Thurles Now Destroyed Double Ditch, Mass Path & Right Of Way.

We have received several emails from both home and abroad asking what was the name of the church serviced by the now demolished, historic, Great Famine Double Ditch.

Well actually, there was more than one church serviced by this former Great Famine Right Of Way, before Tipperary County Council, earlier knowingly destroyed it.

Kilahilla church was situated on the Mill Road, Thurles, nearly opposite where the Double Ditch once exited from College Lane, (Bohereen Keagh or translated from Irish to English ‘Blind Road’).
The Down survey map, drawn in the 1650’s, shows another church further east, named Kilnock, translated from the Irish “The church of the Hill”, somewhere near the top of Loughtagalla Hill, possibly at the fort in Rathcooney.

Even further east Norman documents tell of a church in Kyle (also referred to as Killuragh or Kyllienane) and the fort in the townland of Kyle is traditionally regarded as the site.

There may well have been a church too in either Corbally or Archerstown called Rathfernagh, as a document from 1305 refers to the glebes and the sanctuary lands of these towns lands. There are traditions of church sites in Athloman and Coolaculla and the alternative name for Ballyduff, Kilmilchon, implies that there was a church site there also.

However, not all these churches were in existence at the same time; political and other upheavals where as unkind to churches as to other buildings, but the memory of these holy places survived down through the centuries, helped by the constant verbal use of their place names.

There are also two holy wells in Thurles, ‘Lady’s Well’ to the south which pilgrims possibly may have chosen the Double Ditch route and ‘Tobernaloo’ to the west of the town.

In the Middle ages Lady’s Well was a noted place of pilgrimage and in 1432 Archbishop O’Hedion persuaded the Earl of Ormond to grant a safe conduct to all pilgrims who wished to visit Thurles on the Feast of the Assumption (Feast Date August 15th which marks the occasion of the Virgin Mary’s bodily ascent into heaven at the end of her life), and for the 3 days before and after the Feast Day.

Same was necessary because of the riotous and unseemly conduct that had crept in on “Patterns Days” (devotions that take place within a parish on the feast day of the patron saint of the parish) or patronal feasts of the Saints, venerated at wells and holy places.

The Archbishops of Cashel forbade these assemblies throughout the diocese in the late 1700’s. However, some devout people continued to make a pilgrimage to Lady’s Well, up until the end of the last century.

Tobernaloo or translated from Irish the ‘Well of St.Lua’, may derive its name from the man who built his church on Friar’s Island in the Shannon and gave his name to Killaloe, or more probably from Molua or Cluain-Fearta-Molua in Laois, who was a personal friend of St. Mochoemóg of Leigh, Two-Mile-Borris, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.


1 comment to Thurles Now Destroyed Double Ditch, Mass Path & Right Of Way.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




four × three =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.