CAHIRCORNEY, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

CAHIRCORNEY, a parish, in the barony of SMALL COUNTY, county of LIMERICK, and province of MUNSTER, 8 miles (S. S. E.) from Limerick; containing 880 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the river Comogue, and on the high road from Limerick to Hospital; it contains 2872 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, three fourths of which are meadow and pasture, and the remainder under tillage. The soil is fertile, and the land under tillage produces abundant crops; but the system of agriculture is in a very backward state, the farmers directing their chief attention to the produce of the dairy. The Comogue or "crooked" river has its source near the ancient cathedral of Emly, and taking a westerly course passes through the parish, near the ruins of Glenogra castle and church, the castle of Rathmore, and the splendid remains of Monisternenagh, and falls into the river Maigue at Croom. On the south-west the parish is bounded by a small portion of Lough Gur, which is surrounded by limestone hills of gentle elevation covered with luxuriant verdure. In this lake are two islands, from one of which, strongly fortified, the English troops were much annoyed, on their march between Cork and Limerick during the war in the reign of Elizabeth. At Ballingoola there is a paper-mill, affording employment to 20 persons.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Emly, episcopally united, in 1681, to the vicarage of Kilkellane, together forming the union of Cahircorney, in the patronage of the Earl of Kenmare, during whose legal incapacity the presentation is in the Crown; the rectory is impropriate in John Croker, Esq. The tithes amount to £150, of which £100 is payable to the impropriator and £50 to the vicar; and the gross tithes of the benefice payable to the incumbent amount to £95. The church is an ancient structure, and contains a handsome monument to the Croker family, erected in 1723. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £450 and a loan of £120 from the late Board of First Fruits; it is the residence of the Rev. Patrick Fitzgerald, vicar, and author of the History of the county of Limerick. The glebe comprises 7a. 4p., subject to a rent of £14 per annum, payable to the Croker family, proprietors of the whole parish.

In the R.C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Herbertstown and Hospital. There is a pay school, in which are about 40 boys and 30 girls. At Raleighstown are the remains of an ancient building, enclosed with a bawn defended at the angles by four small towers; it was erected in the reign of James I. by Thomas Raleigh, Esq., uncle to the celebrated Sir Walter Raleigh, and afterwards became the property of the Croker family, who built a splendid house here, now in ruins. On the summit of a hill above Raleighstown is an extraordinary circular building of huge blocks of stone, curiously fitted into each other without mortar; it is of great strength, and evidently of remote antiquity. Near the shore of Lough Gur are the remains of two concentric circles of upright stones; but they are so much broken that the form can scarcely be determined.

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