Parish of Doonane
Source: Rev M Comerford "Collections relating to the Dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin" Vol. 3 (1886)
THE name of this parish is
derived from Dun-an, "the little fort." Dun was anciently, and
is still, frequently applied to the great forts, with a high central mound,
flat at top, and surrounded by several-very usually three-earthen circumvallations;
these fortified duns, so many of which remain all over the country, were
the residences of the kings and chiefs; they are constantly mentioned
as such in the Irish authorities
the diminutive in an
is not common, but it gives name to some places, such as
Doonane in Queen's County. -(Joyce.)
This is the Cill-gabhra with
which one, if not more than one, of our earliest Irish Saints was identified.
The Martyrologies of Donegal and Tallaght, at June 24th, have "Lon
of Cill Gabhra." In the List of the Bishops of Kildare, as given
in the Red Book of the Earl of Kildare, two bishops are named as having
preceded St. Conlaeth in that See, the first of whom was called Lony.
As Cill Gabhra was in the immediate vicinity of Sletty, the learned author
of Loca Patriciana considers that Lon or Lonius may be identified with
Lonan, the son of Dubhtach the Druid, who, like his brother, was associated
for a time with their cousin St. Fiacc. He thus would be one of the Four
true Druids supposed to be referred to in the famous Bilingual Inscription
at Killeen Cormac. -(See Loca Patr. Pt. IV.) Again, at September the 3rd,
the Mart. of Donegal records St. Lonn or Loman Coisfin, i.e. of the white
leg, of Cill Gabhra, Mairghe. There is a curious story related of his
refusal to lend his books to St. Columba; this is referred to in the scholium
in the Martyrology: "It is said that the book-satchels of Erinn and
the Gospels, and the Lesson Books of the students fell from their racks
on the night of Lon-garadh's death, so that no person should understand
them as Longaradh used to understand them. A very ancient vellum book
states that Lon-garadh, in his habits and life, was like to Augustine,
who was very wise." The Feilire of Aengus, at 3rd Sept., has: "Longarad,
a delightful sun." Upon which the gloss in the Leabhar Breac comments:
i.e. in Slieb Mairghe, or in Mag Tuathat in Offaly. Longarad the Whitelegged,
in Mag Tuathat in the north of Ossory, i.e. in Ui-Foirchellain, i.e. in
Mag Garad in Disart Garad especially, and in Cell Gabra in Sliab Mairge
in Les Longarad. Whitelegged, i.e. a great white hair through his legs.
Or bright-white were his legs.
As St. Columbcille was not born till the year 520, the year after the death of St. Conlaeth, this story of the meeting between St. Lonn of Cill-gabhra and St. Columbcille would militate against the supposition of the former having preceded St. Conlaeth in the See of Kildare. It may, however, have been, - and the fact of different days being assigned to them in the Calendar of Donegal tends to prove it, -that there were two Saints Lonn connected with Killgorey. An ancient grave-yard, still extensively used, occupies the probable site of St. Lony's cell and oratory, the latter, no doubt, replaced in subsequent times by a public church. The trunk of a venerable tree remains, from an aperture in which, six feet from the ground, people still living state that they recollect to have seen water flow in a copious stream. Every available portion of the withered trunk is decorated with ex voto rags. The Saint's Well is immediately outside the burial-ground. A Patron used to be held here on the 24th of June; very old natives tell of crowds of people flocking to it, and of fields of tents set up for their accommodation. As has so frequently been the case, abuses resulting from these assemblages, caused the Patron to be discontinued; but even still, the well is resorted to by pilgrims, especially on festivals of the Blessed Virgin.
Within the Chapel of Doonane two marble tablets have been raised to the memory of two former pastors of the parish. The following are the inscriptions: -" Beneath are deposited the mortal remains of the Rev. Eugene Kelly, who laboured well in the sacred ministry for 44 years, during the last 31 of which he was the vigilant and zealous pastor of Doonane and Mayo. Having by word and example taught his flock the blessedness of walking blamelessly in the way of the Lord, this good priest, upon Easter Sunday, 1859, closed his earthly career in the precious peace procured by the bright hope which sustains the faithful Christian.
Anthracite coal abounds in
this district. The coal formation commences near Timahoe, and extends
east and south-east to the Barrow, and southwards almost to the Nore.
. . . The portion included in the Queen's County extends about 3 miles
by 2 . . . In the summer of 1836, 64 pits were at full work, for unwatering
which five steam-engines were employed, but the coal is mostly raised
by horses. The works furnished employment to 700 men, and the value of
the coal raised is estimated at upwards of £78,000 per annum.-(Lewis'
SUCCESSION OF PASTORS
This district appears to have been formed into a separate parish towards the close of the last century. Gerald Byrne, P.P. of Stradbally from 1709 to 1724, had in charge, at the same time, Ballyadams and Doonane.
REV. PATRICK WALL was P.P. during the last quarter of the century; he lies interred at Arles, in the same grave with his brother, the Rev. James Wall, who died on the 27th of April, 1771, aged 49. The Right Rev. Francis Haly, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, and himself, a native of the parish of Doonane, was nephew to these priests. On the death of Fr. Wall, in 1815,
REV. THOMAS TYRRELL was appointed; he was translated to Tinryland in 1823.
REV. CORNELIUS DOWLING succeeded; in 1826 he became P.P. of Stradbally, and had for his successor,
REV. EUGENE KELLY; he dying in 1859, was succeeded by
REV. JAMES KAVANAGH, on whose death, which took place in 1876,
REV. PATRICK DONOHOE, the present Parish Priest, was appointed.
Site Hosted by Dotser
© Irish Midlands Ancestry - Bury Quay - Tullamore - Co. Offaly - Ireland - email