The village of Loughill is situated between Foynes and Tarbert on the N69, the road from Limerick to Tralee. The river Owvaun runs through both Loughill and Ballyhahill.
Loughill had been part of the parish of Glin until the death of Fr Daniel McCoy, parish priest of Glin, in 1855 when it became a separate parish. Ballyhahill was part of the parish of Shanagolden/Kilmoylan in 1855 but with the death of Fr Mortimer Collins P.P. of Shanagolden/Kilmoylan in 1857, Ballyhahill joined with Loughill to form the present day parish.
The name Loughill comes from the Irish Leamh Choill,
which means 'the elm wood'. Ballyhahill is translated into Irish as Baile
Átha Dhá Thuile that is translated as 'the ford at the
mouth of two floods' or 'the town of two floods'.
The area of Loughill developed following the arrival of the Normans to the region in the twelfth century. In the past there were ironworks in Loughill where the large supply of timber in the area was converted into charcoal for the smelting of iron ore.
There are two churches in the parish, one at Loughill, the other at Ballyhahill. The church in Loughill was built in 1819 and is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is not clear whether William MacEnery or Daniel O'Sullivan was the parish priest when the church was built. According to a plaque in the right porch, the church was blessed and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, assumed into Heaven, by Bishop Murphy DD, and James O'Byrne, PP, on February 12th 1961.
In the grounds of Loughill church, there is a shrine to Mary, which was erected to the memory of Fr James O'Byrne, PP, Loughill, and his sisters, by William and Mary Lucy O'Byrne.
The altar rails in Loughill church were donated by exiles of the parish in New York. The altar was donated by the O'Shaughnessy family, Jointer, Loughill. The base of the altar was donated by exiles from the parish in the USA and England.
Thomas Fitzgerald, Loughill House, donated the crucifix behind the altar. The confessional box was donated by McNamara, USA and Knocknaboula.
Buried within the church are:
PP Glin and Loughill
Died June 26th 1847
PP Glin and Loughill
Died October 21st 1855
Buried in the grounds of the church are:
Parish Priest 1958-1967
Died November 25 1967
Ballyhahill church was built in 1829 under the leadership of Dean Patrick McNamara P.P. of Shanagolden. The church was dedicated to Our Lady of the Visitation. According to a plaque in the main porch, the church was renovated in 1969 and was reopened in 1971 by Bishop Murphy and Patrick O'Dea P.P.
The altar in the church was erected to the memory of Fr W. Walsh P.P. of Longton, Staffordshire, England. There is a statue to Joseph and the Infant in the left transept of the church. To the left of the altar, there is a painting of Jesus and Piontus Pilate washing his hands. There is also a painting of Jesus and the crown of thorns, which was a gift of Mrs Joyce.
To the right of the altar, there are two paintings, one of Mary and Child, and the other of Jesus being laid in the tomb. In the right transept there is a statue to Mary. There is a stained glass window to the Sacred Heart in the right porch.
In the left porch of the church, there is a stained glass window of Mary Immaculate, erected August 15th 1927.
Over the main door of the church, there is a wood carving of the Last Supper.
Buried within the church are:
Parish Priest 1863-1876
Parish Priest 1876-1892
Died September 14 1892
Parish Priest 1892-1918
Died October 16 1918
Buried in the grounds of the church are:
Patrick J. O'Regan
Parish Priest 1973-1985
Died October 3, aged 72
Parish Priest 1948-1958
Died May 28 1958
Before the building of the church in Ballyhahill, parishioners attended mass in Kilmoylan church, the ruins of which are now in the neighbouring parish of Shanagolden/Foynes.
According to Westropp there was an early church in Loughill prior to the building of the parish church in 1819. This church was dedicated to St Colmog. However, only small fragments of the church remained when Westropp carried out his survey of the churches in Limerick in 1905. All that remained of the church were the choir and the nave. St Colmog's well is believed to be near the church ruin.
There was also a church in Kilteery, the site of which was believed to be near the shoreline. Gerard Curtin's "Recollections of Our Native Valley" suggests two reasons for suspecting this to be the location of the site. Firstly, a chalice was found here in the 1940s and, secondly, a large altar shaped stone was found at the same location in 1993.
There was also a church in Lisready but it was probably a mass house as it was mentioned in the Hearth money return of W. Blood in 1784 as such. This mass house continued to be in use until 1814/15.
Lewis also mentions an ancient church on the mountains of
Flean. According to tradition three bishops were buried here. We found no
trace of this church.
The parish graveyard is situated off the Loughill-Ballyhahill road. The oldest headstone that we came across dated from 1837 and was erected to the memory of Mary Collins (nee Doody), who died on August the 20th of that year.
Mount Trenchard graveyard is multi-denominational. A tower that was part of the Protestant church marks the graveyard. The Vere O'Brien's are buried in the graveyard.
There was a graveyard in Kyle Tinnakil, as well as Ardnakisha
graveyard in the townland of Finnoo and Ahenogorp graveyard in the townland
of Cloonlahard East. There was also a kyle in Ballyhahill. No traces of any
of these sites remain.
St Colmog's well is situated about 100 yards from the old church ruins in Loughill. St Colmog was reputedly a hermit who had a little church in the area. It is claimed that the well can cure eye ailments.
Tradition had it that the well should be visited before sunrise or after sunset. People usually left pieces of material as a token of their visit to the well. These rags were placed on an oak tree that sheltered the well.
The rounds of the well consisted of walking seven times around the well and on each round reciting one Our Father and three Hail Marys. At the end of each round, a pebble was dropped into the well. So by the end of the rounds of the well the person should have dropped seven pebbles into the well.
It is claimed that a girl who lived locally washed clothes in the well instead of the river. The following day the well was dry and a new well had sprung up a short distance away from the original well. The well has been covered in with topsoil in the recent past.
Danaher also mentions another well in the parish. In the old
parish of Kilmoylan, there was a well in the townland of Tinnakilla called
Tobercloonagh. The well was built with stone and clay and roofed
with flagstones. No tradition about the well survives today.
"Recollections of Our Native Valley" mentions two mass rocks. One of these was at Cromleac in Tinnakilla townland. From a nearby vantage point all of the surrounding countryside can be seen so it was ideal location to evade the authorities, and escape before a raid could be made.
The second mass rock was near Loughill old bridge, which was
near the village of Loughill. This mass rock has now been covered over with
|English Name||Irish Name||Meaning|
|Ballyhahill||Baile Dhá Thuile||Town of two floods|
|Ballyroe||An Baile Rua||The red town|
|Carrowbanebeg||An Cheathru Bhán||The white quarterland|
|Cloonlahard East||Cluain Leathaird||Meadow of the inequity|
|Cloonlahard West||as above|
|Currabeg||An Chora Beag||The weir|
|Dromagarraun||Drom an Gharráin||The ridge of the grove|
|Glenbaun||An Gleann Bán||The white glen|
|Kilteery||Coill Tíre||Wood of the district|
|Knocknabooly East||Cnoc na Buaile||The hill of the booley|
|Knocknabooly Middle||as above|
|Knocknabooly West||as above|
|Fleanbeg||Fliain Beag||Meaning uncertain|
|Knockaclugga||Cnoc na Chlogaigh||The hill of An Clogach|
|Knockdown||Cnoc Donn||Brown hill|
|Lisready (Clare)||Lios an Riadaigh||The enclosure of An Riadach|
|Lisready (Cripps)||as above|
|Mohernagh||Motharnach||Place of thickets|
|Mount Trenchard||An Cheapach||The tillage plot|
|Tinnakilla||Tigh na Coille||The house of the wood|
|1856||Daniel Kennedy||Mr Kelly (co-adj.)|
|1857||Daniel Kennedy||Mr Kelly (co-adj.)|
|1858||Daniel Kennedy||James Hogan|
|1859||Daniel Kennedy||James Hogan|
|1860||Daniel Kennedy||James Hogan|
|1861||Daniel Kennedy||James Hogan|
|1862||Daniel Kennedy||James Hogan|
|1863||Daniel Kennedy||William Tuomy|
|1864||Daniel Kennedy||John Mulcahy|
|1865||Daniel Kennedy||John Mulcahy|
|1866||James Hogan||Stephen Hayes|
|1867||James Hogan||Edward Clifford|
|1868||James Hogan||Stephen Danaher|
|1869||James Hogan||Stephen Danaher|
|1870||James Hogan||Stephen Danaher|
|1871||James Hogan||J. O’Shaughnessy|
|1872||James Hogan||J. O’Shaughnessy|
|1873||James Hogan||John Fitzgerald|
|1874||James Hogan||John Fitzgerald|
|1875||James Hogan||John Costello|
|1876||James Hogan||John Costello|
|1878||John Reeves||John Costello|
|1879||John Reeves||John Costello|
|1880||John Reeves||John Ryan|
|1881||John Reeves||Laurence Curtin|
|1882||John Reeves||Michael Mulcahy|
|1883||John Reeves||Michael Mulcahy|
|1884||John Reeves||Patrick Kenrick|
|1885||John Reeves||Patrick McNamara|
|1886||John Reeves||Patrick McNamara|
|1887||John Reeves||Patrick McNamara|
|1888||John Reeves||Patrick McNamara|
|1889||John Reeves||Patrick McNamara|
|1890||John Reeves||John Curtin|
|1891||John Reeves||John Curtin|
|1892||John Reeves||John Curtin|
|1893||Stephen Danaher||John Reeves|
|1894||Stephen Danaher||John Reeves|
|1895||Stephen Danaher||John Reeves|
|1896||Stephen Danaher||John Reeves|
|1897||Stephen Danaher||Michael O’Carroll|
|1898||Stephen Danaher||Michael O’Carroll|
|1899||Stephen Danaher||Michael O’Carroll|
|1900||Stephen Danaher||Michael O’Carroll|
|1901||Stephen Danaher||Michael O’Carroll|
|1902||Stephen Danaher||Michael O’Carroll|
|1903||Stephen Danaher||Michael O’Carroll|
|1904||Stephen Danaher||Michael O’Carroll|
|1905||Stephen Danaher||Michael O’Carroll|
|1906||Stephen Danaher||Michael O’Carroll|
|1907||Stephen Danaher||Michael O’Carroll|
|1908||Stephen Danaher||Patrick McNamara|
|1909||Stephen Danaher||Patrick McNamara|
|1910||Stephen Danaher||Patrick McNamara|
|1911||Stephen Danaher||Patrick McNamara|
|1912||Stephen Danaher||Patrick McNamara|
|1913||Stephen Danaher||Patrick McNamara|
|1914||Stephen Danaher||Patrick McNamara|
|1915||Stephen Danaher||Patrick McNamara|
|1916||Stephen Danaher||Patrick McNamara|
|1917||Stephen Danaher||Patrick McNamara|
|1918||Stephen Danaher||Ed. R. McCarthy|
|1919||Stephen Danaher||Ed. R. McCarthy|
|1920||Michael O’Connor||Ed. R. McCarthy|
|1921||Michael O’Connor||Ed. R. McCarthy|
|1922||Michael O’Connor||Edward Punch|
|1923||Michael O’Connor||J. J. Lane|
|1924||Michael O’Connor||J. J. Lane|
|1925||Michael O’Connor||J. J. Lane|
|1926||Michael O’Connor||M. O’Grady|
|1927||Michael O’Connor||John Carroll|
|1928||Michael O’Connor||John Carroll|
|1929||Patrick Casey||James Lyons|
|1930||Patrick Casey||R. O’Sullivan|
|1931||Patrick Casey||R. O’Sullivan|
|1932||Patrick Casey||R. O’Sullivan|
|1933||Patrick Casey||R. O’Sullivan|
|1934||Patrick Casey||R. O’Sullivan|
|1935||Patrick Casey||R. O’Sullivan|
|1936||Patrick Casey||William McDonnell|
|1937||Patrick Casey||William McDonnell|
|1938||Patrick Casey||William McDonnell|
|1939||Patrick Casey||William McDonnell|
|1940||Patrick Casey||William McDonnell|
|1941||Michael Ryan||William McDonnell|
|1942||Michael Ryan||William McDonnell|
|1943||Michael Ryan||William McDonnell|
|1944||Michael Ryan||John Connors|
|1945||Michael Ryan||John Connors|
|1946||Michael Ryan||John Connors|
|1947||Michael Ryan||John Connors|
|1948||Michael Ryan||Joseph O’Beirne|
|1949||Thomas O’Sullivan||Joseph O’Beirne|
|1950||Thomas O’Sullivan||Joseph O’Beirne|
|1951||Thomas O’Sullivan||Joseph O’Beirne|
|1952||Thomas O’Sullivan||Joseph O’Beirne|
|1953||Thomas O’Sullivan||Joseph O’Beirne|
|1954||Thomas O’Sullivan||Patrick Houlihan|
|1955||Thomas O’Sullivan||Patrick Houlihan|
|1956||Thomas O’Sullivan||Patrick Houlihan|
|1957||Thomas O’Sullivan||Patrick Houlihan|
|1958||Thomas O’Sullivan||Patrick Kelly|
|1959||James O’Byrne||Patrick Guiry|
|1960||James O’Byrne||Patrick Guiry|
|1961||James O’Byrne||Patrick Guiry|
|1962||James O’Byrne||Patrick Guiry|
|1963||James O’Byrne||Richard Murphy|
|1964||James O’Byrne||Samuel Winters|
|1966||James O’Byrne||John J. Slattery|
|1967||James O’Byrne||John J. Slattery|
|1968||Patrick O’Dea||John J. Slattery|
|1969||Patrick O’Dea||James Costello|
|1970||Patrick O’Dea||James Costello|
|1971||Patrick O’Dea||James Costello|
|1972||Patrick O’Dea||James Costello|
|1973||Patrick O’Dea||James Costello|
|1974||Patrick O’Dea||James Costello|
|1975||Patrick O’Regan||James Costello|
|1976||Patrick O’Regan||James Costello|
|1977||Patrick O’Regan||James Costello|
|1978||Patrick O’Regan||James Costello|
|1979||Patrick O’Regan||James Costello|
|1980||Patrick O’Regan||Joseph Shire|
|1981||Patrick O’Regan||Joseph Shire|
|1982||Patrick O’Regan||Joseph Shire|
|1983||Patrick O’Regan||Joseph Shire|
|1984||Patrick O’Regan||Joseph Shire|
|1985||Patrick O’Regan||Joseph Shire|
|1986||John Sheehy||Joseph Shire|
|1987||John Sheehy||Sean Murphy|
|1988||John Sheehy||Sean Murphy|
|1989||John Sheehy||Patrick McManus|
|1990||John Sheehy||Patrick McManus|
|1991||John Sheehy||Patrick McManus|
|1992||John Sheehy||Patrick McManus|
|1993||John Sheehy||Patrick McManus|
|1994||John Sheehy||Patrick McManus|
|1995||John Sheehy||Séan Sweeney|
|1996||John Sheehy||Séan Sweeney|
|1997||John Sheehy||Séan Sweeney|
|1998||John Sheehy||Séan Sweeney|
|1999||John Sheehy||Séan Sweeney|
|2000||John Sheehy||Séan Sweeney|
|2001||Canon John Sheehy||Timothy O'Leary|
|2002||Canon John Sheehy||Timothy O'Leary|
|2003||Canon John Sheehy||Timothy O'Leary|
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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