SKREEN, or SKRYNE, a parish, in the barony of SKREEN, county of MEATH, and province of LEINSTER, 3 miles (N.) from Dunshaughlin, on the roads from Dublin to Navan and from Drogheda to Summerhill; containing 1279 inhabitants. This parish was anciently called Scrinium Sancti Columbae, and appears to have derived that name from the shrine of St. Columb having been brought from England into Ireland, in 875, and deposited in the monastery here. The Danes twice plundered this religious establishment during the eleventh century, and it was likewise ravaged by the inhabitants of Teaffia in 1058 and in 1152.

On the settlement of Meath by Hugh de Lacy, this place became the property of Adam de Feypo, who erected a castle here; his family founded and endowed a friary for eremites of the order of St. Augustine. In the reign of Richard II., mention is made of the "Irish town of Skryne;" in that of Henry IV. notice is taken of its hundred court as a borough, and of its burgage rents; and in the records of the 1st of Henry VI., 1423, "the Provost and Commonalty of the town of Scryne are ordered to be at Trim with all their power for its defence;" though at present it is a place of but little consideration.

The parish comprises 4235 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act: the lands are nearly equally pasture and arable, and the soil is of the best quality. Fairs are held on March 17th, June 20th, and Oct. 12th, for live stock, the last being a very large fair for sheep; all are well attended. Corbalton Hall, the elegant and spacious mansion of Elias Corbally, Esq., stands in a remarkably well-wooded demesne of about 1000 acres.

The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Meath, united by act of council, in 1677, to the rectory of Rathfeigh, the vicarage of Dowthstown, the impropriation of Kilcarn, and the chapelries of Templecarne and Lismullen, and in the patronage of the Crown; the tithes amount to £280, and the gross value of the benefice is £660. 1. 4. The glebe-house, situated in this parish, was built in 1813, at a cost of £1754, of which £100 was a gift and £900 a loan from the late Board of First Fruits, the residue having been supplied by the then incumbent. The glebes of the union comprise 26 acres, valued at £53. 8. 0. per annum. The church of the union is in Templecarne; it was built about 1809, by a gift of £500 and a loan of £500 from the same Board, and has lately been repaired by aid of £116, from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district comprising this parish and those of Taragh, Rathfeigh, Lismullen, Templekieran, and Macetown, and containing two chapels, at Skreen and Rathfeigh: the former is a handsome edifice, with a lofty steeple, opened in 1827; the interior is very neat, and has a painting over the altar: the building was erected by subscription, to which the principal contributors were E. Corbally and T. Maher (of Clonstown), Esqrs.

The parochial school is aided by an annual donation from the rector, who gives a house and garden rent-free: a school at Ross is aided by an annual gift from Earl Ludlow; and a third school by a legacy of £10 per ann.: in these schools about 180 children are taught. A national school is in course of erection on part of the chapel-yard, the ground having been given on a 999 years' lease, at a nominal rent, by A. J. Dopping, Esq.; the building is spacious and well-constructed, and will include a residence for the master.

The old castle has been enlarged and modernised, and is now occupied by a farmer. On an eminence, and conspicuous at a great distance, are considerable remains of the ancient church or monastery, consisting of the tower and shell of the building, with a burial-ground attached. Skryne gave the title of Baron (now extinct) to the family of Feypo.

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