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

Parish of Killaloe

  1. Situation; Name; St. Molua succeeded by St. Flannan who was consecrated Bishop of Killaloe, circ. ann.; Killaloe from that period mentioned in Irish history as the seat of a Bishop; References for its history; St. Flannan’s Well northwest of the Cathedral in Killaloe Town at which his memory was formerly celebrated on 18th December.

  2. Duirtheach or small stone-roofed Church, north of the Cathedral; Its dimensions, etc.; Fragment of the Brehon Laws found in MS. Lib. Trin. Col. Dub. in which it is stated that every Irish Ecclesiastical Establishment had its Round Tower, Cathedral and Duirtheach or Penitentiary; Usual measurements of the Duirtheachs and the prices paid according to law for the erection of them, and of the Round Towers and Cathedrals given in do.; Extract from the fragment; Belonged to a very distinguished Church and seems to have been erected at a period when the Irish Church had attained to some degree of splendour; Is traditionally called Old Killaloe and said to be the house in which Brian Boroo’s workmen deposited their implements when building the Cathedral; References for the description of an other old church on an island in the Shannon near Killaloe.

  3. Kincora (Ceann Coradh, i.e., Head of the Weir) – Site of Brian Boroo’s Palace of; References to it from Annals of IV. Masters; Caher of Ceann Coradh and other fortresses erected by Brian in 1012; Demolished in 1061 by Hugh O’Conor who marched an army thither and burned Killaloe; Torlogh O’Brien, King of Ireland died there in 1086; Its walls demolished in 1088 by Donnall Mac Loughlin, King of Aileach; Grianan of Aileach destroyed in 1101 by Murtagh in revenge of Ceann Coradh who ordered the Ultonian army to carry home from Aileach to Limerick a stone for every sack of provisions which they had with them; Curious illustration of the passage in Annals of IV. Masters rel. to do. from a poem addressed to Donogh, son of Mahon O’Brien by his bard, Malmurry Magrath in a MS. in the collection of Messrs. Hodges and Smith; Ceann Coradh burned by lightning in 1107; Was hurled, both stones and timber, into the Shannon by Torlagh O’Conor in 1118; Beal Borumha Fort in Ballyvalley (Baile Ui Mhothla) where it is said the Emperor Brian received the Borumean tribute from the Lagenians; Was mistaken by Dutton for the ruin of the Palace of Kincora; Kincora Lodge belonging to Mr. Thos. O’Brien near site of the Palace.

  4. Craig-Liath Mountain well known by name in every part of Ireland as the habitation of the great Spirit Beval, the familiar Sprite or Banshee of Munster in general and of the Dalcassians in particular; Large rock shewn as her palace in a wild glen in the mountain; Tobar Aoibheal, a well which springs from the side of the mountain called after her; She is celebrated by the poets of the last century but her locality not known to many of them; Quotation from poems of Merryman, Donogh Roe Mac Namara of Co. Waterford and Shane Clarach Mac Donnell; Grianan Lachtna site of the house so called, built on the side of the mountain in 953 by Lachtna, brother of Brian Boroo; Park na n-Each (Of the Horses) a field so called in Craglea where Brian Boroo is said to have kept his horses; Aghareynagh Castle in Aghareynaghmore mentioned in College list of Castles as belonging to Donogh Mac Conogher (O’Brien).

Other references to Killaloe Parish in the Ordnance Survey Letters:


Chapter 64


Chapter 66