The parishes of Dromin and Athlacca were formerly separate, but according to Begley's History of the Diocese of Limerick, they had been joined to form the present day parish by 1704 when William Ronan registered as Parish Priest. The parish is in the barony of Coshma. Dromin can be translated as Dromainn meaning 'a high ridge of land' while Athlacca is translated as Áth Leacach, which means 'the flaggy ford' or 'the flagged ford'. Some of the richest land in Ireland can be found in the parish. The present population of the parish is over 1,000 people.
Athlacca used to be the residence of the De Lacy family, the landlords of the surrounding district. A battle was fought in Athlacca in 1691 between the Irish supporters of James II and the troops of William III, with victory going to the forces of William III.
In 1824 Archdeacon Wray Maunsell made an interesting discovery in the bog of Rathcannon when the complete skeleton of an Irish elk was found. The skeleton can now be seen in the National Museum of Ireland.
In the past, part of the present day parish of Bruff called Uregare was in the parish of Dromin/Athlacca. Uregare was a separate parish in itself in the past until Fr John Dyneene became parish priest around 1720. The parish is situated between the towns of Bruff to the north and Kilmallock to the south.
The church in Dromin was built in 1828 under the leadership of Fr James O'Regan on the site of a thatched church that was the place of worship prior to that date. The church was renovated at the turn of the century and again in 1992. Outside the church in Dromin there is a statue, which was erected in 1951, to Fr Stephen O'Dea to commemorate his being a priest for 50 years.
Inside the church, there is a stained glass window given by Fr John Irwin who was parish priest in 1982 when the church was renovated. Mary Barry from Raymondstown also gave the stained glass window of the Good Shepherd inside the door of the church.
The church has a wooden ceiling and the local parishioners donated the Stations of the Cross. To the right of the altar there is a statue to St. Joseph and to the left of the altar there is a statue to Mary. The people of Dromin erected a plaque to the memory of Fr Patrick Ryan. Fr Ryan was parish priest from 1849 until his death in 1866.
Buried within the church is:
Patrick Ryan P.P.
Died June 24 1866, aged 60
Buried in the grounds of the church are:
Died November 24 1968, aged 94
Msg. John J. Hennessy
Diocese of Dubuque, U.S.A.
Died December 2 1974
(A native of Cottage, Kilmallock)
Dean Michael Canty
Died January 4 1936, aged 96
The church in Athlacca is dedicated to St. John the Baptist and it was built in 1840 during the tenure of Fr Michael Tuohy as parish priest. It was built to replace the thatched church that was damaged on the Night of the Big Wind on January 6th, 1839. The Bourke family donated the site.
The front porch in the church is a recent addition to the building and in the porch, there is a holy water font that has the date 1720 inscribed on it. Two stained glass windows on the left of the church are in memory to Robert Clery. These windows show the images of St. Ita, St. Munchin, St. Joseph and St. John the Baptist. There is a stained glass window on the right of the church that depicts the Sacred Heart and the Virgin Mary. This window is to the memory of Patrick Power. There is also a stained glass window to St. Patrick and St. Brigid.
To the left of the main altar is a small altar to the Queen of Peace. The Baptismal font is to the memory of Pakie and Kathleen Lynch. The priest's chair was given by Pat Lane and family while John O'Keeffe and family donated the pulpit.
Buried within the church is:
Died November 29 1890, aged 74
Buried in the grounds of the church are:
Died January 7 1973
Died September 6 1979
Died July 20 1987, aged 68
Begley also states in Volume III of his "History of the Diocese of Limerick" that Fr Tuohy was buried in the church when he died in 1847.
There is a church ruin in Athlacca North called Kilbroney on the land of the Irwin family. Lewis says that this church has some very interesting tombs to the De Lacy family. Spellissy/O'Brien gives details of what was left of the ruin. It is said that the ruin dates from the 15th century. All that remains of the church is one wall. Trees surround the ruin but the ground around the church is at a higher level than the rest of the field. Spellissy/O'Brien dates the present ruin from the 15th century.
Westropp mentions a church in Athlacca North called St Laurence's
Church. However, Westropp also lists a church called Kilbruainy, located near
St Broney's well in Athlacca.
There is a church ruin in the graveyard in Dromin. It is believed that the church was built in the 16th century and was used for Protestant worship after the Reformation. As you enter the site of the ruin, the first feature of the ruin that you see is what looks to be the remains of a bell tower. However, it was actually the living quarters of the priests of the parish.
Over the doorway there is a plaque to the Gubbins family, who owned Maidstown Castle. Inside the church, there is what appeared at first to be the entrance to a tunnel. Legend has it that there was a tunnel that went from here to Maidstown castle. However, according to "Limerick - The Rich Land", this opening is a crypt which is believed to be the burial place of John Ormsby who was a member of the local gentry.
There was an old church in Athlacca but after the Reformation, it was converted to Protestant worship. The site of this church was in the graveyard in Athlacca. The original building was still in use until 1813 when it was knocked to build a new Church of Ireland parish church at the same site.
There was a mass house in Athlacca at Athlacca Cross.
The present day graveyard in Dromin contains the church ruin described above. The graveyard is kept in good condition and there are two tombs in the graveyard. One of the tombs is in memory of John McGuiness, who died on September 2nd 1870. The oldest headstone that we came across was from 1747 and it was to the memory of John Donworth, who died on March 9th, 1747.
The oldest headstone that we found in the graveyard at Athlacca church was from 1896 and is the headstone of Patrick Power who died on October 18th of that year at the age of 57. Due to a lack of space, some of the ground in the old Church of Ireland is now being used as a graveyard. This new section of the graveyard is separate to the old section of the graveyard.
There are a large number of old headstones in this graveyard,
which was used as a burial place for both Catholics and Protestants. The oldest
headstone that we came across was to Pakie Casey who died on May 15, 1750.
Near the bell tower in the graveyard, there are a number of tombs and there
is also a large headstone on the ground. This headstone is only partially
intact but contains the names David, John and Thomas Lacy and the date 1623.
The Lacys may have actually been the De Lacys who lived in the area as landlords.
There is also a graveyard in Boherard. This graveyard was used during the famine and, as a result, there are a large number of marker stones in the graveyard. The graveyard is in the process of being tidied up. The oldest headstone that we found was from 1813 and was to the memory of Nancy Moloney who died on December 19th of that year.
Westropp lists Kilbreedy as a burial ground in Athlacca. However, the location of this burial ground is no longer known.
Packie Lynch also told us that there was also a graveyard
at the site of Kilbroney church in Athlacca North. A large number of marker
stones were formerly on the site but all these stones were levelled and taken
Holy Trinity well is in the townland of Wellfield in Dromin. This well was restored in 1976 to its present state and a pattern has been established again at the well since it was revived by Athlacca Glór na nGael. In 1988 the Mockler family erected a statue to Our Lady at the well. There are no known rounds to the well and mass is celebrated at the well on the feastday of the Holy Trinity. Prior to this restoration, the well was used by cattle as a watering hole.
St Broney's well was near the church ruin in Kilbroney on land belonging to the Irwin family. The well was to the north of the church but it is now covered in. People used to visit the well to make rounds on February 7-11. The pattern day was on the 15th of August. St Broney's feastday was on April 2nd.
In the townland of Athlacca South there was a well called St John the Baptist's well. This well is said to have moved to the roadside when desecrated.
In the townland of Ballincurra there is a Holy Well called St Patrick's well and in recent years, devotions have taken place at the well on March 17th. According to legend there is a stone beside the well that bears the imprints of St Patrick's knees and elbows. There is also a large stone nearby that is said to have been used as a Mass Rock during Penal times.
In the old parish of Uregare, there was a well in the townland of Bulgadenhall called St Patrick's well. Today Bulgadenhall is in the parish of Dromin/Athlacca. The well is now rarely visited. The well was visited for the cure of coughs and colds. St Patrick is believed to have blessed the well.
Danaher also mentions a well called St Lawrence's that was in the Athlacca side of the parish but Danaher doubts if this was a Holy Well.
One of the legends about the well is that a Protestant lady
threw some silver coins into the well as an offering. A Catholic drained the
well to get the money and then spent the money on drink. As he left the public
house, the man was struck dead.
For a parish the size of Dromin/Athlacca, it can claim to have given two government ministers in different administrations. From 1973-1977, Tom O'Donnell, Fine Gael was Minister for the Gaeltacht and from 1987-1989 Michael J. Noonan, Fianna Fáil was Minister for Defence.
James Cregan from Coolboy won the European Marathon Championship
in Budapest, Hungry in 1966. Over his career, James won many Irish Championships
but in 1960 he left Ireland to go to work in England. James changed his name
to Jim Hogan because he believed that he could not compete legally in England
as he had run under N.A.C.A. rules in Ireland.
|English Name||Irish Name||Meaning|
|Athlacca North||An tÁth Leacach||The flagged ford|
|Athlacca South||as above|
|Ballinstona North||Baile an Stónaigh||The town of An Stónach|
|Ballinstona South||as above|
|Ballinculloo||Baile an Cholbha||Meaning uncertain|
|Ballincurra||Baile an Cora||The town of the weir|
|Ballingayrour||Baile an Ghéill Ramhair||The town of the fat hostage|
|Ballinlee South||Baile an Lia||The town of the physician|
|Ballinlee North||as above|
|Ballyania||Baile Áine||The town of Áine|
|Ballybeg||An Baile Beag||The small town|
|Ballynamona||Baile na Móna||The town of the bogland|
|Ballynamuddagh||Baile na mBodach||The town of the low-bred persons|
|Ballyvulhane||Baile Uí Mhotláin||The town of Ó Mothláin|
|Baunnageeragh||Bán na gCaorach||The lea-ground of the sheep|
|Bulgadenhall||Builgidín an Bhoscaigh||An Boscach?|
|Clogher East||An Chloch||The stone structure|
|Clogher West||as above|
|Cloonbrien||Cluain Bhriain||The meadow of Brian|
|Cloonygarra||Cluain Uí Ghearraidh||The meadow of the cutting|
|Coolboy||An Chúil Bhuí||The yellow corner|
|Cottage||Garraí an Scoilbín||The garden of the small scollop|
|Crean||An Crián||The clayey place|
|Drombeg||An Drom Beag||The small ridge|
|Dromin North||An Dromainn||The ridge|
|Dromin South||as above|
|Glenma||Gleann Máighe||Valley of the Máigh|
|Goatisland||Oileán na Ghabhair||The island of the goat|
|Inchinclare||Inse an Chláraigh||The wet meadow of An Clárach|
|Knockuregare||Cnoc na hÚrach Giorra||The hill of An Úir Ghearr|
|Maidstown||Baile Bheanóg||Meaning uncertain|
|Rathcannon||Ráth Chanann||The rath of Cana|
|Raymondstown||Baile Réamainn||The town of Réamann|
|Tankardstown||Baile Thancaird||The town of Tancard|
|Tullerboy||Tulach Orbhaí||Meaning uncertain|
|Wellfield||Baile na Cluana||The town of the meadow|
|1704 – c.1720||William Ronan|
|1720 - 1730||John Dyneene|
|1730 - ?||Thomas Fitzgerald|
|? - 1760||William Marshall|
|1761 – 1762||Thomas O’Driscoll|
|1762 - ?||Geoffrey Keating|
|1768 - 1771||William O’Brien|
|1771 - 1778||Patrick Roche|
|1778 - 1782||John O’Mahony|
|1782 - 1817||John Fox|
|1817 - 1825||Charles McCarthy|
|1825 - 1836||James O’Regan|
|1836 – 1839||Michael Tuohy|
|1839||Michael Tuohy||Denis Madigan|
|1840||Michael Tuohy||Luke Hanrahan|
|1841||Michael Tuohy||Luke Hanrahan|
|1842||Michael Tuohy||Luke Hanrahan|
|1843||Michael Tuohy||Luke Hanrahan|
|1844||Michael Tuohy||Luke Hanrahan|
|1845||Michael Tuohy||Luke Hanrahan|
|1846||Michael Tuohy||Luke Hanrahan|
|1847||Michael Tuohy||Luke Hanrahan|
|1848||Michael Tuohy||John Clifford|
|1849||James Quinn||John Clifford|
|1850||Patrick Ryan||James Moore|
|1851||Patrick Ryan||James Moore|
|1852||Patrick Ryan||James Moore|
|1853||Patrick Ryan||Edmond Costello|
|1854||Patrick Ryan||Edmond Costello|
|1855||Patrick Ryan||Edmond Costello|
|1856||Patrick Ryan||Edmond Costello|
|1857||Patrick Ryan||Edmond Costello|
|1858||Patrick Ryan||Edmond Costello|
|1859||Patrick Ryan||Edmond Costello|
|1860||Patrick Ryan||Edmond Costello|
|1861||Patrick Ryan||Edmond Costello|
|1862||Patrick Ryan||Edmond Costello|
|1863||Patrick Ryan||Edmond Costello|
|1864||Patrick Ryan||Michael Ryan|
|1865||Patrick Ryan||Michael Ryan|
|1866||Patrick Ryan||John Kelly|
|1867||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1868||David Quaid||James Glesson|
|1869||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1870||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1871||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1872||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1873||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1874||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1875||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1876||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1877||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1878||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1879||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1880||David Quaid||John Glesson|
|1881||David Quaid||George Quaid|
|1882||David Quaid||Timothy Kelly|
|1883||David Quaid||Timothy Kelly|
|1884||David Quaid||Timothy Kelly|
|1885||David Quaid||Timothy Kelly|
|1886||David Quaid||John Conway|
|1887||David Quaid||John Conway|
|1888||David Quaid||M. McCoy|
|1889||David Quaid||William Mulcahy|
|1890||David Quaid||Michael Canty|
|1891||David Quaid||Michael Canty|
|1892||David Quaid||Solomon Frost|
|1893||Michael Canty||Solomon Frost|
|1894||Michael Canty||Solomon Frost|
|1895||Michael Canty||Solomon Frost|
|1896||Michael Canty||Solomon Frost|
|1897||Michael Canty||Solomon Frost|
|1898||Michael Canty||Solomon Frost|
|1899||Michael Canty||Solomon Frost|
|1900||Michael Canty||Solomon Frost|
|1901||Michael Canty||Solomon Frost|
|1902||Michael Canty||Solomon Frost|
|1903||Michael Canty||William O’Shea|
|1904||Michael Canty||William O’Shea|
|1905||Michael Canty||John Breen|
|1906||Michael Canty||John Breen|
|1907||Michael Canty||John Breen|
|1908||Michael Canty||John Breen|
|1909||Michael Canty||John Breen|
|1910||Michael Canty||John Breen|
|1911||Michael Canty||David O’Carroll|
|1912||Michael Canty||David O’Carroll|
|1913||Canon Michael Canty||David O’Carroll|
|1914||Canon Michael Canty||David O’Carroll|
|1915||Canon Michael Canty||David O’Carroll|
|1916||Canon Michael Canty||David O’Carroll|
|1917||Canon Michael Canty||David O’Carroll|
|1918||Canon Michael Canty||David O’Carroll|
|1919||Canon Michael Canty||David O’Carroll|
|1920||Canon Michael Canty||David O’Carroll|
|1921||Canon Michael Canty||David O’Carroll|
|1922||Canon Michael Canty||David O’Carroll|
|1923||Canon Michael Canty|
|1924||Canon Michael Canty||James Carroll|
|1925||Canon Michael Canty||James Carroll|
|1926||Canon Michael Canty||Joseph Carroll|
|1927||Canon Michael Canty||Joseph Carroll|
|1928||Dean Michael Canty||Joseph Carroll|
|1929||Dean Michael Canty||Michael Leahy|
|1930||Dean Michael Canty||Michael Leahy|
|1931||Dean Michael Canty||Michael Leahy|
|1932||Dean Michael Canty||Michael Leahy|
|1933||Dean Michael Canty||Michael Leahy|
|1934||Dean Michael Canty||Michael Leahy|
|1935||Dean Michael Canty||Michael Leahy|
|1936||Dean Michael Canty||Michael Leahy|
|1937||Stephen O’Dea||Joseph Leonard|
|1938||Stephen O’Dea||Joseph Leonard|
|1939||Stephen O’Dea||Joseph Leonard|
|1940||Stephen O’Dea||William O’Connell|
|1941||Stephen O’Dea||William O’Connell|
|1942||Stephen O’Dea||William O’Connell|
|1943||Stephen O’Dea||William O’Connell|
|1944||Stephen O’Dea||William Sheridan|
|1945||Stephen O’Dea||Michael Kennedy|
|1946||Stephen O’Dea||Michael Kennedy|
|1947||Stephen O’Dea||Michael Kennedy|
|1948||Stephen O’Dea||Michael Kennedy|
|1949||Stephen O’Dea||John Sheehy|
|1950||Stephen O’Dea||John Sheehy|
|1951||Stephen O’Dea||John Sheehy|
|1952||Stephen O’Dea||John Sheehy|
|1953||Stephen O’Dea||John Sheehy|
|1954||Stephen O’Dea||John Sheehy|
|1955||Stephen O’Dea||John Sheehy|
|1956||Stephen O’Dea||John Sheehy|
|1957||Stephen O’Dea||John Sheehy|
|1958||Stephen O’Dea||John Sheehy|
|1959||Stephen O’Dea||James Neville|
|1960||Stephen O’Dea||James Neville|
|1961||Stephen O’Dea||James Neville|
|1962||Stephen O’Dea||James Neville|
|1963||Stephen O’Dea||James Neville|
|1964||Joseph Leonard||Anthony Elliott|
|1965||Joseph Leonard||Anthony Elliott|
|1966||Joseph Leonard||Anthony Elliott|
|1967||Joseph Leonard||Anthony Elliott|
|1968||Joseph Leonard||William O’Gorman|
|1969||Joseph Leonard||William O’Gorman|
|1970||Joseph Leonard||William O’Gorman|
|1971||Joseph Leonard||William O’Gorman|
|1972||Joseph Leonard||William O’Gorman|
|1973||Daniel O’Keeffe||William O’Gorman|
|1974||Daniel O’Keeffe||John Fitzgerald|
|1975||Daniel O’Keeffe||John Fitzgerald|
|1976||Daniel O'Keeffe||John Fitzgerald|
|1977||Daniel O’Keeffe||John Duggan|
|1978||Daniel O’Keeffe||John Duggan|
|1979||Daniel O’Keeffe||John Duggan|
|1980||Joseph O’Beirne||John Duggan|
|1981||Joseph O’Beirne||John Duggan|
|1982||Joseph O’Beirne||John Duggan|
|1983||Joseph O’Beirne||John Duggan|
|1984||Joseph O’Beirne||John Duggan|
|1985||Joseph O’Beirne||John Duggan|
|1986||Joseph O’Beirne||John Duggan|
|1987||Joseph O’Beirne||John Duggan|
|1988||John Irwin||John Duggan|
|1989||John Irwin||John Duggan|
|1990||John Irwin||Maurice Kerin|
|1991||John Irwin||Maurice Kerin|
|1992||John Irwin||Maurice Kerin|
|1993||John Irwin||Maurice Kerin|
|1994||John Irwin||Maurice Kerin|
|1995||John Irwin||Maurice Kerin|
|1996||John Irwin||Maurice Kerin|
|1997||John Irwin||Maurice Kerin|
|1998||Patrick Howard||John Donworth|
|1999||Patrick Howard||John Donworth|
|2000||Patrick Howard||John Donworth|
|2001||Patrick Howard||John Donworth|
|2002||Patrick Howard||John Donworth|
|2005||Tony Mullins||Patrick Howard|
|2006||Tony Mullins||Patrick Howard|
|2007||Tony Mullins||Patrick Howard|
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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