MOLAHIFFE

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

MOLAHIFFE, a parish and village, in the barony of MAGONIHY, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER, 4 ½ miles (N. E.) from Milltown, on the road from Killarney to Tralee; containing 3708 inhabitants, of which number, 48 are in the village. The parish extends to the summit of Slieve Meesh on the north, and comprises 9819 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act: it is partly bounded and partly intersected by the river Maine, which runs into Castlemaine bay, and is capable of being made navigable for barges up to Marshall's bridge. Nearly one-half of the land consists of mountain pasture and bog, chiefly reclaimable; the portion in tillage is manured with lime, there being quarries of excellent limestone on the southern bank of the river, which are extensively worked for the supply of this and the neighbouring parishes: copper is supposed to exist at Bushmount.

In the village of Molahiffe, comprising about a dozen houses, a fair is held on the 26th of May. At Fieries are a small flour-mill and a tuck-mill; and a court for the Earl of Kenmare's manor of Molahiffe is held there every six weeks by the seneschal, for the recovery of debts not exceeding 40s. late currency. At Clonmellane is a station of the constabulary police.

The seats are Molahiffe Castle, the residence of Maurice de Courcy, Esq.; Clonmellane, of A. McDonogh, Esq.; Ballybrack, of John Griffin, Esq.; Boucheens, of Montague Griffin, Esq.; and Roxborough, the property of Richard Chute, Esq.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe, episcopally united to the vicarages of Kilcredane and Kilbonane, together constituting the union of Molahiffe, in the patronage of W. Talbot Crosbie, Esq.: the rectory is impropriate in J. S. Lawler, Esq.

The tithes amount to £320, of which one-half is payable to the impropriator, and the other to the vicar; and the entire vicarial tithes of the benefice amount to £381. 10. 5. The church is a neat edifice with a square pinnacled tower, towards the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits gave £900, in 1819.

In the R. C. divisions this parish is included in the district of Fieries, which also comprises the parishes of Aglish and Kilcredane, and contains the chapels of Fieries and Ballyhar: that of Fieries is a large building; the other is in the parish of Kilcredane. At Ballynvarig is a school aided by the Earl of Kenmare, in which and in the other schools of the parish about 120 children are educated. There are some remains of an ancient building, called Old Court, of which no particulars are recorded; and there are vestiges of an ancient stone fort, of which the walls are said to have been of great strength, and the materials to have been used in the construction of Molahiffe castle and the old church. The ruins of the latter still remain; those of the castles of Molahiffe, Clonmellane and Castle Fieries are situated near the banks of the Maine: they formerly belonged to the Mac Carthys, and are now the property of the Earl of Kenmare, whose ancestors resided at Molahiffe Castle. Near Old Court, and also near Castle Fieries, is a subterraneous cavern.

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