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

Parish of Kilfintanan (a)

This Parish which belongs to the Barony of Bunratty Lower, is bounded on the north by the Parish of Kilfinaghta; on the south by the River of Shannon, which divides it from the County of Limerick; on the east by the Parish of Killeely, and on the west by the Parishes of Kilfinaghta and Feenagh.

This Parish is called in Irish Cill Fintannain, which is understood to mean the Church of Saint Fintanán (diminutive of Fintan) but I do not find a Saint of this name mentioned in the Irish Calendar of the O’Clerys, nor is there any monument or tradition of him in the Parish except the name of the Church.

The old Church called Kilfintanan is in a state of great dilapidation. It was thirty two feet long, and sixteen feet six inches broad and the walls three feet thick. Of the side walls and east gable only four feet in height remain, and the west gable is destroyed down to the very foundation stones. The parts of the walls remaining look very old, being built of very large stones not laid in regular courses, and exhibiting the impress of time. No doorway or window remains.

There is no graveyard attached to this ruin, but children and strangers are buried within it. There is no holy well in its vicinity, and no Saint’s Day is kept in the Parish.

In the south of the Townland of Ballinphonta in this Parish are the ruins of the Church of Croaghaun, measuring sixty five feet in length and twenty feet eight inches breadth. The west gable is destroyed down to its foundation. There is a breach in the south wall apparently where the doorway was. There is a pointed window in the same wall near the east gable measuring on the outside three feet four inches in height and seven inches in width. The east gable contains a pointed window, now much broken, measuring on the outside four feet ten inches in height and one foot seven inches in breadth.

There is a Pagan grave situated at the distance of four perches to the south of this Church called as usual, Leaba Dhiarmada agus Ghraine. There is nothing peculiar in its construction, it being as usual covered overhead with one large flag which slopes a little to the south-east.

In the Townland of Castle Quarter in this Parish, are the ruins of a Castle called Baile an tSleibhe - Ballintlea, but I do not find it set down under that name in the College List, though shewn as a Castle on the engraved Map of the Down Survey.