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

Parish of Kilraughtish (a)

The Parish of Kilraughtish, in the northeast portion of the Co. of Clare, in the Barony of Bunratty Upper, is bounded on the north by the Parish of Inchicronan, south by the Parish of Doora, east by Inchicronan and Clooney and west by Templemaley. See Name Book.

The name of this Parish in Irish is Cill Reachtais, i.e., the Church of Reachtas, but whether Reachtas be the name of the place or of some Saint, we have at present no means of ascertaining. They have no Patron Day in the Parish, but they say that St. Finghein of Quin was venerated here and in Templemaley but the day is forgotten in both places, nor do the people of Quin themselves remember it.

Of the old Church of Kilreachtais, the walls remain perfect. It measures sixty three feet four inches in length and seventeen feet nine inches in breadth. There is a semicircular doorway in the south side, ten feet seven inches from the west gable, five feet high from the present level of the ground and three feet five inches wide, built up with well cut stone. Seventeen feet three inches from this is a rude semicircular window measuring five feet eight inches in height and three feet eleven inches in breadth on the inside, and three feet five inches in height and six inches in breadth on the outside, the little arch here being rudely scooped out of a rough flag stone, the whole built up of common field stones.

There is another window within four feet one inch of the east gable, quadrangular inside and measuring five feet one inch in height and two feet five inches in breadth, arrow-headed in front and measuring four feet three inches in height and six inches in breadth. There is a window in the east gable circular at top inside and measuring six feet six inches in height and four feet two inches in breadth, divided into two arrow-headed divisions in front by a mullion, each division four feet three inches in height and eight and three quarter inches in breadth. There is a small modern stone cross lying in this window, having a small representation of the Crucifixion engraved on it. There is a pointed recess in the same gable to the left of the window, three feet seven inches from the ground, five feet nine inches high, two feet ten inches wide and two feet six inches deep. This had a door and lock to it. No part of this Church appears to be 400 years old.

The following reference to this place is from the Annals of the Four Masters:-

A.D. 1601. The sons of John Bourke and Teige O’Brien, having formed a treaty with one another, Teige in the course of three days afterwards, requested them to accompany him on an excursion into Thomond. His request was not refused, for he was accompanied by some of the Chiefs from the camp with their kerns. On leaving the camp they passed along the borders of Kenel-Aodha (O’Shaughnessy’s Country) and Echtghe and Kenel Donghaile (O’Grady’s Country). They sent forth marauding parties on both parts of the River Fergus into the lower part of the Territory of O’Fearmaic and the upper part of Clann Cuilein. Some of these advanced to Baile-Ui-Aille and to Clonroade and they returned that night with spoils to Cill-Reachtais in the upper part of Clann Cuilein.

Kilreachtais is said here to have been the birth-place of Teige and Maoilin Mac Brody, and several of the name are to be met here still.

                                                                                                 Your obedient servant,
                                                                                                            Eugene O’Curry.
Scarriff, 24th Nov. 1839.

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Ó Inis Cathaigh Sheanáin
Triallam soir co Cill Feadáin
‘S go Triocha Céd na n-Oileán
‘S tar Forgas co Cloinn Choileáin

                                                                                                            18th November 1839.

Dear Sir,
I now cross the Fergus into the eastern half of the County, which is perhaps the most interesting part of the Country of the Dal Cais, but the weather is entirely against us. We shall move to Tulla on tomorrow.