Psalter of Aengus Mac Nathfrach, King of Cashel - Oxford the 9th of August 1673
This book is a famous copy of a great part of the Book of St. Mochuda of Cong, in which is contained many divine things, most of which documents the antiquities of the ancient houses of Ireland, a catalogue of their Kings, of the coming of the Romans into England, of the coming of the Saxons, and of their lives and regimes; a notable calendar of the Irish Saints of the Roman breviary until that time; a catalogue of the Popes of Rome; how the Irish and the English were converted to the Catholic faith; with many other things, as the reader may find, and so understanding what they contain let him remember. - Tully Conry
Thus is recorded on a note pasted on the inside of the cover of a copy of the Psalter of Cashel written by Aengus Mac Nathfrach, King of Cashel, Copied in 1453 for Edmund Mac Richard Butler in Pottlerath by Seagan Buidhe O'Cleirigh. And now preserved in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
The Story of Slieveardagh and its Christian heritage begins with the Baptism of Aengus Mac Nathfrach at Cashel. A celebrated anecdote is told about this King Aengus. It is said that when St Patrick was conferring the Sacrament of Baptism upon him he accidentently laid the crosier on the Kings foot. The crosier pierced his foot, causing it to bleed profusely. So great, however, was the Kings devotion, that he did not make any sign of uneasiness, but patiently bore the pain, thinking it was part of the ceremony. 'This crosier (the celebrated Irish relic known as the Bachal-Iosa, i.e., the Staff of Jesus) was preserved in Armagh until the English invasion (Cromwell) when it was brought to Dublin and kept at Christ Church Cathedral. But alas! At the time of the reformation it was publicly burned in the streets of the city'.
The first recorded missionary to Ireland was Palladius, who was probably from Gaul [France]. He was sent by the Pope to be bishop to the "Irish who believe in Christ". Patrick himself stated that Palladius' mission was a failure. However, other historical documents from outside Ireland indicate that the mission of Palladius was very successful, at least in Laigin (Leinster), and that he set up a number of churches. Tradition says that Palladius' visit to Ireland was in the year 431.
We are told in Historical Geographies that during the century before the Christian Era there was a regular movement of population between the districts now known as Munster and Leinster, by way of the gap 'between Slieveardagh and Slievenamon. The passage was one of the chief routes between Tara and Cashel. Later the district became the scene of many conflicts between the Norse men from Scandinavia and the native Irish. Later still it was frequently the battleground for the war-loving Ormonde and Geraldine land owners. Nowadays, happily, the rivalry between the sturdy combatants of the ancient principalities of Cashel and Ossory is exercised only on the hurling and football fields.
The Ossory Archaeological Society publications, papers attributed to Dr James Lanigan (1779 -1812)
In the Ossory Archaeological Society publications, papers attributed to Dr James Lanigan (1779 -1812) Bishop of Ossory deal with the Parish of Kilmanagh. According to Dr. Lannigan there are two patron Saints of Kilmanagh -Saint Edán or Enda whose feast is assigned to the 31st Dec and St. Natalis, or Naul, - Nailé 'as Gaeilge', whose feast day is set down in the Martyrology (recorded calender of events) of Tallagh as the 31st July.
It is very probable that St Nathalis was the son of Aengus Mac Nathfrach, King of Cashel (killed 490). Dr Lanigan says that little or nothing would be known about Nathalis were he not highly praised in the lives of St. Senan of Inniscathy (an Island in the Shannon Estuary), who, when young, was a pupil of his, having been directed to his monastery by the Abbot Cassidus. This monastery was situated in Dún-Aengusa-Mac Nadfraich called after the first Christian King of Munster who resided in Cashel; was later known as Rath a'Photaire (Rath of the potter) later anglicized to Pottlerath a townland near the Munster River in Kilmanagh Parish, Co. Kilkenny.
In the metrical life of St Senan (translated) we read: -
In a vision, an order is given
By the Lord of Heaven, to the abbot Cassidan
To send the novice to the illustrious Abbot Nathalis
To be fully instructed, under his rule and discipline,
Even at that time, Nathalis' name was well known to fame
With him a large community dwelt in religious unity
A hundred and fifty brethren, learned and holy men
This number must have increased very much, if there is any truth in the following story.
It is written that the monks of Dún-Aengusa-Mac Nadfraich paid a visit to their brethren at the monastery of Gort-friogh - 'this is the town land of Gortfree beside The Munster River in Ballingarry Parish, the river divides the modern Parishes of Ballingarry and Kilmanagh - Counties Tipperary and Kilkenny - as well as the provinces of Munster and Leinster. According to local folklore the site of this monastery is at the location of an old graveyard now dis-used'. When they arrived there the Abbot observed he had forgotten his breviary. Word was immediately sent back from one to the other by the monks, whose long line reached Pottlerath about two miles distant, and the breviary was forthcoming without delay.
St Naul flourished about the year 520, his death is assigned to the 27th January 564. From the following references, found in the annals of the Four Masters, Pottlerath must have been a place of importance and distinction in ancient times.
Under the year 780 we read: The fifteenth year of Donnchadh Maeloctraigh, son of Conall, Abbot of Kilcullen and scribe of Cill-manach, died. At the year 802 Lemnatha Cill-manach died. In the year 843 Beasal, son of Caingne, Abbot Cill-manach died.
According to Dr. John O Donovan, the ancient name of Pottlerath was Dun-Aengusa-Mac Nadfraich -i.e., the fort of Aengus Mac Nadfraich, the first Christian King of Munster. It is worthy of note and very significant too, that Naul, the patron saint of Kilmanagh, was son of this same prince; and also that a holy well, known as Tobernedaun, or St Enda's well, preserves the name of St Enda of Arran, whose sister, Sant, was wife of Aengus, and mother of St Naul. There are cures documented in the Ossory papers attributed to the waters of this well. These sites are on the South Eastern end of the Slieveardagh hills.
Extracts from the Fogarty Papers by kind permission St Patricks College, Thurles
St Natilis or Naul - (O'Hanlon). This saint was Abbot of Kilmanagh, Co. Kilkenny (church of the monks) and his festival day is on July 31 St according to the M of Donegal, and M of Tallaght. There is a well there which is his also. At Kilmanagh he founded a famous Mon. which is mentioned in the Irish Annals, and had 150 monks. Under him as pupil was St Senan, later Abbot of enniscathy, and both are given as visiting Ara-thire church i.e. Kilmore near Silvermines. Colgan holds, this Naul was the same as Naul of Killenaule, and by others he is called Abbot of Killenaule. Naul is also classed by Colgan as a disciple of St Patrick, and the son of Aengus King of Cashel, together with St Colman Eli. Aengus died 489, so Naul was born before that date. When he died is uncertain. O'Hanlon says from this saint Naul, Killenaule in Co. Tipp. likely took its name. Dr Lanigan says if any Abbot Naul was the son of Aengus, it must have been St Natilis of Kilmanagh who flourished about 520-their dates agree and Kilmanagh is not far from Cashel, it's likely, he too had to do with Killenaule. In the life of St Senan, Natilis gets high praise. There are 2 townlands of Killenaule in Lower Ormond one in Dorrha parish and the other in Loughkeen, probably called after Naul, and there is also an old church in the parish of Donohill called Kilmanagh.
DIOCESES OF CASHEL & EMLY
Both Cashel and Emly dioceses have their origins in the early Christian period in Ireland. Saint Ailbe's famous monastic settlement at Emly most likely pre-dated the arrival of Saint Patrick in Ireland. The origins of the Archdiocese of Cashel are more obscure. As an important political centre, it is likely that Cashel had its own bishop from an early date. While Emly was the leading ecclesiastical centre in Munster for a number of centuries, the growing importance of the Eoghanacht dynasty ensured Cashel's increasing prominence in Church affairs. As is the case with the Irish Saints of this time, little is known of Ailbe's dates or life. It is believed that Saint Ailbe is one of the pre-Patrician saints though some annals note his death in 528. He was the child of a clandestine union. The father, fearing King Cronan, fled before the child was born. The King ordered that the baby be killed but his servants left him near a rock where, it is said, a wolf nursed him. The child was later found by a passerby - Lochan - who gave him to some Britons in the neighbourhood. A tradition held that he went to Rome and was ordained bishop by the Pope. He preached throughout Ireland, and made people "not only Christians but saints."
One account tells how Ailbe petitioned King Aengus of Munster on behalf of St Enda, asking him for a site for monastery. Aengus was unaware of the islands in his domain until he dreamt of them and acceded to grant them to Enda. (The ancient connection between the Aran Islands and the region of his kingdom may be discerned in the name Tiobarad Árann). He founded the monastery of Emly which became very important in Munster. A ninth century Rule bears his name. And the wolf? Ailbe was able to save the wolf when he was present at a run at which she was to be killed. She ate from his table from then on. The feast of Saint Ailbe is celebrated in the Archdiocese on 12 September. The upheaval caused by the Viking advance resulted for a time in the vesting of secular and ecclesiastical authority in the hands of a number of colourful kingbishops in Cashel. Understandably, this uneasy union of crown and crozier did not always enhance the cause of religion. However, not all king-bishops in Cashel followed the example of the ambitious and bellicose Feighlimid, who perished on a Leinster battlefield in 841. The saintly Cormac Mac Culleanáin (901-8) was a rare embodiment of monastic holiness and scholarship allied to wise and peaceful rule.
Emly's famous monastic school and the beautiful Derrynaflan Chalice serve to exemplify the remarkable achievement of the monastic church period in the dioceses of Cashel and Emly. The Emly. The Hoard (chalice, paten and wine strainer) was discovered on a Sunday afternoon, 17 February 1980, in the environs of the ancient monastic settlement of Derrynaflan, an island in Littleton Bog, County Tipperary.
The origins of Cashel as an ecclesiastical centre go back to the grant by Murtagh O'Brien of the Rock to the Church and the subsequent synod in 1101. At the Synod of Rathbreasail (1111), which fixed its boundaries, it and Armagh were proposed as the two Irish metropolitan sees. When the four province system was set up at the Synod of Kells (1152), Cashel became a the de jure metropolitan of the southern province. Henry II received the submission of the southern bishops in Cashel in 1172 and convened several reform synods.
In the 13th and 14th centuries its bishop was elected by the chapter and there was a notable number of Cistercian and Franciscan bishops. In subsequent centuries there were numerous cases of royal interventions in the provisions of archbishops. The arrival of the Gregorian reform movement in twelfth-century Ireland hastened the replacement of a predominantly monastic Church structure by a regular diocesan system. Cashel's metropolitan status dates from this period. The reform also accelerated thee introduction into Ireland of numerous new and renewed orders of monks, canons and friars. Both Cashel and Emly had many houses of these Religious throughout the late medieval period.
The beautifully impressive Cormac's Chapel on the Rock of Cashel represents Irish links with medieval Germany. (The background image of this page is of sandstone arcading at Cormac's Chapel). Holycross Abbey, founded in 1180 and restored as a parish church in the 1970's, ranks amongst the famous late medieval Irish Cistercian monasteries.
The initial vitality of this medieval era gave way, in time, to stagnation and decline. However, a promising renewal was gathering momentum during the fifteenth century. Sadly, this renewal was interrupted by the arrival of the Protestant
Reformation in the next century. The story of the Reformation period in both Cashel and Emly is a mixture of trial and triumph. Political considerations largely dictated the pace and extent to which the new Protestant State religion and Church would be imposed. In the end, the great majority of the people remained loyal to the old faith, though at a considerable price. From the late sixteenth century until the early eighteenth century, intermittent persecution, increasing powerlessness and deprivation were the lot of Irish Catholics.
The prominence of Cashel and Emly laity, bishops, priests and religious among the Irish martyrs of the period is testimony to remarkable fidelity in the face of persecution and oppression. The most famous of these martyr's is Blessed Dermot O'Hurley, Archbishop of Cashel, who was subjected to cruel torture before being martyred in Dublin on 20 June 1584. The following were among his final words to the crowds gathered at Hoggin Green,"I am a priest anointed and also a bishop. although unworthy of so sacred dignities, and no cause could they find against me that might in the least degree deserve the pains of death, but merely my function of priesthood wherein they have proceeded against me in all points cruelly contrary to their own laws".
No less inspiring is the example of the victims of massacres in Moor Abbey, Galbally, in 1570 and on the Rock of Cashel in 1647. Martyrs also associated with the diocese are Dominican Terence O'Brien, Franciscan John Kearney and Augustinian William Tirry. In 1611, there were only two Catholic bishops in Ireland - David Kearney of Cashel and Conor O'Devaney a Franciscan and Bishop of Down and Conor. O'Devaney had been imprisoned in 1588 for four years, he was arrested again in 1611 and executed in 1612.
The significant Irish clerical and lay Diaspora in Europe during these centuries is fittingly represented by Cashel priest, Fr.Theobald Stapleton, whose famous Catechism for use on the Irish mission was composed in Brussels in 1639. As the penal laws were relaxed from the middle of the eighteenth century, Thurles became the new permanent place of residence for the Archbishops of Cashel and Emly. At the same time we glimpse in the pages of the Visitation Book of Archbishop James Butler (1757-74) the gradual emergence of a newly vibrant, though impoverished, Church of the People.
This renewed Catholicism gathered momentum from the late eighteenth century and culminated in a remarkable array of Catholic institutions ministering to the spiritual and temporal needs of the people. In Cashel and Emly, the faith and generosity of a newly emancipated people built, supported and staffed churches, schools, colleges and other charitable institutions over the past two hundred years. This achievement is all the more remarkable when it is remembered that it occurred in the midst of widespread poverty and massive emigration, with limited State assistance.
The Synod of Thurles was held from 22 Agust to 9 September 1850. This was the first National Synod of the Catholic Church in Ireland after Catholic Emancipation. The synod met in the Chapel of Saint Patrick's College, Thurles. The era of renewal and consolidation, which now appears to be changing, is also characterised by a remarkable commitment of personnel and resources to the needs of a wider Church. In common with the entire Irish Church, the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly can be proud of its contribution to the development of Catholicism through the world, notably through the work of St. Patrick's College, Thurles. No less impressive is the work of the many Cashel and Emly missionaries who Severin Africa, Asia and, more recently, South America. The lives and ministry of both Bishop Shanahan in Southern Nigeria and Bishop Thomas Quinlan in China and Korea are fitting testimony to the generosity and courage of the many other missionaries from Cashel and Emly, and the entire Irish Church, during the past century-and-a-half.
Ballingarry is a Parish in the Barony of Slieveardagh, in the East of the County Tipperary. The Barony, Slieveardagh, "High fields among the hills," takes its name from the natural features of the district. Its appropriateness is indicated by the numerous place-names referring to hills, glens, slopes and heights.
The Deanery of Ballingarry embraced the parishes:- Ballingarry, Derenaflan, Boulick, Killenaule, Lisnamrock, Ballinure, Graystown, Ballygraffney, Lickfin, Kilbrannel, Crohane, Fennor, Kilnerath, Daffyn, Moyrathin or Mellison. They number sixteen, but some of them may have been only half Parishes in districts provided with Chapels of Ease.
In 1303, Andrew Daneton is mentioned, as having 'cura animarum', the care of souls in Ballingarry. In 1471 Philip O'Cahill is given in the Annats of Cashel as having "been appointed to the Parish of Ballingarry. Annats are the revenue of the first year's occupancy of a benefice.
All these ancient parishes had separate churches in pro-reformation times. The Ballingarry Church was about half a mile west of the present Village. Surrounding the Church was a graveyard, which was much larger than it is at present. A road (An Bothair Mór) was run through the Graveyard and the detached portion became a field.
In the 16th Century the ancient Church of Ballingarry (in the old graveyard) was taken possession of "by the Protestants, a similar fate befalling all Catholic churches and chapels. Since the Protestant population never became large, the greater number of churches were allowed to fall into ruin. We have this account in 1615, "Lismolin and Crohane in ruins, Ballingarry still in repair." There are no remains of this ancient Church of Ballingarry since a new church was erected on its site in 1811 by the Protestant community. This latter Protestant Church has vanished too, the stones having been sold quite recently (circa 1890) to a Creamery Company.
The old Catholic Church in Lismolin was dedicated to St. John the Baptist. In 'Calender of Documents, Survey Year 1302-07 on Taxation of Parishes, Lismolin is mentioned. In Visitations of Archbishop OHedian Lismolin is mentioned as a Parish in 1437. Some time after it became the property of the Cistercians of Hoare Abbey, Cashel. Tradition states that Cromwell destroyed the church is Lismolin. Canon ORourke wrote that on 11th July 1704 Fr Wm. Kelly (72 years old) was the registered PP of Ballingarry, Crohane and Lismolin. He livid in Gragaugh and is buried in Lismolin. Fr Kelly was the victim of special persecution at the hands of Baron Butler of Lismolin. He often sought refuge with his sister, a Mrs Croke, Ballingarry. When Fr Kelly died, six Croke boys carried his coffin to Lismolin graveyard at night time.The location of his grave is unknown. At present the graveyard is still in use and the vestry walls and gable wall of the Protestant Church are still standing. Inside are two stone slabs to the memory of Scott brothers from Scotsborough. The church was built around 1716 on the site of the Catholic Church. In 1846 the Lord Lieutenant gave permission for the parishioners of Lismolin to abandon their church and to build a new one at Crohane. Their church had become very dilapidated and they did not like the climb up the hill. So they left and attended the newly built church in Crohane around 1848. In 1811 the parishes of Lismolin. Modeshill and Mowney (in Ballingarry) were joined with Crohane. Lismolin was the parish church.
In 1840 J. O'Donovan's Field Notes said that No part of the original church remained and the site was occupied by a Protestant church still in use. 80 yards south is a square earthen fort. One furlong N.W of the church is a square castle. It was owned by the Butlers. They had left some years previous to 1840 as they had acquired Mount Juliet by marriage.The Lismolin Butler estate was sold about 1850. One mile from Lismolin lived Maria Butler in Wliford House (now called The Bishop's House). Maria Butler was related to the Lismolin Butlers. In 1787 the Catholic Bishop of Cork John Butler heir to the Dunboyne Estate in Co. Meath following the death of his only sibling apostacized and married Maria. She was 23 years old and he was 57.They had one malformed baby who died soon after birth. Some time later they separated. Maria remarried soon afterwards. She married John Moore from Portumna.They had one son Hubert Butler Moore and a grandson called Butler Dunboyne Moore, one of whose descendants was Sir Claude Auchinlech of Co. Fermanagh. He war' Field Marshal and Chief of Staff to General Montgomery during World War II. way home camped in a field near Lismolin. One of the O'Neill's died there. Wiliamite armies came here en route from Waterford to Limerick in 1691 with their siege train that Sarsfield destroyed in Ballyneety. They occupied and fortified Lismolin Castle. Lismolin school was built in 1857 and closed in 1966.
Extracts from the Fogarty Papers by kind permission St Patricks College, Thurles
St Natilis or Naul-O Hanlon. This saint was Abbot of Kilmanagh, Co. Kilkenny (church of the monks) and his festival day is on July 31St according to the M of Donegal, and M of Tallaght. There is a well there which is his also. At Kilmanagh he founded a famous Mon. which is mentioned in the Irish Annals, and had 150 monks. Under him as pupil was St Senan, later Abbot of enniscathy, and both are given as visiting Ara-thire church i.e. Kilmore near Silvermines. Colgan holds, this Naul was the same as Naul of Killenaule, and by others he is called Abbot of Killenaule. Naul is also classed by Colgan as a disciple of St Patrick, and the son of Aengus King of Cashel, together with St Colman Eli. Aengus died 489, so Naul was born before that date. When he died is uncertain. 0 Hanlon says from this saint Naul, Killenaule in Co. Tipp. likely took its name. Dr Lanigan says if any Abbot Naul was the son of Aengus, it must have been St Natilis of Kilmanagh who flourished about 520-their dates agree and Kilmanagh is not far from Cashel, it's likely, he too had to do with Killenaule. In the life of St Senan, Natilis gets high praise. There are 2 townlands of Killenaule in Lower Ormond one in Dorrha parish and the other in Loughkeen, probably called after Naul, and there is also an old church in the parish of Donohill called Kilmanagh. St Sinech is given as the Patroness of Crohane. The Mart. of Donegal commemorates her on Oct.5th. says she was the daughter of Fergna of Cruachan Magh Abhna and of the race of Eoghan More, son of 0. Glum according to the genealogical history of the Irish saints.
The book is wrong in placing Magh Abhna in Co. Limerick. O'Hanlon says she is mentioned also on Oct 5th by the Feilire of St Aengus, and as the daughter of Fergna of Cruachan Muige Abnae in Onacht Cashel. Maurice Lenihan says the virgin is likely the sister of St Senachus, Bishop, who was with St Ruadhan and St Columba of Terryglass among the pupils and disciples of St Finian of Clonard. (Finnian of Clonard, Saint ( ?-549), helped develop the early Church in Ireland. He founded a monastery at Aghowle in County Wicklow, and, in about 520, he founded Clonard, another monastery. Clonard grew until it had 3,000 pupils. St. Finnian, an excellent teacher, has been called teacher of the saints of Ireland. His book of rules for monks still survives. St. Finnian was born in Leinster. He studied in Ireland and, later, in Wales, with St. David. His feast day is December 12.) (If Maurice Lenihan is correct St Sinech would have lived between 500 - 600 AD.) Crohane must be identified with the Cruachan of St Sinech he says, and the denomination of Magh Abhna has been reformed into Mowney a neighbouring parish in the barony of Slieveardagh. her acts are not known to exist. Up to 1810 says O'Hanlon, her festival was remembered in Ballingarry on Oct 5th. In Bishop Butler's Visitations 1752 we find says O'Hanlon. that he visited Ballingarry chapel dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin and found it in good repair.
There were also two without chapels besides Ballingarry, one dedicated to St John the Baptist called the parish of Lismalin, the third-the parish of Crohane dedicated to St Sinech, feastday celebrated on Oct 5th . The lot were under the pastorship of Rev Lawrence Lonergan. O'Donovan also says Crohane was formerly Cruachan in the Eoghanacht. In 842, a great victory was gained at Crohane over the Lochlanns. Crohane-Cruachan Muighe Abhnae. Church ruins are in Drangan parish. In the Feilire Aenguis, Crohane is given as the round hill of Moy-Owney (round hill in the plain of the river). This parish is bounded on the west by the parish of Killenaule, on the east by the parish of Mowney, on the north and north east by the parishes of Lickfinn and Ballingarry. The parish is in Slieveardagh Barony, and an amount of its land would be at present in Ballingany parish, though the old church ruin is in Drangan. This is the place called Cruachan Muighe Abhnae i.e. Croghane Mowney in the Festiology of Aengus, at Oct 5th for the glossographer places it in the territory of Eoghanacth Chaisil. This is rendered absolutely certain by the existence of the well of the Patron Saint and of other names of places in its vicinity, which the ancient authorities place in Eoghanacth Chaisil as Doire na bFlann etc. The name signifies the round hill in the plain of Abhna, which may be interpreted the plain of the river. Magh Abhnai, the name of the plain is still retained in that of the parish of Moy-Owney which bounds Crohane on the east.
Note: A church in Ballykerin; in 1620 a chapel of Ballykerin is mentioned as parcel of the parish of Crohane. The old church of Crohane or Cruachan Magh Abhna was situated in the townland of Crohane Lower on the side of a valley, but all the walls are now destroyed down to the very foundations; it can be ascertained from them however that the church, or part of it, was 28' in length, and 22' in breadth. The walls were built of slaty stones cemented with lime and sand mortar. Its graveyard which is a large one, is still in use, but it contains no ancient monument. The Ord. Survey gives the site of the present Protestant church as on the site of the old one-likely its predecessor. About 150 yards to the north of the graveyard there is a holy well called after the virgin, St Sinech, the patroness of Cruacha Magh Abhna, but no stations have been performed at it since 1810. It was run dry, O'Donovan says, when he saw it (Sept 1840) but it will come to in winter again. Sinech daughter of Fergna of Croghane-Moy-Owney, is a quotation from Aengus the Culdee. In 1640, there were 4 acres of glebe land with the church. They were in Crohane, near the lands of Ballykerrin, tithes were £25. There is in the parish a townland called Kilenahone (Kylenahone) given as the church of the cave in F.N Bk. Coolquill townland is given in Laffan as Coolkile. In the parish also were: (a) a highway called Bamalieghkilly, near Shangarry (b) a hill called Knockneskaghkilly in Kilkenny beg (c) a ford called Aghkilefyan near Ballynonty (d) a ford called Aghkillabrishane beyond Lickfinn. The F.N Bk. translates Coolquill as back wood. A castle ruins yet (1935) in Coolquill, now owned by the 0 Brien family. Notes: All the graveyard of the old Crohane ruin was not enclosed. There is a Protestant church now (1935) on the old site, or rather beside it. Not even a trace of the pre-reformation church is standing. This Protestant church was built about 80 years ago, when the Protestant one in Lismalin went down. People now in Crohane are not certain of the exact position of St. Sinech's well. There are some large tombstones in Crohane graveyard to the Kennedys of Crohane and Killenaule. There is a circular enclosure (large) first beside the present Protestant church, and it could be that it would enclosed the early church of St Sinech.
In 1840 J.O'Donovan wrote that the foundations of the last Catholic Church in Crohane were 28' by 22'. About half a furlong South east of the graveyard were the ruins of a circular castle. It was 21' - 6 in diameter and the walls were 9' thick.The south and east walls were still there in 1840 and were 20' high.
THE GREAT BATTLE OF CROHANE 842
It is not generally known that Crohane was the scene of a battle in which the Norwegians were defeated with terrible slaughter in the year 852. Up to this time the annals record the Lochlanns (Norsemen) had not suffered so great a loss in all Eire. In an ancient compilation known as Three Fragments of Annals translated from the Irish by J. O'Donovan, the following account of the battle is given:
The men of Munster sent messengers to Cearbhall (son of Dunlaing) to come. They also requested that he bring the Danes with him. (The Danes were enemies of the Lochlanns at the time). They asked for help to assist and relieved them against the Northmen who were harassing and plundering them at that time. Clearbhall came with his army of Danes and Gaeidhils and when the Lochlanns saw them they were filled with fear. From a high place (Crohane Hill) Cearbhall addressed his own people first and then the Danes. The speaches are recorded in the book. They then rose out and attacked the Lochlanns. The Locklanns fled to the woods which were then surrounded on every side by Cearball. They killed and slaughtered the Locklanns at Cruachain in the Eoghanacht (Crohane) this victory was gained in 852. There is a field in Crohane called The Canauves or Hodgins Canauves (Irish for Bones).
A history of Sir Kieran published 1992, about Clareen Parish, Co. Offaly, states that Cearbhall was buried in Sir Kieran's churchyard in 885. There is a burial slab with a Celtic Cross marking his grave. The book states he was the most famous of the Kings of Ossory ( He ruled Ossory for 40 years according to the Book of Leinster). In 872 he became King of the Danes in Dublin and was recognised as such until his death 13 years later His descendants are also buried in Sir Kieran's graveyard.
Edited by the Rev. Matthew Kelly, D.D., p. xxxv,.
-Thus: Sinche uir ingen fergnai o Chruachan maige alma.
- In the Leabhar Breac copy we find ; - blog donlúc logmair la cec martir namrae Sínech ingen fergnáe Cruachan Muige Abnae Thus rendered into English by Whitley Stokes -A fragment of the precious stone, with a hundred marvellous martyrs. Sénech Fergna's daughter, of Cruacha Maige Abnae.- Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy. Irish Manuscript Series. Vol. i., part i. On the Calendar of Oengus, p. cxlix.
- Thus ; Sinech ingen Fergnae, .1. maith no Fergnai nomen patrir eiur, rendered into English, Sinech Fergnae's daughter, i.e., good, or Fergnae is her father's name."-ibid, p. cliv. Again ; Cruachan muige Abnae, .1. inicracha,, muige Ilabila in eogailacllt Chairil thus translated, of Cruacha Maige Abnae i.e., in Cruachan Maige Abina in Eoganacht Caisil. ibid, p. cliv.
- See Dr. Whitley Stokes' Felire Hui Gormain, pp. 190-191.
- See Ibid, nn. I.I.
- Known as the Naomh-Shancus.
- In Sancti Rumoldi Martyris inclyti Archiepiscopi Dubliniensis, Mechliniensium, Apostoli, etc.
- The account adds, quos Hiberniae duodecem Apostolos seu Auxiliaries nuncupamus ut et merito Findenum seu Finnianum Sanctorum Hiberniae Magistrum.- ibid. Sectio
-, Dissertatio Historica de Patria St. Romuoldi, par. 11., p. 186. 10 Edited by Drs. Todd and Reeves, pp. 366, 267.
- See Dr. O'Donovan's Geneaologies, Tribes, and Customs of hy-Fiachrach, n.(n.) p. 309.
- Sec Dr. O'Donovan's Annals of tlse Four Masters, vol. ii. n (n) pp. 634, 635. 13 See Lewis' Topographical History of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 399.
- In 852 a great victory was there obtained over the Lochlaelns. It was formerly called Cruachan in the Eoghanacht, or Cruachan Maigh-Eamhna. See Three Fragments of Annals, edited by Dr. O'Donovan, pp. 130 to 136 and n (y)-Ibid.
- We find the following entry in the extracts from Archbishop Butler's Visitation Book, published by Maurice Lenihan, Esq., in the Limerick Reporter of February 18th, 1873, under the head, Cashel of the Kings: 1752, July 9.-J.J. B. Ordinary visited ye chapple of Ballingarry, dedicated to ye Assumption of ye B. V., in good repair, wherein he makes use of two plate chalices of his own acquisition with three vestments whereof one is of white satin laced with silver stole, maniple, etc., all new; the other green brocad but old, the third a good stripe satin with white and green stripe, two good albs with amicts, six good altar towls, together with two altar stones, altar in good order and the altar likewise; one new mass book and an old one in reasonable good order, four corporals entire and good order, one plate pixis guilt with gold inside, oyle stock made of block tin. There are beside the above denomination two more without chappels; the one dedicated to St. John the Baptist, named ye parish of Lismolin; the other dedicated to Sancta Senechia, celebrated on the 5th of October; third, the parish of Croghan, of which three parishes he has collation granted by Arch. Bp.C. B. The aforesaid acknowledged and possessed by Law. -Lonergan.