ACHONRY, a parish

ACHONRY, a parish and the head of a diocese, in the barony of LENEY, county of SLIGO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 6 miles (W. S. W.) from Ballymote; containing 15,481 inhabitants. This place, anciently called Achad, Achad-Conair, and Achad-Chaoin, was granted about 530, by the chief of the territory of Luigny, to St. Finian, Bishop of Clonard, who founded an abbey here and placed over it his disciple St. Nathy, who was afterwards made Bishop of Achonry. In 1798, the French invaders marched from Castlebar through Tubbercurry, where a slight skirmish took place. The parish is situated on the river Moy, and on the roads from Boyle to Ballina and from Sligo to Swinford; and comprises 40,500 statute acres, of which, 19,827 are applotted under the tithe act: about 24,300 acres are arable and pasture land, and 16,200 are mountain and bog, much of which the peasantry are reclaiming. The land is generally good, and the system of husbandry is improving: there are quarries of excellent limestone and granite. The principal seats are Chaffpool, the property of J. Armstrong, Esq.; Muckalta, of Jones Irwin, Esq.; Achonry, of T. Rice, Esq.; Roadstown, of D. O'Connor, Esq.; Corsalla, of D. O'Connor, Esq.; Doornon, of H. Gray, Esq.; and Carrounaleck, of J. Gray, Esq. Petty sessions are held at Tubbercurry every Thursday. There are also weekly markets at that place and Bellaghy; and several fairs are held there and at Bellaghy and Curry, which see.

The DIOCESE is one of the six constituting the ecclesiastical province of Tuam: it comprehends a large portion of the county of Sligo and part of that of Mayo, and extends about 35 miles in length and 27 in breadth, comprising by estimation a superficial area of 207,650 plantation acres, of which 113,950 are in Sligo, and 93,700 in Mayo. From about the commencement of the 17th century it was held with the see of Killala, as one bishoprick, till 1833, when they were both annexed, under the provisions of the Church Temporalities' Act (3rd of Wm. IV.), to the archiepiscopal see of Tuam. The chapter consists of a dean, precentor, archdeacon, and the three prebendaries of Ballysodere, Killaraght, and Kilmovee: there are neither minor canons nor vicars choral. The cathedral, dedicated to St. Nathy, and called the cathedral church of St. Crumnathy, Achonry, is parochial: it is kept in good repair by an assessment on the parishioners, but in future the expenses will be defrayed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; there is no economy fund.

The diocese comprehends 25 parishes, of which three are consolidated rectories and vicarages, two appropriate rectories, and the remainder are vicarages of which the rectories are impropriate: the number of benefices is thirteen, all of which, with the dignities and prebends, are in the patronage of the Archbishop of Tuam, except the deanery, which is in the gift of the Crown; there is one perpetual cure dependent on the deanery and in the patronage of the Dean; the number of churches is eleven, and of glebe-houses, six. The see lands comprise 11,784 acres, of which 8391 are profitable land; and the glebe lands of the benefices consist of 187 ¼ Irish acres. The gross annual revenue of the diocese payable to the bishop is, on an average, £1481. 6. 9 ½.; and the entire tithes amount to £7354. 0. 5. per annum, of which £4549. 9. 11 ½. is payable to the clergy, and the remainder to lay impropriators.

In the R. C. divisions this diocese includes also the parishes of Kilgarvan and Attymass (which in the Protestant church form part of the adjoining diocese of Killala), and, as originally founded, continues a distinct bishoprick, suffragan to that of Tuam, and comprising 19 parochial unions or parishes, containing 35 chapels, which are served by 19 parish priests and 18 curates or coadjutors.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Achonry, with the rectory and vicarage of Cloonoghill and the rectories of Killoran and Kilvarnet united, together constituting the corps of the deanery of Achonry, which is in the patronage of the Crown. The tithes amount to £646. 3. 1.; and the gross revenue of the deanery, or union, is £920 per annum, out of which the dean allows an annual stipend of £75 to the perpetual curate of Tubbercurry. The church is a plain edifice with a tower and spire, for rebuilding which the late Board of First Fruits, in 1822, granted a loan of £1066. The glebe house was built by a gift of £100 and a loan of £1500 from the same Board: the glebe comprises 20 acres. In the R. C. divisions this parish forms the benefice of the dean, and is divided into three portions, called the Upper, Middle, and Lower Divisions; the first is Curry, in which there are two chapels, one at that place and the other at Moylough; the second is Cloonacool, in which also are two chapels, one there and the other at Tubbercurry; and the third is Mullinabriny, which has one chapel. There are schools for both sexes at Chaffpool, Tubbercurry, Achonry, and Carrowmore: the first is partly supported by J. Armstrong, Esq., who also gave the school-house. The ruins of the old church are situated near the present edifice: there are also ruins of the abbey of Court, founded by O'Hara for Franciscan friars of the third order; of an old church and burial-place at Kilcummen; and of an ancient fortified residence at Castlelough. There is a mineral spring at Ballincurry.

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