Tulla is a small village of almost one thousand residents located in the heart of the Lakelands area in East County Clare. Tulla is famous for the Tulla Ceili Band, its distinctive East Clare music and the renowned Tulla Pipe Band. Tulla was once a thriving market town before the famine with a population in 1841 of about 9,000 inhabitants. The Famine changed the landscape of the community forever as mass emigration began, and today the population stands at just over ten percent of its pre-Famine figure. Tulla has numerous historic buildings, two graveyards, and many historic monuments dotted around the parish. In addition, the parish boasts a local Library, bank, a variety of sporting clubs, a Secondary School, Primary School, several Bed & Breakfasts and a restaurant. There is a main Catholic church with two outlying parish churches with strong historical links for many diaspora.
Past and Present Population
Local Ireland Reaching Out Team
The local Ireland Reaching Out team of Tulla is a small committee of individuals with varied areas of interests, but who share a common interest in reaching out to those with Tulla ancestry through a variety of projects which preserve our ancestry and promote the unique features of community. Our aim is to build a body of information that can be easily accessed and available to our diaspora anywhere in the world. In addition, we also look to our diaspora for their expertise and knowledge with regard to their ancestry and family stories from Tulla.
Tulla Reaching Out also hosts a People Past Remembered event whereby individuals wishing to share old photos of past events, people in the parish were invited to come to the Courthouse to have their photos scanned. These photos are availalbe to view through a parish archive which will hopefully be available through the Tulla web page in the near future.
JANE HALLORAN RYAN is a returned emigrant whose great-grandmother came from Tulla in the 1880s. She is also a co-Parish Liaison for Tulla who oversees the Tulla webpage and answers the genealogical queries as part of her volunteer work with Ireland Reaching Out. She is available to meet and greet visitors who are planning to visit the area to learn more about their ancestry. Jane was the Volunteer of the Year for Ireland Reaching Out in 2013. She is a non-practising member of the Law Society of Ireland, and is a self-employed Genealogist at Dalcassian Origins. Jane is presently working towards her Masters in Local History at University of Limerick.
BERNARD MULCAHY is a Management Consultant based in Limerick with strong Ennis & Limerick connections. He is the Chairperson of the Tulla Courthouse Committee,and a member of the National School Board of Management. Bernard's area of interests include tourism, information technology and developing strategies for expanding local tourism in the East Clare area.
MICHAEL MCMAHON is a recently retired Colonel in the Irish Defences Forces having served as Commandant to Presidents Mary Robinson and Mary MacAleese. In addition, Mick was part of a number of Irish peacekeeping missions throughout the world. Mick is a co-Parish Liaison with Tulla and he brings a wealth of information about the locality and particularly the Glandree/Drumcharley area. Mick is particularly interested in the military history and brings an impressive knowledge with regard to same and its connections with Tulla. Mick is available to meet and greet visitors to the area wishing to re-connect with their ancestral parish. Mick has connections throughout the U.S., UK and Australia.
SR. EILEEN CALLINAN is a local Sister of Mercy who has recently retired from teaching at the local primary school, St. Mochulla's National School. She has a keen interest in the Irish language and local history in the area and continues to volunteer her time with her teaching Irish classes for all ages and abilities in the parish.
MICHAEL O'ROURKE is a retired Aer Lingus supervisor at Shannon Airport and a volunteer assisting Ireland Reaching Out in the Parish of Tulla. Michael is a a director of Tulla Courthouse & Community Development and a long-standing member of the famous Tulla Pipe Band. Michael brings with him a wealth of local knowledge and information and maintains a great interest in not only the local area but also the local folklore and history attached to the Parish.He is a former Chairperson of the Tulla Courthouse Committee and a member of the Tulla Athletic Club. He is available to meet and greet any visitors to the parish. Michael has connections with many cousins from the U.S. as well as Australia.
CAITLIN MOLONEY is a volunteer with the Tulla Reaching Out committee. She is a retired National School teacher and volunteers her time not only with Tulla Reaching Out but also teaching the Irish language to the local community. Caitlin is a native of Feakle. Caitlin's interest is in the cultural and history of the local area. She was part of a committee that created the Tulla Reaching Out Calendar of 2015. Caitlin is available to research and meet those visitors who have an interest in the cultural history of the area.
PATRICIA HALPIN is a volunteer with the Tulla Reaching Out committee. She and her husband, Tony operate the Hillview House B & B in Maghera townland in the parish. Patricia is also involved with the local community as well as the East Clare tourism forum. Patricia is available to assist visitors with their research as well as to meet and greet those coming into the area.
History of the Parish
Tulla was once a thriving market town in East Clare with many local businesses and a large rural area surrounding it. It boasted a number of historic buildings such as the Tulla Courthouse, the Tulla Stables, The Market (now the local library) as well as the Convent of Mercy. In addition, Tulla had a thriving Church of Ireland community with a local church (now demolished) and graveyard attached to it. The Tulla Church Ruin at the top of the hill was once the settlement of St. Mochulla, a 7th century saint who was said to have started a monastery on the hill There are many stories and legends associated with his name, and he is the patron saint of the Parish. The Church ruin was also the site of a former Protestant church, a Catholic church and today, is surrounded by the main graveyard overlooking the parish. The parish also was home to a number of prominent members of the Irish aristocracy-- some of whose homes can still be seen around the area. Tulla is famous for its distinctive East Clare style of traditional music and many of its natives have won national and international awards for the music and dance that continues to flourish in the area. In addition, the Tulla Pipe Band is based in the parish which is one of the oldest Pipe bands in the country and the only Pipe Band in County Clare. They had the distinction of leading the Clare contingent in the 2014 New York St. Patrick's Day Parade.
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