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

Parish of Moyarta (b)

About a furlong east of the latter Church, at the bottom of a cleft in the very face of the headland, is the fresh water Holy Well of St. Cradaun, ranking among the most popular wells in Ireland for the cure of all diseases, but more especially diseases of the eyes and limbs. The well is sunk in the solid rock and is overflown by the salt sea at every full tide but the moment the tide recedes the water in the well is as pure and fresh as ever. There is a small cave or recess in the cliff behind it in which people are in the habit of spending whole nights in prayer in fulfilment of vows made in times of danger from sickness, drowning, etc.

There is a large heap of small stones and pebbles on the bank above, deposited there by the votaries while performing the Turras.

Who the St. Cradaun of this place was nobody who lived within the last eighty years in the district ever knew or heard of, but we find in the life of St. Seanan of Inis-Cathaigh that there was a Saint in this neighbourhood named Caritan, which name is now very probably corrupted into Coradán, and in the Irish Calendar we find that St. Caritan was remembered at Drom-lara on the 7th of March, but whether the ridge of land alluded to above was called Drom-lara in Caritan’s time we have at present no means of shewing.

The old Castle of Carrigaholt stands on the very brink of the Shannon about one and a half miles north of Kilcradane Point. I don’t believe that it was at any time given up to ruin, or deserted. It is now in good repair and made the occasional residence of Mr. Burton, in whose family it has remained since the confiscation of the property of Lord Viscount Clare (Donnel O’Brien of Carrigaholt Castle) about the year 1690.

The following inscription appears on a chimney piece on the upper floor of this Castle:- “D.B. 1603.” The following notice of this Castle occurs in the Annals of the Four Masters:-

A.D. 1599. About a week after this, the Earl of Thomond came into the Country after having been nearly a quarter of a year in the Country of the Butlers. Upon arriving in Thomond he was resolved not to sleep two nights in any town until he should go and take revenge of Teige Caoch Mc Mahon (Blind Teige) for the dishonour he had shewn to, and the incursion he had made upon his brother. He assembled the greater part of the forces of the country, and marching into West Corca-Bhaiscin encamped before Carraig-an-Chobhlaigh on the Monday before Easter in the month of April. The cattle and flocks of the whole country extending from Cnoc-Doire to Leim-Chon-Chulainn (Loop Head) were carried to his camp there.

So far the extract from the Annals supplied to me, but it ought to have gone the whole hog.

 

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