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

Parish of Kilfarboy (a)

The Parish of Kilfarboy, in the Barony of Ibricken and Co. of Clare, is bounded on the north by the Parish of Kilmannaheen in the Barony of Corcomroe, on the east by the Parish of Cloony in Corcomroe Barony and the Parish of Eidhneach in the Barony of Inchiquin, on the south by the Parish of Kilmurry in the Barony of Ibricken and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. See engraved Map of Down Survey.

The name of this Parish is of ecclesiastical origin, but whether the component parts are radically correct is more than I am at present prepared to decide. The present form of the name is that by which it is known within the memory of the oldest inhabitant and it is also by that name the Parish is set down in the Book of Regal Visitation. The name as it is spoken would be spelled thus, Cill-Fearbaigh i.e., the Church of St. Fearbach, but of this Fearbach no historical account has reached us.

There is a tradition in the district that this Church is called Kill-Fearbuidhe from a number of (yellow) Spaniards who were drowned, at Spanish Point near it, having been buried here many years ago. That the Spaniards were drowned and buried here is a fact, but whether the peasantry, in striving to account for the origin of the name of the Church, have not pressed this circumstance into their assistance is a matter that may very fairly be surmised. Kill-Fearbuidhe would literally mean the Church of the Yellow Men.

Archdall seems to think that this is the Cill-Foibric mentioned by Colgan (A.A. S.S. p.360) of which Cormac was Bishop, whose death is placed by the same authority in the year 837.

He may or may not be right in this, but he has no proof that Cill-Foibric was situated in the ancient district of Ui Bracain. There is no recollection of Cill-Foibric or of Saint Cormac here, neither is there of any other Saint but of Saint Lachtainn, whose festival is still observed in the Parish on the 19th day of March the same as in Achadh-Uir in Ossory, and whose well is situated within the Churchyard and still much frequented by devotees and invalids on Sundays and Thursdays, nor are those visitors niggardly of their presents to the Shrine of the Saint, for nothing is seen about the well but old nails, shells, Warren blacking pots, bits of old leather, broken saucers, etc., etc.