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

Parish of Kilnasoolagh (a)

The Parish of Kilnasoola in the Barony of Bunratty Upper and central part of the Co. Clare, is bounded on the north by the Parishes of Clare Abbey and Doora, on the east by Toomfinlough, on the west by the River Fergus and on the south by the Parishes of Clonloghan and Kilmaliery. See Name Book.

The present name of this Parish with the Irish speaking peasantry is Cill-á-na-Súla, and tho’ this is evidently a corruption, still it is very difficult to say what the true original form of the name was, as we have no reference to it in any of the ecclesiastical authorities.

In the Ord. Sur. Copy of the Wars of Torlogh it is mentioned first at page 207, where it is spelled Cill Subhalaighe and said to have been the place of a conference between Mahon O’Brien on the part of De Clare, and Loghlin O’Dea, on which occasion Mahon endeavoured to induce O’Dea to desert Torlogh and join De Clare, but without success. Anno 1311.

At page 229 of the same copy this place is spelled Cill-ó-na-Súileach and said to have been plundered together with the district of Hy-Dobharchon (the ancient Patrimony of O’Liddy, of which family Paul Liddy, celebrated in the Lives of the Irish Rogues and Rapperees is supposed to have been the representative in his day) by the Clann Cuilein (Macnamaras). This happened in the year 1312.

At page 347 of the same copy it is spelled as at page 207 and said to have been plundered again, in the year 1314, by the Macnamaras.

At page 591 of the same copy it is again spelled in the same way as at pages 207 and 347. On this occasion it is said that De Clare sent to request Sir William Oge Burke to give convoy to the O’Gradys (who were beset by the Macnamaras on the borders of Connaught) to Coradh Cille Subhalaighe where he should himself join him at the head of his forces. This happened in the year 1318. The Coradh or Causeway of Cill-Subhalaighe must, in my opinion, be the old name of the place now called Coradh Chaitilin in Irish, and Newmarket-on-Fergus in English.

By the above references we see that there are three instances of the name as Cill-Subhalighe, that is, the Church of Saint Subhalach, while there is but one instance of Cill-ó-na-Suileach, a name which I do not understand and which of course I could not translate; therefore, I am of opinion that Cill Subhalach is the proper name.

Of the ancient Church of Cill Subhalaigh not a vestige now remains, but its site is supposed to be occupied by the present modern Protestant house of worship, within which is a respectable monument of the O’Briens of Drumoland.

There is a small burial place for children in the Townland of Kilkieran.

The following Castles mentioned in the list preserved in MS. T.C.D., E.2. 14, were situated in this Parish, viz.:-

  1. Dromoland
  2. Baile na Craige
  3. Rathmhaolain
  4. Ballyconeely
belonging to
       “          “
       “          “
       “          “
Comea Mac Mahown.
Donogh O’Brien.
Teige Mc Murragh.

From the list of Castles and their original owners compiled by William O’Lionain, already mentioned, it appears that Dromoland was built by John Mac Inerheny; Bailenacraige by John, son of Conor Roe; Rathmhaolain by Loghlin, son of Teige. The same author says that a Castle was built at Baile-Salach in this Parish by Conor, son of Conor. Of these Castles, I could not learn that any vestiges now remain.

                                                                                                 Your obedient servant,
                                                                                                              Eugene O’Curry.