LEMANAGHAN

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

LEMANAGHAN, or KILNEGARENAGH, a parish, in the barony of GARRYCASTLE, KING'S county, and province of LEINSTER, 4 miles (S. W.) from Clara; containing, with the villages of Ballycumber, Bellair, and Grogan (which are separately described), 5785 inhabitants, of which number, 290 are in the village of Lemanaghan. This place, which is also called Melain, is situated on the river Brosna, and appears to have derived its name from St. Manchan, probably the founder of the monastery, of which he died abbot in 661. The establishment continued to flourish till 1205, after which it became a parish church; and there are still some remains of the building surrounded by a large tract of bog.

The parish comprises 18,690 statute acres, of which 200 are woodland, 6740 arable, 4000 pasture, and 7/50 bog; the system of agriculture is very backward, little improvement having been made within the last two centuries; limestone abounds, and is quarried for agricultural and other purposes.

The principal seats are Bellair, the residence of T. Homan Mulock, Esq.; Prospect, of C. Holmes, Esq.; Moorock, of G. A. Holmes, Esq.; the Doon, of R. J. Enright Mooney, Esq.; Castle Armstrong, of Colonel Armstrong; Ballycumber House, of Captain Armstrong; Twickenham, of Mrs. Armstrong; and Hollybrook, of J. Henderson, Esq. Fairs are held at Ballycumber on Dec. 1st and May 2nd, for horned cattle, sheep, and pigs, but they are very indifferently attended; and petty sessions are held alternately at Bellair and Doon on Fridays.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Meath, formerly held by faculty with the rectory and vicarage of Tessauran, but now separately, and in the patronage of the Bishop.

The tithes amount to £415. 7. 8.; the glebe-house is a neat small residence occupied by the curate, and the glebe comprises 70 acres. The church, a neat plain edifice, situated at Liss, was built in 1830, at the expense of the parish, and an organ was erected in it at the cost of T. H. Mulock, Esq.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is in the diocese of Ardagh, and forms part of the union or district of Ballinahone. The chapel is a very humble building; on the altar is an ancient shrine, supposed to contain the bones of St. Manachan. About 140 children are taught in four public schools, of which one tor 40 girls is supported by Mrs. Mulock, at Bellair; and there are also seven private schools, in which are about 340 children. A dispensary is supported solely at the expense of Dr. Molloy, who has also invested £500 in a loan fund, which is supported solely by him. There are some remains of the ancient castle of Lemanaghan, and at Doon are the remains of the ancient castle of the O'Mooneys, now in the possession of R. J. E. Mooney, Esq., a lineal descendant of that family, whose residence is on the estate. Of the castle, which was a spacious structure on a rock, only one tower is remaining; it is thickly overspread with ivy and forms a picturesque object.

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