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Dromcollogher-Broadford Parish

History | Churches | Graveyards | Marian Shrine | Mass Rock | Famous People | Townlands | Priests of the Parish

Brief Parish History & Geographical Location

The village of Dromcollogher is nine miles south-west of the town of Charleville. Dromcollogher is the meeting point of the R519 from the north, the R515 from the east and the R522 from the south. Dromcollogher was first recorded in the Book of Leinster in 1160 and Westropp includes a reference to Drumcollechaellor in 1201. In ancient times Dromcollogher and the parishes of Kilmeedy, Feenagh and Ballygran were grouped together in an area called Corcomohide.

The official spelling of the name is Dromcolliher, although locals use Dromcollogher. The placename is also spelt Drumcollogher. The name is derived from the Irish 'Drom Collachair' which means "the ridge of the hazel wood".

Dromcollogher grew in the 1640s when the Courtenay family came to the area to plant the lands they had received following the defeat of the Munster Geraldines by the English in 1583. The diamond in the town centre serves as a reminder of the plantation origins of this town. Today the town is renowned as the home of a world famous Dresden porcelain factory, established here in 1962.

Broadford was formerly known as the parish of Killaliathan or Killagholehane. Broadford is a relatively new village and was first recorded in the maps of 1837. The area grew as the village of Broadford began to prosper in the first half of the nineteenth century. The village is eight miles from the town of Newcastle West and is the meeting point of the R515 from the west and the R579 from the south. Broadford was originally called Béal an Átha which means "the ford mouth".

The Ó Coileáins once ruled all the lands that encompass Broadford and the parish of Kilkeedy. After the Norman invasion, the land came under the control of the Fitzgerald family, the Earls of Desmond.

The seat of power in the area was at Springfield Castle. It was historically referred to as Gort na Tiobraid Castle. It is now under the ownership of Lord Muskerry whose forefather; Sir Robert Tilson Deane became the first Lord Muskerry in 1781.

A local tradition surrounds Glenacopple Wood. According to the tale, a woman was thirsty during the saving of a crop of hay. She went into the nearby church in Killagholehane and drank some of the consecrated wine. For this, she was ordered to plough out the glen with two white horses. It is claimed that she stills haunts the glen, which is called Gleann na gCapall (the Glen of the Horse).

Percy French wrote a song called 'There's only one house in Dromcollogher'. A plaque erected on a wall of a house in the Town Square where Percy French stayed commemorates this.

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The present day church in Dromcollogher was built under the leadership of Fr Michael Fitzgerald in 1824. Fr Fitzgerald acquired the site from a local landlord Mr Staveley. The church is dedicated to St Bartholomew. Renovations were carried out in 1861 by Fr Patrick Quaid. Further renovations were carried out in the 1950's and the 1990's.

The side walls of the nave of this church are very unusual in that they are constructed of glass. This glass has been engraved with both religious and secular scenes, including scenes from the life of St Bartholomew, as well as locally relevant scenes.

To the left of the entrance to the church grounds, a large Celtic cross has been erected. On a Sunday evening, 5th September 1926, William 'Baby' Forde hired a room from Patrick Brennan in the centre of Dromcollogher. He had intended to show two films in this make shift cinema. However, disaster struck when, during the showing, a roll of film was set on fire from the flame of a candle. The fire spread resulting in the deaths of 46 people, with two more dying later in hospital. The unfortunate victims were buried in the churchyard in a communal grave. This Celtic cross was erected as a memorial to the victims of this tragedy. A library has since been built on the site of the fire and a commemorative plaque erected to mark the tragedy.

There is a large Crucifixion scene in the grounds of the church, as well as a statue of the Sacred Heart.

Within the church, on the left, there is a statue of St Theresa of Liseux, donated by Kitty Fitzgerald. There is a statue of St Joseph on the right. In the left transept of the church, there is a stained glass window of the Sacred Heart, donated by Mrs Toomey in memory of her parents and her husband. There is also a stained glass window of the Holy Child of Jerusalem in this transept. A plaque states that David O'Leary Hannigan and Mary of Kilbolane, Milford Co. Cork, donated the apse, stained glass window, and niche to the Holy Family, in memory of George in 1906.

On the right of altar, there is a statue of the Sacred Heart. William Pearse, father of Padraig Pearse and William Pearse, donated the statue of Mary on the left.

The stained glass windows behind the altar were donated by O'Leary Hannigan. They depict (from left to right) St David, Mary, the Sacred Heart, and St Catherine.

There is also a stained glass window of St Patrick in the right transept, donated in memory of Patrick Q. Hannigan and Mrs Hannigan. A statue of the Pieta has been erected here, and according to a nearby plaque, the Pieta and niche are in memory of John Gleeson, who died on September 22nd 1901. The stained glass window of St Joseph, also in this transept, was given by Patrick O'Sullivan, Shessure.

A statue in the porch of the right transept depicts the death of St Joseph, while the statue in the left hand porch depicts the Holy Family.

The Stations of the Cross are dedicated to the memory of Dorcas Mary Aherne, who died in October 1895.

The stained glass window at the back of Dromcollogher church is in memory of John Murphy of Tullig, who died on October 13th 1905.

Buried within the church is:

William O'Donnell
Parish Priest for 33 years
Died August 25th 1876
Aged 62

Buried in the grounds of the church are:

Michael Byrne
Parish Priest for 16 years
Died on 23rd June 1917
Aged 72 years

Archdeacon Hugh O'Connor
P.P. 1946-1972
Died on 25th March 1972
Aged 79

James Canon Foley
P.P. from 1936-1946

John Canon Reeves
Parish Priest for 9 years
Died February 5th 1936
Aged 80

The church in Broadford was built in 1844 to accommodate the rising population in the area. Local historian Seamus Ó Súilleabhán believes that this church was preceded by a Mass house located at the site of his premises in the village from around the 1820s. The church itself is built from limestone, which was quarried locally. Fr Quaid added the belfry to the church in 1856. Further renovation work was carried out on the church in 1985/86.

There is a statue of the Sacred Heart in the grounds of the church on the left. The Crucifixion scene is on the right of the church. An inscription on the belltower reads "P. Quaid 1856".

Inside the church, there is a statue to the left of the altar of the Blessed Virgin, and a statue to the right of the altar of St Theresa, in memory of John Connors.

The stained glass windows behind the altar depict St Anthony, The Passion, and St David. David MacMahon donated these windows in memory of David and Johanna MacMahon, in 1903.

Prior to the building of Dromcollogher church, an ancient church existed here in the Tuath of Corkomoyd. However, Begley believed that this church was burned down in a war in 1302.

This church was replaced by St Bartholomew's church, the ruins of which can now be seen across the road from the present day church in Dromcollogher. Dromcollogher graveyard surrounds the ruin.

According to an entry in the Munster Journal of January 3rd 1751, there was also a Mass house in the area.

Occasionally referred to as Killaliathan church, Killagholehane church, is situated in Killagholehane graveyard. The name is derived from the Irish Cill Acha Liatháin, which means "the church of the field of O'Leehane". According to legend, one of the Uí Liathain (O'Leehane) women wanted to establish a church but did not know the best site for her church. She prayed to God for a sign that would help her decide on the location. After a snowstorm in the summer, only one field remained free from the white blanket of snow. This field was part of the Uí Liatháin's land. The woman took this occurrence as an omen. In honour of this omen, it was decided to dedicate the church to Our Lady of the Snows.

The earliest record of Killagholehane church is from 1201. In 1302 at the time of the destruction of the church in Dromcollogher, Killagholehane church was also partially destroyed. It was rebuilt almost immediately on the same site.

There was also accommodation for priests in a building attached to the church. There is a tomb in the wall of the church from the fifteenth century but it is unknown who it belongs to. It may possibly be the tomb of the O'Daly family, a renowned Bardic family under the employment of the Earls of Desmond for around 300 years.

Springfield church ruin is located in the graveyard of the same name. This church, also known as Gortnatubrid, was originally a Chapel of Ease for the Fitzgerald family in Springfield Castle. In fact an underground tunnel was located linking the church to the castle. This church became a Protestant church and both Catholics and Protestants are buried in the surrounding graveyard.

There is a tomb to the Fitzmaurice family, who acquired the castle after Sir John Fitzgerald left the country to serve with the Irish Brigade in France following the Jacobite/Williamite war of 1689-91. He was killed in battle in Oudenarde in 1708. During the Geraldine Rebellion of 1579, John of Desmond defeated the English at the Battle of Gortnatubrid in a field just below the cemetery in Springfield, called Páirc na Staille.

Over the entrance to Springfield Castle is the motto of the MacCarthy family which means "To the brave and the faithful, nothing is difficult". The entrance was inspired by the Maoiri tradition, which Lord Muskerry came across while working in Australia and New Zealand.

The church ruins in Tullylease are believed to date from the seventh century. Tullylease is in the Diocese of Cloyne and is regarded by many as a boundary point in the Diocese of Limerick. The present diocesan boundaries were drawn up at the Synod of Rathbrassil in 1111.

The original church at Tullylease was built by St Berechert, an Anglo-Saxon saint who came to Ireland in the seventh century with St. Gerald of Mayo. Mathew, son of Grifin built an Augustinian monastery here some time before 1170. Parts of the ruins date from the twelfth (the south end of the east wall), thirteenth (the window and door in the south wall) and the fifteenth (the chancel) centuries. According to Séamus Ó Súilleabháin, the soldiers of Cromwell destroyed the church in or around 1650.

On the eastern wall of the church, there is an inscribed stone that is from the eighth century. It is an early Christian cross-slab and asks people to pray for Berechert (sometimes called St Benjamin).

Seamus Ó Súilleabháin informs us that the stone is similar to a scene in the Book of Lindisfarme, an Anglo-Saxon book similar to Ireland's Book of Kells.

According to John O'Sullivan's book A History of the Church in Killagholehane and Broadford there was also a church called Killeen, the site of which was a half mile to the north of Broadford village. However, there is no longer any trace of the church at the site.

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The present day cemetery in Dromcollogher is located across the road from the present day church. This graveyard surrounds the ruins of St Bartholomew's church. The oldest headstone that we found in the cemetery was dedicated to the memory of the Reverend Patrick Quin who was a priest in Dromcollogher. Fr. Quin died on the 29th of April 1778.

Killagholehane graveyard is situated in the townland of the same name. This graveyard, also known as Killaliathan, surrounds the ruins of Killagholehane church. The graveyard is well kept. The oldest headstone that we came across in this graveyard dates from 1862 and is in memory of a woman called Parker. She is the only Protestant buried in this graveyard.

Springfield graveyard is located in Springfield townland. The oldest headstone that we came across here was in memory of David Neal who died on December 29th, 1715. Marker stones can be found throughout the graveyard. One gable end of Springfield church ruin remains standing in this graveyard.

Today in the Diocese of Cloyne, Tullylease was once part of the parish of Dromcollogher/Broadford. A graveyard surrounds the church ruin.

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Marian Shrine
A Marian Shrine was erected in Broadford village in 1988.
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Mass Rock

Broadford mass rock is located in the townland of Farrihy. The mass rock is situated on Cnoc na gCairn, Daly's Hill. According to local tradition, Oliver Plunkett was present at the consecration of Bishop Dooley of Limerick (1677) at Farrihy. Today the mass rock is no longer visible, as the hillside has been planted with trees. The site, however, still affords a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.

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Famous People

Dáithí Ó Bruadair (1625 - 1698) is one of the famous sons of the parish. Although he was born in Co. Cork, the Fitzgeralds of County Limerick were his primary patrons and, therefore, he spent most of his time in the area. A statue, sculpted by Clíodna Cussen, has been erected to his memory in Broadford. According to the adjoining plaque, President Mary McAleese officially unveiled the statue on May 4th 1998.

Dáithí Ó'Bruadair was one of the last professional poets, whose work recorded the events in the lives of a ruling family in Ireland. During Dáithí O'Bruadair's lifetime, Cuchonnacht O Dálaigh held a Bardic school in Tullaha. Students came from all over Ireland to learn poetry. The Bardic school survived until the death of Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh in 1642. O'Bruadair's work as a poet did not continue throughout his life, and it is thought that he ended his life as a farm labourer. A fine inscribed plaque by Cork sculptor, Seamus Murphy commemorating Dáithí's life, is set in the wall of the entrance to Springfield castle. The plaque includes the following quote from Ó Bruadair "Dúnadh duanach duasach dreamach" which means "a mansion abounding in poetry, rewards and crowds of people". "Dúnadh" also means 'fortress like' and was important in the uncertain times that Dáithí Ó Bruadair lived in.

Bishop Douley was consecrated in Dromcollogher/Broadford, in the townland of Farrihy, on May 4th 1676. The consecration took place at White Gate, near Springfield castle.


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English Name Irish Name Meaning
Ballinlongig Baile an Longaigh The town of An Longach
Ballyfirreen Baile Phirín The town of Pirín
Ballymongaun Baile Uí Mhongáin The town of Ó Mongán
Banemore An Bán Mór The big (tract of) lea ground
Barnagarrane Barr na nGarrán The high ground of the groves
Boola An Bhuaile The booley
Broadford Béal an Átha The mouth of the ford
Carroward East An Cheathrú Árd The high quarterland
Carroward West as above  
Coolaboy Cúil Buí Yellow corners
Coolaleen Cúil an Lín The corner of the flax
Coolnaknockane Cúil na gCnocán The corner of the hillocks
Dromcollogher Drom Collachair Ridge of the Hazelwood
Farrihy An Fhairche The territory
Gardenfield East Múscrsaí Uí Núnáin Múscraí of Ó Núnáin
Gardenfield South as above  
Gardenfield West as above  
Gorteen An Goirtín The small field
Kells Na Cealla The churches
Killeen An Cillín The small church
Knockacraig Cnoc an Chraobhaigh The hill of An Craobhach
Knockgloss An Cnoc Glas The green hill
Knocktoosh Cnoc Túis Meaning uncertain
Lacka Lower An Leaca The hillside
Lacca Upper as above  
Lisnafulla Lios na Fola The enclosure of the blood
Mondellihy Móin Deilithe Meaning uncertain
Mount Plummer Cill Aidhleach The church of Aidhleach
Sheshiv Seiseamh Sixth part
Springfield Gort na Tiobraide The field of the well
Tullaha Na Tulacha The hillocks
Tulligmacthomas Tulaigh Mhic Thomáis The hillock of Mac Thomáis
Woodfield Ros na Réileán The high place of the level tracts


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List of Priests

Year Parish Priest Curate(s)
1704 - 1719 Maurice England  
1719 – c.1740 James Scanlon  
c.1740 - 1765 Callaghan O’Callaghan  
1765 -? John Browne  
? - 1778 Patrick Quin  
1778 - 1795 Thomas Conway  
1795 - 1808 Thomas Cleary  
1808 - 1817 James O’Connor  
1817 - 1824 Michael Fitzgerald  
1824 – 1833 Michael Shanahan  
1833 - 1836 Patrick Reeves  
1837 Patrick Reeves Michael McDonnell
1838 Patrick Reeves Michael McDonnell
1839 Patrick Reeves Richard Scott
1840 Patrick Reeves Richard Scott
1841 Patrick Quaid Oliver Frost
1842 Patrick Quaid John Meehan
1843 Patrick Quaid Maurice Ahern
1844 Patrick Quaid Maurice Ahern
1845 Patrick Quaid John Chawke
1846 Patrick Quaid John Chawke
1847 Patrick Quaid James O’Donnell
1848 Patrick Quaid James O’Donnell
1849 Patrick Quaid James O’Donoghue
1850 Patrick Quaid  
1851 Patrick Quaide  
1852 Patrick Quaide  
1853 Patrick Quaide  
1854 Patrick Quaide  
1855 Patrick Quaide John Walshe
1856 Patrick Quaide John Walshe
1857 Patrick Quaide John Walshe
1858 Patrick Quaide John Walshe
1859 Patrick Quaide James Corbett
1860 Patrick Quaide John Quaide
1861 Patrick Quaide John Quaide
1862 Patrick Quaide Richard Bridgeman
1863 Patrick Quaide Richard Bridgeman
1864 Patrick Quaide Richard Bridgeman
1865 Patrick Quaide Richard Bridgeman
1866 Patrick Quaide Patrick Carroll
1867 Patrick Quaide Patrick Carroll
1868 Patrick Quaid Edward Clifford
1869 William O’Donnell Edward Clifford
1870 William O’Donnell Edward Clifford
1871 William O’Donnell Edward Russell
1872 William O’Donnell Edward Russell
1873 William O’Donnell Edward Russell
1874 William O’Donnell Edward Russell
1875 William O’Donnell Edward Russell
1876 William O’Donnell Robert Kirby
1877 James Lynch Roche Robert Kirby
1878 James Lynch Roche Edward Russell
1879 James Lynch Roche Edward Russell
1880 James Lynch Roche Edward Russell
1881 James Lynch Roche Edward Russell
1882 James Lynch Roche Edward Russell
1883 James Lynch Roche Edward Russell
1884 James Lynch Roche Edward Russell
1885 James Lynch Roche Edward Russell
1886 James Lynch Roche Edward Russell
1887 James Lynch Roche Edward Russell
1888 James Lynch Roche Laurence Curtin
1889 James Lynch Roche James O’Shea
1890 James Lynch Roche James O’Shea
1891 James Lynch Roche James O’Shea
1892 John Glesson James O’Shea
1893 John Glesson James O’Shea
1894 John Glesson James O’Shea
1895 John Glesson James O’Shea
1896 John Glesson James O’Shea
1897 John Glesson James O’Shea
1898 John Glesson James O’Shea
1899 John Glesson James O’Shea
1900 John Glesson James O’Shea
1901 John Glesson James O’Shea
1902 Michael Byrne James O’Shea
1903 Michael Byrne James O’Shea
1904 Michael Byrne James O’Shea
1905 Michael Byrne James O’Shea
1906 Michael Byrne James O’Shea
1907 Michael Byrne James O’Shea
1908 Michael Byrne James O’Shea
1909 Michael Byrne James O’Shea
1910 Michael Byrne Thomas Wall
1911 Michael Byrne Thomas Wall
1912 Michael Byrne Thomas Wall
1913 Michael Byrne Thomas Wall
1914 Michael Byrne Thomas Wall
1915 Michael Byrne Thomas Wall
1916 Michael Byrne Thomas Wall
1917 Michael Byrne Thomas Wall
1918 Canon John Begley Thomas Wall
1919 Canon John Begley Thomas Wall
1920 Canon John Begley Thomas Wall
1921 Canon John Begley Thomas de Bhall
1922 Canon John Begley Thomas de Bhall
1923 Canon John Begley Edward Punch
1924 Canon John Begley Edward Punch
1925 Canon John Begley Edward Punch
1926 Canon John Begley Edward Punch
1927 Canon John Begley Edward Punch
1928 Canon John Reeves Edward Punch
1929 Canon John Reeves Edward Punch
1930 Canon John Reeves Edward Punch
1931 Canon John Reeves Robert Dunworth
1932 Canon John Reeves Robert Dunworth
1933 Canon John Reeves Robert Dunworth
1934 Canon John Reeves Robert Dunworth
1935 Canon John Reeves Robert Dunworth
1936 Canon John Reeves Robert Dunworth
1937 James Foley Robert Dunworth
1938 James Foley Philip Enright
1939 James Foley Philip Enright
1940 James Foley Philip Enright
1941 James Foley Philip Enright
1942 James Foley Philip Enright
1943 James Foley Philip Enright
1944 James Foley Philip Enright
1945 James Foley Philip Enright
1946 James Foley Philip Enright
1947 Hugh O’Connor Philip Enright
1948 Hugh O’Connor Philip Enright
1949 Hugh O’Connor Philip Enright
1950 Hugh O’Connor Philip Enright
1951 Hugh O’Connor Philip Enright
1952 Hugh O’Connor Philip Enright
1953 Hugh O’Connor Philip Enright
1954 Hugh O’Connor Michael Minihan
1955 Hugh O’Connor Michael Minihan
1956 Hugh O’Connor Michael Minihan
1957 Hugh O’Connor Michael Minihan
1958 Hugh O’Connor Michael Minihan
1959 Hugh O’Connor Michael Minihan
1960 Hugh O’Connor William O’Connell
1961 Hugh O’Connor William O’Connell
1962 Hugh O’Connor William O’Connell
1963 Hugh O’Connor William O’Connell
1964 Hugh O’Connor Gerard Wall
1965 Hugh O’Connor Gerard Wall
1966 Hugh O’Connor Gerard Wall
1967 Hugh O’Connor Gerard Wall
1968 Hugh O’Connor Gerard Wall
1969 Hugh O’Connor Gerard Wall
1970 Hugh O’Connor Gerard Wall
1971 Hugh O’Connor Gerard Wall
1972 Hugh O’Connor Gerard Wall
1973 John Liston Peadar de Burca
1974 John Liston Peadar de Burca
1975 John Liston Peadar de Burca
1976 John Liston Peadar de Burca
1977 John Liston Peadar de Burca
1978 John Liston Peadar de Burca
1979 John Liston Peadar de Burca
1980 John Liston Peadar de Burca
1981 John Liston Peadar de Burca
1982 John Liston Peadar de Burca
1983 John Liston Frank Duhig
1984 John Liston Frank Duhig
1985 John Liston Thomas Crawford
1986 John Liston Thomas Crawford
1987 James Ambrose Thomas Crawford
1988 James Ambrose Thomas Crawford
1989 James Ambrose Thomas Crawford
1990 James Ambrose Thomas Crawford
1991 James Ambrose Timothy Curtin
1992 James Ambrose Timothy Curtin
1993 James Ambrose Timothy Curtin
1994 James Ambrose Timothy Curtin
1995 James Ambrose Timothy Curtin
1996 James Ambrose Timothy Curtin
1997 James Ambrose Anthony Kelleher
1998 James Ambrose Anthony Kelleher
1999 Canon James Ambrose Anthony Kelleher
2000 Canon James Ambrose Anthony Kelleher
2001 Canon James Ambrose Anthony Kelleher
2002 Canon James Ambrose Anthony Kelleher
2003 Canon James Ambrose Anthony Kelleher
2004 Canon James Ambrose Anthony Kelleher
2005 Canon James Ambrose Anthony Kelleher
2006 Canon James Ambrose Anthony Kelleher
2007 Canon James Ambrose Anthony Kelleher


The list of Priests from 1704 to 1836 is compiled from information gained in Begley's History of the Diocese of Limerick Vol. III page 598. The remaining years are compiled from the Catholic Directories. Information contained in a directory of any given year refers to what happened the previous year. For example if a priest is recorded in the 1954 directory as being in a particular parish, this would mean that he was actually there in 1953.

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