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Local History

This project was researched and written by the fifth class pupils of Knockea Primary School.

Saint Patrick's Church, Knockea.



The Church at Knockea was built originally in 1922 under the direction of Rev. James McNamara P.P. The Hill on which the church was built was the site of a Dún of Cae, a chieftain who had a number of Dúin in the area and a man of great wealth. The Church was built of local stone obtained from the local quarry at Cahernorry. The stone was regarded as 'weeping stone' which meant that the stone was damp and it was condusive to cold and mould. The stone was transported by horse and cart to the grounds of the Church.

The church was renovated in the 1960's by Rev. Tom Kirby P.P. Rev. Denis Browne later added a car park. The stones on the piers of the gates had been taken from the old castle at Lickadoon. They are now in the wall which replaced the old entrances. The iron rings which were attached to the wall were used to tie up horses and traps when people went to worship. Rev Fredrick Rice is believed to be the last priest to ride a horse to Knockea around the time of World war II.

Prior to the building of the Church people worshipped in a timber and stone church at Knockea Hill. Mass was celebrated here during the Penal Times. Cahernorry and Carrigmartin were also places of worship during the Penal laws. A large rock opposite Keane's public house provided a look out.

The Church has seen many bitter feuds within its walls mainly fought over land. During the famine years in particular land was often abandoned and those who took it over were not liked.The local priest would try to make peace but often unsccessfully. The hill upon which the church is built was the site of a Dún of Cae, achieftain. He had a number of Dúns around which showed his great wealth.

Archbishop Dermot Hurley.

In the grounds of the Church is a large cross with our lord was re-erected in 1984 on the 400th anniversary of the death of the most Rev. D. Hurley, Lickadoon, Archbishop of Cashel. Dermot Hurley was believed to have been born in 1530. He was appointed Archbishop of Cashel on September 11th 1584. He was arrested and imprisoned in Dublin Castle. In 1584 he was interrogated and the Lord Justice decided to torture him using the 'torture boots'. This involved placing a boot on the victims foot and putting in a mixture of oil and then placing them on iron bars over a fire and cruelly roasting them. O'Hurley was later hanged on December 27thy 1584.

Fr. Denis Browne P.P. unveiled a plaque in the grounds of Knockea Church to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Dermot O' Hurley, Archbishop of Cashel.


Ruins of Lickadoon Castle


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