Situated next to the Catholic Church in Killaloe is the historic and interesting St Lua's Oratory. This oratory dates back to the time of Brian Ború and still stands to this day.
The oratory is named after St Lua (also known as Molua). However, at least 37 saints are recorded with this name, so it is difficult to find the exact saint for whom this oratory was built.
This oratory used to be located on Friar's Island in the River Shannon (about one mile downstream of Ballina), but it had to be moved once the Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme commenced.
Moving a building
When it was discovered that by building the Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme that the River Shannon would flood and Friar's Island would become submerged, it became apparent that something had to be done to save this magnificent structure.
Three options were discussed, but it was decided that the oratory would be dismantled stone by stone and rebuilt at a different site. Each stone was marked so that the building could be reconstructed in the same way. These stones were then brought by barge to Ballina, Co. Tipperary. Once on the mainland, the stones were loaded into cards and brought by donkey to the site where the oratory stands today.