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Clonenagh, Queens County

Historical Description

CLONENAGH, a parish, partly in the baronies of CULLINAGH and MARYBOROUGH EAST, but chiefly in that of MARYBOROUGH WEST, QUEEN'S county, and province of LEINSTER; containing, with the parish of Clonagheen and the post-town of Mountrath, 18,136 inhabitants. This place, originally called Cluain-aith-chin and Cluain-ædnach, is of very remote antiquity. A monastery was founded here, at an early period, by St. Fintan, who became its first abbot, and was succeeded by St. Columba, who died in 548. This abbey was destroyed in 838, by the Danes, who, in 843, carried its venerable abbot, Aid, who was also abbot of Tirdaglass, into Munster, where, on the 8th of July, he suffered martyrdom. After being frequently plundered and destroyed by the Danes, it continued to flourish for a considerable period, but little is known of its history subsequently to the English invasion: there are the remains of a church, and in the immediate vicinity are several burial-places, supposed to have been once attached to other churches. At Gutney Cloy, in this parish, a battle took place between the forces of Brian Boroimhe, on their return from Clontarf, and those of Fitzpatrick, Prince of Ossory. The parish is situated on the road from Maryborough to Roscrea, and comprises, with Clonagheen, 34,855 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. Of these, from 9000 to 12,000 are bog and about half that number is mountain and waste; the remainder is arable and pasture land, nearly in equal portions. The system of agriculture is greatly improved, and green crops have been generally introduced. Besides the seats noticed under Mountrath, there are Raheen, the residence of Mrs. Moffett; and Dinnakill, of P. Lalor, Esq. An extensive cotton manufactory is carried on at Mountrath, where fairs are held on Jan. 6th, Feb. 17th, April 20th, May 7th, June 20th, Aug. 10th, Sept. 29th, and Nov. 5th, for general farming stock. Petty sessions are held at Mountrath every Thursday, and at Ann Grove every alternate Wednesday.

The living is a rectory in the diocese of Leighlin, episcopally united, in 1661, to the rectory and vicarage of Clonagheen, and in the alternate patronage of the Crown, which has two presentations, and of the Bishop, who has one: the tithes for both parishes amount to £1500; there is neither glebe-house nor glebe. There are two churches, one at Mountrath, a spacions and handsome edifice, erected in 1800, by aid of a gift of £900 and a loan of £500, and enlarged in 1882, by aid of a loan of £1500, from the late Board of First Fruits, and towards the repair of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £246. 18. 7.; and one at Roskelton, a neat small edifice, for the repair of which the Commissioners have also granted £254. 12. 3. At Ballyfin is a chapel, erected and endowed by the late Rt. Hon. William Pole, towards the repairs of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have also recently granted £368. 8. 4. In the R.C. divisions the parish is styled an abbacy, and constitutes the three benefices of Ballyfin, Mountrath, and Raheen. There are five chapels, all neat plain buildings, situated respectively at Mountrath, Ballyfin, Rabeen, Springmount, and Clonad; also places of worship for the Society of Friends and Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists. In Mountrath is a R.C. seminary, conducted by a president and eight members of the Patrician Society who have an excellent classical and mathematical boarding school, a school for the middle classes, and a national school: there is also a convent of nuns of the order of St. Bridget, who have a school for children of the richer classes and a national school. Besides these, there are national schools at Oak, Ballyfin, Trummera, Rabin, and Ballyaggan; and schools at Ballycormick, Ballyfin, and Mountrath in connection with the Established Church. In these schools about 1000 boys and 800 girls are instructed; and there are also five pay schools, in which are about 170 boys and 250 girls. The late Rt. Hon. W. Pole bequeathed £100 per annum late currency for the endowment of the chapel at Ballyfin, and £20 per annum for a schoolmaster and clerk. There are small ruins of Red and Killeny castles, and remains of churches at Cromogue and Kilbrennan. At Forest is a chalybeate spring.-See MOUNTRATH.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1840 by Samuel Lewis

Civil Registration

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Directories & Gazetteers

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Land and Property

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