The History of St. Baron 1814 to 2014

Kilbarron Village

Taken from Bridie O’Brien’s Book ‘How We Were’ with kind permission from her son Anthony

Kilbarron ‘Old Abbey’ – Co. Tipperary
An account written into the parish register has been recorded by Bridie O’Brien in her book ‘How We Were’ (the Parishes of Kilbarron and Terryglass). It states the following:

“Kilbarron is the ecclesiastical name of the parish which is made up of the medieval parishes of Kilbarron and Finnoe. It is called after St. BarrFhionn who flourished about the beginning of the sixth century. He was abbot of Drumcullen d. of Meath and died about 550 A.D. The old church of Kilbarron was founded in the townland of the same name, overlooking the lordly Shannon and quiet near to Islandmore. There is a tradition that a body of monks founded a church on Islandmore which the people of Kilbarron attended for worship. On one occasion when returning from workship in a great storm the tochar (ford) was swept away and some of the congregation were drowned whereupon the monks built on the mainland the old church of Kilbarron which continued to be used until the seventeenth century when it fell into disrepair.”

In the townland of Kilbarron, territory of Ormond, Tipperary North there stands the remains of a pre-Reformation church. It is always referred to, locally as the “Old Abbey”. It stand on an elevated site overlooking Lough Derg on the River Shannon and the Clare hills beyond, and is about a half mile from the shore. It has a nave and chancel separated by an ivy-clad arch. There is a clear division between the nave and chancel which is discernible inside and outside, especially on the outside where corner stores are visible. This would suggest that there was an extension added to the original building at some later date. There is a narrow room with corbelled roof at the back of the nave (similar to Drumcullen). The corbelled roof would have supported the floor of an overhead room and was typical of the arrangement in medieval churches after the coming of the Normans. The room at the back was the priest’s abode.

The Roman Catholic parish of Kilbarron-Terryglass can lay claim to having had within its bounds an important early Christian monastic settlement – that of St. Colum at Terryglass.

Though no discernible physical remains of that foundation now survive, apart from a few parts of the monastic enclosure and a possible section of a high cross, adequate proof of its existence and importance is to be found in annals relating to the early Christian and medieval periods.

Despite the fame of that monastic settlement, the site was not selected for a Norman-sponsored religious foundation like, say, at nearby Lorrha which acquired both Dominican and Augustinian Canons foundations on the site of St. Ruadhan’s monastery. They maintained a presence there throughout the medieval period, combining their monastic life with the exercise of a pastoral curacy in the surrounding districts.

The early Irish church was centred on monastic settlements under the jurisdiction of abbots. The introduction of dioceses and parishes brought the Irish church into the system which had already prevailed for up tot three centuries on the continent of Europe. Dioceses were carved out after the Synod of Kells in 1152; sub-divisions of these territories into parishes followed. While it is probable that the creation of parishes had already begun before the coming of the Normans, some historians hold the view that parishes are largely a Norman creation.

The parish therefore is an ecclesiastical and administrative unit of considerable antiquity. Each parish had distinct boundaries, its own resident priest and its own church. The priest was supported by a levy or tithe, which was originally a tenth of the produce of land or stock but later on was converted to a monetary charge.

This secure pattern of parish and universal faith as thrown into disarray by the great religious revolution of the sixteenth century known as the Reformation; it spread to England circa 1534.This brought about the diversion of the Christian church and the emergence of reformed religions. Conflict between those who upheld the centuries-old Catholic precepts and those who advocated the reformed religion was inevitable.

After the Reformation the parishes of Finnoe, Kilbarron and Terryglass remained unchanged territorially. But, as elsewhere, major changes within the parish extended to church property and the freedom to practice Catholicism.Thereafter, church buildings and land became the property of the new Anglican or Protestant religion, and Catholic clergy were prohibited from pursuing their religious calling.

It is not intended to go into any great detail on the trials and tribulations encountered by adherents of the old religion in the early post-Reformation years. There are numerous history books available on the period. Suffice it to say that the upheaval of the Reformation is reflected in many aspects of Finnoe’s, Kilbarron’s and Terryglass’s ecclesiastical historys. In time each parish acquired congregations, clergymen and churches subscribing to the Anglican religion.
The pre-Reformation parish, also called a civil parish because of its administrative role, was the territorial unit on which was based surveys, reports, valuations, ordnance letters, directories and numerous other documents of historical interest.
After the Reformation the Catholic church continued to service the parishes as individual units. Amalgamation into one administrative unit, such as Kilbarron-Terryglass is of comparatively recent origin – sometime in the early 1800s and, apart from the parish registers, is not of significance in nineteenth century historical sources. For years Kilbarron and Terryglass kept separate registers which suggests a reluctance on Kilbarron’s part to concede that the other was the caput or principal one.

At the time of the Reformation Finnoe, Kilbarron and Terryglass each had a stone church which became the property of the Anglican religion – in time the Church of Ireland. A re cord was duly appointed ot each parish. His dilemma was that the number who had conformed to the Anglican religion was extremely low. This presented the immediate problem of church maintenance.

We get some idea of the state of affairs in the three parishes from a report known was the ‘Royal Visitation of Killaloe diocese 1615’ – just over eighty years on from the Reformation.

The Old Mass House in Carney Commons
Finnoe parish seems to have had its own place of Catholic worship up to the time the present church was built in 1814 in what is probably known as Kilbarron village in the townland of Ballyquinlivan Upper in Finnoe parish. Was a Mass house in Carney Commons townland – also, of course, in Finnoe parish.

It was situated on the road from Kilbarron to Borrisokane on the right side of the road, a little way past Oldcourt house get on the left, and the old Sullivan home on the right. There is a little land leading into a clearing about 100 yards after the Sullivan home. The clearing is very pleasant. I have heard that stone artefacts e.g. a holy water font, were found within living memory. The fact that the Mass house was in the Commons might bear out the fact that landowners would not, or were reluctant to, have a Mass house on their land. Such a building probably existed there from the time the parish church ceased to be used for Catholic services once the Anglican religion got established in the parish. A new improved structure may have been built in Carney Commons in 1782 because I have heard it said that the building dated from that period.

It is thought that the building material from this old Mass house was used in the building of the 1814 chapel.

Though located in the parish of Finnoe, the new chapel seems to have been identified with Kilbarron parish from the beginning. A full account of it is given in the next section of this chapter. Finnoe does not figure as part of the catholic parish name in a list of priests compiled by Bishop McMahon in 1835 and quoted by the late Monsignor Ignatius Murphy in volume 2 of The Diocese of Killaloe 1800-1850.

As already started, a new Catholic church was erected in 1814 which, though located in Finnoe parish, about a quarter-mile from the Kilbarron parish border, seems to have been known, firstly, as the New Chapel and later on as Kilbarron church.

A stone plaque over the original main entrance (now enclosed by a porch) has the description: This chapel was built by the Rev. J.A. MacCormac A.D.1814. Erected by Patrick Clear.

Patrick Clear is dealt in the chapter with covers the villages in the parish.

Of the sixteen churches built in the diocese of Killaloe between 1811 and 1815, Kilbarron’s is one of the four which still remain in use.


Martin Moran was the youngest brother of Patrick, the hedge schoolmaster of the 1820s. Their father had been a carter and at the time of the building of the church in Kilbarron in 1814 had been engaged in carrying slates from the quarries above Portroe to Kilbarron for roofing the church. One day he was set upon by highwaymen and murdered – perhaps for his horse and cart and its load. His wife at the time was expecting Martin. She had several older children and was left destitute. According to the story, which was told me by her grand-daughter Mary Moran, my first cousin, the widow went to Father McCormack, the parish priest, for help but he was unable, or unwilling, to do anything for her. She then went to the Protestant rector. as this was before the erection of the new church in Kilbiller thee was no resident cleric so he was probably Rev. Ralph Stoney, the rector in Terryglass. He helped her, and I have no idea what the deal, if any, there was, nor had my cousin Mary.

Anyhow, the story goes that she promised that when the child was born she would have him/her baptised and brought up in the Protestant faith, which she duly did and named him Martin. She and the other members of the family remained Catholic while he practised Protestantism diligently.

In the course of time he married his neighbour Judy Ryan, sister of Timothy and, of course, a Catholic. Tradition does not tell by whom the ceremony was conducted, but Judy brought up al her children, including Michael, my aunt’s husband, as Catholics.

Every Sunday she and the children went to Mass in Kilbarron and Martin walked up the avenue to the Protestant church in Kilbiller quite near his home. He would be dressed in a Caroline hat, swallow-tailed coat and buckled shoes – a description brought forward for us by Tim Ryan. In due course he died and was buried, not in the graveyard by the Protestant church, but in the chancel of the old church in Kilbarron which happened to be the Morans’ traditional burying ground. I do not know, nor did my cousin, if they tried to convert him on his deathbed but would hope not. So the Cleburne father and daughter of Ballycolliton are not alone among the papists!

Below is the account of the church as written into the parish register by an earlier priest and kindly given to me by the late Rev. John Hogan, who was parish priest from 1972 until his retirement in 1993.

Kilbarron is the ecclesiastical name of the parish which is made up of the medieval parishes of Kilbarron and Finnoe. It is called after St. Barrfhionn who flourished about the beginning of the sixth century. He was Abbot of Drumcullen, Co. Meath, and died about 550 A.D. The church of Kilbarron was founded in the townland of the same name, overlooking the lordly Shannon and quite near to Islandmore. There is a tradition that a body of monks founded a church on Islandmore which the people of Kilbarron attended for worship. On one occasion when returning from worship in a great storm the tochar (ford) was swept away and some of the congregation were drowned, whereupon the monks built on the mainland the old church of Kilbarron which continued to be used until the seventeenth century when it fell into disrepair.

With the closure of the old church in the Abbey in Kilbarron in the mid 17th century, Catholic worship moved to an old thatched house in Carney Commons townland in the parish of Finnoe. it remained the parish church until the new one was built in 1814.

The present church was built in the townland of Ballyquinlivan (on the border between the parishes of Finnoe and Kilbarron) by the then Parish Priest, Father McCormack, in the year of 1814. It had the distinction of being the first slated church in the surrounding country after Penal Times and was called the New Chapel, which name it bears to this day. In February 1903, during a great storm, the roof was destroyed and a new roof was put on by the Rev. J. Darcy, PP. It cost £331-7-7.

There is no account in the parish records of where Mass and devotion were held during the repairs of the roof. They may have been held in the boys or girls school close by or in a large barn owned by Mark Burke. This barn was often used by travelling drama groups who travelled around Ireland in the 1920’s and ‘30’s. The barn was in a farmyard which is now the car park. The front aisle was seated. It would appear that the pews were in situ and amongst the carpenters who made them was Tommy O’Brien of the Convent Lodge, Nenagh, who with his cousin John O’Brien was shot by Crown Forces at Knigh in 1920. A monument to their memory stands at Knight Cross. The cost of the pews was £331, all of which was generously subscribed by the people of Kilbarron and Finnoe. Only the pews in the side aisle were privately owned.

In 1888 the present Stations of the Cross were installed by Rev. John Darcy, then a curate. Since its modest beginnings, all of one hundred and eighty-four years ago, the church has undergone much renovation, refurbishment and enhancement.

In 1920 a beautiful baptismal font was presented by Ellie Brereton of Oldcourt in memory of her brother John. She also presented aciborium, value £50. The first child to be christened at the font was the late Breda Brereton and, as far as I know, my sister Nor Carroll was the second – in April 1920.

In 1934-5 Canon John Darcy renovated the whole church both inside and out, putting down drainpipes, roughcasting and attaching the plinth course all around, putting in a new wooden floor set in cement (the original floor was earthen), repairing doors and window with new door sills, breaking out two new windows, one on each side of the altar (the existing windows were smaller and the one nearer the altar had been blocked out when a sacristy was built, date unknown).

He also had new altar rails and two beautiful new altars with mosaic backgrounds inserted. Mike Whelan, Borrisokane, grandfather of Mrs. Teresa Burke, did the stone and plaster work, while the carpentry was carried out in the coach house by Danny Tierney of Terryglass. Bob Markison, a craftsman from Dublin, who worked for the Dublin firm which supplied the altars, did all necessary work in assembling them and also probably applied the mosaic. He lodged at Donoghues (now Hannigans) while the work was in progress. Apart from John Meather of Coolbawn, who was a paid employee, all the labouring work was done by volunteers from the parish. All this work was carried out according to plans supplied free by M.J. Kennedy, County Surveyor, Galway, who was Canon Darcy’s nephew. The people of the whole parish of Kilbarron and Finnoe contributed generously to this work.

Ellie Esmonde, Killeen, presented £100 for the erection of a sanctuary lamp in memory of her parents and brothers. Dr. Esmonde, Nenagh, contributed £25. Mrs. Mary Clancy, Newlawn, donated the altar rails in memory of her husband, Joe Clancy, and her uncle, Rev. John Kennedy (Fr. Darcy’s predecessor), at a cost of £150. Mrs O’Connell, Ballycolliton, presented the side altar and statue in honour of the Immaculate Conception, in memory of her husband John and family, at a cost of £126. The handsome vestment bench in the sacristy was donated by Mrs. Daniel Hough, Borrisokane (nee Ryan, Coolbawn), in memory of her husband Daniel and their daughter Madge Seymour. The high altar and mosaic work cost £420. The approximate cost of all the work was £1,400.

In 1968 a sum of £5,380 was spent on repairs by the then parish priest, Canon Daniel O’Donohoe, and Rev. Thomas Comerford, C.D., Michael Egan, builder, received £3,875 for the main work – new floor (cement, the previous wooden one having rotted), plastering of walls inside and out, repairs to bell, new stairs to gallery (the old outside stone stairs having been removed by voluntary labour).

The altar was changed by Murray of Nenagh at a cost of £265. Our Lady’s altar was brought outside the rails. New gas heaters were installed at a cost of £188. John Bray, Nenagh, tiled the floors at a cost of £383. O’Brien Brothers (painters) cleaned and varnished seats, painted doors etc. at a cost of £378.
Gunnings received £135 for brass work. Eamon Slevin, Borrisokane received £70 for wiring and new lights. Finally, amplification was installed in 1975, also by Eamon Slevin, at a cost of £125.

In May 1981 a chalice was presented to the church in memory of Mr. John Touhy of Pelham Manor, New York by Mrs. Bridie (nee touhy) McCarthy and a set of vestments by Mr and Mrs Walter Doherty and Mr. and Mrs. Peter J. Smith and family of New York. Other donations: figures for crib by mrs Thomas Cormican, Kilbarron; a ciborium by Mr. and Mrs. James Burke, Pascal candlestick by Michael and Mary Parkinson; altar and lectern hanging by Elsie Hogan who embroidered them herself. Mick Maloney donated the carriage for wheeling out coffins.

In 1981 more renovations took place under the direction of Rev. John Hogan, P.P., and Rev. P.J. O’Connor, CSSP, curate. The sanctuary was extended and a celebrant’s chair provided. A new porch was added and the entrance gate and walls lowered and side entrance ramped and railed. Total cost: £13,000. Later on, the walls of the church grounds were faced with stone and painted and the church floor carpeted. Christy Cormican did all the work. A new organ was installed and new gas heaters were put in – cost: £4,500.

The church holds the Kearney chalice, – silver with gilt bowl inscribed ‘Orate pro D. Daniel Karney 1621’. Which translates: ‘pray for Daniel Kearney 1621. The chalice has a panel with cross, lance, reed, sponge and ladder.

An interesting entry in the baptismal register gives an account of how the parishioners expressed their disapproval of a clerical appointment in the 1830s. A similar incident, which escalated and became prolongs, occurred in Newport in the 1820s and in Nenagh in the 1840s. The entry reads as follows:
On the death of Rev. Francis Neylan P.P., the people of the parish of Kilbarron and Terryglass petitioned the Bishop to appoint Rev. E. Malone, the then C.C., as P.p. The Bishop could not see his way to accede to request and appointed Rev. Ambrose Bowles as P.P. When Father Bowles arrived at Terryglass he found the door of the church nailed up against him. Father Bowles quieted the Schism and those who nailed the door against faded off the face of the earth. Their families and no one to represent them in 1900.

Registry of baptisms lost from 12 April 1832 to 4th Dec. 1832.
Another entry from the baptismal register of 1888-98 also makes for interesting reading a century on. The practice of primate pew ownership is well within living memory, having been phased out only in the 1950s.
Rules governing the ownership of seats in Kilbarron church
All seats in long house are common, one side for men and the other for women, except as reserved by the Parish Priest.
In side wings seats have been purchased by individual families and such families have right to their exclusive use as long as they live or remain as residents of the parish. When individual families die out or remove to other parishes the seats used by them become vested in the Parish Priest. No seat can be disposed of by Will or Sale or in any other way without the sanction of the Parish Priest.
Canon Philip Dwyer, History of Diocese of Killaloe.
Monsignor Ignatius Murphy, History of the Diocese of Killaloe, vols. I & II

Parochial Residences
The first parochial residence for a Catholic priest in the parish was built in 1905 during the ministry of Rev. John Darcy. It is a handsome dwelling named ‘St. Columba’s’ on a scenic site overlooking Lough Derg. The foundation stone was laid on 23 June 1904 and the building was ready for occupation by 10 May the following year. Up to this, priests lived in rented houses, e.g. Rodeen House, Finnoe, or in lodgings, e.g. in Newlawn, Ballinderry, the rooms being known afterwards as ‘the priests’ rooms’.

Around this time Mill House in Ballinderry was taken as a curate’s residence and continued as such for about sixty years. Rev. John Maloney, C.C., left in 1959 and was succeeded by Rev. John Cooney who remained until 1961. Rev. William Harty came as curate in 1961 but sadly died suddenly in 1964. He was followed by Rev. Thomas Comerford who stayed until 1972 when he left to become parish priest of Cournaganeen (Bourney).

During Fr. Comerford’s curacy in April 1965, a new curate’s house was erected on the Coolbawn road on the outskirts of Kilbarron village. Paddy Ryan, Ballyscanlon, was the builder (his sons were still schoolboys so the firm was not then Paddy Ryan & Sons as it is now). The agreed cost was £4,805. This was kept to within app. £100. The men who worked on the house were Jack Gaynor, Nenagh, plumber, John (Golly) Carroll, Borrisokane, blocklayer, Oliver Kennedy, Brocka, William O’Mahoney, Cloughjordan, Martin Guest, Ballinderry (now Borrisokane), carpenters; Denis Ryan, Borrisokane, painter and decorator. Others who also worked on the building were Michael Donnelly and Mick Gleeson, Borrisokane; Jack Dwyer, Ballinderry and Mick Foote, Brocka.

Mill House, Ballinderry was then sold to Dr. Vincent Ryan and his family. Canon Daniel O’Donoghue retired the same year as Fr. Comerford’s departure, 1972, and was replaced as parish priest by Rev. John Hogan, with Rev. Michael O’Donoghue becoming curate.

Fr. Hogan elected to make his home in the new house in Kilbarron which facilitated Fr. O’Donoghue going to live in Terryglass with his uncle, the retired parish priest. After the death of Canon O’Donoghue in 1979 his nephew went to Coolderry parish near birr, as parish priest.

However, Fr. Hogan chose to live on in Kilbarron. Rev. P.J. O’Connor, a Holy Ghost father who had been on the missions, came as curate in 1979 and lived in Terryglass. When Fr. Hogan retired as parish priest in 1993 he continued living in Kilbarron as assistant pastor until his death in August 1995. His successor as parish priest, Rev. John O’Driscoll, on transfer from Templederry parish, took up residence in Terryglass which was now vacant as Fr. O’Connor had already retired.

After an interval of nearly two years, during which time the parish was served by the parish priest only, a retired priest from Australia, Rev. Michael Downes, a native of County Clare, was appointed as assistant priest in 1996. On his arrival Fr. O’Driscoll moved to Kilbarron while Fr. Downes had his home in the parochial residence in Terryglass. he has since become a convent chaplain in Clare. In August 1998 Fr. O’Driscoll transferred as PP to Lissycasey, Co. Clare. He was replaced by Rev. Tom Seymour who took up residence in the parochial house, Terryglass.

Priests appearing in the Baptismal Registers 1827-1911

1st Appearance Last Appearance
Francis Neylan 01.07.1827 to 18.12.1831
Wm. D. O’Brien P.P. 04.09.1827 to 03.01.1829
Thomas Downey, C.C. 08.01.1829 to 19.03.1829
Eugene Malone C.C. 22.03.1829 to 12.04.1832
Ambrose Bowles, P.P. 09.12.1832 to 09.08.1846
M. Corbett, C.C. 04.12.1832 to 08.07.1833
John P. Conway C.C. 21.07.1833 to 21.01.1835
Josh Kerin C.C. 26.03.1835 to 21.06.1836
James Bowles C.C. 25.02.1841 to 09.10.1841
Patrick Mailley 21.10.1843 to 13.10.1844
J. Stack 18.11.1844 to 31.08.1845
J. McMahon 07.09.1845 to 28.06.1846
Michael Scanlon C.C. 30.07.1846 to 23.07.1848
J. Moloney P.P. 13.09.1846 to 23.07.1848
M. Burke 29.07.1848 to 07.08.1848
P. Kennedy P.P. 17.03.1849 to 15.01.1856
D. O’Meara 14.10.1849 to 27.04.1851
Michael Donoghue 21.03.1852 to 20.05.1855
Cornelius Gleeson 10.06.1855 to 03.02.1856
Timothy Gleeson 03.02.1856 to 04.03.1862
P. Horan 24.02.1856 to 13.07.1856
P. Hurley 30.11.1856 to 08.04.1857
Michael Gleeson 25.04.1857 to 15.04.1860
Francis O’Keane 02.05.1860 to 05.03.1862
John Gleeson C.C. 08.03.1862 to 30.03.1867
Timothy Gleeson P.P. 11.05.1862 to 25.04.1869
Peter McDonnell C.C. 19.05.1867 to 21.04.1872
George Corbett P.P. 03.10.1869 to 20.11.1881
Daniel Flannery C.C. 05.05.1872 to 22.01.1873
James Menton C.C. 05.04.1873 to 09.06.1873
John McNamara C.C. 23.07.1873 to 22.07.1876
M.J. Lynch C.C. 08.08.1876 to 29.09.1878
W.M. Marrinan 08.10.1878 to 27.10.1883
John Kennedy P.P. 28.12.1881 to 08.04.1899
W. Burke 14.11.1883 to 06.07.1886
Daniel O’Meara 05.08.1886 to 10.07.1887
John Darcy C.C. 02.08.1887 to 10.08.1890
Patrick Gunning C.C. 30.09.1890 to 04.07.1895
Michael Hayes C.C. 22.08.1895 to 05.01.1897
Patrick M. Kinnerk C.C. 13.01.1897 to 15.04.1899
Dan Day 30.05.1899 to 03.12.1899
John H. Molony C.C. 23.12.1899 to 05.01.1900
John Darcy, Adm. later P.P. 28.01.1900 to 04.01.1940
Thomas Meehan C.C. 06.01.1901 to 04.07.1907
Michael Murray C.C. 02.08.1907 to 05.02.1911
Michael Foley C.C. 1904 – continuing

Curates after 1911

Joseph Houlihan

Michael Flannery
Michael McNamara

Daniel Clohedy
John Cleary

James Moloney
John Cooney 1959-61
William Harty, 1961-4(died)

Rev. Canon John Darcy P.P. 1887-1940
Canon Darcy was a native of Barbaha in the parish of Youghalarra-Burgess. His ministry in the parish was in two spells, serving firstly as a curate from 1887 to 1890. After curacies in Monsea and Killodiernan, Kilmihill, Kilfarboy and Birr, he returned as curate in 1899. He was Adm. until Fr. Kennedy died and then became P.P. and remained here until his death in the parochial house, Terryglass, on 4 January 1940. His first appointment after ordination in 1885 had been as chaplain to Birr workhouse, followed by a year as curate in Kilcolman, Co. Offaly.
In the mid-1930s Canon Darcy initiated the first major refurbishment of Kilbarron church.

Rev. Daniel O’Donoghue P.P. 1940-72
Daniel O’Donoghue was born on 2 July 1887 at Lacken in the parish of Templederry. His parents, Michael and Ellen (nee Fogarty, Kilcoleman in Youghalarra parish), were farmers and Daniel was one of a family of ten children. Two of his brothers, Matthew and Patrick, also joined the priesthood and so sisters, Madeline and Teresa, joined the religious life – Madeline being a Sister of Mercy and matron of Nenagh hospital until she retired in the early 1950s.

The young Dan O’Donoghue received his primary education in Latteragh national school and Templederry national school prior to going to St. Flannan’s College, Ennis, in 1901.

He studied for the priesthood at the Irish College in Paris and was ordained in Ennis by his uncle, Dr. Michael Fogarty, Bishop of Killaloe, on 1 May 1912. Also ordained that was Rev. Michael Heenan, a native of Kilbarron-Terryglass parish.

Daniel O’Donoghue was appointed curate of O’Callaghan’s Mills in Co. Clare after ordination. He subsequently served at Doonbeg, Co. Clare, Toomevara and Kilrush. In 1940 he was appointed parish priest of Kilbarron-Terryglass on the death of Canon John Darcy.

During Fr. O’Donoghue’s time as parish priest, primary schools were built in Kilbarron (1941), and Terryglass (1954).Anew house for the curate was built in Kilbarron village in the 1960s.

Fr. O’Donoghue was appointed a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter in 1956. He celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood in 1962 and the Diamond Jubilee in 1972. He retired that year.

Canon O’Donoghue was held in great affection by the people of Kilbarron-Terryglass and he had a good relationship with them. He enjoyed a long and fruitful ministry and died on 19 April at the fine age of 92 years.

Rev. John Hogan P.P. – 1972-93, A.P. 1993-5
Rev. John Hogan was born in 1917 in the townland of Creggane in the parish of Youghalarra- Burgess. His parents were John and Elizabeth (ne McGrath) Hogan
He received his primary education in Youghalarra national school where his teacher was Mick Nealon, before going on to St. Flannan’s College, Ennis. He went from there to St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, to study for the priesthood and was ordained there in 1942, having also obtained a degree in Classics, Greek and Latin.He then returned to St. Flannan’s where he was to remain on the staff for twenty-seven years teaching Latin and Irish, becoming vice-President in 1958.
His first appointment to a parish was in 1969 when he went to Dunkerrin as a curate. Three years later he became parish priest of Kilbarron-Terryglass. He retired from this position in 1993 but spent the last two years of his life as assistant pastor to the new P.P., Rev. John O’Driscoll. Fr. Hogan had a great affinity with the parish, its people and particularly, the children with whom he had a great rapport. He loved hurling all his life and was there for Shannon Rovers at all times, sharing in their wins and defeats.

He was an avid reade rand a keen photographer, with a special interest in the environment. He liked nothing better than identifying and photographing the wild flowers and plants – some very rare – to be found in the lakeside areas. He shared his knowledge on the subject freely, writing about them in Cois Deirge and, on one occasion, was persuaded to talk about them to members of the Ormond Historical Society.

He was a noted poet in the Irish language. A collection of his work was published in 1987 under the title Dióscain. The themes reflect his deep spirituality. He died in Nenagh Hospital on 25 August 1995 and was buried in the grounds of Kilbarron church.

Rev. John O’Driscoll P.P. 1993-8.
Fr. O’Driscoll is a native of Killimer, Co. Clare. He was educated in the local national school and in St. Flannan’s College, Ennis. Since his ordination in Maynooth in 1953 he has served in Brentwood, London, as chaplain to Sean Ross Abbey, Roscrea, and as Director of Religious Education, 1955-68. This was followed by a curacy in Nenagh, during which he studied at the Irish Institute for Pastoral Liturgy, 1974-5. He was appointed parish priest of Templederry in 1987, transferring to Kilbarron-Terryglass in 1993 and to Lissycasey, Co. Clare, in August 1998.

Rev. Tom Seymour, P.P. 1998-2002
Fr. Seymour was born in Lansdowne, Portroe, in 1935 to James Seymour and Johanna Ryan. He is a past pupil of Portroe National School, Nenagh C.B.S. and St.. Flannan’s College, Ennis. He studied for the priesthood at St. Patrick’s College, Carlow, where he was ordained in 1961. He has served as curate in Annaclone and Banbridge, two separate parishes in Co. Down. He returned to his native diocese in 1969 to the parish of Lorrha-Rathcabbin. He was in Borrisokane parish from 1969 to 1981, where he combined parochial duties with teaching religion in 1981 and remained there for six years. There followed a seven-year term in Roscrea, followed by four years in Broadford, Co. Clare as P.P. He was appointed P.P. of Kilbarron-Terryglass in August 1998.

Rev. Joe Melia Adm.
Rev. Brendan Quinlivan
Rev. Michael Cooney

Kilbarron (New Chapel)
This village is situated in the townlands of Upper and Lower Ballyquinlivan, four miles from Borrisokane and twelve miles from Nenagh. I was a greenfield site when the Catholic church was built there in 1814. It came to be known officially as New Chapel but the local people always called it Kilbarron, taking the name from the townland where the ruins of the pre-Reformation parish church was situated. A little village, hamlet really, grew up around the 1814 church. To further complicate terminology, as already pointed out in the chapter on churches, both Upper and Lower Ballyquinlivan are actually in the parish of Finnoe.
Up to and for some time after World War II, or the mid-1940s, the village consisted of the chapel, the boys’ school and the girls’ school, Donoghue’s (now Hannigan’s) public house, Treacy’s public house, Quinlan’s shop, Mark Bourke’s house, an old unoccupied house called Ned Hogan’s beside the girls’ school and a little way up the Coolbawn road, Pat and Mossy Meara’s cottage, occupied until the last couple of years by the Gleeson family who now have a new house beside it. Meara’s was one of the very first labourers’ cottages to be built by the Board of Guardians.

Mossy Meara was the church sacristan until she became too old and was replaced by Mrs. Quirke in the late 1920s. Her husband, Pat Meara, was an eccentric character who amused himself by making up parcels of stones wrapped in newspaper and leaving them along the roadside to intrigue passers-by. As schoolchildren we soon got used to them, just calling them ‘Pat Meara’s parcels’ and ignoring them.

Mrs. M.B. Fleming’s cottage was built in the early 1930s and was first occupied by Bill Hyland, the blacksmith. In 1850, according to the Primary Valuation list, Thomas Hackett held all 103 acres of Ballyquinlivan Upper in fee and was the ‘immediate lessor’ of the boys’ national school site and of the chapel and yard.
In the 1870s it became the property of the Wallers of Banagher. Major Bertie Waller inherited it and Firgrove in 1919 from his mother who had lived in Banagher.

The 1820s Roots
In the Tithe lists of 1824 the landlord with the most land in Finnoe parish was Thomas Waller who had bought in earlier in the century. Many of the tenants’ names like Meara, Treacy, Hogan, Gleeson, Corcoran, Hough, Ralph, Stanley, Darcy, Hodgins, Moran, Fox, Kennedy, Brooder, Cleary, Brereton, still occur in the parish today.

In that list Michael Clear had 22 acres, and John Clear 10 acres in Ballyquinlivan townland. Patrick Clear/Cleere who built the chapel in 1814 also built what is now Hannigan’s public house in 1819. This date was found inscribed in plaster over its door when the first renovations to the building were undertaken by the late George Hannigan about fifteen years ago. The inscription was plastered over. It seems to have been built as a police barracks and is marked as such on the Ordnance Survey map of 1840 but sometime before 1850 a new barracks was built in Coolbawn on the Castletown estate and presumably the Clears applied for a public house licence for this house in the village.

Patrick Clear’s daughter married Michael Donoghue of Carney. Their son John married Kathleen O’Rourke of Ferbane. They had no family and brought Mrs. O’Donoghue’s niece, Pauline Harkins, Athlone, to live with them. Pauline’s mother had died and her father had remarried. In 1956 Pauline married George Hannigan, a local garda sergeant and a native of Donegal. Joseph is their only child.

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