From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
KILFREE, a parish, in the half-barony of COOLAVIN, county of SLIGO, and province of LEINSTER, 6 miles (W.) from Boyle, on the road from that place to Ballina; containing 5103 inhabitants. The soil is good, the land principally in tillage, and there is abundance of turf and limestone. It is a constabulary police station, and a manorial court is held occasionally. The principal seats are Kilfree, the residence of E. Costello, Esq.; Mount Irwin, of W. T. Sherlock, Esq.; and Red Hill, of A. Baker, Esq.
It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Achonry, forming part of the union of Killaraght; the rectory is impropriate in Viscount Lorton, and the tithes amount to £287. 0. 8., which is equally divided between the impropriator and the vicar. The church is a plain building with a square tower, erected in 1826, for which the late Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £600. In the R. C. divisions it is the head of a union or district, called Gurteen, which comprises this parish and Killaraght, and has a large chapel in Gurteen, built in 1829, and one in Killaraght. About 50 children are educated in a public, and 260 in eight private, schools. A friary was erected at Knockmore in the 14th century, by O'Gara, of which the doorway and windows are in good preservation, and it is still a favourite burial-place. Here are also the ruins of Gara Castle, the residence of that O'Gara who had the Psalter of Ballymote written, and whose descendant, Colonel O'Gara, left Ireland after the battle of Aughrim, having forfeited his possessions, and entered the Austrian service.
Charlotte Milligan Fox, sister of the poet Alice Milligan, was a founding member of the Irish Folk Song Society and an indefatigable field collector of Irish traditional music. Her singularly important work on Irish haprers is here presented for the twenty-first century reader. This edition of Annals offers a much greater number of illustrations than were included in the original 1911 publication, a full biographical introduction, an extensive bibliography of the writings of Milligan Fox and an appendix discussing the variant texts of Arthur O’Neills Memoirs.
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