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

Parish of Kilnaboy (d)

About a mile south west of the Church, on the left of the road to Leim an Eich, stands a small stone Cross, fixed in a rough native rock about four feet in height. The Cross is two feet high, two feet two inches across the shoulders, from five to eleven inches wide and five inches thick. Of this Cross, Dutton says in his Statistical Survey of Clare, p.353:-

“ In a field near the Church of Kilnaboy a remarkable cross is fixed on a rock. Tradition says that two men had a violent quarrel of many years standing, which, by the interference of mutual friends they agreed to settle here. They met and shook hands and in commemoration of the event a cross was erected on the spot. The appearance of it gives some degree of probability to the story, for there are two faces in relief looking towards each other on the top of the Cross, and two hands in the middle like those in the act of shaking hands. My informant said this happened long before the building of the Round Tower or Church.”

Cross of Innewee

“It is remarkable how little curiosity there is in the County. Not a single gentleman even of those who passed it by frequently for forty years had ever noticed it though not twenty yards from the road.” Mr. Dutton’s complaint of the want of antiquarian taste in the gentlemen who never saw this Cross may be very just (tho’ it is likely that he had this information and the history of the Cross from the same veritable informant) but certainly his informant is now dead or he has changed his opinion on this subject, as no person living in or near Kilnaboy ever heard the story of this Cross as given above, but they remember that about thirty years ago a gentleman came to the place to look at the Cross, who said that he had found the said story and account of it in a very ould book in England and that he came over to see if it was here, when behold you, he found it as true as the nose on his face. Whether this gentleman was Mr. Dutton or not is of no consequence to me. I have only to say that his (Mr. Dutton’s) history and sketch of the stone are both wrong and appear to me to have been taken at secondhand. The Cross is known time immemorial as Cros Innewee, i.e., the Cross of Innewee, and is one of three that marked her Termon on the south and west, namely this; a second, which stood near the house of Elm Vale, which place was formerly and is still by the peasantry called Tigh na Croise, or the House of the Cross; and the third stood about a quarter of a mile east of the latter at a place still called Cros Árd, or the High Cross.

The following is my attempt at sketching the Cross, which, though far inferior to Mr. Dutton’s in point of art, will be found much nearer the truth, that is, if I can make it be understood.

Top view of Cross of Innewee

 

It will be seen by this rough figure that there is no such thing as hands in the act of shaking hands on the top of the Cross; in fact there is nothing at all like a hand about it. There are three raised welts across and descending about four inches at each side, as you see above, but surely a blind man would not mistake them for hands. The other two crosses of Innewee have disappeared long since, but their situations are very well known.

 

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