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The present day name of Mahoonagh comes from the Irish 'Maigh Tamhnach', which means 'the plain of the tree stumps' or 'the plain of the clearings'. The village of Mahoonagh is more commonly known as Castlemahon village, although Mainchín Seoighe tells us that the origin of this placename is unclear, there being neither parish nor townland of that name.

There is no exact known date for the founding of the parish. In the sixteenth century, Mahoonagh was divided up into three parts called Trean Tawnaghe, Treanmeane and Treanfaltaghe.

Cormac MacCarthaigh became the King of Munster in 1123 when his brother Tadhg died. According to Mainchín Seoighe, Cormac was known as Cormac Muighe Thamhnach because he had his residence in Mahoonagh. Cormac was a violent leader and led an expedition against the O'Connor's of Connacht. However, he was displaced as King in 1127 and was killed in 1138 in his house in Maigh Thamhnach by the O'Briens. Previously, it was recorded that Cellachan, the King of Cashel was killed at Mahoonagh in 954.

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