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

Parish of Kilnoe (a)

The Parish of Kilno in the Barony of Tulla Upper and eastern part of the Co. of Clare, is bounded on the east by the Parishes of O’Gunnello and Tomgrainy; on the north by Feakle; on the west by Tulla; and on the south by Killuran, Kilokennedy and Killaloe. It is about three miles west of Scarrifftown, six miles northwest of Killaloe and ten miles north of the City of Limerick. See Name Book.

Of the ancient name of this Parish I have no written account but that the present is not a very old name may be inferred from its signification, which is New Church (Cill Nó). In this list of castles, etc., already referred to it is set down as a vicarage in the Barony of Tulla and spelled Kilnow. There is little doubt (however) that the place bore a more ancient name than this as we find a holy well in the neighbourhood of the place called after St. Mochuille of Tulla, to whom probably the ancient Church was dedicated. Of the Church of Kilno nothing now remains but a small bit of its western gable, nor do the people know anything about its ancient name or Patron.

There is a tolerably well stocked bury-ground about and on the site of the Church.

There is a small deserted burial place in the Townland of Kilgorey (Cill Ghuaire) in this Parish and another old place of the same description called Killana in the Townland of Ballydonahán.

Part of the east wall of a castle, about thirty feet in height stands in a subdivision of the Townland of Coolrea Earl and called on that account Castletown.

The butt of a Castle about fifteen feet high remains in the Townland of Ballinahinch. Of these Castles there is no mention made under their present names in the list preserved in the College MS. already so often referred to.

It appears from No. 15 of Hardiman’s Irish Deeds, which contains, in my opinion, an imperfect list of the Territories within Macnamara’s country which contributed to his rental or revenue, that the Parish of Kilno and part at least of the Parish of Killuran, were coextensive with or comprised within it the ancient sub-Chieftainry of Hy-Ronghaile of which O’Shannahan was the Chief.

The following Townlands in the now Parish of Kilno are mentioned as in O’Ronghaile, viz., Clogher, Clonmothar, Coolreedy, Cahir-Hurley, Coolrea, and Killuran and Ballymacdonnell in the Parish of Killuran.

The Territory of Hy-Ronghaile or as it is sometimes called Tuath-O’Ronghaile, i.e., the Lordship of Hy-Ronghaile, was bounded on the north by the ancient Territory of Tuath-Eachtaoi, on the east by the ancient Territory of Hy-Dunghaile, O’Grady’s Patrimony, on the south by Tuath-an-Ghleanna, O’Kennedy’s Territory, on the southwest by Tuath-O’Floinn of which was Chief and on the west by Magh Adhair, Macnamara’s own hereditary Chieftainry. In the Ordnance Survey Copy of the Wars of Torlogh reference will be found to Hy-Ronghaile at pages 169, 215, 329, 345, 347, 361. At the latter page it will be seen that this Territory was the theatre of much conflict and bloodshed between the O’Briens and De Clare in the year 1315 and there is little doubt but that the place now called Killconnell in the Townland of Ballinahinch in this Parish was the scene of one of these bloody conflicts, to which belief the following tradition preserved in the neighbourhood affords considerable strength. Killconnell is the name of a pretty oval hill on the top of which is a ruined low circular entrenchment. The place is now under cultivation, but some few years ago when it was being dug up and cleared away, great quantities of human bones were turned up from under the soil, some having been covered by large stones.

There is a mound between Loghannaloon and Lough Bridget in the same locality, which they say was an attempt formerly made by an English army who were encamped here, to defend themselves from an Irish army who were encamped at Toomguine, but having been surprised by the enemy they were compelled to fly to their camp where they were pursued and a dreadful battle ensued in which the English were worsted and the greater part of them put to the sword. They were all buried on the top of the adjoining hill now called Killconnell, and the ditch or mound raised on that occasion retains the name of Cliadh na nGall, i.e., the Ditch of the English, to this day.

This tradition is in very good keeping with the hostile movements mentioned at page 361 of the Wars of Torlogh already adverted to, for it is there stated that De Clare fixed his camp in the centre of Hy-Ronghaile, while O’Brien pitched his at Scarriff near Toomgreine.

The Annals of Inishfallen give some meagre accounts of the above events at the year 1311, 1314 and 1315.

A furious battle was fought at Killghuaire in this Parish in the year 1309 between the Clann Cuilein and the Hy-Bloid in which the latter were defeated. See Wars of Torlogh, page 153 to 169. Ordnance Survey Copy.