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Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839

Parish of Clooney [Bunratty Upper] (c)

IIn the south of this Parish is situated Cuil Ua Sluaisti which is mentioned in the Leabhar Breac as the habitation of O’Sluaisti, who stole his mules, asses and horses from a Cardinal sent to Ireland in the time of Donnell Mor O’Brien, King of Munster. This passage is so amazingly curious that I am tempted to transcribe a part of it here:-

Hua Annoc, agus Hua Cellchin Cille Moire, agus Hua Sluaisti ó Chúil Ua Sluaisti, is iad sin ro ghadsat eich, agus múil agus asain in Chardinail tánic ó Róimh co tír n-Erend dia forchedul i n-aimsir Dhomhnaill Mhóir h-i Bhriain Ri Muman. - Leabhar Breac, fol. 41. b.

O’Hanoc and O’Kelchin of Kilmore and O’Sluaisté of Cuil O’Sluaisti, were they who stole the horses, mules and asses of the Cardinal who came to Ireland to instruct it, in the time of Donnell More O’Brien, King of Munster.

The Kilmore here mentioned is certainly the Kilmore in the Parish of Killokennedy. These families must have been out on a hunting or predatory excursion when they met the Cardinal’s retinue, about whom they, in all probability, knew nothing. They seem to have thought, if they knew the Cardinal, that his mules and horses were as good (lawful) prey as if they belonged to O’Shaughnessy, and had no scruple of conscience in taking them by force from his Giomanachs!

The Leabhar Breac adds that this was the cause of the invasion of Ireland by the English. When the Cardinal returned home, he represented the Irish as wild men of the woods who stole his asses, and the Pope was so enraged at their conduct that he made over the Island of Hibernia, which belonged to him in right of St. Peter to his cousin, the King of England.

It gives me great pleasure to have discovered the localities of these illustrious Irishmen, who, by robbing the Cardinal, entailed more miseries on their country than Brian Boroo had done before them.
In the southwest extremity of this Parish is situated Moreask (Magh Riasg) which continued in the possession of the head of the Mac Namaras until a few years ago when it passed into the possession of Lord Fitz Gerald.

Near the north boundary of the Townland of Corbally in this Parish, are shewn some traces of the foundation of the Castle of Corbally which is mentioned in the College List of the Castles of Thomond as belonging to Shane Mac Mahown.

In the Townland of Muckinish in this Parish is situated the celebrated Hill of Urchaill or Fuarchoill, which is mentioned in the Wars of Turlogh at the year 1318 and in the Annals of the Four Masters at the 1559, as the site of a dreadful battle between the O’Briens and Geraldines.

The other ancient remains in this Parish are forts and cahers of which the correct names are set down in the Field Name Books.