63 Quarters of Ibrickan


By Donal De Barra ©

Revised January 2019.

Adapted by the author from a talk delivered to the Old Kilfarboy Society on 14th October 2003.

Note that the spelling of Ibrickan in common use among the residents is Ibrickane. Ibrickan, being the official Ordnance Survey (O.S.) version, is used in this paper, except in quotations. All other townlands are spelled in accord with the O.S.


                Petworth Surveys of Ibrickan
                Ellsworth Survey 1615

                Tobar Anastasia - Holy Well
                Moy Castle
                Clooneyogan North


                Kelp House


                Morony family
Milltown Malbay - Sraid na Cathrach

Cloughaun More


References and notes



In the year 1585 the province of Connaught, which, at that time, included Co. Clare was, nominally at least, under the control of Queen Elizabeth, but the Irish Chieftains, including the O Brien’s of Clare, still formed a layer of authority between the English government and the common people and the Brehon laws still operated at least to the extent that they suited the gentry. The government needed to get to closer grips with the territory and with the people. Maps, of sufficient accuracy to enable practical government, did not yet exist, so their first task was to define the territory as closely as they possibly could. This they did by a series of Composition Books,[1] which listed the baronies in each county, together with the number of ‘quarters’ (the equivalent, at that time, of townlands) in each barony[2] and also the names of the people who controlled each of these quarters.

Having identified the actual places concerned, they drew up a document called the “tripartite deed” which purported to be an agreement between the Queen, the “lords spiritual and temporal” and the “freeholders, farmers and inhabitants of the lands.” One purpose of this deed was to remove the Brehon laws entirely from the equation, another was to provide a basis for a taxation system.

This is what the tripartite deed says about the barony of Ibrickan:-

“In the Barrony of Ibreckan there is contained 60 quarters which the said Earle of thomond challengeth wholly and freely to him selfe; Also in poulemullan killarnane and in Emlagh one Quarter; also Clogheane and Dromordeloghe consisting of 2 Quarters challenged by the said Earle  to his household officers, which in the whole within that Barrony cometh to 63 Quarters.”[3]

This reference to sixty three quarters is the earliest we have got as to what composed the totality of Ibrickan, even though only a few of the actual  quarters are named. But in the hundred years, or so, following 1585 there were many surveys of Ibrickan carried out and some, at least, of these, give us detailed lists of the 63 quarters, including details of the perceived quality of the land and of the occupiers at the time. The fact that the later surveys often list exactly 63 quarters cannot be a coincidence and the fact that no two of these surveys gives exactly similar lists can be taken as evidence that the surveyors were not just cogging from one another.

The family papers of the O Briens of Clare are preserved in the archives of Petworth House, Sussex and amongst them  there is a survey of Ibrickan prepared in 1615,[4] which was, apparently the work of Henry Ellsworth.[5] It is written in Elizabethan English, which is difficult to read and hence seems to have escaped the notice of historians until recently[6]. A sample page from this survey here High Res  or Low res. The Petworth archive contains numerous other surveys of the O Brien estates in Ibrickan including:

1 A survey called “an Abstract of the rents and revenues … of Henry  Earle of Thomond … taken 1626.” It lists 63 ⅓ quarters, and gives the names of the tenants. [7]

2 Surveys by Henry Ellsworth in 1634 and 1638 dealing mainly with the quality of the lands.[8]

3 There is a very detailed ”abstract of rents … taken by Thomas Spaight in 1681”, which lists the ‘quarters’, the tenants name, the rents and excerpts from the leases.[9]

4 Lease Book  (of the Countess Dowager of Thomond).[10]

5 Schedule of Unexpired Leases.[11]

6 Thomas Moland Survey 1703.[12]

In addition to the above surveys there is very valuable information contained in the Book of Survey & Distribution[13]

This paper will deal with the Survey of 1615 which gives significant information about west Clare, and about the occupiers of Ibrickan lands, prior to the clearance of the old tenants who held their lands under Brehon law by the fourth Earl of Thomond. In fact, it is very possible that this survey was conducted precisely for the purpose of clearing these old Brehon law tenants and replacing them with merchant adventurers. The survey of 1626 might then be seen as a progress report on this process of tenant replacement.

After the famine of 1822 the government decided to carry out a national survey of the entire country and for the purpose of identifying land holdings they established the Boundary Commission under Richard Griffith.

The Boundary Survey commenced work in 1824/5, marking out, on the ground where necessary, the actual boundaries of every townland. Where they felt it necessary, they subdivided the pre-existing land divisions, to create smaller units. The Ordnance Survey built on the work of the Boundary Commission to produce maps of the entire country at a scale of 6” to the statute mile. This was done in County Clare during the 1830s, when, for Ibrickanl, 109 townlands were created out of the 63 quarters. Fortunately, for Kilfarboy at least, we are able to say what townlands correspond with each “Quarter” because these have been annotated in the Book of Survey and Distribution by an anonymous hand. By the process of sub-division a number of new townlands were created which did not previously merit being called 'Quarters'


The following notes are based on the first fifteen entries in the Survey of 1615, with additional notes relevant to the various townlands.

The re-alignment of the townland structure is dealt with at here

The very first reference, even before we get into Ibrickan is to “the seven quarters of Corcomroe Joyned to that Moy”. For some reason these seven quarters (they are not included in the total of 63) have become detached from the barony of Corcomroe and joined to Ibrickan. Possibly they were granted at some prior time, by the Earl of Thomond to the Mc Gillapatricks for services rendered. These are shown on this map.

We know from other sources[14] that the places concerned are Rinneen, Carrowntedaun, Carrowgar, Calluragh, Crag, (alias Craginmulvihil),Tullygarvan (east and west), and  Maghera, all of which are more or less along the border of the two baronies -- a border that was laid down in very ancient times, prior to the creation of the barony of Ibrickan, between the territories of the Corca Bhaiscoinn (Corcavaskin) and the Corca Moruadh (Corcomroe). The Western part of Corca Moruadh was primarily the O’Connor patrimony although the Earl of Thomond was overlord.[15]

The small present-day townland of Clooneybreen is not counted among the ‘seven quarters’  although it is sandwiched between Rinneen (Kilmanaheen) and Toor (Ibrickan), on the Kilmanaheen side of the barony border. It is listed in the Book of Survey and Distribution in the Parish of Kilmanaheen and presumably it was dealt with as part of Rinneen in the other surveys. The map accompanying Moland’s Survey of 1703 appears to include it with Rinneen.

An inquisition of 1602 shows most of northern Kilfarboy, inter alia in the Lordship of Donald Mac Gorman in 1600, so it seems likely that the Mac Gormans were sub landlords under O Briens and over the  Fitzpatricks etc.[16]

The first Ibrickan entry is:-
“Moy tow quarters------- are set by my lord Bryen to Donagh Mc Gillapatrick”

The two quarters referred to are Moymore and Moybeg, but Moymore included the O.S. townlands of Clooneyogan North, Toor, and part of Aillbrack.
The quarters were controlled by Donogh MacGillapatrick (or Fitzpatrick) and the family of MacGillapatrick had a an interest in at least eleven of the quarters which comprised all the northern part of the parish of Kilfarboy, as shown on this map.
To see who the MacGillapatricks were, we have to go back a little way into the origin of the name Ibrickan.
Ibrickan derives from Ui Bairche which  was the tribal name of the MacGorman family. They were dispossessed from their homelands in the border region of Laois/ Carlow/ Kilkenny by the Normans who, in the second half of the twelfth century were expanding northwards into the Irish midlands[17]. Both the names ‘Ibrickan’ and the present day barony of ‘Slievemargy’ in Laois, are named from the tribe. When they were evicted they split into two groups, one of which moved to Uaithne/Owney in East Limerick, where they would have come into contact with Donal Mór O’Brien, the king of Thomond and Munster, who they had probably encountered on opposing sides, in some of O’Briens earlier exploits in south Leinster.

West Clare, at that time was part of the O’Brien territory, although it was peopled by an ancient tribe, called the Corca Baischoinn, whose patrimony was, basically, west of a line drawn from Ballynacally in South Clare, northwards to Lissycasey and over towards Lahinch on the north shore. The earthquake of c.804 A.D. which according to the annals[18] killed 1010 people must have been devastating for that tribe and they were further weakened by Viking raids, so were probably, not in a position to object, when Donal Mór granted a portion of their territory to the migrants from the East. From Donal Mór’s point of view all his problems lay to the east and it would be to his advantage to have friends at his rear who could, and did, supply men for his campaigns.[19]
Thus the MacGormans settled in north west Clare and endowed their new home with their tribal name – Ibrickan -  derived from their tribal ancestor Breacain.

If we take a closer look at Ossory,  the ancient district which included  Slieve Margy, whence the Ui Bairche emerged, we see their nearest neighbours in their old homeland were none other than the MacGillapatricks. To the north- west were the Ui Bruaidheadha, or MacBrodies and the Ui Faeláins or  Whelans. To the north east the Ui Buidhe, (tribal name of the O Queallys) and south of them were the Ui Drona. There were many other tribes in Ossory, but it seems likely that some part, at least, of these tribes I have named, came here with the Ui Bairche, in what must have been a substantial migration. These families are still represented here, more or less, today. My suggestion is that on arrival in Ibrickan the migrants divided the territory, primarily, between the MacGormans and the Mac Gillapatricks (Fitzpatrick). The coincidence of ecclesiastic sites named after saints with strong Ossory connections suggests that there may have been other groups from that region settled around Kilkee.[20]

It is noteworthy that many of the personal names in the Uí Bairche genealogy have resonance in modern Ibrickan, often with quasi ecclesiastical association, such as; Dimma, modern Kildimo townland; Ernan, modern Killernan townland; Corcoran, modern Kilcorcoran townland; Fiacra, civil parish of Killfearagh adjoining Killard; Breasal, Cloonibrasil fort mentioned in the O.S. namebook, but not on the map; Cellach, Letterkelly townland; Baetan, Ingheana Baoith, see below; Rhuadan, Tobar Ruan, in Clonnlaheen townland. The personal name Moelain occurs also in the Mac Brody family.[21]

Now, about the name Moy,-- in  The History of Ossory we read:-
“In ancient times the Kingdom of Ossory was divided under Brehon  Laws into “Magha”, a term signifying “plains”, of which seven are  recorded in early documents, ------- “[22]
The names of all the major divisions  of ancient Ossory were prefixed with the word Mágh, such as  Mágh Airgead Rois, Mágh Airbh, Mágh Cearbhall, Mágh Mail (interesting, in the context ‘Malbay’), etc. Should we be surprised then, when the MacGillapatricks, having established their new territory, reflect their ancient traditions by calling it Moy with the addition Ui Bracain, to reflect their subservience to the MacGormans. Magh O`mBracain, is exactly what it is called in the annals.[23]
It is unclear what kind of place, these migrants faced when they arrived in west Clare. The earliest reference to the landscape is in Cathréim Thoirdhealbhaigh, written in 1459, and referring to the year 1280 when Thomond was divided  between the rival O Brien factions, “Donough was given the west, with its endless forests, the sea shore and the defensible valleys of Burren and Kinel Fermaic.”[24] As recently as 1573 the Annals of the Four Masters, describing the battle of Beol-an-Chip, a hill near Moy, comments “Noisy were the ravens and carrion crows and (other) ravenous birds of the air, and the wolves of the forest, over the bodies of the nobles slain in battle on that day”
On the other hand, Ibrickan is densely covered with ring forts, which, if we accept the account of Mathew Stout,[25] must be dated about the period 700 – 1000 A. D., but if the area was so densely populated on the arrival of the migrants, they would hardly have been given peaceful possession, and the annals do not record any struggle for the territory. Perhaps the ring-forts, or many of them, had been abandoned even before the new arrivals. Of course it may be that these ring forts were never more than sparsely populated.

So what happened to the MacGillapatricks? Well, for one thing their traditional loyalty to the O Briens had probably taken a heavy toll on the family. They would have been the soldiers for the Earl of Thomond’s part in the nine years war, where there was great loss of life, a loss which may not have worried the 4th Earl too much, if he wanted them out of his property, anyway. By 1626 the MacGillapatricks were reduced from eleven to just four quarters of land. Thereafter they get no further mention in the O Brien surveys, as landholders.
The inquisitions relating to the siege of Tromra in 1642 record that Richard Fitzpatrick was Seneschal of Ibrickan and receiver there for the Earl of Thomond.[26] Shortly afterwards they or some of them appear to have removed to the Aran Islands where the “Fitzpatricks of Aran”[27] gained a reputation for their wealth.

It is interesting that on Inishmaan, Aran there are places called Dun Fearbaigh and Bealach Fearbach, both of which seem to have assonance with Kilfarboy.

Tobar Anastasia and the Ingheana Baoith

Moy castle, the old church of Inis Dia, and the holy well are all located fairly close together, suggesting that this was an ancient settlement centre. The Corca Baischoinn, in their time, would probably have wanted fortifications here also, by way of keeping an eye on their neighbours in Corcomruadh.

There is very little information available to us about the old church.  In 1839 it was called Teampull Inis Dia, which means the Church of the Island of God, where island refers to the fact that it is surrounded by two streams.[28]

The popular name for the holy well in Moy today is Tobair Anastasia,  but I have seen no account of why it is so called. Anastasia has no connection that I can trace with Ireland, not to mention Clare, or Moy (her feast-day is 25 December). O Donnovan, in the O.S. letters of 1839[29] says the well was devoted to Ingheana Baoith, so perhaps some later-day clergy, being doubtful of the origins of Ingheana Baoith, thought it better to “Christianise” the well and that Anastasia bore some assonance with Ingheana (probably pronounced Ina) Baoith.
The story of the Ingheana Baoith, is complex. Michael MacMahon, writing a few years ago about Kilinaboy[30], near Corofin, which also derives its name from Ingheana Baoith, identifies  seventeen holy wells in Clare alone, devoted to this saint (or saints), and notes how the Ingheana Baoith regularly appear in the same vicinity as St. Laichtin.[31] (in this case St. Laichtin’s church and holy well are in the adjacent townland of Kilfarboy).
Fr. Patrick Gaynor, who was parish priest of Kilnamona in the 1940’s, was a keen local historian and also investigated the Ingheana Baoith, because the ancient name of his parish was “Kinelbuith” and its patron saint is St. Laichtin. He hypothesises that the Ingheana Baoith were a community of nuns, from inghean meaning “nuns” as opposed to “daughters”. In his paper he comments:-
“An Irish tribe did not adopt a Saint as Patron unless he were of the tribe or else had lived and worked amongst them. Sections of the tribe who were forced to migrate preserved their traditional devotion and erected shrines in honour of their Patron saints wherever they sojourned. The existence of a church or holy well in honour of a saint does not necessarily imply that he had visited the district but may afford a clue as to the course of tribal  migrations” [32]
With that in mind, I would point out that St. Laichtin, with whom the Ingheana Baoith seem to be associated, was according to the Annals of the Four Masters , abbot of Acadh Ur,[33] or Freshford in the heart of Ossory, the patrimony of the MacGillapatricks. As against this the Ingheana Baoith are regularly associated in literature with St Senan, whose floruit was some five hundred years before the migration of the Ossorian tribes to West Clare.


Moy Castle

The earliest record of the existence of Moy Castle is 1570.[34] Conor O’Brien, the third Earl of Thomond was the owner but it was most likely occupied by the MacGillapatricks, who were the earls Seneschals (Chief Stewarts). Conor had opposed the initial attempts to set up English courts in Ennis and got into a lot of trouble for this, which necessitated his fleeing the country. Ironically, within 100 years English courts were actually operating in Moy Castle.[35]

Possession of the Castle had passed to Capt. Hugh Norton in the 1626[36] survey and to the Fitzgerald family of Tooreen, Ennis, by 1681.[37]

Other occupants of the castle, or a house built beside it were Mr. Frank ‘Rua’ Lysaght who was lucky to escape with his life for his alleged part in the rising of 1798, when his neighbours Hugh Kildea and Michael Murphy were “launched into eternity” from the gallows.[38] According to Seosamh Mac Mathuna, Lysaght was a relative of the Fitzgeralds and this may have been his saviour from the gallows.[39]

Other owners of the castle were Hograve, Davis and Jackson, in succession, before the lands were divided by the Land Commission and the White family who had worked for some of the previous owners got possession of the castle ruins and the land about.[40]

Moy – Other Placenames

Other place names recorded by the O.S. namebooks in Moymore are:
Lissnameach, which they translate as fort of the bees, but is more likely to derive from ‘Lios na Maighe’,  fort of Moy.
“A burial ground called Kylebreeda, The burial ground has been levelled and no trace of it can be seen” the Namebooks do not specify any location, perhaps it was adjacent to the old church – an alternative name for Inis Dia. It is notable that the graveyard in Mullagh is also Cill Breeda.

Places named recorded for Moybeg are:
Lissnacoinni, the fort of the rabbits.
Glenville, glean bhille, the glen of the sacred tree,  this is not very far from the holy well already mentioned in Moymore, and the holy well and sacred tree may have been connected  as a ritual site at the time of the Corca Bhaschoinn.


Clooneyogan North, Toor  and Aylebrack, were part Moy according to the 1615 Survey.

The word  ‘Tuar’ (probably cognate withs ‘Túr’, a tower) originally referred to a field where cattle were penned at night, as was always the practise when the countryside was populated with wolves. In Spring, the Tuar  was  ‘ploughed’ and well manured by the over-wintered cattle and so was suitable for tillage. The demise of the wolf flocks over the course of the 17th century corresponded with the increase in cultivation of flax and the concomitant requirement for places where linen could be bleached safe from roving cattle. The cattle pens, built to keep the livestock in at night, found a new reversed use – to keep the cattle out and thus protect the bleaching linen.  These subtleties of meaning are supported by Dineen.[41]

Beal an Chip

The Annals of the Four Masters record, at 1573 AD, that Conor, Earl of Thomond was vanquished in battle  at Bel an Chip (written in the original Irish Annals as ‘beóil an chip’) by the Inchiquin and Ennistymon branches of his own family.
The entry in the Annals states that the site was the summit of a steep and rugged hill accessed from ‘the pass of Kilmanaheen’. In the notes to his translation of the Annals, O Donovan says:
 Bel-an-chip : mouth of the ford of the stock or trunk of a tree, now Cnoc-a-chip, on the sea shore, in the parish of Kilmanaheen, two miles to the west of Lahinch, in the barony of Corcomroe, and county of Clare. '
In the O.S. letters he refers to it as follows:
“There is a hill on the border of this parish and the Parish of Kilmannaheen in Corcomroe in the Townland of Cearthamha-an-tSeideain, called at present Cnoc-a-Chip, but mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters at the year 1573 under the name of Cnoc Bheoil-an-Chip. We thought it was in the parish of Kilfarboy.”[42]

I have found no reference in the namebooks for Kilfarboy to either Beoil an Chip or Cnoc an Chip. It is not clear from the original references why O Donovan believed that it was in the townland of Carrowntedaun.

There is a hill shown on the OS maps in the townland of Toor, called Bealoughter and referred to in the namebooks as “a high field & the road running through it”[43]



The name books, have little to say about Aylebrack, except that the name means speckled cliff and that it was the property of Thomas Crowe, in 1839.
In Aylebrack lake there is a protruding clump of rushes, just where a crannog might have been positioned.

 A crannog is an artificial island dwelling. In 2002 The Old Kilfarboy Society visited the lake with local resident, John Boyle, as guide. Having shown us Cairn Lackamore, the burial place of a priest killed in penal times, he brought us to the lake and pointed out some interesting, but unidentifiable earthworks, on the western shore. He then pointed to the field nearest the clump of rushes in the lake and told us “the old people said there used to be a drowned school there once”. This may be a tentative reference to a crannog and I wonder if the reference to a “school” might have been to the MacClanchys, hereditary lawyers to the O Briens. The MacClanchys were based in the Knockfin district of North Clare but it is known that a branch of the family settled in the Aylebrack district. Some old Irish manuscripts held by the family have been catalogued by Pádraig Ó Fiannachta.[44]  The piper, Willie Clancy was one of the family and others of them are still live in the area.


Clooneyogan North was another part of the old quarter of Moymore.  The name means Hogan’s meadow or pasture but unfortunately we cannot identify the actual Hogan family involved.

While the basic meaning of ‘Cluain’ is meadow or pasture but  the name often had strong ecclesiastical implications (Clonfert, Clonmacnoise, etc.) and probably referred to a woodland clearing by ascetic monks, especially in wet or marshy land[44a]The Hogans were, in turn, a family with deep ecclesiastical connections, in particular with the parish of Ardcroney in Tipperary but in Killaloe diocese<[44b]. There is, however no known connection between Clooneyogan and the family of Ardcroney, other than the surname.


“Killfearboy one quarter.”

The next quarter listed in the 1615 survey is Kilfarboy, which included the other part of Aillbrack, all of Drumbaun, Leeds, Slievenalicka, or Rockmount  part of Toor and part of Tooreen.
The origin of the name Kilfarboy has caused much controversy over the years, so we will have a quick look at some of the explanations which have been offered.
Most will have heard the translation ‘Church of the Yellow Men’, i.e. from the Spaniards of the great Armada  wrecked in 1588,  but that makes no sense because the name existed in 1302,[45] some  three hundred years before the Armada. It is, of course, possible that the ‘yellow men’ were some earlier group of visitors from Southern climes but unlikely that such a group could have given name to a church and townland here and left no other trace.
Seosamh MacMathuna,[46] who devotes a few pages of his book to the name, offers us ‘Ceill-Feab-Rath’, which he translates as Church of the sanctifying Graces. He offers no evidence, other than assonance.

In the edition of Monasticon Hibernicum on the religious houses of Ireland by Mervyn Archdall, he explains Kilfarboy as “The monastery of Kilfobrick was founded A. D. 741. We find that Cormac, Bishop and scribe of Kilfobrick died  A. D. 837.”[47] That was written in 1786, I don’t think anyone would now accept a connection between Kilfarboy and Bishop Cormac. In a later edition of this book[48] Professor Brian O’Looney, who was a native of Ennistymon, contributed a substantial section on County Clare. In this he discounts the Kilfobrick suggestion and considers the St Laictin connection in some detail and notes the importance of identifying accurately the place called Bealach Feabrath, because the quotation from ‘O’Clery’s Calendar’ reads ”Lachtain, son of Torben abbot of Acad Ur in Ossory, and Bealach Feabrath A.D. 622”[49]. So if he could identify “Bealach Feabrath” as being in this vicinity, it would give credence to this being the saint's homeplace. O Looney notes that “neither Colgan nor O’Clery have attempted to identify Bealach Feabhrath, where St Lachtain is said to have founded his church” and that O’Donovan appears to think that that the reference is to Ballagharay or Ballaghawry, in Kilbolane, Cork, but he says “this conjecture is highly improbable.”
He then goes on to claim that “Bealach Feabrath was the name of a mountain pass (or road) which led from Miltown  Malbay to the territory of Corcomroe through that part of Hy-Breacain or  Ibrickan  anciently known as Bealach Feabrath  where St. Lachtain built his church”.[50] Strangely O’Donovan found no trace of this name forty years earlier, and he would almost certainly have been looking for it! nor is it shown on the O.S. maps or namebooks, unless it is to be identified with Bealoughter (see Beol an Chip above).   Other places claiming to be THE Bealach Feabrath are Killnamartra in west Cork[51],  Mainistir near Charleville, where the name is still current in the mountain range called the Ballyhoura Mountains, (and both have association with St. Laichtain) and possibly Dun Fearbaigh and Bealach Fearbach on the Aran Islands, as I already mentioned.
Others have taken the name as transcribed in the papal taxation of 1302[52] – Kellenfearbrigy - as the church of the standing stones.[53] ‘Fear breaga’ are a recognised type of archaeological monument, but I wonder if our early forebears would have found an unacceptable irony in dedicating their church to a 'false man', which is a direct translation of ‘fear brega’.  Anyway all the place name spellings from the 1302 taxation are haphazard and some are so obscure that they cannot be identified at all. Again, if there were standing stones of such consequence that a church be named after them, we might expect them to be still there.
So having knocked all the other explanations, can I put anything else in their place?
I have already referred to the arrival of the MacGormans/ Ui Bairche and with them came a tribe called the Ui Buidhe whose family name was O’Caolaidhe or O Queally.[54] Although the Queallys are not named as land owners in any of the O Brien surveys they get specific mention in the form Ui Buidhe, their tribal name, in the poem Deoradh Sona Sliocht Cathaoir by Maoilín Óg MacBruaideadha. This is a translation by John O’Donovan of  a part of it :-
            From the country of Hy-Bairrche in the eastern province,
            A party of them proceeded into Ulster
            And another party into Owney-Cliach
            Where they settled at Doire –Sen-Liath
            They peopled Owney of the lucid border
            And then were called Clan-Gorman
            The youths of Cearmna, who had migrated westwards
            With a Lagenian battalion and cattle
            Out of this country (Owney) they proceed to shun their patrimony
            The territories of Hy-Bairrche and Hy-Buidhe
            But found not a settlement (country) like them,
            They selected after migrating to the west
            Hy-Breacain, a healthy land
            A gloomy land, but prosperous after them
            Under the select (distinguished) race of fair Brian (the O’Briens)
            This tribe of ever living fame have been
            During a period of four hundred years
            Supporting poets and feeding the poor
            Over this fair-glebed plain of cooling breezes.[55]

Though, the poem mentions both the Hy-Bairrche and the Hy-Buidhe[56], he mentions only the MacGormans by name and not the O  Caolaidhes, but then MacBruaideadha was hereditary poet to the Mac Gorman family specifically, although they did get ‘promotion’ at some stage to be hereditary poets to the O Briens also[57]. Note also that the poem mentions “a Lagenian battalion and cattle” and ‘battalion’ implies a large group of people.
It appears that the MacGormans, who settled initially in the southern part of Ibrickane were accompanied by the Hy-Buidhe and MacGillapatricks, (inter alia) who settled in the northern part. And that the Hy-Buidhe built the church of Kilfarboy and called it after their own tribe ‘Fearaibh Buidhe’. The use of “fear”, men of, as a collective or sept  name was not very unusual as is evidenced in Mainistir Fhear Maighe, Fermoy or Fir Monach, Fermanagh.
Perhaps further work will show that The Ui Buidhe did not stay too long around Kilfarboy, but moved inland towards Kilnamona, where a tribe called Kinelbaoith, with a devotion to St Laicthin, and wells named for Ingeana Baoith are well attested.

It is beyond the scope of these notes to consider the relationship, if any, between the Uí Buidhe, Kinelbaoith and Ingheana Baoith.
I have already dealt with the holy well, which of course was dedicated to St Laichtin, not St. Joseph. The substitution of St Joseph appears to have been done by Fr. Bugler, P. P. about 1863, on the ingenious, but absurd explanation that the name Laichtin was derived from the Latin “Lactentius” meaning milk, hence the fosterer, and St Joseph was the foster father of Jesus, and so Joseph was the English for Laichtin![58] By coincidence the feast days of St Joseph & St Laichtin both fall on 19th March.

There is little enough information available about Kilfarboy church. I presume it to have been first built about the time of the arrival of the Ui Buidhe, in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century. T J Westropp says that nearly complete re-building was effected during the 15th and early 16th century.[59] I remember visiting it in the company of Sean O Murchadha[60] some years ago, and he pointed out that many of the large stones around the base of the church walls appear to have been deliberately radiused, he suggested that there may once have been a round tower there which was knocked and the stones reused in the re-building of the church.

Canon Dwyer[61] quotes a number of “visitations” of the Diocese of Killaloe in the years 1615, 1622 and 1633 and these suggest that both Kilfarboy and Kilmurry Ibrickan were functioning churches in that period. Probably the ‘unrepairing’ of them was done by Cromwell’s troops a few years later.

The other placenames within Kilfarboy are:-
Drumbaun, the white ridge. But this may also be a composite of Druim and Bawn, where Bawn refers to an enclosure for cattle, being a corruption of Bó Dún’, a cow fort. There is a hill in Drumbaun called Knockabullaunduff, and this is translated in the namebook as the hill of the ”black bull heifer”. If we take the” bull heifer” to be a bullock then it is probably right, although in archaeology  a bullaun is a natural hole or hollow in a rock which would hold water and had curative and superstitious connotations.

Last in this group is Leeds, and there is a wide choice of meaning for this placfename:-
The O.S. namebook gives Liath Duth, grey coloured lands.
Frost in his Townland Names of County Clare[62], gives Lias, a hut for lambs.
P.W Joyce in Irish Names of Places[63] says, “Lead, shortened from Leithead, breadth i.e. a broad piece of land”.(It is one of the narrowest townlands in Ibrickan!).
Dineen ,  gives, a ladle, scoop,  or spoon, or “A large stone or boulder, any stone or flag or flat stone”[64] this latter I think, is the meaning intended. We’ll come back to this when dealing with the name Leagard.



The Ellsworth survey of 1615 lists the “the Dauynes” as occupier of Kilfarboy. If the ‘u’ is read as ‘v’ then the name becomes Davyne[65], which opens a number of possibilities. Wolfe conflates Davan with Devine, Diamond, Devanny, Dwan and Downes, Kidney etc.[66] It is particularly interesting that one of the conflated names, Diamond, Ó Diamháin is derived by Wolfe from Dioma / Diomán which he says is “the name of an old ecclesiastical family  in Ulster”[67] However the name Dioma is closely associated with Kilfarboy parish in that there is a townland in the parish named Kildimo, there is another townland of the same name near to Kilkee (civil parish Kilfearagh), and our neighbouring parish is Inis Díómáin (Ennistymon). The townlands of Lisdeen (Civil parish Kilfearagh) and Lisheenydeen (Civil parish Kilmurry McMahon) may also be cognate, as may Caherdavin in Limerick, close to the Clare border.

There is a further complication in the existence of another west Clare parish of Kilmacduane. This name is sometimes derived from Mac an Domhan, son of the world, or the Saviour and there are holy wells in this district (and countrywide) dedicated to Rí an Domhnaigh[68], king of the world. But almost invariably the medieval churches of West Clare are named for Irish ‘saints’ although there are some dedications to biblical saints. The surname Downes and it’s derivative MacGuane are still very common in west Clare.

Like so many of the saints of west Clare there are echoes with the border area of Laois/Carlow/Kilkenny whence a ‘batallion’ (see above) came to settle in Ibrickan in the late 12th century. Lord Walter Fitzgerald identifies “Keildounan, or Kildownan – This district corresponds with the Slievemargy Barony portion of the parish of Rathaspick.”[69] In The Calendar of Papal Registers there is a “Mandate to collate and assign to William Devenis, rector of the parish church of Rosconille in the diocese of Ossory, the canonry and prebend, value not exceeding 14 marks, of the church of St. Lactanus, Achoyr [Achad Úr = Freshford], in the same diocese”.[70]

There are a number of references in the Calendars of Papal Registers to show that the O Davans were an ecclesiastic family in west Clare:
1. 15 Aug. 1418 “Mandate to collate and assign to John Odamyn, clerk, of the diocese of Killaloe, who lately received papal dispensation, as the son of a priest and an unmarried woman, to be promoted etc…. to the perpetual benefice without cure called the rectory of the lands in ecclesiastical fee of Kyllnafearbugy in the said diocese”[71].

2. 15 Feb 1456. “Mandate, the pope having been informed by Donatus Odauin, priest, of the diocese of Killaloe (Laonien.), that Maurice Odauin, perpetual vicar of Cilleferbuidi in the said diocese, an open and notorious fornicator, has dilapidated etc. the goods of the vicarage and committed simony, to the shame of the clerical order.” [72]
3. 28 Mar 1474 “Mandate to collate and assign to John Macorinayn, [Mac Gorman] clerk, of the diocese of Killaloe … the perpetual vicarage of Kylsernil [?] in the same diocese, value 8 marks sterling, void by the death of Maurice Odamin extra R.c.[73]
4. 1458-1471. Both Cornelius Odayn and Donatus Odamyn are mentioned in summary of Bulls now lost.[74]

Frost in his History of Clare says of Kilmacduane “No information exists as to the history of the patron of this parish. His name, Mac an Dubhain, the son of Duvan, is mentioned in an old Life of St. Senan, and it is likewise stated there that his church was subordinate to that of Inniscathy.”. I have found no further information on this.

There is also reference to “several mem­bers of the Le Davenoys family “ of Limerick in The Carews of Cork by Paul MacCotter in the  Journal of the Cork Historical Society 1994, but I can find no connection between these and west Clare.

A Dictionary of Irish Saints has two entries each for both Damhan and Dubhán but none of these have any connection with Clare.[75]

The O.S. namebook also mention Theanaleeda, Leeds House, “alternative name Woblen Hall”, residence of Mr. Jon Burke. I cannot account for this.


The next quarter on the 1615 list is “The Fyntraghks, tow quarters” (being Fintramore and Fintrabeg) which again were in the hands of the MacGillapatricks and were in the lordship of the MacGormans in 1600.[76] Possibly  Carrickpatrick House, which no longer stands, was originally named for the MacGillapatricks.

During the 1600’s the Fyntras showed a change of ownership at every survey:
1615                                       Existed in the hands of Danell Lith mc Gilla patrick John mc Gillapatrick and others of that sept …
1626                                       Fynin McDermod
1656                                       Clanchys, Mortagh Mc Bryen, Mohon Mc Namara, Teige Mc Inerhiny
Census of 1659                  Clanchys and Moyleene Mulroney
1675 & 1681                       James Haly,  John Quinlavin, Teige Mc Incarigy
1712                                       Wm. Fitzgerald.

Although the lands appear to have been sold off on 3 August 1745 (as a fee farm)[77] by Percy Wyndham O Brien who had inherited the O Brien estates in 1741, the O.S. namebook shows that Col. Windham, of Petworth House, Richard Stacpoole and John Carroll were the owners in 1845?

In the 1870s Martin Carroll attempted to develop a seaweed processing industry and built the ‘Kelp House’ near the White Strand for the purpose of drying the weed[78] and in 1883 Michael Kenny organised a petition by the business people of the area for the construction of a pier at ‘Merville Bay’.[79]

Prior to the sale of 1745, during the years 1708 to 1728 there was a complicated series of transactions, by which the lands of Annagh, Fintramore and Fintrabeg, changed hands twelve times,  sometimes twice on the same day, between Moronys, Comyns, Stacpooles, Ivors, O’Dwyers and Vandelures (within Fintra are specified lands called Knockeganniff, Knockathanvally, and Parahas). I have not gone into the detail of these very complex deeds, but there is little doubt that their purpose was to circumvent the penal laws.

By 1814 the gentry had started to follow the example of Thomas Morony in building houses in this fashionable area.  

The name books record the following for Fintramore:
                “a house called Carrickpatrick House.  The residence of Mr. Cox.
                A house called Aran View residence of Mr. Butler.
                A fort called Lisscloona.
                A fort called Carrickpatrick Fort.
                A house called Merville House, residence of Mr. Carroll.
                A house called Belmond------------Augustine Fitzgerald.
                Seaview/ west paradise House property of John Mc Mahon.
                A point called Carrickpatrick.
                A hole called Poulataggart, where the priest said mass in penal times.
                A subdivision called Knockathanvalla, the hill of the old booley or milking place, a good house occupied by Jn Frost, now by a herd. Also called old town.
                Knockathanvalla House  formerly the residence of Edw. Comyn, now a herd.
                [illegible] the summer residence of Mr. Philip Beagh.
                Prospect Lodge  The residence of Wm. Creagh.”

Cloonmore was added as a subdivision on the actual map, as was Victoria cottage, and Mount Edward.

And for Fintrabeg:
                “A point called Creg.
                A point called  Rinnanoughter.
                A house called coastguard.
                A house called Sandymount House  residence of John Kerin.
                A house called Creampoint house  residence of Mr. Hehir.
                Moybeg,  a rock about 40 perches into the Atlantic.
                Gougaveena   Gobhagh- a- fíona-- cave of  the wine.
                Knocknaganniva        a subdn.”


Quarter number six is "Balymacvaiskyn one quarter" - Ballyvaskin, which was a single unit until the Boundary Commission divided it into North and South.
Nearly all the older surveys agree that the full name is Ballyvickvaskin, but in modern parlance the central vick, son is dropped but the history is no less difficult, whether we try to find Baschoinn or his son, --  baile vick vaskin means the homestead of Baschoin’s son.
The name brings us much further back into history than Moy or Killfarboy. In fact it brings us into prehistory where everything we read has, at least, a question mark over it.
Many people will be familiar with the ‘vaskin’ part of the name from “Corcavaskin”, which has lately become a fashionable, if vague, name for West Clare. The Baschoinn concerned is the same in both names. I have already mentioned that the whole of West Clare, was the territory of Corcavaskin, which derives from Corca meaning ‘the tribe of’ , in the same way as “Dal” “Ui”, or “Fearaibh” for that matter.
According to the annals[80] Conaire Mor, King of Ireland at the beginning of the first millennium, A.D. had three sons, called, Cairbre Musc, from whom Muscraí in Cork is named, Cairbre Riada, from whom Dal Riada, later Scotland, is named and Cairbre Baschoinn who gave us the tribe of Baschoinn. Their grandfather on the mother’s side was Conn-Céad-Cathach, or Conn of the Hundred Battles. The genealogies trace the current family of O’Donnells in west Clare right back to this High King.[81]
It appears that the territory was subdivided on the death of Donnchadh Mac Mahon, in 1488 into East and West and possibly this was when Ibrickan was first carved out as a barony in its own right.
The annals have very little to say about the tribe of Baschoinn in the first thousand years A.D, but the life of St. Senan, who was of the Uí  Baschoinn, gives us an account (“probably reliable,” according to Westropp)  of life in Corcavaskin in the early sixth century  ”the lesser gentry owned farms, sometimes many miles apart, shifting their cattle from one to the other, as the occasion arose; the more important chiefs dwelt in castles or duns, and when a raid was organised against a neighbouring state, all the youths of the district were called to serve”[82]

There is a strong possibility that the Vaskin reference is to the Basques i.e. a tribe originating in the Basque region of Spain. This is supported in the final conclusions of J.P. Mallory who suggests three paleogenetic phases in the origin of the Irish population the earlliest of which “saw the initial settlement of Ireland by populations originally stemming from southwest Europe after the last Ice age”[83]
The name Ballyvickvaskin implies that the prince Son of Baschoinn,  actually lived there and, incidentally it is the only townland name in Clare containing the element “Vaskin”.  This residential aspect is re-enforced by the placename, ‘Grianán’, a subdivision in the middle of the townland. Much has been written about “Grianán“ as a placename, basically it means a sunny spot but to quote from John O’Donovan, again, he was writing about another Grianán,
-----“you will remember that among other words, we discussed the meaning of the Irish word Grianán. I agree with you perfectly  that it signifies a splendid palace but I incline to think that the  name has been given to such a house from the idea of grandure or splendor only, not because it was so constructed that the sun might shine into it “[84]
P.W Joyce says “it’s literal meaning is a sunny spot--- it is of frequent occurrence in the most ancient Irish manuscripts…  O’Brien [dictionary] explains it as a royal seat, in which sense it is used by the best Irish writers and is unquestionably its general meaning”[85]
There are still some very interesting stone walls in the place and possible remains of a fulacht fia, but it would be difficult to say much about the archaeology without excavation, and the only excavation being done there recently is for the erection of telephone masts.
The following account is from the schools folklore collection of 1935 :-
“In the hills of Ballyvaskin there are huge stone walls. Here it is that the Prince of Corca Bascinn lived from the beginning of the Christian era to the battle of Clontarf. There are some landmarks of past history in this place. There is a triangular piece of ground surrounded by a huge stone wall and it is called “An Grianán” which means a court or a place of amusement. There is a huge heap of stones in a field near An Grianán. This is the fire in which the warriors of old used to cook their meals.
“Once the Prince of Corca Bascinn was holding his annual feast, he sat on his chair with his druid beside him. His guests were arriving from every part of west Clare, some rich, some poor just as we are to-day, but the druid took no notice of any person that came. During the feast a pair of people came in and the druid stood up and gave them his chair. The prince asked him why he did this and the druid answered that this woman would be the mother of St. Senan, who would preach and baptise the people of Corca Bascinn.
                                    Maura Mc Mahon, Got from my father, Station Road , Miltown Malbay.[86]

The story about St. Senan may have been inspired by the mound called St Senan’s bed in the Freagh (Drummin) graveyard nearby.

Ballyvaskin was part of the land occupied by the MacGillapatricks in 1615. In 1681, Edmond O’Dwyer held it on lease of three lives. William Fitzgerald bought out the freehold in 1712, for £210.

There were some other placenames within Ballyvaskin at the time of the Ordnance Survey, but they are not recognised now.
Gurtaveige: As with Tooraveige, the standard translation for this would be the ‘field of the whey’, from the Irish meadhg, whey or juice but Dineen has another word baodhg[87], meaning a fall away of rock, and given the disused quarries in the area the second seems a more likely source for ‘veige’.
Lisoyas is in  the namebook as a name of a fort (but not shown on the maps), it means the ‘fort to the south’.


Number seven on the survey of 1615 is “Kearrow keale one quart” - Carrowkeel which “existed in the hands of Teig mcGillapatrick.”

In 1626 the tenant of Carrowkeel is listed as Daniel Mergagh and in 1681 Thomas McInerney, who also held Kilfarboy and both were, in 1712, in the hands of William Fitzgerald as a fee farm.

Micheál Coimín, (1676-1760 ), poet and novelist lived in Carrowkeel after he was forced, by mounting debts to move there from the family lands at Kilcorcoran, which they had held since the 1670s. His son Eamon (Edmond Comyn) was born in Carrowkeel and built Milford House, which still stands and is in the possession of the O Loughlin family. Eamon was a character of standing in his own right. He was married to a daughter of Edmond Moroney, of Miltown House, who was apparently the leaseholder of Carrowkeel at the time, Moroney holding the land, in turn, from Fitzgerald. Eamon was the subject of Tomás O hAodha’s drama ‘Seabhac na Ceathramhan Caoile’[88]

O hAodha describes the “Seabhach” as “an extremely handsome man and of splendid physique. In addition he was possessed of lion-like courage, was a dexterous swordsman, a noted duelist, and the idol of the people amongst whom he lived.”[89]

The internal placenames include Aghataggart, which means the ‘priests ford’. Perhaps it is related to the eviction in 1829, when James Fitzgerald got a court decree to evict the Rev. Patrick Murray “on a determined tenancy, to recover that part of the lands of Milford”.[90]

Carrowkeel means the ‘narrow quarter’.
Other placenames within the townland are Gortbrack, the ‘spotted field’.
Ballyonphonta, explained in the namebook as “Town of the pound”, but there should be no ‘T’ in ponta for that meaning.
Milford House, is of course named in English and a millstone is still to be found in the vicinity of the house..

Cloonbony was part of Carrowkeel, the first part of that name, Cluain we already dealt with under Clooneyogan, the second part, ‘bony’ has nothing to do with rabbits, it could be either from a cow, Bóinn, a goddess ( a quo The Boyne) or Buine, a flood, or place liable to flooding. Given the geography of the place, the last would seem most likely.

Clonbony Bridge was the spot where an 11 year old boy named Denis Kerin died on the night of 30th September 1850. He had been an inmate of the auxilliary workhouse, which was the Atlantic Hotel in Spanish Point. That morning a party of 85 boys and 17 adults were brought walking, in very bad weather to Ennistymon to have their cases re-assessed. They got nothing to eat all day and on the return journey to Spanish Point the weather was so bad that the group got dispersed. When they were rounded up on the following day Kerin was found dead on Clonbony Bridge. He “had very bad clothes, only a small bit of lining as a trousers”. Although paupers were dying every day IN the workhouse and no attention paid to it, because this death happened outside the premises but under the workhouse management it attracted international attention. Inquiries were held, and the master of the workhouse was dismissed, temporarily, at least.[91] Just another tragic incident of the famine years!


Number eight on the list is "Leackamore half a quarter" "The other half of the said Leackamore being one half quarter" - the two half quarters of Lackamore,  which included the present-day townlands of Cloonyogan South and Illaunbawn, altogether forming a substantial block of land which is a somewhat isolated from the rest of Ibrickan by the hills of Rockmount, and Lackamore itself. Part of this was occupied by Danell O’Heliry, the other part being inhabited unofficially, it seems by the MacGillapatricks. The Hillerys are a Dalcassian Clan, and may have been there before the MacGillapatricks arrived. Intermarriage could also account for their presence. Despite its size, some of the surveys show it as only a half a quarter in total, perhaps this was because of the mountainy nature of much of  the land.
The census of 1659[92] gives the “tituladoe” as Michael Creagh, who might well have be Micheal Coimín’s father-in-law. In 1626 the tenants were Danell Granagh and Giollabreeda MacBrodie., and by 1681 the Fitzgeralds had gathered it into their lot.
I have not found any record of the sale of the freehold, but presumably it was included in the lands purchased by William Fitzgerald, even though it did not get special mention. It was all owned by the Fitzgeralds in 1839.[93]

Lackamore means the ‘big hillside’, and there was a village there called Gurteencoolgreine, meaning the ‘field with its back to the sun’, because it was on the northern side of the mountain.

In Clooneyogan the ordnance Survey found a large hill called “Gortaprechane, remarkable for the large flocks of red-shanked crows”. These birds are now called choughs, they are the rarest member of the crow family and in Ireland, are only found, along the south and west coast.


Number eleven is "Liggard and Killcorkrane three quarters" - Leagard and Kilcorcoran. I think the third quarter, which is not named is Breaffa, north and south. The present-day  Ballynew was a subdivision by the Boundary Commission out of Kilcorcoran. Leagard today is broken into north and south, so in all this unit which comprised six modern townlands, was in the hands of the MacGillapatricks, and it continued in their possession after 1626. The town of Milltown Malbay covers a number of townlands with the main street being the boundary between Leagard, to the east and Breaffy to the west.
O hUidhrins Topographical Poem,[94] written in the 14th century, gives the following verse, describing the occupants of Kilfarboy Parish:-
            Line 1375:
            “Flaith Ó mBracáin na mbrat sróil,     The chief of ui Bracain of satin cloaks
            taoiseach fá tromdha tionóil,              Chieftain of heavy hosting
            Ó Maoil Chorcra fá chlú mear            O Maolcorcra of fast fame
            Ó bhrú ochta an dá inbhear                Of the margin of the two invers.

In a footnote on Maolcorcra John O’Donovan says:
“O`Maolcorcra -  This name is now unknown in the barony of Ibrickan. This family would appear to have sunk into insignificance when the Mac Gormans were transplanted into their territory.”
The family may be gone but they are still commemorated in the placename, Kilcorcoran. Maolcorcra, means devotees of Corcoran, from Maol, meaning bald or tonsured, as a monk devoted to a saint. It is also possible that the MacGormans were not transplanted into O’Maolcorcra territory, as O’Donovan says, but rather that they brought a devotion to Saint Corcoran with them, and built a church in his honour when they got here, perhaps, choosing this site for the new church near a pre-existing holy well.

This was also the site of the graveyard called Kyleatruim, which was likely attached to a church, of which only very rude remains now exist overground. According to folklore the graveyard was moved to a new location at Ballard under pressure from the Comín family who lived adjacent and were discommoded by the lamentations of bereaved relatives during interments.

The name Kyleatruim is generally translated ‘the church of the elder tree’ but the O.S. name book[95] gives it as Kyleatneem, ‘the burial ground of the knot.’ The holy well and ‘saints bed’ are still there. The visible remains of the ‘saints bed’ include a sharply triangular stone protruding from the ground reminiscent of other structures which are believed to be saints reliquaries, so perhaps the MacGormans/Fitzpatricks brought a relic of St. Corcoran with them from the east.[96]

The traditional power of the well water to cure sore eyes is still strongly believed in locally, although the well is overgrown and difficult to access.

“Ligard”, together with” Breaghva, Poulovolin, Carogar, Dough, and Knockelosgerane” were leased for three lives, in 1681, to Samuell Foxen, his wife and son.[97] Foxen, was a Dutch merchant who, apparently, did not stay for long, because the same block of land was bought by Edward Morony in 1750, as a fee farm (outright ownership).[98]

This purchase by Edward Morony in 1750 was the start of the Morony landlordship in Ibrickan. Although Westropp refers to Moroney being in possession of ‘Poulavullin’ in 1680 [99] the rent abstract of 1681 does not show any Morony involvement with the Ibrickan barony. Edmond was also involved in the series of transactions between 1712 and 1728 involving Fintragh and Annagh, which I have referred to above.
The Morony family probably originated in Cork, from where some of them moved to Ballingarry in Limerick, and they acquired lands in Doonaha, in West Clare and had connections with Kilmacduane (Cooraclare) also. Edmond, and Thomas (who may have been a son of Edmond), must have noticed how Kilkee was developing as a tourist resort[100] and saw the potential for similar development in his newly acquired estate at Breaffy (Spanish Point). Thomas built Miltown House (now St. Joseph’s Secondary School) about 1780, and set about attracting Limerick businessmen to build holiday or retirement homes in the area. The formation of the business partnership by which the Atlantic hotel, was built, must have been very novel at the time, and if the records exist, it would be worthy of detailed study. For the development of the hotel the main problem would have been the very limited road access from Limerick which was the main market, and their choice would have been between a road over Mount Callan to Ennis or a route to Kilkee along the coast. Kilkee was also being established as a tourist location and, the travel writer, Mary John Knott[101] had no difficulty getting there in 1836, via the Shannon and Kilrush.

During the famine of 1822 the government instigated a significant project of road building in west Clare to provide employment for the starving poor. This circumstance was, apparently, pressed to the Moronys’ assistance, and the road from Kilkee to North Clare, passing the Atlantic Hotel, and including Bealaclugga bridge (Bellbridge) was built under the direction of John Killaly,[102] as a famine relief scheme. The scheme was probably orchestrated by Morony for his own benefit. Having crossed the new bridge the road went around by the coast to Spanish Point and then on to Miltown. The connecting road from Bealaclugga bridge to Goodlands Cross was made at a later date. Morony also needed a market town to bolster his tourist development, and evidently the nearest population base of any consequence was around the “Cathair” which was originally a stone fort on the right as you go from Church Street, Milltown Malbay to the cross for Carrowkeel and Kilfarboy, about 100 yards from the church.
There is nothing now, to indicate the exact spot where the Cathair stood, (although Johnny Killeen, who lived adjacent, knew the field in which his house was sited as “the Cathair Field”) but the name suggests that it was a stone fort in the style of north Clare, rather than of sod walls as was the norm in Ibrickan. This is marked on Pelhams map of 1787 as Ca---garriff and is given in Taylor and Skinner’s Road Atlas, 1778 as Caghryariff. There is a list of castle builders in the British Library[103] which states that Cathair Gharbh was built by Cathal Croibhdhearg and this Cathal is also credited with castles at Lahinch and Moher.

Cathal Croibhdhearg O Conor -- ‘Cathal of the wine-red hand’ was King of Connacht from 1189 to 1199,and was half-brother of Ruaidhrí O Conor, last high king of Ireland. Although his wife Mór, was daughter of Donal Mór O Brien  of Clare,[104] there does not appear to be any connection with the O Connors of North Clare.  There is no further reference to any involvement with West Clare so we may presume that the implication of the castle-builders list is that Cathair Garbh was built during his reign.

For want of any further information we can translate this as Cathair Gairbh, the rough fort, or, possibly, Cathair Ui Gairbh. According to Lewis’ topography[105]  the O’Garbhs (Garveys) were predecessors of the O’Connors in Corcamruadh.

Neither of the present two roads eastwards from the town of Miltown is shown on Pelham’s map of 1787, so, if there was no main cross roads there at the time the only likely attraction for a developer would have been whatsoever  population base surrounded the Cathair. Otherwise there was no reason for Morony not to establish his town around his house and new hotel at Spanish Point.

There can be little doubt that it was Thomas Morony invented the name Miltown Malbay[106], with a view to establishing a coastal image for a town that wasn’t quite on the coast, the town part of the name would have been important to him also and with a mill from his own townland of Poulawillin, which, arguably means ‘Milltown’, even if the geography is a bit askew, he had a nice onomatopoeic name. He probably thought to drop one of the ‘l’s for individuality.

The name Miltown Malbay does not appear at all in 1778, when Taylor & Skinner’s Road Atlas shows ‘Caghryariff’ as four houses, but nine years later it appears on Pelhams map spelt with one L. It is very likely that Pelham consulted with Morony before producing his map, as the map shows Miltown House at Spanish Point, as it does most ‘gentlemen's seats’ and also 'Pollemallen'.

In 1781 Morony applied for a patent for a fair at Miltown Malbay[107], and in 1814 he had attracted a postal service[108]. He obviously worked enthusiastically to develop the town. Lewis describes it in 1837 as  “Owing to the exertions of the late Mr Morony, this place, since the commencement of the present century, has risen from a mere hamlet to be a fashionable bathing place; and among the houses, which are in general neatly built, are several of a superior description, occupied as bathing-lodges, during the season.“[109] He then goes on to describe the hotel which was built in 1810. Lewis also says that courts were still being held at “Lord Egremonts manor of Moih”


No. 13 on the 1615 survey is “Gleandowne and Cloghanemore”, which included the present townlands of Glandine North and South and also Caherogan, Knockbrack, Cloughaun Beg, Silverhill and part of Tooreen, although Cloughan Beg was treated as a quarter in its own rite in many of the other surveys.  These together with no 15, “Kearowgarr, Cnoc an Loskreayan and Dugh” were in possession of the MacGillariogh, or Gallery family. These are an old Clare family, associated in early times with Clondegad[110], where they were listed as castle-owners[111] and it seems possible that they also held these Miltown lands from ancient times, maybe even before the arrival of the Ui Bairche. It looks as if Donough, the Earl of Thomond, was in the process of removing them from their property, to judge from the entry in the survey “in the hands of Donagh McGillariogh, late desceased and after him the hands of his sonnes till” with the bit about his sons crossed out as though they were removed during the course of the survey and replaced by Edmond Comyn. The family disappeared from the surveys, as landlords, after 1626 when they are named only in connection with “Knockliscany” (Knockloskeraun ?). However, Cornelius Gallery is named in the series of Penal Law deeds which I mentioned in connection with Fintramore. The fact that they ‘disappeared’ in a similar manner to the MacGillapatricks suggests that their removal was a matter of policy with Donough O’Brien, for the reasons I have already suggested.
Both these divisions were retained in the ownership of the Leconfield Estate - survivor of the original O Brien Lords of Thomond - until the land was finally divided by the Land Commission in 1912.
The name Cloughanmore, comes from Cloughán, which is common in Clare, meaning a cluster of houses. The surprising thing about it is the degree of ambivalence amongst so many senior historians about this meaning. O’Donovan, O’Curry and P.W. Joyce, to name but three, were adamant that Cloughán meant a stony place, or a place with stepping stones.[112]
More recently a Welsh geographer, working in Ireland, E Eystn Evans, identified these house clusters all over the North and West of Ireland, they weren’t hard to find! and “christened” them “clachans” a word he claimed to import from the Scottish Highlands where exactly the same clustered rural settlements exist. Evans then wrote extensively about his theory, and never completely abandoned an early “improbable” suggestion that they dated to pre-Celtic times.[113]
In reviewing Evans’ book Irish Folkways[114], Kevin Danaher, the eminent Irish Folklorist, said “one such unhappy choice is the Gaelic word Clachan  (literally a “thing of stone”) to mean a group of dwellings, a small village or hamlet.”[115] Danaher goes on to acknowledge that the word could have that meaning in Scotland but not in Ireland. Kevin Whelan, an eminent geographer and historian launches  a severe tirade against Evans. He denies the term Clachan existed in Ireland and says “As well as abandoning the term itself, (clachan) we should also reassess the validity of the concept that this settlement term is of indubitable antiquity. No proof of this has been adduced, despite admirable and sometimes ingenious searches in the archival, toponymic and archaeological record. The present state of knowledge only warrants the acknowledgement that such villages existed in the seventeenth century.”[116]
There are 13 townland names in Clare with the element “Cloghán” in them and many more internal subdivisions of townlands, and all of them refer to clustered dwellings, and, although it is outside the scope of this paper, I think I could warrant that, in common with most other Clare townland names, they all pre-date the seventeenth century, in many cases by at least 500 years. In many of these Cloughán places the house clusters still exist.

The namebook gives one internal name for Cloughaunmore, A hill called Barnabawncallán, the white gap of Callan.


No 15 on the Survey reads “The Kearowgarr, Cnock an Loskreayn and Dough, containing in all tow quarters and the third part of a quarter”  and there are a few points of interest in that. First Kearowgarr. We already mentioned a town land of that name, as one of the seven quarters of Kilmaneheen, on the borders of Moy, but this appears to be a second “quarter” of the same name and we can safely say that it is the modern day townland of Poulawillin because the 1681 survey gives us “Poulovolin als Carogar”,[117] also it is positioned  in the survey beside it’s geographic neighbours, Knockloskeraun and Dough, although Knockloskeraun is in the civil parish of Kilmurry Ibrickan, but the parish bounds were of no consequence to the surveyor. There was something peculiar, also, about Dough, in that it was very often referred to as “one third [or sometimes half] part of a quarter” something it had in common with its near neighbour to the south, Emlagh, and also Killernan This might be explicable in the case of Killernan, which had ecclesiastical connections, but  I can think of no reason for bestowing the distinction on Dough nor Emlagh.

These three townlands have been dealt with in the surveys over the years as a group,  until they were eventually sold off in 1750 to Thomas Morony. Other tenants before the sale were Teige O’Lyne in 1656 and Samuel Foxen, the Dutchman in 1681, although Westropp states that “In 1712 Henry Earl of Thomond sold in this barony; Knockliscorane to Henry  Widenham”[118]

Poulawillin means the place or hole of the mill – although the most recent mill in the area (Terry’s Mill, the remains of which still stand, but which was not on the 1839 map) was actually located in the townland of Dough. So there must have been another mill upstream from Terry’s.
Its alias, Carrowgarr means short quarter, but it is not short, it is among the longest in the parish. But being long on the east/ west axis makes it narrow or short on the north/ south axis. Garr could also mean “near” but near to what ?

Liscahane, Cahane’s fort is on the left as you go out the Ennis road and is in Poulawillin.

Knockloskeraun, Cnoc Loiscreán, hill of the burning, which could refer to a corn drying kiln or to an alternative procedure for thrashing, winnowing and drying explained by Joyce as follows:

“Ploughing by the horsetail and burning corn in the ear were practised in Ireland down to a  comparatively recent period; Arthur Young witnessed both in operation, less than a 100 years ago [from 1869]; but at that time they had nearly dissappeared, partly on account of Acts of Parliament, framed expressly to prevent them and partly through the increasing intelligence of the people. Loisgrean (Lusgraun) is the term applied to corn burnt in the ear and the particular spots where the process was carried out are in many cases indicated by names formed on this word … Knockaluskraun and Knockloskeraun in Clare, each the name of a hill where corn  used to be burned.”[119]

It is by far the longest townland in the parish stretching from the old power station site across the Mullagh Road, the Connolly Road and the Inagh Road, at the very eastern it rises sharply to 400 feet, so this end being the ‘hill’ might have been the location for the corn harvesting?

The OS namebook for Knockloskeraun mentions:  “100 guinnea Bridge on boundary of Dough, a bridge of 3 arches built by Thos  Morony at a cost of 100 guineas “ and “Cloonibrasil, a fort, O’Brazil’s lawn”, and the map includes a fort called Lissnagat, fort of the cats.

Dough, the name probably refers to the sandhills of this coastal townland which were once much more extensive than at present, but the sand was mined over the centuries for agricultural use.  It is also suggested that the name derives from the holy well on the border between this townland and Annagh as the word Dough (Dabhach) sometimes has this connotation. But, of course the well is actually situated in the townland of Annagh[120]

Bealaclugga bridge joins Dough and Annagh. In the Stacpoole Murder case[121] it was referred to as the Dandy or Swallow bridge and also Kilally’s Bridge after the engineer John Kilally[122], who designed it as part of the road from Carrigaholt to Ennistymon in 1822. The name used before the construction of the bridge was “Belford”. This would indicate that the old people considered the proper name to be “Béal Átha Clogga” the ford of the bell and presumably Kilally designed his bridge to look like a bell to reflect this name. The Clugga part of the name has been translated as rocky shore (Cladach)  by Patrica Lysaght[123], as vetches by Frost[124], he liked the herbs! and as skulls, from the fact that a number of skeletons were unearthed  when the foundations of the bridge were being, laid[125] and as bell from the legend of St Senan’s bell which relates that  if a person held St. Senan’s bell in his hand while telling a lie the bell would start ringing. A gentleman in Galway was investigating a theft by one of his servants and he sent to Inis Cathaigh for the bell, that he might administer a lie detector test among the servants. As luck would have it, it was the guilty servant who was sent to get the bell, so on his way back to Galway he threw it into the sea at Bealaclugga, and returned to his master. But when he got back to Galway the bell was, magically, there before him, and his crime was exposed.[126]

There was a hill at the back of the present Bellbridge House Hotel called Knockatudder, which could mean either the hill of trotting or tanning, as of leather, it is an unlikely site for leather work so perhaps horse trotting was intended. A field called Tooreapillibeen, field of the plover, or lapwing,. A fort called Lisaniur,  fort of the yew tree. Poulatarriff, the hole of the bull, is where Terry’s mill was later.

Westropp says of Dough, “behind these (the sandhills) was an extensive early settlement, sheltered from the sea breeze. Thin layers of shells, burned stones and slabs, with much charcoal, remain, about 2’ 6’’ under the sward. The digging away of the sand has destroyed the actual settlement, for large hearth stones, burnt red and black and numerous cooking pebbles are never in situ but abound in the dugout spaces. I am told that stone implements have been found in the remains but saw none.”[127] The sand was used for building as well as horticultural and agricultural purposes."





References and Notes



[1] The Compossicion Booke of Conought, A. Martin Freeman, (ed.), (Dublin, 1936); The Composition of Connacht in the Lordships of Clanricard and Thomond, 1577-1641, by Bernadette Cunningham, Irish Historical Studies, Vol. XXIV, No. 93, May 1984.

[2] See also /?q=node/527, the Introduction, for a comparison of numbers of ‘quarters’ v townlands.

[3] The Compossicion Booke of Conought, A. Martin Freeman, (ed.),  p 14;  The Rev. Canon Dwyer in The Diocese of Killaloe from the Reformation to the Eighteenth Century (Dublin 1878) gives a version with slightly different spelling of the placenames. The household officers referred to may be the MacGormans. Dromordeloghe (Dremardlough per O Dwyer) may be an amalgam of the present day townlands of Drummin and Doolough, which inter alia,  were central to the MacGorman lands; An inquisition dated 24 July, 1602 refers to “Donald Mac Mallaghlen Mac Mallaghlen Duff Mac Gorman de Clahane. (quoted by Rev. Myles Ronan in The Mac Gormans of Ui Brecane, Molua 1938. It is not clear why the quarters of Poulemullan (Poulawillin), Killarnane and Emlagh are singled out for special mention.

[4] Petworth House Archives, Sussex (PHA) shelf mark C.27/A/60. These are available on microfilm at the National Library of Ireland and at Ennis Library, Local Studies section.

[5] The handwritten Catalogue of the PHA, p. 328 refers to surveys “By Henry Ellsworth 1615 and 1634”

[6] See also The Earl of Thomond’s 1615 Survey of Ibrickan, Co. Clare, by Luke McInerney in North Munster Antiquarian Journal Vol. 53, 2013.

[7] Full title: An Abstract of Such rents and Revenewes as doe belonge to the right Honble Henrye Earle of Thomond. Togeather With a rehearsall of the Castles and Landes out of which ye said Rents are due. With The quantities of the said Landes by Quarters, Halfe quarters, quartermires & other proportions. Declaring farther In whose tenure the said lands are, and in what Countie & Barony they lye. And what Rents are Due out of the said lands for everie Gale. Taken 1626. PHA c/27/A/39.

[8] PHA microfilm C/27/A,

[9] Full title: An abstract Of Such Rents and Revenues, as doe belong to the Right Honble Henry Earle of Thomond. Together with a Rehearsall of the Castles, Lands, and Impropriations, out of which the said Rents are due. With the quantitie of the said Lands by Quarters, Halfe quarters, Quartermires & other proportions. Togeather with the Spirituall Livings in his Lordshipps Guift. Declareing farther In whose Tenure the said Lands are and in what Countie and Barony they lye. Taken 1681, By Thomas Spaight. PHA C/27/B.

[10]  Lease Book of the Countess Dowager - PHA microfilm, roll 1, final item,  no reference number.

[11] Unexpired Leases -– PHA microfilm roll 1 “Middle Office, Press B, Drawers 19, 20”

[12] Thomas Moland Survey – PHA microfilm Roll 1, B/93/3.

[13] Books of Survey and Distribution, being abstracts of various surveys and instruments of title, 1636-1703, Vol IV, County of Clare. Reproduced from the manuscript in the Public Records Office of Ireland with maps. Introductions by R.C. Simmington, D.Litt. Index of persons, places and subjects by Breandán Mac Giolla Choille, M.A., Irish Manuscripts Commission 1967.

[14] These seven are grouped together in the Moland survey of 1703.

[15] Annals of the Four Masters, ed. & tr. John O Donovan (1856), AD 1585(26) as published at https://celt.ucc.ie//published/T100005E/index.html

[16] An inquisition dated 1602 is quoted in Molua 1938, The Mac Gormans of Ui Brecane, Rev Myles V. Ronan, MRIA, F. R. Hist. S.  This article quotes evidence from the Mac Gorman papers that in 1545 the King granted “Hy-Brecane” to Mallaghlin Mac Gorman in capite – i.e. held directly from the king. The O Briens and their descendants would never have acknowledged this and would have maintained that the Mac Gormans held the lands from them (if they held them at all!)  Read the article in full.

[17] See The Antiquities of County Clare, John O’Donovan & Eugene O’Curry, (Ennis. 1997); County Kilkenny in the Anglo -Norman Period by C.A. Empey in Kilkenny History and Society, William Nolan, Kevin Whelan (Ed.) (1990).

[18] Annals of the Four Masters, ed. & tr. John O Donovan (1856) AD 799 (recte 804); The Annals of Clonmacnoise
being the Annals of Ireland from The Earliest Period to A.D. 1408
. Translated into English A.D. 1627 by Conell Mageoghagan Edited by The Rev. Denis Murphy S.J. LLd MRIA (Dublin 1896), A.D. 801.

[19] I have adapted this summary of the history of Ibrickane from The Antiquities of County Clare, John O’Donovan & Eugene O’Curry, (Ennis. 1997). It is primarily a construct of John O’Donovan. It may be just coincidental that the PHA records show that the O’Briens included in their patrimony, both the Slieve Margy district of Laois/Carlow (Moland B/9/3) and the barony of Owney in Limerick.

[20] See Notes on the Ecclesiastical Townland Names of West Clare , Donal De Barra, 2018 at http://ddebarra.ie/?q=node/402

[21] Loca Patriciana, Part IX, Rev. John Francis Shearman,  JRSAI Vol. III 4th Series1874, p. 487.

[22] The History of Osraighe: the roots of County Kilkenny, Dennis Walsh (copyright 2002). http://www.rootsweb.com/~irlkik/history/ossory.htm [accessed on 28-5-2006].

[23] Annals of the Four Masters, ed. & tr. John O Donovan (1856),  1571 (where O Donovan Notes Magh O`mBracain, ie the plain of Ibrickan, now Moigh or Moymore , a townland near Milltown Malbay, in the barony of Ibrickan. 

[24] Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh, John Mac Rory Magrath quoted in The Normans in Thomond – Part 1, 1275-1287, Thomas Johnson Westropp. An edited version by Standish Hayes O’Grady, London 1929 gives “.... in leth taobdaingen tráchtglégeal tonngeránach thiar fá chomhair a deghórdaighthi do Dondchadh.....

 The Irish Ringfort, Matthew Stout. Dublin 1997. Chap.2.

[27] West or hIar Connaught, Roderic O’Flaherty, (Dublin, 1846), footnote (by James Hardiman) page 430. Hardiman notes the proximity of Aran to Ibrickan.

[28] The Antiquities of County Clare, John O’Donovan & Eugene O’Curry, Ennis. 1997 p. 108.

[29] Ibid..

[30] The Cult of Inghin Bhaoith and the Church of Killinaboy, Michael Mac Mahon. The Other Clare, 24(2000) p.12.

[31] It is notable also that The Annals of Ulster, under the year 661 record “the sage Laidcnén son of Baeth Bannach, died.” - http://www.ucc.ie/celt/online/T100001A/

[32] Kilnamona called Kinelbuith, Very Rev. Patrick Gaynor, Molua,  (Dublin, 1941).

[33] Annals of the Four Masters, ed. & tr. John O Donovan (1856), A.D. 622.

[34] Annals of the Four Masters, ed. & tr. John O Donovan (1856), A.D. 1570/71.

[35] Some records of the proceedings of these courts are preserved in PHA microfilm roll 2.

[36] 1626 Survey PHA C/27/A/39

[37] 1681 Survey by Spaight PHA C/27/B (see note 9 above), where the tenant is shown as  Augustine Fitzgerald, holding for the lives of Elizabeth Fitzgerald, William Fitzgerald and Augustine Fitzgerald.

[38] The Courts Martial of 1798-99, Patrick C. Power, (1997), p. 127..

[39] Kilfarboy, Seosamh Mac Mathuna, p. 18, (private publication, n.d. but early 1970s).

[40] Ibid.

[41] Irish –English Dictionary, comp. & ed. Rev. Patrick S. Dineen, M.A., (Dublin, 1927), ‘Tuar’ and ‘Túr’.

[42] The Antiquities of County Clare, John O’Donovan & Eugene O’Curry, Ennis. 1997 p. 109.

[43] Ordnance Survey Namebooks for the parish of Kilfarboy, supplementary pages no 44.

[44] Lámhscribhini Gaeilge Choláiste Má Nuad,  Fascul VII, Pádraig Ó Fiannachta,, Má Nuad, 1972.

[44a] Pádraig Ó Cearbhaill, Cluain i Logainmneacha Co. Thiobraid Arann, 2010, – quoted in Historical Dictionary of Gaelic Placenames, Ó Riain, O Murchadha, Murray, Nic Carthaigh,  2013 (HDGP).

[44b]  See The Manor of Ardcroney by Dermot F Gleeson M.A. M.R.I.A in Molua, 1937.

[45] Calendar of Documents Relating to Ireland in H.M. Public Record Office,  H.S. Sweetman & G. F. Handcock, (London , 1875), Vol. 4, p. 301. The Church of Kilfarboy is identified as ‘Kellynfearbrigy’.

[46] Kilfarboy, Seosamh Mac Mathuna, p. 7, (private publication, n.d. but early 1970s).

[47] Monasticon Hibernicum: or An History of the Abbies, Priories and other Religious Houses in Ireland . . ., Mervyn Archdall, A.M. (Dublin 1786). Note that Kilfarboy is not mentioned in an earlier volume – Monasticon Hibernicum or, the Monastical History of Ireland …, (London, 1722).

[48] Monasticon Hibernicum . . . by Mervyn Archdall, A.M., Edited, with extensive notes by the Right Reverend Patrick Moran, D.D. Lord Bishop of Ossory, and other distinguished antiquarians. (Dublin, 1873). I am depending on Seosamh Mac Mathuna for the information that the ‘distinguished antiquarian’ writing about Clare was Brian O’Looney.

[49] ‘Clery’s Calendar’ is published as The Martyrology of Donegal. A Calendar of the Saints of Ireland, translated from the original Irish by the late John O’Donovan LL.D., M.R.I.A., edited with the Irish text by James Henthorn Todd, D.D., M.R.I.A., F.S.A. and by William Reeves, D.D., M.R.I.A., Dublin 1864. The full text for 19 march reads, in translation ‘Lachtain, of Achad Úr in Osraighe, and Bealach Feabhrat, A.D. 622. He was of the race of Conaire, Son of Moghlamha, monarch of Erinn, who was of the seed of Heremon. The Life of Mochcaemhóg, chap. 8, states that holy Lachtín, who erected the monastery of Achadh-úr, was a disciple of Comhgall of Beannchair.’

[50] Monasticon Hibernicum . . . by Mervyn Archdall, op cit. Notes 47 & 48 above.

[51] In Cill na Martra Muscrai Co. Chorcai, Coiste Forbartha n.d. it is claimed (my translation), page 15, “Bealach Feabhradh, or as we call it in Cill na Martra, Bealach Abhra – ‘Road of the Brow’ was the main road from Limerick, through North Cork to Mallow, through Macroom, through Kilnamartery, through Clohina to Com, west to Kerry and then northwards’. Also page 66 “Bealach Feabhra and Bealach Mogh Ruith are the two ancient highways associated with our parish”. Also pages 38 & 60.
 In Tuath na Droman, A History of Cill Na Martra by Donal Murphy (2008), p 12 etc. he says “The Bealach Feabhradh (Way of the Hilbrow) sometimes written Bealach Abhra ran from Sleaveen (Sliabh Caoin) on the edge of what is now Macroom town …”  and on page 42 suggests that Bealach Feabhradh “the highway ran through north Cork and touched on south Limerick before going on to Clare, linking some of the sites associated with Lachtain.“ Murphy devotes a chapter of his book to St. Lachtain who is patron of Cill na Martra.

[52] See note 37.

[53] Michael Mac Mahon, ‘Sources for Local History’ a lecture to the Old Kilfarboy Society 13th March 2001. (Unpublished).

[54] Topographical Poems by Seaán Mór Ó Dubhagain and Giololla-na-Naomh Ó Huidhrín, Ed. James Carney, (Dublin, 1943), p. 39, line 1025.

[55] The Antiquities of County Clare, John O’Donovan and Eugene O’Curry. (O.S Letters). Clasp Press, Ennis. P. 279. O’Donovan was quoting (and translating ) the Poem by Maoilín Óg Mac Brody ‘Deoradh Sona Sliocht Cathaoir’

[56] The territory of the Hy Buidhe, now Ballyadams, was taken over by the Normans about the same time as that of Slievemargy.

[57] A comparative study of the wills of the first and fourth Earls of Thomond, by Brian O Dálaigh, in North Munster Antiquarian Jnl. Vol 34, 1992; The History and Topography of County Clare by James Frost MRIA. 1893, p. 142.

[58] This theory was alluded to in an article in the Limerick Reporter and Tipperary Vindicator dated 25th April 1863. The article, though unsigned, was written by Maurice Lenihan, the Limerick historian, who makes it clear that his prime informant was Fr. Bugler.

[59] PRIA, Vol vi, 1900-02, The Churches of County Clare and the Origin of the Ecclesiastical Divisions in that County, T. J. Westropp. pp. 116, 161.

[60] Sean Ó Murchadha, (1923-1995). A founder member of the Clare Archaeological and Historical Soc. , with a special interest in fieldwork and landscape studies.

[61] The Diocese of Killaloe from the Reformation to the Close of the Eighteenth Century, Rev. Philip Dwyer, A.B. (Dublin,1878), p. 93, 116, 165..

[62] Townland Names of the County Clare, James Frost, Part 4, p.160.

[63] The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places, P. W Joyce, (Facs. edition Dublin 1995), vol 3, p.464, Leads but see also ‘liag’.

[64] Irish –English Dictionary, comp. & ed. Rev. Patrick S. Dineen, M.A., (Dublin, 1927), ‘Liag’.

[65] The name is spelled Davine by Bishop Rider in his ‘Loyal Answers’ when he complains of Popish priests in his diocese, amongst whom he lists “Connor o Davine” as priest of Kilfarboy and names Donnough c Gillapatricke as his ‘Interteiner’ quoted in The Diocese of Killaloe from the Reformation to the Eighteenth Century by Rev Philip Dwyer A.B.1878, p 144.

[66] Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, Irish names and surnames collected and edited with explanatory and historical notes. by Rev. Patrick Woulfe. Revised edition 1992. Entries under: Ó Daimhín; Ó Damháin; O Diamáin; Ó Doimhín; Ó Duabáin and Ó Duibhín.

[67] Ibid. under Ó Diamáin.

 [68] See The Collegiate Church of Iniscathaigh by Dermot F. Gleeson, in North Munster Antiquarian Jnl., Vol. 2, 1940-41. p. 23. He refers also to Castleconnell in east Clare being called Idumyn and this name may be cognate with Davan.

[69] Historical Notes on the O’Mores and Their Territory of Leix by Lord Walter Fitzgerald in Journal of the Archaeological Society 0f the County of Kildare and Surrounding Districts, Vol 6 1909-1911, found at http://www.clanomore.com/journal.htm accessed 13 Sept 2003.

[70] Calendar of Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Ed W.H. Bliss and J A Twemlow, 1902, Vol 7,  Lateran Regesta, Vol. CXCVIII – 15 Aug 1418.

[71] Calendar of Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Ed W.H. Bliss and J A Twemlow, 1902, Vol 7,  Lateran Regesta, Vol. CCLXVI - 4 June 1418.

[72] Idem, Vol 11, Latern Regesta 511, 15 Feb. 1456. “Maurice Odamyn perpetual vicar of Kyllakyde… a notorious fornicator” is also noticed in idem, Vol DCCXVII, 4 Nov. 1471.

[73] Idem, Vol 13 Latern Regesta Vol DCCXXXVII.

[74]  Idem, Vol 12, Brief Summaries of Bulls of Pius II and Paul II which are now lost.

[75] A Dictionary of Irish Saints by Pádraig O Riain, 2011.

[76] An inquisition dated 1602 quoted in Molua 1938, The Mac Gormans of Ui Brecane, Rev Myles V. Ronan, MRIA, F.R.Hist.S..

[77] ESTATES SOLD BY THE DEVISEES in trust of HENRY EARL Of THOMOND- IBRICKAN BARONY -Messuage or dwelling house Town and two plowlands of Fintraghtbegg and Fintraghtmore containing 457a  3r  0p in the parish of Kilfarboy. PHA, microfilm roll 1, p.93. Middle Office Press B, Drawer 17, Bundle O – apparently the purchaser was Geo. Stacpoole.

[78] The Kelp Factory at Freagh.— Mr Carroll’s Account of It.,  The Clare Independent, 26 January 1878. [The Kelp House was actually in Fintrabeg].

[79] National Archives, OPW /8/249.

[80] Annals of the Four Masters, ed. & tr. John O Donovan (1856), sub anno AD 165.

[81] Duald Mac Firbis, quoted in The Antiquities of Co. Clare, op cit. p.282.

[82] Quoted in, Cahermurphy Castle and its Earthworks, with certain forts near Miltown Malbay, County Clare, Thomas Johnson Westropp, M.A. JRSAI (41) 1911.

[83] The Origins of the Irish, by J.P. Mallory, Thames & Hudson, 2013 with ‘A Brief Update to the 2017 Edition’, reprinted 2018, p. 298.

[84] Letter from John O’Donovan to Eugene O’Curry, dated 2-8-1834, quoted in Eoghan O’Comhraí agus an tSuirbhéireacht Ordonáis, Art O’Maolfabhail, Eoghan Ó Chomhraí Saol agus Saothar, Eag. Pádraig Ó’Fiannachta, (An Daingean 1995).

[85] Irish Names of Places, P.W. Joyce, Vol.1, p 291.

[86] Schools Folklore Collection, Microfilm, Clare Local Studies,  Sliabh na Lice, 1938, Oide Sean O’Connfhaola.

[87] Irish –English Dictionary, comp. & ed. Rev. Patrick S. Dineen, M.A., (Dublin, 1927), ‘baodhg’.

[88] Studia Hibernica, (Dublin, 2007), Micheál Coimin: Jacobite, Protestant and Gaelic Poet, 1676-1760, Brian Ó Dálaig.

[89] Seabhac na Ceathramhan Caoile, by Tomás Ó hAodha, (B.Á.C. 1906).

[91] Clare Journal 14th October 1850, etc. Copies of these papers received from Ciarán Ó Murchadha.

[92] A 'Census' of Ireland circa 1659, Ed. Seamus Pender (Dublin 1939), Parish Kilfarboy, Townland, Laccamore.

[93] O.S. Namebook, Lackamore

[94] The Topographical Poems of O’Dubhagháin and O’Huidhrín. (with introduction, translation and notes by John O’Donnovan), The Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society, Dublin 1862. The Irish language verse is taken from Topographical Poems by Seaán Mór Ó Dubhagáin qand Giolla-na-Naomh Ó Huidhrín, edited by James Carney, Dublin, 1943.

[95] OS namebook, Kilcorcoran.

[96] See also http://ddebarra.ie/?q=node/402 under Kilcorcoran.

[97] PHA Survey by Thomas Spaight, 1681. See note 7.

[98] PHA “Estates Sold by the Devisees . . .1750”. See note 55.

[99] T. J. Westropp, Carrigaholt and its Neighbourhood, Part 1, North Munster Antiquarian Jnl. 1909, Vol. 1, p.232.

[100] Evidenced in Mary John Knott, Two Months in Kilkee, First edition Dublin 1836. Repr Clasp Press 1997, passim.

[101] Ibid.

[102] Killaly was appointed 5th June 1822 as Engineer in charge of the Mid-Western District, reporting to the Commissioners of Public Works. –Alexander Nimmo & The Western District, Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill, p. 62..

[103] Catalogue Of Irish Manuscripts In The British Museum, Standish H. O’Grady, 1926. “an Chathair gharbh” is listed in the castles list in British Library, p. 70 Additional Mss. 20717 – no. 91.

[104] Ibid. p. 336.

[105] A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis, London 1837 Vol 1, p. 329.

[106] See also A History of Urban Origins and Village formation in County Clare by Brian Ó Dálaigh, in Clare History & Society, Ed Matthew Lynch & Patrick Nugent, 2008, p 124-7.

[107] Brian Ó Dálaigh, at a lecture in Ennis 10th May 2002.

[108] Milltown Malbay is listed as a ‘Post Town’ in Ambrose Leets Directory of Ireland, 1814.

[109] A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis, London 1837 Vol 2, p. 329.

[111] James Frost, The History & Topography of Clare (Dublin 1893, rpr O Brien Books, 1997.) p.73.

[112] For O Donovan see the OS Namebooks, Cloughane Beg. O Curry, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish (1873, rpr De Burca, 1996), Vol iii, p. 64-66. P. W. Joyce, Irish Names of Places, Vol. i, p. 364. All acknowledge that Cloughan may refer to a castle or beehive hut.

[113] E Estyn Evans, The Personality of Ireland, (Dublin, 1992), p. 61.

[114] Irish Folkways by E Estyn Evans, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1957.

[115] O Danachair, C., 1968, Evan’s Irish Folkways reviewed Ir. Geogr., 6:494-495. Quoted in Settlement Patterns in the West of Ireland in the Pre-famine Period, Kevin Whelan, in Collins Timothy, ed., Decoding the Landscape (1997).

[116] Kevin Whelan, Settlement Patterns in the West of Ireland in the Pre-famine Period, , in Collins Timothy, ed., Decoding the Landscape, Papers read at the Inaugural Conference of the Centre for landscape Studies, 1990, (1997).

[117] PHA Spaight Survey 1681. See note 7.

[118] Antiquities Near Miltown Malbay, T. J Westropp, Journal of the Limerick Field Club, vol II, 1905.

[119] Irish Names of Places, P.W. Joyce, Vol.1, p 237-8.

[120]  St Joseph’s Well, Dough/Annagh, Parish of Kilmurry Ibrickane, County Clare: A photographic and Oral Documentation, by Patricia Lysahgt in Béaloideas, Vol 69, 2001, p. 84.

[121] The murder of James Stackpoole in 1852. See Hatchet Tongs and Candlestick, Harry Hughes, The Clare Assoc. Yearbook 2003.

[122] See note 78.

[123] St Joseph’s Well, Dough/Annagh, Parish of Kilmurry Ibrickane, County Clare: A photographic and Oral Documentation, by Patricia Lysagt in Béaloideas, Vol 69, 2001, p. 84.

[124]  Townland Names of the County Clare by James Frost, M.R.I.A., First part, in Journal of the Limerick Field Club, Vol. 1 No. 4, 1900, p.12.

[125] Two Months at Kilkee, Mary John Knott, first published 1836, rpr Clasp Press 1997, p. 219.

[126] A version of the story is given in Folklore of Clare, by T.J. Westropp, Clasp Press, 2000, P. 58.

[127] Cahermurphy Castle and its earthworks, with certain forts near Milltown-Malbay. County Clare, by T.J. Westropp, in Jnl of Royal Society of Antiquaries in Ireland vol 41, 1911, p. 134.