(Landowners in 1876 can be got from the index on the main
page of the website under Land Deeds)
Church Records, Source and dates of church records in Dromara parish,
Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Church of Ireland,
A History of the Revival in Ireland, A.D.1859
From the Belfast and Ulster Towns Directory for 1910
Condition of the poorer classes, Dromore
& Dromara 1835
Dromara Old News & Events
FlaxGrowers, Dromara Parish 1796
Harris-County Down-1744 Dromarh
Survey Of Dromara 1834
Ancestors in Dromara Area, (McKinney, McKinny Documents)
Lease of land by from
Lord Hillsborough to William Gray in Mulloughdrin
Topographical Atlas of Ireland,(19th Century Post 1833
Immigrants to the U.S. (from Dromara or who had another type of connection with
In the early
1980’s, Father Treanor of St. Michael’s Church in the Parish of Dromara helped
me find my ancestors in the townland of Crossgar. I met him several times when
in Ireland and he was very interested in the history of Dromara and its
families. In 1985 he researched, organized and prepared a booklet of about 35
pages on St. Michael’s Church. It was printed by Mourne Observer Press,
Newcastle. Father Treanor retired from St. Michael’s at least by the early
1990’s and has since passed on.
come across this booklet on St. Michael’s in any libraries or collections, and I
notice that there isn’t a catalog control number on the item. Therefore, I have
prepared a Microsoft Word document of the printed content of the booklet hoping
that its information will be further disseminated and by doing so will not be
is not copyrighted, but I hope that anyone providing a further distribution of
this document will acknowledge Father Treanor as the author.
AND PARISH OF ST. MICHAEL, DROMARA
Diocese of Dromore
25th October 1985
To mark the
150th Anniversary of the dedication of Saint Michael’s, the Parish
Church of Dromara, Canon Bernard Treanor, Parish Priest, and his co-operators
have written this very valuable and interesting account of the history of the
parish, is priests, religious and people.
A church is
a place of prayer, a place where God’s people assemble to publicly acknowledge
their dependence on God, to listen to his word and to offer him their praise,
adoration and petition. It is a place where the waters of divine grace abolish
sin and give new life in Baptism, a place where the pilgrim People of God
through their offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are constantly renewed
and sanctified. The coming together in a church, the raising of minds and
hearts to God, the receiving of the one Body and Blood of Christ, is a
communion, a uniting, a building up of the people as the family of Christ in
that place. The church, the material building, thus becomes the symbol of the
particular local community, the sign or reminder to all of the presence of a
people of faith in the area. It represents the bishop, priests and people
united through the Gospel and the Eucharist in a common bond of faith and love.
The story of a church is the story of its people.
The story of
St. Michael’s is a story of such a community of priests and people, who, despite
great difficulties, struggled to build it, furnish it, to extend it and to
maintain it throughout the last 150 years. The latest chapter in this story,
-- the recent extensive renovations, symbolizes very well the faith, generosity
and community spirit of the present generation of Dromara parishioners. While
making good the ravages of time and weather, they have taken great care to
preserve and enhance their inheritance of the past, and the very fine
architectural character of the church. Its beautiful warm devotional atmosphere
fittingly symbolizes, in fact, a people imbued with the love of Christ and one
another, its finely cut stone exterior with its tower pointing to the heavens
reminds us of a people aware of their human weaknesses, constantly emending
their lives and strengthening their faith, so that this faith is handed down on
to the next generation with an increased vigor and adapted more closely to the
needs of our age.
of Dromara and the Diocese of Dromore owe a great debt of gratitude to Canon
Treanor for the scholarship, initiative and energy he has long displayed in the
field of local history, civil and ecclesiastical. In the preparation of this
booklet, and in many other works, he has stimulated others to co-operate with
him. He has encouraged an increasing general interest in diocesan and parish
history. The writing of this book must have been a labour of love. He can be
assured that his parishioners of Dromara, his brother priests and the people of
the Diocese, will find it a source of pride, a stimulus to thank God for his
goodness and an incentive to all of us to keep united, in faith and love, with
Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Gerard Brooks, Bishop of Dromore
has been compiled to mark the occasion of the 150th anniversary of
the dedication of the Church of St. Michael, the Archangel, Dromara. The
anniversary is another important milestone in the life of the Parish.
tells the story in brief outline of the Parish of St. Michael, through which the
River Lagan flows, and of its Church. In recording the lives of the priests much
use has been made of the Campbell-Keenan manuscript which gives a brief, but
authoritative account of all known Bishops and priests of Dromore Diocese from
the earliest times to the present day.
The records show that relations between
the community of St. Michael’s Parish, Dromara, and the communities of the other
Churches in this neighborhood have always been good and happily this is also
true today. My thanks to
two parishioners, both members of the teaching profession, who co-operated with
me in compiling this booklet, namely Mrs. Kathleen O’Hare and Mr. Jim McNeill.
I should also like to thank Mr. Kieran Clendinning for his fine contribution on
the significance of various aspects of church architecture.
Most Rev. Dr. Francis Gerard Brooks, was most helpful, as always, during the
recent renovations at our Church and he encouraged the production of this
written record. I wish to thank him most sincerely
It is with a feeling of
great joy and heartfelt thanks to God that the people of this Parish greet the
celebration of the 150th anniversary of their Church in this year of
PARISH AND ITS PRIESTS
of Dromore was founded by St. Colman at the beginning of the 6th
century. The Church of Dromara probably began in the same Century as an
offshoot of the Church and Monastery of Dromore.In the 6th century
and for the succeeding three or four centuries the Church in Ireland was
organized on monastic lines. There were no parishes as such and each area was
administered spiritually from the local monastery.
It is assumed that the Church
of Dromara was sited on the bank of the River Lagan at or near the spot where
St. John’s Church of Ireland stands. The original church, with probably a
small monastic settlement, may have stood within the graveyard there which has a
semi-circular boundary. Early churches were often erected within a
monastic foundations, however small, were usually made in good pastureland and
near an abundant supply of water. These conditions existed at Dromara. In fact
the good quality of the pasture there is evidenced by the very name Dromara
which is derived from the Irish “Droim Bearach”, hill of the heifers.In time the
monastic organization of the Irish Church changed and parishes, more or less as
we know them today, were formed. This development resulted from the decisions
reached at a number of national Synods held in Ireland in the 12th
Century.The first written reference to Dromara occurs in an official
ecclesiastical taxation document in the year 1306 AD. This document lists all
the parishes of Dromore Diocese and in it our Parish is referred to as the
“Church of Drumberra”.
time onward some names of the priests of this Parish begin to appear in various
church records. The first such priest mentioned in Gilbert MacINERNEY who was
Vicar, i.e. Curate, of the Parish 1427-40. John McSTAY was Rector, i.e. Parish
Priest, in 1441. William ROONEY was Vicar in 1460 and Peter ROONEY was Rector
in 1529. Thomas McCORMICK was Rector in 1539. These surnames have a familiar
local ring even today.
follows a gap of 165 years in the records which is explained by the turmoil of
Penal Days the parishes of Dromara and Magheradroll were united. The earliest
record of priests of the Dromara Parish subsequent to the Reformation is in the
year of 1704. This was to Father Darbey MacKEY. Father MacKEY was a native of
Levallyreagh where he resided in the parental home. He was registered as Parish
Priest of Dromara and Magheradroll at Downpatrick on July 11th, 1704,
and was then aged 56 years. Father MacKEY was ordained by Doctor Patrick
PLUNKETT, Bishop of Arlagh, in 1682 and died in Levallyreagh in 1726.
report of the Protestant bishop to the House of Lords in 1731 both Dromara and
Magheradroll are recorded as having only one priest. According to O’Laverty, in
his History of Down and Connor, the C.C. of Magheradroll at that time was Father
Patrick DUGAN, so it would seem to be a correct assumption that he was the one
priest in Dromara in 1731, to whom the bishop was referring. The unsettled
state of the country in the aftermath of the Cromwellian era would account for
records being somewhat sketchy.
Father Dan O’FEGAN signed a document, which is
now in the Propaganda Fide archives, appointing him Parish Priest of Dromara and
Magheradroll, on 23rd September 1741. On 12th September
1766 he signed a further document as P.P. of Dromara.
On the 26th
November 1773, Father John PULLEINE signed a document as a pastor, but the
parish is not stated. However, in 1776, father PULLEINE signed a document as
P.P. of Dromara. These signatures are recorded in the Propaganda Fide archives.
Francis McKENNY was P.P. of Dromara and Magheradroll from 1781 to 1788. A
native of Dromara Parish, Father McKENNY was Vicar General of Dromore Diocese at
the time of his death. He resided in the townland of Ballymacarn North, where
he held a farm of 12 acres rented from Lord Moira at the rent of “11.1.9
British, for and during as many years as he shall remain priest of the Parish of
Magheradroll, not exceeding thirty years.” The lease is in the Public records
Office, Belfast. Father McKENNY died in 1788 and is interred in the cemetery
attached to St. John’s Church, Dromara, which was formerly in Catholic hands. A
tombstone that previously marked his grave and that of another priest also named
McKENNY is not now visible.
Father McKENNY’s death the union of the two parishes was dissolved.
Daniel MOONEY apparently succeeded Father McKENNY as Parish Priest in 1788.
Father MOONEY entered the Irish College, Salamanca in 1775 and his name appears
as C.C. of Dromara and Magheradroll in the old parish register in 1783. The
Catholic Qualification Rolls record him as parish priest in 1796. At the
meeting of all denominations held in Dromara on February 26th 1796,
to consider the disturbances in Counties Armagh and Down and the circulation of
threatening letters, tribute was paid to Father MOONEY’s “unremitting exertions
to preserve peace an regularity within the Parish” - a quote from the
Northern Star, February 29th 1796. He is said to have died in 1812.
Francis REAVEY, probably a native of Dromara Parish, followed Father MOONEY as
Parish Priest. He began the erection of the Church in Finnis in 1825 to replace
a small chapel at the real of the Parochial house. In a clergy list of 1823,
Father REAVEY is recorded as “prebendary - i.e. Canon - of Dromara”. He
died towards the end of 1826.
MURPHY, son of Owen and Rose MURPHY, Mullaghmore, Hilltown, succeeded Father
REAVEY in December 1826. He was educated at Maynooth and ordained by Dr.
O’KELLY in St. Mary’s Newry, in 1820. Father MURPHY was first appointed curate
in Newry, 1820-1825, the Adm. In Newry 1825-1826. He was Parish Priest of
Dromara from 1826 to 1829. Father MURPHY was prominently identified with the
erection of the then Pro-Cathedral, Newry, and took an active part in the
agitation for Catholic Emancipation. A noted preacher, he engaged in many
religious controversies with the Protestant clergymen during his pastorate in
Newry. The Newry Examiner of August 11th 1841, described his as a
“shining ornament of the Church”. Other Monuments of his pastoral zeal are the
churches erected at Burren and Warrenpoint and the old schools at Carrick and
Mayobridge. Father MURPHY died in Warrenpoint on July 23rd 1845 aged
54 years and was interred in Burren cemetarty.
MURPHY came Father Michael John McCARTAN, a native of Ryan in the Parish of
Saval. He was educated at Maynooth and ordained by Dr. MURRAY, Archbishop of
Dublin at Pentecost 1821. He was Parish Priest at Seagoe from 1821 to 1826 and
was Adm. Clonallon 1826 to 1829. He was appointed Parish Priest of Dromara on
March 20th 1829. He was retired from Dromara in 1836 and died a
pastor in Nova Scotia.
McCARTAN retired from Dromara in 1836 his place was filed by the temporary
appointment of Father Thomas BRADY as Administrator, 1836 to 1838. Father BRADY
was born in the Parish of Dromara, educated at Maynooth and ordained in Newry by
Dr. BLAKE in 1834. He was C.C. in Annaclone 1834 to 1835 and in Clonduff from
1835 to 1836. He was Administrator in Dromara 1836 to 1838. He returned to
Annaclone first as C.C., and later as Adm. He was appointed Adm. and later P.P.
Drumgath in 1840. He died on 23rd August 1864, and was interred in
DEVLIN was appointed P.P. of Dromara on September 8th 1838. He was
born in the Parish of Clonduff in 1791 and was educated in Wexford College and
ordained by Dr. DERRY in Newry
in 1814, and the same year became Adm., Kilbroney.
On the 1st August 1817 he was appointed P.P. Magheralin, where he
remained until his appointment in 1838 as P.P. of Dromara. IN 1844 Dr. BLAKE
appointed Father DEVLIN Vicar General. He died on June 3rd 1850 and
was interred in Dromara Church.
IRWIN succeeded father DEVLIN on 10th June 1850, as P.P. of Dromara.
He was born in Loughgall, Co. Armargh, and was educated at Carlow College. In
1842 he was appointed Principal of the Diocesan Seminary, Newry, and was
ordained by Dr. BLAKE the same year. Father IRWIN was C.C. Newry from 1842 to
1845 and was transferred to Dromara as C.C. He was appointed Vicar Forane in
1874 and Vicar General in 1878. His death took place on December 7th
1885 and he was interred inside the church in Dromara.
Daniel MALLON was appointed to Dromara as Adm. in 1884 and, on the death of
Father IRWIN, in December 1885, he became P.P. Dromara. Born in the townland of
Ballydoo in the Parish of Drumgath, Father MALLON entered Maynooth in 1860 and
was ordained by Bishop LEAHY in Newry Cathedral on the 18th August
1867. His first appointment as curate was to Aghaderg 1867 to 1868. From March
to September 1868 he ministered in Seapatrick and from September 1868 to 1872 he
was curate in the Parish of Kilbroney. His final Curacy was in Newry from 1878
to 1884. From there he came to Dromara. Father MALLON traveled to the United
States in order to collect money for the extensive renovations to the Church in
Finnis. In 1902 he was appointed Adm., Clonallon by the Holy See and in 1907 he
became Parish Priest of Kilbroney. On June 7th 1918 Father MALLON
was appointed to the prebendal staff of Lanronan in the Diocesan Chapter. He
died in Rostrevor, March 28th 1921 and was interred in Kilbroney
O’HARE was appointed Parish Priest in succession to Cannon MALLON on 13th
January 1903. A native of the townland of Knockanarney, in the Parish of
Donaghmore, he was born in 1854, the son of James O’HARE and educated in he
Irish College, Paris. Father O’HARE was ordained by Dr. LEAHY in Newry
Cathedral on 18th November 1877. He was C.C. Aghaderg, 1877 to 1879,
Drumgath 1879 to 1891 and Newry 1891 to 1903. He was Parish Priest of Dromara
from 1903 to June 1907, and was transferred as P.P. to Dromore. At his own
request he was transferred to Seagoe as Parish Priest on September 1920. He
died on September 16th 1934 and was interred in Barr Cemetery.
SAVAGE followed Father O’HARE as Parish Priest of Dromara on June 4th
1907. He was born in Lisburn, entered the Irish College, Salamanca, in 1877 and
was ordained by Mgr. BELESTA, Bishop of Zamora, in the Church of St. Vincent,
Zamora on December 17th 1881. Father SAVAGE arrived back in Ireland
in June 1882. For the next three years he ministered in Birmingham until in
1885 he was recalled to the Diocese and appointed Curate in Clonduff. In
January 1903, he was transferred to Mayobridge, where he remained until 1907,
when he was appointed Parish Priest of Dromara. Father SAVAGE died on March 30th
1920 and was interred in Dromara, in front of the Church.
McEVOY was appointed Parish Priest on April 9th 1920. He was born in
the Parish of Lower Drumgooland in 1857, educated at the Irish College,
Salamanca, and ordained by Mgr. MARTINEZ, Bishop of Salamanca, in the Episcopal
Oratory on March 25th 1882. Following ordination he became
vice-rector of the College of Salamanca, a position held until 1887. Father
McEVOY was curate in Ballela from 1887 to 1903, in Clonduff from January 1903 to
1904, and in Lurgan from November 1904 to 1920. He was a prominent worker in
the Gaelic Revival movement in the North and was a personal friend of Mr. De
Valera. Owing to failing health, Father McEVOY returned on February 23rd
1933. He died at the residence of his brother at Ballynoe, Downpatrick on July
7th 1935 and was interred at St. Patrick’s cemetery, Legamaddy,
Downpatrick. There is a window to his memory in St. Michael’s Church, Finnis,
Edward McCONVILLE was appointed Parish Priest on 1st April 1933.
Born in Drumlough in the Parish o Drumgath, he was educated at Propaganda
College, Rome, which he entered in 1899 and was ordained on 21st May
1910 by Cardinal Respighi in the Lateran Basilica. Father McCONVILLE was a
nephew of Very Reverend M. McCONVILLE, D.D.P.P. Tullylish and Very Rev. P. Canon
McCONVILLE, P.P. Donaghmore, and uncle of Very Rev Thomas McCONVILLE, present
Parish Priest of Mayobridge. He was C.C. Donaghmore 1910 to 1913, Tullyish,
August 1913 to 1916, Magheralin, February 1916 to 1917 and Kilbroney, July 1917
to 1933 from which Parish he was transferred in 1933 to Dromara as Parish
Priest. On the 8th October 1958 Father McCONVILLE resigned his Parish
due to ill health and retired to Dublin, where he died on the 19th
March 1972. He was buried in Dromara in front of the church, 21st
Alexander McMULLAN became the new Parish Priest of Dromara on 8th
October 1958. He was born in Legananny in the Parish of Upper Drumgooland on
the 14th February 1904. Educated at St. Colman’s College, Newry and
Maynooth, Father McMULLAN was ordained on June 17th 1928. Following
Ordination he was appointed on temporary mission to Liverpool and in 1929 he was
recalled to the Diocese and became Chaplain to the Carmelite Convent, Glenvale,
Newry, until 1933 when he was transferred to Derrytransa for two years before
being moved to Warrenpoint as Curate in 1935. There he remained until he was
appointed Parish Priest of Dromara in 1958. On 15th November 1963,
Father McMULLAN was appointed Canon of the Cathedral Chapter and four years
later, on 18th October 1967, he was transferred to Ballynahinch as
Parish Priest. Canon McMULLAN died very suddenly on Monday August 4th
1975 and was buried on August 7th in the cemetery at Ballynahinch.
He was a brother of the Reverend John McMULLAN of the Missionary Society of St.
Columban and presently curate at Tullylish and of Sister Rose of the Mercy
Order, Newry, and Sister Clement of the Franciscan Order, Dundalk.
Michael Henry O’ROURKE was appointed Parish Priest in succession to Canon
McMULLAN on October 17th 1967. A native of Leitrim Parish, he too,
like his predecessor, was born in the townland of Legananny. Father O’ROURKE
was educated at St. Colman’s College, Newry, St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny and
the Irish College, Rome, where he was ordained by Mgr. Traglia in the Lateran
Basilica on 8th April 1939. Following ordination he was on temporary
mission in the Diocese of Leeds from 1939 to 1943. On 27th March
1943 he was recalled to the Diocese and appointed C.C. in Gargory. IN 1948 on
June 9th, Father O’ROURKE was transferred to Gilford and on the 21st
September 1959 he went to Derrytrasna, from where, on October 17th,
1967, he was appointed Parish Priest of Dromara. Presently Parish Priest of
Banbridge since January 22nd 1972, he was appointed Canon of the
Diocesan Chapter on July 28th 1980.
Bernard TREANOR, the present Parish Priest, followed Canon O’ROURKE to Dromara,
on January 22nd 1972. A native of Carrickmastay, Warrenpoint, he was
educated at St. Colman’s College Newry and Maynooth, at Fribourg University 1938
to 1939 and at Dromantine College where he was ordained by Most Rev Dr. Mulhern
on the 10th March 1940. Father TREANOR was on supply in the Dromore
Diocese during 1940 and until 22nd August 1942, when he was appointed
Chaplain to the Convent of Mercy Home, Warrenpoint. He was on sick leave from
August 1944 to October 1946, after which he was on mission to Los Angeles
Diocese until July 1947. On returning to the Diocese he was again on supply
until December 1948, when he became Chaplain to the Convent of Mercy,
Warrenpoint, and on July 8th 1949, he was appointed Chaplain to Cabra
Convent. On March 20th 1955 Father TREANOR was appointed C.C. in
Annaclone from where he was transferred to Hilltown on 1st October
1961, remaining there until his appointment as Parish Priest of Dromara. On 24th
January 1984 he was made a Canon of the Diocesan Chapter.
recorded Curate of the post-Reformation period in Dromara was Rev. Andrew MURNIN.
He was ministering in the Parish in 1783 and apparently was succeeded by Rev.
Daniel MOONEY who later became P.P. Dromara. From that time, except for the
years 1899 to 1915 and some other lesser gaps, there was a successive line of
Curates up to year 1933. Their names, the years of their curacies and their
places of origin, where known, are as follows:
Michael MAGIN (1837-1838) Co. Tyronne
Rev. John R.
CUNNINGHAM (1838-1839) Newr
FEGAN (1841-1844) Annaclone
BYRNE (1844-1845) Aghaderg
IRWIN (1845-1850) Loughgall
MOONEY (1856-1857) Anaclone
KENNY (1857-1860) Seagoe
LYNCH (1868-1869) Drumgath
GALLERY (1869-1870) Magheralin
QUAIL (1870-1871) Gargory
McPOLIN (1876-1875) Clonduff
DEVLIN (1882-1886) Clonduff
GRANT (1886-1891) Mayobridge
McALISTER (1891-1895) Dromara
McGRATH (1895-1898) Clonallon
O’NEILL (1915-1916) Dromore
McCORRY (1918-1922) Seagoe
McCARTAN (1922-1931) Workington
SMYTH (1931-1933) Liverpool
TOWNLANDS OF THE DROMARA PARISH
townland names in Dromara Parish are derived from the Irish language. Most of
the names describe some feature, physical or otherwise, of the area in question.
on the derivation of the townland names are based on the research on the
townland names of Dromore Diocese carried out by the late Dean MOONEY, a native
of Ballynahinch Parish, and a former Parish Priest of the Diocese of Dromore.
have been an abundance of whitethorn in AUGHNASKEAGH in former days because the
name represents the Irish “Achadh na Sceach”, the field of the whitethorn.
from the Irish “Ardtamhnach”, high ground, and if you go there you will be
struck immediately by the number of the high rounded hills, technically known as
drumlins, in the area.
BEGNEY was once a glebe, i.e. church land, as the name is derived from “Beag-neimhe”,
A cross to
mark an event or simply to indicate a local boundary was a feature of the
countryside in bygone days and this explains the name CROSSGARE which is from
the Irish “Cros Ghearr”, short cross.
There was an
oratory or chapel in the townland of DERRY. This is indicated by all the old
forms of the name. The old and fuller form of the name represents “Doire Laithrigh Dairthi”, which means the oakgrove containing the oratory site. Where
was the oratory? There is no trace of it now but the view that it once existed
is further strengthened by the fact that the adjoining townland of BEGNEY was
once church land. The oratory was probably a chapel-of-ease of Dromara Parish.
shortened form of the Irish “Baile na Droinge”, the townland of the portion.
DREE was also known as “Drumviredy” meaning it would seem, the hill ridge of
AIDITH’s portion. AIDITH and his clan ruled the territory of Iveagh from the 10th
to the 12th century. After that time they were superseded by the
MAGENNIS clan as rulers of the Barony of Iveagh. AIDITH got one portion of the
land in question while some one else got the other portion which as we shall se
Lagan rises in the townland of DREE on the west side of Slieve Croob. The
summit of Slieve Croob is the meeting point of five townlands: DREE, DRINN,
DOOGLEN, SLIEVENISKY and LEGANANNY, four Parishes Dromara, Ballynahinch,
Drumaroad and Leitrim, and two Dioceses, Dromore and Down and Conner.
the same origin as DREE. The two townlands join each other and seem to be the
two halves or portions of one original townland.
small townland, which enfolds the village, must have been noted for the good
quality of its pasture because the name is derived from “Droim Bearach”, hill
ridge of the heifers.
represents “Droim an Domhnaigh”, Sunday Hill. Possibility this was a favorite
place for festivals which were often held on Sundays.
Up until the
1600’s Ireland was heavily wooded and the name FINNIS is a reminder of those
days. It is from the Irish “Fidh-Innis”, wooded island. Why island? If you
look at the Ordnance Survey map you will see the townland is almost completely
encircled by water namely the Lagan River and its tributaries.
from the Irish “Grainseach”, granary. The area must have been notable for its
grain and there were at least two cornmills there almost within living memory.
reason places are sometimes designated half-townlands even though the other half
is not otherwise mentioned. That is the case with LEVALLYREAGH which comes from
“Leath-bhaile Riabhach”, grey half-townland. Why grey? Possibly this refers to
a period in the distant past when this area was not yet brought into
obviously a very ancient name. It is from the Irish “Ma Thoirc”, the plain of
the wild pig. In early times when woods of oak and beech abounded in Ireland it
was customary for kings and chieftains to keep great herds of swine which fed on
mast and were tended by swine herds.
was not always as well cultivated as it is today because the name comes from “Ma
Dealgan”, plain of the briars.
blackthorn formerly abounded in MULLAGHDRIN because the name represents the
Irish “Mullach Draighin”, blackthorn hill.
derivation of MONEYNABANE is not certain. The name seems to represent the Irish
“Muine na Baine”, the thicket in the untilled land. The reference could be to a
time when the area was not yet made amenable to the plough.
BORN IN DROMARA PARISH
As noted in
the section on Dromara Parish Priests, Father Francis McKENNY and Father Thomas
BRADY were natives of the Parish. It is surmised that Father Francis REAVEY,
the Parish Priest who began the building of St. Michael’s Church, was also a
native of Dromara.
following notes record the remaining native born clergy.
POLIN was educated at Maynooth and ordained in 1820. He became P.P.,
Magheradroll in 1826 and died or retired in 1832.
Bernard McALEENAN was educated at Maynooth and was ordained in 1859. He was
Adm. Dromara 1881 to 1883. He was appointed P.P. Tullylish in 1895 and died in
McKENNY was a member of a family long associated with the Parish of Dromara. He
was educated at Maynooth and ordained there by Dr. FENNELLY, Bishop of Madras on
the 24th June 1878. For the subsequent eleven years until 1889,
Father McKENNY ministered in the Diocese of Down and Conner. On returning to
Dromore Diocese, in September 1889, he was appointed curate in Lower Drumgooland.
This was to be the beginning of a very long ministry to that Parish, for after
the Curacy of 22 years, on November 8th 1911, Father McKENNY was
appointed Parish Priest of Lower Drumgooland in succession of Dr. McCONVILLE.
He died on 25th January 1937 aged 83 years and was interred in
Gregory Cemetery. In July 1928, Father McKENNY celebrated the Golden Jubilee of
his elevation to the priesthood. He was a kinsman of the Very Reverend Francis
McKENNY, P.P.V.G. of Dromara and Magheradroll.
McKENNA was born in Drinn on 1st February 1854. He was educated at
the Diocesan Seminary, Newry, entered Maynooth on September 8th 1871
and was ordained 24th June 1878. He ministered in the diocese of
Down and Connor.
Joseph DOYLE was born in Finnis, educated in Maynooth and was ordained by Dr.
Leahy in the Diocesan Seminary, Newry, on February 2nd, 1884. He
was curate in Ballela from February 1884 to 1886, in Magheralin from July 1886
to 1890, in Seagoe from 1890 to 1895, in Kilbroney from February 1895 to 1901
and in Newry from 1901 to 1907. On November 14th 1907 he was
appointed Adm. In Newry and continued to minister there until 1914, when he was
appointed Parish Priest of Tullylish.
was appointed to the prebendal of St. Colman’s and Lann, on the 28th
January 1925 and Canon Theologian on February 14th 1927. He died
suddenly in the Parochial House, Banbridge on Sunday June 8th, 1935
and was interred in Lawrencetown Cemetery.
Daniel McALISTER was born in Drinn in February 1861. He was educated in the
Irish College, Paris, which he entered in his 21st year and was
ordained by Doctor Leahy in Newry Cathedral on September 8th 1887.
From 1887 to 1891 he served on temporary mission in Glasgow. He was curate in
Lurgan from July 1891 to 1905, in Warrenpoint from October 1905 to 1924 when on
October 13th of that year he succeeded Canon MacGennis as
Administrator. On March 7th 1927, he was appointed to the Cathedral
Chapter and on the 5th November 1934, he was appointed Canon
Penitentiary. Canon McALISTER was made Archdeacon of Dromore on June 6th
1937. He died 24th June 1949 and was interred in Burren Cemetery.
Daniel POLLEN was born in the townland of Crossgare. He was educated at the
Irish College, Salamanca and ordained by Mgr. Francis X. Valdes Y Noriega,
Bishop of Salamanca on June 12th 1910. He was curate in Tullylish
from July 1910 to December 1911, in Newry from December 1911 to December 1917,
in Rostrevor from 1917 to 1919 and in Banbridge from 1919 to July 1935. On the
6th July 1935 Father POLLEN was appointed Parish Priest of Annaclone
and on 28th January 1941 he was appointed to Magheralin. He was
appointed to the prebendal stall of Drumeragh in the Cathedral Chapter on April
Joseph BYRNE was born in the townland of Levallyreagh and eductaed at Maynooth.
He was ordained there by Doctor Morrisroe, Bishop of Achonry on June 20th
1915 and served on temporary mission in America until 1920. He was curate in
Dunmore from October 1920 to 1931, in Annaclone from January 1931 to 1932 and in
Burren from May 1932 until his appointment as Parish Priest of Upper Drumgooland
on February 11th 1941. He died in Newry on October 10th
1952 and was interred in Leitrim Cemetery.
Daniel McALISTER was born in the townland of Muninabane. He was educated at
Maynooth and the American College, Rome and ordained in 1929. He served in the
Diocese of San Francisco. He was a nephew of the Very Reverend Canon POLLEN,
Parish Priest of Magheralin. He died in California on January 14th
Patrick KELLY was born in Toronto, Canada and reared in Dree. He was educated
at St. Colman’s College, Newry from 1928 to 1932. In response to a call for
Irish students by the Bishop of Agen, a diocese in southwest France, he went to
a seminary in Bordeaux in 1935. He was ordained in France on 29th
June 1940 and appointed on the same day curate at the Cathedral, Agen. On
December 4th 1945 he was appointed Parish Priest of Samazan and on
the 21st June 1950 he was appointed Dean of Canton du Mas with
residence in the village of Le Mas d’Agenais. In his capacity as Dean he had a
team of six priests, French, Dutch and Irish who had the care of thirteen
parishes. In July 1973 he sought his release from the diocese of Agen for
health reasons and was appointed Curate in Derrymacash on 1st August
1973, and was transferred as curate to Derrytrasna on 6th July 1976.
He was appointed curate in Ballela on 30th December 1982.
ladies, formerly parishioners here, are in the Religious life:
Sister Mary Malachy,
formerly Sarah Teresa BRYNE is a member of Sisters of Mercy,
Mary Lelia, formerly Frances BRYNE, is a member of the Holy Faith Convent,
Wicklow. Both the above are sisters and come from Levallyreagh, Dromara.
Paul Antoine, formerly Margaret McCARTAN, is from Artana, Dromara, and is a nun
in Little Sisters of the Assumption. She is now stationed in Cork.
OF ST. MICHAEL, DROMARA – SOME HIGLIGHTS
of St. Michael, Dromara, a rectangular building in dressed stone, stands
impressively on a hill overlooking the Dromara-Rathfriland road. The freestone
is said to have been quarried beside the Lagan River in the townland of Dree
just a few hundred yards upstream from the church site. The façade of the
church is surmounted by granite pinnacles and an ornamental granite plinth
rising to a granite cross in the centre on which is cut the date 1835 in Roman
numerals. The church was designed by Mr. Thomas Duff, Newry, a well-known
architect of that time who also designed Newry Cathedral. The erection of the
Church began in 1825. It was competed and dedicated in 1835.
tower of the church, with turret surmounted by a cross of iron, was a later
addition and was completed in the year 1896. The quoins of the tower and the
church, the buttresses and all window frames in both tower and church are in
Simultaneously with the building of the tower in the early 1890’s the church
was re-roofed, the gallery constructed, the seats made and the sanctuary ad
sacristy added. The internal woodwork is a feature of the church. The fine
well constructed seats, the handsome gallery and porch and the artistic altar
rails are all in pitch pine and blend harmoniously. These in turn are fittingly
crowned by the arched timber ceiling which is also in pitch pine. Tradition has
it that this internal woodwork was carried out by the Dundalk firm of McAdorey
and that the church seats were made in Dundalk, brought by train to Dromore
Station and transported to Dromara on horse-drawn drays. The bell in the church
tower was cast in a Dublin foundry and bears the date 1896.
four pairs of stain-glass windows in the body of the church. The sanctuary
windows are also in stained glass. All the other windows in the church and in
the tower, each with a religious pictorial motif, are in ornamental leaded glass
and these, as well as the four pairs of stained glass windows already mentioned,
were the kind gift of the Parish Priest of that time. The four panels, which
are in coloured opal glass tiles which have been painted and fired, depict the
Archangels Michael and Raphael and a Nazareth scene. The fourth panel, which is
a mosaic of opal glass with a gilt background, is a very faithful replica of
Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. The backing of this latter panel deteriorated
and the picture had to be re-mounted and restored in 1983. The restoration was
the gift of a local family and this is recorded on a plaque under the mural.
SCHOOLS OF THE PARISH
The new St.
Michael’s Primary School, Finnis, Dromara, was erected by Canon McMULLAN, P.P.
and it was officially opened and blessed on 24th September 1964. The
school was extended by Father M.H. O’ROURKE, P.P. (now Canon O’ROURKE, P.P.
Banbridge) and the extension was opened for use on 1st September
National School, Finnis, which stood in the present Church car park, was erected
in 1844. It closed for use as a school in June 1964, and was then used as a
social centre before being demolished in July 1980.
School at Muninabane, Dromara, was erected in 1836 and was in use until its
closure in June 1964. The building is still standing.
OF ST. MICHAEL, FINNIS, DROMARA – RECENT RENOVATIONS
The tower of
the Church was pointed from top to bottom during the months of August and
September 1983, two months which were exceptionally dry and sunny. The tower
was scaffolded all around and to the top for this work.
At that time
also the stone valley at the base of the turret which rises from the square top
of the tower was waterproofed. The method used was to cover the valley area
with a special rubber-type mineral felt called “Thermwell” which was put on with
adhesive.When the above work was completed the facade of the church was
scaffolded and pointed and a coat of silicone was applied to it. Two coats of
silicone were applied to the tower after the pointing work.As a follow-up the
timbers of the church gallery which were in contact with the tower were replaced
as they were found to be badly affected with wet rot.
repairs in the inside of the church were begun in mid August 1984. The wooden
floor of the church had extensive wet rot through out its whole area. It was
decided on the advice of the architects, Messrs. J.L. O’Hagan and Co., Newry,
and with the approval of our Bishop, Most Rev. Dr. Brooks, to lay a new floor
and to damp proof the walls of the church using the Rentokil electro-osmotic
method. The old floor was excavated and the above plan put into effect.
floor is basically a concrete floor with the necessary damp proof sheeting and
with a two-inch layer of polystyrene for heat.
The central heating pipes were
repaired, four new radiators added and a new oil-fired heater was installed. A
new floor was laid in the underground-heating chamber.
some wet rot in the timbers at the bottom of the church porch. The portion
under floor level was removed and the remainder of the affected area was
injected with a special Rentokil
fluid designed for such conditions.There was
extensive wet rot in the kneeling board at the altar rail and the board was
removed and replaced by a new one.
space timbers, that is in the area above the ceiling, were all treated by Rentokil against woodworm as were also the joists and floor boards of the
gallery and the timbers over the sanctuary. In this later case it was possible
to inject spray into the hidden side of the timbers by removing some of the
main floor was laid the church was scaffolded and the ceiling cleaned and given
three coats of varnish. The church was completely re-wired and a complete set
of new light fittings was installed.
The church seats, which are in pitch pine
and were made about the year 1890, were cleaned by sand blasting and three coats
of varnish were applied. The interior walls of the church and of the sacristy
were given two coats of paint.
Non-slip tiles were laid in the centre and side
aisles and in the area in front of the altar rails. Carpet was laid under
the seats. A hardboard covering was placed on the gallery floor boards and
the area was carpeted. The kneeling board on the gallery was carpeted, as
was the kneeling board at the altar rails. The stairs to the gallery were
internal church renovations which had begun on Monday 20th August,
were completed by Friday December 23rd, 19884.
IN CHURCH ARCHITECTURE AND ONAMENTATION
account was specially contributed for this booklet by Mr. Kieran Clendinning. A
native of Lurgan, he is a member of the committee of Dromore Diocesan Historical
Society, and as a professional journalist he takes a keen interest in the
artistic and symbolic aspects of church architecture.)
The door of
the church is Christ. In the larger cathedral churches of Europe, the entrance
to the church door is surrounded by sculptured figures and panels of Saints who
help in the spiritual approach to God, suggesting to the people the heavenly aid
available in the universal conflict with sin and despair.
The nave or
main body of the church takes its name from the Latin, Navis, meaning a ship.
It is so called because the church is often depicted in sacred art as a ship
moving heaven-wards, while the seats or pews are like ancient galleys with the
congregation and celebrant “pulling together” during the service and prayers of
sanctuary which is usually decorated with ornament and stained glass depicting
God and his Angels and Saints, represents Heaven. During the liturgy the
priest, robed in vestments of white, symbolizes the angels who surround the
sanctuary is usually raised several steps above the nave and usually separated
by an arch, which symbolizes the bridge which the just will cross from earth to
heaven on the day of judgement.
The altar in
the sanctuary is not a decorative accessory of the church, but vica-versa, since
it symbolizes Christ. The first churches in Ireland sheltered the altar only,
the congregation standing outside.
of the altar also decides the orientation of the church. The altar is placed in
the east because there is the source of light. It points to Jerusalem, the
surface of the altar is of a single slab of marble or stone, symbolizing Christ
the cornerstone of our salvation; on it are inscribed five crosses symbolizing
the sacred wounds. Between the central cross and the front edge is the
“Confessio” in which are deposited the relics of saints.
of the altar is covered with a white linen beneath which is placed a similar
covering of waxed linen symbolic of Christ’s funeral shroud.
The front or
base of the altar is usually divided into three panels, symbolizing the
Trinity. The centre panel usually displays a scene of the Last Super, or the
Chi-Rho monogram, one of the earliest Christian emblems formed by the
abbreviation of the Greek word for Christ.
placed in the sanctuary, usually a light from a single source, represents Christ
the Light of the World while candles, symbols of joy and pace, can be three-fold
extinguished, a candle typifies at once the pillar of cloud which led the
Children of Israel by day and the body of Christ.
lighted, the candle signifies the pillar of fire which was Israel’s guide by
night and under the New Law the glorious body of the living Christ. The placing
of five pieces of incense in the form of a cross in the Easter Candle represents
the five most precious wounds of Christ.
the inheritors of the faith brought to the diocese of Dromore by our patron St.
Colmon, need to practice our faith in the presence of God, and train our
children to look to the church for moral guidance.
Irish saints saw God’s presence in every aspect of life and turned to him for
guidance in everything they did.
of prayer was strong enough to resist the onslaught of pagan values on our faith
for over 1,400 years, and it will be by the practice of prayer that it will
survive to the coming of Christ in his Majesty at the day of Judgement.
ROCKS AND MASS HOUSE IN DROMARA PARISH
there is only one definite Mass Rock site traditionally pointed out in this
parish. This site in the north east foothills of Sleive Croob, is in the
townland of Drinn on the Rogan farm and at a point about half a mile from
Castewellan Road. As this is a comparatively inaccessible site it is likely
that it was used only in more troublous times. It is known as “Craigaltara”,
i.e. Altar Rock.
tradition there was also a Mass Rock on the farm of Fort House in the townland
of Drinn. Its exact location has not been handed down but it is thought that it
may have been sited near Drin Road and a few hundred yards west of Fort House.
It was called “Parknahaltar”, i.e. the Altar Field.
tradition about the above two Mass Rocks was recorded by Patrick BROGAN in a
note signed by him and deposited in the Archives of Dromara Parish. Patrick
BROGAN, of Drinn, died 3rd November 1939, aged 75 years.
possible Mass Rocks in the parish are only vaguely referred to in tradition.
Most likely the chief Mass sites were in the neighborhood of the present Church
of St. Michael. One such site suggested was by the River Lagan, a little
upstream from the present Parochial House. Another suggested site was a flat
garden where a tributary stream joins the Lagan near Finnis Bridge. No doubt
Mass sites in those days were changed around according to the circumstances,
including the weather.
evidence that the vicinity of the present Church was popular for Mass sites is
suggested by the fact that a well a few hundred yards from Finnis Bridge was
called Toberdoney, i.e. Sunday Well. It often happened in Ireland that a well
associated with a Mass site was called by this name. Probably a well was so
named because water from it was used at Mass on Sunday and also because people
could quench their thirst after a long walk to Mass on the Lord’s Day. It is
interesting to recall that water from this Toberdoney was carried for use in the
present church and in the Parochial House within living memory. The well in
question was in Finnis townland in a field now owned by Sean McKAY.
House, or chapel, was erected in Finnis apparently about the year 1760 and this
was used until the Church of St. Michael was opened in 1835. The present
two-story outhouse with the arched entrance in the Parochial House yard was
obviously the Mass House. The building is approximately 130 feet long, 14 feet
wide and 14 feet to the eaves. When the building was no longer used as a chapel
the present internal dividing wall, loft and stairway would have been
constructed. The Parish Priest would have lived elsewhere within the Parish,
either with his relatives, because the Parish Priest of that time was often a
native of the Parish, or on a small rented farm. The present Parochial House
was erected in 1840. The cemetery’s origin seems to be more or less
contemporaneous with the erection of the Mass House as the oldest legible
tombstone is dated 1767. Up until about 1820 some Catholic families continued
to bury their dead in the cemetery at St. John’s Church, Dromara.
WITH A DROMARA-BORN CENTENARIAN
was born on December 28th 1884 and lived in the parish of Dromara for
seventy five years of his life. He resided in the townland of Muninabane near a
spot known locally as the Point. Danny’s mother died when he was only 18 months
old and he was reared by his grandparents. Danny is very much a character and
for a centenarian his memory is clear and accurate, even for small details.
This, along with Danny’s obvious gift for story-telling provided for a rich and
revealing interview, uncovering facts about the history of St. Michael’s Church,
Finnis, Dromara, and the folklore of the surrounding area.
reminiscences begin during Father Mallon’s time as Parish Priest. He remembers
him as a priest who was a great preacher. “He made a sound like speaking in a
barrel.” Danny can recall how Father Mallon undertook major renovations and
improvements including extending the church by adding the ceiling, building the
belfry and installing new seats – “the best in the country”. Father Mallon
traveled to England and America raising and collecting funds to finance the
renovations certainly caused some upheaval and Danny can remember being in the
church for Mass and being able to look up and see open sky. During that time
the men were permitted to wear their hats in church. The belfry had been
started by Father Mallon’s predecessor, Dr. Irwin, but a lack of funds led to it
only being partially built. Father Mallon discovered that the existing
structure was seriously weakened by rotting mortar and damp so he demolished it
and built the belfry from the ground. On the completion of the repairs Danny
recalls how Father Mallon charged the parishioners one penny to sit in the
gallery instead of the customary half-penny that the people paid on entering the
Church. The logic was to prevent the people from “thronging up the gallery”.
recall the bell arriving and whilst waiting for confession seeing it sitting at
the back of the church. “She’s a good’un,” was Danny’s evaluation of it , as
he remembers how he was almost deafened when later workmen allowed him to hear
the bell ringing. Danny reckoned the bell weighed one and one half tons. The
year was 1896 and as Danny emphasized, men “wrought for their money in those
day”. He himself earned eight shillings a week as a young man, he remarked.
Savage, Danny recalls always started Mass after the time to accommodate
late-comers. This inevitably resulted in Mass starting up to twenty minutes
late with the priest and the people going home sometimes at two o’clock,
“starving for a bite”.
Danny recalls Father Savage erecting the two stained glass
pictures on either side of the altar. It is very probable that Father Savage
paid for them with his own money. At the same time the green glazed tiles were
put up around the walls of the sanctuary.
McColville carried out further repairs when he was appointed P.P. in 1933. A
serious damp problem had developed with the result that paint would not stay on
the walls. According to Danny an architect from Belfast by the name of Green
was weeding his grandmother’s grave one day and Father McConville got into
conversation with him and together they examined the church walls and decided
what was needed to repair them. Consequently the walls were stripped of plaster
and allowed to dry for two years. At the end of the two year period, the walls
were re-plastered and coated with damp-proofing paint.
It was also about this
time, possibly 1958, that Danny left the Parish to take up residence in Dunmore
where he lives hale and hearty today.”
Co Down - 1744
Though there is but one family of
Papists in Annahilt, yet in neighbouring Parish of Dromarah there are great numbers,
by computation, about 900 Souls of that Persuasion. The old Parish Church of
Dromarah, about 3 miles S.S.W. of Annahilt, lay in ruins since the general Devastation
of Churches in 1641; but good parts of the walls out-braving the injuries of
time, were lately repaired, and the church rendered fit for service in the last
Festival of St. Matthew, when it was restored. Near this Church a good slate
Quarry was found on the estate of Lord Hillsborough.
The Face of the Country hereabouts
is rough, bleak and unimproved; yet produces the necessaries of life sufficient
to support a large number of inhabitants, who have little other bread, corn,
but oats, of which they make great quantities of meal to supply not only themselves,
but the neighbouring markets. They are industrious people, and may be properly
said "to eat their bread in the sweat of their face", the coarseness
of the land obliging them to great labour.
The coldness of the soil occasions
their harvests to be late, yet by due care and culture, it yields rye and great
quantities of flax. The plenty of cheap firing got out of bogs and mosses, throughout
this whole County does not a little contribute to the service of the linen trade.
Topographic Hiberniea 1802
A parish in bar. Lower Iveagh, Co.
Down, prov. Ulster; the old church of which about 3 miles S.S.W. of Annahilt,
lay in ruins since 1641, till some years ago, when its walls which out-braved
the injuries of time, were repaired and the place rendered fit for service;
it is a vicarage in diocese. of Dromore.
Near the church a good slate quarry
was found on the estate of Lord Hillsborough.
In this parish is an
artificial cave, about 6 miles S.E. of Dromore, sit. on a rising ground, something
higher than the adjacent lands. The entrance is of a quadrilateral form, each
side measuring about 3 feet in length, and descending about the same number
of feet from the surface to the lower part of the aperture. This place cannot
be entered but by creeping into it, but afterwards, it is so high, that a man
can stand almost erect in it; it runs in a direct line 32 yards from N. to S.,
is in most places 6 feet broad; the floor is sandy and tolerably level, but
covered with water, intensely cold and exceeding limpid, for the space of 15
yards. In the cave on the W. side from the entrance, a chamber branches off
8 yards long and 2 broad, the workmanship of which is more regular and better
finished than that of the long entry.
Atlas of Ireland
(19th Century, post 1833)
Dromaragh or Annesborough
A post-town and parish, partly in the barony of KINELEARTY, partly in that of
LOWER IVEAGH, but chiefly in that of UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, and province
of ULSTER; 5 miles (E.S.E.) from Dromore, and 72 miles (N. by E.) from Dublin,
on the road from Banbridge to Ballynahinch; containing, with the district of
Maghera hamlet, 10,129 inhabitants. It contains part of the lands granted by
patent of Queen Elizabeth, in 1585, to Col. Hill; they are included in the manor
of Kilwarlin. According to the Ordnance Survey, it comprises 21,192 ¾ statue
acres, of which 6,027 ¼ are in Lower Iveagh, 7,024 ½ are in Kilelearty, and
8,141 are in Upper Iveagh.
The greater part is arable land,
and about 9 ½ acres are under water; considerable improvement has been made
in agriculture, and many even of the mountain tracts have been brought under
tillage. The village, which is small, is called Annesborough, or Annesbury,
in a patent which granted a weekly market on Thursday, and a fair for three
days in Sept.; the market has been changed to Friday, and is held chiefly for
the sale of butter and linen yarn; and the fairs are now held on the first Friday
in Feb., May, Aug., and Nov., for farming stock and pedlery. Petty sessions
are held in the village every fourth Monday: here is a sub-post-office to Dromore
Woodford, formerly the residence
Jas. Black, Esq., has extensive bleach-works, and was once the seat of a flourishing
branch of linen manufacture. Dromaragh, with part of the rectory of Garvaghey,
constitutes a union and the only prebend in the Cathedral of Christ the Redeemer
at Dromore, in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes of the parish amount
to £620.17.5, and of the union £937.4.3. The glebe house was erected in
1821, for which a gift of £100 and a loan of £1,125 was obtained from the
late Board of First Fruits. The ancient glebe, consisting of one moiety of the
Townland of Dromaragh, which was granted to the rector in pure alms by James.
I., is now in the possession of the Marquess of Downshire; 20 acres of the same,
held at a rent of £42 per ann., constitutes the present glebe.
The church is a small handsome edifice,
with a tower and clock in good repair, built in 1811, at the expense of the
parishioners. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recommended that this bend,
and that of Garvaghey be separated from it, and consolidated with its vicarage,
and the 9 ½ townlands now forming the perpetual cure of Maghera hamlet be constituted
a distinct parish, leaving the remainder of Dromaragh to form the corps of the
prebend. The R.C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church,
with the exception of the district of Maghera hamlet, which is united to the
R.C. parish of Magheradroll: the chapel is a large handsome edifice at Finnis
built in 1833. At Artana is a meeting house for Presbyterians of the first class,
in connection with the Synod of Ulster.
Here are 10 public schools, two
of which are aided by an annual donation from Capt. Maginnis; also 11 private
and eight Sunday schools. On the mountain of Slieve Croob is a cairn, having
a platform at the top, on which eleven smaller cairns are raised; and in the
townland of Finnis is a remarkable artificial cave, 94 feet long, 6 feet wide,
and upwards of 5 feet in heights, with a transept near the centre, 30 feet long;
the walls are rudely arched near the top, which is covered with slabs of granite:
in 1833, the Rev. H. Elijia Boyd, rector of the parish, caused it to be cleared
out and an iron door fixed up to protect it from injury.
Parish of Dromara - Fair Sheets by J. Hill Williams, 1837
Name and Locality
Name: Dromara, also written Dromaragh.
Locality: The parish of Dromara is situated nearly in the centre of the county
of Down; bounded to the north by the parish of Dromore and Annahilt, to the
south by the parish of Drumgooland, to the east by the parish of Magheradrool
and to the west by the parishes of Garvaghy and Dromore. Its extreme length
from east to west is 8 and a half miles and extreme breadth from north to south
6 and a quarter miles. It is situated partly in 3 baronies in the following
proportion: Lower Iveagh 6,027 acres 33 perches, Upper Iveagh 8,141 acres 15
perches, Kinelarty 7,024 acres 1 rood 15 perches.
The principal lakes in the parish are: Begny Lough, 700 yards long from north
east to south west and 350 yards broad, elevated 480 feet above the level of
the sea; Dunbeg lough, 400 yards long from north west to south east and 200
yards broad, 541 feet above the level of the sea.
The River Lagan, which finally falls into Belfast Lough, takes it rise in this
parish at the height of 1,230 feet above the level of the sea, in the townland
of Dree on the north western side of Slieve Croob mountain. It flows in a northerly
direction, with numerous turns, a little to the northward of the town of Dromara,
from whence it pursues to the parish boundary a more westerly course, also much
varied by turns. It flows through a bed of sand and gravel, the average depth
being from 2 to 3 feet. It is subject to heavy floods which retire as suddenly
as they come.
From the elevation of the greater part of the parish, the climate is cold and
the air is pure; crops later than in the lower districts.
The Glebe House of Magherahamlet, situated in the townland of Drumgavlin on
the road between Seaforde and Dromara, is a plain, 2-storey house in good repair,
built in the year 1830 by the Board of First Fruits. Now the residence of the
Rev. William Mortimer, cost 500 pounds, 450 pounds grant and 50 pounds loan
from Board of First Fruits.
The church of Magherahamlet, situated in the townland of Drumgavlin on the
road between Ballynahinch and Castlewellan, at the distance of 3 and a half
miles from the former on the south western shore of McAuley's lake is a plain,
rectangular, roughcast building in good repair, standing north west and south
east, 52 and a half feet long and 25 feet broad. It has a square tower at the
north western extremity; was built in the year 1816 at a cost of 500 pounds
from the Board of First Fruits.
Incumbents: rector the Revd H. E. Boyd, Dromara; curate the Revd. William Mortimer.
It accommodates 150 persons, average attendance 100 in summer and 80 in winter.
It is a perpetual cure attached to the benefice of Dromara.
Magherahamlet Seceding Meeting House
The seceding meeting house of Magherahamlet, situated in the townland of Drumgavlin
on the road between Seaforde and Dromara at the distance of 4 and one-quarter
miles from the latter, is a plain, rectangular, slated building in good condition,
built by private subscription in 1830: length 50 feet, breadth 30 feet; minister
the Revd Thomas Clarke.
Dromara Roman Catholic Chapel
The Roman Catholic chapel of Dromara is situated on the road between Rathfriland
and Dromara, at the distance of 1 mile and one-third from the latter. It is
a neat, rectangular building standing north west and south east, built of unhewn
stone, faced with cut granite and lighted by 11 neat windows. It is of the following
form and dimensions: [ground plan, main dimensions 88 feet by 41 feet, squat
"T" shape]. It was built in the year 1831 by private subscription.
Incumbent the Revd. [blank] Sharkey P.P., Ballynahinch.
Dunmore Roman Catholic Chapel
The Roman Catholic chapel of Dunmore, situated in the townland of Dunmore on
the road between Ballynahinch and Castlewellan, at the distance of 4 and a quarter
miles from the former, is a plain, slated, rectangular building, roughcast and
of the following dimensions: (ground plan, main dimensions 60 feet by 51 and
a half feet, "T" shape). It was built in the year 1831 by private
subscription. Incumbent the Revd (blank) Sharkey P.P., Ballynahinch.
Dromara Presbyterian Meeting House
The Dromara Presbyterian Meeting House (General Synod of Ulster) is situated
in the townland of Ardtannagh, on the road between Dromara and Banbridge at
the distance of 1 and two-thirds of a mile from the former. Is a large, plain,
rectangular building in good repair and of the following form and dimensions:
[ground plan, main dimensions 85 feet by 69 feet, roughly rectangular shape
with projections]. It was built in the year 1826 at a cost of 2,000 pounds by
private subscription, accommodates 1,200 persons, average attendance being in
summer 900 and 700 in winter. On a stone in the northern wall is the following
inscription: "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holly. Erected by subscription
AD 1826. William Craig, pastor." The former building which stood on the
site of the present one was a small, thatched, ruinous building; had been built
in 1735. Incumbent the Revd William Craig at Marybrook, Dromara.
The principal roads passing through the parish are: an old road between Ballynahinch
and Banbridge through the town of Dromara traverses the parish in a direction
from east to west for a distance of 5 miles, its average breadth being 16 feet,
macadamized, in good order and very injudiciously laid out. It is kept in repair
at the expense of the county who made it.
The road from Dromore and Hillsborough through Dromara to Castlewellan passes
through the parish in a direction north west and south east for the distance
of 7 miles, averaging in breadth 15 feet, macadamized and kept in good order
by the county.
The road from Rathfriland to Dromara and Ballynahinch enters
the parish in its south western extremity and crossed to Dromara for the distance
of 4 miles in a north north easterly direction, average breadth 15 feet; macadamized,
kept in good repair.
Also the road between Ballynahinch and Dromore passes through the north eastern
extremity of the parish for the distance of 1 and a quarter miles in a direction
from east to west, average breadth 16 feet, kept in good repair by the county.
The by-roads in the parish are very numerous, more so than is wanted by the
inhabitants, the number rendering it difficult to keep them in repair.
Edendariff Corn Mill
Edendariff corn mill, situated in the townland of the same name, is a slated
house in good order held from colonel Forde by David McAman. Build in the year
1825, works 8 months in the year on an average; nature of water wheel overshot,
diameter of water wheel 16 feet, breadth of water wheel 2 feet, diameter of
cog wheel 8 feet, single geared with modern machinery.
In the southern part of the parish, in the townland of Finnis, there is an
artificial cave 4 feet long, 6 feet wide and more than 5 feet high; transept
near the centre is 30 feet long. The walls are rudely arched and roofed with
large flat stones (granite). When it was first opened a few years since, there
was nothing found in it.
The inhabitants of this parish resort to the Dromore dispensary in the town
of Dromore. It is open from 11 to 3 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The education, which has been attended to more carefully in late years, has
visibly improved the morals of the people during the last 25 years. The people
are anxious for information and send their children willingly to the schools.
When Mr. H.E. Boyd became rector there was not a single school in the parish,
and it now contains 14 day schools and 8 Sunday schools. The total number of
children on the books at the day schools are 845, of which number 553 are males
and 292 females.
There is no regular provision for the poor, who receive only occasional relief
Emigration and Migration
Emigration does not prevail to a very great extent. The average number of emigrants
may be estimated at 20 families annually. Young men go to Scotland for the harvest
The prevailing names in the parish are in the lowlands: Corbett, Campbell,
McBride, Craig, Hanna, Patterson, Protestants; and round Slieve Croob the following
Roman Catholic names: McKinny, McKay, McCormick, O'Hears.
Population and Religion
The following is the census for the years 1831 and 1834.
Established Church 748
Roman Catholic 2,491
Established Church 764
Roman Catholic 2,545
To which is to be added that of the district of Magherahamlet, part of this
Established Church 347
Roman Catholic 1,277
Established Church 357
Roman Catholic 1,305
The total population of the parish is for the year: 1831: 10,129; and for the
year: 1834 10,349.
Fairs and Markets
8 fairs are held annually in the town of Dromara: on the 1st Friday in February,
May, August and November, the intermediate ones being held on the Friday in
the middle of March, July, September and December. They are attended only for
business and drinking, which always follows the concluded bargains. A large
quantity of cattle of all descriptions is brought from the surrounding country.
Also a quantity of butter, which is bought and sent to Belfast for exportation
to Liverpool. There is also in addition to the above a small weekly market on
Friday for the sale of linen yarn.
Petty sessions are held once a fortnight alternately in Dromore and Dromara,
or once a month in each place. Magistrates in attendance 2, viz. Rev. Hannington
Elijia Boyd, rector of Dromara and David Lindsay Esq, Ashfield near Dromore.
Of these, the former only resides in the parish, at the Glebe.
Constabulary and Cases brought
The police force consists of 1 sergeant and 2 or 3 men. The cases brought before
the notice of the 2 magistrates are generally trifling disputes among the inhabitants
and some assaults resulting from drunken quarrels.
Up to the year 1834, illicit distillation was carried on in all the mountainous
districts of this parish to a very great extent, but it has been altogether
or nearly put down by the exertions of the revenue. However, it appears to be
carried on a little yet in Slieve Croob mountain.
Dromara Town: Name
Dromara, also written Dromaragh, formerly was called Annesborough or Annesbury.
It is said to take its present appellation from the name of Dromara hill, a
long hill to the north west of the town on the western side of the River Lagan
and the following derivation is given: drum "a long-backed hill" and
ragh or rath from a fort which stood on the top of it and which was destroyed
some years ago.
The town is situated in the parish of Dromara, county of Down, diocese of Dromore,
province of Ulster, north east circuit of assize; on the bank of the River Lagan
which is there only a small stream. The extreme length of the town from north
to south is 1 furlong and extreme breadth from west to east also 1 furlong.
The parish forms part of the lands granted by patent of Queen Elizabeth to
Evor MacRory Maguinness, which were forfeited in the war of 1641 and afterwards
granted by Charles II to Colonel Hill. They are included in the manor of Kilwarlin.
This village is called Annesborough or Annesbury in a patent which granted a
weekly market on Thursday and a fair for 3 days in September.
Buildings in Dromara
The only public building it contains are the church and a Wesleyan chapel.
Dromara church, situated a little to the north west of the town on the western
bank of the River Lagan, is a neat, rectangular, building with a square tower
and clock, all in good repair, standing east north east and south west, of the
following dimensions: [ground plan, main dimensions 52 feet by 23 feet, rectangular
shape with projection at one end]. It was built in the year 1811 at a cost of
600 pounds, raised by assessment on the lands of the parish. It accommodates
230 persons, the average attendance being 150 persons. Incumbent the Rev. Hannington
Elijia Boyd, rector, Dromara Glebe.
Wesleyan Methodist Chapel
the Wesleyan Methodist chapel, situated at the southern extremity of the town,
is a very small, plain, rectangular, slated building in good repair, 33 feet
long from east to west and 25 feet forward from north to south. On a stone is
the following inscription: "Wesleyan Methodist preaching house, erected
in the year 1834 ." It was built in the year 1835 at a cost of 70 pounds.
It is attended by circuit preachers.
Dromara bridge over the River Lagan is a rough structure of unhewn stone, consisting
of 3 small arches. It is 60 feet long and 90 feet broad, was built about the
The street of Dromara is dirty and the cabins are wretched. The town contains
2 3-storey houses, 15 of 2 storeys and 33 cabins.
Grocer and spirit dealers 13, smith 1, tailor 1.
The Glebe House of Dromara is a good 2 -storey house nearly a quarter of a
mile to the westward of the town, at the meeting of the Banbridge and Dromore
roads. It is the residence of the Rev. Hannington Elijia Boyd, rector; was built
in 1820 at a cost of 1,225 pounds, 100 of which were a gift and the remaining
1,125 a loan from the Board of First Fruits. The ancient glebe lands granted
by patent of James I surrounding the church are now in the possession of the
Marquis of Downshire; 20 acres of those lands held under lease by present incumbent
from Lord Downshire.
Dromara Corn Mills
The Dromara corn mill, in the town of Dromara near the post office, is a slated
house in good repair; was built about 1770, property of James Massey. Nature
of water wheel breast, diameter of water wheel 16 feet, diameter of cog wheel
12 feet, breadth of water wheel 3 feet; single geared with wooden machinery,
water supplied sufficiently from the River Lagan.The old corn mill of Dromara, property of Mr. Black, is a small, slated house
in good repair in the town. Nature of water wheel overshot, diameter of water
wheel 20 feet, breadth of water wheel overshot, diameter of cog wheel 10 and
a half feet, single geared with wooden machinery.
[Table contains the following heading: headings: name, situation and description,
when established, income and expenditure, physical, intellectual and moral education,
number of pupils subdivided by age, sex and religion, name and religious persuasion
of master or mistress].
Magherahamlet male and female school, a slated house in good repair, situated
in the townland of Dunmore on the road between Ballynahinch and Castlewellan,
established 1836; income: Colonel Forde, Seaforde, 8 pounds per annum, from
pupils 1d to 1d ha'penny per week each; expenditure: income of master 14 pounds
per annum, with house and 1 acre of ground rent free, granted by Colonel Forde;
intellectual education: books of the Kildare Place Society; moral education:
visited by Rev. William Mortimer, protestant clergyman and Colonel and Lady
Harriet Forde, patrons; number of pupils: males, 40 under 10 years of age, 12
from 10 to 15, 52 total males; females, 13 under 10 years of age, 3 from 10
to 15, 16 total females; 68 total number of pupils, 18 Protestants, 27 Presbyterians,
13 Roman Catholics; number on the books on March 4th 1837; John Fishbourne,
Established Church (master).
J. Hill Williams
Bassetts Directory, 1886
DROMARA occupies a small space in each of the baronies of Kinelarty, Upper
Iveagh and Lower Iveagh, 5 miles, Irish, to the South-west of Ballynahinch, and
5 miles, Irish, to the South-east of Dromore. It contained a population of 221
in 1881, and is part of the Downshire estate. The Lagan runs beside the village.
There is a market for butter and eggs every Tuesday, and fairs on the first
Friday in February, May, August, and November; and first Friday after 15th
March, June, September, and December. Evor MacRorye Magennis forfeited his title
to Dromara in the war of 1641. The sub-post offices of Ballykeel, Gransha,
Kinallon, and Waringsford are served with the mails from here.
Church of I.-Rev. J. H. Chapman
Coal-W. Hart; D. S. M'Auley
Drapers-Mrs. A. Kelly, Mrs. R. A. Mallon, Miss Rodgers
Grocers, marked thus (*) sell spirits-R. Andrew, Mrs. A. J. Gamble, W. Bart, D.
M'Auley, J. M'Cann*, Mrs. R. A. Mallon*, R. Moore
Mills (corn & scutch)-R. Dodd, R. Walker
News Agents-H. Denison, R. H. Sterling
Petty Sessions-held every third Monday in each month; J. B: M'Connell,clerk
Presbyterian-First Ch., Rev. E. Ekin. M.A. ; second, W. J. Patton
Reformed Presbyterian Church -Rev. T. Boyd
R. C. Church-Rev. D. Mallon, P.P
R. I. C.-P. Smith, sergt
Schools (Natl.)-- J. Matchett, Hugh Denison, Miss A. Somerville
Spirit retailers-P. Lavery, Mrs. B M'Kenny, A. Murnan
Watchmaker-R. H. Sterling
Including Ballykeel, Gransha,Kinallen and Waringsford,(W'ford)
Alexander, John, Ballykeel
Bell. Jos., Ardtanagh
Bryson, James. Lappoges
Campbell. J. B., Leghey
Campbell, John, Crossgar
Chambers, James, Ballykeel
Chambers, James, Dree
Chambers, J., Levallyreagh
Creighton, A., Skeagh
Corbett, Wm., Aughnaskeagh
Corry, William (p.m.), Ballykeel
Crothers, Rt., Gransha
Davidson, Robt., Kinallen
Dennison. W. J., Enagh
Dodds, Wm., Woodford ho.
Ferguson, James, Growell
Ferguson, Thomas, Ballykeel
Fulton, Henry, Tullyniskey
Fulton, John. Kinallen
Gamble, J., Enagh
Garrett, James, Cluntagh
Gibson, Hugh. Lappoges
Gibson, Thomas, Lappoges
Gilmore, J. B. Kinallen
Gorman, D1., Levallyreagh
Graham, W., Tullynisky
Graham, W. J. Tullynisky
Hamilton, A., Drumadoney
Hamilton, Jos., Ballykeel
Hamilton. Mark, Ballykeel
Hammond. R., Tullynisky
Hook, David. Ballykeel
Hunter, W., Skeogh
Johnston, Wm., Enagh
Jones, Hugh. Moydalgan
Jones, Wm., Moydalgan
Kelly, W., Carnew, W'ford
Kelly, W., Tullindoney
Kidd, John, Kinallen
King, Hugh, Gransha
M'Alester, Bernard, Drinn
Macauley, S., Carnew, W'ford
M'Calla, W., Moydalgan
M'Cartan, Michael, J..P.),Crossgar
M'Cloughan, J., Skeagh
M'Crory, James, Enagh
M`Greehan, G. Aughnaskeagh
M'Kenny. Edward, Dirm
M'Key, Henry, Crossgar
M'Key, John, Dree
M'Murray, Joseph, Gransha
M'Murray , Rt., Skeagh
Martin, James, Enagh
Martin, J., Aughnaskeagh
Martin, Robert, Ballykeel
Martin, R., Skeagh
Martin, W., Skeagh
Meek, W. B., Carnew, W'ford
Moore, John, Lappoges
Moore. W., Drumadoney
Nicholson, Jn , Moydalgan
Nicholson. W.. Drumadoney
Patterson, J. C., A'naskeagh
Skelly, J., Ardtanagh
Skelly, John. Dromara
Skelly, S. Moybrick lr.
Skelly, Rt. (J.P), Marybrook
Smith, David, Ballykeel
Smith, John, Gransha
Somerville, J. C., Ardtanagh
Waddell, R., Crossgar
Walker, Robert, Crossgar
Wallace, John, sen., Gransha
Wallace, J., jun., Gransha
Waugh, G. (J.P), Sion Hill
Young, Jn., T'niskey, W'ford
Dromara, County Down
the Belfast and Ulster Towns Directory for 1910
DROMARA, CO. DOWN
Twenty miles from Belfast.
A Market Town.
Market day, Tuesday.
Fair day, first Friday in each month.
--Postmistress, Miss Mary
Mails received from Dublin and Belfast at 5-25 a.m. and at 4-5 p.m.
Despatched at 8-50 a.m. and 6-5 p.m. Telegrams can now be sent from
this office. Mails arrive at Gransha Post Office every morning on
mail car at 7-10 a.m. and 5 p.m. From Ballynahinch via Dromara mail
car. Postmen--Wm. Lavery, Robert Walker, Wm. Walsh, Wm. Wilson, R.
J. Cunningham, S. Bowman, Jas. M'Nallen, G. Bryson
PLACES OF WORSHIP
Church of Ireland--Rev. W. F.
First Presbyterian Church--Rev. W. G. Glasgow, B.A.
Second Presbyterian Church--Rev. W. Gregg
Covenanting Church--Rev. Warnock
Roman Catholic Chapel--Rev. John Savage, P.P.
Creighton and Miss Latimer; Carnew, G. Gamble; Carnew, Miss Agnes
M'Fadden; Dromara, Wm. Scilley and Miss Lizzie H. Harte; Ballykell,
S. Crawford; Finnis, Patrick Bradley; Emma L. Byrne, manual
instructress; Muninabane, P. Conway; Mrs. Brannigan, manual
R.I. Constabulary--Acting-Sergeant Thomas Woolsey, ex-officio
inspector of weights, measures, food, and drugs; Constables William
Welsh, Colquohoun M'Cormack
Local Registrars for Births, Marriages, and Deaths--Dr. Herron and
Alexander, J., R.D.C.,
Archer, Miss, grocer, Finnis
Atcheson, Thomas J., spirit grocer, Gransha
Bailie, M., farmer, Moybrick
Barr, James, bootmaker, farmer, and auctioneer
Barr, Samuel, bootmaker, farmer, C.B.O., and auctioneer
Begney, Mrs. M'Cashin, grocer, butter and egg merchant, and farmer
Bell, Joseph, farmer, Artana
Bell, Samuel, fowldealer
Bell, William, rate collector, Kinallen
Bond, John, farmer, Gransha
Bradley, Patrick, Dromara
Branagh, James, farmer, Derry
Campbell, James, farmer, Begney
Campbell, John, J.P., woollen draper and farmer
Campbell, Samuel, farmer, Slavenaboley
Campbell, Mrs., Crossgar
Carson, A., farmer, Moybrick
Carson, James, farmer, Levallyreagh
Cauley, A., farmer, Derry
Chambers, James, farmer
Chambers, J., grocer and farmer, Ballykeel
Chapman, John, power loom factory, Glen
Conway, P., teacher, Munninabane N.S.
Corbett, William J., farmer, Aughnaskeagh
Corry, Wm., farmer, post office, Ballykeel
Crawford, Samuel, N.T., Ballykeel
Cumming, William John, farmer
Cunningham, Wm. refreshment and lodgings and posting
Davey, Owen, farmer, Drinn
Dennison, Hugh, ex-teacher, newsagent, & farmer
Dennison, William, farmer, Enogh
Dickson, T. H., spirit dealer and grocer
Dodd, Robert, farmer, Woodford, Dromara
Dodds, Robert, J.P., Woodford, Dromara
Dornan, B., farmer, Finnis
Douglas, Samuel, grocer, farmer, and post office, Grancha
Doyle, Arthur, farmer, Moybrick
Doyle, M., farmer, Finnis
Ervin, S. J., farmer
Fairley, Jas., butcher
Flynn, D., farmer, Crossgar
Fulton, Moses, Tullyniskey post office and farmer
Gamble, Anne Jane, grocer
Gamble, George, farmer, Moybrick
Gamble, Henry, spirit dealer
Gamble, Hugh, grocer and refreshments .
Gamble, John, grocer, Crossgar
Gamble, Mrs., grocer, Artana
Gamble, Robert, Glen cottage, Carnew, Kinallen
Gregg, Henry, Ash Vale
Hamilton, James, farmer
Hart, Samuel, grocer, farmer and millowner
Henning, Hugh, farmer, Carnew
Henning, Mrs., farmer, Carnew
Henning, Robert J., farmer, Carnew
Herron, Dr., Crossgar
Heron, Dr. A., medical officer of dispensary
Hunter, Wm., farmer, Aughnaskeagh
Jackson, George, photographer
Jass, James, bootmaker
Jones, Hugh, farmer, Moydalgan house
Jones, J. H., grocer and farmer, Beechhall, Aughnaskeagh
Kelly, Mrs. C, farmer, Dree
King, Jas., spirit dealer, grocer, and farmer
Kingan, Thomas, farmer
Lowry, William, farmer, Finnis and Slavenaboley
Mallon, Mrs., haberdasher, grocer, spirit dealer, and farmer
Marshall, John, farmer, Moybrick
Martin, John, farmer, Aughnaskeagh
Martin, Joseph, farmer, Finnis
Maxwell, John, blacksmith, Dromara
Maxwell, Miss, dressmaker
Meeke, William B., Carnew cottage
Mercer, Mark, farmer, Moybrick
Mooney, James, farmer, Gransha
Moore, James, grocer, Moybrick
Moore, Mary Anne, dress & mantle maker, Dromara
M'Allister, B., farmer, Drinn
M'Allister, C, farmer, Drinn
M'Allister, James, farmer, Dree
M'Auley, Mrs. M. J., grocer and farmer
M'Calla, William, farmer, Moydalgan
M'Callister, C, farmer, Munninabane
M'Callister, C, P.L.G., Drinn
M'Cann, John, farmer, Moybrick
M'Cann, Mrs., farmer, Moybrick
M'Cann, T., P.L.G.
M'Cartan, Miss L., farmer, Crossgar house
M'Caw, John, millowner and farmer, Tullyniskey
M'Cauly, Robert, farmer, Dromara
M'Cauley, Wm. G., farmer, Carnew house
M'Cloy, John, farmer
M'Evoy, Francis, farmer, Artana
M'Evoy, Hugh, grocer and spirit dealer
M'Evoy, Peter, butcher, Artana
M'Key, Francis, farmer, Drinn
M'Key, James, farmer, Moybrick
M'Key, James, farmer, Finnis
M'Key, John, farmer, Dree
M'Key, Neil, P.L.G., Drinn
M'Key, Peter, farmer, Drinn
M'Kenny, Mrs., farmer, Gransha
M'Kenny, Mrs. James, farmer, Drinn
M'Neill, John, farmer, Moybrick
Nicholson, George; farmer
Nicholson, James. P.L.G., J.P., farmer
Nicholson, James, P.L.G., R.D.C., farmer
O'Hare, James, farmer, Moybrick
O'Neill, Bernard, spirit dealer and farmer
Patterson, James A., publican, Dromara
Patterson, Mrs., farmer, Aughnaskeagh
Patterson, Mrs., farmer, Finnis
Reain, David, farmer, Finnis
Redmond Brothers, grocers and farmers, Gransha
Rogan, Patrick, spirit dealer and flesher
Rogers, Miss E. R., dressmaker, Derryvale
Rogers, R., P.L.G., R.D.C., farmer, Derry
Scott, John, grocer and farmer, Gransha
Shaw, William, farmer, Begney
Simpson, David, farmer, Finnis
Skelly, Mrs., farmer, Marybrook, Dromara
Skelly, William, farmer, Artana
Skelly, Mrs., farmer, Moybrick
Skelly, John, farmer
Sommerville, C, farmer, Artana
Sommerville, Miss, ex-teacher, Dromara
Sommerville, Mrs., grocer
Stafford, John, shoemaker, Dromara
Steele, Thomas, tailor, Dromara
Stewart, R., grocer, farmer, and millowner
Taylor, Moses, Larch hill
Thompson, Mrs., grocer and dressmaker, Slavenaboley
Wallace, Miss, grocer, Finnis
Waugh, George, J.P., Scion hill
Welsh, Jackson, blacksmith
Wilkinson, Rev. W. F., Rectory, Dromara
Wilson, John, carpenter
Wilson, William, spirit dealer, farmer, and post office, Kinallen
Key Townland County
Division O.S.Map Ref.
28 & 29
28 & 29
22 & 28 &
28 & 29 &
35 & 36
28 & 29 &
21 & 28
28 & 35
28 & 35
28 & 29
21 & 28
21 & 22 &
28 & 29
Parish of Dromara
Return by Lieutenant G. A Bennett, 22
derivation of this parish is supposed to be from drum "back" and agh "a fort."
It is sometimes written Dromaragh or Drumara.
is situated nearly in the centre of the county of the county of Down and
contains nearly equal portions of the 3 baronies of Lower Iveagh, Upper Iveagh
and Kinelarty. It is bounded in the north and north west by the parish of
Dromore, north and north east by Annahilt, east by Magheradrool, south east by
Loughinisland, south by Kilmegan and Drumgooland and west by Garvaghy and
Dromore. It's greatest length from Gransha Fort in the western boundary to its
junction with Magheradrool and Loughinisland on the east is 8 miles, its mean
length is 6 miles. It’s breadth from the junction of Loughinisland and Kilmegan
on the south to where it meets Annahilt and Magheradrool on the north is 6
miles, and its mean breadth about 4 miles.
an area of 21,192 acres, of which about 2,729 acres are uncultivated ground.
About 656 acres are the remains of turf bog and earth of a peaty nature and
about 94 acres are covered with water. The different portions may be seen in
their respective townlands by reference to the Field Name Book.
country is very hilly, running in parallel ridges from the mountain of Slieve
Croob towards Lough Neagh and the sea. The summit of the mountain of Slieve
Croob, sometimes called The Twelve Cairns, is on the southern boundary of the
parish, 1,755 feet above the level of the sea. It has a rugged and barren
appearance: about 1,598 acres of the mountain in this parish is uncultivated,
the greatest part of which lies about 2 miles north and west of its summit, but
to the east it is cultivated to within three-quarters of a mile of the top. In
clear weather the coast of Scotland and the Isle of Man may be distinctly seen
from it. It falls away gradually to the south east and west but towards the east
the descent is 900 feet in three-quarters of a mile. The mountain is accessible
on all sides but very boggy and covered with heath. The highest point of the
mountain of the Deer Park is 1,037 feet above the sea. At the south eastern end
of the parish is Dunmore hill, 734 feet in height. The Derry rocks in the north
western end are 633 feet above the sea.
the north western end of the parish, on the boundary between the baronies of
Lower and Upper Iveagh, is Begney lake covering about 5 acres in winter, and in
summer it is as low as 31 acres, of which in the townland of Begney are 22 and a
half acres in summer and about 30 in winter; and in Crossgar townland 9 acres of
water in summer and about 15 in winter.
lake, about 1 and a half miles to the east of Begney, at the junction of the
townlands of Crossgar, Lower Dunbeg and Munenabane, covers about 12 acres, its
height above the sea 541 feet.
lake in the townland of Burren covers about 11 acres and is 490 feet above the
level of the sea. There are besides, several other smaller portions of water in
different townlands, the whole amounting to 94 acres. Each portion may be seen
by reference to the Name Book under the head of the townland.
only river of any extent in the parish is that of the Lagan, a branch of which
takes its rise in the mountain of Slieve Croob about 1,200 feet above the sea.
It is immediately joined by another branch from the mountain of Legananny, from
which it takes its name, in the adjoining parish at Drumgooland and runs in a
north west direction through this parish for 6 miles. At passing the village of
Dromara <Drumaragh> about 4 miles from its source, its height above the sea is
390 feet and 2 miles further it enters the parish of Dromore. In this parish it
can hardly be termed anything but a mountain stream and is only used for turning
a few mills on its banks.
or Ballynahinch river forms the eastern boundary of the parish for about a mile.
besides, different rivulets and numerous springs; the only one worthy of remark
is a chalybeate in the townland of Crossgar.
are about 656 acres of land of a boggy nature in this parish. That in the north
west of Burren townland is the largest, covering about 68 acres; its height
above the sea is 457 feet; that around the lake at the junction of Lower Dunbeg,
Munenabane and Crossgar covers about 63 acres, height above the sea 541 feet.
There are 58 acres at the south of Burren 522 feet above the level of the sea.
The remaining detached portions may be seen in their respective townlands by
reference to Field Name Book.
this parish, besides the bogs already mentioned, there are about 2,729 acres of
uncultivated or rocky ground. That round the mountain of Slieve Croob has
already been stated to amount to 1,598 acres in this parish. The Deer Park
contains 396 acres but the whole of the uncultivated ground on that mountain,
including the park, amounts to 483 acres. On Dunmore hill there are about 260
acres of uncultivated land and in the townland of Derry about 182. These are the
principal portions of uncultivated ground but there are others throughout the
parish, each of which will be found under the head of townlands in Name Book.
rocks on the northern side of Slieve Croob are schist; on the east and south
side they are a fine, flesh-coloured syenite; and on the west they are
hornblende. On the east side is a large whindyke standing vertically and running
from south east to north west, and another in the townland of Mulloughdrin. The
whole of this county appears to have felt some striking convulsion. There are
several good slate quarries but not at present worked.
only village is Dromara, of the same name as the parish, situated at the base of
Slieve Croob and on the River Lagan. There are 8 fairs held here in the year:
one on the first Friday in the months of February, May, August and November and
one on the first Friday after the 15th of the month of March, June,
September and December; and a weekly market on every Friday, lately established.
The petty sessions are held here once a fortnight.
to the Church of England is the parish church, situated a little west of the
village of Dromara. It is able to accommodate about 400. Its site is ancient but
it has lately been rebuilt. There is also a chapel of ease in the eastern end of
the parish, generally known as Magherahamlet or Templemoyle church, and a
Seceding meeting house. There is a large meeting house belonging to the
Presbyterians, capable of holding about 700, in the western end of the parish
and townland of Artanagh, and there are besides 2 Roman Catholic chapels, one in
Finnis townland in the south of the parish and the other in the eastern end of
the parish and townland of Dunmore, lately built.
are none, with the exceptions of the Glebe House and curacy and a few
are a few mills on the numerous rivulets throughout this parish for the grinding
of corn and dressing of flax but they are very little used at present: 2 in
Crossgar townland, 2 in Begney, 2 in Aughneskeagh, 1 in Finnis, 1 in Edendarriff,
1 in Gransha and 1 in Dromara.
roads are kept well in repair by the county. The principal are to the adjoining
market towns of Banbridge, Dromore, Ballynahinch, Rathfriland, and a variety of
by-roads laid out without the slightest judgement.
site of the church is ancient. It was burned in the rebellion of 1641 and
remained in ruins until 1690.
the townland of Finnis, close to the south west boundary of the parish, a
curious subterraneous cave has been discovered. Its mouth was sufficiently large
to admit the entrance of a boy by sliding down on his back. The Revd E. Boyd,
the rector of the parish, caused it to be opened. A regular descent by steps was
discovered into a doorway of about 6 feet high, and a large gallery running to
the west, 92 feet 4 inches in length, 5 feet 10 inches high and 4 feet 4 inches
broad. At about 30 feet from the entrance a branch runs to the right, 27 feet 3
inches long, 4 feet 10 inches broad and 5 feet 3 inches high. At its entrance
the breadth was only 2 feet 6 inches and height 3 feet 8 inches. At about 30
feet further on there is another branch running to the right, 25 feet by 5 feet
1 inch high and 4 feet 9 inches broad. There is no appearance of a chamber. It
is built up on each side with large blocks of syenite and roofed with large
slates laid across. It was partly filled up with earth and stone. This, and a
few of the old forts, are all that are worthy of notice.
AND SOCIAL ECONOMY
to the great change which has taken place in the lands of Ireland, the value of
ground in this parish is much altered. The highlands were formerly considered
the best and the lowlands, being marshy bog, were little regarded and it was
customary for the landlord to give a certain quantity of bog land as a bonus to
the tenant without receiving any rent. By degrees the bogs have been drained and
are now the most valuable part of a farm.
petty sessions already mentioned are held once a fortnight in the village of
Dromara. The magistrates who attend are the Rev. E. Boyd of this parish, the
Rev. Sampson of Magherally and Cowan Herran Esq. From the parish of Dromore.
is no provision for the poor, who depend on the voluntary contributions of the
people and what they receive collected from the churches and meeting houses on
are 7 schools throughout this parish, 1 in each of the following townlands:
Dunmore, Dree, Drinn, Gransha, Artanagh, Crossgar and Moydalgan; and the people
are anxious to send their children to them.
religion may be seen from their respective places of public worship. Those of
the Established Church are not more than 200. The Presbyterian form of worship
lands are in the hands of lay proprietors. The present glebe, consisting of 20
acres rented from the Marquis of Downshire together with the tithes, is the
support of the Established Church. The rector is the Rev. E. Boyd. The eastern
end of the parish has a perpetual curacy and a resident clergyman near to the
chapel of ease. The Presbyterian ministers have the regium donum and the
stipends and the Roman Catholics have only the voluntary contributions and dues.
of the People
general, the houses are stone and thatched with 2 or 3 rooms and a kitchen on
the ground floor; but in the mountainous part they are commonly built with sods
or loose stones and have a most wretched appearance.
little weaving prevails in this part of the country.
chief employment is agriculture [crossed out: which is the particular business
of both men and women]. Their chief product is oats and potatoes. Owing to the
great want of lime, which cannot be got nearer than Magheralin <maralin> (at
least 10 or 12 miles off), cultivation is greatly retarded. The finest part of
the parish for agriculture is the north west, particularly the townland of
It is already mentioned
that this parish is partly situated in the baronies of Upper and Lower Iveagh
and Kinalarty and is divided into 28 townlands, 7 of which are in
the upper barony (Upper Iveagh),
containing 8, 141 acres 15 rods:
Crossgar: so pronounced, contains
1,216 2 roods 24 perches, see Field Name Book, proprietor Lord Dungannon.
Drin, so pronounced, contains
1,216 2 roods 11 perches, of which about 578 acres of the mountain of Slieve
Croob is uncultivated, proprietor Lord Dungannon.
Dree, so pronounced, contains
1,342 acres 1 rood 16 perches, about 630 acres of which is the mountain of
Slieve Croob. It is the property of Lord Dungannon and let at about 2s6d per
annum, mountain including
Munenabane contains 1,236 acres 1 rood
32 perches, of which about 38 acres are covered
with furze and rocks and 2
portions of bog amounting to about 48 acres; the remainder is
Finnis contains 1,353 acres 1 rood
18 perches. In the southern end of this townland is a curious cave; proprietor
contains 522 acres 21 perches, proprietor the Marquis of Downshire.
Gransha contains 1,293 acres 1 rood
13 perches, the property of Lord Dungannon.
barony of Kinelarty are 11 townlands,
containing 7,024 acres 1 rood 15 perches:
contains 1,231 acres 1 perch; is the property of Mr. Kerr and to let to tenants
called Lower Ballykine, the remainder being in the parish of Magheradrool;
contains 333 acres, 3 roods 5 perches, let to tenants at will, proprietor Mr.
contains 802 acres 3 roods 19 perches, proprietor Mr. Kerr and let to tenants
Lower Dunbeg contains
289 acres 3 roods 35 perches.
Upper Dunbeg contains
385 acres 2 roods 1 perch; Upper and Lower is a good soil and chiefly under
546 acres 3 roods 32 perches and a Seceding meeting house, Templemoyle church
and the perpetual curacy.
Dunmore contains 725
acres 35 roods, of which 208 acres is uncultivated at the south, but it is a
good soil towards the north.
Drumkera contains 724
acres 35 perches, of which about 396 acres is a deer park belonging to Colonel
Duglen, or the Black
valley, contains 572 acres 2 roods 28 perches, of which about 378 acres are
barren, extending to the top of Slieve Croob.
551 acres 3 roods 30 perches; towards the south about 110 acres are barren but
the northern end is a pretty good soil.
Guinness contains 860
acres 34 perches. In the northern end about 74 acres are uncultivated and 32
acres of Dunmore mountain at the east, but there is some good land at the south
remaining 10 townlands are in the barony of
Lower Iveagh and contain 6,027 acres 33 perches viz.
693 acres 16 perches.
Artanagh contains 627
acres 2 roods 35 perches; contains a schoolhouse and a Presbyterian meeting
house lately rebuilt.
Begney contains 909
acres 2 roods 2 perches. On the south boundary is a lake of the same name which
covers about 45 acres of it but only 30 is in the townland.
Derry contains 631
acres 14 perches, of which about 182 is a rocky, barren hill known as the Derry
rocks; proprietor Marquis of Downshire.
Dromara contains 2,420
acres 13 perches; the village of the same name is on the eastern boundary about
6 miles from Dromore, the chief market town.
Drumadoney contains 854
acres 2 roods 9 perches. It is the best townland for cultivation in the parish,
a few trees on the south side. It is the property of the Marquis of Downshire.
Moydalgan contains 531
acres 3 roods 8 perches, a good, arable soil, belonging to the Marquis of
549 acres 3 roods 12 perches, of which about 18 acres are uncultivated in the
east end; proprietor Marquis of Downshire.
Lower Moybrick contains
480 acres 30 perches, proprietor the Marquis of Downshire.
507 acres 1 rood 14 perches, of which about 12 acres on the north west is bog.
Bennett, Lieutenant Royal Engineers, 22 Nov 1
Flax Growers in the
Parish of Dromara, 1796
1796 - As part of a government initiative to encourage the linen trade,
free spinning wheels or looms were granted to individuals planting a certain
area of land with flax. The lists of those entitled to the awards were published
in 1796 and a copy of the list with a surname index of the spinning wheel
entitlement is available at the Public Record Office Northern Ireland
The Year of Grace
A History of
Revival in Ireland, A.D.1859
The following account of the revival in the Parish of
Dromara, has been supplied by the Rev.W.J.Patten, minister of the Second
Presbyterian Church there;
On the 25th of July about a thousand persons
assembled in Mr.Craig’Church for prayer. A deep solemnity pervaded the meeting,
many sobs were heard, many tears were shed, and many more were the groanings
that could be uttered. The meeting closed, and all separated for their homes,
shortly afterwards intelligence arrived that some persons had been stricken on
their way home. We started off, and the scene which met our gaze shall not soon
be forgotten. There on the roadside, with their backs against the ditch, and
their faces toward heaven, lay seven persons, supplicating mercy. They were all
young and unlearned, yet so scriptural and appropriate were their prayers, that
to me, and to the large concourse who listened, they seemed to be suggested by
Him who has been promised to ‘help in our infirmities’.
A young girl was heard to assign as a reason why she had
not attended the meeting just described, that she was afraid of being seized,
and thus rendered unable unable to be present at the wedding of a friend to
which she had been invited. The marriage morn arrived, and the ceremony was
performed, at the suggestion of some of the party the feasting and the mirth
gave place to praise and prayer, and this girl and her sister bridesmaid began
to sob and weep, in accents which cannot be described, to call for mercy in the
name of Jesus. Since that time she has given every evidence of being espoused to
Christ. Truly the prayer of faith was heard. The Lord and his disciples were
bidden guests. The same Jesus who graced the marriage in Cana, did not deny His
prescence to the humble villagers of Dromara.
On the evening following this –the 29th July-a
prayer meeting was held on the green beside my church, that building unable to
contain the two thousand or more who were present; and at the same place, on the
succeeding Sabbath evening, there was another meeting, larger still, attended by
not fewer than three thousand. Those were two evenings long to be remembered,
none who were present can forget them. On the first not fewer than fifty
persons, and on the second about seventy, young and old , men and woman,
stretched on the green sward, were heard openly to bewail their sins before God,
and ask forgiveness in the name of Jesus, in some few this was accompanied with
strange convulsions of body; but in most of those affected there was nothing but
tears, and groans, and earnest prayers. One young girl remained seven hours on
her knees, another resolved that she would neither eat nor drink until she had
found Christ. I went into the Church and looked around, may were attending their
friends. But others, as well, had come.
In one seat were three girls knelt in prayer; in another
were two others; in another still, were two boys; and so throughout the house.
Coming out, I looked into the session room, and there were five or six boys,
belonging to my bible class, upon their knees. One was praying- Lord Jesus
,Pardon my sins? They are so great that crimson and scarlet are no name for
them?= and yet there was not a better behaved boy in all the country, they
continued there for some hours, offering prayer in turn. During the fortnight
that followed, many were similarly affected in their own homes, and in the
prayer meetings, which were held in private houses all hours of the day and
night. For the time being, business was very much suspended. The whole Parish
was a place of weeping, and praying, and singing and reading, there cannot be a
doubt that there were more bible-readers, more believing prayers, more loving
thoughts of Jesus in our parish in the month of August than had been in the five
years previous. A Scotch minister was present one evening, at that time, at our
prayer meeting in the church. As usual the house was crowded-every eye was
riveted, and many were in tears. After the service, earnest inquirers were
invited to remain. Nearly all sat still, and when spoken to, seemed to delight
in unbosoming the state of their souls.
On our way home he heard the sweet songs of Zion sung along
the road by the people going from the house of God. When we reached home, he
heard that two persons, who had been enemies for years-who had fought with fists
and fought at law-had that evening clasped each other in their arms. After
musing for a time, he said to me, I have read through Lardner’s great work on
the “evidences”, but what I have seen tonight is a more powerful proof of the
truth of Christianity than all that Lardner ever wrote. The young, from six to
twenty five years of age, were particularly anxious, they would assemble and
pray together. On such an occasion, when a little fellow was Praying for all his
unconverted playmates, a little girl began to cry aloud for mercy, the boy
arose, clasped another boys hand, and said, Johnny, God sooner far hears us wee
fellows, than he does big men. I remember one day, going into a house to see a
boy who had been stricken. The door of the room was locked, when it was opened,
I found three other boys along with him, reading their bibles. He was reading
and praying with them, and trying to lead them to Jesus. I asked a little girl,
whom I had seen sob and pray some weeks before, if she observed any change in
herself of late, yes said she, I do.’-what is it?-why, said she, before
Christ was no concern to me; and now He is never out of my thoughts, another in
answer to the same question, said, I had not Christ before, and now I have. In a
few weeks from their commencement, the bodily prostrations nearly altogether
ceased, of the numbers thus affected I cannot form an estimate , the amounted to
several hundreds . But the good work was not confined to them. Gods spirit came
to at least as many others.
With permission from, The Digital Research Library,
Digital Library eXtension Service, (DLXS)
DROMARA PARISH ,ROMAN
CATHOLIC CHURCH RECORDS
Ballynahinch and Dunmore
|National Library of
|May 1st.1827 to July
April 14th.1836 to July 28th.1864
July 1st.1863 to Dec.31st.1880
|March 3rd.1829 to
(Ballynahinch and Dunmore)
|Public Record Office
of Northern Ireland
|1827 - 1881
||1829 - 1864
(Ballynahinch and Dunmore)
|LDS Family history
||British Film Area
0926075 item 1-2
|May 1 1827 - July 1
Apr 14 1836 - July 28 1864
July 1 1863 - Dec 31 1880
|Mar 3 1829 - July 25
(Ballynahinch and Dunmore)
|1827 - 1900
||1826 - 1900
(Ballynahinch and Dunmore)
|National Library of
|Jan 14 1844 - Dec 19
||Jan 14 1844 - Dec 18
||Jan. 10, 1844 - Sept. 12, 1880
|Public Record Office of
|1844 - 1880
||1844 - 1880
||1844 - 1880
|LDS Family history
||British Film Area
|Jan 14 1844 - Dec 19
||Jan 14 1844 - Dec 18
|| Jan. 10, 1844 - Sept. 12, 1880
|1844 - 1900
||1844 - 1900
Church of Ireland,Dromara
||Nature, National Archives original
listing. Burnt in 1922
||Nature, Other Records,
|Public Record Office of
||Nature, National Archives
original listing. Burnt in 1922
||Destroyed in 1922
||Nature, Other Records,
Extracts from parish registers 1823-63
|Public Record Office of
|See full listing
||Nature, Other Records,
vestry minutes 1819 - ; preachers' books1884 - ; confirmations 1892 - ;
registers of vestrymen 1925
Presbyterian Dromara (1st)
||Nature, Other Records,
Session minutes 1763-1871; accounts
1762-99; history of the church
|Public Record Office of
|LDS Family history
||British Film Area
0496723 item 1
Presbyterian Dromara (2nd)
||Nature, Other Records,
Lists of communicants 1853079
|Public Record Office of
Presbyterian Dromara R.P.
||Nature, Other Records,
Session minutes and lists of communicants 1874-1909; stipend payers
c.1874-1937; stipend accounts 1875-1937
|Public Record Office of
Records, Committee minutes 1886-1912; session book incl. communicants' lists
|Public Record Office of
Dromara Old News & Events
Accounts relating to Diocesan and Parish Schools in
Return of Dromara school,
The Parish school of Dromara is held in the church, the master is Hugh
Carrothers, the number of scholars for the last year have varied from 45 to 55,
who are only charged two shillings a quarter, the remainder of the masters
salary and his diet and lodgings being provided by the Rector as there are no
public funds or other allowance, there is no expenditure except of a trifling
nature for books.
Account of Sums aplotted by Vestries in Ireland under Parochial Rates, 1827
At a Vestry held 16th
April 1827 the following sums were applotted and levied of the lands.
For clerks salary, £6
Communion elements, £2. 2s
Poor coffins, £7.10s
Deserted children, £13. 10s
Two prayer books, £2 .2s
Applotting and collecting, £3.
Total,£38. 4. 0
A.Boyd Prebendary of Dromara
James Carlile, James Lesslie,Church wardens