From: Rosemary Eisenhauer
Date: 07/20/04 04:00:13
Subject: Re: Anacarty parish
It was good to read your contributions to the Anacarty/Donohill discussion.
You have helped in our understanding of the issues and times in which our
For example, I had of course read that the Penal Codes suppressed the
building of new RC churches; and that the Church got around that one by
building “chapels” which used no saints or other obvious RC names. What I
didn’t know is that “chapel villages” were established, as centers providing
services primarily for the very poor.
I will pay close attention to the dates. I should think that Immaculate
Conception, est. 1824-1836, and St. Brigid’s, est. 1870 in Anacarty do not
quite fit the model of RC “chapels.” But I may be missing something.
Why am I not surprised by the figures for Mass attendance? Partly because I
saw this pattern in the U.S. There are any number of reasons for it. In 19th
c. Ireland, there would have been many of the poor who lacked money for the
collection plate; who perhaps could not put shoes on all the children or
winter jackets, etc. Other reasons could be frank skepticism about the
Church or even anti-clericism, as there were in individuals in my own family
in the U.S. Such individuals or even families are known today as
“Catholics-by-tradition” because they enter the church doors only for
baptism, marriage, and burial . . . .
I think I will leave the discovery of an 18th c. RC church to Anacarty
searchers. But I hope they post the information On List. I would be
interested to hear about it.
Meanwhile, I will try to get hold of your references. In Maryland we enjoy
InterLibrary Loan, which includes several Universities in the state system.
Perhaps I can order some works and pick them up at my local Libary
branch–which is only 5 minutes away.
> Rosemary –
> I pulled out my copy of the book Tipperary History and Society, which is a
> collection of very scholarly essays edited by William Nolan and Thomas
> I remembered that there was a piece by Kevin Whelan on the Catholic Church
> Tipperary 1700-1900.
> He mentions Anacarty as being one of the more remote upland communities
> slow in following the trend of building “modern” chapels – the one there
> being built in 1870 as you noted.
> In another section, he talks about how the Comissioners of Public
> gathered figures in 1834 on the level of attendence at Sunday mass in the
> various parishes. Thurles was estimated to have 90 percent attendence.
> lowest attendence was in the hill parishes – Ballingarry was the lowest at
> percent attendence at mass and Annacarty had very low estimates of
> This doesn’t really answer your question about the 18th century parish,
> however interesting it is to find out that our ancestors weren’t too
> their church going.
> But another article by T. Jones Hughes on Landholding and Settlement in
> County Tipperary in the Nineteenth Century may have the answer to whether
> an 18th century parish in Anacarty. He talks about “chapel villages”of
> 21 have been identified in County Tipperary, Anacarty being one. “The
> villages were the product of two main stimuli making for the development
> new forms of village life in the 19th century. On the one hand, the
> rehabilitated church was seeking appropriate settlement foci for its fresh
> structures, and on the other hand, the state was becoming more aware of
> obligations locally as a provider of elementary welfare services,
> these were concerned with health, justice and education. Chapel villages
> in origin embryonic service centres attached to a parish system.”
> Some chapel villages were created in response to the alienation of older
> sites, i.e., historial parish centers which had been taken over by the
> church. Others, however, were successful “when located in physically
> areas, especially those which had acquired strong traditional and Gaelic
> sentiments, and where the late eighteenth century church sometimes found
> congenial initial footing. In this way, the Ryan-Dwyer country in the
> rimland of the Kilnamanagh uplands became the territorial focus for
> new parishes such as Anacarty and Cappawhite.”
> “Even when it was most successful, however, the essential hallmark of the
> chapel village of the 19th century was its poverty. Such settlements
> therefore, of the lowest order in the changing hierarchy of villages and
> they were often objects of derision. Their condition however was in
> with a carefully cultivated image of a fugitive church, caring for a
> people and whose limitations were initially largely ascribed to the
> nature of colonial legislation.”
> I gather from these comments that Anacarty was not a parish until late in
> 18th century, when the penal laws were being lifted. And that it was
> extremely poor when compared to other parishes in the county. It isn’t
> under those circumstances that the written records don’t start until late.
> know that Ballina’s records start around 1838 but I also know that the
> was in existance in the mid 1700’s.
> There was evidently an article about the chapel village by Kevin Whelan
> called “The Catholic parish, the Catholic chapel and village development
> Ireland” published in Irish Geography, vol 16 (1983), pages 1-15. This
> identified the 21 chapel villages, including Anacarty. Maybe it gives a
> more detailed history of the parish. Getting your hands on a copy might
> problematical although there should be some college library nearby you
> has a subscription.
> Now that I read this, it still may not answer the your question, but it
> someidea about the parish history.
> Theresa Liewer