KILQUANE, or BALLYSHONBOY, a parish, in the barony of Costlea, county of LIMERICK, and province of MUNSTER, 2 miles (S.) from Kilmallock, on the road to Kilfinnan; containing 820 inhabitants.
This parish comprises 4112 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, the land in the lower part is tolerably good, and some of it under tillage; but nearly one-half of the parish is mountainous and uncultivated, and the greater portion of the remainder is in demesne and meadow. The mountains form the range of Jamestown, Ballyhough, Ballyshondebuie, and Ballylopin, extending to the boundary of the county of Cork; they everywhere afford good pasturage for sheep and young cattle, and comprise about 2000 acres, much, of which might be brought into cultivation. Among these mountains the unfortunate Earl of Desmond suffered many privations after his attainder in 1579, but the extensive woods and forests in which he took refuge, with the exception of those of Mount Coote and Riversfield, the former the seat of Chidley Coote, Esq. (described in the article on Kilmallock), and the latter of T. Weldon, Esq., have wholly disappeared. It is a rectory, appropriate to the see of Limerick: the tithes amount to £66. 3. 1., and the glebe comprises 12 acres. In the R. C. divisions it forms part of the union or district of Kilmallock. There is a private school, in which are about 65 children. Near Ballyshondehaigh is an ancient mansion, which was for many years the residence of the Hall family; near it are the remains of extensive fortifications.
At the base of the mountain, near Mount Russell, are the remains of the ancient church, which tradition supposes to have belonged to an establishment of Knights Templars. Great numbers of human bones found in this parish, and supposed to be those of the followers of the Earl of Desmond, have been collected and interred in the grounds of Mount Coote, near the spot where they were discovered.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.