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V- 



9 





THE SUIR 

From its Source to the Sea. 



THE Sum 



FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



L. M. MCCRAITH, 
Author of - A GREEN TREE. 



The gentle Suir, that, making way 

By sweet Clonmel, adorns rich Waterford.'' 

Spenser's "Faerie (Juce 



y loumcl : 

THE CLONMEL CHRONICLE NEWSPAPER AND POINTING 
WOUKS, LTD. 



JBrti (cation. 



M. J. E. a, 



THIS BOOK AND ITS WHITER 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 

" THE SONG OF THE Sum " . . . . . , . . 8 

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . 9 

TEMPLEMORE . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 

THURLES . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 

HOLY CROSS . . . . . . . . . . 18 

GOLDEN . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 

ATHASSEL PRIORY . . . . . . . . 23 

ST. PEKAUN'S WELL . . , . . . , . . . 27 

KNOCKGRAFFON . . . . . . . . . . 31 

THE KING'S STONE . . . . . . . . . . 33 

THE FORD OF KNOCKGRAFFON . . . . . . 34 

KlLLARDRIGH . . . . . . . . . . 3G 

CAHIR . . . . . . . . . . 36 

CAHIR ABBEY . . . . . . . , , , 38 

CAHIR CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . 39 

CAHIR PARK . . . . . . . . . . 44 

GARNAVILLA . . . . . . . . . . 45 

ROCHESTOWN . . . . . . . . . . 46 

ARDFINNAN . . . . . . . . . . . . J 7 

LADY ABBEY . . . . . . . . . . 50 

NEWCASTLE . . . . . . . . . . 50 

KNOCKLOFTY . . . . . . . . . . 51 

MARLFIELD . . . . . . . . . . 51 

INNISLONAGH ABBEY . . . . .'. . . . . 51 

ST. PATRICK'S "W ELL . . . . . . . . . . 52 

CLONMEL . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 

NEWTOWN ANNER . . . . . . . . 61 

SLIEVENAMON . . . . . . . . . . 61 

TICKINCOR CASTLE . . . . . . . . 63 

DERRINLAUR CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . 63 

GURTEEN-LE-POER . . . . . . . . 63 

KlLSHEELAN . . . . . . . . . . 64 

CARRICK-ON-SUIR . . . . . . . 64 

TYBROUGHNEY CASTLE . . . . . . . . 67 

FIDDOWN . . . . . . . - . . 67 

GRANNAH CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . 67 

WATERFORD. . . . . . . . . . . 68 

CHEEKPOINT . . . . . . . . . . 74 

DUNBRODY ABBEY . . . . . . . . . . 75 

NEW GENEVA . . . . . . . . . . 76 

CROOK . . . . . . . . . . 77 

PASSAGE 

DUNCANNON . . . . . . . . . . 77 

WOODSTOWN 

HOOK .. .. .. .. ..78 

DUNMORE 

CONCLUSION, &c. . . . . . . . . 78 

APPENDIX FISHING ON THE Sum . . . . . . 81 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGE. 

FRONTISPIECE CAHIR CASTLE FROM CAHIR PARK. " THE IYY-CI.AI> BUTLKR 

STRONGHOLD." 
CROWNING STONE, CROSS, AND ROYAL RESIDENCE. ROCK OF CASIIEL 

Funny 9 

"THE RIPPLE OF THE RIVER THROUGH THE RUSHES." Ax BAI.I.YPREHID . . 10 

' ' THE MYSTERiors ROCK OF Pious MEMORY " . . . . . . . . 13 

THE SOUTH TRANSEPT OF THE CATHEDUAL. ROCK OF T'ASHKL . . Funnij 14 

SKETCH MAP OF THE COURSE OF THE SUIR .. .. .. F<inn<i 10 

THE MOST PICTURESQUE VIEW OF HOLY CROSS ABBEY .. .. ,. is 

THE ARCADE, HOLY Cuoss ABBEY. " THE UNIQUE FEATURE" .. ., 21 

FLORIATED CROSS ON MONUMENTAL SLAB IN ATHASSEL PHIORY . . . . 24 

FIGURES ON MONUMENTAL SLAB IN ATHASSEL PRIORY . . . . . . 20 

"THE SHATTERED CROSS." ST. PEKAUN'S WELL .. .. ..28 

"No WORK OF NATURE." THE MOTE OF KNOCKGRAFFON. .. Facing 31 

THE KING'S STONE . . . . , . . . . . . . 33 

" THE OLD MILL WHEEL STILL TURNS " .. .. .. ..37 

CAHIR ABBEY . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 

"CAHIR CASTLE HAS CHANGED LITTLE DURING THE CENTURIES." ., Fm-inii 40 

"THE LOTFLY GREEN BANKS OF THE Sum." CAHIU PARK .. .. 41 

LATE AUTUMN. CAHIR PARK . . . . . . . . . . 43 

THE SUIR FROM RAILWAY BRIDGK, CAHIK .. .. .. .. 44 

THE SUIR AT ARDFINNAN .. .. .. .. .. Facing 48 

OLD MAP OF CLONMEL . . . . . . . . . . Facing .">'> 

THE WEST GATE, CLONMEL . . . . . . . . . . ..">."> 

OLD QUAY AND BRIDGE, CLONMEL . . . . . . . . 5G 

ST. MARY'S CHURCH, CLONMEL . . . . . . . . . . o7 

POULTREALAGH, CLONMEL . . . . . . . . . . . . 5S 

THE Sum FI.OM SUIR ISLAND, CLONMEL .. ,. .. :,o 

" LIKE A LONG SABRE AT A WARRIOR'S HIP" .. .. .. ..GO 

"THE FRIARY is BUILT ON THE OLD FOUNDATION " .. .. Facing f>0 

"THE HOUSE AT THE W T EIR." TICKINCOR .. .. .. ..62 

KlLSHEELAN BRIDGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . G4 

CARKICK CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . . . Facing (55 

GRANNAH CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . . . Facing G7 

REGINALD'S TOWER, WATERFORD . . . . . . . . . . 70 

CHBEKPOFNT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 

" CALM REFLECTIONS." TAHIR ABBEY.. .. ..80 



NOTE. The Author is indebted to Mr. PHILIP CONDON, Photo- 
grapher, Cahir, for kind permission to use several copyright 
photographs of Cahir and neighbourhood ; and to the Proprietors 
of, Waterford Netcs, Mr. TV. Clarke, Clonmel, and the Editors of 
Tipperary** Annual, for the loan of several blocks. 



of tlje 



If you hear the river sing in youth's sweet spring, 
When primrose gold is all you seek, the primrose gold that fairies fling 
In this Old Land, the Ever Young, hear u-hen the fresh cheek flushes 
The ripple of the river through the rushes. 

You can hear it at high noon in sunny June, 

While swallows skim, and salmon leap, or underneath the lovers' 1 moon 
When you picture loved one's blushes, and hear through songs of thrushes 
The ripple of the river through the rushes. 

You may hear it in the fall, recalling all 

Old scenes, old friends, old ways, old days, old /topi* come back at its soft call. 
Just an echo ! Yet the yearning for it sweeps the heart in gushes 
The ripple of the river through the rushes. 

You shall hear it through the cold ivhen you are old, 

Through storm and stress and winter frost and chill that comes from greed of gold, 
Shall hear, who heard it long ago, till death your hearing hushes 
The ripple of the river through the rushes. 

L. M. MeCRAITH. 




[From a Drawing ly tTie 
Crowning Store, Cross, and Royal Residence. Rock of Gashel. 



Introduction. 



" THE SUIR, the Barrow, and the Xore began to flow on the night that 
King Conn of the Hundred Battles was born," write the old Annalists. 
The source of the Suir is in the Devil's Bit Mountains, in North Tip- 
perary, about six miles north-west of the town of Templemore. 

As travellers on the Great Southern and Western Railway of Ire- 
land leave Ballybrophy Junction and glide out into the great plain 
known as " the Golden Vein" of Tipperary, the most unobservant must 
notice the " Gap," or " Bite," in the steep range of hills iipon their 
right. The Devil we are told was pursuing an adversary, and, being 
Immgry and angry, he bit a great piece out of that mountain-top. Then, 
in his rage, as he sped over the sweeping plain, he spat it out again at 
his opponent. So it comes that the Rock of Cashel, a mass of 
limestone, rises, inconsequently, out of the green pastures of " the 
Golden Vein." This is the account given by a people to whom God, 
the Unseen, Good and Evil, are still things real enough to seem tangible. 
Others, more learned, talk more convincingly to modern ears of 
glacial epochs and scorings. But there in the plain rises this 
mysterious Rock of pious memory, 300 feet high crowning place 
pilgrims' goal holy ground " Cashel of the Kings." 

Few views in the Three Kingdoms can rival that from the tower of 
the ruined Cathedral on the Rock of Cashel. Although the sea is hidden 
behind the Knockmealdowns and the Waterford Mountains, and the 
river itself is hidden by its wooded banks, the view embraces the whole 
valley of the Suir. From this centt-e of the ancient Kingdom of Munster, 
the capital of the Soiithern Half (Leth Mogha) of Erin, a glorious circle 
of mountains may be surveyed, within which circle some of the most 
stirring events of Ireland's history have taken place. The Suir flows 
southwards from the Devil's Bit to TEMPLEMOHE and THURLES. Then, 
meeting the magninceitt range of the Galtees, it turns eastward beyon'd 
CAHIR, and winds its L-shaped way between the Waterford Mountains 
and the Commeraghs, forming the boundary, first, between the Counties 
of Waterford jwid Tipperary, and, then, between those of Waterford 



10 THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



and Kilkenny, until it reaches the sea, by way of CLOXMEL, CARRICK, and 
WATERFORD. 

ST. PATRICK founded a church upon the Rock of Cashel. He bap- 
tised the Chieftain ^Engus there, and held a Synod, together with St. 
Ailbe and St. Declan. He annexed the Bock in the name of Christianity 
for all time. But what did he find there ? 

Before St. Patrick's day, the " Caisel," or stone fort, already ex- 
isted, and Cashel was a King's residence. May be, the strange old 
Round Tower perfect still, and now built into the south-eastern angle 




"The Ripple of the River through the Rushes." At Ballydrehid. [Photo // the Author. 

of the south transept of the Cathedral stood there even then. Cer- 
tainly the great hollow stone, which now forms the pedestal of one of 
the oldest High Crosses in Ireland, was then upon the Rock. It was 
probably used for the sacrificial rites of the Druids. Later, the Kings 
of Munster were crowned upon it. Some even claim that this and not 
the stone under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey is the 
true " Lia Fail," or Stone of Destiny. The cross placed upon it is 
now but a fragment. Its age is certified by the fact that the figure 
of the Crucified, upon the one side, is clothed, as in all earliest repre- 
sentation. Fpon the east side there is the pontifical figure, with the 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 11 



pastoral staff, and hand raised in blessing, which, tradition has always 
held, represents St. Patrick. 

At the coming of St. Patrick, Tara was the seat of Irish govern- 
ment. It was then at the climax of its importance. The Irish High 
King (Ard-Righ) LAOGHAIRE (pronounced LEAHY) was a sovereign 
civilised enough to require a Code of the Laws of Ireland, and he was 
surrounded by a court of learned Druids, accomplished Brehons (lawyers) 
and Shanachies (story-tellers) with memories stored with history. 

After the well-known episode of the preaching of this " Shaven- 
crown" at Tara, and the miracle of the Easter Fire, Laoghaire con- 
sented, at least, to persecute no longer. But for himself paganism was 
good enough. He desired to die and be buried, like his fathers, stand- 
ing, in his full war-apparel and with all his weapons, his face towards 
his foes. Others might lie prone, with feet towards the dawn, not 
he. But the new Faith might exist with the old Druidism. It might 
even become the State religion. So much did St. Patrick accomplish. 

The Ard-Righ of Ireland held sovereignty at Tara by the choice of 
the lesser Kings, and by force of arms. As centuries went on, the 
Southern Kingdom of Minister increased in strength, and Cashel the 
ancient seat of the Minister Kings became the successful rival of Tara, 
cursed and deserted. The Southern Half (now Leth Mogha) of Ireland 
elected the King of Cashel. At times as in the case of the scholar- 
saint, Cormac Mac Cullinan one man combined the offices of Bishop 
and Monarch. This Cormac was killed at the battle of Ballaghmoon 
in 908. He was the compiler of the " Saltair of Cashel" now unfortu- 
nately lost and the author of many books and poems; but it is doubtful 
if he was the founder of that crown of Irish ecclesiastical art, still the 
glory of the Rock of Cashel, namely, " Cormac's Chapel." This unique 
and exquisite building was probably the work of another Cormac, also 
King and Bishop Cormac MacCarthy and it was completed, probably, 
in 1134. In this chapel the strange and symbolical art of old Erin 
reached its full flower. Rich carvings adorn evei"y stone. Those old 
craftsmen knew their lesson, and could teach it. Therefore, round the 
chancel arch they carved quaint heads. Those at the sides are distorted, 
horrible, and look down. Above the round arch the faces are calm 
and fair and look upward; for "men may rise on stepping-stones of 
their dead selves to higher things." 

In this Chapel is the great sarcophagus, once known as " the Font," 
which, most probably, was the resting-place of Cormac Mac Art's bones. 



12 THB SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 

It was removed from a recess in the north wall outside the Chapel in 
the last century. In it was found the Crozier of exquisite gold-work 
now in the National Museum in Dublin. It is broken, but the match- 
less interlacing, deeply carved upon the stone, may still be traced. 
Careful study discloses a design of grotesque greyhounds and serpents.* 
The serpents are swallowing \ip the greyhounds. Time is the Swift 
Greyhound. The Serpent has long been used in art as the symbol of 
Eternity. Therefore, on the great Munster King's coffin, the Celtic 
artists set forth their hope of that Eternity which swallows up Time. 
The old craftsmen teach still. We have not yet mastered their lesson. 

Once but only once in her troubled history Ireland was united 
under one King. This King was BRIEN BOROIMHE (" of the Tribute"), 
that mighty slayer of invading Danes, sometimes called " the Irish 
Alfred." Brien became King of Munster on the death of his brother 
Mahon in 976, and assumed the position of Ard-Righ, or High King, in 
1001. He was slain, in the hour of victory, by the retreating Danes 
after the Battle of Clontarf on Good Friday, 1014. It was during the 
days of Brien that ft was said a maiden might go from end to end of 
Ireland alone, covered with jewels and unattended, and yet fear no 
attack upon honour or upon possessions, so just and powerful was his 
rule. While Brien was King of Munster, about 990, he built for him- 
self the Royal Residence upon the Rock of Cashel. 

Brien's descendant, and successor in the Munster Kingdom, DONAL 
MOH O'BRIEN (Mor, " the Great") was a notable church builder. He 
greatly increased the endowments of the See of Cashel, and by 1169 he 
had built the Cathedral on the summit of the Rock. He was obliged to 
fit his Cathedral in between the ancient Round Tower, the glorious little 
Church of Cormac even then, perhaps, " old-fashioned," or even gre- 
tesque, to some and the more recent Royal Residence. Thus it comes 
that we find, crowded together on this mysterious limestone hill, four 
buildings which are among the most remarkable in all Ireland. They 
form a combination of unrivalled interest. All these worthy buildings 
were erected previous to the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169. 

The English connection with Cashel began in 1172. In that year, 
HENRY II. of England came there to receive the " submission" of flie 
Irish Kings and chiefs at the ancient seat of the Southern Kingdom. 
The Kings and chiefs did homage, but they were probably quite ignorant 
of the meaning of those fe\>dal rites to which they were expected to con- 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



form. Henry II also held a Srnod at Cashel, with the object of effecting 
conformity between Irish and English religions practices. 

The vows of allegiance were quickly broken by King Donald Mor 
O'Brien, and, in 1174, STROXGBOW marched out of his territories in 
Leinster to Cashel to give him battle. With Donald Mor of Minister 
was CONOR, son of Roderick, the last Ard-Righ of Ireland. Strongbow 
was defeated at Thurles, and compelled to retreat to Waterford. 

The town of Cashel was many times burnt, and, in 1194, the Cathe- 
dral was burnt also by Gerald (GARET MOR), " the Great Earl" of Kil- 
dare. He defended the act when questioned by Henry VII. by sayi"g 




'The Mysterious Rock of Pious Memory.' 



'Photo IKJ P. Condon Cah : 



that " never would he have done it but that he was sure his enemy, 
Archbishop CREAGHE, was within it." His answer amused the King, 
and when the great Geraldine's accusers cried: " All Ireland cannot rule 
this man!" Henry VII replied: " Then he shall rule all Ireland!" The 
penurious monarch may have realised that this was the cheapest method 
of governing his turbulent Irish Kingdom. 

The most notable, and notorious, of burnings, however, was that by 
Cromwell's man, Lord IXCHIQUIX, in 1647. The priests and people of 
Cashel had taken refuge within the Cathedral and Residence and for- 
tified them, but were destroyed utterly by fire and sword. Henceforward 



14 THE SCIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 

Inchiquin went by the name of " Morrough of the Burnings" through- 
out Ireland. From the days of the Stuarts Cashel began to decline. 
The Cathedral was desecrated and devastated. In the next century 
the Protestant Archbishop, PRICE, unroofed it, and completed its ruin, 
for which act, it is said, his ghost is still compelled to wander in the 
corridors of the Deanery, a beautiful old mansion at the foot of the 
Rock, which was, in former days, the Bishop's Palace. 

The seven great, straight highways still converge upon Cashel, as 
if the poor little town of some three thousand inhabitants were still the 
hub of the wheel, the centre of a Kingdom. But no history is made 
at " Cashel of the Kings" nowadays. Until recently, life's river passed 
it by, and left it in a backwater: for there was no railway within ten 
miles. Now a branch line connects Cashel with Goold's Cross, on the 
G.S. and AV. Railway, and lands travellers at the very foot of the Rock. 



<8~8> 




The South Transept of the Cathedral 



Rock of Cashel. 'J'hoto lij tin Author. 



The Course of the River. 



TEMPLEMOBE, 

THE first town through which the Suir flows is Templemore, eleven 
miles north of Casliel. It is a pleasant town of some 2,500 inhabitants, 
charmingly situated upon the river's banks. Probably the TEAMPFLL 
MOB (or " Great Church") from which the town takes its name existed 
before the coming of the Anglo-Normans, but this name is also said to 
be derived from the Preceptory founded here by the Knights Templars 
in the twelfth century. The square keep of the ancient Castle of the 
Templars, which was afterwards destroyed by fire, is all now remaining 
in Templemore to recall to posterity those military monks, in their white 
tunics, with their red cross banners, their untrimmed beards, and their 
uncrested helmets. The Order of " the Poor Soldiers of the Holy 
City," which originated in 1117, was abolished, under circumstances of 
cruelty and injustice, by Philip IV. (Le Bel) of France and Pope Cle- 
ment V. in 1312. 

In the grounds of " The Abbey" there is the gable-end of a ruined 
church. A round-headed doorway and a two-light Gothic window still 
remain. 

The picturesque range of the Devil's Bit Mountains, distant some 
five miles, overlooks the town. There are substantial military barracks, 
with accommodation for 1,000 men, and 50 officers. These were built 
since the time of which George Borrow speaks in his " Lavengro," when 
he describes Templemore as "a large military station in wild and thinly 
inhabited country." In the same chapter he writes : " One of the most 
peculiar features of this part of Ireland is the ruined castles, which are 
so thick and numeroxis that the face of the country seems studded with 
them, it being difficult to choose any situation from which one, at least, 
may not be descried. They are of various ages and styles of architec- 
ture, some of great antiquity, like the stately remains which crown the 
Crag of Cashel; others built by the early English conquerors; others 
and probably the greater part erections of the time of Elizabeth and 
Cromwell the whole speaking monuments of the troubled and insecure 
state of the country from the most remote periods to a comparatively 
modern time." 



16 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 

This description of the district about Templemore applies to the 
whole valley of the Suir. The Anglo-Normans seized upon the fertile 
lands of " the Golden Vein," and the Butlers, and the rest, established 
a Pale, which the greater number of these castles, or tower-houses, 
were built to protect. These were always surrounded by a bawn, or 
enclosed courtyard, into which retainers, their families, and possessions, 
as well as cattle, could be crowded upon the reported advance of an 
enemy, whose movements might be flashed by signal from one tower to 
another over a wide area. These splendid specimens of masonry have 
defied time and weather, and are characteristic features of the whole 
of the country watered by the Suir. Their history is, in most cases, 
lost, and only a few of the more important are alluded to in these pages. 
" Neither chief nor clansman went far to marry, or to bury, in those 
old days," says Sir William Butler, that notable soldier-son of Tipperary, 
in his " Autobiography." " Wherever you find one of those lonely, 
lofty, square stone towers, called ' castles,' in Ireland, you will also 
find, close by, the ruined church, with mounds and mouldering Ueadstones 
aroiind it." 



THTJRLES 

SOME eight miles from Templemore, spreading itself upon both banks 
of the Suir, is the ancient town of Thurles. The town has a distinctive, 
old-world, almost ecclesiastical, character of its own. Its name is a cor- 
ruption of the Irish DURLAS, a fortress. In the " Annals of the Four 
Masters" we read of a chief of Durlas, by name Maelduin, who was 
slain in 660 A.D. Thurles was the scene of one of the few signal defeats 
of the Danes by the Irish. This took place in the tenth century, and 
was long remembered and recorded locally. As has been said. Thurles 
was also the scene of the defeat of Strongbow by a coalition of Irish 
chiefs in 1174. When Strongbow heard that Conor and Donal Mor were 
advancing against him, he sent to Dublin for help. A contingent of 
Danish settlers and Norman soldiers, natural allies, came to his assis- 
tance. They endeavoured to join him at Thurles, but there, by the 
banks of the Suir, 1,700 of Strongbow's men were slain. Donal Mor 
O'Brien was in command that day, and it would seem that the field was 
a fortunate spot to him ; for when he returned to that same place 
seventeen years later, to fight another battle against the English, he 
was again victorious. In 1197, however, six years afterwards, the Kng- 
lish took Thurles, and " burnt many churches and temples." 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



Among the many notable Normans who established themselves in 
Ireland (and in time became " more Irish than the Irish") were the 
BUTLERS. Th3obald FitzWalter came in the train of Henry II. in 1172. 
He was kin to Thomas A'Becket, and it was part of the, King's accepted 
penance that he should ennoble all the murdered Archbishop's rela- 
tives. Henry II. gave FitzWalter large grants of Irish land, in return 
for which FitzWalter was to act as the King's Chief Butler and to 
hand him a cup of wine after his Coronation. Hence the name of the 
family. The Butlers ever remained loyal to the Sovereign whose vas- 
sals they were, and were frequently in opposition to that other powerful 
Norman house, the Fitzgeralds, or Geraldines, who were descended from 
Strongbow's Knight, son-in-law, and right-hand, Raymond Le Ciros, 
and were represented by the Earls of Kildare and Desmond. 

The Butlers obtained large possessions in Wicklow, and in fertile 
Tipperary, and early in the thirteenth century became possessed of 
Thurles. The Butlers were ever notable as castle-builders, and founders 
of religious houses. They began to build on the banks of the Snir. 
Within the last half-century there were remains of no fewer than nine 
castles in this town. James Butler was created Earl of Ormonde in 
1328. About that time (1324) he caused the castle to be built, the 
Norman keep of which still guards the bridge across the slow-flowing 
Suir. The Butlers also built, or endowed, Carmelite and Franciscan 
Monasteries at Thurles, and there, as well as at Templemore, the 
Knights Templars established a Preceptory. Viscount Thurles still re- 
mains the inferior title of the Marquis of Ormonde, the head of the 
Butler family. 

Thurles to-day is an important and thriving town of about -5,000 
inhabitants. It has a notable horse fair, and it is the centre of a rich 
grazing and grain-growing district. It is the seat of the Arch- 
diocese of Cashel and Diocese of Emly, and contains a magnificent 
Roman Catholic Cathedral and a handsome archiepiscopal residence. 
The bells and the organ of the Cathedral are notably fine. There is 
also a fine Roman Catholic College, two convents, and a monastery, the 
whole forming, as it were, a kind of religions quarter. Thurles was the 
scene of the famous Roman Catholic Synod in 18-50. 

From Thurles onward the Suir flows through the country of which 
the poet Spenser said that it was " the richest champain that may else 
be rid." Soon there comes in sight the mountain which he speaks of 
as " the best and fairest hill that was in all this Holy Island's heights." 
namely, (Jaltee Mor, the highest peak of the Galtee range. 



18 



THE SUIR FBOM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



HOLY CKOSS. 

BEYOND Thurles, the Suir, now a broad and shallow stream, flows lazily, 
through sedge and reeds and fringes of flowering water-weeds, between 
some of the finest pasture lands in Minister. About three miles south- 




"The Most Picturesque View of Holy cross Abbey. 



I n Drawing // the Author. 



west of Thurles, on the right bank, low down by the river-side, stands 
the lovely ruin of the once far-famed Abbey of Holy Cross. 

This Abbey was founded in 1168, for Benedictines, by that inde- 
fatigable church-builder, Donal Mor O'Brien, King c? Minister. The 
original charter is still in existence, by which it appears that, about 
1182, the Abbey was transferred from the Black Monks to the White 
that is, from the Benedictines to the Cistercians. Early in the twelfth 
century (1110), the Pope, Pascal II., gave to the grandson of Brien 
Boroinihe, Donough O'Brien, a bit of the True Cross. It was magni- 
ficently enshrined and set about with precious stones, and confided to 
the care of the Cistercians. In 1214 this Abbev was re-built, and about 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 19 

that time the sacred relic, which gave its name to HOLY CROSS, came 
to its resting-place on the banks of the Suir. This relic, being amongst 
the most revered in Christendom, the Abbey was, for over three and a 
half centuries, one of the most frequented places of pilgrimage in Ire- 
land. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth the English described the relic 
as " the idol which the Irish more superstitiously reverence than all the 
idolatries in Ireland." 

In 1600, the great Hugh O'Neill came in state to Holy Cross to 
visit the holy relic, for reasons no less political than pious. " He 
marched through the centre of the island at the head of his troops to 
the South a kind of royal progress, which he thought tit to call a pil- 
grimage to Holy Cross. He held princely state there, concerted 
measures with the Southern lords, and distributed a manifesto an- 
nouncing himself as the accredited Defender of the Faith." 

In 1603, Red Hugh O'Donnell came to Holy Cross, on his way to 
the disastrous battle of Kinsale, and demanded that the fragment of 
the True Cross should be borne out to him at the West Door to bless 
him on his way. 

The Abbey of Holy Cross was suppressed in 1536, at the break-up of 
the monastic orders in Ireland. In 1563, Elizabeth conferred the Abbey 
lands upon Gerald Earl of Ormonde. The Butlers remained friendly, 
if not faithful, to the Old Faith, and the line of Abbots continued at 
Holy Cross until as late as 1700. The relic also passed eventually into 
Butler hands. It was exposed for public veneration for the last time 
in Holy Cross Abbey about the year 1632. In that year, Walter, 
eleventh Earl of Ormonde, seeing his grandson, the first Duke, had be- 
come a Protestant, confided the relic to Catholic keeping, " until such 
time as the House of Ormonde should return to the Old Faith." Sub- 
sequently, it passed through various hands, until in 1809 it was given 
to the Catholic Bishop of Cork, who deposited the relic in the Frsuline 
Convent in Cork. It continues in the Frsulines' keeping, having moved 
with them to Blackrock. 

Perhaps the most interesting thing which remains in ruined Holy 
Cross Abbey is the lovely little pillared shrine between the two side- 
chapels in the north transept. This arcade is a fine example of 
thirteenth century carving. Its pointed arches spring from a double 
row of beautifully twisted pillars. Its roof is a marvel of graceful 
groining. Every variety of delightful detail has been lavished upon 
this little sanctuary. Its sides are elaboratelv adorned with fine 



20 THE SU-JR FKOM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 

carving. The design of two doves and two owls, kissing, is repeated 
upon the panels, and the beautiful Gothic details show a French in- 
fluence. The elaborate wealth of detail and the loving workmanship 
point to some special, and important, purpose for this unique feature. 
It has been suggested that here the dead Cistercians lay before burial. 
But surely no dead brother, but rather the Belie the True Cross itself 
occupied such a shrine? Was it within this greatly ornamented little 
arcade that the Relic was preserved when not exposed upon the Gospel 
side of the High Altar? This is, however, a matter of controversy. 

Another matter of keen controversy is " the Tomb of the Good 
Woman's Son." Who was " the Good Woman"? Why are the Royal 
Arms of England carved on the shields between the arches of the canopy 
of the Tomb, together with those of Ormonde and Desmond? Was 
" the Good Woman" an English Queen, her son a Plantagenet Prince? 
Was he " Pierce the Fair," son of Isabella of Angoulsme, the widow of 
King John, by her second husband, Le Brim, Count of Le Marche and 
half-brother of King Henry III. ? His death is recorded by the Four 
Masters as having occurred in Ireland in 1233. Many maintain that 
this canopied monument is nothing more than a beautifully elaborate 
three-seated sedellia for the priests. Others suggest that it is the 
tomb of one who re-built the Abbey of Holy Cross, "in a far finer style 
than that of King Donald," at the close of the fourteenth centxiry. The 
position, at the north side of the High Altar, is that usually assigned 
to founders. 

Legend and tradition tell a more mysterious and interesting tale. 
The personality of " the Good Woman's Son" is sufficiently interesting 
to make it worth while to quote the local story, as told hfl- the custodian 
of the ruins, in her own words : 

" The King of England's son he was, and he was sent over to Ire- 
land to collect the Peter's Pence for the Pope. Now, there was a family 
in these parts in those times by name Geratty, and they knew of all 
the money the young Prince had with him. So they followed him to a 
lonely place, and and set upon him and killed him there, and stole the 
money. Then they buried the body in the soft ground in the wood, 
without waiting to know was the life gone out of it altogether or int. 

" Xow, in the Abbey of Holy Cross at this time there was an old 
monk, and he was blind. One night he dreamed a dream. He dreamt 
that the Good Woinan, his mother, had placed upon the young prince's 



THE SCIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



finger a sacred ring, and if the monk could touch that ring he would 
get hack his sight. And he told his dream to the Abbot. Again he 
dreamed the dream, and he saw the very place where the Prince was, 
in a wood not far away. And the third time he dreamed the dream, 
and he told the Abbot. After that the Abbot gave him leave to take one 
of the younger brethren and go search for the spot, to satisfy him. 




The Arcade, Holy Cross Abbey. "The Unique Feature.' 



<iy by the Anthi 



" So the two went, but nothing could they find. In the end, when 
the young monk was for taking the blind one back to the Abbey again, 
what did he see, sticking up out of the ground, but a man's hand? And 
there was a ring on it! The old monk took hold of the ring,, and the 
sight came back to him ! 

" By that means the Prince's body was found, and brought to Holy 
Cross for burial. And when ' the Good Woman,' his mother, heard of 
it, she sent grand presents to the Abbey, and she had this grand tomb 
put over 1*e spot Avhere the monks buried him. 

" As for the Gerattys, thfre was a curse on them for what the# 
had done, and after it tluey cljanged their name, and went by the name 
of Fogertty, and sorry enough they were for their crime. There is a 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



stone here, set in the corner of the High Altar of course, it is only set 
up by the Board of Works to show where the High Altar stood, for the 
dear knows where the real stones were thrown to by the soldiers when 
they were quartered in the ruins a hundred years ago and there is a 
little round hole right through that stone. That hole was bored through 
the stone by the dropping of a tear. For seven generations they re- 
pented, and as the tear wore the hole through the slab of stone the 
curse wore away from the Fogerttys. 

" So some say, anyway, and a priest wrote it all down in a book 
lately so I'm told and sure isn't it as likely as not it is true, after 
all?" 

The chief beauty of Holy Cross Abbey which remains are its 
windows. Their tracery is, perhaps, unmatched in perfection in Ire- 
land, and its elaboration points to the fourteenth, rather than the 
twelfth, century. Xo doubt they belong to the period of the Abbey's 
splendid restoration whenever exactly that took place. The reticulated 
(or " honeycomb") east window is notably fine. It is particularly 
beautiful when observed from the opposite bank of the Suir, from which 
the most picturesque view of Holy Cross Abbey may be obtained. The 
plan of the Church of the Holy Cross is cruciform, with double side- 
chapels. Quaint bits of carving here and there have escaped the hand 
of the spoiler and the ignorant. But for many years the Abbey passed 
from one to another, and fell into a lamentable condition. About thirty 
years ago the Board of Works took over the ruin, restored it 
to some decency and order, and ensured its preservation. The cloisters, 
however, are in private hands, and the Cloister garth is used as a croquet 
ground. 

The site of Holy Cross is unimpressive. Thick groves of trees now 
surround the ruins, which are of gi-eat extent, and in remarkably good 
preservation, all things considered. Little houses cluster round the 
approaches to the Abbey, as they may have done in the monastic days. 
It is not easy to picture the stately processions which must have 
crossed the old bridge and wound their way to the West Door. Holy 
Cross has still about it a peaceful, graceful, scholastic charm hard to 
describe or define, not easy to account for. Perhaps the aura of calm, 
holy, austere lives still lingers, like the perfume in dead rose-leaves. 
There is a homeliness about Holy Cross, for all that its rule was Cis- 
tercian and its Abbots Lords of Parliament and Vicars-General of the 
Order, as well as " Earls of Holy Cross." 



THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 23 



The Suir at Holy Cross is spanned by an ancient bridge, which was 
built in 16'26 by James Butler, Baron Dunboyne, and his wife Margaret 
O'Brien, a descendant, doubtless, of King Donald, the Abbey's founder. 
Their pious act is recorded in Latin on a carved stone set in the wall 
facing the ruins. It bears the Butler and O'Brien arms, with the 
initials of James and Margaret, and a Latin inscription, which ends: 
" His precor ante abitum verbo non amplius uno evadat stygio> auctor 
uterq. lacus," and bids the traveller to " say a short prayer that both 
the builders may escape the Stygian Lake.'' 

It was only natural, in mediaeval days, that bridge building should 
be accounted a blessed and meritorious deed. Women, to whom the 
difficulties of media?val travelling, no doubt, came home with special 
force, were ever foremost in this work in Ireland. The famoxis and 
beautiful Margaret O'Carroll, " An Kinigh" ("The Bountiful"), was long 
remembered as a Builder of Bridges, as well as a giver of feasts, in the 
fifteenth century. In this case, another Margaret evidently followed 
her example a century later. 

GOLDEN. 

FROM Holy Cross, the Suir ripples on quietly past the little village -,f 
Golden, sometimes known as " Golden Bridge." The few houses cluster 
on both banks of the river, which is here crossed by a long, stone bridge 
of great antiquity. In the middle, on an island, there are remains of 
the old circular tower which, in bye-gone days, protected this pass of the 
Suir. In 1690 the citizens of Cashel, having hospitably received ai.d 
entertained the adherents o*f William III. who had been woiindecl at the 
siege of Limerick, that monarch restored by letter the Charter of the 
City of Cashel. The letter is said to have been written on the Bridge of 
Golden, and is still in the keeping of the Cashel Corporation. There are 
many ruined mills and castles in the vicinity of the river. One old tower 
is picturesquely utilised as the gateway to a modern home of the Scully 
family. 

ATHASSEL PEIOEY. 

ABOUT a mile or more south of Golden, upon the east bank of the Suir, 
are the imposing ruins of Athassel Priory. 

Magnificence of plan, splendour of achievement, these are the ir- 
resistible impressions left on the mind by the remains of this great 
Augustinian foundation. The ruins cover acres of level ground beside 



24 THE Sum FBOM ITS SOURCE TO THK SEA. 



the river, the site being chosen with the usual judgment and taste of the 
monks of the olden time. The Nave is one hundred and twenty feet 
in length, and nearly sixty feet broad. The West Door is still sufficiently 
preserved to show its bold and splendid workmanship. There are wide 
transepts, and many side chapels, which follow the usual Cistercian and 
Augustinian plan. The walls and dimensions of an imposing gate- 




Floriated Cross on Monumental Slab in Athassel Priory. 

house, groined guest-parlour, chapter house, dormitories, and farmery 
may still be traced. All speak, even still, of a large community, inv- 
portant guests, powerful patrons, and secure endowments. 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 25 



The patrons of Athassel were the De Burghos. Tlie Priory was 
founded about 1200 by William FitzAldhelm de Burgho, a Norman 
Knight, and kinsman of Henry II. In 1176, Henry 11. sent his kins- 
man de Burgho, with a train of nobles, to Ireland to govern the country 
as the King's " Lord Justice," or viceroy, after Henry's depart i.iv. 
FitzAldhelm founded a powerful family in Ireland, which allied itself 
with the De Lacys and the Butlers, and became, and for centuries re- 
mained, the strongest opponent to the famous Geraldines of Kildare and 
Desmond. Theobald FitzWalter, the first Butler, received the lands 
of Athassel and Ardmayle as part of the marriage portion of his wife, 
Margery, grand-daughter of William Fit/Aldhelm. Previous to this 
marriage, William had founded the Priory on the Suir at Athassel for 
Canons Regular of the Order of St. Augustine. He was buried within 
the Priory walls in 1204. The spot is uncertain, but there are several 
interesting carved monumental stones on the floor of the ruins, almost 
hidden by weeds and nettles. Upon one, which might well he the 
founder's tomb from its position, there is a beautiful floriated incl.ed 
cross. The altar in one of the side chapels is remarkable for haii:r.; 
retained its original altar-stone, marked with five crosses for the Five 
Wounds of Our Lord, as was usual in early days. Most of these stones 
were removed, or destroyed, after the Reformation. 

William FitzAldhelm's grandson, Walter, who died from battle 
wounds in his castle of Galway on July 28, 1271, was brought for br.rial 
to " Athassel by the Sure." Walter was the first de Burgho Eari of 
Ulster, that title coming to him through his wife, Maud, the only child 
of Hugh de Lacy, one of the first Anglo-Xorman invaders. 

Possibly it is the face of de Lacy's daughter which we can still trace 
cut on the stone slab beside the High Altar. She holds a processional 
cross in her left hand, and looks towards the figure of her husband, in 
his ample robe and flowing locks, depicted upon the left side of the slab. 
She has a long nose, tight lips, and narrow eyes a face full of suppressed 
power. The man's face beside hers is a weaker one, with a pointed 
chin. He is represented as either bald or tonsured. Possibly, Walter 
in later life took some religious vows at Athassel. 

Although the ruins at Athassel have been taken over, and partially 
restored, by the Board of Works, the present condition of these interesting 
monumental slabs, prone upon the ground and obscured by grass, nettles, 
and damp weeds, leaves much to be desired. 

Walter's son and successor was the famous " Red Earl," Richard, 



26 



THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



second Earl of Ulster. He was accounted the most powerful Irish sxib- 
ject of Henry III., and, probably, he did not account himself a subject 
at all. In the days of the feeble Edward II. he vied with the King's 
favourite, Piers Gaveston, for the office of Lord Deputy, and, on Gaves- 
ton's recall, sxicceeded him. He spent his life at war with the Geral- 
dines until, in 1304, he made alliance with them by the marriages of two 
of his daughters. Another of his daughters Elizabeth became the 




Figures on Monumental Slab in Athassel Priory. 

second wife of Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, and followed him in 
his wanderings and hardships, although, it would seem, unwillingly. 

The Red Earl was suspected of Bruce leanings during the invasions 
of Edward Bruce in 1315. He was imprisoned in 1316, but was released 
by order of Edward III. Some ten years later, after a strenuous and 
stirring career, he sought the rest of religious retirement. The old 
man attended the Parliament held in Kilkenny in 1326. He gave a 
farewell banquet of great magnificence, and then he withdrew to his 



THE SOR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



favourite " Athassel neare to Cashel." By Midsummer Day, 1326, he 
was dead. Doubtless the day of the Red Earl's burial in Athassel saw 
the zenith of the Priory's splendeur. 

Richard's grandson, William, known as " the Brown Earl," who 
succeeded him, was the last de Burgho Earl of Ulster. He was slain 
by treachery at Carrig Fergus (Carrickfergus) in 1333. On his death 
his Countess, Maud Plantagenet (a great grand-daughter of Htnry II.), 
fled to the English Court with her only child, the little Elixaheth de 
Burgho, who afterwards became the wife of Lionel Duke of Clarence, 
and brought the Earldom of Ulster to the English Crown. Several 
branches of the de Burgho family settled in the West as well as the 
South of Ireland, and spelt their name Burke, or Bourke. 

During his lifetime " the Brown Earl" was in conflict with the 
Chief of Munster, Bryan O'Brien. Bryan defeated him in 1329, over- 
ran Tipperary County, burnt the village of Athassel, and, as it would 
appear, the Priory as well, although this is not stated. 

It is likely that after Bryan's burnings the central tower (now 
over seventy feet high) fell in, and was reconstructed upon a barrel 
arch, traces of which remain, instead of on the groined roof which, evi- 
dently, had broken down. Certain interesting architectural features 
point to reconstruction about this date. 

Athassel Priory was dissolved during the reign of Edward VI. In 
the reign of his sister Mary it was granted by the Crown to Thomas 
Butler, Earl of Ormonde. After that, like all church lands, it passed 
through many hands. The millrace became clicked : the mill 
ground no more; the walls crumbled; the roofs fell in. Athassel wel- 
comed no more rich guests, nor great patrons. Only quiet corpses of 
humble persons claimed the Priory's hospitality. But still the " ever- 
flowing stream" of " the gentle Suyre" ripples past the graceful three- 
light eastern window. The salmon still leap in " the fishful Suire," 
and the yellow iris waves its head as in the days when the Augustinian 
brethren fished from its pleasant banks and boated on its limpid pools. 

ST. PEKATJN'S WELL. 

NOT far from the Suir, between Athassel and Cahir, under the Galtees, 
"by Tureen, there is a curious and picturesque place of pilgrimage. On 
every 1st of August the " Patern of Pekaun" is still held. Numbers 
of pious persons and children numbers which annually diminish, how- 
ever, in these days of hurry and emigration come from the surrounding 



28 THE Sum FHOM ITS SOUUCE TO THE SEA. 



country and the encircling mountains to perform their " rounds," or 

religious exercises, to kneel and recite prayers at the various "stations," 

and to drink and 1 to wash t " St. Pekaun's" Well. 

Even in pre-Christian days the Holy Wells of Ireland have been 

celebrated, and regarded with peculiar veneration. 

" The Holy Wells the living wells the cool, the fresh, the pure, 
" A thousand ages rolled away, and still these founts endure." 

Christianity and Christian baptism gave to these wells a new impor- 




" The Shattered Cross." St. Pekaun's Well. [Photo by the A*t*or.-] 

tance and sanctity. The missionary and the anchorite came to the Holy 
Well, 

" And in the sylvan solitude, or lonely mountain cave, 

Beside it passed the hermit's life, as stainless as its wave." 

This well is xmder an old thorn tree, and a little distance from it, 
towards the east, are the remains of a stone circle just large enough to 
contain a recumbent man. The opening of the circle points due east. 
Was this the Saint's cell, so built that the first beams of the rising sun 
must strike upon his sleeping eyes? If so, what mean the pair of 
curiously hollowed stones in the centre of the cell ? W r ere it not for their 
position, they might be either querns or holy water stotips. Were 
they always in their present position, or were they removed to this cell 
from the little ruined church across the stream, some fifty yards away? 



THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 29 

" Pekaun's Well " is a place of such questions. Cell and church must 
be of remote antiquity. Inside both may be found memorial slabs 
carved with ringed crosses, and there is a shattered slab in the church 
on the pieces of which may be traced the letters of the Saint's name. 
The shape of the crosses, and that of the letters, both date as ?arly as 
the seventh century. 

" Pekaun" is undoubtedly a corruption of Beacan, an Irish saint of 
the sixth century The historian, Geoffry Keating born at Burgess, 
not far from the Suir, and within a do/en miles of this spot gives an 
interesting story about St. Beacan which is worth quoting it only for 
the remarks which Keating makes on the subject of its veracity, which 
serve at once as a guide and an apologia for the insertion in a historical 
record of the more marvellous of Keating' s stories. We shall bear more 
of Fiacha Muilleathan when we reach the Mote of Knockgraft'on. 

" Some of the ancient chroniclers assert that Kogan Mor had another 
son, beside Fiacha Muilleathan, whose name was Dermod ; and the same 
authority informs us that St. Beacan, who consecrated the church of Cill 
Beacan in Muskery Cuire, was a descendant from the posterity of that 
Dermod. Says an old poet : 

" ' The holy Beachan from Diarmuid 

Descended, and from the same progenitor 
Sprung Oilioll Flanmore, a most renowned prince, 
Oiliol Flan Beg, and Deachluath.' 

" About this time it was that Breasal, the son of Dermod, King of 
Ireland, resolved to invite his father and the principal nobility of his 
court to a magnificent entertainment, which he designed to furnish in 
the most sumptuous manner at Ceananus in Meath. Among other 
dishes for the feast he proposed to have a large piece of beef of exceed- 
ing fatness, and, examining his own cattle for this purpose, he foimd 
them so lean that they were not fit to be killed, especially upon so public- 
an occasion. Vnder this disappointment, he was informed that a reli- 
gious woman had a cow that would suit his design. He approached her 
to purchase the cow, but she absolutely refused to sell her, and when she 
could not be prevailed upon to exchange her for seven cows and a bull 
that he offered, Breasal drove her away by violence and killed her for 
the entertainment. This poor woman lived at Cill Ealchruidhe. 

" The King of Ireland, with his courtiers and his royal retinue, came 
to the feast. When they were in the height of their mirth, this injured 
woman forced her way into the room, and in the most affecting manner 



30 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



complained of Breasal to the King, and, representing the circumstances 
of the wrong she had suffered, passionately demanded justice. Derraod 
was moved at the violence offered to her, and in a rage vowed he would 
revenge the injury, and put his son to death for the fact. Accordingly 
he commanded him to be seized, and taken into strict custody. Dragging 
him to the river Loch Ruidhe, he ordered him to be drowned, which un- 
natural sentence was immediately executed." 

So far the story may deserve belief ; but what follows, without doubt, 
was foisted in by the credulous writers of those dark ages who were 
for heaping miracles upon the backs of their saints which the present 
times are not expected to give credit to. But these obscure guides are 
the only authority we have to direct us. Therefore we are obliged to 
proceed regularly, lest our design should suffer more by omitting these 
legendary relations than it possibly can by inserting them in the his- 
tory : 

" The King, having indulged his passion so far as to destroy his 
son, in his calmer moments began to lament his loss, and to condemn 
himself for the sudden violence of his resentment. He was perfectly 
overcome with melancholy, and when he reflected upon his death the 
thoughts of it were insupportable. 

" In this distracted condition Dermod applied to Collum Gill, who 
advised him to go to St. Beacan, who lived in the Province of Munster, 
and possibly from the prayers of this holy perso.n he might find relief. 
The King followed this advice, and, attended by Collum Gill, came to 
the saint, who resided in a m>ean cell upon the north side of Mount 
Grott, which at that time was known in the Irish language by the name 
of Gill Beacan. When they arrived they found the saint with great 
labour digging a ditch to surround his churchyard, and working in his 
wet clothes, for it was a rainy day. 

" When St. Beacan perceived that it was the King of Ireland he 
cried out to him aloud, ' O, murderer, down to the ground upon your 
knees!' The King instantly quitted his horse and prostrated himself 
before the saint. Collum Gill, who attended upon the King, informed 
the holy Beacan of the business they came upon, and told him that the 
King was almost distracted with reflecting upon the barbarity of the 
act he had committed, and had 1 no relief left him but his prayers that 
God would be pleased to pardon him the offence and restore him his son 
alive. Therefore he presumed that so religious a person would not re- 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE S.'iA. 31 



fuse to intercede for him, since his life and happiness were so imme- 
diately concerned. 

" The saint was moved with compassion, and addressed himself three 
times with great fervency to Heaven for the restoring of the young prince, 
and Heaven heard his prayers, for, as the legend relates, the King's son 
was brought to life and presented to his father, who received him with in- 
expressible joy, and ever after held the saint in great veneration whose 
devotion had' power sufficient to work such wonders and accomplish so 
miraculous an event." 

Outside St. Beacan's tiny church, at its western end. there stands 
the base of a large stone cross, upon which remains a short portion of 
the shaft. The piece which was broken off lies at a little distance 
away. Almost within living memory, a sacriligious young mason, in a 
mood of idle daring, smashed the shaft of the cross with his sledge- 
hammer. On the next day so goes the story the young man was 
dead. There is another story concerning the family of those who re- 
moved the upper part of this same cross. They have been followed by 
persistent bad luck " through the length and breadth of the world," 
wherever they went, unto this day. There is a tradition that " Pekaun" 
used to preach to his converts with his arms extended upon this stone 
cross, in likeness of his Redeemer, and that each day, with arms ex- 
tended in the same manner, he recited the whole of the Psalter. Cer- 
tain it is that the saint's memory lingers, little as there seems for it 
to linger round. Children adorn his little ruined church with small 
china statues and pictures, and unchristened babes are buried within its 
walls. 

It may well be that St. Beacan loved young people with an ardour 
which added urgency to his supplications for the restoration of the 
young prince. 

The beauty of this secluded Holy Well, and the neighbourhood of a 
hospitable farmhouse, make Tureen and " Pekaun's Well" favourite 
spots for summer pic-nics. The railway runs close to it, and also the 
main road from Cahir to Tipperary. It is about three miles distant 
from Cahir. 

KNOCKGKAFFON. 

FROM the knoll upon which stands the broken cross of St. Beacan may be 
seen the famous Mote of Knockgraffon. As the Suir winds from 
Athassel to Cahir, the green cone of the Mote forms a landmark which 



32 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



attracts the eye by reason of its smooth, pyramidal shape, which pro- 
claims it at a glance to be no work of nature. 

The Mote is formed of tiers of stones, now covered with green, 
mossy turf. It rises about sixty feet above the summit of the com- 
manding little hill upon which it was erected, and is sixty feet in dia- 
meter at the top. At its base may be traced foundations of an exten- 
sive castle, a ruined tower of which remains. Knockgraffon is one of 
the finest motes in Ireland, and various accounts have been given of its 
origin and age. It has never been explored, and the antiquarian who 
dared to brave the " good people," whose domain it has long been re- 
garded, would be counted a "hardy" man. Its form suggests a tumulus, 
or chambered burial place of a chieftain. It is said that it was the 
crowning place of the Munster Kings long before Cahsel, and that 
eighteen Minister Kings were born and reared under its shadow. The 
modern theory is prosaically inclined to place the construction of this 
mote, and others, in feudal or Anglo-Norman times. It regards the 
mote as contemporary with the adjoining feudal castle, now in ruins, 
which was built by the English about 1192, and to which the mote 
served as a " look-out" and fortification. 

The popular account of the origin of the mote is familiar wherever 
the pleasant pages of Crofton Croker are read. His " Legend of 
Knockgraffon" is an Irish minor classic. In this delightful tale we 
learn that the grassy mote is nothing else but the hump of a poor little, 
weary, hunch-back pedlar, who fell asleep in a Fairies' Ring near Knock- 
graffon, met the " good people" and their Queen, righted their tangled 
fairy music for them, and, as a reward for so doing, left his hump there 
behind him for ever. Similar tales are to be found in the folk-lore of 
various nations, even to far Japan. Crofton Croker frankly states 
that he chose the Mote of Knockgraffon as the scene of his story for no 
better reason than that the story of the pedlar was told to him within 
sight of the mote. 

There is, however, much good, historical ground for regarding this 
mote as of very early origin. The " Book of Rights" refers to " the 
House of Rafawn." Geoffrey Keating who lived near the place, ami 
doubtless was familiar with it in the sixteenth century writes, in Ms 
" History of Eirinn," that it was the fort of Fiacha Mnilleathan ('" the 
flat-headed"), King of Munster in the third century. He says: " Fiacha 
stayed at Rath Rafonn, which is now called Cnoc Raffon, with his 
foster-mother, Raffon," from whom, it would appear, the hill, or fort, 
took its name. 



THE Sum FROM ITS SOCKCE TO THE SEA. 



33 



THE KING'S STONE. 

THE reason why Fiacha Muilleathaii needed Rafonn for his foster- 
mother is set forth at length in the pages of Geoffrey Keating. His 
first name, Fiacha, signifies " news," and he was so called because the 
sorrowful news was brought to his mother, Muncha, daughter of Dil da 
Chreaga, very soon after her marriage, that her husband, Eogan Mor, 
son of the great and wise King of Minister, Oilliol Ollave, had been 
slain in battle. His second name Muilleathaii, or " flat-headed" 
had reference to the circumstances of his birth, which caused the volun- 
tary death of his mother, Muncha. In order to fulfil a prophecy of her 




The King's Stone. 



[Photo lytJieAutJtf 



father, Dil da Chreaga (who was a Druid), foretelling that the crown of 
Ireland should come to her fatherless babe if born under certain condi- 
tions, Fiacha's devoted and ambitious mother sacrificed-her own life. 
The child was born on a small rock in the midst of the river Suir, which 
is there even to this day. It lies in the river-bed, within sight- of the 
mote, not far from where Ballydrehid House now stands. 

I'pon the death of his eldest son, Eogan the Great, in the battle 
of Magh Muchruime, Oilliol Ollave, knowing nothing of Eogan' s mar- 
riage, " demised the perpetual government of the province of Minister 
after his decease" to his second son, Cormac Cas. " But when he had 
intelligence that Fiacha Muilleathan was born, he thought proper to 



34 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



alter his will, and in this manner settled the succession : That his son, 
Cormac Cas, after his death, should' wear the crown of Munster during 
his natural life, and then that it should devolve to Fiacha Muilleathan, 
the son of Eogan Mor ; the sovereignty was then to return to the family 
of Cormac Cas, and so the province was to be governed alternately by 
the heirs of these two illustrious tribes, without quarrels or disputes. 
And the will of Oilliol Ollave was he4d in such veneration by his posterity 
that there were no contests between the two families for the crown of 
Munster for many ages." 

Thus it came that, throughout the later history of Munster, we find 
the two great tribes, the Eoganacht and the Dal-Cais, descendants of 
Eogan and Cas. Oilliol Ollave's optimism was hardly justified, for 
" quarrels and disputes" there were, even to the days of the great High 
King Brien, descendant of Cas, but these, probably, improved the 
stamina and manliness of Munstermen as a whole. 

THE FORD OF KNOCKGRAFFON. 

FIACHA met his death near the spot where he was born. One hot day 
Fiacha, with his retinue, left his palace at Knockgraft'cn to bathe in the 
Suir. He had with him his guest and kinsman, Conla, a prince of 
Leinster. Now, Conla had long been afflicted with a disease resembling 
leprosy, and a Druid had declared that he could never be cured " unless 
he could find means to wash his body all over with the blood of a King." 
As a token of their friendship, Fiacha allowed Conla to carry his lance 
while he was bathing in the river. While Conla watched his cousin 
swimming in the Suir the prediction of the Druid came into his mind. 
He basely violated the laws of hospitality and gratitude, and ran the 
King through the body with his own spear, intending to plunge into 
the blood-red waters. The wound was mortal, and the attendants 
rushed upon Conla to avenge their Sovereign, b\it the dying Fiacha laid 
his command upon them to save his life and pardon the murderer. His 
orders were faithfully obeyed. Conla's life was spared, and the King 
was carried on shore, and instantly died. 

Among the chiefs who resided near the Mote of Knockgraffon in 
somewhat later times was The O'Sullivan, who possessed large territory 
in its vicinity. In a famous poem the poet O'Heerin tluis celebrated 
him : 

" O'Sullivan, who delighted not in violence, 

Ruled over the great Eoganacht of Munster. 

About Knockgraffon he obtained his lands 

After the victory of convicts and battles." 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 35 



The legend of how the Sullivan family came by their name is also 
connected with Knockgraffon, and is worth telling here : 

An Albanian (that is, British) Druid named Luvaii or Lubhan 
visited the King, Eochy, who was then residing at the kingly Mote of 
Knockgraffon, during his journeying in Eirinn. The Druid delighted 
Eochy with his poetry and his music, and at his departure Eochy de- 
sired him to name any reward whatsoever that he desired. 

" Your two eyes!" was the answer of the rapacious and malevolent 
old pagan. 

Xo bard or Druid could ever be refused, and, moreover. Eochy, like 
many more in those days, dreaded the poet's satire and barbed mockery 
even more than the loss of eye-sight. He tore out his eyes, and flung 
them to Luvan. 

There was another visitor in the Royal Mote at this time, none other 
than the famous St. Ruadhan, Abbot of Lorrha, the same who cursed 
Tara in 560 (in the days of King Diarmid, son of Fergus), and caused 
it to be desecrated. The Druid's conduct seemed abominable to the 
saint. He prayed earnestly that the eyes of Luvan should be trans- 
ferred to Eochy instead of those he had lost. 

The prayer of the saint was answered. From henceforth Eochy 
was known by the nickname of " Suil-Labhan" (that is. " The Eye.s of 
Luvan"). 

When surnames began to be used in Ireland, about the time of King 
Brie n, at the close of the tenth century, Buadach Cro, Eochy's grand- 
son, assumed his grandfather's nick-name, and handed this name of 
Suil-Labhan, or Sullivan, down to his descendants. 

The Danes, we know, penetrated for considerable distances into 
Ireland, by means of the rivers, in their flat-bottomed boats, which they 
carried over the weirs and shallows. It is recorded that, in the tenth 
century, the men of Minister fought a great battle with the " proud 
invaders" on the banks of the Suir, above Clonmel, and there is a tradi- 
tion that Knockgraffon ford was the place where eleven hundred Danes 
bit the dust. There is no doubt that these peaceful river banks must 
have often re-echoed with " the clangour of conflict" in the days when 
the men of Minister gave a good account of themselves to Danish and 
to Xorman invaders alike. 

" They came with high boasting to bind us as slaves, 
But the glen and the torrent have yawned o'er their graves. 
From gloomy Ardfinnan to wild Templemore 
From the Suir to the Shannon is red with their gore." 



THE SCIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



KILLARDRIGH. 

NOT far from Ballycarron and the pleasant Suir, between Bansha and 
Cahir, there is a little ruined church, with lonely churchyard, known 
as Killardrigh corrupted into Killandriffe or " the Church of the High 
King." It is said to have been called after a High King (Ard-Righ) 
of Eirinn who met his death while bathing in the waters of the Suir. 
The name and legend indicate this lonely little spot as the burying- 
place of Fiacha Muilleathan, with whose birth and death the waters of 
the Suir \rere so intimately and curiously connected. 

Another great leader of men was buried in that remote little church- 
yard of the High King in June,' 1910, when General Sir William Butler, 
K.C.B., was laid beside his forefathers, with full military honours, after 
an honourable and distinguished career. Sir William was a worthy 
son of Tipperary, a dauntless soldier and leader, a steadfast patriot, a 
brilliant writer, and an upright gentleman. Perhaps the few lines of 
verse found among his papers after his death by his wife who is the 
famous artist, well known as Miss Elizabeth Thompson disclose the 
man most worthily. They are given in the " Autobiography." and are 
as follows : 

" On the dim tombs of Time I see 
The names of men who strove in vain 
To lift the load, to break the chain 
Then why a better grave for me? 

" O Thou, the First, the Last, the Whole, 
Thou, who from toil and tears of man 
Dost shape on earth Thy mighty plan, 
And build while all the ages roll, 

" Enough it is for me to know 
That all the travail of the years, 
The gleamg of hope, the cloud of tears, 
Add something to Thy work below." 

CAHIR. 

PAST the reaches of Ballydrehid, the river pursues its course over three 
weirs to the pleasant little town of Cahir. The upper wators of the Suir, 
above Cahir, are accessible only by rowing boats, which may- be lifted 
over these weirs. Charmingly situated residences Cottage, Killemlee, 



THE SOB FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



Altavilla, Cahir Abbey House stand on the green banks. There are 
enticing woods, clear bathing pools, and favourite haunts for trout and 
salmon. In early spring and late summer, tangles of wild flowers and 
water-weeds dip their fair faces into the rippling waters. Sheets of 
yellow water-lilies sway upon the pools. Upon the banks are hedges 
of woodbine and dog-roses, fringes of creamy meadow-sweet and purple 
loosestrife. In the fields are yellow groves ot the stubborn, swaying 
" boherlan" (rag-weed), which the moonlight turns into troops of fairy 
horsemen for those with eyes to see. 

The dwellers on these banks love them well. Their charms, so far, 
are unexplored by the average tourist. 




"The Old Mill Wheel still turns." Cahir. ^PhotolyP. Condon, Cahir. 

Cahir is the centre of a rich corn-growing district. Directed by a 
large and influential Quaker community, the milling industry brought 
prosperity and population to the valley of the Suir in the eighteenth 
century, and especially to Cahir, which was known as the " Quaker 
Town." In old Protection days mills abounded upon the banks of the 
Suir. Many of these are now in ruins, but near Altavilla, among the^ 
sally trees and the sedges, the river still turns a picturesque old mill-:, 
wheel as of old. It now provides the electricity for a flourishing modern 
machine bakery in the old mill which supplies a large district. Tlw 
milling industry flourishes still in Cahir in spite of foreign competition. 



38 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 

As of old, .the mills of Going and Smith, Ltd., still grind, and form 
centres of activity and employment which serve as unmixed blessings 
and sources of prosperity to Cahir now a thriving little town of some 
2,000 inhabitants. The largest of these mills stands over against the 
fine old Castle of Cahir, and forms a suggestive and striking contrast 
between feiulal and modern conditions. 

CAHIE ABBEY. 

CLOSE to the banks of the Suir stands the ruined Abbey of Our Lady, 
now called Cahir Abbey. It is an extensive ruin, with a lofty central 
tower seventy feet high. It is not as large as Athassel, but it re- 
sembles Athassel in many respects. Cahir Abbey was also an Augus- 
tinian foundation, founded, in the reign of King John, by Geoffrey de 
Camoell. Few features, and no tombs, of particular interest survive 




Cahir Abbey. [Photo by tlie Author. 

the hand of Time. The conversion of the central tower into a dwelling- 
house, at some post-Reformation period, doubtless obliterated many in- 
teresting achitectural features. Portions of another tower remain. 
The mullions of the East Window are still perfect, as are the fine nar- 
row lancet windows on the side aisle, which recall Athassel. The out- 
buildings must have reached the river's edge. The Abbey precincts 
are now bounded by a high railway embankment, which carries, the 
G.S. and W. Railway bridge over the Suir close by. This embankment 
dwarfs the central tower, from which in old days a fine prospect might 
be surveyed the river winding through a rich country, with the Galtees, 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 39 

the Knockmealdowns, and the Waterfowl Mountains guarding it like 
purple-clad sentinels, and "Lonely Slievenamon" closing the circle. Like 
most Irish religious foundations, the history of Cahir Abbey was un- 
eventful. Edward Lonergan was its last Prior. 

There are graceful modern churches for both Roman Catholics and 
Protestants in Cahir. In the middle of the town, off the Square, stands 
the ruined old Parish Church. In the middle of the ruin there is a 
noticeable curtain wall. It is said that for many years after the Re- 
formation Catholics and Protestants worshipped simultaneously in the 
old church, divided by that wall. The Butlers, lords of Cahir. clung 
to the Old Faith. Nevertheless, they found it prudent to find favour 
with the powers in the ascendency. This " combination" parish church 
speaks effectively of their position in the seventeenth century. 

In the ruins rest the remains of Richard Pennefather, Baron of the 
Exchequer, a famous jtidge of his day, who died in 1S59. 

CAHIll CASTLE. 

CAHIR CASTLE rises on an island in the Suir, and commands the bridge 
in the middle of the town. This old ivy-clad Butler stronghold is prob- 
ably the best example of late feudal architecture in Ireland. It was 
built in the fifteenth, or early in the sixteenth, century, and has re- 
mained in the family of its builders ever since. The Butlers ceased to 
live in their castle about a hundred and fifty years ago. It has not 
been inhabited since a company of infantry was quartered there in the 
days of the late Earl of Glengall. (He it was who gave the site for 
the present barracks, about a mile outside the town, formerly used for 
Cavalry, and now used for Field Artillery). For over a century the 
Castle has undergone no structural alteration, but remains an eloquent 
witness of the life led long ago in Ireland by a Lord of the Pale. 

Centuries before the Butlers built the present Castle centuries 
before even Conor O'Brien, Lord of Thomond, founded his Castle there 
in 1142 the rock in the Suir upon which it stands was regarded as a 
natural point of vantage, to be defended by a " dun," or fort. Its very 
name in Irish, Cathair-Duine-Iascadh " the stone stronghold of the 
fish-abounding Dun" is a word-history. An old Irish MS. the " Book 
of Lecan" records the destruction of this fort of Cathair Cm-reach 
in the third century. This is the outline of the romantic story. A re- 
lative of Curreach Life was killed by Finn MacRadamain, chief of the 
district surrounding Cathair, the modern Cahir. In revenge, Curreach 
Life murdered Finn's mistress, Badamair, who had her dwelling on the 



40 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SKA. 



Cathair-Duine-Iascadh, whence she supplied Finn with food and cloth- 
ing, no doubt of her own catching and weaving. After murdering her, 
Cm-reach plundered the fort, and escaped away beyond the river Bannow 
towards Waterford. Finn pursued him. After many days he got 
sight of Curreach in the distance. Thereupon Finn pronounced an in- 
cantation over his spear, and hurled it at Curreach, who was in the. 
midst of a group of friends. Nevertheless, the spear found its way 
truly to Curreach' s heart and killed him. 

The Brelion Laws refer to this fort of Cathair, and Geoffrey Keat- 
ing states that, among many other royal residences, Brian Boroimhe 
fortified and used this fort of Cathair also. 

When the Anglo-Normans came first to Ireland, Knockgraffon, and 
not Cahir, was the principal place in the Barony, which passed, about 
121."), to one of Henry II. 's Knights, Philip of Worcester. From him 
it passed to his nephew,, William, whose great-granddaughter brought 
it to the de Berminghams by her marriage with Milo de Bermingham. 
In 1332 the Barony reverted to the Crown on William de Bermingham's 
attainder. But the English King was little bettered by Cahir. As 
has been said already, Bryan O'Brien and his Irish had by 1332 over- 
run and re-conquered Tipperary. However, in 1375, the King granted 
the Barony to James, Earl of Ormonde, and to Elizabeth, his wife. 

James C :lda ("the Foreigner"), a natural son of this Earl, by 
Catherine Fitzgerald, daughter of the Earl of Desmond, has generally 
been recognised as the founder of the Cahir branch of the Butlers. 
Since he or his successor quartered the de Bermingham arms with 
his, there was probably also a prudent alliance with the previous owners. 

The new Lords of Cahir held an eq \iivocal position. They occupied 
the borderland between the two great warring houses of Biitler (Or- 
monde) and Fitzgerald (Kildare). Butlers by descent, Fitzgeralds 
by marriage and interest, they contrived throughout the Barons' War, 
and the fierce struggles of the sixteenth century, to retain their estates 
amid the ruin of their confederates. Perhaps the position of their 
Castle helped them, for an old record says: " In the mydst of ye ryver 
Suyre lyeth an Hand, ye same a natural rock, nnd upon yt a Castle, 
which, although yt may not be built with any greate arte, yet is ye 
scite such by nature that yt may be said to be inexpungable." 

Cahir Castle. has changed little during the centuries. To-day >'t 
closely resembles its appearance in 1599, as pictured in the Pacata 
Hibernia. At that time Cahir Castle was noted in English history as 



THE Sum FROM IDS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



41 



the sole trophy which Queen Elizabeth's favourite, the Earl of Essex, 
could wrest from valiant rebels to lay at the feet of his capricious Liege 
Lady. 

The clouds were gathering in these latter days of Elizabeth's reign. 
" The Queen's enemies, the Queen's subjects, and the Queen's rebels" 
all fought between themselves, and against her authority. To 
aggravate matters still further, neither religious bitterness nor Spanish 
interference was wanting. In 1583, vainly did Elizabeth attaint 
Shaun O'Neill and create his nephew (Hugh of tho Bloody Hand) Earl of 
Tyrone in the futile hope of attaching him to her government. By 




'The Lovely Green Banks of the Suir." Cahir Park. 



'Photo by the 



Spain's aid, Hugh O'Neill's rebellion grew into the most serious rising 
against which England had ever to contend in Ireland. The Lord De- 
puty (Morris) died of exhaustion. General Bagenal was defeated and 
slain at the Blackwater. Burleigh was dead. The Queen was old and 
lonely. Young Essex, the favourite, was eager to prove his devotion. 
His enemies at Court were glad to see him sent to that Irish " Coventry" 
for Sovereigns' favourites across the Channel. The new title of Lord 
Lieutenant was conferred upon the Earl of Essex and, in 1599, he landed 
near Dublin with an army of 18,000 men. He found in Ireland the road 
to his ruin. 



42 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



Instead of at once attacking O'Neill in the North, those of the Irish 
Council who had estates to lose in the South persuaded Essex to lead 
his army into Minister. Having been defeated near Maryborough, 
Essex marched to Kilkenny, thence to Clonmel, and so on to Cahir. 

Reynolds, secretary to the Earl of Essex, describes Cahir as " the 
only famous Castle of Ireland which was thought impregnable ; it is the 
bulwark for Munster, and a safe retreat for all the agents of Spain and 
Rome." The Butlers of Cahir were staunch for Hugh O'Neill. Cahir 
Castle, therefore, Essex attacked. 

Encouraged by Hugh O'Neill's victories, and expecting reinforce- 
ments from Mitchelstown, " those beastes," as the English writer cour- 
teously termed the garrison, refused to surrender. Thereupon Essex 
put his cannon into position, and began a vigorous siege. Despite wide 
breaches in their walls the garrison held out bravely for ten days, until 
they found that their expected reinforcements had been cut off. De- 
spairing, the garrison attempted to make a sortie and to vacate the 
Castle under cover of darkness. It was a desperate endeavour, and was 
discovered by the besiegers. Eighty of the garrison were slaughtered, 
and the English took the Castle. 

Essex re-garrisoned Cahir with English troops, left his wounded 
there, and went on to Clonmel. It was his first success, and his last, 
in Ireland. 

In spite of this armed resistance, the Lord of Cahir managed to keep 
his Castle and lands from confiscation. This was through the influence 
of the head of the Butlers, Thomas, Earl of Ormonde, called " the 
Queen's Black Husband" from his colouring and his Sovereign's marked 
preference. 

D\iring the Cromwellian Wars and, later, during the Revolution, 
the luck of the Butlers of Cahir held. The Baron of Cahir was a minor 
during the wars of 1641-50, his guardian being George Mathew, a half- 
brother of the Earl of Ormonde. In, 1647, previous to the coming to 
Ireland of Cromwell in person, Lord Indhiquin " Morrough of the Burn- 
ings" who was then fighting on the side of the Parliamentarians, in- 
vested Cahir Castle. The siege was one of hours only. The Castle 
was promptly handed over to Inchiquin, and a flimsy story put about 
to shelter Mathew's cowardice or was it his prudence? 

Cromwell himself appeared before Cahir Castle on February 24, 
1650, and again George Mathew surrendered without a shot having lu-cn 



THE SCIR FROM ITS SorRCE TO THE SEA. 43 



fired. One of the conditions of surrender was that: "The Governor 
jnay enjoy his estate, which he has as his jointure, and the wardship of 
the heir of Cahir." 

Although the Butler estates were* surveyed by Petty during the 
Commonwealth for that object, they were not actually allotted to soldiers 
or adventurers, and at the Restoration, in 16(52, Ormonde had little dif- 
ficulty in reinstating his kinsman, " the heir of Cahir." 

The Butler luck or prudence held also during the Revolution. 
Thomas, seventh Baron Cahir, fought for James II. on the bloody and 
disastrous field of Aughrim, and was outlawed in 1691. But, two years 
later, his outlawry was reversed and his estates restored. Being known 




Late Autumn. Cahir Park. 



as strong Catholics, with Jacobite leanings, the Lords of Cahir lived 
abroad during the eighteenth century. 

By the death of Pierce, eleventh Baron, in 1788, the old Butler line 
became extinct. But a claimant appeared in the person of Richard 
Butler of Ulengall, who derived his descent from Sir Theobald Butler, 
Baron of Cahir in the time of Elizabeth. Richard Butler was mar- 
tied to a niece of Lord Chancellor Clare, and, as L'gal difficulties were 
thus smoothed over, he succeeded as twelfth Baron Cahir. He was af- 
terwards created first Earl of Glengall. His son, the second Earl, died 



44 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 

in 1858 without a male heir. The Barony of Cahir fell into abeyance 
again, and the Earldom became extinct. 

The present representative of the Butlers of Cahir is the last Earl 
of Glengall's daughter, the Lady Margaret Charteris, to whom belongs 
the beautiful park through which the Suir runs for over two miles, to- 
gether with many acres of surrounding mountain and valley. 

Cahir Castle is in excellent preservation. It still serves for Flower 
Shows and other gatherings. The Butlers migrated, first, to Cahir 
House a Georgian mansion, overlooking the Market Square on one side, 
and the lovely demesne upon the other and, later, to the Lodge, on the 
opposite bank of the Suir. 




The Suir from Railway Bridge, Cahir. ri>t<, In, 1'. Condon, Cahir. 

CAHIR PAEK. 

" THE lovely green banks of the Suir" are nowhere lovelier, or greener, 
than in Cahir Park. Its beauties need to be seen to be realised to the 
full. Happily the Park is open to pedestrians; private carriages and 
anglers may obtain access by permits, to be obtained at the Estate 
Offices in Castle street. It is a question whether Cahir Park is more 
beautiful on a hot summer's day, when the cattle stand knee-deep in 
the broad, clear river, and when trees and pastures wear their richest 
dress of " living green," or in late autumn, when the scarlet coats of 
huntsmen, and the dappled white, black, and tan of fox-hounds appear 



THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 45 

and disappear through groves of golden oaks and copices carpeted with 
yellow bracken in which laurels keep their summer livery. 

In places the hanks become almost precipitous, and a graceful bridge 
spans the river at Kilcommoh, by which the picturesque thatched Cot- 
tage built for a tea-house, and once a favourite rendezvous is 
reached. 

G A UN A VILLA. 

HAVING flowed through the beautiful demesne of the Butlers', the Suir 
passes Garnavilla, now a modernised residence, once famous as the, 
dwelling-place of " Lovely Kate of Garnavilla," of whom the poet, Ed- 
ward Lysaght, sang in the eighteenth century : 
" Have you been at Garnavilla ? 
Have you seen at Garnavilla 
Beauty's train trip o'er the plain 

With lovely Kate of Garnavilla : J 
" O she's pure as virgin snows 

Ere they light on woodland hill, O; 
Sweet as dew-drop on wild rose 

Is lovely Kate of Garnavilla. 
" As a noble ship I've seen 

Sailing o'er the swelling billow, 
So I've marked the graceful mien 

Of lovely Kate of Garnavilla. 
" If poets' prayers can banish cares, 

Xo cares shall come to Garnavilla ; 
Joy's bright rays shall gild her days, 

And dove-like peace perch on her pillow. 
Charming maid of Garnavilla ! 
Lovely maid of Garnavilla ! 
Beauty, grace, and virtue wait 
On lovely Kate of Garnavilla." 

The name of Garnavilla comes from the Irish Garran-a'-Bhile (" the 
shrubbery of the bile," or old tree). 

Garnavilla itself was made the subject of some charming lines com- 
posed by the Rev. William Archer Butler, Professor of Moral Philosophy 
of Trinity College, Dublin. He was an accomplished scholar and critic 
of his day, .being born at Annerville, near Clonmel, in 1814. His early 
childhood and boyhood were spent at Garnavilla for many years the 



46 THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



residence of members of his family and constant allusions to the home 
of his youth are scattered through his poetry. One sonnet runs as fol- 
lows : 

" Groves of my childhood ! Sunny fields that gleam 
With pensive lustre rourtd m even now! 
River, whose unforgotten waters stream 
Bright, pure as ever, from the rifted brow 
Of hills whose fadeless beauty, like a dream, 
Bursts back upon my weeping memory how 
Hath time increased your loveliness, and given 
To earth, and earth's, a radiance caught from heaven ! 
My soul is glad in floating up the tide 
Of years ; in counting o'er the withered leaves 
That Time hath strewn upon the path of Pride : 
Yes, glad ; most glad : and yet the feeling grieves, 
With peace and pain mysteriously allied, 
That sway and swell my breast, like ocean's stilly waves." 

UOCHESTOWN. 

Ox its way to the village of Ardfinnan, the Suir passes Ballybrado and 
Rochestown. At Roche&iowii there are some ruined ecclesiastical re- 
mains. Close to Rochestown there is the ford which was crossed by 
the Lord Protector Cromwell on the dark and tempestuous night in 
February, 1650, during which he took Fethard. 

The account of that night, as given in a news pamphlet of that 
date, " The Irish Mercury," is sufficiently amusing to be worth 
quoting : 

" From Rahill [now Reliill, the Castle at which place fell into 
Cromwell's hands without a struggle] his Excellency went on to Roaches- 
town, where he got over the river Shu re in such a nick of time that the 
least protraction had metamorphosed that ford into a ferry. In a 
hideous tempest he came late before the town of Fethard, where the 
Governor, little dreaming of any storm but that of weather, was sum- 
moned by his Excellency. The gentleman at first thought it had been 
in jesit, but, the Corporation swearing and trembling 'twas in earnest, 
he concluded from the last, as much as from the first, that it was so, 
and, by the same action, evidencing he was of the same faith, like one 
well versed in his trade, called a council of the shakers to know whether 
it was consonant with the rules of war to summon a town by candle- 
light. After a small debate they concluded that whether it was or 



THE Sura FROM ITS SOCRCE TO THE SEA. 



no (for the thing was left amphibious) it was consonant with the rules 
of safety to surrender the place, which he did, modestly saying that he 
lost his government in a storm^ and not tamely, as other governors had 
done, and that, by this condition he had satisfied his engagement to the 
Supreme Council, which was that none of them should see the day in 
which he should lose Fethard ; no, nor the sun neither, though it shine 
on all the world but Wood street. 

" We were more troubled to come to, than to come by, this town, 
.which my Lord Lieutenant entered by the same light in which he had 
summoned it, the governor entertaining him with a file of healths. 
But, sure, his Excellency had so much care of his own that he did not 
drink it, so that his modesty or circumspection lessened him of one 
cup, but had he drunk of another he had wanted the latter." 

It is interesting to contrast with this reporter's account Cromwell's 
own : 

" We shot not a shot at them, but they were very angry, and fired 
very earnestly upon us, telling us that it was not the time of night to 
send a summons. But yet, in the end, the governor was willing to send 
out two commissioners, I think rather to see whether there was force 
sufficient to force him than to any other end. After almost the whole 
night spent in treaty the town was delivered up to me the next morning, 
upon terms which we usually call honourable, which I was the willinger 
to give because I had little above 200 foot, and neither ladders, guns, 
nor anything else to force them." 

A few months after this Cromwell laid siege to Clonmel. But his 
reception in Clonmel was very different to that of Fethard, and is a 
gallant story which shall be told in its place. 

AEDFINNAN. 

Ix the sixth century an Irish saint, who was a leper, chose for his 
anchorite's cell the steep cliffs which overlook the Suir where it bends 
sharply, beyond Rochestown, about four miles south-east of Cahir. The 
name of the spot was then Druim-abr-a. The saint was the son of 
Connal O'Carroll and descended from the Minister Kings. His name 
was Finnian, and the place where he founded the monastery for Canons 
Regular of the Order of St. Augustine has been known ever since as 
Ardfinnian "the height of Finnian." Xo trace of that monastery 
now remains, but tradition says it stood near the present Protestant 
Church. It was this Finnian who built the Abbev of Inisfallen and 



48 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



who was connected with the Abbeys of Swords, and Clonmore. He 
was not the St. Finaii of Clonard, the teacher of St. Ruadan, and of the 
great Columbkille. 

Cormac Mac Cullinan of Cashel, Bishop and King, willed to this 
Abbey at Ardfinnan " one ounce of gold, and one of silver, with his 
horses and arms." He died in battle in 908. The death of Giola, 
Prior of Ardfinnan, is recorded in 1085. 

The river runs through an amphitheatre of hills which command 
wide views of the surrounding country. Nature has indicated this 
spot as a point of vantage, and upon the hill opposite that upon which 
the monastery is said to have stood is a fine rath, or " fort." The 
" fort" is now peopled, by the creative fancy of some, with lively 
" Clurig-a-dhauns," or sportive elves, with whom it is undesirable to 
interfere. 

Ardfinnan was the scene of a great battle in 1150 between the King 
of Munster and an O'Conor who claimed the High Kingship of Ireland. 
The town and Abbey were plundered and burnt by the Anglo-Xormans 
in 1179. 

After Strongbow's day, Henry II. sent his youngest and favourite 
son, John, then about sixteen years old, to assume the chief government 
of his newly acquired realm. The Lordship of Ireland hardly removed 
from the young prince the reproach conveyed by his nick-name of " Lack- 
Land." Prince John arrived in his new domains in 1185. He kept 
his court in Dublin with reckless and luxurious extravagance, and suc- 
ceeded in estranging the Irish chiefs, as well as all older and graver men. 
It became known that the Irish and their chiefs were arming. John 
and his courtiers talked loud, and did nothing. At last the Prince 
proceeded South and, on his line of march, he erected three castles 
Tybroughney (which may still be seen from the Suir, two miles from 
Fiddown), from which he dated some of his Charters ; Ardfinnan and 
Lismore. John, observing the importance of Ardfinnan, which com- 
manded one of the chief passes into the counties of Waterford and Cork, 
took up his abode here, and for two years watched the building of the 
fortress. The Irish declared that these fortresses were built solely to 
serve as starting-points for the plunder of Munster. Accordingly hey 
attacked Lismore and Ardfinnan. Lismore was taken by surprise and 
its governor, Robert de Barri one of the first of the English to land 
in Ireland was slain, with his whole garrison. Donald O'Brien, who 
claimed to be King of Munster, with O'Conor and McCarthy, tlion 



THE SUIH FROM ITS SOUUCE TO THE SEA. 49 



marched against Ardfinnan. The meeting took place to the left of the 
Suir, opposite the Castle. But such was the commanding position above 
the river that O'Brien was unable to take it by force. Therefore he 
feigned flight, and allowed the small garrison to issue forth and pursue 
him. Then, turning and surrounding them, he put them to the sword. 
Four Knights were slain in the encounter. John soon after returned 
to England, leaving John de Courcy at Ardfinnan. A little above the 
Castle, on the opposite side of the river, there is a place called " Augh- 
na-fulleagh" (or " the Bloody Ford"), possibly the site of this great 
battle. 

The Castle was won back, subsequently, by the English, and was 
afterwards granted to the Knights Templars, and the round tower was 
one of their Preceptories. The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, the 
Hospitallers, succeeded the Templars, after the obliteration of their 
Order, already alluded to, in 1312. Ardfinnan Castle \\as counted among 
the strongest in Ireland, and the town had a municipal corporation. 

In the days of the Commonwealth, General Ireton planted his guns 
upon the opposite hills, and bombarded the Castle with such vigour that 
a great breach of eighteen feet was made in the walls, and the Castle 
fell an easy prey to the besiegers. This is the contemporary account : 
" The Major-General [Ireton] was very desirous to gain a pass over 
the Suir, where, indeed, we had none but by boat, or when the weather 
served; wherefore, on Saturday in the evening [February, 1650] we 
marched from Cashel, with a party of horse and foot, to Ardfinnan, 
where was a bridge, and, at the foot of it, a strong Castle, which he, 
about four o'clock in the morning, attempted ; killed about sixteen of the 
e-nemy's out-guard, lost but two men, and eight or ten wounded. The 
enemy yielded the place to him, and we are possessed of it, being a very 
considerable pass and the nearest to our pass at Cappoquin, whither we 
can bring guns, ammunition, and other things from Youghal by water, 
and then, over this pass, to the army." 

The Castle at the present time is in good preservation, being in- 
habited by the Prendergast family. Two of the four towers still stand 
upon their rocky foundations, and rise picturesquely above the Suir. 

The Suir is crossed at Ardfinnan by a very long and graceful bridge 
of fourteen arches, which carries the road from Cork to Clonmel. Under 
these arches, which are dry except in the flood times of the Suir, fever- 
stricken creatures in the days of the Great Famine sought shelter, and, 
strange to say, although unattended, and relieved only by a secret 



50 THE SHIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 

charity which dreaded contact with the epidemic, every individual re- 
covered. 

Beside the bridge to-day may be seen the flourishing woollen factory 
of the Messrs. Mulcahy, which turns out the well-known Ardfinnan 
tweeds, rugs, and motor fabrics. The hum of whirling wheels, and the 
glimpses of long hanks of dyed yarn drying in the sun, make pleasant 
soxmds and sights for those with Ireland's industrial development at 
heart. For all that, the factory chimneys rise somewhat incongruously 
in the picture of the old Norman stronghold which rises among the trees 
on " the Heights of Finnian." 

The village straggles on both sides of the bridge. A wide village, 
green stretches by the edge of the river, and lends a characteristic charm 
to the landscape. In the hard old days in 1827 five men were pub- 
licly hanged upon this now verdant and deserted stretch of sward, which 
in former times belonged, curiously enough, to the Corporation of Clon- 
mel. 

LADY ABBEY. 

T'rox the heights opposite Ardfinnan Castle, about a mile from the 
river, a by-road loads to a lovely rnin known as Lady Abbey. The ruin 
is lonely and neglected, and its history is veiled in obscurity or oblivion. 
Ivy smothers the remaining walls and twines round the graceful win- 
dows, which date the building to the twelfth century, the design, as a 
whole, suggesting Benedictine or Carmelite origin. Possibly Lady Abbey 
was a dependency of Innislonagh Abbey. The Abtey and lands were 
granted to the Duke of York and Bishop of Waterford at the Reforma- 
tion. 

The ruins of Lady Abbey will repay" a visit were it only for their 
position, encircled by mountains. The sweep of the Knockmealdowns, 
Galtees, Commeraghs, and Slievenenamon well rewards those who leave 
the kigh road to puzzle out the story of this graceful ruin. 

NEWCASTLE. 

The little village of Newcastle or Newcastle-Prendergast, as it is 
often called lies on the right bank of the Suir, about seven miles south- 
west of Clonmel. On one side tower the purple heights of the Knock- 
mealdowns ; on the other, in the distance, slope the Commeraghs. Near 
the river are the ruins of the Augustinian Abbeys of ^lullogh and New- 
castle, founded and endowed by the Prendergasts, wluM-t- now -the an- 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 51 

cestors of that family lie buried. Their ancient fortress is close at hand, 
but now ruinous. There is a story that once the monks of Newcastle 
offended one of their patrons, and, in retaliation, he set fire to the 
Abbey. Some of the monks lost their lives, and the break-up of the 
Prendergast family ensued. They, however, survived sufficiently to give 
a good account of themselves under Marlborough, as one old tombstone, 
dated 1710, records. The family are descended from Strongbow's knight, 
Maurice de Prendergast, honourably remembered in Irish history as 
" The Faithful Xorman." 

KNOCKLOFTY. 

FROM Ardfinnan to Clonmel the coiirse of the Suir grows in beauty with 
each onward mile. The silver stream flows by fertile meadows and 
sloping woods and charmingly placed residences. The demesnes and 
plantations of Kilmanahan and of Knqcklofty ihe beautiful seat of the 
Earl of Dononghmore afford endless variety of charming river and 
mountain scenery. 

MAKLFIELD. . 

THE pretty village of Marlfield clusters round the beautiful demesne and 
home of Richard Bagwell, Esq., D.L., well-known as a historian and 
politician. In the homes of the villagers are executed the charming 
" Marlfield embroideries," Avhich owe their origin to the initiative and 
taste* of Mrs. Bagwell, who is ever eager and active in all schemes for 
the betterment and benefit of the people of the whole neighbourhood. 

Marlfield is the modern and prosaic appellation of the old townland 
of Innislonagh, the name of which in Irish signifies " the Island of the 
Xew (or Sweet) Milk " probably because it was good grazing land by 
the river. 

INNISLONAGF1 ABBEY. 

THE ruins of Innislonagh Abbey are now enclosed in the churchyard of 
the Protestant Church of Marlfield. The Abbey of the Island of the 
Sweet Milk is frequently alluded to in old charters and surveys, but little 
history of interest is connected with it. This peaceful uneventfulness 
speaks well for its rule, for good deeds and duty done are seldom re- 
corded, whereas the misdeeds of James Butler, the last Abbot, being 
unusual, emerge and obtain notice. The Abbey is said to have been 
founded by St. Malachy in the twelfth century. Donald Mor O'Brien, 
King of Munster who fringed the Suir with holy houses re-established 



52 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



it in 1187, a little later than he re-established Holy Cross. He seems 
to have colonized it from Furness, in Lancashire. 

About 1465 the Abbot of Innislonagh desired to unite the two 
powerful and ever-warring Houses of Butler and Ormonde. It is said 
that the Earl of Desmond and the Earl of Ormonde of that time met in 
the Abbey of Innislonagh, drew up their armed hosts v.-ithin the pre- 
cincts, and, through the Abbot's intercession, consented at last to " join 
in love." The pledge was solemnly given, and bound by a sacred oath 
that never again would a feeling of hatred or ill-will towards each other 
enter their hearts. The vow was strangely fulfilled. The same evening 
the Earl of Desmond left with his retinue for one of his strongholds on 
the borders of Co. Cork. When crossing the ford at Ardfinnan there 
was no bridge in those days the Earl was drowned, and only his dead 
body reached his feiidal castle for its burial at Yov.ghal. 

ST. PATRICK'S WELL. 

HALF a mile from Innislonagh Abbey, in a sheltered glen of much sylvan 
beauty, there are a very old, small Celtic cross, a tiny ruined chapel, and 
a holy well, famous as St. Patrick's Well. 

The little church, 42 feet long and 17 feet broad, is over three hundred 
years old. After the Reformation, the Catholics of Abbey parish wor- 
shipped in it up to the end of the seventeenth century. To this little 
church was removed the memorial altar-tomb of the White family, which 
was originally erected in St. Mary's, Clonmel, in 1623, to the memory 
of Nicholas White and his relatives. From .their crest and motto it 
would appear that the Whites wore the White Rose and adhered to the 
House of York through the Wars of the Roses in the fifteenth century. 

A glimpse of this glen and of the tiny ruin may be caught from the 
left side of the railway train as it runs from Clonmel to Cahir. The 
Great Southern and Western main line follows the course of the Suir 
(except that part of it which runs through Cahir Park) from Water- 
ford to Knockgraffon. 

St. Patrick's Well has long been a popular place of pilgrimage. It 
lias been celebrated for many wonderful cures effected by the Maters 
which bubble, clear and sparkling, from the ground into a deep circular 
pool at the foot of an old tree. It has been beautifully said of such 
Holy Wells that : 

" The Scripture of creation holds no fairer type than they 
That an immortal spirit can be linked witli human clay." 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THK SKA. 53 



The name of the great Apostle of Ireland has always been associated 
with this particular Holy Well, although no definite record of his visit 
to the spot is to T)e found. It is well known, however, that although 
Tipperary was the special province of St. Ailbe of Kmly, who was pre- 
viously established in it, St. Patrick laboured there at one time during 
his many journey ings. We know that, after his visit to Cashel and the 
baptism of JEngus, St. Patrick journeyed to Northern Deisi the coun- 
try, that is, which lies between the Knockmealdowns and the Galtees. 
There is a curious record of the difficulties of that journey into Northern 
Deisi. It in said that then " Patrick cursed the streams of that place, 
because his books had been drowned in them and the fishermen refused 
to give him fish." The streams, it would seem, were the Tar and the 
Nar, tributaries of the Suir. For all that the Tar and the Nar ran 
through fruitful country, St. Patrick prophesied that there should be 
" no mills on those streams," but that " the mills of the foreigners 
would be nigh them." He then " blessed the Suir and its banks, and 
the river is fruitful, except where the other streams enter it." Som 
centuries later the prophecy was fulfilled, when " the mills of the 
foreigners" the Danes were established at Clonmel and at Water- 
ford. It is likely enough that in these journeyings St. Patrick mar 
have crossed the Suir at Ardfinnan and travelled on to Clonmel. It 
may well have been that the saint found rest, after his toilsome pro- 
gress over the rough country between the Knockmealdowns and the 
Suir, in this sweet and sheltered glen by the river. Doubtless h 
preached there and baptised, and then blessed the well. 

It may be interesting to quote here Professor Kuno Meyer's literal 
translation of " Patrick's Blessing upon Minister." It is taken from 
the " Tripartite Life of St. Patrick" : 

" God's blessing upon Munster, 
Men, women, children! 
A blessing on the land 
Which gives them fruit ! 

" A blessing on every wealth 
Which is brought .-forth, on their marches! 
No one to be in waiyt. of help : 
God's blessing upon Munster. 



54 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



" A blessing on their peaks, 
On their bare flag-stones, 
A blessing on their glens, 
A blessing on their ridges. 

" Like sand of seaiincler ships 
Be the number of their hearths 
On stopes, on plains, 
On mountain-sides, on peaks." 

The two miles between Innislonagh and Clonmel abound with rivet-- 
pictures which linger in the memory. The delightful gardens of Marl- 
field slope down to the waters of the Suir. The wooded hills slope up 
from the river, on the Waterford side, darkly beautiful. The Suir has 
inspired many verses since Edmund Spenser wrote, both humble and high- 
sounding, for it is a river that winds itself through many hearts, both 
near its banks and far across the ocean. 

" The Gentle Suir," " Sweet Clonmel," " Rare Clonmel," " Lonely 
Slievenamon" these words strike chords of memory in the hearts of the 
scattered sons and daughters of Tipperary. The town of Clonmel, in 
particular, seems to exercise a peculiar, and lasting, hold over the 
affections of its townspeople at home and, more especially, abroad. 
There is little doubt that this fact is, in a large measiire, owing to the 
river. To the Suir belong the youthful associations of sport fishine. 
boating, swimming for all forms of which Clonmel has long Veen 
famous. 

" That place so dear to all our hearts 

I mean St. Patrick's Well- 
Its church and tree in dreams I'll see 
When far from ' Bare Clonmel' ; 

"Its mountain walks, each grove and dell, 

The Spa, with waters pure, 
The dear old Rock and crystal well 

Kissed by the silvery Suir ; 
There's Xewtown Aimer, Marlfield, 

Minella and Rag W T ell 
Oh ! where on earth can you find a spot 

To compare with our Clonmel?" 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



CLONMEL. 

" SWEET CLONMEL" seems to have deserved its name even before 
Spenser's day. When the Tuatha de Danaans came to Ireland and 
drove before them the earlier settlers, the Firbolgs, they halted in this 
pleasant valley by the river Suir, guided to the spot by a swarm of bees. 
They raised there a circular fort, or " baile," and named the place 
" Cluain Mealla" (" The Field of Honey"). 




The West Gate, C lor, me 1 . 

In the third century the great Olliol Ollave, King of Minister, con- 
ferred upon the chieftain jEngus a settlement " from the Suir to the 
sea." When, later, the Danish pirates landed at the mouth of the 
Suir, and by degrees made their marauding way up the river, they, 
doubtless, found a considerable community established at Clonmel. 
Probably they met with a good resistance there, for the Danes have not 
left their mark upon the more inland town of Clonmel in any degree 



56 



THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



corresponding to their impress upon Port Lairge, which they named 
after Odin, " Vater-Fiord" (" The Fiord of the Father"). 

Little is recorded about Clonmel until after the English connection. 
A. Franciscan Friary which has been re-built in later times upon the old 
site was founded there in 1269, and with it ths name of the English 
Knight Otto de Grandison is connected. In 1300 Edward II. sanctioned a 
" murage grant" for seven years, which authorised a toll upon all mer- 
chandise sold within the borough, such tolls to be used for the erection 
of walls, ramparts, and other fortifications round the town of Clonmel. 
Traces of these walls remain to-day. The " West Gate" is still the 
principal entrance to the town from the west. It is the only one of 




Cld Quay and Bridge, Clonmel. 

the four gates which remains. Outside it lies the Irishtown, relic of 
the penal days. The largest remaining portion of the old walls is to 
be seen in the churchyard of St. Mary's (Protestant) Church. 

The walled town of Clonmel was besieged by Garret Mor, the " Great 
Earl" of Kildare, in 1516. He marched into the territory of his heredi- 
tary rivals, the Butlers, in all the pomp of his position of Lord Deputy, 
Henry VII. having recently ordained that he should " rule all Ireland." 
After some resistance, " the town was yielded up unto him by the In- 
habitants, and hence he returned Home, with certain Hostages and 
Prisoners, and was received by his friends with great joy ; the rest be- 
took themselves in safety to their own homes." 



THE SuiR FKOM ITS SOUKCE TO THE SEA. 



The siege- of Clonmel-in 1650 was a much more important one. Its 
importance in Irish history is second only to the sieges of Limerick and 
Londonderry. For no other Irish victory if, indeed, victory it could 
he called had Cromwell to pay so dearly. The Mayor of C'lonmel, John 
White, and the citizens were loyal to the monarchy, and applied to the 
Earl of Ormonde, then commanding the Royalist troops in Ireland, for 
soldiers to defend the town. Ormonde sent l,oUO foot-rne.ii of the army 
of Owen Roe O'Neill, under the command of Owen's nephew, Hugh 
Dubh O'Neill. " Black Hugh" and his I'lstermen, together with th 
townspeople, held the town against Oliver Cromwell, in person, and his 




St. Mary's Church, Clontiel. 



"Traces of Twelfth Century Work remain. 1 



veteran Ironsides, for nearly two months, and won from the grim Pro- 
tector a tribute of grudging admiration. Cromwell, indeed, was aboiit 
to raise the siege when he noticed something shining in the grass. He 
picked it up, and found it to be a silver bullet. This suggested to him 
that the garrison were without ammunition. He decided to try what 
hunger would do where force and steel had failed. But the starving 
defenders still held out, although plague now added its horrors to those 
of famine. A gallant sortie upon May 9th left the Ironsides beaten and 
even Cromwell discouraged. But the defenders had shot their last 
bullet and spent their last flask of powder. 



58 



THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



Then Hugh Dubh went to John White. " Go now," he said, " and 
offer to surrender. Cromwell has been beaten. He does not know 
that we have shot our last round. He will give you good terms, hut he 
will show no mercy to us. First you must let me and my Ulstermen 
march out secretly at midnight. When we have had a fair start, go and 
surrender to him." 




Poultrealagh Bridge. Clonme 1 . 



1'hoto hi/tin- Author. 



The siege had cost Cromwell over 2,000 of his men. He readily 
granted Mayor White's conditions. " Does O'Neill know of this?" he 
asked suddenly having signed the treaty pen in hand. Then when 
he knew that Black Hugh and his men had escaped into County Water- 
ford he would have torn up the treaty in his rage. But Mayor White 
reminded him of his reputation for keeping his word, good or bad. Then 
Cromwell declared: " They have fought well for their town, and I will 
keep my word!" Although no town had punished his troops so severely, 
he spared the citizens. This was his last military work in Ireland. On 
May 29th, 1650, ho embarked at Youghal for England. 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 59 



Clonmel remained in the hands of the Parliamentary Party, with 
Colonel Sankey for Governor, until the Restoration of Charles II. in 1660. 
It was held for King James II. in 1690, but after the Battle of the Boyne 
it was surrendered to King William. Its subsequent history until 
1848 is merely of local interest. 

In 1848 Clonmel was the scene of the famous trials for high treason 
of the " Young Irelanders" and their leader. William Smith O'Brien. 
Smith O'Brien, Meagher "of the Sword," Mac-Maims, and O'Donohue 
were convicted and transported to Australia. After some years William 
Smith O'Brien was pardoned, and all that is mortal of that noble-minded 




The Suir from Suir Island, Clonmel. \Plw1o by the Author 

and unfortunate gentleman sleeps in Irish earth, not far from the Suir, 
in the Province of his royal ancestors, and in the land of his dovotion. 

The statue 1 of an Irish peasant warrior, which was erected in front 
of the Town Hall, in 1904, in honour and memory of " the men of '98," 
has reference to the earlier, and more formidable, Rebellion in pre-Union 
days. 

Laurence Sterne was born in Clonmel on November 24th, 1713. ' At 
Knockbrit, near Clonmel, was born the girl known in after years as " the 
most gorgeous Lady Blessington," 

" Whom Laurence painted and whom Byron sung." 
Much of her girlhood she married at sixteen was spent in Clonmel. 



THK Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



Although born in Italy, Clonmel was for many years the home of 
Charles Bianconi, who first came there as a pedlar and rose to be one of 
Clonmel's first Roman Catholic Mayors. Bianconi's name became 
famous throughout Ireland as the originator of " Bianconi's cars." 
These cars carried mails and passengers throughout Ireland before the 
advent of railways, and were celebrated in those days for their excellence- 
and despatch. The first of these cars ran from Clonmel to Cahir and 
back on July 5th, 1815.. 




"Like a long sabre at a warrior's hip." 

The visitor to Clonmel should not fail to spend some time in examin- 
ing the interesting Protestant Church of St. Mary. Although re-built 
in the archa?ologically dark and architecturally painful ages about 1857, 
traces of twelfth century work remain. The east window is remarkable 
for its particularly beautiful tracery. There are also three handsome 
Roman Catholic churches, one of which the Friary is built upon the 
old foundation desecrated by Cromwell's soldiery, and contains the fine 
tomb of James Galda Butler, the progenitor of the Cahir Butlers. 

There are many other interesting things to be seen in Clonn.el, from 
the Corporation plate and regalia to the splendid Horse Show ground, 
where the most successful Horse Show of the South of Ireland is held 
each August. Since January, 1912, Clonmel possesses an attractive 
golf links, near the town, in addition to the private links 
of the Earl of Donoughmore, at Knocklofty. But the prin- 
cipal attraction of Clonmel must ever be the river. " The 




The Friary is built on the old foundation." 



THE SVIR FKOM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 61 



town," wrote Richard Dowling many years ago. " had at 
its side a bright, clear river, which often in my imaginative youth 
seemed to me like a long sabre at a warrior's hip, for my town had been 
famous in old days for high spirit and heroic deeds." That " long 
sabre" flashes still in the mind's eye of many a Clonmel man in the New 
World. He recalls " the view from the Old Bridge, when the moon 
was high," or from the Convent Bridge at sunset. He remembers Gra- 
vel Island and the Xewbolds, " where the Clonmel schoolboys make their 
first attempt at swimming," the Boatliouse and the bathing place beside 
it, the Islands, the Old Bridge Weir, the Queen's (Jap, Lady Blessing- 
ton's Bath, " the sally tre?s kissing the water," and the trees fringing 
the banks. It is the river that gives to Clonmel its unique and enduring 
fascination, and gives to this part of " the Golden Vein" its beauty and 
charm. 

From Clonmel the Suir flows on by many a mill until, " at the foot 
of Slievenamon," it is joined by the Aimer. This little river gives its 
name to Xewtown Anner. 

XKYYTOWX ANXKIf. 

Xewtown Anner is the home of the Duchess of St. Albans, inherited 
from her father, Ralph Bernal-Osborne, once a famous wit in the House 
of Commons. 

Not far from Xewtown a bridge of five arches, known as " Sir 
Thomas's Bridge," spans the Suir. It was built by Sir Thomas Osborne 
to connect his property in Co. Waterford with Xewtown Anner, but was 
granted by him as a public highway without expense to the county early 
in the last century. 

The river is, perhaps, here at its loveliest. It runs through a valley 
formed by the purple slopes of Slievenamon upon the north, and upon 
the south by the wooded, out-lying spurs of the Commeragh Mountains. 
Through their gaps and green ravines, which run down to the very river's 
edge, glimpses may be caught of the loftier " Recks" beyond. In their 
heart is hidden the weird and lonely lake of Coumshinaun, whose chilly 
waves are unfathomed, and are immured from the sun by rocks 1,400 feet 
high. 

SLIEVENAMON. 

" The Mountain of thj Fair AVomen," standing in splendid and soli- 



THE Sum FKOM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



tary state, dominates the valley of the Suir from Clonmel to Waterford. 
Since the days when 

Finn and Oscar 

Followed the chase in Sliabh-na-mhan-Feimbean 

With three thousand Fenian Chiefs, 

E'er the sun looked out of his circle, 

the great mountain has been celebrated in song and story. It takes its 
name from the old tale of how the great hero Finn chose him a wife. Ho 
caused the fairest women of Minister to assemble at the foot of the 




The Hcusa at the Weir"-Tickincor. 

mountain and to race to the top, promising to make the winner his bride. 
But Finn desired, above all the others, Grana, the daughter of the King, 
Cormac. To her he showed a short and easy ascent unknown to the 
rest. When, by means of Finn's short-cut, Grana easily out-distanced 
her toiling competitors, the hero chose her before them all for his wife. 

It is said that during Oliver Cromwell's march through Minister the 
Protector's progress led him across the shoulder of Slievenamon. The 
men began to show signs of discontent at the hardships and difficulties 
of the march. Suddenly the glorious prospect, which included the most 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 63 



beautiful portions of Soiith Tipperary, burst into view. It was an in- 
spiration to the old campaigner. He shouted to his nagging soldiers 
the now familiar words: " This is a country worth fighting for!" 

The words have since been the battle-cry of those whom even 
Cromwell could not completely crush. Since Cromwell's day, and since 
the great days of Finn and Oscar, the slopes and fastnesses of " the 
Mountain of the Fair Women of Eirinn" have proved as " sheltering 
breasts to the orphans of liberty" in the by-gone dark days of distur- 
bance and rebellion. 

About three miles from Clonmel, close to the river, rise the towers 
of " The House at the Weir" (in Gaelic, Teagh-an-Corr), now known 
as Tickincor Castle. 

TICKIXCOR CASTLE. 

TICKINCOR CASTLE was evidently once a fortress of importance. Until 
a couple of hundred years ago, this beautifully situated tower-house was 
the home of the Osborne family. It was last inhabited by Sir John 
Osborne, who died in 1743. Close to Tickincor is the fragment of another 
similar ruin, Derrinlaur Castle. 

DE RRINLAU R CASTLE. 

OLD records describe Derrinlaur Castle as " seated on the Shure." It 
was the Cahir Butlers who placed it in its commanding position on the 
river, the most important means of communication between their ter- 
ritory and the sea. Its name suggests that it was built in " the midst 
of the oak woods," but these have now totally disappeared. The Fitz- 
geralds of Desmond assailed Derrinlaur in 1574. Essex took it, just 
before he took Cahir Castle,, in 1599. But, like Cahir, Derrinlaur soon 
reverted from the Queen to its former Butler owners. It must, how- 
ever, have been dismantled before Cromwell's days. Although he re- 
cords the capture of Poulakerry Castle the ruins of which remain, two 
miles further east of Clonmel, on the north side of the river and also 
another of lesser importance, he makes no mention of Derrinlaur. 

GURTEEX-LE-POER, 

SOME miles further on, the tower of Gurteen-le-Poer, the residence of 
Count de le Poer, rises from among the famous woods at the foot of the 
hills. The name signifies " the little tilled field." Gurteen was at 
one time the home of Richard Lalor Shell. Count de la Poer, the pre- 
sent owner, has greatly improved and beautified Gurteen and the 



til 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



neighbourhood, wherever the hand of man could supplement the handi- 
work of Nature. Deer dot the green lawns, and cattle stand knee-deep 
in the broad and gentle river. Brush, rather than pen, should portray 
the dells and ravines of the Gurteen woods, which clothe the hills from 
river bank to summit, each possessing a characteristic beauty of its 
own. 

KILSHEELAN. 

THE little village of Kilsheelan lies on the left bank of the Suir, opposite 
Gurteen. It is a station on the Great Southern and Western Railway, 
but beyond the usual post office, police barrack, bakery, and " general 




"A favourite subject fcr brush and cair era "Kilsheelan Bridge. //<"'" *.'/ ""< Author. 

shop" the resources, or notable features, of Kilsheelan are few. There 
is one beautiful feature, however, the graceful bridge which 
spans the Suir at this point. It is a favourite subject for brush and 
camera, and is pictured in most guide-books of the locality. There is a 
broad wharf on the Tipperary side, which is often a scene of busy anima- 
tion when cargoes of timber are being unloaded or embarked. The 
whole makes a charming and long-remembered picture. 

CAKBICK-ON-SUIR. 

THE ancient town of Carrick-on-Suir, with, in these days, only o.GOO 
inhabitants, has fallen somewhat from its ancient high estate. It is 



THE SVIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. Go 



to-day the market town of a large agricultural district, and is situated 
in three counties Waterford, Tipperary, and Kilkenny. It is built 
upon both banks of the Suir, upon the waters of which there is con- 
siderable commerce up to this point. Carrick has still its mills and 
creameries and its scenes of busy life on fair and market days. But in 
the fifteenth century this Carrick was, after Waterford, the most im- 
portant place upon the Suir. It was the town and chief residence of 
the Earls of Ormonde, the heads of the Butler family. 

In the fourteenth century Edmund Butler, Karl of Ormonde, who 
died in 1464, built a lordly tower house for himself upon the Water- 
ford bank of the Suir. It was a noble pile, four-sided, and built round 
a central courtyard. The front, built in castellated style, faced the 
Waterford Mountains and commanded the matchless view of the vale 
between Waterford and Clonmel. The castle overlooked, and was pro- 
tected by, the Suir upon the one side. It was protected on its landward 
side by its tall Edwardian towers, which rise, to this day, grandly over 
the Elizabethan house. 

This Tudor house was added in more splendid and peaceful days 
for the Ormondes by the tenth Earl of Ormonde, in loGo. This was 
Thomas Dubh, " Black Tom," already referred to as " the Queen's Black 
Husband." The countless repetitions of the royal initials " E.R." 
upon the walls, and the remains of their portraits in fresco, give colour 
to an assumption that Elizabeth's favour and admiration were recipro- 
cated. But " Black Tom" was " dark" in more ways than one, as be- 
hoved men in those days. He kept his own counsel, and his eye on the 
winning side. 

The banqueting hall was last used on February 2nd, 1876, when 200 
of the Ormonde tenants and retainers in the locality celebrated the mar- 
riage of the present Marquis of Ormonde with Lady Elizabeth 
Grosvenor. But for many generations Carrick has ceased, to be the 
family residence of the Ormondes. 

Few Irish baronial residences are more interesting than this ancient 
seat of the Ormondes, both because of historic memories and existing 
remains. Even in its decay this noble old house stands as a testimony 
to the wealth and glory of the Ormonde Butlers. It was deftly and 
magnificently ornamented by the cunning hands of skilled carvers and 
Tudor artists in plaster. It is sad to se its richly moulded plaster 
ceilings and its oak wainscots falling into decay, and its imillioned win- 
dows and oriels open to the winds. 



66 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 

The learned archa?ologist, Dr. James Craves, writing in 1863, says: 
" If any of my readers want to get properly wrought up to the frame 
of mind in which a ghost-story should be written, or read, I would re>- 
commend them to await a stormy autumn twilight within these old walla. 
I well remember such an afternoon, and have a vivid recollection of the 
creaking doors and the hollow sighing of the wind along the darkened 
passages. There are, however, it seems, no troubled ghosts to haunt 
the castle. The old crone, who was then its caretaker, seemed indignant 
at the supposition. But she confided to us her belief that the castle had 
its tutelary fairy, by name ' Clurichaun,' or ' Leather Apron.' 

" ' In the good old times,' said she, ' when there was " lashin's and 
lavin's" in the castle, and no end of servants, as well as quality, in halls 
and kitchens, it was " Clurichan's" business to see that the serving men 
and maids did their duty. If not, they got a sound thrashing by means 
of the leather apron which he always wore, and which gave him his name, 
for he would lay that about their heads.' " 

From the description of his dress it would seem that this Clurichaun 
belonged to that numerous class of cobblers (or cordwainers) among 
" the good people," who have a special concern for the affairs of mor- 
tals. 

" The old crone" of Dr. Graves' account repudiated any troubled 
ghost, yet one such there might be if spirits return yearningly to scenes 
of former innocence or enjoyment. Tradition tells that Carrick Castle 
was the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, who became the second wife of 
Henry VIII. She may well have spent part of her girlhood there. 
Anne's grandfather (who died in lolo) at one time assumed the title of 
Earl of Ormonde, in right of his wife, who was the daughter of the sixth 
Earl of Ormonde, who died without a male heir. The title was, how- 
ever, subsequently exchanged for an English one, and restored to the 
nearest Butler heir, Pierce " the Red," eighth Earl and husband of the 
famous Countess Margaret, who was a Fitzgerald, a notable castle- 
builder, and a valiant and remarkable woman of her day. Whether 
Carrick was her birthplace or not, it is quite possible that Anne Boleyn' s 
" slender neck" may have been poked out of the oriels of the castle iii 
her girlhood's days, when the fair head upon it held no thoughts of 
AVindsor, nor of Hampton Court, much less of the Tower or the block. 
Did the luckless Queen ever think of this glorious sweep of the Suir, as 
seen from these windows, when she looked out upon the Thames through 
prison bars? 



THE SriK FHOM ITS .SOURCE TO THE SKA. 07 

The Strand Walk runs past the castle, and alongside the river. It 
serves as the principal promenade for the town. Xo visitor should miss 
the view of the river and- mountain from the bridge, and from the 
Waterford side. 

If time and opportunity serve, no visitor to Car rick should fail to 
take a car from there for a drive along the leafy Kilkenny lanes, to visit 
the splendidly preserved old Irish High Crosses of Ahenny and Kil- 
keiran, some six or seven miles from Carrick. Few finer examples of 
High Crosses are to be found in Ireland. Until recently their beauties, 
or, indeed, their existence, have only been realised by antiquarians, or, 
as they are called in the neighbourhood, " the Auntie-quare-ones." Then 
back again we come to the river, now an ample, slow-flowing, and 
markedly tidal waterway flowing between low banks fringed with high 
sedge. 

TYBROUGHNEY CASTLE. 

TTBBOCGHXEY CASTLE already alluded to may be seen from the Suir 
about two miles from Fiddown. The original building, of King John's 
time, is still partly occupied, being incorporated with a modern dwelling- 
house. About this point the counties of Tipperary and Kilkenny meet. 

FIDDOWN. 

AT the. village of Fiddown, the Suir is crossed by a remarkably long 
wooden bridge, -which rests upon an island in the middle of the river. 
This bridge forms the chief means of communication with Portlaw, from 
the left bank of the river. The name comes from Fidh-dun (" the wood 
of the dun," or fort). 

GBAXXAH CASTLE. 

ABOUT a mile from Waterford the Carrick road goes past the ruins of a 
magnificently placed castle upon the left bank of the Suir. Grannah- 
or, as it is sometimes written, Graney was built by Pierce " the Red," 
eighth Earl of Ormonde, and by Margaret Fitzgerald, his wife, about 
the time that Pierce was made Lord Deputy of Ireland, namely, 1521. 
Rol>ert Rothe writes, in 1616, a memory of Pierce and Margaret: " The 
saide Earl was, of himself, a plaine and simple gentleman (saving in 
feats of arms), and yet, nevertheless, l\e bare out his honours, and the 
charge of his government, very worthily, through the singular wisedome 
of hi-s Countess, a lady of such porte that all estates of the realme 



68 THE SriR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 

crouched unto her, soe pollitique that nothing was thought substantially 
debated without her advise. She was man-like, and tall of stature, very 
liberall and bountifull, a sure friend, a bitter enemy, hardly disliking 
where she fancied, not easily fancying where she disliked. She Avas a 
good helpe and means, in those days, whereby her husban's countries 
were brought to civilite." 

Perhaps Margaret's " wisedome" was exercised in the choosing of 
the site of Grannah Castle. Its name, which signifies " a place pro- 
ducing grain," indicates the richness of the surrounding land. Its 
position on the Suir renders it, even now in its ruin, a striking object. 
From the towers and walls which remain a good idea may be formed of 
the importance of this fortress when entire, and of its great strength. 

The Suir by Grannah is about 400 yards broad, and, from the 
castle, it may be sean winding through its rich valley for a considerable 
distance. The river bank becomes higher and higher upon both sides 
below Grannah, and grow increasingly picturesque. Under the cliffs, 
upon the left bank, is Waterford Railway Station, and the wharfs and 
quays of Waterford begin to bound the wide river. 

WATEBFORD. 

BEFORE the Suir ireets its sister river, the Bannow, to form with it. to- 
gether with the Xore, the noble estuary which reaches the sea sixteen 
miles further south, it flows by the City oi' Waterford. 

Waterford has been well described as consisting of "a very long 
quay-side and a very few streats." It is no longer the " rich Water- 
ford" of Spenser's day, but it is still a port of considrable importance, 
a county town, and the seat of a diocese. Waterford's position, how- 
o\ r er, must ever make it a place of importance, while its historical as- 
sociations are more numerous than those of any other city in Ireland, 
with the possible exception of Dublin. To write a complete history of 
Waterford would be to write the history of Ireland. 

The early Irish were a pastoral, else a hunting people, who dwelt 
in easily moved dwellings of wattle, and defended themselves by means 
of earth-works. They neither built towns nor made seaports. The 
first to build seaports and fortresses in Ireland were the Danish in-! 
vaders. Such strongholds were a necessity to them in Eirinn for the 
collection and safe keeping of their rich spoils before shipping. Hut 
it is, nevertheless, more than likely that the Danes at their first coming 
found an Irish settlement already upon the estuary of the Suir. The 



THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



MKXAPIA of the ancients was, very probably, \Vaterford. In 270 /.D. 
He read that an exiled tribe of the Deisi came to " the Port of the River- 
Fork." and named it Port Lairge (" the Port of the Thigh"), because 
of the thigh-shaped bend of the river at this point. In 8-52, Sitric the 
Dane came to Port Lairge, captured and fortified it, and called it Vater- 
Fiord ("The Ford of the Father," that is, of Odin). 

For centuries Waterford remained a Danish stronghold and capital, 
surrounded by stone walls, intact, with its own charter, customs, and 
authority. The surrounding country groaned under Danish domina- 
tion. The oppression of the Irish was likened unto the Babylonish 
Captivity. The foreigners extracted from every Irishman a tribute, 
which was called the Arigid Shrona (or " Xose Money"), because all 
who would not, or could not, pay it were liable to have their noses cut 
off. " And though there were but one milk-giving cow in the house 
she durst not be milked for the infant of one night, nor for a sick person, 
but must be kept for the foreigner, and however long he might be absent 
his share or his supply must not be lessened." 

This Danish tyranny was at last destroyed by the great King Brien, 
first in his own Kingdom of Minister, and, finally, throughout Ireland. 
In 980 he swept down the Suir valley from Cashel, and " ravaged and 
plundered Port Lairge and banished their King, who had forced the war 
upon him." Brien burnt the Danish stronghold to tjie ground. But 
the power of the Danes in Ireland was not entirely ended even by the 
great Irish victory of Clontarf on Good Friday, 1014. A Danish king- 
dom lingered in Ireland, with Dublin, Limerick, Cork, and Waterfqrd for 
its centres, until the coming of the Anglo-Normans in 1169. 

In 1003, Reginald the Dane built the strong round tower on the river 
bank at Waterford which still bears his name, and has survived many 
strange scenes and vicissitudes. In 1050 another Reginald, or Ranald, 
of whom Charles Kingsley wrote in his romance of " Hereward the 
Wake," built the Church of the Holy Trinity, after the fashion of the 
Danish church in Dublin which is now known as Christ Church 
Cathedral. The foundations remain beneath the floor of the present 
Protestant Cathedral, built in 1773 for a parish church. The Water- 
ford Danes having embraced Christianity, elected Malchus, a Dane 
and Benedictine, sometime of Winchester, in 1096, for their Bishop. 
They sent a letter to Archbishop Anselm at Canterbury asking for his 
consecration, which request was granted in the same year. 



70 



THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



The most stirring scene of Waterford' s history was enacted on 
August 25th, 1170, when Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, nick- 
named Strongbow, the Anglo-Norman knight-adventurer, was wedded to 
Aoiffe (Eva), daughter of the treacherous and wicked King of Leinster, 
Dermod MacMorrough. Tradition tells that this marriage took place in 
Reginald's Tower, overlooking the Suir, which even still ran red with the 
blood of the defenders of Waterford, and reflected the smoking and 
smouldering ruins of the city. 

Married to the Leinster petty king's daughter, Strongbow assumed 
airs of sovereignty, and even aspired to be the Ard-Righ. But the 




Reginald's Tower, Waterford. 

marriage failed in its political object. According to Brehon Law no 
hereditary rights could be conveyed by marriage, or through a female 
heir. Aoiffe was in no sense the King of Leinster's heiress, not even 
in the eyes of Leinstermen. All Aoiffe brought to Strongbow from 
Dermod was the curse laid upon the King of Leinster that no true heirs 
should succeed him. Neither Dermod nor Strongbow was survived by 
legitimate male heirs. 

Strongbow's assumed sovereignty was brief. In the next year, 
1171, King Henry II. came himself over to Ireland to check the growing 
insolence of Dermod and his son-in-law and to receive the submission of 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



the Irish chiefs in person. He landed at Crook on October 18th, and 
proceeded to Waterford on his way to Cash el. 

Some years later, on April 1st, 1185, Henry II. 's son, John, then 
Earl of Morton, landed at " the city by the Suir," and there established 
a mint in Reginald's Tower, which was henceforth named Dundory (or 
" The Fort of Gold"). John, now King of England, landed again at 
Waterford in June, 1210. On the 25th of Aug\ist of the year following 
he departed from " the opulent City of Waterford," having repaired 
and extended the walls and bastions. 

Waterford was burned to the ground in 1252, but rose triumphantly 
from its ashes, with increased religous foundations. Richard II. landed 
at Waterford in 1394, and again in 1399. The importance of " the City 
by the Suir" as a port in close proximity to England connected it, more 
or less, with every important event during the English connection. 

Waterford's motto, " Frbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia," was 
granted to it by Henry VII. in a letter of thanks to the citizens for their 
refusal to acknowledge either of the Pretenders, Perkin Warbeck or 
Lambert Simnel (both of whom were widely accepted as sovereigns 
throughout Ireland), as well as for the bravery of the city during twelve 
days of siege at the hands of the former, together with the Gi^eat Earl 
of Kildare (Garret Mor), who espoused Perkin's cause in 1527. The 
following year the King sent a Sword and Cap of Maintenance, to be 
borne before the Mayor, which are still preserved. 

Cromwell besieged Waterford in 1649, but was obliged to retirb. 
The city, however, surrendered to Ireton the next year. 

Waterford espoused the Stuart cause at the Revolution, and to 
Waterford James II. fled after his defeat at the Boyne. From Water- 
ford he hastened to Duncannon, a seaside village some eleven miles dis- 
tant, whence he took ship to Kinsale and thence to France, never to re- 
turn to his former kingdom. After the flight of King James II. Water- 
ford surrendered to William of Orange, and William embarked from 
Waterford for England on September oth, 1690. 

The subsequent royal visits to Waterford were made under happier 
circumstandes. Queen Victoria entered Waterford Harbour in her 
yacht on August 4th, 1849, and anchored there for a night. She says 
in her Journal: " We entered Waterford Harbour at twenty minutes to 
four o'clock. The harbour is rocky on the right as one enters, and very 
flat to the left. As one proceeds the land rises on either side. We 
found a little fort called Duncannon Fort, where James II. embarked 



72 THE Sum FKOM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



after the Battle of the .Boyne, -and from which they have not saluted 
for fifty years. Further up, between the little villages, one on eithei 
side, each with its little chapel picturesquely situated on the top of the 
rock or hill, we anchored. The little fishing place to our left is called 
Passage and is famous for salmon. We had an excellent specimen for 
our dinner. Albert decided on going to Waterford, ten miles up the 
river, in the ' Fairy' witli the boys, but as I felt giddy and tired I pre- 
ferred to remain quietly on board sketching." 

In May, 1904, Edward VII. spfent a day in " Vrbs Intacta" and 
visited the Agricultural Show held there. 

Although the City of Waterford teems with historic associations, but 
few historic remains have survived the passage of time. With the ex- 
ception of Reginald's Tower, which stands as a landmark upon the 
southern end of the quay, adorned with an explanatory modern inscrip- 
tion, the remains of old Waterford have to be sought for in out-of-the- 
way nooks and corners. The castle is in the Tramore Railway Station 
yard. St. Thomas's Church founded in the twelfth century and de- 
dicated to the memory of St. Thomas a Becket by either Henry II. or 
his son John is to be found behind the bonded warehouse of Messrs. 
Downes. The walls may be traced in various unlooked-for places. The 
two most interesting ruins in Waterford need some searching out. 
They are Black Friars and the French Church. Black Friars was 
founded for Dominicans in 1226. The Friary was surrendered by its 
Prior, Matin, to Henry VIII. in 1541, and in 1599 it was granted by 
Queen Elizabeth to her Deputy, Sir Anthony St. Leger. The French 
Church takes its name from having been usad as a place of worship by a 
colony of Huguenots dismantled and ruinous as it then was in 1693, 
and for some time afterwards. It was founded in 1240 for Franciscan 
Friars by Sir Hugh Purcell. Henry III. endowed it richly in 1245. It 
was confiscated about 1546, and turned into an almshouse. It subse- 
quently fell into disuse, until the French refugees obtained it. In it 
are many notable tombs and graves of Watorford worthies, and the 
ruins will repay a visit. 

The fine quay, of which Waterford people are justly proud, and 
which forms the distinguishing feature of their city, runs for more than 
a mile along the bank of the Suir. " The gentle Suir's" waters have 
borne many cargoes to this quay, and rippled on through many hap- 
penings in many centuries. 

Near the soutHern end of the quay is the Wooden Bridge, which 



THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



73 



spans the wide river and was built in 1793 by an American bridge- 
builder, Lemuel Cox, of American and Irish oak. It cost 30,000, and 
was only declared toll free on the stroke of midnight on December 31st, 
1907. A new bridge is now in process of construction. 

Waterford was the birthplace of the beautiful Mrs. Jordan, the 
Georgian actress, and of Charles Kean. Vincent Wallace, the com- 
poser of " Maritana," etc., was also born there, as was Thomas F. 
Meagher, " Meagher of the Sword," the " Young Irelander" and Gene- 
ral of the U.S. Army. 

From Mount Misery so called by Cromwell's soldiers the steep 
lull opposite the city, the finest view of Waterford may lie obtained. 

Over against Waterford the Abbey Church stands upon the site of the 
once famous Augustinian Abbey of St. Mary-by-Kilculliheen, winch was 




Checkpoint. 



"So flowing all in one, all one at last become." 



founded by no less notorious a patron than Dermod MacMorrongh, King 
of Leinster. It was further endowed by King John and others, but 
in 1557 its temporal and spiritual possessions were leased to the Cor- 
poration of Waterford, who still hold them. The present church is 
altogether modern. 

Many picturesquely placed residences adorn the banks of the Suir 
below AVaterford. Close to the city is Newtown Park, where Field 
Marshal Lord Roberts, son of a well-known Waterford family, spent 
many years of his boyhood. Upon Mount Misery is Knockane Castle, 



74 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 

once the residence of Alderman Forristal, of American shipping fame. 
On the Waterford side, near the upper end of the Ford, or principal 
channel, of the Suir is Ballinakill House, in which James II. is sup- 
posed to have taken his last night's rest in his own dominions. 

About two miles from Waterford the Suir runs round Little Island. 
The Fitzgeralds built a castle upon this island in the twelfth century. 
It has been rebuilt and restored by the present owner, who bears the 
same name, and is now a noticeable addition to the river-picture at this 
point. 

A fine view of the confluence of the three rivers, and the imposing 
estuary which they now form, may be obtained from Faithlegg, the 
home of the Powers. The house nestles among its woods, and the 
ruins of Faithlegg Church make a charming subject for the artist's 
pencil. Faithlegg Hills commands the finest view in the district. 

Opposite Faithlegg is Bellevue House, in which were spent the 
earlier years of Richard Lalor Sheil, O'Connell's eloquent supporter. 

The small square tower of Buttermilk Csatle overlooks the river 
at this point. The ruin is supposed to have been a toll-house, or water 
gatie, at which dues upon shipping were levied by the Abbot of Dun- 
brody, or it may have served as a protection to the monks of Dunbrody 
while fishing. 

About six miles from Waterford, at the bend of the estuary, stands 
the little village of Checkpoint. 

CHEEKPOINT. 

AT Checkpoint the waters of the Suir mingle with those of " the goodly 
Barrow" and " the stubborn Nore." 

" All of which, long sundered, do at last accord 
To join in one, e'er to the sea they come, 
So flowing all in one, all one at last become." 

The three rivers now form the great estuary, three miles wide, 
known as Waterford Harbour. The juncture of the rivers is marked 
by the Barrow Bridge, one of the largest railway viaducts in the United 

Kingdom. 

Near this point " where the river of Waterford joins the river 
of Boss," as the old chroniclers of the Abbey describe it stands one 
of the finest monastic ruins in Ireland, Dunbrody Abbey. 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 75 



DUNBEODY ABBEY. 

THIS great Cistei'cian hoiise was built, as its name indicates, on the dun, 
or fort, of some Irish chief called Brody. The name of the site in Eng- 
lish records is Port St. Mary. The Abbey dates from about 1182. The 
twelfth century was an epoch of church building, alike among the Eng- 
lish and the Irish. To this period belong the most splendid of the 
Gothic and Transitional ruins in Ireland. Having acquired Irish 
possessions and settled themselves therein, the Anglo-Norman invaders 
turned their thoughts towards making peace with their God and amends 
for their sins. This they did by means of monastic endowments or by 
Crusading. The stalwart warrior barons who did not decide to make a 
good end in the Holy Land sought it in religious retirement in monas- 
teries of their own founding. Among these was Henry II. 's Marshal, 
Hervey tie Montmarisco no attractive character, according to Cam- 
brensis. For the benefit of his soul, together with those of his wife, 
ancestors, heirs and sovereign, he gave the lands of Port St. Mary to 
the monks of the Cistercian Abbey of Bildwas, in Shropshire. 

Lands in the wild and unsettled country across the Channel had 
little attraction for the snug Shropshire community. Ranulph, the 
Abbot of Bildwas, sent " Alan, a prudent lay brother," to prospect. 
Alan found the place a solitude, and his only shelter was a hollow oak 
tree. Upon his return to Bildwas with this report, Abbot Ranulph 
made over his Irish rights and obligations to the monks of St. Mary's 
Abbey in Dublin. This community built St. Mary's Abbey at Dun- 
brody. 

The Rev. P. Power, M.R.I. A., has set forth the history of Dunbrody 
Abbey in a pamphlet published by Harvey, Watfcrford. In it he says: 
" The annalist does not note the ordinary, but the unusual and extra- 
ordinary. Their scantiness of matter for history is perhaps one of the 
best tributes to the discipline and religious spirit of the monastic es- 
tablishments of Ireland." " Happy the nation which has no history.' 1 
If this proverb be true, not only was Dunbrody a peaceful and 
happy community, but many other religious houses on the Suir like- 
wise, for example, Holy Cross, Athassel, Cahir, and Inishlonagh. 

The Charter of Dunbrody has been preserved in the Abbey Regis- 
ter, which is now in the Bodlean at Oxford. There is a tradition that 
Hervey de Montmarisco took monastic vows and became first Abbot of 
Dunbrody, but it is almost certain that he became, not a Cistercian, 



76 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA, 

but a Benedictine, and that at Holy Trinity, Canterbury. His monu- 
ment, or effigy, in black Kilkenny marble, once stood on thie Gospel 
side of the high altar, with chalice in one hand, baton in the other, and: 
vestments over his coat of mail. In 1798 the soldiers qxiartered in, 
Duncannon Fort smashed statue and monument. 

Dunbrody waxed greatly in prosperity and in imporance. The 
Abbey was victorious in controversies with the Templars, although one 
of the Abbots declared to Edward I. that the lawsuits had so im- 
poverished the Abbey that it could neither " maintain hospitality nor 
supply its own need." It was victorious also in a lawsuit with the 
Augustinians of Athassel in 1255. In 1374 Pope Gregory XI. made the 
head of Dunbrody a mitred abbot, and he became a Lord of Parliament. 

Doubtless Dunl>rody's wealth attracted the cupidity of the spoiler. 
Two years before the general Dissolution of the Monasteries, in the 
reign of Henry VIII., Dunbrody was suppressed. The ostensible, 
reason given was want of hospitality and of " constant good affection" 
towards the Government. The lands passed from one to another until 
marriage brought them to Arthur Chichester, Earl of Donegall, in the- 
possession of whose descendants they remain. 

The Cistercians were ever noble builders. Even in its ruin Dun- 
brody retains the characteristic Cistercian massiveness and austerity. 
The Rev. P. Power writes: "All is severe simplicity a realisation in- 
stone, so to speak, of the rigorous Cistercian spirit. Whether the- 
actual designers or masons were Irish or foreign matters little ; they 
were influenced consciously or unconsciously by the Celtic building 

tradition The free use of Caen stone (carried hither from 

France) argues that it was no niggard hand which furnished the build- 
ing funds." 

The great east window is still perfect. It has three lights, deeply 
splayed inwardly, and is surmounted by three smaller windows. The- 
west door is still marvellotis for its stone filigree open-work carving, 
" so raised as to allow easily the finger to pass under it." The west 
window, together with the south wall, was allowed to fall before the 
Board of Works (in 1895) rescued the great Abbey from complete decay. 

NEW GENEVA. 

THE wide estuary passes New Geneva, notorious in the sad days of 
" '98" as a military station, marked now only by the ruins of the bar- 
racks. Its name comes from the fact that, in 1785, a colony of Ge 



. THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 77 



vese craftsmen, obliged to leave their own country, petitioned Earl 
Temple, then Lord Lieutenant, to give them permission to settle in some 
part of Ireland. The Irish Parliament voted 50,000 for their settle- 
ment and for the construction of this town for their reception. These 
colonists were workers in gold and silver, and, to further encourage 
them, an Act was passed changing the standard of gold in Ireland. An 
Assay Office, an Assayer, and a special set of hall marks for the work 
produced at New Geneva were provided. But the settlement was short- 
lived. After six or seven years the industry suddenly ended. The 
Genevese gold-workers left only a memory in a name. 

At New Geneva, in 1800, was Lorn Samuel C. Hall, of Irish literary 
and antiquarian fame. His accomplished wife and collaborator, Mrs. 
S. C. Hall, was born the same year in the Hook district, across the 
harbour. Their artistic and valuable work on "Ireland: its Scenery 
and Character" still remains an inexhaustable and astonishingly accu- 
rate storehouse of fact, legend and description. Husband and wife 
did a worthy work for an Ireland then almost unknown. 

CEOOK. 

THE next point of interest is Crook, the ancient landing-place where the 
first English King to enter Ireland first set his foot on Irish soil. 
Henry II. landed here on October 18th, 1171. Traces still remain at 
Crook of the old castle of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, which 
recall their lawsuits with the Abbots of Dunbrody, which have already 
been mentioned. 

PASSAGE. 

PASSAGE EAST nestles among the hills upon one side of the river ; the 
village of Ballyhack is upon the other. The village of Arthurstown is 
passed, the coast cliffs begin to show themselves, the great estuary 
merges into the sea, and on the Spit, which extends nearly half way 
across it, stands a lighthouse. 

DUNCANNON. 

DUXCAXXOX FORT commands the entrance to "Waterford Harbour from 
a fine strategic position on the Wexford shore. From the days of 
Henry II., who fortified it, the fort was regarded as impregnable. It 
was garrisoned in the days of the Armada in anticipation of a Spanish 
attack. It successfully resisted the Parliamentary forces under General 
Ireton. It is now dismantled, and impregnable no longer. It is 



78 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



famous as the scene of the last act of the Stuart tragedy in Ireland. It 
is said that James II. fled from his dominions in such haste, after the 
Boyne, that he caused the cable of the French ship which bore him 
from Duncannon to be cut and the anchor left behind. 

WOODSTOWN. 

THE next village upon the estuary is Woodstown, with its fine strand 
and beautifully situated residences. Loftus Hall, once the seat of the 
Marquises of Ely, stands on the Co. Waterford side. 

HOOK. 

CREDAX HEAD is rounded, and the peculiarly-shaped headland of Hook 
juts out southward. The Tower of Hook, now a large modern light- 
house, makes a notable landmark. The old proverb, " By Hook or 
by Crook," was probably originated by the navigators of this estuary. 
Opposite lies the picturesque and popular seaside resort of Dunmore. 

DUNMOKE. 

DUXMORE is beautifully situated upon the sea, which is here bounded 
by a bold and rocky coast. Perhaps the finest and most glorious view 
of the estuary of the Suir is to be obtained from the rocky hill above 
Dunmore. Upon this wild and striking spot stands a fine cromlech, 
called " The Druid's Altar." It is a fitting spot for worship. On the 
one side lies Cremla Island and Hook Tower, upon the other the fine 
Bay of Tramore with its ragged cliffs and precipices and its splendid 
stretch of strand. It is worth noting that visitors to Waterford can 
golf at Tramore. 

CONCLUSION. 

AT Hook the great estuary which combines the three sister rivers 
finally merges into the sea. The little water-drops that trickled out 
into the simshine in the crevices of the " Devil's Bit" have travelled on 
in the sunlight and the starlight, through shady pools and pebbly 
reaches, by cottage, village, ruin and mill, meadow, fortress and wharf, 
to the ocean. They have encountered many things upon their war 
some sweet and gentle, some hard and evil. 

" Sometimes the water-drop glides in the sun among mossy ledges, 
or lingers by the edge of the copse where the hazels lean toegther ; but 
sometimes it is darkened and polluted, so that it would seem that the 
foul oozings that infect it could never be purged away. But the turbid 



THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



elements the scum, the mud, the slime each of which, after all, has its 
place in the vast economy of things 'float and sink to their destined 
abode, and the crystal drop, released and purified, runs joyfully onward 
in its appointed way." 

So it is with the lives of men, and with the history of nations. 
Through long and varied years, through strange and momentous 
changes, by monuments of piety and oppression, the Suir has flowed 
on to the sea. Through the vicissitudes of the centuries, through sun 
and shade, through calm reaches and ruffled eddies, through rocks and 
man-made barriers, through strange courses and sad pollutions, the soul 
of man makes its way at last to the ocean of Eternal Love. 

Much history has been made on the banks of the Suir, and the 
whispering waters have a tale to tell to those with ears to hear. It is 
well worth listening to, even in these hurrying times. " If any there 
be" to quote the words of Camden, the old historian " which are 
desirous to be strangers in their own soile, and forrainers in their own 
Citie, they may so continue, and therein flatter themselves. For such 
like I have not written these lines, nor taken these paines." Those 
to whom Camden's words apply are becoming fewer and far between in 
an Ireland where a renewed love for her legends and literature, and a 
stronger interest and pride in her history, have lately arisen. But, " if 
any there be" who are still " strangers and forrainers" to the fair 
Woman-Land of Eirinn, close to England's shores, and accessible 
nowadays to tourists of every description, may this little " river-book" 
prove not merely a " guide," but the opening of a door. It presumes 
to do no more. 

Beyond that door lies the fascinating and unexplored land of Irish 
history, legend, folk-lore, and literature. In that unexplored land 
there is to be found a freshness, a charm, a spiritual insight, a spon- 
taneity which have grown rare, and are fast growing rarer, elsewhere. 
It is a change as complete as it is instructive. Into that land, as well 
as to " the lovely green banks of the Suir," all who love Ireland, and 
all who would learn to love her, are welcome. 

" O come for a while among us and give us the friendly hand! 
And you'll see that old Tipperary is a loving and gladsome land. 
From Upper to Lower Ormonde bright welcomes and smiles will 

spring 
On the plains of Tipperary the stranger is like a King!" 




"Calm Reflections." Cahi,- Abbey. 



r/iotot/rni>!i Ity the Author. 



Fishing on the Suir. 



" THE FISHFUL SUIHE" is scarcely as full of salmon or trout as it was 
in the time of the old writer who thus describes it. There are more 
barracks on its banks nowadays, for one reason, but as well as this the 
river is netted from Clonmel to Dunmore, and the increased price of 
salmon and the facilities of transport account for large " catches," 
which partake more of the nature of an industry than a pastime. Yet 
the Suir is still a good salmon river, and many brown trout (" breac") 
lie in its pools and tributaries. Nevertheless, it may be frankly stated 
that for the tourist and the general public there is now no good free 
salmon fishing on the Suir, or anywhere else. AYhat is worth preserving 
is carefully preserved. The Irish gentry have, as a rule, retained the 
fishing rights of their former estates. They are generally courteous as 
to their preserved waters, and seldom refxise the request of a sporting 
visitor. But, in consequence of the increase of anglers in Ireland, 
property on a good salmon river has risen much in value and is now 
much more carefully looked after than formerly. 

The Suir commences to be a salmon river at Holy Cross, and salmon 
fishing becomes good about Ballycarron. From Holy Cross to Golden 
some of the river is open for licensed rods. The best salmon fishing 
is in Cahir Park, which is well preserved by Lady Margaret Charteris, 
and at Knocklofty, which is preserved by the Earl of Donoughmore. 
There is good fishing about Bochestown, which is in private hands, and 
at Ardfinnan, which belongs to Mrs. Prendergast, of Ardfinnan Castle, 
and may sometimes be rented. There is likewise good fishing at Xeddins 
and Newcastle, which is preserved. Marlfield is a favourite and favoured 
spot, also preserved, and " the turn of the Abbey," at Innislonagh, is 
well known to anglers. 

There is a well-known pool " Dudley's" below Clonmel which is 
preserved by Mr. Robert Malcomson. On a July forenoon in 1911 that 
well-known fisherman successfully landed ten nice salmon and peal 
between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at this spot. Some of the fishing below 
Clonmel is open. About Clonmel, Kilsheelan, and Carrick there is 
fishing from " cots." 



82 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 

Salmon fishing on the Suir begins on February 1st and ends on 
October loth. March and April are the best months on the river. 

Handsome fish are frequently landed on the banks of the Suir. One 
weighing 401bs. was secured a few years ago by Col. G. Going at Knock- 
graffon on a fly. The " Fishing Gazette" announced the sale of a 
salmon weighing 561bs. and measuring 65 inches in length and 28 inches 
in girtby which was caught in the Suir in June, 1911. 

The largest salmon ever caught in the Suir weighed 581bs., and 
was caxight near Ardmayle under circumstances worth re-telling. The 
lucky fisherman was fishing for trout with worm when he saw the giant 
fish. But he had not a single fly with him! He hurried off to the 
nearest farmhouse to seek the materials with which to make one. 
" Have you any feathers?" he breathlessly demanded of the first person 
he met. " Xo, not a feather except in my best hat " began the. 
girl. But the eager sportsman would listen to no excuses. " Bring 
it here quick!" he cried. The hat was produced, a fly was hastily 
tied, and he ran back to the river. After a while the salmon was 
hooked. The man was alone, and it was fully six hours before he suc- 
ceeded in landing his fish. When he exhibited his prize, the first ques- 
tion asked him was the name of the deadly fly which had captured this 
trophy. "Ah!" answered the man, gravely, r< that is the mystery!" 
And the fly which killed the 581b. salmon in the Suir by Ardmayle has 
borne the name of " the mystery" ever since! 

Trout fishing is free on many parts of the Suir, and upon many 
of its tributaries. From Clonmel to Kilsheelan there are several 
favourite spots well patronised in leisure hours by the inhabitants of 
Clonmel, young and old. The Anner, which joins the Suir below 
Clonmel, is a good trout stream. Part of it, however, is preserved by 
the Duchess of St. Albans. The Aherlow, which runs into the Suir by 
Knockgraffon, is a favourite and prolific stream, easily accessible from 
Cahir. The supreme beauty of the Glen of Aherlow refuge of Geoffrey 
Keating, the Irish historian, in the seventeenth century makes this 
tributary well worth exploring to its source. The Ara and the Nire 
also hold trout, and good sport is to be had on the Tar about Clogheen, 
a capital brown trout stream. The best trout on record at Clonmel was 
caught on the Devon bait, and weighed 81bs. 

The season for trout fishing on the Suir is the same as for salmon, 
namely, February 1st to October 15th. April, May, and June are the 
best months. In spring fishing the best hours of the day are between 



THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 



11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Late afternoon or twilight are not then favour- 
able. " It is just in the ' sun-bursts,' which throw sharp shadows, 
that the spring trout rises best. When say in March the glass has 
indicated a sudden change from harsh, dry weather, the spring fisher 
will get better sport than at any other time. Just when the hills have 
caught the van-guard of ocean-bred clouds, and before the spate has 
come down, every trout in the lower water glances hungry and expec- 
tant." 

The favourite artificial flies in these waters are the " black rail," 
the " hare's ear and claret," the " orange grouse," and " orange" and 
" green wren." All seasonable standards, however, are useful on the 
Suir. As a rule, Irish fish take larger flies than English trout. Natural 
flies are often very successful, not excepting the horse fly " jist as 
serious for the trouts as for the garrons" and, in these waters, a 
lively worm is by no means to be despised. 



Printed by THB CLOXMEL CHRONICLE Newspaper and Printing Works, Ltd. 



THE MODERN IlllDnDT A MT MfiTIPC THE MODERATE 

HOUSE. IMrUKIANI NullUL HOUSE. 



Ira LTa 
Italian Warehouse t Wine and Spirit Store, 

47 O'CONNELL STREET, CLONMEL 

(Four Doors from West Gate;. 



HOUSEHOLD ECONOMY.. 

THE good Housekeeper needs more than thrift to make a choice 
of Provisions. One must deal at the Store where QL'ALITY 
and Moderate Prices are studied. I cater not only for your wants 
but for your pocket. 

Choicest Hams and Bacon. Leading Irish Brands only kept 
Finest Creamery Butter, always fresh. 
Finest English Cheddar and Canadian Cheese. 

Jams. Jellies, Marmalades, Sauces, Pickles ; Limerick Brawn and Collared Head 
in tins and glass : Biscuits from all the Leading Manufacturers, always fresh and 
crisp ; Spices, Dried and Green Fruits in variety ; Tinned Fruits and Fish, etc., in 
great variety ; Dainty Morsels ; Toilet Soaps, Perfumes, Essences. 

T/ILK ON 

The average Irishwoman is noted for her Tea ; she has the special 
gift of selecting a blend not only pure but delicious. With such 
clients to cater for I found it necessary to procure the best value in 
the market, with the result that I can offer an exceptionally good 
stock at prices ranging from 1/4 to 2/8 per Ib. 

There are medium-priced brands at 1 8 and 2 - which I can 
specially recommend, their flavour and purity being incomparable. 

A 5lb. parcel \fi\l be sent post free on receipt of cash. 



THE WINE & SPIRIT DEPARTMENT 

Is furnished entirely with such brands as Hennessy's 1, 2, and 3 Star 
Brandy ; John Jameson's Whiskey, 4, 7, and 10 years old, at 19/-, 
2 1/-, and 22/- per gallon; Ports and Sherries, shipped direcc ; all 
best ^brands of Champagnes,. Hocks and Mosellea ; Guinness's Extra 
Stout and Porter ; and Bass and Allsopp's Ales. 



THE BEST BOOK 

for Tipperary folk at home 
and abroad to read is their 
own Book : 

TIPPERARY'S 



3--J-* 



ANNUAL. 



PUBLISHED AT 



43 PARNELL STREET, 
CLONMEL. 

Price I/-; by Post 1/3. 



COMMERCIAL 

ND FAMILY 

CLONMEL. 

Situated in healthiest part of town. Splendid 1'ictr. 



Bar shocked "coitfv all I-iquors of very best quality. 

Prompt attention. , EXCELLENT STABLING. 

Hot and Cold Water Baths. 9P Terms Moderate. 



SOFT BEAUTIFUL SKIN. 



The winsome attractiveness and bewitching beauty 
of a soft, clear, smooth, flawless skin is irresistible. 

PARKE'S OATMEAL CREAM 

cleanses and heals, cools, smooths, softens and 
nourishes the skin. It is the nicest of all skin 
preparations. 

It is non-greasy and therefore will not grow 
hair. Price 7J/d., I/-, and 2/6 per pot. 



/") T/T7 / Chemist and 

JJ. VV. ^ 



Optician, 

CLONMEL. 



Bakers and Confectioners. 

BEST BREAD A SPECIALITY! 

Home-made and Hovis Bread. .-. Confectionery made from Best Irish Flour. 

B@- WEDDING and CHRISTENING CAKES 

artistically turned out on the premises. 



CLONMEL MACHINE BAKERY, 

OLONMEL. 



Watchmaker, Jexvs11sr and Optician. 






44 GLADSTONE STREET, 

=CLONMEL. 



*LEYERETT 



HIGH-CLASS GROCERS, 
WINE, SPIRIT, & PROVISION MERCHANTS. 



Q i A f ( Fuller's Cakes and Confectionery. 

Sole Agents for ( Wegt Surrey Rich Creaffl 

-x*^-<sa*x- 
Main Guard, CLONMEL. 



W. & A. Gilbey's Wines and Spirits. 
The Oldest and Best House in the South of Ireland 

TOR ALL KINIS OF 

Framing, Jfount Cutting, and Gilding,! 



_Picture Frame Manufacturer, 
Z Everlasting Wreath, Glass, 
china & Musical warehouse, 



WEST GATE, CLONMEL. 



A MODERN 



BEAUTY SPOT 



NEW 

Tftammoth 



O'CONNELL ST., 



THE OLD-ESTABLISHED , . 



harness and Saddlery Warehouse, 



ESTABLISHED 1868. 



RIDING Saddles, Bridles, Horse Clothing, Brushes, Chamois, 
Sponges, Keiu and Car Ropes, Bits and Whips of all descrip- 
tions, Harness Oils and Compos. 

All kinds of Cairiage, Gig 1 and Cart Harness made to order and 
kept in stock. 

Agents for Burman's, Brown's, and Chicago Power Clipping 
Machines. Fancy Leather Goods and Footballs of very best 
manufacture. 

Trunks and Travelling Requisites, Motor Spirit, ( il and Grease. 

Agents for the Kyi-Tyre Extinguishers. 




Up. Gladstone Street, Clonmel. 



FINEST AND PUREST TEAS. 
JOHN JAMESON'S WHISKEY, 

12, 7 and 6 Years Old. 
Agent for W. & A. QILBEY, Wine Growers and Distillers. 



INVALID PORT A SPECIALITY. 



Finest Limerick Hams, Bacon, and Provisions 
generally. 



ALLAN SPARBOW, 

5 GLADSTONE ST., CLONMEL. 



NEW DINING ROOMS, 
33? Cambrian Hotel, 55 Parnell St., Clonmel 

(OPPOSITE CorxTT Ci-ru). 

THE Misses M. & N. GUIRY beg to inform their Friends and the Public that they have 
secured the above Premises, where they have Opened 

High-class Breakfast, Dining, Luncheon and Tea Rooms. 

B^ 1 They hope to be favoured with a share of your patronage, and ran a<surr- Customers of 
Personal Attention, Moderate Charges, and uo delay. 

J/. ,V. Griltl (Proprietresses). 

ggp Permanent Boarders may have Apartments, &c., by -pocial arrangement. 



RONAYNE fe CO., 



Auctioneers, Appraisers, Ironmongers, . 
Furniture Dealers, Coach Builders, . . 
Harness Makers, Cabinet Manufacturers, 
and Undertakers, ......... 

The Mart, Nelson Street, 
-CLONMEL- 

-. <...- 
No Better Value to be had for Money than the above Firm can supply. 



WiNE 



Do you require High-class Wine for an Invalid ? 
Do you require Superior Wine for your Table ? 

IF SO, GIVE US A TRIAL. 



JAMBS WHITE & CO. 



THE BEST HOUSE IN IRELAND 
BUY A RANGE 



DENIS LO VARY'S, 

THE BUILDERS' IRONMONGER, 

CLONMEL. 



jff/)f>6/>tr Hairdresser and . . 
JtVLnZ/tt Dealer In Toilet Requisites, 



18 Mitchel Street, Clomnel. 

Bazors a Speciality. Strops in great Variety . 
Large Selection of Brushes and Combs. 

Ladies' Own Combings made up. 

"Jtty 61onme1 Scrap Soofr." 

EVERY visitor to County Tipperary's chief town should secure a copy of 
" MY CLONMEL SCRAP BOOK," an interesting volume of stories, 
sketches, and ballads, compiled and edited by JAMES WHITE. The book is 
attractively produced, does not contain a dull page, and is published at a low 
p r i ce 3/. ; post free 3/6. It will have a special charm for those who knew 
Clonmel in the days of their youth, and after having been away from the old 
town for a long time, return to find some of their familiar landmarks removed 
it is true, but to discover also that Clonmel has taken a fresh and vigorous 
lease of life. To be had from Mr. JAMES WHITE, Gladstone Street, Clonmel, or 
local booksel'ers. " CLONMEL GUIDE " 2d. ; post free 3d. 



A. New Selection of Watches, Clocks, and Jewellery. 
SOLID SILVER AND ELECTRO -PLATED GOODS 

SUITABLE FOR WEDDING PRESENTS, 




All kinds of REPAIRS done on the Premises by Experienced Workmen. 



P J KANE 13 Mitchel Stoeet 



P. CASHIN, 

atjfc IfttUtgr, 



26 G-LADSTONB STREET, 

CLONMEL. 

CASHEL. 



M, H. HANNIGAN I 



CYCLES, MOTOR CYCLES, 
x;x- AND ALL ACCESSORIES. 



PETROL, OIL, TYRES IN STOCK. 
Pictorial Post Cards and Views of Cashel. 



THOMAS WALSH, 

MAIN STREET, CASHEL (ClTY), 

BEGS to announce that he has always in stock Photographic Views of The 
Rock of Cashel, Hoar Abbey, Holy Cross Abbey, etc.. together with Post 
Card Views of the following : The Cashel Railway Station, the Dean Kinane 
Memorial Fountain, several views of The Rock, Holy Cross Abbey, Hoar 
Abbey, Athassel Abbey, Presentation Convent, Rockwell College, and the 
Dr. Croke Memorial Cross. 

A splendid selection of all the above views in plush. Also instructive 
guides to The Rock and Holy Cross Abbey. 

Note Address "SENTINEL" Office, Cashel. 

Licensed Jetoeller and 



BUYER OF L_ANTIQUE __ANP i MODERN L. FURN'TURE. 

JEWELLERY or Goods sent by post for pledge or sale will have immediate 
attention. Money or offer sent by return of post in gold, notes, or postal order^ 



Offices 12 Irishtown and 26 Gladstone Street, 
CLONMEL. 



THE ONE GREAT HOUSE 



FOB 

ALL CLASSES OF DRAPERY GOODS 

IS 

O'REILLY'S CORNER, 

CLONMEL. 



ttery fc *o., SEER'S, '**', *a/iir., 



ijfjEG to announce having received Large Consignments of the following 
CT Goods : Grocery and Fruits of every description ; a fine selection of 
Teas, Wines, Spiritt, all rare value at popular prices ; an endless variety of 
Hardware, Cutlery, Brashes, Baskets, Ropes, Oils, Colours, Paints, Varnish, 
etc. ; Feeding Stuffs, Meal, Bran, Pollard, Oil Cake, Linseed Meal, Flour, 
Flax Seed, etc., at mill prices ; Garden, Field and Flower Seeds direct from 
the Growers; every size Scantling in Timber, Flooring and Sheeting ; a good 
supply of Bar Iron, Corrugated Sheets, Cement, Tiles, Bricks, Coal, etc.; 
Boots and Shoes in endless varieties. 

Ramess J^lade anc) Repaired on the Premises. 

Agents for Goulding's and Lawe's Manures ; Pierce and Co , VVexford, and 
Osbourne Machinery Co. ; Whitehaven Coal Co., etc. 



Enquiries invited. Every Article at its Lowest Market Value. Prompt 
and careful attention given to every order. 



NOTE ADDRESS: 

SLATTERYS SELECT SUPPLY STORES, CAHIR. 

Wires : " Slattery, Cahir." 'Phone No. 04. 



PARNELL STREET, CLONMEL. 



Prompt attention. <8> <8> Terms moderate. 



MISS CORBETT, PROPRIETRESS. 



The Rink Carriage and 'Motor IBorks 

QUEEN STREET, CLONMEL. 

fp^AKRIAGES, CAES, and CARTS of every description Built and 
\^y Repaired on the Premises .by thoroughly skilled Workmen, on 
the most scientific principles. Rubber-tyred Wheels fitted to any 
Carriage or Trap. Specifications and Estimates free. 

TRY US FOR REPAIRS. Motor Garage by the week or month. 

M. J. MEAGHER & SON, Proprietors. 



M. FEEHAN, 

Wholesale Sro?er. * Jea ^Merchant. 
CL ON MEL. 



W'ne importer and Whisky Bonder. 



Edward Dillon, 



ies' and Gent's Tailor. 



RIDING HABITS A SPECIALITY. 

Patterns on application. 



M/TCHEL STREET, CLOWMEL, 



A Novel of New Ireland. 

A Green Tree. By L. M. MCCRAITH. 

In " A Green Tree" the author tells a charming story of 
modern Ireland, and the influence of the new movements 
upon the character of the people. 

Crown 8vo, 3s. 6d. 

" A well conceived tale of Irish life, full of deep tragedy and deferred 
hope, and perhaps on that account, truer to life than if it were full of 
boisterous humour." " Irish Independent." 

" One of the most charming and readable stories that has emanated 
from the pen of an Irish author for a long time past."" Freeman." 

" The atmosphere of the tale is excellent, and we hope in the near 
future to see further works of fiction from the same pen." " Daily 
Express." 

" . . effectively symbolises the fertile alliance of the old and new 
forces of Nationalists in the Ireland of to-day." " Glasgow Herald." 

" We congratulate the author on a genuinely Irish novel." " Deny 
Standard." 

" Shows a deep knowledge of Irish life in most of its phases. It is a 
thoughtful one, and, moreover, exceedingly interesting, and of good 
literary quality." " Cork Examiner." 

"A very readable and interesting story; forcibly narrated. The 
author Jias told a good story, and told it well." " Bookseller." 

" A ! study in contrasts." "Literary World." 

" Interestingly told, and the literary powers of the author constantly 
in evidence." " New Ireland Review." 

" An Irish novel of literary value, with a plot and development which 
hold the reader's attention continuously to the close." " Sydney 
Freeman." 

" Sees her characters, not as so much raw material, but as living men 
and women with personalities very i-eal to her, and which, by her art, 
become real to us." " Northern Whig." 

" Must be classed as high-class literature." " Dundalk Herald." 

" The interest lies in the author's sincere love of country; still more 
in the restraint of her style and the natural feeling which marks the 
book throughout." "Times." 

" Much pleasant writing . . . well told." " Scotsman." 

" A careful piece of work, showing intimate knowledge of high and low 
life in Ireland." " Publishers' Circular." 



Dublin: Seaiy, Bryers and Walker, Middle Abbey St. 



A 000032391 5