RATASS

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

RATASS, or RATHASS, a parish, in the barony of TRUGHENACKMY, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER, 1 ½ mile (E.) from Tralee, on the high road to Killarney; containing 2365 inhabitants. The castle of Ballybeggan, in this parish, formerly a place of considerable strength belonging to the Desmonds, and a noted pass between Tralee and Castle Island, was the only fortress in the county that in 1641 held out against the Irish forces, and it resisted every assault until relieved, in 1643, by Lord Inchiquin's forces: during the war of the Revolution it was burnt by the Irish.

The parish comprises 4236 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, partly in tillage. The limestone strata of this district contain several caverns lined with stalactites, through which a subterraneous stream takes its course; very good marble has been obtained, and many years since a vein of lead ore was discovered near the church. The county gaol, the infantry barracks, Messrs. Newell and Grant's distillery and Mr. Bender's brewery are situated at Ballymullen, and together with a considerable portion of the parish, are within the limits of the borough of Tralee, under which head they are noticed. Several neat houses have been built in this suburb, and it is probable that in the course of a few years the buildings will be extended to the town, about a quarter of a mile distant. The parish is in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe, and is a rectory, forming part of the union and corps of the deanery of Ardfert: the tithes amount to £336. 18. 5 ½. The Protestant inhabitants attend the church at Tralee.

In the R. C. divisions it is partly in the union or district of Ballymacelligott, but chiefly in that of Tralee. About 110 children are educated in three private schools. The ivied ruins of the old church stand in the burial-ground adjoining the high road; the ruins of Ballybeggan castle before mentioned still exist, and at Ballymullen are some remains of another castle of the Desmonds.

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