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

Parish of Kilkeedy (c)

In this Parish in the north of a Townland to which it is named and about six and a half miles to the east of Corofin is situated the Castle of Derryowen. It is all destroyed except the west side which is nearly perfect and from which an idea of its origin, extent and construction may be formed. It consisted of six stories.

This Castle is mentioned in the Annals of the years 1598 and 1599.

A.D. 1598. Among the nobles of Thomond who were at strife with one another was Torlough, the son of Mahon, from Coill O’bhFlannchadha, who took from George Cusack, Derryowen, which was at first the property of the sons of Auliff, the son of Kian O’Shaughnessy.

A.D. 1599. The Earl of Thomond restored to the lawful proprietors, the Castle of Derryowen, the two Castles of Cluain and the Castle of Lios Aodha Finn, and many others in Thomond.

Coill O’bhFlannchadha, above mentioned at the year 1598, was the name of a woody district adjoining the Co. Galway in this Parish. The remains of the wood were observable on the lands of Bun a Chiopáin and Ait Tighe Doithte not many years ago.

In this Parish is situated the Castle of Maothraighe, which is in tolerable preservation, and also the Castle of Kilkeedy, now locally called Caislean Mael, which is very much ruined, and Cluain Sailehern. These and all the other Castles and their proprietors are set down in a list of the Castles of Thomond evidently written in the reign of Queen Elizabeth and now preserved in the MS. Library of Trinity College, Dublin, thus :-

Cluain Dhubháin.

1. Cloynenuayne               - Proprietor, Mahown O’Brien.
2. Dereowen                     - Proprietor, the Baron of Inchiquin.
3. Moethrie                        - Proprietor, the Earl of Thomond.

Cluain Sailchearnaigh.

4. Cloynesclehern           - Proprietor, Dermot O’Brien.
5. Kilkidey                        - Proprietor, Mahown, the Baron’s son.

Cluain Sailchearnaigh above mentioned is referred to in the Annals of the Four Masters as on the eastern boundary of O’Dea’s Country of Kinel-Fearmaic :-

A.D. 1599. O’Donnell encamped this year at Killineeboy, on which occasion the spoils of all the Territory of Kinel-Fearmaic, extending from Diseart” (i.e., Dysart-Tola, alias Dysart O’Dea) “to Glencolumbkille and to Tully-cummon, and from Cluain Sailchearnaigh to Leim-an-Eich, were brought to him.

From this we can form a pretty accurate idea of the extent of Kinel Fearmaic, O’Dea’s Country. Dyseart is now Dysart-O’Dea; Tullycummon is in the Parish of Killineeboy on the confines of Burren; Cluain Sail-chearnaigh, called in the Down Survey Cloonseilherny, is in the east of this Parish of Kilkeedy on the verge of the county and adjoining the Barony of Kiltartan, in the County of Galway; and Leim-an-Eich is in the Parish of Killineeboy on the confines of Burren. From these data it appears that Kinel-Fearmaic or O’Dea’s Country, was nearly co-extensive with the Barony of Inchaquin.