REYNAGH, a parish, in the barony of GARRYCASTLE, KING'S county, and province of LEINSTER on the road from Parsonstown to Banagher bridge and Galway; containing, with the post-town of Banagher, 4271 inhabitants. This place takes its name from a monastery founded here by St. Regnacia, sister to St. Finian, who died in 563. The establishment, which was called Kill-Rignaighe, was placed under the superintendence of Talacia, mother of St. Finian, who was abbess for some time; but no further details of its history are recorded. The parish is situated on the river Shannon, and comprises 6555 statute acres, of which a very large proportion is bog; part is waste land, chiefly sand hills; and the remainder, which is chiefly under tillage, is of very indifferent quality. The system of agriculture is in a very backward state, though, from the abundance of limestone, which is quarried both for building and agricultural uses, the lands under a better system might be easily improved. About half a mile from Banagher, on the road to Parsonstown, is Carrigcastle, the demesne of H. B. Armstrong, Esq., with the extensive flour-mills, established in 1818 and employing 20 persons: in the ruins of an adjoining castle coins of Queen Elizabeth and several skeletons were found. Mount Carteret is the property of John Priaulx Armstrong Esq.; the glebe-house, the residence of the Rev. John Burdett; and Claremount, of the late Henry Goode, Esq. There are extensive flour and oatmeal-mills at Garrycastle. The Shannon affords facility of conveyance by steam-boats to Limerick, and the canal to Dublin. Fairs are held on May 1st and Sept. 15th, for horses, cattle, and sheep; and petty sessions are held at Banagher every Monday. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Meath; one-half of the rectory is impropriate and at present the subject of litigation; the other half is annexed to the vicarage, which in 1798 was united to the vicarage of Gallen, and is in the patronage of the Bishop. The tithes amount to £288. 7. 8., payable in moieties to the impropriator and the vicar. The glebe-house was rebuilt in 1800, and has been enlarged by the present incumbent, at an expense of £664. 12. 3¾.: the glebe comprises 94 acres, valued at £173. 18. per annum, and there is also a glebe at Gallen of 137 acres, valued at £155. 12. 3.; the gross income of the benefice, including tithe and glebe, amounts to £681. 7. 11. per annum. The church, a handsome structure in the later English style, with a tower surmounted by a well-proportioned spire, and in very good repair, was erected in 1829, at an expense of £2030 British, advanced on loan by the late Board of First Fruits. There is also a church in the parish of Gallen. In the R. C. divisions this parish is in the diocese of Ardagh, and the head of a union called Banagher, comprising also the parish of Gallen; the chapel at Banagher is a large plain edifice, and there is also a chapel in Gallen. About 340 children are taught in two public schools; and there are seven private schools, in which are about 350 children. There is also a royal free school at Cuba House, near Banagher, which see; and a dispensary. There are some remains of the Danish rath called Garrycastle, also the ruins of Streamstown castle, and of an ancient church called All Saints, near which is a holy well.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1840 by Samuel Lewis