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Templeglantine Parish

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

Brief Parish History & Geographical Location

The village of Templeglantine is located on the N 21 from Limerick to Tralee five miles south-west of the primary town in the area, Newcastlewest. Templeglantine parish was created in 1864 following the transfer of Fr James O'Shea to Rathkeale. Fr O'Shea had been parish priest of Monagea, of which Templeglantine was a part until this change occurred. The number of people in the parish is around 1,000 at present.

The Irish for Templeglantine is "Teampall an Ghleanntáin", which means "the church of the little glen". Templeglantine is locally called "Inchebaun", which, when translated, means 'the White River meadow'.

Templeglantine is a chapel village, having grown up around the church, which was built in 1829. A community centre was officially opened in 1977 by Bishop Jeremiah Newman. In the same year, the village received the Glór na nGael trophy from the then President of Ireland, Patrick Hillary. This is an award for the place in Ireland that does the most to promote the use of the Irish language throughout the previous year.

The O'Macasa family ruled the area until the twelfth century when the Norman invasion brought the Fitzgerald family to rule over the area. The Fitzgeralds held the more auspicious title of 'The Earls of Desmond'.

After the defeat of the Desmonds in 1583, the area came under the control of Sir William Courtenay who planted most of West Limerick. The de Lacy family were also landlords in the area.

In 1985 a cist grave was discovered on the lands of James Leahy in the townland of Rathcahill West. These graves are box-like slab structures, which are just below ground level. They are believed to date from between 2,000 BC to 500 BC.


The present day church in Templeglantine was built in 1829, during Fr James Cleary's time as Parish Priest. At the time Templeglantine was part of the parish of Monagea. This is one of the oldest churches in the diocese still in use today. Incidentally, the year 1829 coincides with the granting of Catholic Emancipation to Irish Catholics under the leadership of Daniel O'Connell.

According to the inscription on the church wall, the church was dedicated to the Holy Trinity in 1829. The Baptismal font is presumed to date from 1829 also, as are the holy water fonts in the porch of the church. The porch itself was built in the 1930s following a donation received from parishioners who had emigrated to America.

According to local historian Tadhg O'Maolcatha, by the mid fifties, the church bell, which was mounted on the western gable, was taken down for safety reasons, and housed in a new free-standing belfry in the church grounds. Mrs Bridget Kiely (nee Sexton) of Glenshesk donated the bell to the parish earlier in the century. The old bell, which it replaced, was sent to the missions in Africa.

In front of the church there is a large stone statue of the Virgin Mary that seems to be welcoming the people into the church. This statue was erected in the summer of 1995 and depicts Mary as a loving mother with head bowed and arms slightly outstretched in a welcoming and caring manner. It was sculpted from Limestone and is the work of Newbridge sculptor Annette McCormack.

On the main door of the church there is a plaque to the memory of Ann Connellan who died in 1969. John J., Mrs Joan Leahy and Michael Connellan erected it. On one of the seats of the church there is a small plaque that states that Michael Quirke was the principal donor of seating in the church. The seats were donated to the memory of his wife Julia.

There is a stained glass window of St Patrick at the back of the church. There is a stained glass window of St Brigid near the Confessional box. Near this window there is a statue of the Sacred Heart and a shrine to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.

On the stairs of the gallery at the back of the church there is a plaque to Tom Sexton who was parish clerk for more than 50 years who died on December 14 1996. In the gallery there is a stained glass window of Jesus gathering/minding his flock.

On the right of the nave, there is a wooden medallion of the Holy Trinity. There is a statue to St Patrick on the right while on the left there is a statue of St Theresa of Liseux. A glass depiction of the Millennium Logo of the Diocese of Limerick is on a door to the right of the altar. Behind the High Altar there is a stained glass window of the Holy Spirit and the Body & Blood.

To the left of the altar there is a statue of St Joseph to the memory of John Dillane and family. On the right there is a statue of Mary and Child, which is to the memory of Mary (William) Dore and family. Daniel Dillane of New York donated both statues.

Within the church, the Stations of the Cross date from around 1946 when they replaced the original Stations of the Cross. The church also has a silver chalice that dates from 1796. Mr and Mrs Burke donated the chalice to the church. The Burkes may have been from the parish of Monagea, as it was another 70 years before Templeglantine parish came into existence.

There are two doors to enter the church. The door nearest the altar is locally called the "Penny Door". It acquired this name because the seats in the church were from this point forward and only those who could afford the princely sum of one penny in the nineteenth century could sit in the seats. Most of the congregation stood in the back of the church. The porch door was donated in memory of Mrs Anne Connellan.

Buried in the grounds of the church are:

Fr James Galvin
Parish Priest
1985 - 1986

Fr John Fitzgibbon
Parish Priest
1976 - 1978

Fr John Houlihan
Parish Priest

Fr Daniel Daly
Parish Priest
Died 1910

Fr John J. Kelly
Parish Priest
1924 - 1943

Westropp describes an old church ruin in Templeglantine. The site of this church is now surrounded by Templeglantine graveyard. The east end of the church was levelled before 1840. The remainder of the church was defaced and overgrown with ash and thorn. The walls of the church were about 6 or 7 feet in height, according to Westropp. While the ruins of the church no longer exist, a small wall has been built to show the site of the west gable of the church. The church was originally about 70 feet by 30 feet.

According to Tadhg O'Maolcatha, there was a thatched Mass House at Roche's Cross in Meenoline prior to 1829. Earlier still there was an Abbey in Templeglantine West.



There are two graveyards in the parish of Templeglantine. A new graveyard was opened behind the church in Templeglantine in September 1983.

Before that, the only graveyard in the parish had been in the grounds of the old church in Templeglantine West. Many Tournafulla families had their burial plots here. Burials still take place in this graveyard. It is believed that the graveyard has been in use for around 800 years. The oldest headstone that we came across dated from 1866 and was in memory of Michael Gallwey RM.

There are a number of interesting headstones here of a Celtic cross design. The four gaps between the circle of the arms of the Celtic cross are filled in with green glass. This form of headstone is the work of Mossy Wrenn who was a local man.

It is thought that there was a tomb to the de Lacy's in the grounds of the church but its exact location is unknown.

The largest headstone in the graveyard commemorates Liam Scully, an IRA captain during the War of Independence. Scully was killed in a raid on the barracks in Kilmallock on the night of May 28th 1920. Due to the wartime situation, he could not be buried in his home of Glencarr of Co. Kerry. Scully was waked locally and then, with only a few local volunteers to assist in the burial, Liam Scully was buried at midnight to avoid the attention of the Black and Tans. The headstone was erected a few years later.

In the far corner of the graveyard lies a small headstone to the memory of Nellie Doody. People in West Limerick to this day regard Nellie, who was born in Tournafulla, as a holy woman. Many come to her grave seeking help or guidance in their lives. It has become a common practice to leave money under the pink flowerpot at her grave as an offering.

Nellie spent her life visiting churches and Holy Wells. She would often invite friends or the schoolchildren on their way home to come with her to say the Rosary. In the neighbouring parish of Monagea, we came across a story about a man who gave Nellie a lift in his car. She told him that she was going into St Brigid's Well in Shangarry in Newcastlewest, and asked him to wait for her. After a while the driver became impatient and he attempted to start the car. However hard he tried, the car would not move. When Nellie returned to the car, the driver again tried to start the car and on the first turn of the key, the car roared into life.


Holy Wells

There are two Holy Wells in the parish, the Poorman's Well (Tobairín an Duine Bhoicht) and the Hapenny Well.

The Poorman's well is situated beside the border of the parishes of Abbeyfeale and Templeglantine in the townland of Tulligoline North. A flowing stream, which is unnamed, divides the parishes. While no public devotions have taken place in the last twenty years or so, Toberreenadinnabocht is still visited by locals privately. Rounds used to be made here in May.

A poor old man dreamed that he would be cured of blindness here. He visited the well, and was cured, thus giving the well its name. It was claimed that the water could cure blindness. Another legend recounted by Danaher claims that two cloaked women could be seen at the well before dawn. People still draw water from the well in times of drought and it is claimed that the well has never run dry.

The Ha'penny Well (Tobereenalaffina) is very small well located on the Northern bank of the Eaghaun stream on the lands of the O'Donnell family of Meenyline South. According to Danaher legends surrounding the well claim that its water can cure blindness, and that a blind man dreamed he would be cured at the well and soon after he was. Flowers and coins used to be left here as offerings in the past. Devotions are no longer held here.



Mass Rock

According to Tadhg O'Maolcatha, there is a mass rock dating from penal times situated on the bank of a little stream that divides the townlands of Meenoline North and Doonakenna. The last mass to be said at the Mass Rock in Carraig an Easpaig was in 1989.

According to local folklore Dr Lacy, Bishop of Limerick from 1737 until 1759 celebrated mass in this secluded glen during Penal days. It is believed that his predecessor Bishop Cornelius O'Keeffe (1720-1737), whose family lived in Doonakenna, also celebrated mass at Carraig an Easpaig. In 1950 Bishop O'Neill unveiled a plaque at the rock in commemoration of the Holy Year. In the same year, a cross was placed on Cnoc an Bhothaigh near the site of the Mass Rock. From the cross you can see the counties of Cork, Clare, Kerry and Limerick on a clear day.



English Name Irish Name Meaning
Ballymurraugh East Baile Uí Mhurchú The town of Ó Murchú
Ballymurraugh West as above  
Doonakeena Dún Mhic Cionaoith The fort of Mac Cionaoith
Glendarragh Gleann Darach Glen of oaktrees
Inchabaun An Inse Bhán The white wet meadow
Meenyline North Mín Uí Laighin The smooth grassy patch of Ó Laighin
Meenyline South as above  
Rathcahill West Ráth Chathail Thiar The rath of Cathal
Sugarhill Cnoc an Chaca The hill of the excrement
Templeglantine East Teampall an Ghleanntáin The church of the small glen
Templeglantine West as above  
Tulligoline North Tulaigh Ó Laighin The hillock of Uí Laighin
Tulligoline South as above  



List of Priests

Year Parish Priest Curate(s)
1865 John Walsh .
1866 John Walsh  
1867 John Walsh  
1868 John Walsh  
1869 John Walsh  
1870 John Walsh  
1871 John Walsh  
1872 John Walsh  
1873 John Walsh  
1874 John Walsh John Enright
1875 John Walsh John Enright
1876 John Walsh  
1877 John Walsh  
1878 John Walsh John Conway
1879 John Walsh  
1880 John Walsh  
1881 John Walsh  
1882 Edmond Clifford  
1883 Edmond Clifford  
1884 Edmond Clifford  
1885 Edmond Clifford  
1886 Edmond Clifford  
1887 Edmond Clifford  
1888 Edmond Clifford  
1889 Edmond Clifford  
1890 Edmond Clifford  
1891 Edmond Clifford  
1892 Edmond Clifford  
1893 Daniel Daly  
1894 Daniel Daly  
1895 Daniel Daly  
1896 Daniel Daly  
1897 Daniel Daly .
1898 Daniel Daly E. Fitzgerald
1899 Daniel Daly E. Fitzgerald
1900 Daniel Daly E. Fitzgerald
1901 Daniel Daly E. Fitzgerald
1902 Daniel Daly John Carr
1903 Daniel Daly John Carr
1904 Daniel Daly John Carr
1905 Daniel Daly John Carr
1906 Daniel Daly Patrick Higgins
1907 Daniel Daly John Kelly
1908 Daniel Daly John Kelly
1909 Daniel Daly David Barry
1910 Daniel Daly David Barry
1911 John Breen David Barry
1912 John Breen David Riordan
1913 John Breen David Hanly
1914 John Breen David Hanly
1915 John Breen David Hanly
1916 John Breen David Hanly
1917 John Breen David Hanly
1918 John Breen David Hanly
1919 John Breen David Hanly
1920 John Breen Thomas Mortell
1921 John Breen Hugh O’Connor
1922 William O’Dwyer Hugh O’Connor
1923 William O’Dwyer P. O’Callaghan
1924 William O’Dwyer P. O’Callaghan
1925 Eoin O’Ceallaigh  
1926 Eoin O’Ceallaigh  
1927 Eoin O’Ceallaigh  
1928 Eoin O’Ceallaigh  
1929 Eoin O’Ceallaigh  
1930 Eoin O’Ceallaigh  
1931 Eoin O’Ceallaigh Thomas Kirby
1932 Eoin O’Ceallaigh John Kennedy
1933 Eoin O’Ceallaigh John Kennedy
1934 Eoin O’Ceallaigh David Rea
1935 Eoin O’Ceallaigh David Rea
1936 Eoin O’Ceallaigh David Rea
1937 Eoin O’Ceallaigh  
1938 Eoin O’Ceallaigh  
1939 Eoin O’Ceallaigh  
1940 Eoin O’Ceallaigh Edmund O’Dea
1941 Eoin O’Ceallaigh Edmund O’Dea
1942 Eoin O’Ceallaigh  
1943 Eoin O’Ceallaigh Hubert Fee
1944 John Houlihan Hubert Fee
1945 Michael Quinn John Burke
1946 Michael Quinn  
1947 Michael Quinn  
1948 Michael Quinn John Sheehy
1949 Michael Quinn  
1950 Michael Quinn  
1951 Michael Quinn  
1952 Michael Quinn  
1953 Michael Quinn  
1954 Michael Quinn  
1955 Michael Quinn  
1956 Michael Quinn  
1957 Michael Quinn  
1958 Michael Quinn  
1959 Michael Quinn  
1960 Michael Minahan  
1961 Michael Minahan  
1962 Michael Minahan  
1963 Michael Minahan  
1964 Michael Minahan  
1965 Michael Minahan  
1966 Michael Minahan  
1967 Michael Minahan  
1968 Michael Minahan  
1969 Michael Minahan  
1970 Michael Minahan  
1971 David Houlihan  
1972 David Houlihan  
1973 David Houlihan  
1974 David Houlihan  
1975 David Houlihan  
1976 David Houlihan  
1977 John Fitzgibbon  
1978 John Fitzgibbon  
1979 Michael Neville  
1980 Michael Neville  
1981 Michael Neville  
1982 Michael Neville  
1983 Michael Neville  
1984 Michael Neville  
1985 Michael Neville  
1986 James Galvin  
1987 Charles O’Neill  
1988 Charles O’Neill  
1989 Charles O’Neill  
1990 Charles O’Neill  
1991 Thomas Hurley  
1992 Thomas Hurley  
1993 Thomas Hurley  
1994 Thomas Hurley  
1995 Thomas Hurley  
1996 Thomas Hurley  
1997 Thomas Hurley  
1998 Thomas Hurley  
1999 Thomas Hurley  
2000 Thomas Hurley  
2001 Thomas Hurley  
2002 Thomas Hurley .
2003 Thomas Hurley .
2004 Thomas Hurley .
2005 Leo McDonnell, Adm. Thomas Hurley
2006 Leo McDonnell, Adm. Thomas Hurley
2007 Leo McDonnell, Adm. Thomas Hurley

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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