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

Parish of Kilmoon (a)

The Parish of Kilmoon is bounded on the west and northwest by the Barony of Corcumroe and the Parish of Killonaghan; on the east by the Parishes of Rath-Bóirné and Killeany, and on the south by the Barony of Corcumroe.

This Parish is called in the original language Cill Múdhain, which certainly means the Church of St. Muadanus, but I have no clue for ascertaining which of the Saints of that name it was called after. Does Colgan mention any St. Modanus, Muadanus or Muganus of Dalcassia or of Boirinn?

The old Church of St. Mudanus stands in the Townland of Kilmoon west. It measures fifty two feet in length and eighteen in breadth, but all its features are destroyed, so that nothing remains to guide the antiquarian in his conclusions as to its age but the character of the masonry, which looks ancient. There is a stone near it exhibiting a mitred head from which it might perhaps be concluded with some safety that the Patron of this Church was Muadanus, Bishop of Errigal Muadhain, whose day fell on the 30th of August. But this cannot be directly tested, for though there is a Holy Well near the Church, to the west, dedicated to St. Moon at which Stations are still performed, still, no particular day of the year is remembered as that of the Saint’s festival.

A short distance to the east of the Church is a standing stone called The Cross, measuring eleven feet six inches in height, thirteen inches in breadth and eight inches in thickness. It was perhaps originally a rude Cross, though it has little appearance at present of its having ever been one.

There is another Holy Well in the Townland of Lisdoonvarna dedicated to the great navigator, St. Brendan, at which Stations are still performed, but St. Brendan’s Day is not remembered. There is another Well in the Townland of Derrynavahagh which is dedicated to Bishop Lonan or Flannan!

In the same Townland of Lisdoonvarna is shewn the site of a Castle which belonged to the family of O’Davoran, but no part of it remains. The last of the O’Davorans who resided here was called Donogh, but it is not remembered how long it is since he lived. Near the Castle is also shewn the site of a dwelling house belonging to the same family at a later period.

The only tradition remembered in connection with the family is that they were very haughty, aristocratical and tyrannical, as indeed all old families of the true game cock breed must have been in barbaric ages.

In this Parish is Caheraclogán, which is mentioned in the list of O’Loughlin Burren’s Castles as a Castle, but no part of it now remains, though a considerable part of the more ancient caher which gave name to it and the Townland, still remains. The site of the Castle should be shewn on the Ordnance Map.

There are several other cahers in this Parish besides the one already mentioned, viz: -

  1. Caher-Bolg, two cahers together in the Townland to which they gave name.
  2. Two cahers in the Townland of Knockaskeheen after which they are now called, but they certainly had a different name originally.
  3. Caher-Barnagh, i.e., the gapped or broken caher, in a Townland of the same name. This also has lost its original name.
  4. A caher in Derrynavahagh Townland and called after.
  5. Lisdoonvarna in a Townland of the same name. The original name of this fort was Dun-a-Bhéarna, the Fort at the Gap.
  6. Caher-Mael in the Townland of Cragreagh.
  7. Lismoraghaun in a Townland of the same name.