MONANIMY

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

MONANIMY, a parish, in the barony of FERMOY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 5 miles (N. E.) from Mallow, on the river Blackwater, and on the high road from Mallow to Fermoy; containing 2751 inhabitants. The estates of Monanimy, Ballygriffin, and Carrigacunna formerly belonged to the ancient family of the Nagles, the head of which has for several centuries been settled in the vicinity; the two former have passed by female connection into other families; the last was the residence of Sir Richard Nagle, successively Attorney-General, Lord Chief Justice, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, and private secretary to James II., whom he accompanied into exile; he died abroad, and the estate was forfeited; it is now the property of H. B. Foott, Esq.

The parish, which comprises 10,637 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £4140 per ann., is situated on both sides of the Blackwater, and contains part of the range called the Nagle Mountains on the south side of that river, affording good pasturage; the land on the north side, which comprises about one-third of the parish, is good and chiefly in tillage, and the state of agriculture is improving. There is a large tract of bog, that supplies not only the neighbourhood, but the market of Mallow, with fuel. Considerable improvements have been made by H. B. Foott and James Hennessy, Esqrs.: those of the former consist of flourishing plantations extending up a romantic mountain glen on the old road to Fermoy; and those of the latter are in connection with the village of Kealavollen, or Killavullane, under which head they are noticed, together with his seat, Ballymackmoy House. Carrigacunna Castle, the seat of H. B. Foott, Esq., is a handsome modern mansion, adjoining the ruins of the old castle, the approach to which from Kealavollen is through some young plantations leading to a grove of venerable oak-trees, forming with the castle an interesting feature in the surrounding beautiful and diversified scenery.

The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Cloyne, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £400. The church, a small neat building with a tower and spire, is situated on the northern bank of the Blackwater: it was erected in 1810, on the site of an ancient preceptory of Knights Hospitallers that formerly existed here, and was aided by a gift of £800 from the late Board of First Fruits.

In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Kealavollen, comprising also those of Clenore and Wallstown, and containing the chapels of Kealavollen and Anakissy: the latter is in the parish of Clenore; the former, a small plain building, is about to be rebuilt on a site given by James Hennessy, Esq.: there is a small cottage residence for the parish priest. A school of about 80 children is maintained by a bequest of £18 per annum from the late Jos. Nagle Esq., of Ballygriffin, for 30 years from 1814; and there are two private schools, containing about 90 children.

The castle of Monanimy is by some supposed to have been built by the Knights Templars; and by others, it and the castle of Carrigacunna are said to have been erected by the Nagles, to whom this district formerly belonged, and after whom the "Nagle Mountains" are named. The former, which is the property of the Hon. Douglas Halliburton, has been fitted up, and is now occupied by a respectable farmer. Of the ancient preceptory nothing now remains but a few fragments of a wall near the church. The celebrated Edmund Burke passed his early childhood at Ballyduff, in this parish, the seat of his maternal grandfather, where he remained about five years, and received the first rudiments of his education at the ruined castle of Monanimy, in which a sort of hedge school was then held. He always retained a great partiality for these places, which he often revisited in subsequent years.—See KEALAVOLLEN.

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