LORHA, or LORRAGH, a parish, in the barony of LOWER-ORMOND, county of TIPPERARY, and province of MUNSTER, 8½ miles (W.) from Parsonstown, on the road to Portumna; containing 4004 inhabitants, of which 195 are in the village. This place was anciently distinguished for its religious establishments, the earliest of which was an abbey for canons regular, founded by St. Ruadan, who presided here over 150 monks and died in 584. This establishment appears to have flourished without interruption till 844, when, according to Archdall, Turgesius, with his Norwegian forces, destroyed the town; he was soon after taken prisoner by Maolseachlain, King of Meath, and drowned in Lough Ainin. After its restoration the abbey was destroyed by accidental fires in 1154 and 1157, and in 1179 the town was again destroyed by fire. The hand of St. Ruadan was preserved in a silver case in this abbey till its suppression. A Dominican friary also was founded here in 1269, by Walter de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, in which, in 1688, a provincial chapter of the order was held, when 150 friars clothed in their proper habits assisted on the occasion. The parish comprises 6220 acres; the land is of good quality, and the system of agriculture improving; the scenery is pleasingly diversified and derives much interest from the venerable ruins of the abbey and friary. The principal seats are Abbeville, the residence of T. G. Hemsworth, Esq.; Portland, of J. Chapman, Esq.; Belle-Isle, of Lord Avonmore; Harvest Lodge, of - Stoney, Esq.; Ballymacegan, of T. Spunner, Esq.; Kilcarron, of A. Carew, Esq.; Grange, of - Palmer, Esq.; and the glebe-house, of the Rev. Archdeacon Knox. The village is pleasantly situated within three miles of the river Shannon, and a penny post has been established in connection with the office of Burris- O'Kane. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Killaloe, forming part of the union of Aglishcloghane; the tithes amount to £436. 9. 3. The glebehouse, towards the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits contributed a gift of £400 and a loan of £1200, in 1816, is a handsome residence; the glebe comprises 2¾ acres. The church has been recently repaired by a grant of £113 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. In the R. C, divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also the parish of Dorrha; the chapel is a plain modern building near the ruins of the Dominican friary, and there is also a chapel at Dorrha. A national school was erected in 1832, on a site given, with a liberal subscription, by Mr. Toone; the expense of the building was £150, towards which the Board contributed £70. There are also several private schools, and a dispensary. The remains of the Dominican abbey, of which the walls are nearly entire, are situated in a fertile spot on a rivulet which falls into the Shannon; the prevailing character is that of the early English style; the western gable is surmounted by a small belfry turret, and above the entrance is a handsome window; the bell, which at the suppression of the monastery had been taken down and hid in a field, was discovered about 30 years since and restored; the interior contains several mural tablets, of which one bears the arms of the Mac Egan family. There are some ruins of Ballyquirk castle, near which is a handsome modern house of that name, and also of Lackeen castle.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.