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

The History and Topography of the County of Clare by James Frost

Part I. Topography of Thomond Chapter 5. Ui Cearnaigh; Ui Conghaile; East Corcabaskin

East Corcabaskin

Kilmihil Parish

St. Michael the Archangel is the patron of this parish. The church is comparatively modern. About one hundred yards distant is a holy well dedicated to St. Michael, and in the townland of Kiltumper, another sacred to the king of the Sabbath, Ri-an-Domhnaigh. In the lake of Knockalough is the ruin of one of the castles of Turlogh Roe MacMahon, a chieftain well known by tradition as

Toirdhealbhach ruadh, an foill agus an eithig,
Do mharbh a bhean is a leanbh a-n’ein feact. [12]

Knockalough castle is not included in the list of the Trinity College MS. Neither is the castle of Cahermurphy, the ancient family residence of the MacGormans, situated also in this parish. About one half mile from the church of Kilmihill, on a piece of land called Termonroe, are two standing stones called Liagáns. They are over seven feet high, and exhibit no markings whatever. From veneration of the spot, a small piece of land is left uncultivated around them. It is possible they were set up as marks to show the boundary of the church land. A curious account exists of the discovery of the holy well of St. Michael. It is to this effect: “About the year 1632 an honourable lady, Mariana MacGorman widow of Thomas MacGorman, of Tullycrine, then aged about 52 years, had long suffered extreme agony from gout and other complaints of a kindred character. She dreamt on three several occasions that St. Michael the Archangel appeared to her and directed her to go to his church at Kilmihill, and dig for his well at a little distance, where she should find some reeds growing. After hearing mass, she consulted the parish priest, whose name was the Rev. Dermot O’Quealy, and he, accompanied by herself and her son, young Thomas MacGorman, soon discovered the spring on the spot indicated. She drank the water, and was immediately cured of all her ailments. The report of the miraculous discovery of the well and of its healing effects spread abroad, and thousands of sick people had recourse to it as a remedy for their diseases. Among those who came was John Moloney, the Catholic Bishop of Killaloe, who suffered from some disorder, and instantly obtained relief.” This information is given by Father Anthony MacBrody, born at Ballyogan, parish of Kilraghtis. MacBrody further states that he was nephew of Dr. Moloney, and a relative of Mrs. O’Gorman. [13]