DONAGHMORE, a parish

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

DONAGHMORE, a parish, in the barony of BALLAGHKEEN, county of WEXFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 85 miles (S. E. by S.) from Gorey, containing 2448 inhabitants. It is memorable as being the place where Dermod Mac Murrough, last King of Leinster, landed on his return from England, whither he had made a voyage to solicit aid against the confederate princes who had expelled him from his dominions. From this place he repaired privately to Ferns, which circumstance has given rise to a tradition that Glascarrig, in this parish, communicated with the castle of Ferns by a subterraneous passage, for which search has been made in vain. On the invasion by the English a considerable tract of land here was granted to Raymond le Gros, for which service was ordered by Henry II. to be rendered at Wexford castle. According to Sir James Ware, a priory of Benedictine monks was founded at Glascarrig, in the 14th century, by Griffith Condon, Richard Roche, and others, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin; it was, according to Archdall, subject to the monastery of St. Dogmael, in the county of Pembroke, whose abbot had the presentation of a monk when any vacancy occurred. At the dissolution it was granted to Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork; the remains, consisting only of part of the church, have been converted into farm-offices, and afford no indication of the original character of the building.

The parish is situated on the coast of St. George's channel, and comprises 5883 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, nearly the whole of which is under tillage; the system of agriculture is progressively improving. Limestone gravel is raised on the lands of Peppard's Castle, and quarries of an inferior kind of building stone are worked in other parts of the parish. A domestic manufacture of strong linen is carried on here, in which nearly all the female cottagers are employed; and there are oyster and herring fisheries along the coast. On the shore is Cahore Point, on which there is a telegraph: it is two leagues to the south of Courtown harbour, and about half a mile to the east of it is the northern extremity of the narrow sand bank called the Rusk and Ram, which extends thence S. by W. about 4 miles. At Cahore Point is a station of the coast-guard, being one of the eight comprised in the district of Gorey. Peppard's Castle, the seat of H. White, Esq., is a handsome modern mansion, in which have been incorporated some of the walls of the ancient castle; it is situated near the sea, about half a mile from the road to Wexford.

The living is an impropriate curacy, in the diocese of Ferns, and in the patronage of H. K. G. Morgan, Esq., in whom the rectory is impropriate: the tithes amount to £300, of which £23. 1. 6. is allotted by the impropriator to the curate, who receives a like sum out of the fund of the late Primate Boulter from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The church, which is situated on an eminence overlooking the sea, is a very ancient edifice, supposed to have been a cell to the abbey of Glascarrig, and is now in a dilapidated state. A new district church is about to be erected by subscription, on the border of the parish, near the adjoining parish of Kiltrisk, to which it has been united for the performance of clerical duties. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the district of Ardamine, or River chapel, and contains a chapel at Ballygarret, to which a school is attached, and there are two or three others in the district. A Sunday school is held in the church; and a school-house has lately been built on the estate of J. George, Esq., towards which the late Rev. R. Jones Brewster, impropriate curate, bequeathed £100; the remainder was raised by subscription.

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