[Hand of T. O'Conor] Kilkerrin, Moylough and Killosolan Parishes, described.

Tuam 24th September 1838.


The Parish of Killkerrin in the barony of Tiaquin, is bounded on the North by the parish of Bweeounagh in the baronies of Ballymoe, and Tiaquin; and by the parish of Ballynakill in the barony of Ballymoe; on the East, by the parish of Killbegnet in the barony of Ballymoe; and Killian in the barony of Killian. On a portion of the South, by the parish of Ballynakill in the barony of Killian; and partly on the same side, by the parish of Moylough in the barony of Tiaquin; and on the West, by the parishes of Dunmore and Clonbern in the barony of Ballymoe.

The Irish name of Killkerrin parish is Cill Choirthin (Chairthinn) (Chairthinn, Saint Mc Carthen of Clogher - J.O'D.) - Cella Cortini. Is there a Saint bearing the name of Coirthin or Cortinus to be found in our Ecclesiastical documents?


The ruins of the parochial church, if there was ever a very old one primarily in this parish, are not at present, observable.

A Protestant church, some time ago deserted, stands in a church (grave) yard in the townland of Killkerrin; and threatens ruin (ruinam minans!).

There is a graveyard in the East part of Killtullagh townland, which is situated 1¼ mile N West of Wilfort House in the townland of Carrowantober East. The Irish name of the townland is Cill Tulach rectè Cill Tulcha - Church of the hill - Cella Collis, which it obtained from the church that stood in this burying ground.

In Curraghmore townland {Currach Mór} there is a burying place for children; and in Killcurnan townland {Cill a Churnáin} a portion of a fort, is used as Children's burying ground.

A holy well which is in Irish, called Tobar Díonruic, lies in this parish. The


most accurate situation of it, I got described for me, is that, it is on Captain Kelly's estate, and ½ mile from the Parish Chapel to the East. The name might have been changed in the present form, from Tobar Ionruic, which would signify 'pure fountain', but it is however worth while to examine the ecclesiastical documents for a Saint Dionruic, from whom the well might have been designated.

The site of a Castle, lies in the Centre of Fiddaun townland; I could not ascertain, what family were - the erectors, of this mansion; or even who had been (the occupiers of it) previously to its demolition.

The parish of Kilkerrin is known (also) by the name of Corcomoe, Corco Mogha, which is the name* of an ancient territory, ruled by Mac Sgaithghil, according to O'Dugan's poem (A.D. 1372], where the Poet says,

Mac Sgaithghil - rgiamhach A sguir,Mac Sgaithghil, beautiful his tents,
Ar Chorca Moga an Mhuirir.{presides} over Corca Moga of the numerous tribe.


The name of this parish in Irish, is Magh Loch {pronounced Mweelough}, which signifies 'the plain of the lakes' according to this form of representing the sound; but if it be pronounced Magh Locha for Magh Locha, the signification would be 'the plain of the lake'.

The parish bore heretofore, the name of Saint Stephen's, which appellation it obtained from a church dedicated to this Saint, that was situated in a burying ground, still used and lying one mile to the West of Moylough Church. The Saint's festival was formerly celebrated in the parish on the 4th of August. A Roman Catholic house of worship, stood, tradition says, where the Protestant Church


of the parish, stands at present. It was pulled down about thirty years ago.

There was, on Garland Sunday formerly, at a lake within half a mile of Moylough town to S. West, which covers 6 or 8 acres of land, and is, I was informed by some persons, called Loch Chill Eascrach - 'the lough of Kill-eascrach', - an attendance of a great number of people, who were on the occasion, used to swim their horses in the lake; which act served as a preventive against future accidents of the ensuing year. And people frequented formerly a well in Cloonoran townland, {Cluain Úarain} where there is still a tree generally called the tree of Castlebellew from the residence of Michl. D. Bellew Esqr. the proprietor of the place, which tree


is frequented by persons, who seeking relief for several diseases or afflictions, attend three Sundays in succession. The water found in a hollow in its trunk, is frequently brought home by them, to their respective places.

Moylough Castle is now in ruins just at the town, and was, according to tradition, occupied by Loughlin Kelly, brother to Tady Kelly of Mullaghmore, (the ruins of) whose Castle, were entirely removed by Mr. O'Rourke, the present farmer of this land. This Castle, it is said, obtained originally the name of Moylough, which was afterwards extended to the Parish, in lieu of St Stephen's its former appellation, as is above remarked. Tady murdered Loughlin, his brother, on SS Peter and Paul's day, 29nth of June 1646.


Loughlin's tomb stone lay a long time where Moylough Church is now; and was removed to the old Chapel of Laght, at the instance of a friar of the name of Fowler, who having become a convert, was appointed Minister in the Church.

Here the stone remained, till about 30 years ago, when it was conveyed to Thomas town, Mr. Bodkin's place, the House of Moyloughbeg, now called Summerville. Mr. Bodkin put (it) into some work. It is supposed, he placed it in the steps that rise to his door. The name of it was Ail Leabhair ({lapis libri?}), and tradition says that, whenever a murder was committed formerly, it was a custom to place a stone of this kind on the very spot whereon it was perpetrated, which stone was turned once in every month, so that it might suffer no grass to grow on the space occupied by it.


The inscription on the tomb stone, was

JUNE 1646.

And in Irish, was also inscribed on it.

A dhaoine cia chonnaic aon díol truaigheOh people who has seen so great a cause of pity
Ó bhí na trí Muire a' faire na huaighesince the three Marys were watching the grave?
lán caisleáin de mhnáibh uaisleThe full of a castle of noble women
'taobhadh le h én fhear, agus a bhreith uatha.Trusting to one man, and he was taken from them.

This alludes to a number of persecuted ladies whom Loughlin protected in his Castle against the cruelty of some neighbouring tyrant.


Tady Kelly of Aughrim, and Tady Kelly of Gallagh {now Castleblakeny near Glantane} who were Loughlin's Cousins, and Tady Kelly of Mullaghmore, who was his brother, are proverbial for being na trí Taidhg b-feárra bhí 'n Eírinn, the three best Tadys (Teiges) in Ireland.

Garbally townland in this parish, took its name fom an old Castle, part of which, I was informed remains as yet. The present Irish name is Garbh Bhaile, which is probably a corruption of Garbh Dhoire - The final liquid (r) being transmuted into l - a change in sound, of no unfrequent occurrence.

The destruction of this Castle, and of two others, Muine an Mheadha (Monivea, see Monivea Parish infra) Castle, and Gallagh Castle (see Killosolan Parish hereafter),


all which belonged to O'Kelly; by Mac William de Burgo vis, Ulick the Third, gave occasion to the famous battle of Cnoc Tuagh, which is recorded by the Four Masters in their Annals at the year 1504.

Tamplemweel townland, Teampall Maol, took its name from a grave yard which lies in it, and within (or at) which, it is doubted, whether there was ever a church, or not. But the word teampall {templum} leads at once to the Conclusion that it was originally applied as (the) name of an edifice, is retained in the Church yard, and extended to the townland.



The name of this parish is pronounced in Irish, Cill Ó Soileáin, which signifies the Church of O'Solan, (which seems) a family name. In Killosolan Church yard, there stands the gable of some edifice, with a chimney on it. The people of the village say it belonged to the Church, which fell into ruin. It might from its appearance be set down as the remnant of a building on a similar scale with a common Country house or it might perhaps be the remnant of a vestry attached to the Church.

At the village, and near the Church yard are three wells, two of which are surrounded with walls, and one of which has no enclosure. The waters of the two walled wells are used for common purposes. The waters of the other, are not used, for it is looked


upon as a holy well, and called Tobar Soláin, Tober Solan, having received this designation from the name of the person, after whom the church is called, and who is supposed to have been a Saint, and brother to Cuan whose well is at Ahaskragh, of which place he is the patron; and of Briocan, who gives name to a well ({Tobar Briocain}) lying on the estate of Mr. O'Kelly of Ticooly, near ½ a mile from the gate of Breadagh. Of the situation of Tobarbriocain, I could get no more definite description than I have given here.

Cuan is well known throughout the Country, as the Saint whose festival was held at Ahaskragh, on the 15nth of October, which agrees with the Irish Calendar. His name is pronounced Coo-aun, which is corruptedly pronounced by some persons Caomhán, (nearly) Keewaun, and has been Anglicised Cavan


in the Name book of the parish of Ahaskragh. I threw in this last remark here in order to show that it is Cuan's, and not Caomhan's name that designates the (holy) well at Ahaskragh, about which I had some doubt when I wrote about that parish of which he is patron. But the traditional remembrance of the day on which his festival was heretofore celebrated, and agreeing with the day set down in the Calendar, and the local pronunciation of the name, establish without a shadow of doubt, the Conclusion I have come to here as accurate.

It is said in the country that, there is a well called Tobar na Slainte, the well of health, Fons Salutis, at Killosolan village; but when I went there I could get no one to point out a well of the name.

At Caltra village in this parish there was a nunnery, it is said, where the parish Chapel is now.


The wall of the Chapel, attached to which lies the old burying ground of Caltra, belonged according to local information, (originally) to the nunnery, which was called Mainisteair na Cealtraighe.

Tradition says Caltra was anciently called Cealtra na Páilis, Caltrana-pallis, which is at present the name of a townland adjoining Caltra townland.

Archdall in his Monasticon, under the heading 'Pallice' writes -

Situated about eleven miles North West of Portummy.

At Kaltragh-ne-Pallice, was a friary dedicated to the Virgin Mary, for friars of the order of Mount Carmel, or white friars (z) ({from}) War: Mon: - It was founded by Bermingham Baron of Athenry in the 14nth Century (a) ({from}) Allemande


In the Eastern extremity of the townland of Caltra and a short distance to the North of Newtown village, there stands a small portion of a wall said to have belonged to a nunnery. The extent of the edifice of which this is a remnant, appears from the vestiges of the foundation as yet traceable, to have been 15 yards by 8 yds. Children are interred in the space included within these vestiges.

I have to remark now that, it is very likely this was a small chapel belonging to the establishment at Caltra village, of which I have above made mention; that the name Cealtra na Páilis, is perfectly identifiable with Archdall's Kaltragh-ne-Pallice; (and) that the identity is strengthened by the tradition, which says, though under perhaps the mistaken (English) name of nunnery, that there was some conventual establishment here, which is (was) in Irish called Mainisteair a name corresponding with Friary used by Archdall.


The situation of Caltra, with respect to Portumna, to the north-west of which (latter place), according to this writer, Pallice & therefore (Kaltragh-ne-Pallice) lay, agrees very well with the line of direction, which might be said, perhaps with more accuracy to lie North by West from Portumna. As to the distance, it would, perhaps, be too much to expect of Archdall, to give it exactly, who took it on authority that only might (or might not) be accurate.

Tradition says there was a nunnery ¼ of a mile to the S. West of Kinclare House. What nunnery was this?

One mile South of Caltra village there is a burying place for children, which is called Lios b-Paistidhe, the Liss {fort} of the children.

The site of Castle French, lies a short distance S.W. of Castle French House.

Gallagh (Gallach), the name of a castle belonging to O'Kelly, which is mentioned in the Annals at the year A.D. 1504 {See Garbally above under Moylough Ph.}, is the name of a townland in this Parish, and was (is) the (Irish) name of the place which is now called Castleblakeny.

Your obedient Servant,
T. O'Conor.

*We have not as yet with certainty ascertained whether this old territory was more extensive than (the present) Kilkerrin Parish, or not. It must be however, for the present, (be) presumed that the one is coextensive with the other.

This name is now Anglicised Scahill; and persons bearing it, live at present in the Ph. of Dunmore in Dunmore Br., and in Kiltullagh Ph. in Roscommon.

As the well is called Tobar Solain it is probable that Solan was a Saint, and it is more probable that Cill Ó Solain is a corruption of Cill Dha Solan, as Killaloe is of Kill-Da-Lua. Is there a Saint Solan or Da Solan in the Calendar?