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Church Ruins

The overgrown graveyard at Killanahan
© The overgrown graveyard at Killanahan

There were two churches in Killanahan, called Cill Onchon Mór and Cill Onchon Beag, Cill Onchon meaning the church of St Onchu, a saint from the sixth or seventh century. At one time, Killanahan had been a separate parish before being joined to Manister. However, no trace of either church remains.

A list of churches was bestowed on the abbey in 1185, and it mentioned churches in Kilcurley, Kildonnell and Killeenoughty. Westropp relates an interesting story about the church at Killeenoughty. He says that this church was called Cill Fhionshneachta, meaning the church of the wine-red snow. According to the legend a saint was slain at the door of the church when the ground was covered with snow. The blood of the saint coloured the snow wine-red. Westropp says that this church was also known as Cill Fhionnachta, the church of Saint Fionnachta, and as Teampull na Sceach, the church of the thorn bushes. Locals remember this area as 'Cealltar', a graveyard.

Before the abbey was built, there was reputedly a church in Ballycahane. This church together with its lands became part of the abbey lands. No trace of this church remains.

Westropp claims he came across another church in 1876 in Knockgromassell. He also records the ruins of a church in Knocknagranshy.

There was a mass house in Manister during the penal years, in Caherduff. The house was located across from Gerry O'Connor's house. Two bumps in the ground at this location are said to be the burial places of two priests.

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