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Fedamore Parish

History | Churches | Graveyards | Holy Wells | Mass Rock | Townlands | Priests of the Parish

Brief Parish History & Geographical Location

Fedamore is mainly in the barony of Small County, although part of it is in Clanwilliam. Fedamore village is located on the R511, with the river Commogue nearby. The population of the parish is approximately 1800.

Fedamore was the head of the union with the parishes of Ballycahane, Manister, Nenagh and Kilpeacon. Manister became a separate parish in 1858. Thomas Blake was the parish priest of the new parish. The name Fedamore comes from Fiadh Damair, the wood of Damar. The parish used to be called Fedamore and Friarstown. Fairs were held in Fedamore on May 5th and October 9th.
Castles were located at Ballyneguard (Rockstown), Williamstown, and Englishtown.

An article by Eamon P. Kelly and Tom Condit, entitled 'Limerick's Tara', was published in Archaeology Ireland in 1998. This article details a complex of prehistoric monuments located on a hill at Friarstown in Fedamore. This hill overlooks Friarstown abbey. The complex consists of two large hilltop enclosures, which the authors interpret as henges, a series of enclosures of various types, and standing stones. The area in which these henges may be found is enclosed, and is currently used for pasture.

There are also two standing stones located nearby. It is recorded that beneath one of these stones, located in the field south of the larger henge, human bones of 'extraordinary size' were uncovered early in the nineteenth century. According to the locals these were the bones of a seven-foot man. However, the identity of this man is a mystery, although local folklore claims it was St Patrick.

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Fr Timothy MacCarthy, P.P., built Fedamore church in 1830, with his curate Fr O'Rourke. The large chapel in Fedamore cost about £700 at the time of building.
Outside, to the right hand side of the church is a statue to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. A statue of the Crucifixion faces out onto the road. A stone plaque states that the church is dedicated to the Beheading of St John the Baptist, and was partly renovated by G. Wall P.P. in 1980. The church in Fedamore was renovated by Fr O'Gorman in 1991. The original plaque, in Latin, is beside that, and states that T. MacCarthy, P.P. was responsible for building the church.

The impressive church ceiling dates from before the restoration of the church. To the left of the altar is a statue of Mary. A statue of the Sacred Heart is to the right hand side of the altar. A statue of St Joseph is in the aisle of the left transept, and in the right transept is a statue of the Little Flower.

A water font in the church bears the following inscription: Dr John Hanrahan got this made in 1756. Pray for him. This water font came from the pre-1830 parish church. Just outside the church is a cross from the old church.

Buried within the church are:

T. Fitzgerald
Parish Priest
Died 5th February 1878

James O'Reagan
Parish Priest
Died 18th July 1888
Aged 44

Fr Tom Blake
Parish Priest
Died 14th October 1874
Aged 68

Fr Timothy McCarthy
Parish Priest of Fedamore and Manister
Died 9th February 1837

Buried in the grounds of the church are:

Canon R. O'Kennedy
Parish Priest

C.P. Kenny
Parish Priest
Died 20th August 1893
Aged 62

According to Westropp, Fedamore church was listed in 1410 as dedicated to St John the Baptist. The Church of Ireland church was built in 1740 and demolished in 1956. All traces of this church are now gone.

Kilpeacon Church of Ireland church was built originally in 1690 by Sir W. King, who died in 1706, and whose ornate marble memorial was re-inserted in the nave of the present church. The 1690 structure now forms the nave of the present church. According to Westropp, Kilpeacon church was listed in 1410 as dedicated to St Becan. However, this church was gone when the new church was built in 1690. Mr Edward Villiers added a tower in 1759. The church was re-built in 1762. It was repaired and enlarged in 1820, and a new chancel was added in 1867, when the East Window, a memorial to the Westropp family of Attyflin was inserted.

The remains of a large church are to be found in Rockstown graveyard. This church was probably associated with the nearby Rockstown castle. A plaque over the church door states that John Kelly erected the church in 1830. A stone plaque in the church wall reads: Here rests what remains of James Barry of Friarstown and his wife Anatisa 5th in descent of David Barry of same, 1655. Westropp mentions Rockstown church, but states that featureless fragments remained in 1840.

There was a church at Fanningstown called Temple Roe. No trace of this church remains, however, although the graveyard surrounding the site of the old church is currently being cleaned.

Westropp also refers to a church called Ballioweyn, of which the site was unknown. There was a church that was attached to Kilpeacon called Hackmys or Kilcoyn. No church ruins remain.

Friarstown Abbey is situated in a field through which the boundary of the parishes of Donaghmore/Knockea and Fedamore runs. The abbey is situated in the Knockea side of the parish. Clochnamanach abbey was repaired in 1932 and extensive ruins of the abbey remain. Clochnamanach is translated as Cloch na Manach, which means the stone of the Monks.

The original foundation dates from 13th century and the Clan-Gibbons family erected it for the Franciscan Third Order Regular. They were lay brothers and arrived in Friarstown around 1450. However, there is no real documentary proof as to how long the monks stayed in the abbey but it is believed that the abbey was vacant by 1550.

Mass was celebrated at the abbey by Bishop Donal Murray, with concelebrants Fr Oliver Plunkett and Fr Michael Cussen, on May 17th 2000.


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The present graveyard in Fedamore is located in the townland of Fedamore. It is very well kept. This graveyard is full, however, and the parish is currently looking for a new graveyard site.
The old Fedamore graveyard is also well kept. There are three tombs in the graveyard. The oldest legible inscription that we found in the graveyard was on one of these tombs. This inscription was in memory of John Keating "doctor in Physick" who died February 6th 1732, aged 25 and 9 months. Also remembered in this inscription were Catern and Honara, sisters who both died very young, being the children of Mr Keating of Fanningstown.

A headstone of note that we found in the graveyard was in memory of William P.Clifford who died February 16th 1949 aged 73 years. William Clifford was President of the GAA from 1926-1928.

The Fanningstown graveyard is located on the site of the Fanningstown church. No trace of this church remains, however, although the empty space in the far right corner of the graveyard would suggest that the church might have been situated there.

The graveyard is currently being done up by FÁS workers. Many of the headstones have also been cleaned. The oldest headstone in the graveyard is in memory of Michael Keane, who died June 22nd 1768, aged 33.

Rockstown graveyard is located beside the ruins of Rockstown church. The site is near Rockstown castle. The oldest headstone that we found in the graveyard was in memory of Michael John Barry who died December 10th 1814, aged 72.

Catholics are also buried in Kilpeacon graveyard, the graveyard attached to the Church of Ireland church. The oldest headstone that we came across, which we believe to be Catholic, was in memory of Johanna Seahanan, who died 16th November 1809.

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Holy Wells
St Patrick's Well is located in Kilpeacon. A spring flows in an open field. Devotions have ceased. Access to this well is difficult, and without the help of Mike Ryan, native of the parish who last visited the well in 1952, we could not have located it. Legend says that pilgrims saw the figure of St Patrick in the well.

Danaher refers to St John's Well in Fedamore, which has disappeared, although its spring apparently now supplies a pump. The original well was reputedly located in the graveyard of the old Protestant church in Fedamore.

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Mass Rock

According to locals there was a mass rock at Rockstown, however, it is now inaccessible. People no longer visit the site of the mass rock. The mass rock in Fedamore was situated in a hollow below Rockstown Castle, and was hidden from view of the castle.

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English Name Irish Name Meaning
Arywee Airí Bhuí Yellow milking place
Badgerfort Lios na mBroc The enclosure of the badgers
Ballyea Baile Uí Aodha The town of Ó hAodha
Ballynagarde Baile na gCeárd The town of the craftsmen
Ballyregan Baile Uí Riagáin The town of Ó Riagáin
Bawnacouma Bán an Champa The lea-ground of the camp
Boolavoord Buaile an Bhoird The booley of the border
Carnane An Carnán The small heap
Castlequarter Ceathrú an Chaisleáin The quarterland of the castle
Cloghadoolarty North Cloch an Dullartaigh The stone structure of An Dullartach
Cloghadoolarty South as above  
Drominycarra Dromainn an Chathraigh The ridge of An Cathrach
Enaghroe An tAonach Rua The red place of assembly
Fanningstown Baile an Fhainínigh The town of An Fainíneach
Fedamore Feadamair The wood of Damar
Friarstown North Baile na mBráthar The town of the friars
Friarstown South as above  
Garryellen Garraí Eibhlín The garden of Eibhlín
Glenogra Gleann Fhógra Glen of the Proclamation
Gortgarralt Gort Ghearailt The field of Gearalt
Grange An Ghráinseach The grange
Kilcaskin Cill Cháiscín The church of Cáiscín
Kildeery Cill Doire Church of the oakwood
Kilpeacon Cill Pheacáin The church of Peacán
Loughanstown Baile an Locháin The town of the small lake
Moanmore An Mhóin Mhór The big bogland
Newtown An Baile Nua The new town
Poultalloon An Poll Talún The hole in the ground
Powerfield Páirc an Phaoraigh  
Rockfield Páirc na Carraige The field of the rock
Rockstown Baile na Carraige The town of the rock
Skehanagh An Sceachánach The place of the hawthorns
Skool Sciúl Meaning uncertain
Skoolhill Cnoc an Sciúil The hill of Sciúl
Williamstown Baile Liam The town of Liam


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List of Priests

Year Parish Priest Curate(s)
1704 - ? Daniel Hourigan  
? - 1739 Francis Nolan  
1739 - 1774 John Hanrahan D.D.  
1774 - 1814 Andrew Ryan  
1814 - 1814 David Lee  
1814 – 1836 Timothy MacCarthy  
1837 Timothy McCarthy Michael McCormick
    James O’Rourke
1838 James O'Regan Michael McCormick
    James O'Rourke *
1839 Edmund Connery Tim Shanahan
    James O'Rourke
1840 Edmund Connery Tim Shanahan
    James O’Flanagan
1841 Edmund Connery James O’Flanagan
    Michael McCormick
1842 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    James McMahon
1843 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    James McMahon
1844 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    James McMahon
1845 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    Patrick Benson
1846 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    Patrick Benson
1847 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    Patrick Benson
1848 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    C. O’Donohoe
1849 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    Patrick Duhigg
1850 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    Richard Clifford
1851 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    E. Connery
1852 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
1853 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
1854 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    Thomas Browne
1855 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    Thomas Blake
1856 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    Thomas Blake
1857 Edmund Connery Michael McCormack
    Thomas Blake
1858 Edmund Connery Michael McCormick
    Thomas Blake
1859 Thomas Blake  
1860 Thomas Blake  
1861 Thomas Blake  
1862 Thomas Blake Thomas Tuomy
1863 Thomas Blake  
1864 Thomas Blake Joseph Ryan
1865 Thomas Blake  
1866 Thomas Blake ? Glesson
1867 Thomas Blake Stephen Danaher
1868 Thomas Blake James Molony
1869 T. Fitzgerald (Adm.)  
1870 T. Fitzgerald (Adm.)  
1871 T. Fitzgerald (Adm.)  
1872 T. Fitzgerald (Adm.)  
1873 T. Fitzgerald (Adm.) Michael Byrne
1874 T. Fitzgerald (Adm.) John Hallinan
1875 T. Fitzgerald John Hallinan
1876 T. Fitzgerald John Hallinan
1877 David Quinn Denis O’Keeffe
1878 David Quinn Solomon Frost
1879 David Quinn Solomon Frost
1880 David Quinn Solomon Frost
1881 David Quinn Solomon Frost
1882 David Quinn Solomon Frost
1883 Cornelius Kenny Patrick Kenrick
1884 Cornelius Kenny M. McCoy
1885 Cornelius Kenny M. McCoy
1886 Cornelius Kenny M. McCoy
1887 Cornelius Kenny M. McCoy
1888 Cornelius Kenny M. O’Donnell
1889 Cornelius Kenny William O’Shea
1890 Cornelius Kenny Michael Mulcahy
1891 Cornelius Kenny Jeremiah Ambrose
1892 Cornelius Kenny William Fenton
1893 Cornelius Kenny William Fenton
1894 Richard O’Kennedy William Fenton
1895 Richard O’Kennedy William Fenton
1896 Richard O’Kennedy C. Mangan
1897 Richard O’Kennedy C. Mangan
1898 Richard O’Kennedy C. Mangan
1899 Richard O’Kennedy C. Mangan
1900 Richard O’Kennedy C. Mangan
1901 Richard O’Kennedy Thomas Connolly
1902 Richard O’Kennedy James Carroll
1903 Richard O’Kennedy James Carroll
1904 Richard O’Kennedy James Carroll
1905 Richard O’Kennedy  
1906 Richard O’Kennedy Timothy Murphy
1907 Richard O’Kennedy Timothy Murphy
1908 Richard O’Kennedy Timothy Murphy
1909 Richard O’Kennedy Timothy Murphy
1910 Richard O’Kennedy John J. Lane
1911 Richard O’Kennedy John J. Lane
1912 Richard O’Kennedy Patrick Ryan
1913 Canon Richard O’Kennedy Patrick Ryan
1914 Canon Richard O’Kennedy Patrick Ryan
1915 Canon Richard O’Kennedy Michael Leahy
1916 Canon Richard O’Kennedy Michael Leahy
1917 Canon Richard O’Kennedy Michael Leahy
1918 Canon Richard O’Kennedy Maurice Fitzpatrick
1919 Canon Richard O’Kennedy Maurice Fitzpatrick
1920 Canon Richard O’Kennedy Joseph Carroll
1921 Canon Richard O’Kennedy William J. Carroll
1922 Canon Richard O’Kennedy Denis O’Donnell
1923 Canon Richard O’Kennedy Denis O’Donnell
1924 Canon Richard O’Kennedy Denis O’Donnell
1925 Canon Richard O’Kennedy J. O’Regan
1926 John Rea  
1927 John Rea  
1928 John Rea  
1929 John Rea Patrick Coleman
1930 John Rea James Lyons
1931 Stephen O’Dea James Lyons
1932 Stephen O’Dea James Lyons
1933 Stephen O’Dea James Lyons
1934 Stephen O’Dea Phil Enright
1935 Stephen O’Dea Thomas Kirby
1936 Stephen O’Dea Thomas Kirby
1937 James Moloney Thomas Kirby
1938 James Moloney Thomas Kirby
1939 James Molony William O’Connell
1940 James Molony Maurice Crowley
1941 James Molony Maurice Crowley
1942 James Molony Maurice Crowley
1943 James Molony Maurice Crowley
1944 James Molony  
1945 James Molony  
1946 James Molony Timothy Culhane
1947 James Molony Gerard Wall
1948 James Molony Gerard Wall
1949 James Molony  
1950 Martin O’Grady  
1951 Martin O’Grady  
1952 Martin O’Grady  
1953 Martin O’Grady  
1954 Martin O’Grady  
1955 Martin O’Grady  
1956 Martin O’Grady  
1957 Martin O’Grady  
1958 Martin O’Grady  
1959 Martin O’Grady  
1960 Martin O’Grady  
1961 Martin O’Grady  
1962 Martin O’Grady  
1963 Martin O’Grady  
1964 John Liston  
1965 John Liston  
1966 John Liston  
1967 John Liston  
1968 John Liston  
1969 John Liston  
1970 John Liston  
1971 John Liston  
1972 John Liston  
1973 Gerard Wall  
1974 Gerard Wall  
1975 Gerard Wall  
1976 Gerard Wall  
1977 Gerard Wall  
1978 Gerard Wall  
1979 Gerard Wall  
1980 Gerard Wall  
1981 Gerard Wall  
1982 Gerard Wall  
1983 Gerard Wall  
1984 Gerard Wall  
1985 Anthony Elliott  
1986 Anthony Elliott  
1987 Anthony Elliott  
1988 William O'Gorman  
1989 William O’Gorman  
1990 William O’Gorman  
1991 William O’Gorman  
1992 William O’Gorman  
1993 William O’Gorman  
1994 William O’Gorman  
1995 William O’Gorman  
1996 William O’Gorman  
1997 William O’Gorman  
1998 Michael Cussen  
1999 Michael Cussen  
2000 Michael Cussen  
2001 Michael Cussen  
2002 Michael Cussen  
2003 Michael Cussen  
2004 Michael Cussen  
2005 Michael Cussen  
2006 Michael Cussen  
2007 Michael Cussen  

*Begley (Volume III p.623) mentions a Fr. James O'Regan who was parish priest after Fr. Timothy McCarthy died in 1837. Fr. O'Regan died on July 8th 1838.

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.

History | Churches | Graveyards | Holy Wells | Mass Rock | Townlands | Priests of the Parish

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