SHRUEL, or SHRULE, a parish, in the barony of RATHCLINE, county of LONGFORD, and province of LEINSTER; containing, with the post-town of Ballymahon, 3848 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name, signifying "the bloody stream," from a battle fought here in 960 (which is noticed in the article on Ballymahon), is situated on the river Inny, which bounds it on the south, and comprises 3339a. 0r. 33p., as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £5226 per annum.

The lands are generally of good quality; about three-fourths are under tillage, and the remainder low pasture or meadow; the soil is fertile and the system of agriculture improved. Limestone abounds and is quarried for agricultural purposes and for building; and at Terlicken are quarries of flag-stones of very good quality.

In the immediate neighbourhood of Ballymahon, and throughout the parish, are numerous gentlemen's seats, of which the principal are Newcastle, the residence of the Dowager Countess of Ross; Ballymulvey, the property of the Shouldham family; Moigh, the seat of M. Shouldham, Esq.; Castlecore, of T. Hussey, Esq.; Drimnacor, of W. Sandys, Esq.; Crevagh, of R. Sandys, Esq.; Cartron, of J. Wright, Esq.; Rathmore, of R. C. Barbor, Esq.; Cloncallow, of W. T. Murray, Esq.; Doory Hall, of F. J. Jessop, Esq.; Rockfield, of J. Fetherston, Esq.; and Lisglassick, of J. R. Robinson, Esq.

Spinning and weaving are carried on in several of the farm-houses; and near the bridge of Shruel, but in the parish of Nogheval, are flour-mills producing annually about 4000 barrels of flour. The small lake of Drum, which discharges its superfluous waters into the Inny, abounds with pike of large size but inferior quality. The Royal Canal passes through the parish.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ardagh, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is impropriate in the vicars choral of the cathedrals of Christ-church and St. Patrick, Dublin.

The tithes amount to £318. 6. 7., of which £194. 10. 4 ½. is payable to the impropriators, and £123. 16. 2 ½. to the vicar. The glebe-house, towards the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits contributed a gift of £400 and a loan of £370, in 1813, is a good residence; and the glebe comprises 34 acres, valued at £45. 9. 85. per annum. The church, a handsome edifice, situated in Ballymahon, was enlarged in 1824, for which purpose the late Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £1140.

In the R. C. divisions the parish, called also Ballymahon, and one of the bishop's parishes, is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; the chapel is a spacious and well-built edifice. About 150 children are taught in two public schools; and there are seven private schools, in which are about 230 children, and two Sunday schools.

There are some remains of the ancient parish church at Shruel; the cemetery is still a favourite burial-place. In addition to the castles of Ballymahon and Castlecor, noticed in the article on the town, are the remains of the castle of Barnacor, apparently built to defend the pass of the river in co-operation with Lot's castle on the opposite bank. On the hill of Mullavorna was formerly a monastery, which was subsequently removed to Foighy. Several coins of Elizabeth and some of the base money of James II. have been found here. On the townland of Cartronboy is a cavern containing several chambers, within the area of a Danish rath.

Search Topographical Dictionary of Ireland »