THE PARISH OF CLONEEN
SITUATION: This Parish Is situated partly in the Barony of Middlethird and partly in that of Slieve-Ardagh. For its exact boundaries see Field Name Book.
NAME: The name of this Parish is in Irish Cluainín, which is a diminutive of Cluain, a lawn, insulated meadow or bog island.
The old Church of this Parish is of no antiquity or interest to the antiquarian, It being not more than three centuries old and built in a very rude style. It consists of nave and choir, the former measuring forty four feet nine inches in length and twenty feet nine inches in breadth, and the latter thirty three feet in length and fifteen feet in breadth. The west gable is destroyed down to the height of the sidewalls and there is a breach on it near the northwest corner, but the east and middle gables are in good preservation.
The east gable contains a small window which was divided into two compartments, each pointed at top, but the stone mullion which divided them has been taken away. It is so veiled with ivy on the inside that its form at top cannot be seen nor its dimensions easily obtained. On the outside it is constructed of roughly chiselled or hammered sandstone and measures four feet in height and one foot six and a half inches in width. The sidewalls of the choir are nearly destroyed.
Near the northeast corner of the choir on the inside there is a tombstone laid in a horizontal position, exhibiting the following inscription in large Roman capitals around its edges:-
Hic jacet Richardus Bermingham nobilis de Ballyhomuck qui obijt. XXV Junii Anno Doi., MDCLXXII.
The choir arch remains; it is pointed, firmly built, but in a rude style of masonry, and measures six feet four inches in height from the present level of the ground, which is raised, and eight feet six inches in width.
The nave was entered by two doorways placed in the sidewalls, nearly opposite each other but they are now reduced to shapeless breaches, and all the (its) windows are also disfigured except one in the south wall now built up with rough masonwork.
The walls of the nave are two feet eight inches in thickness and about twelve feet in height.
I find no other remain of antiquity In this Parish but the Castle of Ballinard, (Baile an Aird) which is five stories high and in good preservation. It is a square castle measuring thirty three feet from north to south and thirty eight feet from east to west. Some of its windows have been modernized. (See Sketch by Du Noyer).
The antiquities and names of this Parish were examined by me while stopping at Fethard.
Cashel, John O'Donovan.
Sept. 16th 1840.