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Introduction   Tournafulla-Mountcollins   Churches

The three counties of Limerick, Cork and Kerry converge at a point in the parish of Tournafulla/Mountcollins. A plaque has been placed at the river to mark this point. Within a few miles of the parish are the villages of Rockchapel, Co. Cork, and Brosna, Co. Kerry.

Converging Point of the three counties
© Converging Point of the three counties

The Irish for Tournafulla is Tuar na Fola that translates as the "Animal Enclosure of the Blood". This is in reference to a battle where blood was spilled. Tournafulla is surrounded by hills to the north and the Mullaghareirk Mountains to the south. Woods covered most of Tournafulla until the 17th century.

Mountcollins was formerly called Knockroedermot. The area used to be called the "Munster Coalfield". A large tract of land was reclaimed here in the middle of the nineteenth century. There are hills to the north and south-east and the land is mainly boggy. In the past, there was little more than a road in Mountcollins and people used to say, "I'm going to the road" in reference to it. During the famine in Mountcollins, a number of new roads were laid as part of the relief works that began nationwide in an effort to alleviate the immense poverty that existed at the time.

Mountcollins got its present name from Fr Luke Collins. Fr Collins served as priest to both Abbeyfeale and Mountcollins from the 1730s until his death in 1775. Fr Collins first said mass in a building on a hill called 'the Mount', which is the site of the present day church. Hence the name Mountcollins.

The O'Coileans ruled Southwest Limerick from the fourth to the thirteenth century. The area was called the Tuath of Corca Oíche, after the clan. The Gaelic lords of the Corca Oíche took the name Ó Macasa that became anglicised as Mackessy. To the east of Corca Oíche lay the lands of the Ó Coileáin called Claonghlais. The name Ó Coileáin was anglicised as Collins.

The Old Presbytery in Ballycoman
© The Old Presbytery in Ballycoman

There used to be a presbytery in Ballycoman where the two priests of the parish lived. The building is still standing and is now owned by the O'Sullivan family. In the 1930s the house was sold off together with the adjoining farm.

The parish records were originally kept in this Old Presbytery. However, when the new parochial house in Tournafulla was built the transfer of the records did not go quite as planned. During this process some of the records were lost. The oldest set of records date back to April 1st 1867.


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