THE PARISH OF RED CITY
SITUATION: This Parish is bounded on the west by the Parish of Moorestown; on the north by the Parish of Barrettsgrange; on the east by the Parish of Donoghmore Moyfeven, and on the south by those of Donaghmore aforesaid, Aglish and Bally-Clerehan.
NAME: The name of this Parish is in Irish Cathair Dhearg, which signifies Red Fort; but as Cathair is the modern for city it has been locally translated Red City. Cathair signifies a stone-fort and the name was originally applied to a circular fort constructed of red sandstone, near which the old Church was built but this fort is now completely destroyed and every trace of it removed off the surface of the land.
The old Church of Red City or Caherderg is situated about three quarters of a mile westwards of the Town of Fethard; It was divided into nave and choir, the former measuring thirty feet six inches In length and nineteen feet six inches in breadth and the latter twenty two feet in length and seventeen feet in breadth. All its features are now destroyed. The sidewalls of the nave are twelve feet in height and three feet in thickness. It is built of limestones irregularly laid and cemented with excellent lime and sand mortar.
The old Church of Colman is also in this Parish, lying about two miles to the west of the Town of Fethard. It is not divided into nave and choir but is an oblong building in utter ruin. It measures in length on the inside sixty one feet six inches in length; twenty three feet six filches in breadth. All its windows and doorways are completely destroyed, and of the sidewalls and gables only fragments remain, the most perfect of these fragments is on the south side; it is three feet six inches in thickness and about ten feet in height. It is built of rude limestones irregularly laid and cemented with lime and sand mortar. Its graveyard is deserted.
In the Townland of Rathdrum in this Parish is situated a butt of a castle about sixteen feet in height it measures on the outside thirty six feet six inches by twenty six feet six Inches and its walls are six feet six inches in thickness and built of good blocks of limestone grouted.
The first floor was of wood, as is evident from the projecting stones to support the joists; the second floor rested on a strong arch, which still remains, but from this up is now only a castle of air.
The corners of this building are rounded a little on the outside and built of good blocks of limestone chiselled. The windows lighting the ground floor are narrow and roundtopped. The doorway is on the southwest side, is pointed and fragments of a staircase leading to the arch floor are visible. The window lighting the second floor is pointed. (See Du Noyer's Sketch).
The tradition of this fortress having belonged to O'Maher seems corroborated by O'Heerin's poem, which places O'Maber’s residence at the foot of Bearnan Eile, now the gap called the Devil’s Bit.
This family are still very affluent in this County and the head of them is Member of Parliament for the County of Wexford.
(The splendid castellated house of Tullamaine belongs to this family).
I here insert two passages from my translation of the Annals of the Four Masters, which throw great light on the ancient topography of this part of the County of Tipperary.