History

Townlands

Currahaly

Currach a’ Saile – the willow bog. Some of the older people in the Parish still remember horse and cart loads of willow branches being carried to the blind asylum in Cork to make baskets.

Farran

An abbreviation of two denominations – Farranavara (the land of the judge) and Farranshreshry (Fearran na Seisrighe). All the area was purchased by William Clarke who farmed 1100 acres of land and compensated the tenants when their leases expired.

Knocknagoul

Cnoc na nGall – the hill of the strangers, perhaps an oblique reference to the Protestants or English who came to the area in earlier days.

There are many other townlands in the Parish but many of the children attending our school come from the above townlands.

Aglish

Aglish means church. The church was built in 1199 and is mentioned as Magalaid in 1302, as Machali in 1483 Agalasmaschala.

The ruins of the medieval church in Aglish, which was built of stone and lime, still show the northern and western walls. The old graveyard is to the rear of the western gable. A new graveyard was opened in the 1970’s, and is still being used for families in the area.

Ballineadig

In Rumley’s bog in Ballineadig is a “cill” site called Teampul (also called Clogheen) in a circular mound. There was also a graveyard here. The passage or road from the site is still pointed out, leading to Crios a Cuilinn (Holly Cross) on the old Cork-Kerry road. The graveyard is locally said to have been removed to Aglish in the night, showing that this “cill” site preceded Aglish. A book in the Honan Chapel which is part of University College Cork, states that St. Finbarr is buried in that graveyard.

The Rumley family lived in Ballineadig for four generations. The Lehanes own the house now. The house is over 200 years old, which makes it the oldest house in Ballineadig.

The word Ballineadig means “Town of the Clothes” in English. Years ago there was a little clothes factory in Ballineadig and this is how Ballineadig got its name. There is very little information to be found about this factory. The river Lee represents the northern boundary of Ballineadig. In 1957 the Electricity Supply Board constructed a dam to generate electricity at Inniscarra. This dramatically raised the water level of the river, and thus, extra land was needed along the course of the river. The total acreage required in Ballineadig was 62 acres. This was deducted from four different land owners.

There was a public house (bar) on the southern boundary of Ballineadig, near the main road. It was owned by the Moriarty family. It was known as a stage house for horses and their owners on their journeys. There was a little verse about it, which went:

“You can travel Cork and sweet Blackrock,

And Farran Cross all over,

You’ll never find a sweeter drop,

Than Hannie Moriarity’s porter”

This house was knocked down by the Buckley family around 1920, and there is no evidence of it to be seen today. During the War of Independence, the Hayes family were raided at their home by the Black and Tans, but the man they were looking for, Timmy Hayes, escaped through the fields. He subsequently fled to America and never came home again.

Farann Church

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The first church in Farran  was built beside the road leading from Farran village to Aglish burial ground. The old pillars and entrance gates can still be seen at the site.

The site of the present church was given to the parish by the Clarke family. The church was built in 1860 during the pastorate of Canon Maurice Walsh, but is more closely associated with Fr. John Cotter who was the Curate at that time. The sum of 2,000 pounds required to build the church came from donations from the parishioners. The log book detailing these donations is still housed in the parochial house.
Farran church is the only known church in the diocese to be consecrated, which means that the walls are as sacred as the altar.

Kilcrea Station

Kilcrea Station used to operate trains from Cork to Macroom and Macroom to Cork. There were goods trains and passenger trains. In the summer time there used to be excursion trains from Macroom to Youghal. Special cattle trains ran once a month for cattle fairs in Macroom. The farmers of the area used to take their beet to the station to be transported to the sugar factory in Mallow. Coal used to come to the station from Castlecomer in Kilkenny, to be used in Aherla to burn the lime. The stout for the local public houses used to come there also. When the thrashing was over in the summer time the threshing sets were transported from Kilcrea to Limerick. The community depended solely on the station until the introduction of cars. This eventually did away with passenger trains, and haulage lorries did away with goods trains. Kilcrea station closed in the 1950’s. The station house can still be seen today and is still occupied. The road which runs alongside the station became known as Station House Road, it is off the main road near the Old Post Office on the way to Aherla.

Kilcrea Abbey

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Kilcrea Abbey was founded in 1465 by Cormac Láidir McCarthy for the Franciscan Friars. It is on the southern bank of the River Bride. This river is crossed by what must be the narrowest of all public bridges.

It is said the last wolf in Ireland was killed in Kilcrea. Many famous people are buried in Kilcrea. One of them is Cormac McCarthy son of the founder Felix McCarthy, a friar well known for his charity.

Also buried there is the Bishop of Ross Dr. Herlihy and Art O’ Laoire, who was killed by English soldiers because he refused to sell his horse for five pounds. The Abbey was pillaged several times and was finally destroyed during the Cromwellian campaign in the middle of the 17th century. There are two different stories of how the Abbey was destroyed:

It was burned by Cromwell’s soldiers.

It was burned by the locals so that the soldiers could not destroy the most sacred part of the Abbey by using it as a stable.

It was a rule of Kilcrea that anyone was welcome to stay as long as he liked as a guest without paying.

The Clarke Estate

The Clarke Family were the local landlords who came to Farran in the 1800’s. The first Clarke of this family to come to Ireland was Thomas Clarke who settled in Donoughmore Co. Cork. It was his grandson William Clarke who established Clarkes Tobacco in 1830 in Cork, making cigars, cigarettes and snuff. He bought Farran House from the Penrose family. In Ireland they had branches in Cork, Skibbereen, Dublin and Newry. They also had premises in Liverpool.

Members of the Clarke family lived in Farran House up to the late sixties or early seventies when at that time the house was sold.

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The Clarkes donated Farran Woods to the public. They also donated land to the parish on which the present Catholic Church and school are built.

(Clarke family details given to us by family member Martin Clarke, who now resides in England)

The Holy Well

The Holy Well, known as Tobar Riogh an Domhnaigh (King of Sunday) is situated in Rooves Beg. It is also called Tobareen an Aifrinn as mass was celebrated nearby in Penal times.

It is on a section of road, which was once the main Cork to Kerry road, (known as the butter road). The well is covered with the usual hood shape construction. When visiting, people decorate the well with plants, flowers and sometimes, night lights.

People visit the well especially on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. A special pattern of “rounds” was recited at the Holy Well. The round is finished by drinking some water from the well. Nowadays local people visit the Holy Well on August 15th every year. A priest usually attends reciting the Rosary and other prayers. It is a special and peaceful place.