RAHAN

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

RAHAN, a parish, in the barony of FERMOY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 2 ½ miles (E.) from Mallow, on the road to Fermoy, and on the river Blackwater; containing 3781 inhabitants. At Carrigoon, on the north side of the river, was a garrison for James II.; and nearly opposite to it stood the castle of Ballymagooly, which was garrisoned by the English, the relief of which occasioned the battle of Bottle hill, in this neighbourhood. A grant of a market and two fairs was made in the 36th of Charles II., with a court of pie poudre for the manor of Cotterborough, but they are not now held. The parish, which comprises 9930 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £5909 per ann., lies partly on the north, but chiefly on the south, side of the Blackwater. The arable land is in general good, and there is a considerable portion of reclaimable mountain and some excellent bog, from which the Mallow market is partly supplied with fuel: limestone abounds and is used for building and agricultural purposes, and the state of agriculture has of late years been much improved.

Rockforest, the spacious and handsome mansion of Sir J. L. Cotter, Bart., is beautifully situated on a rising ground between the Black-water and the Lavally mountain, in an extensive and richly wooded demesne, bounded on the north by the river, which sweeps boldly under the rock of Carrig, the woods and castellated tower on the summit of the rock forming a most picturesque and interesting scene. The other seats are Rockforest Lodge, the residence of Pierse Creagh, Esq.; and Ballymagooley, of John Courtenay, Esq., noticed under the head of the village of that name.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Cloyne, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the rectory is impropriate in Colonel Longfield. The parish was formerly united to that of Carrigleamleary, but was separated about 30 years since, when a portion of the latter was attached to Rahan to make the division more equal. The tithes, amounting to £484. 12. 4., are payable in equal portions to the impropriator and the vicar. The church is a small neat structure with a low square tower, towards the erection of which, in 1788, the late Board of First Fruits gave £500, and it was also aided by Sir J. L. Cotter, to whose memory and that of his lady it contains a neat mural monument; the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have lately granted £142 for its thorough repair.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is partly in the union or district of Ballinamona, but chiefly in that of Mallow. There is a small meeting-house for Wesleyan Methodists. The parochial school at Cotterborough, near Ballymagooly, is a neat building, comprising two large school-rooms, with apartments for the master and mistress, erected in 1823 under the auspices of the late vicar, at an expense of about £250, of which £100 was a grant from the Lord-lieutenant's fund; it is chiefly supported by subscription. At Knockbrack is a school for boys, supported by a bequest from the late H. Cotter, Esq., and £12 per ann. from W. D. La Touche, Esq., whose father gave the site for the school and an acre of land; another school is supported by subscription, in which and in the two former about 100 children are educated; and there are two private schools, in which are about 90 children. The late H. J. Cotter, Esq., in 1831, bequeathed £500, and a small estate in this parish producing about £90 per ann., in trust to promote the scriptural education of the poor; and the Rev. George Brereton, formerly vicar of Rahan, bequeathed £200 late currency, of which the interest is annually distributed at Christmas to six poor persons on the church list; he also bequeathed £30 to purchase a church bell, and a similar sum for completing the parochial school-house. Some remains of the old church still exist.

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