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Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839

Parish of Kilcorney (a)

This Parish is situated in the Barony of Burren, and is bounded on the northwest and north by the Parish of Rathborney; on the northeast by the Parish of Oghtmama; on the east by the Parish of Carran and on the south by the said Parish of Carran and Noughaval.

The name of this Parish is now pronounced Cill Chóirne, which is the very orthography adopted in the Covenant made in 1675 between Hugh and Cosny O’Davoran. See my letter on the Parish of Noughaval. The name would seem to signify the Church of Saint Coirné, but I cannot find a Saint of that name, and St. Colman Bairé seems to be the Patron of the Parish.

The old Church of Kilcorney (which is now in a state of great dilapidation) consisted of nave and choir, the former measuring thirty nine feet in length and twenty in breadth, and the latter sixteen feet ten inches square. All its features are destroyed and the only part remaining is the north wall which is perfect but featureless, and the south wall excepting fifteen of the west side.

It is said that this is not the original Church of Kilcorney, for the site of a more ancient one is shewn a short distance to (adjoining it on) the west of it.

About half a furlong to the southeast of the Church there is a Holy Well called Tobar na n-Aingeal, and one furlong to the west of it are the ruins of an old Church called Cill Cholmain Bhairé, but no door or window of it remains, the walls being reduced to the height of only two feet above the level of the ground. This Church of St. Colman Bairé and the quarter of land on which it stands (stood) are mentioned in the Covenant made in 1675 between Hugh and Cosny O’Davoran:-

Do chuaidh connradh eatorra fébh mar atá leith-sheisreach Cathrach Mhic Neachtain a bPoróiste Nuachongbhála agus leith-sheisreach Leasa Mhic Taidhg agus leith-sheisreach Leasa Dubháin agus Leasa na Luachranna a bPoróiste Droma Críche, agus leith-sheisreach Chille Cholmáin Bháire a bPoróiste Cille Cóirne, agus iad sin ré chéile anns a mBarúntacht agus a gContae reamhráidhte.

They have entered (inierunt foedere) into a covenant concerning the half ploughland of Cahermicnaghten in the Parish of Noughaval and the half ploughland of Lismateige and the half ploughland of Lisduane, and of Lisnaluaghranna in the Parish of Drumcreehy, and the half ploughland of Kilcolman-Bairé, in the Parish of Kilcorney, all lying and being in the Barony and County aforesaid (i.e., Burren and Clare).

There is however, no division of land at present in the Parish of Kilcorney called Kilcolman-Bairé, though the site of a Church of that name is well known.

In the Townland of Poulnaskagh in this Parish, there is a caher on the brink of a high cliff called after St.Colman Bairé from a belief (tradition) that he inhabited it, and in the Valley of Glensleade there is a Holy Well sacred to him at which Stations were formerly but not at present performed. I have no historical reference whatever to this Saint, unless he was St.Colman Mac Duach, and I do not believe that he was. Q? Was he not also the Colman of Oghtmama?

In the same valley there is another Holy Well dedicated to St. Innyee or Inghean Bhaoith (the daughter of Boetius) the great Patroness of the Dalcassians, whose memory was annually revered in various parts of the County on the 29th of December. I have no historical reference to this famous Saintess either, except one notice of her descent from a branch of the Dal gCais.