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

Parish of Kilkeedy (e)

In this Parish is situated the Pass of Bealach-an-Fhiodhfháil celebrated in the Wars of Torlogh and in the Annals of the Four Masters.

A.D. 1599. In the first week of March in this year the Governor of the Province of Connaught, Sir Conyiers Clifford, went to Galway with a great army of distinguished gentlemen and soldiers. After having stopped nearly a week in Galway, he went with seven or eight bands of English and Irish soldiers into the Co. of Clare, to know who were obedient to the Queen in that County. He appointed Theobald Dillon, Capt. Lester and Richard Scorlock, the Sherriff of the Co. of Clare as commanders over his troops until they should arrive at the place where Torlogh O’Brien was, who was also to be one of the commanders. They stopped the first night at Cill Caeidé (Kilkeedy) in the east of the Territory of Kinel-Fearmaic, but as soon as the faithful friends of Teige, the son of Torlogh O’Brien, had heard of their arrival in that Country, they prepared to oppose them, and as the Queen’s party were on the following day marching westwards from Kilkeedy through Bealach an Fhiodhfhail, Teige’s party made an attack upon them, in which many were slain on both sides, etc. After this attack the Queen’s people were suffered to pass and they moved onwards to Killineeboy, where they arrived in the evening and stopped for some time, etc.

(Same Year.) O’Donnell marched his forces until he arrived unnoticed at the other side of the River” (Clarin Bridge River, J.O’D.) “in Clanrickard, and in the evening pitched and extensive camp at Ruaidh-Bheitheach between Kilcolgan and Ardrahan. Here he remained for some time to consult with the Chiefs of his people upon the best means of getting through this, to them unknown, Country, and also to take refreshments, sleep, etc., etc. At midnight O’Donnell ordered them to rise up immediately and remove from that neighbourhood before daylight. They did so and proceeded onwards straightways until, by break of day, they arrived in the western extremity of Kinel-Fearmaic in Thomond. Here they formed marauding parties and sent one of them northwards into Burren under the command of Teige O’Rourke and Mac Sweeny Banagh, and another southwards to Ballyogan in Coillmor, who advanced to Tully O’Dea and to the gate of the Castle of Baile Ui Ghriobtha, etc. O’Donnell himself proceeded with the flower through the very centre of Coill O’bhFlannachadha through Bealach an Fhiodhfhail, and before noon arrived at Killineeboy in the upper part of Dal-gCais. Those who had gone to the south returned to the north by Drumfinglass and Corofin and joined O’Donnell at Killineeboy, etc.

Fiodhfhail or Coill an Fhiodhail (Kyleineeal) is still the name of a Townland comprised in the Rockforest in the Parish of Kilkeedy about five miles to the east of Corofin. There are still some remnants of the Fee-fail there, (Sylva faliae) and the road still passes through it.

The name of the place called Drumfinglass by the Four Masters in the above extract is not set down on any of the Name Books, but it is shewn on the engraved Map from the Down Survey as lying due south of Corofin and between it and Dysart-O’Dea. The Surveyors had better look to this.

In this Parish is situated the Townland of Kells, in Irish Cealla, in which there was formerly a Church, but its site is now scarcely traceable. It is probably the Ceandinis which Colgan places in Dalcassia, but I could find nothing to prove whether it is or not. It is mentioned in the pedigree of the O’Briens as a seat of a branch of that family. For the names of other places in this Parish, which are not mentioned in history, see Field Name Books of the Parish of Kilkeedy.

We shall move to Milltown Malbay tomorrow at 10 o’clock a.m. where we intend to remain about five days, after which we shall proceed to Kilkee.

                                                                       Your obedient etc. servant,
                                                                                            John O’Donovan.

We want square paper by return of post, as we are nearly out. This County will take a great quantity.