Kilshannig Parish Established

Share This:

This parish was one of the earliest established in County Cork following the decision taken at the 1111 Synod of Clonbrassil where the parish system was approved to replace the monastic governance that was in vogue up until then. This change met with much resistence and it took the Normans arrival in 1169 to effect change.

Kilshannig Parish came under the patronage of the Norman lord ,John De Cogan  in 1242 and thrived until Henry the Eight intervened in 1535. St Seannach founded his extensive monastic settlement close to the old river ford on the Blackwater where Longfield's bridge now stands some 3 miles west of Mallow town in c 560 AD. This major ecclesiastical settlement had a large graveyard attached covering 3 acres of land  which gave the townland the Irish name Gort-na-Gross and now known as Crossfield.

The Normans ,who introduced the large churches to accommodate whole congregations  to Ireland built their first such church on the site of the present Protestant church and graveyard at Newberry  on higher ground close to the original site.The  present protestant church ,restored in 1719 was handed over to Cork County Council in c.1982 and has been maintained by that body since.

Saint Seannach is reputed to be buried in a nearby field under a huge boulder that has been preserved for centuries. Kilshannig became the name of the protestant parish and  also the civil parish and when a new Catholic church was built in Glantane village in 1821 Glantane became the name of the Catholic parish


  • Further history on Kilshannig Parish

    The first repercussions,on Kilshannig parish, of King Henry the 8th's break away from Rome occurred in 1581 when the Catholic priest was replaced by one  more acceptable to the new Established Church. About this time also the Desmond Rebellion broke out and the church was badly damaged during this period and was restored in c. 1620. It was again almost ruined during the 1641 Rebellion , was only fully restored and enlarged by 1719 and this is the building you see to day.

    The cemetery has a wealth of  history and heritage attached to a number of people interred there. Top of the list must be James Lombard who was buried there in c.1686 as requested in his will.His daughter married into the Nagle family of Ballygriffin near Killavullen village and overshadowed by the Nagle mountains. Their grand daughter was the famous Nano Nagle who founded the Presentation Order of nuns. Nano had a sister ,Margaret,  whose  direct decendants married inti the Roche family,wealthy landowners, in East Cork  and who commenced the Baron Fermoy dynasty.The 4th Baron married Edward Spenser and  their daughter, Princess Diana was born in 1961. This lineage raises two very interesting  facts,one that Princess Diana and Nano Nagle were related  and that a direct  ancestor of future Kings of England lived in Lombardstown in Kilshannig parish and his grave is documented and  identified in Kilshannig Cemetery

    Another notable grave is that of the Curtin family whose great ,great grandson, John Curtin, became Prime Minister of  Australia and  was  highly respected there as he is credited with preventing an invasion of Australia by the Japanese during World War 2.

    It is also worth noting that Daniel O Connell's mother,Catherine O Mullane, is also buried in this cemetery.

    Another notable person associated with Kilshannig Protestant  Church is Thomas Russell,the famous 1798 leader who was executed in 1802 and buried in Downpatrick.. He was born into a local protestant family, was baptised in Kilshannig Church and organised and fought against the English in that rebellion. Ironically,one of the leaders of the pro British forces was another local  protestant, Colonel Foot, who is buried in Kilshannig cemetery and they were born within about a mile of each other.

    Some more Kilshannig history is recorded in the website ""


    Donie O Sullivan

    Friday 8th June 2018, 09:48PM
  • Thank you for sharing your expertise. It is appreciated.


    Searching for years

    Thursday 14th June 2018, 08:20PM

Communities Associated with this Timeline