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Kildimo-Pallaskenry Parish

History | Churches | Graveyards | Holy Wells | Townlands | Priests of the Parish

Brief Parish History & Geographical Location

Kildimo village is located on the N69, from Limerick to Tralee. Pallaskenry village is located a little over a mile to the north of the main Limerick to Askeaton road. There are approximately 650 houses in the parish.

The parish of Kildimo/Pallaskenry is in the barony of Kenry. The present day parish is made up of what were once the parishes of Kildimo, Ardcanny and Chapelrussell. Chapelrussell parish was once called Killuragh, Killenalotar or Killulta.

The name Kildimo comes from the Irish Cill Díoma, meaning the church of St Díoma. The old people of the parish used to pronounce the name 'Kildeema'. According to Mainchín Seoige, St Díoma is said to have flourished in the second half of the 5th century. He was reputedly of royal stock, the son of Cas, king of Munster, and an uncle of St Munchin, patron of the diocese of Limerick. His feastday is May 12th.

Pallaskenry comes from the Irish Pailís Chaonraí meaning 'The Pallisaded Fortress of Kenry'. The Caonraí were a Celtic tribe who occupied this part of Limerick in the remote past, who gave their name to the barony of Kenry.

Kildimo village once centred on the area now known as Old Kildimo, about a mile south of the present day village. However, with the construction of the N69 from Limerick to Tralee the present day village, known as New Kildimo, began to rise up. New Kildimo used to be called 'The Line' after the road on which it grew up.

There are several castles in the area, including Cullam castle, Ballyculhane castle and Dromore castle. Dromore castle is unusual in that it was built late in the 19th century in the style of a fairytale castle.

There have been a few interesting finds in the area, including the Shannongrove Collar which was found at a depth of 12feet in a bog on lands granted to Phineas Bury during Cromwellian plantations. A bone crucifix was found around the 1950's at Dog's Island, the boggy ground between Dromore Lake and a very small lake east of it.

In 1922 the Salesians of Don Bosco bought land from George Caulefield and set up an agricultural college. Along with the agricultural college, there is also a secondary school in the college.


The present day parish church in Kildimo is located in the village. The inscription on the foundation stone of the church states that it was blessed and laid by Bishop Murphy on January 6th 1969, with John Godfrey, P.P. The church is dedicated to St Joseph.

The main altar of the church was donated by the O'Sullivan family, Ballynolan. There is a statue of Our Lady Help of Christians to the left of the altar. To the right of the altar is a statue of St Joseph. The accompanying plaques ask parishioners to pray for the Cahill family. There is a depiction of the crucifixion behind the altar.

The Stations of the Cross were taken from the old parish church. The stained glass windows in the church were designed to incorporate windows taken from the old church. Examples of this can be seen in the window at the back of the church, as well as the depiction of St Agnes in the centre window on the left-hand side of the church, and the depiction of St Brigid in the centre window on the right hand side of the church.
Stained glass windows on either side of the altar depict the Good Shepherd on the left, and the Holy Family on the right.

There is a statue to Our Lady in the grounds of the church. Memorial plaques to Canon John Wallace, P.P. 1937-1953, and Canon David Fitzgerald, P.P. 1953-1963 are also in the churchyard.
Buried in the grounds of the church are:

John P. Godfrey
Parish Priest
January 1963 - June 1977

Canon David Crowley
Parish Priest
August 1977 - November 1998

The church in Pallaskenry is located in the centre of Pallaskenry village. It was built in 1863, and is dedicated to St Mary. To the left of the church is a grotto to our Lady. There are two statues in the church grounds, a statue of St Brigid on the left, and a statue of St Anne on the right. The Redemptorists erected a Mission cross in August 1877. Gerard O'Shea, Jim Nolan and the Ward brothers gave the site for the church in Pallaskenry. Mr. T. Sheehan who was the architect for the church donated the tabernacle.

The stained glass windows on the left include windows donated by Canon Wallace in 1945. The window at the top of the church of St James and St John was a gift from John Bourke, P.P.

The stained glass windows on the right hand side of the church also include gifts from John Bourke, P.P. (depictions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Joseph), and Canon Wallace. Fr John Bourke was responsible for refurbishing the church.

The stained glass windows behind the altar depict a variety of scenes from the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and include St Joachim and St Anne. To the right of the altar, there is a statue depicting Mary and child. There is also a statue of St Patrick at the back of the church.

Buried within the church is:

John Bourke
Parish Priest for 27 years and 11 months
Died January 5th 1892
Aged 85

Buried in the grounds of the church are:

John Quinlan
Parish Priest
Died 18th January 1907

Canon John O'Donnell
Parish Priest for 17 years
Died October 8th 1925
Aged 69

James Moloney
Parish Priest from January 13th 1892
Died July 1904
Aged 64

There is a church ruin in the townland of Mellon. This is the ruin of a Protestant church, which was built in 1738 on the site of what was once a Catholic Church known as Ardcanny church. The church ruin is quite large, and is mostly intact, although it is possible that part of the church has been rebuilt. Prayers are held here in November of each year. Ardcanny was once the parish name of this area. The name was derived from the Irish Árd Caithne, the height of the arbutus tree.

Killulta church is a remarkable building. This ruin, which is in excellent condition, probably dates from the 9th century. In his Topographical dictionary of Ireland, Lewis describes a church in the western extremity of the parish, the ruins of which were 12 feet long and 8 broad. Lewis mistakenly believed the church to have been built by the Knights Templars in 1290. However, others date the church to pre-1100. Some writers have dated this church 450-480AD, but its appearance does not support this claim. The area surrounding the church was once used as a burial ground, although no trace of this remains. In his local history of the area, Kenry, Mairtín Ó Corrbhuí wrote that a bronze pin, four inches long was found hereabout 1935. He also wrote that a bronze sword was found near a circle of stones west of the church about 1850. The present whereabouts of this sword are unknown. The name can be translated as Cill an Ultaigh, the church of the Ulsterman, or as Cill Ultain, the church of St Ultain.

The old parish church in Kildimo is situated in Old Kildimo. This church was sold when the new parish church was built, and is now in use by a private business.

According to Spellissy/O'Brien's The Rich Land at the time when Fr Connery was parish priest of the area, there was not only a church in old Kildimo, but also another Catholic Church at Whiteforge. However, we did not find a ruin of this church. Mairtín Ó Corrbuí lists this church as a mass house, although other sources describe it as a chapel. Rev Thomas Shanahan was the last parish priest to celebrate mass in Whiteforge, as in 1863, the year before his death, the present church in Pallaskenry was opened. The water font from the Whiteforge church was moved into the new church.

There was a church in the townland of Kildacolam, but all traces of this church have now disappeared. The townland is now known as Court townland, but a castle in the area still bears the name Kildacolum. This castle is believed to have been built by the Fitzgerald's in 1514.

Díoma himself may have founded the church of St Díoma, from which Kildimo derives its name, or it may have been erected after his time, in his honour, according to Mainchín Seoige. It was located in the old churchyard of Kildimo, although no trace of it remains.

The church of Chapelrussell was located half a mile east of Pallaskenry as early as 1418. No trace of this church remains now, although, the graveyard is still in use. Westropp says that a gold fibula was found near the site in 1834.

According to Westropp there was once a church in Kilmorine townland at the south-west angle of Kildimo parish, although the site is no longer known. There was also a church in the townland of Killashee, and again the site of this is no longer known.

Mairtín Ó Corrbuí also mentions townlands in the parish that derive their names from old church sites, although no trace of a ruin exists any longer. Kilmacat, Cill mo Cháit, the church of St Catherine, and Kilasuragh (now called Shannongrove), Cill na Siúrach, the nun's church, are both townlands in the parish today. However, no trace of a ruin exists in either townland.

As well as the mass house at Whiteforge, Ó Corrbuí mentions a mass house in Dromore townland. He says that this mass house was strange in that it was located so close to the mass house at Whiteforge.




Kildimo graveyard is located in Old Kildimo, near the site of the old parish church. This graveyard has been extended in recent years. Canon John Wallace, Parish Priest from 1937-1953, and Canon David Fitzgerald, Parish Priest 1953-1963 are buried in the old section of the graveyard.

The oldest headstone that we found was located against the wall in the old section of the graveyard. It is in memory of Rev. Daniel O'Brien, P.P., who died on July 31st 1777, aged 77 years. There is a grotto to Mary in the new section of the graveyard.

Chapelrussell graveyard in Pallaskenry is situated approximately half a mile form the village of Pallaskenry, beside part of the Salesian College land. This graveyard is overgrown. The oldest headstone that we found here was in memory of Patrick Burns, who died on February 15th 1801, aged 27. Many of the headstones were quite worn, however, and were difficult to decipher.

There is a graveyard in the townland of Mellon, which surrounds the church ruin. Both Catholics and Protestants are buried in this graveyard. The oldest headstone that we found here was in memory of Denis Hogan, who died on February 6th 1739, aged 67. There are a couple of tombs in the graveyard that are still in use. An interesting headstone here is in memory of the Rev. Samuel Jones, who died on October 4th 1849, aged 79. According to Spellissy/O'Brien's The Rich Land, Rev. Samuel Jones founded a seminary in Kildimo soon after he was appointed Rector of Ardcanny to train parish clerks and school masters. Rev. Jones was in charge of the seminary from 1808 to 1817.

Mairtín Ó Corrbuí says that there was once a graveyard around the old church ruin of Killulta church. However, no trace of this graveyard remains today.

There was also reputed to have been a children's graveyard in Coughlan's land, once part of the charter school, however, little is known about this graveyard today.


Holy Wells

St Brigid's well is located in the townland of Cartown, on land owned by the Kennedy's. The well is nicely kept. A wall encloses the well, and there is a stone covering over it. Statues to St Brigid have been placed beside the well. An inscription over one of the statues bears the date summer 1920. Rounds are still made at this well on February 1st. Danaher tells of several legends associated with the well. The water cannot boil. A woman cured of blindness saw a fish in the well. A man brought a blind horse to the well; the horse was cured and the man became blind. The water was drunk and applied to afflicted eyes and limbs.

Near St. Brigid's well lived a man called John Cleary. He lived at the lodge at the entrance of Cartown House. He got rheumatic fever but had great faith in St Brigid. John promised that if his life were spared, he would do up the well. He recovered from the rheumatic fever and kept his promise to renovate the well. John Cleary placed a statue of St Brigid at the well and he also built a wall around the well.
When the Board of Works blasted the river Maigue to deepen the bed of the river, it affected the spring, lowering the water level in the well.

Danaher also mentions a well in the townland of Tobermurry called Tobar Mhuire. This well was a slow spring surrounded by a wall of dry stone. Crowds used to gather here on August 15th, although there are no longer any devotions here. It was believed that a fish would be seen in the well by those about to be cured, and that the water could not be boiled. Mairtín Ó Corrbuí tells of a story related to this well which says that on August 15th, Lady's Day, of one year, the priest failed to show up for devotions at the well. The local people were so disgusted that they stayed away from the well from then on.



English Name Irish Name Meaning
Ardlahan Ard Lacháin Meaning uncertain
Ballyashea Baile Uí Aisí The town of Ó hAisí
Ballycasey Baile Ó gCathasaigh The town of Uí Chathasaigh
Ballyculhane Baile Uí Chathláin The town of Ó Cathláin
Ballydoole Baile Uí Dhúill The town of Ó Dúill
Ballynacarriga Baile na Carraige The town of the rock
Ballynahallee Baile na hAilí The town of the rocky place
Ballynolan Baile Ó Niallaín The town of Uí Nialláin
Ballyrune Baile Riúin The town of Riún
Ballyvareen Baile Mhoirín Meaning uncertain
Bolane An Beolán The small mouth
Carheeny Na Caithríní The small stone forts
Cartown Baile an Chathraigh The town of An Cathrach
Clooncaura Cluain Chárthaigh Carthy’s meadow
Cloongownagh Cluain Gamhna Meadow of the calves
Cloonnagalleen Cluain Ó gCoilín The meadow of Uí Choilín
Curraheen An Curraichín The small tract of wet land
Coolbeg An Chúil Bheag The small corner
Court An Chúirt The court
Cragganacree Creagán na Craoibhe The rocky place of the tree
Drommoher Drom Aichir Mhór The big ridge of Aichear
Faha An Fhaiche The green
Glennameade Gleann na Míoch The glen of Na Mígh
Kildimo Cill Díoma The church of Díoma
Kilmacat Cill Mhic Ceit The wood of Mac Ceit
Kilmareen Cill Moirín The church of Moirín
Knockroe An Cnoc Rua The red hill
Mellon An Mullán The hillock
Monanooag Móin na nDubhóg Unknown
Mountpleasant Muiceanach Piggery
Pallas An Phailís The palisade
Ringmoylan Rinn Mhaoilín The point of Maoilín
Shannongrove Cill na Siúrach The church of the sisters
Shanpallas An tSeanphailís The old palisade
Tonlegee Tóin le Gaoith Bottom land facing a stretch of water
Tobermurry Tobar Muire The well of the Virgin Mary



List of Priests

Year Parish Priest Curate(s)
1704 - 1713 Cornelius Shenane  
? -1737 Nicholas Molony  
1737 - 1771 Daniel O’Brien  
1771 - 1806 Darby Enright  
1806 - 1817 Michael Copps  
1817 - 1825 Edmund Connery  
1825 - 1825 ? Fitzgerald  
1825 – 1836 Edmund Connery  
1837 Edmund Connery James O’Sullivan
1838 Edmond Connery James O'Sullivan
1839 Thomas Shanahan James O'Sullivan
1840 Thomas Shanahan Patrick Cherry
1841 Thomas Shanahan Patrick Cherry
1842 Thomas Shanahan Thomas Tuohy
1843 Thomas Shanahan Michael O’Farrell
1844 Thomas Shanahan James Enright
1845 Thomas Shanahan William Toumey
1846 Thomas Shanahan William Toumey
1847 Thomas Shanahan William Toumey
1848 Thomas Shanahan William Toumey
1849 Thomas Shanahan Patrick Lee
1850 Thomas Shanahan James Lee
1851 Thomas Shanahan Michael Maher
1852 Thomas Shanahan Michael Maher
1853 Thomas Shanahan Michael Maher
1854 Thomas Shanahan Michael Maher
1855 Thomas Shanahan Michael Maher
1856 Thomas Shanahan Michael Maher
1857 Thomas Shanahan Michael Maher
1858 Thomas Shanahan Michael Maher
1859 Thomas Shanahan William Connery
1860 Thomas Shanahan William Connery
    Michael Maher
1861 Thomas Shanahan William Connery
    Michael Maher
1862 Thomas Shanahan William Connery
    Michael Maher
1863 Thomas Shanahan William Connery
    Michael Maher
1864 Thomas Shanahan William Connery
    Michael Maher
1865 John Bourke Michael Maher
1866 John Bourke Michael Maher
1867 John Bourke Michael Maher
1868 John Bourke Michael Maher
1869 John Bourke Michael Maher
1870 John Bourke Michael Maher
1871 John Bourke Michael Maher
1872 John Bourke Edward Clifford
1873 John Bourke Edward Clifford
1874 John Bourke Edward Clifford
1875 John Bourke Edward Clifford
1876 John Bourke Edward Clifford
1877 John Bourke Denis Curtin
1878 John Bourke Denis Curtin
1879 John Bourke Denis Curtin
1880 John Bourke Denis Curtin
1881 John Bourke Denis Curtin
1882 John Bourke Denis Curtin
1883 John Bourke Denis Curtin
1884 John Bourke Denis Curtin
1885 John Bourke Daniel Curtin
1886 John Bourke Daniel Curtin
1887 John Bourke Daniel Curtin
    Michael Mulcahy
1888 John Bourke John Lee
    Timothy Reidy
1889 John Bourke John Lee
    Timothy Reidy
1890 John Bourke John Lee
    Timothy Reidy
1891 John Bourke John Lee
    Timothy Reidy
1892 John Bourke John Lee
    Timothy Reidy
1893 James Molony Lawrence Curtin
1894 James Molony Lawrence Curtin
1895 James Molony Lawrence Curtin
1896 James Molony Lawrence Curtin
1897 James Molony Lawrence Curtin
1898 James Molony Lawrence Curtin
1899 James Molony Lawrence Curtin
1900 James Molony Lawrence Curtin
1901 James Molony Michael Mulcahy
1902 James Molony Michael Mulcahy
1903 James Molony Thomas Connolly
1904 James Molony Thomas Connolly
1905 John Quinlan Thomas Connolly
1906 John Quinlan Thomas Connolly
1907 John Quinlan Thomas Connolly
1908 Patrick Lee Thomas Connolly
1909 John O’Donnell Thomas Connolly
1910 John O’Donnell Thomas Connolly
1911 John O’Donnell Thomas Connolly
1912 John O’Donnell Thomas Connolly
1913 John O’Donnell Patrick Coleman
1914 John O’Donnell Patrick Coleman
1915 John O’Donnell James Liston
1916 John O’Donnell James Liston
1917 John O’Donnell James Liston
1918 John O’Donnell James Liston
1919 John O’Donnell James Liston
1920 John O’Donnell James Liston
1921 John O’Donnell James Liston
1922 John O’Donnell James Liston
1923 John O’Donnell James Liston
1924 John O’Donnell James Liston
1925 Canon John O’Donnell Stephen O’Dea
1926 Thomas Hogan Stephen O’Dea
1927 Cornelius Mangan Stephen O’Dea
1928 Cornelius Mangan Stephen O’Dea
1929 Cornelius Mangan Stephen O’Dea
1930 Cornelius Mangan Stephen O’Dea
1931 Cornelius Mangan Michael McCarthy
1932 Cornelius Mangan Michael McCarthy
1933 Cornelius Mangan Michael McCarthy
1934 Cornelius Mangan Michael McCarthy
1935 Cornelius Mangan Michael Quinlan
1936 Cornelius Mangan Michael Quinlan
1937 Canon Cornelius Mangan Michael Quinlan
1938 John Wallace Michael Quinlan
1939 John Wallace Michael Quinlan
1940 John Wallace Daniel O’Callaghan
1941 John Wallace Daniel O’Callaghan
1942 John Wallace Daniel O’Callaghan
1943 John Wallace Daniel O’Callaghan
1944 John Wallace William McDonnell
1945 John Wallace William McDonnell
1946 John Wallace William McDonnell
1947 John Wallace William McDonnell
1948 John Wallace William McDonnell
1949 Canon John Wallace Patrick G. Ryan
1950 Canon John Wallace Patrick G. Ryan
1951 Canon John Wallace Patrick G. Ryan
1952 Canon John Wallace Patrick G. Ryan
1953 Canon John Wallace Patrick G. Ryan
1954 David Fitzgerald Maurice Crowley
1955 David Fitzgerald Maurice Crowley
1956 David Fitzgerald Maurice Crowley
1957 David Fitzgerald Maurice Crowley
1958 David Fitzgerald Maurice Crowley
1959 David Fitzgerald Maurice Crowley
1960 David Fitzgerald John Irwin
1961 David Fitzgerald John Irwin
1962 Canon David Fitzgerald John Irwin
1963 Canon David Fitzgerald John Irwin
1964 John Godfrey John Irwin
1965 John Godfrey John Irwin
1966 John Godfrey John Irwin
1967 John Godfrey John Irwin
1968 John Godfrey John Irwin
1969 John Godfrey John Irwin
1970 John Godfrey Thomas Crawford
1971 John Godfrey Thomas Crawford
1972 John Godfrey M. Costello
1973 John Godfrey  
1974 John Godfrey Donal McNamara
1975 John Godfrey Donal McNamara
1976 John Godfrey Donal McNamara
1977 John Godfrey Donal McNamara
1978 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1979 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1980 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1981 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1982 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1983 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1984 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1985 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1986 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1987 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1988 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1989 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1990 David Crowley Thomas Hurley
1991 David Crowley Maurice Hurley
1992 Canon David Crowley Jeremiah Brouder
1993 Canon David Crowley Jeremiah Brouder
1994 Canon David Crowley Jeremiah Brouder
1995 Canon David Crowley Jeremiah Brouder
1996 Canon David Crowley Jeremiah Brouder
1997 Canon David Crowley Jeremiah Brouder
1998 Canon David Crowley Jeremiah Brouder
1999           John Keating
2000 Donal McNamara  
2001 Donal McNamara  
2002 Donal McNamara  
2003 Donal McNamara  
2004 Donal McNamara  
2005 Donal McNamara Joseph Harrington, S.B.D. (W/E Asst.)
2006 Donal McNamara Joseph Harrington, S.B.D. (W/E Asst.)
2007 Donal McNamara Joseph Harrington, S.B.D. (W/E Asst.)

The list of Priests from 1704 to 1836 is compiled from information gained in Begley's History of the Diocese of Limerick Vol. III page 598. The remaining years are compiled from the Catholic Directories. Information contained in a directory of any given year refers to what happened the previous year. For example if a priest is recorded in the 1954 directory as being in a particular parish, this would mean that he was actually there in 1953.

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