RATHCOONEY

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

RATHCOONEY, a parish, in the North Liberties of the county of the city of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 4 miles (E. N. E.) from Cork, on the mail coach road to Dublin; containing, with the village of Glanmire and part of Riverstown, 2988 inhabitants. In 1716 a battle was fought at Lower Glanmire, in this parish, between a regiment that had turned out for arrears of pay and posted themselves in the village, and a regiment which was brought up from Cove with two pieces of cannon to reduce the former to submission, which, after an obstinate conflict, they effected, when three of the ringleaders were shot by sentence of a court martial.

The parish, which is bounded on the east and northeast by the river Glanmire, and on the south by the estuary of the Lee, comprises 4982 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and chiefly under tillage. The soil is light and shallow on the hills, but richer on the lower grounds; the system of agriculture is improving; there is very little waste land, and scarcely any bog. Sea-weed and sand, which are obtained with facility, are the principal manures, and the crops are in general of good quality. There are numerous gentlemen's seats and good houses in the immediate vicinity of the village of Glanmire, under which head they are noticed. The woollen manufacture was established here in 1822, by Messrs. Lyons and Hanly, whose factory, in a secluded part of the vale of Glanmire, contains 30 looms, and affords employment to 200 persons.

The bleach-greens of Messrs. Thorley and Son, at Annasilla, employ 100 persons; and the St. Patrick's beetling-mills, belonging to the same firm, afford employment to 100 more. The produce of these manufactories and others in the neighbourhood is sent by land carriage to Cork, a distance of five miles, the road being the principal entrance into Cork from Dublin, Clonmel, Kilkenny, and Cashel. At this point it is hilly and dangerous: to avoid the hills a new line of road was sought for, intended to pass over the Glanmire river and along its banks, to join that part of the present road running along the side of the river Lee into Cork; it would be a perfect level and a most delightful drive, but its execution has been successfully opposed. Spring Hill Mills, belonging to Mr. J. Daly, produce annually about 10,000 barrels on the average, and employ a considerable number of men.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Cork, united to the rectories and vicarages of Cahirlog and Little Island, together forming the union and the corps of the prebend of Rathcooney, in the cathedral of St. Finbarr, Cork, and in the patronage of the Bishop.

The tithes amount to £500; the glebe comprises 19 ½ acres, and the gross value of the benefice is £1078. 4. The church, situated in the village of Glanmire, is a plain neat edifice, with a tower and spire, built in 1784 by subscription of the several parishes of the union, on ground presented by Robert Rodgers, Esq.

In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Upper Glanmire; there is a chapel of ease at Spring Hill. Of the different schools, two are under the patronage of the parish priest, and a school of about 100 girls is supported by Mrs. Hickie. The children employed in the woollen factory are obliged to attend a school for three hours every evening, the school-house and teacher being provided by Messrs. Lyons and Hanly, who make no deduction or charge in money or labour as an equivalent. S. McCall, Esq. left an annuity of £18, late currency, and Quinton Hamilton, Esq., the interest of £500, to be distributed annually among the poor. A repository for the sale of wearing apparel to the poor at reduced prices, payable by small instalments, was established at Glanmire, in 1835, under the patronage of the Rev. T. Woodroffe and a committee of ladies, but it has failed to accomplish its intended purpose: there is a dispensary. On the townland of Rathcooney are the ruins of the old church, attached to which is the burial-ground of the parish. Near this is an old edifice, now almost in ruins, formerly the residence of the family of St. Leger, who possessed very considerable property in the parish. There are several raths.

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