Kilreekill parish, name of, according to Colgan; Kilboght Abbey therein; Holy wells, and castles therein.

Loughrea October 21st 1838


In the fifth Appendix to the Life of Saint Patrick, Chap. 4th 'Of the brother and sisters of Saint Patrick, and their holy Children' {Triad: Thau: p. 229 col: 2:}, Colgan has these words -

We have observed above, that S. Richella who has left her name in the Church of the Diocese of Clonfert in Connaught, Called Kill-Richelle, that is the Church of S. Richella, seems to be the sister of Saint Patrick; although we doubt whether it be she, or S. Richella, the daughter of Attractus, whose birth-day is placed on the 19nth of May by the Martyrology of Tallaght, the Martyrology of Donegal, and Marian Gorman.


The name of Kilreekill is now locally pronounced in Irish, Cill Rícill, signifying the Church of S. Richell, whose festival is not now celebrated nor remembered.


The only remnant of any religious edifice in the old grave-yard of Kilreekil, is a wall apparently modern, on which is a pointed archway constructed of rude stones, and lime and sand mortar. The wall on one side of this arch, is 19 feet long, and on the other, 7 feet; the arch itself is nearly 9 feet high, and 7 feet broad at the ground, an extent exceeding its original width, by reason of the walls being disrupted (battered) on both sides.


A holy well called Tobar Bréunaill (anglicised Toberbrennan, T. O'C.), St. Brendan's well, lies at two ash trees, distant about a ¼ of a mile to the right of the road leading from Loughrea to Ballinasloe, and opposite the old grave yard just mentioned.

St. Griollan's well, Tobar Griollain (anglicised Tobergrellan, T. O'C.), is in the townland of Ballintober and near Newgrove.

In the townland of Wallscourt, there is a well called Tobar a Domhanigh (Toberdoney) which literally translated signifies Sunday well, and is properly Anglicised Toberdoney.


Killboght townland in this parish Contains the ruins of a religious house, said to have been an Abbey, which are seen in a Cemetery.

Killboght is pronounced in Irish, Cill Bhocht, which according to the sound, means, poor Church, Cella egéna.

The ruins consist of the partly deslroyed walls of an edifice, which was originally about 69 feet long and 17(?) feet broad. One gable (of it) was entirely demolished; and a portion of one of the side walls, about 14 feet in extent, is altogether pulled down; & 8 feet of it stands detached; there is (then) a breach on it, 8 feet broad. 36 feet of this wall


remain, attached to the gable that survives destruction. On this part is an arched opening, which on the inside, is 3 feet from the ground, 4 feet broad in the lower part, and 3 feet high. There is only 2 feet in height of it, opened through, on the outside. And in it (the wall) also, near the gable last mentioned, is a recess 2 feet from the ground, 3 feet broad, 3 feet high, receding in the wall, 1 foot 9 inches, and narrowing inwardly to the breadth of two feet.

On the gable is a door, of cut stones, 6 feet high, and 3 feet broad, and pointed.


Over the door, is a window of cut stones, 1 foot broad and no less than 6 feet high, and circular at top. To the right of the door, as one enters, is in the wall, a water font.

At the distance of 15 feet from this gable, there branches from the other side wall, an edifice {apartment} which is 22 feet long, and 19 feet broad.

On one of the side walls, is a window place opened at top, 3 feet broad in the lower part inside. A pointed window of stones cut in an ornamented style, 4 feet from the ground outside, 2ft. 5inches. broad, and no less than 7, {or 8(?)} feet high, is to be seen on the gable of this apartment.


There are 35 feet in extent, of the side wall of the largest edifice, from this small apartment to where the demolished gable stood. At the extremity of it here, is a small pointed recess, and 4 window places are visible on it, between this end and the small apartment. Three of them are opened at top, by reason of the wall being destroyed. The wall over one, remains uninjured. They appear to have been of a quadrangular form.

Archdall referring to War: BPs;. p. 641, (under Kilbought), says that

A.D. 1507. Mathew bishop of Clonfert, died here.


The Inquisition of 1608, taken at Galway, finds that Rickard {2nd} Earl {of Clanrickard} died seized in fee tail by virtue of letters patents dated at Dublin, eighteenth day of July 12th Eliz: of several abbeyes among which, is mentioned the late Abbey of Kilbought.

Leaghteyne Leacht Eidhn'} is the name of a grave yard in the townland of Cahernagarry, Cathair na nGaraidh, wherein Children are interred. And there is another grave yard for Children in the townland of Ballintober West, which is called Cathair Bhriste, {Caherbristy}.

In Walls Court townland, are the remains of an old Castle. And in Drought (Drucht) townland, there is a castle in ruins.

Your obedient Servant,
T. O'Conor