Clare County Library
Clare History
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | Search this Website | Copyright Notice

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

Parish of Kilmurry Ibrickan (c)

In the Townlands of Fennor, Dunogan, Caherush and Knockanalaban in this Parish are the ruins of Castles bearing the names of the Townlands, but I do not find any mention of them in the list of the Castles of Thomond preserved in the College MS., nor of any Castle or place in the Barony of Ibrickan, which is very strange.

The other traces of antiquities in this Parish are the ruins of Forts and some Holy Wells dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and to the Milesian Saints, Ernán or Ferreolus, Bridget, Innyboy, Laichtin and Cleithean, but as none of these are historical and their names are accurately set down in the Field Name Books, it is unnecessary to repeat them here.

In the Atlantic Ocean opposite this Parish and belonging to the Townland of Caherrush is situated the Island of Oilean a Mhatail, which is celebrated by Michael Cummin (Comyn) in his Romantic story entitled Adventures of Turill, the son of Starno and his three sons. He says that Matal was the name of a wild boar which infested the Callan Mountain, and which was killed by the sons of Turill on this island.
In this Parish in a Townland of the same name is the lough called Dubh-Loch which is celebrated by Cuimin in the same Romance, and also in the life of St.Senanus as the place into which that holy man banished the Monster of Inis Cathaigh:-

The command of the holy man is immediately obeyed, for by the power of him ‘whose power is will’ that Monster is instantly transported from that island (Inis-Cathaigh) into a certain deep lake of blackish water near the mountain of Collan in Thomond where he (the monster Cathach) is found to have injured nobody ever since. Comyn relates in his outrageous legend that this monster of Doolough was killed by the sons of the Dane Turill, the son of Starno!

In the Townland of Moyglass in this Parish, the poet Andrew Mac Curtin lived about the year 1730 when he addressed a poem to the Shade of Don of the Dough or Sandbanks. It appears from his complaint to Don that he was at the time in great distress:-

                       .i. quanquam.
Glac as teach me air acht gur daoirse
Ag giollaidheacht each do mharcraidh sioda
‘ s na fag fa cheas me ag teacht an tsaoire
Air sceird Muighe Ghlais’am spreas ‘sam spionlach.

He tells the fairy chief to take him into his service a gilly or horseboy, the poetical profession having gone out of fashion.

I send you the Name Books of the Barony of Ibrickan, for the receipt of which I expect your acknowledgement.

                                                                                                 Your obedient etc. servant,
                                                                                                              John O’Donovan