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The History and Topography of the County of Clare by James Frost


Part I. Topography of Thomond Chapter 11. Tradraighe; Tuath Echtghe

Tuath Echtghe. Feakle Parish

How this name is derived no one can say with certainty. In Irish it signifies “tooth,” but whose tooth this particular molar was no one can tell. Two churches, in other parts of Ireland, derive their name of Feakle from St. Patrick’s teeth, one in Tipperary, and the other in Armagh. According to local tradition, the patron saint of the parish is Mochonna; but out of the eleven saints of that name in the Irish calendars, it is difficult to choose the particular one who was reverenced at Feakle. Further difficulty is thrown in the way of finding out the good man by the fact that the only holy well in the parish, situated in the townland of Flagmount, is dedicated to St. Mochuillé, the patron saint of the parish of Tulla. The ancient parish church, which stood in the village of Feakle, was thrown down in 1780, to make room for the Protestant place of worship. The castle of Feakle (properly Lecarrow), belonged in 1580 to Donald Reagh MacNamara, and is now utterly demolished. One other castle existed in the parish, namely, that of Leaghort, the property of the same Donald Reagh. In the townland of Ballycroum is a well, called Tobar Grainé, placed in the middle of a bog, with a large flag over it. Although not named after any saint, large numbers of people flock to it for the cure of their diseases. About two hundred yards to the west of this well is a curious cromlech, now called Altoir Oltach, from the circumstance that a priest, who had fled from Ulster in the penal times, made it an altar for the celebration of Mass. No other object of antiquarian interest remains in the parish except a small church and graveyard, in the townland of Fahy. The lake of Lough Graney, so-called from a district designated Grian Echtghe, in the topographical poem of O’Doogan; and in other writings described as forming the extreme southern boundary of the principality of Hy Mania, means the lake of the district called “Grian,” and it is situated in this parish. The word, as applied to this lake has no connection whatever with the sun. The lake is celebrated in the facetious poem called Cuirt an meodhan Oidhche (“The Midnight Court”), the production of Bryan Merryman MacNamara, a native of the district. [24]

 

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