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

Part II. Letters and Extracts relative to Ancient Territories of Thomond, 1841

VII. Kineal Fearmaic

This Territory, which borrows its usual name for the tribe name of the O’Dea’s, is often called the Upper Triucha Ced or Cantred of Dal-Cais, it being the uppermost or most northern division of the original Country of the Dal-Cais, for we have seen above that the Barony of Burren lying to the north of it was not originally a part of the Country of the Dal-Cais, but of the Corcomroe. The inhabitants of this Territory are called Aes Iar Forgas, i.e., the people located westwards of the River Fergus, because their country lies principally to the west of that River. (See Pedigree of O’Dea in the Book of Lecan).

Map of Kineal Fearmaic
Map of Kineal Fearmaic
Click on the map for larger version

The following passage in the Annals of the Four Masters will give one a pretty correct idea of the extent of this country of the Mighty O’Dea.

1599. The Country of the Kinel Fearmaic was plundered this year by O’Donnell’s troops, who carried to Killinaboy, where O’Donnell was encamped, all the spoils of the Territory of Kinel-Fearmaic extending from Diseart to Glencolumbkille and to Tullycummon, and from Cluain Sailchearnaigh (near Kilmacduagh) to Leim an Eich.

This passage shews that the Territory of the Kinel-Fearmaic comprises the greater part of the Barony of Inchiquin, but it will appear from other authorities that this Territory comprised the entire of that Barony. The family of O’Griobtha (now O’Griffy and Griffin) located in Kinel-Cuallachta, were of this tribe according to the pedigrees of the Dal-gCais preserved in ancient Irish MSS., and hence their country was a subdivision of Kineal-Fearmaic. Now the Kinel-Cuallachta, who took the family name of O’Griffy were located in the south east part of the Barony of Inchiquin, and possessed the Castles of Ballygriffy (i.e., O’Griffy’s Town) and Mogowna, and hence the Territory of Kinel-Fearmaic embraced all this side of the Barony of Inchiquin. The extent of Kinel-Cuallachta will appear from the following passage in Magrath’s Wars of Thomond at the year 1318:-

De Clare ordered a battalion to proceed along the Fergus through the Territory of Kinel Cuallachta (a subdivision of Kinel Fearmaic) as far as Magh Dhomhnaigh, while he himself at the head of his great army marched directly westwards to Disert, where the Mansion of O’Dea then was, etc., etc.

From this it is obvious that the Territory of Kinel-Fearmaic extended from Glencolumkille to the south east extremity of the present Barony of Inchiquin. It remains next to be proved how far this Territory extended to the south west in the direction of the Callan Mountain. A passage in the Annals of the Four Masters will prove that the district of Brentie extending from the verge of the Barony of Corcomroe to the summit of the Callan Mountain, was a part of this Territory, for it is called Brentir Fearmacach, i.e., the Brentir, or Boggy District, belonging to the Fearmacachs or Kinel-Fearmaic. Hence it is very clear that the Territory of Kinel-Fearmaic was exactly co-extensive with the present Barony of Inchiquin. It was bounded on the north west by the Territories of Corcomroe East and Corcomroe West; on the north east by O’Shaughnessy’s Country, called Kinel-Aodha na h-Echtghe; on the east by the Territory of Hy-Caisin or Ogashin; on the south by the Territory of Hy-Cormaic and on the south west by the Territory of Hy-Brickan, which was originally a part of Corca-Bhaiscinn.

No document will ever be found to disprove these boundaries.

In the ecclesiastical division this Territory, and that of Hy-Cormaic, was placed in the Deanery of Drumcliff, and it is highly probable that at the time this Deanery was formed the two Territories were under the command of O’Dea.

The following Parishes are placed in this Deanery by the Liber Regalis Visitationis :-

1. Drumcliff (in Hy-Cormaic)
2. Kilmaley (in Hy-Cormaic)
3. Killeneboy (in Kinel-Fearmaic)
4. Rath (in Kinel-Fearmaic)
5. Disert (in Kinel Fearmaic)
6. Kilnamona (in Kinel-Cuallachta)
7. Kilkeady (in Kinel Fearmaic).

The Monastic Parishes of Killone and Clare are not given in this list.

The following pedigree of O’Dea as given in the Book of Lecan will shew where that family branch off from the O’Briens, and give an idea of the time when they began to be called Kinel-Fearmaic, after their ancestor Fearmac.

Flahertach O’Dea, son of
Muireadhach, son of
Dea or Deaghadh
Flann Scribail
Fearmac, a quo Kinel-Fearmaic
Aengus Cinn n-Athrach
Cas, a quo Dal-Cais

For historical notices of this Territory see Magrath’s Wars of Thomond, Ordnance Survey Copy pp. 19, 39, 65, 181, 551, and Annals of the Four Masters at the years 1585, 1588, 1589, 1597, 1599, 1600.

The north east portion of this Territory was called Coill O’bh-Flannchadha, as appears from the Annals of the Four Masters at the years 1598 and 1599, and an ancient road called Bealach an Fhiodhfhail extended from this district to the Church of Killinaboy, where it joined another road called Bothar na Macriogh. (See Map).

The description of the Co. of Clare or Thomond preserved in the MS. Library of Trinity College places the following Parishes and Castles in this Territory:-

The Baronie of Tullagh-I-Dea conteyning the Troghkeyd of Kynel Veroge (Kynel-fferwaic - bh-fearmhaic) is ploughlands after the rate of XVI. Sir Donell O’Brien, Knight, Chief in the same.


Vicar of Rahe (Rath hodie)
Vicar of Kylnemona (Kilnamona)
Vicar of Kyllyneboy (Killinaboy)
Vicar of Kilvedayn (hodie Kill-Bhaodain)
Vicar of Kilvilly
Vicar of Desert (hodie Kysart)
Vicar of Ruan (sic hodie)
Vicar of Kilnoe
Vicar of Kilkidea (Kilkeedy)
Vicar of Inishcronan.

Here it is obvious that the present Barony of Inchiquin was then called the Barony of Tullagh O’Dea, but the Parish of Inishcronan, which is set down as a part of this Barony of Tullagh O’Dea, is not now included in the Barony of Inchiquin, and we have strong evidence that it was never a part of O’Dea’s Country of Kinel-Ferwaic, for in the ecclesiastical division it is placed in the Deanery of Ogashin, which is the name of Macnamara’s original Territory; and the ecclesiastical division is more permanent than the Baronial or civil division. Every evidence goes to shew that the Territory of Kinel-Ferwaic was exactly co-extensive with the present Barony of Inchiquin.

The College description places the following Castles in this Territory:-

Castles Gentlemen
Inshiquin The Baron of Inshiquin
Killinbuey Sir Donell (O’Brien)
Ballycrottry Mahown Mac Brien O’Brien
Quarrowduff Mahown Mac Brien O’Brien
Tir Mac Brayn Mahown Mac Brien O’Brien
Bohneill Tege Mac Murrough
Cahir Corkrane Moriertagh Garagh
Rahe Moriertagh Garagh
Dromenglass Tege Mac Murrogh
Beallnelyke (near Ruane) Mahown O’Dea
Moghowny Mahown O’Dea
Ballygriffee O’Griffee
Ballyharaghan Donogh Duffe McConsedin
Moethrie Th’ Erle of Thomond
Dereowen The Baron of Inshiquin
Monygriffane The Baron of Inshiquin
Cloynevayne Mahown O’Brien
Cloyneselehern Dermot O’Brien
Owarownegule Dermot O’Brien
Dunymulvihill Owen McSwyne (Soyne?)
Carigentogher Owen McSwyne (Soyne?)
Desert Donnell Moel O’Dea
Bealnefirvearnayn Owen Mac Soyne
Kilkideye Mahown, the Baron’s sonne

Chapter 6


Chapter 8