ireland while the Pro Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cloyne, Cobh Cathedral of Saint Colman, overlooks Cork Harbour.


Edward Gennys Fanshawe, Ancient tower at Cloyne, Feby 1856 (Ireland)
Cloyne as painted by Sir Edward Fanshawe in 1856.

The first evidence of settlement in Cloyne is a 4000-year-old portal dolmen that lies to the West of the town. The bishopric of Cloyne was founded by St. Colman Mac Léníne, (530–606 A.D.) as his principal monastery in the sixth century. The origin legend Conall Corc and the Corco Loígde claims that the land for the foundation of the monastery was not given by the local king, but by Coirpre mac Crimthainn (d. c. 580 A.D.), who was king of Munster from the Eóganacht Glendamnach:

Coirpre mac Crimthainn it was who gave Cloyne to God and to Colman mac Colcon who is also called Mac Lénéne and Aired Cechtraige and Cell Náile. Because of this they [the Eoganacht Glendamnach] are entitled to secular rule.

The Danes plundered Cloyne in 822, 824 and again in 885 when, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, the Abbot and Prior of the monastery were killed. The Annals of Inisfallen mention that in 978 A.D. the people of Ossory plundered Cloyne and that in 1088 A.D. Diarmait Ua Briain devastated it. Cloyne was recognised as a diocese at the Synod of Kells in 1152. The only major action of the Irish War of Independence in Cloyne was on 4 May 1920 when Irish Republican Army volunteers of the Fourth Battalion attacked the local Royal Irish Constabulary barracks. The volunteers at first failed to gain entry but succeed in setting fire to the building, which resulted in the entire surrender of the garrison. The prisoners had their hands tied before being ordered to march the road to Midleton while the flying column made their escape. Small-scale rioting broke out in Cloyne on 26 October 2013 after hundreds of youths arrived in the town due to an invitation for a house party going viral on social network sites. Local property was damaged and responding Gardaí were attacked with stones by the estimated crowd of 200 youths.

Climate and Geography

Cloyne Cathedral

Cloyne is situated approximately 7.6 kilometres from the major town of Midleton. The town is located at the bottom of a valley and is surrounded by large hills to the North and South as well as the Celtic Sea to the East and Cork Harbour to the West.

Being only 2 miles (3.2 km) from Cork harbour and 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from the open ocean, Cloyne has a mild climate with few extremes of temperature. The highest recorded temperature was 31.1 °C (88.0 °F), on 3 August 1995 and the lowest was −7.1 °C (19.2 °F), recorded on 2 January 1979 and also on 13 January 1987.

The climate of Cloyne is mild all year round, with an average of only six days of frost each year. Snow is almost unknown, especially in recent years, although a fall of 4 cm did occur on January 10, 2010, the first significant snow since March 1993. A severe cold spell in December 2010 produced some further light snowfalls but this period was much more notable for the persistence and severity of frost, with the record for the lowest temperature on record being threatened at times, but never actually broken; the absolute minimum being −6.6 °C on Christmas morning. 2010 was also the frostiest year on record, with 62 days recording an air frost, over 10 times the average.

Rainfall averages around 1027 mm (40.5 in) per annum, with the wettest weather usually occurring between October and January. The driest year ever recorded was in 1975 when 583.7 mm fell, while the wettest was in 2009 with 1433.4 mm. In common with the rest of Ireland, rainfall in Cloyne has increased over the past 10 years or so, with the sharpest rises in average being in the summer months. Winter rainfall has actually decreased slightly in the same period.

Places of interest

Cloyne has a round tower which is the town's symbol. The tower dates back to about 560 A.D. when St. Colman founded his monastery. In 1749 a lightning strike caused some damage to the top of the tower. There is also ruins of a Norman watchtower on a hill overlooking the town. The Church of Ireland Cathedral dates back to 1250 A.D. and is available to visit between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. after Sunday service is held at 12:00 p.m. The local Catholic church, St. Colmans, was built in 1815 and celebrates mass every day of the week.


According to the 2011 Census, people of Irish ethnicity make up 86.2% of the population with mostly Polish and British people making up the rest. In terms of religion, 87% of Cloyne's population are Roman Catholic, 7% belong to other religions (e.g. Church of England, Presbyterian, Islam) and 6% state no religion. 601 persons could speak the Irish language and 71 people could speak Polish, making it the second most common foreign language.

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