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Drumlish & Ballinamuck Parish

From the middle of the eighteenth century, Drumlish began to evolve its own distinct identity from the parent parish of old Killoe. In 1800 the parish was called Monaduff with its own church while a little to the south of Drumlish a second church was marked on the Edgeworth map of 1813. The third church was at Ballinamuck.

Back in1704 the priest for the Drumlish area of Killoe was Francis Farrell ordained by St Oliver Plunkett at Louth 1 July 1677 and in 1744 Francis McCartan was the priest in charge and lived in Drumlish.

It is likely Bishop McNamee thinks, that St Patrick may have come this way from Granard to Magh Rein in Leitrim, taking account of a legend of the saint at Bawn on the Killoe side and Tobar Patrick on the Dromard side.

According to the Fifth Life of St Columba, this saint just before his exile to Iona in 563 AD, on his way to bid farewell to the saint in residence at Cloone, dropped in unannounced on St Maudan, the saint in residence at Kilmahon on the hip of Cairn Hill. A poor reception he received, a leaking pot and pork with a fishy taste. Colmcille got mad and said the place was fit for wild beasts not Clerics.

Still and withal William Higgins, born in a hut in the well field at Barraghbeg on 1 August 1794, four years before the battle of Ballinamuck, is considered among the greatest of Ardagh’s Bishops. He served the diocese from the year of emancipation until after the famine and St Mel’s cathedral is the greatest of his legacies to our diocese.

In Creealaughta, Ballinamuck, William Henry Moorhead, born 8 April 1882, baptised in St Catherine’s Church of Ireland Drumlish, went on to become Anglican bishop in Fredericton Canada in 1936.

On the 7 September 1860 Bishop Kilduff made two further changes to the boundaries of Drumlish. The town lands of Greagh, Lower Cartron, Clonmacart, Clonaugh and Kilnashee were detached from Killoe and given to Drumlish. The town land of Curnafunshen was detached from Drumlish and given to Killoe.

Both Ballinamuck and Drumlish went through tough times with the Lord Lorton evictions and plantation, shootings and reprisal agrarian and sectarian in 1798 in Ballinamuck. Many who had settled round Ballinamuck and Drumlish had fled persecution in Ulster.

In 1880-81 the bell in Drumlish called them and with the help of Fr Tom Conefrey they made a successful stand against rack rents. There were lots of Fr Toms down the years in Drumlish that will never be read about in the short and simple annals of the poor. A bag of mael here, a shop bill that couldn’t be paid and no more about it, a pair of boots a few things for the children. It’s not in the archives. It will never be footnoted in learned works. But it is there in the hearts and faces of the people to this day.
Still and withal William Higgins, born in a hut in the well field at Barraghbeg on 1 August 1794, four years before the battle of Ballinamuck, is considered among the greatest of Ardagh’s Bishops. He served the diocese from the year of emancipation until after the famine and St Mel’s cathedral is the greatest of his legacies to our diocese.

In Creealaughta, Ballinamuck, William Henry Moorhead, born 8 April 1882, baptised in St Catherine’s Church of Ireland Drumlish, went on to become Anglican bishop in Fredericton Canada in 1936.

On the 7 September 1860 Bishop Kilduff made two further changes to the boundaries of Drumlish. The town lands of Greagh, Lower Cartron, Clonmacart, Clonaugh and Kilnashee were detached from Killoe and given to Drumlish. The town land of Curnafunshen was detached from Drumlish and given to Killoe.

Both Ballinamuck and Drumlish went through tough times with the Lord Lorton evictions and plantation, shootings and reprisal agrarian and sectarian in 1798 in Ballinamuck. Many who had settled round Ballinamuck and Drumlish had fled persecution in Ulster.

In 1880-81 the bell in Drumlish called them and with the help of Fr Tom Conefrey they made a successful stand against rack rents. There were lots of Fr Toms down the years in Drumlish that will never be read about in the short and simple annals of the poor. A bag of mael here, a shop bill that couldn’t be paid and no more about it, a pair of boots a few things for the children. It’s not in the archives. It will never be footnoted in learned works. But it is there in the hearts and faces of the people to this day.

The parish is void on the Petty Down survey map. A lot of people may have come in the seventeenth century from the north, some after Ballinamuck, an exodus people looking not for a promised land but to escape tyranny and hardship and find a place to stay, and a bite to eat.

There are many other things that can be found in the faith history of the parish of Drumlish and Ballinamuck called Drumlish down the years: the building of Ballinamuck church in 1956 to replace the older one built in 1834; the thorough renovation and restyling on 29 June 1969 of Drumlish that was first dedicated 9 May 1907 built to replace the old church on the hill of Drumlish inside the old graveyard grounds.

The parish is void on the Petty Down survey map. A lot of people may have come in the seventeenth century from the north, some after Ballinamuck, an exodus people looking not for a promised land but to escape tyranny and hardship and find a place to stay, and a bite to eat.

There are many other things that can be found in the faith history of the parish of Drumlish and Ballinamuck called Drumlish down the years: the building of Ballinamuck church in 1956 to replace the older one built in 1834; the thorough renovation and restyling on 29 June 1969 of Drumlish that was first dedicated 9 May 1907 built to replace the old church on the hill of Drumlish inside the old graveyard grounds.