FEACLE, a parish, in the barony of TULLA, county of CLARE, and province of MUNSTER, 4½ miles (W.N.W.) from Scariff, on the new road to Gort; containing 8844 inhabitants. This parish, which is the largest in the county, comprises about 30,000 statute acres, of which two-fifths consist of arable and pasture land, and the remainder, with the exception of 300 acres of woodland, is coarse mountain pasture, waste, and bog, a large portion of which is improvable. It presents, throughout, a succession of mountain and valley, extending to the confines of the county of Limerick, and includes the extensive and picturesque lake called Lough Graney, or "the lake of the sun," situated nearly in its centre.
Prior to the year 1828 there was scarcely a road on which a wheel carriage could be used; but through the spirited exertions of Jas. Moloney, Esq., of Kiltannan, excellent roads have been constructed, partly by the Board of Public Works and partly by the county; and this district has now a direct communication with Limerick, Gort, Ennis, Killaloe, and Loughrea. These roads encompass three sides of Lough Graney, the banks of which are in several places finely planted: the soil in the vicinity of the lake is well adapted for the growth of oak and larch; and it is expected that planting will be extensively carried on, and a considerable portion of the waste land brought into cultivation. A beautiful river flows from this lake, which is 18 feet above the level of the Shannon, through Lough O'Grady, at the south-eastern extremity and partly within the limits of the parish, and falls into the Shannon at Scariff bay, with which a navigable communication could be formed at a moderate expense, by a canal about five miles in length. A. court for the manor of Doonas is occasionally held by the seneschal, in which small debts are recoverable; and it is in contemplation to establish a court of petty sessions and a dispensary in the parish. There are several tuck-mills and a large bleach-green; and there were formerly extensive iron-works at a place still called Furnace-town. The gentlemen's seats are Caher, the occasional residence of Barry O'Hara, Esq., situated in a finely planted demesne on the banks of Lough Graney; Ayle, the ancient seat of J. McNamara, Esq.; Lakeview, of T. Bridgeman, Esq.; and Kilbarron, of E. McGrath, Esq., rebuilt on the site of the old mansion.
It is a rectory, vicarage, and perpetual cure, in the diocese of Killaloe; the rectory is part of the union of Omullod, the vicarage, part of the economy estate of the cathedral of Killaloe, and the perpetual cure is in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter, who, as trustees of the economy fund, allot a stipend of £69. 5. to the curate. The church, a small neat edifice, was built about the year 1823, by aid of a gift of £300 from the late Board of First Fruits. The R. C. parish is coextensive with that of the Established Church, and contains four chapels: the principal chapel, at Feacle, is a spacious cruciform structure, built in 1827, under the superintendence of the Rev. T. McInerny, at an expense of £1300; it is provided with galleries, and has a very handsome altar embellished with well-executed paintings and a very large bell: the site was granted gratuitously by Henry Butler, of Castle Crinn, Esq., who has also contributed £50 towards its erection. A schoolhouse on an extensive scale is now being built near the chapel by subscription. The chapel at Killenana is intended to be rebuilt, and those at Kilcleran and Cahirmurphy to be taken down, and a large chapel erected at Knockbeagh, on a site presented by J. Molony, Esq., who will also contribute liberally towards its erection. In a school, superintended and partly supported by the R. C.
clergyman, and four private schools, about 360 children are educated. Lead ore has been discovered at Glendree, and on the shores of Lough Graney is found a fine sand, chiefly composed of crystals, and much used for scythe boards.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.