© The Abbey ruin in Mahoonagh
The ruins of the abbey are situated in the graveyard. It
is believed that the abbey was built in or around 1499. This abbey, which
is also known as St Nicholas' church, was founded by the Augustinians.
The church of St Nicholas was attacked in 1579 during the
persecution of Catholics under the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Attempting
to avoid the Queen's troops, the retreating forces of the Earl of Desmond
(on their way to Mayne) mistakenly believed they would be safe in the
abbey, as it was holy ground. Over forty people were killed by the Queen's
troops. Twenty-four monks were killed in the raid. A plaque was recently
erected in memory of those who died in the raid. The inscription on the
420th anniversary (1579-1999)
In commemoration of the Martyrdom of Monks and
Civilians by English Soldiers in 1579 here at Castlemahon
Augustinians Old Abbey, The Church of St Nicholas.
Go ndeanna Dia Trocaire Orthu
Erected by Castlemahon History Society Group February 1999
Unveiled by President Mary McAleese on June 9th 1999
A third church was built in 1836 on the roadside between
Newcastle and Drumcollogher, which cost £600. No one knows where
the site of the church is but, due to the road improvements over the years,
it is believed that the site is no longer on the roadside.
In the late eighteenth century, there was a mass house in
Feohanagh called O'Riordan's house. It is possible that the third church
was actually the mass house.
In the thirteenth century, there is a record of a church
in the townland of Appletown.
There was also a church about two miles from Feohanagh village
at a place called Culhane's Cross. The land is now owned by Pat Frawley
but no trace of the church building remains.
There are reputedly ecclesiastical ruins at Mayne but this
is unproven, as it could have been a military building.
There was a monastery at Aglish. This monastery dated from
the sixteenth century and was on a 13-acre site. According to local historian
Margaret Doody Scully, the monastery began to decline with the death of
the Earl of Desmond in 1583 when the Normans took charge of the area.
Today, a graveyard is situated on the site of the former monastery.
According to Westropp, Cromman chapel may have existed here
from about 1278 as in that year Thomas de Clare is listed as its patron.
The church was restored in 1410 and rededicated to St John the Baptist.
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