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County Clare: A History and Topography 1837 by Samuel Lewis

Kiltonanlea or Doonass

A parish, in the barony of Tulla, county of Clare, and province of Munster, 7 miles (S. S. W.) from Killaloe, on the road to Limerick, and on the river Shannon; containing 4061 inhabitants. It comprises 6595 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, mostly in tillage. Limestone, in which marine shells are found imbedded, is quarried near Clonlara and chiefly burnt for manure: there is some bog. A branch of the Shannon navigation, about four miles in length, passes through this parish, to avoid the falls of Doonass between Limerick and Killaloe, and affords a daily communication by steam and other boats with those places. At Doonass are extensive bleaching establishments; and at Clonlara are public dispensary and a station of the constabulary police. Petty sessions are held weekly on Friday at the latter place, where also a manorial court is occasionally held for the recovery of small debts; and efforts have been recently made to re-establish the fairs usually held on March 17th, June 11th, and Sept. 21st and 29th, each continuing for two days. The seats are Doonass House, the residence of Sir Hugh Dillon Massy, Bart., beautifully situated on the Shannon ; Summer Hill, of H. Dillon Massy, Esq.; Water Park, of S. Bindon, Esq.; Erina House, of G. Vincent, Esq.; Erina, of Jas. Lysaght, Esq.; Rosehill, of P. O’Callaghan, Esq.; Elm Hill, of Mrs. Davis ; Bellisle, of H. Mahon, Esq.; Landscape, of P. W. Creagh, Esq. ; Springfield, of M. Gavin, Esq.; Parkview, of Capt. Kingsmill ; Newtown, of A. Walsh, Esq.; Mount Catherine, of G. Lloyd, Esq.; Runnard, of Capt. J. Walsh; and Doonass Glebe, of the Rev. T. Westrop. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Killaloe, episcopally united from time immemorial to the vicarage of Killokennedy, together forming the union of Kiltonanlea, or Doonass, in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to 341. 10. 91/4., and the entire tithes of the benefice to 445. 5. 83/4. The glebe-house was erected in 1810, when 597 was lent and 200 given by the late Board of First Fruits for that purpose: the glebe comprises 6a. 1r. 10p. The church, at Clonlara, is a neat building with a square tower surmounted by pinnacles; for the erection of the tower and gallery the same Board granted 300, in 1831. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Doonass, which also comprises parts of the parishes of Killaloe and Killokennedy : the parochial chapel at Clonlara, erected in 1815, is a large and well-built structure; and there is a chapel at Trugh, in the parish of Killaloe. In a school under the patronage of Lady Massy (who gives the school-house rent free), the parochial school under the superintendence of the rector, a school under that of the R. C. clergyman, and in two private schools, about 290 children are educated. Within the limits of the parish are the ruined castles of Rhinnuagh, Newtown, and Coolistigue; and several ancient raths or forts. The "Falls of Doonass", on the Shannon, as seen from Sir H. D. Massy’s demesne, have a striking and highly picturesque effect : the river, which above the falls is 300 yards wide and 40 feet deep, here pours its vast volume of water over large masses of rock extending upwards of a quarter of a mile along its course, and producing a succession of falls forming a grand and interesting spectacle.-See Doonass.

County Clare A History and Topography by Samuel Lewis
Courtesy of Clare Local Studies Project

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