Sunday, February 16, 2014

Okyle parish, church and people in County Waterford

Okyle parish, church and people in County Waterford

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien


The church and former parish of Okyle are situated on the north bank of the River Bride near where it joins the River Blackwater. In fact the two rivers form the southern and eastern boundary of the parish. The name Okyle or gCoill means young wood, according to Rev. Canon Power in his book ‘Place names of the Decies’, while other sources identifies it with Eochaill or yew wood.[1] Charles Smith remarked on the adjacent and associated townland of Camphire that “the land of which is lying low, seems to be excellent, both for arable and pasture”.[2] Canon Power translated Camphire to mean an irregular boundary district.[3]

Location map for Okyle church and Camphire Castle

The church of Okyle

The church at Okyle is believed to date from the 14th century, although there are other early church sites in Okyle, distinct from the remaining ruin.[4] One of these sites is further up the hill from Okyle church, on the same road. It is described as a cillín or “children’s burial ground”. The site is marked on the Ordnance Survey maps but is not visible at ground level.[5]

At Okyle church only the east gable wall of the building remains standing. The early edition maps of the Ordnance Survey show a dark line to represent a north wall but nothing of this north wall remains above ground level today (2014). The Ordnance Survey people recorded the following details about the north wall which was partially standing in about 1840 and was about thirty feet in length.

“There was a window in the north wall of this Church at the distance of four feet from the east gable; it was formed of cut stone and was two feet six inches wide in the inside but it is destroyed at top and on the outside. The north wall is nine feet high, three feet four inches thick and built of pebble stones of all shapes, kinds and sizes laid in irregular courses in a very rude style; it nods a good deal from the perpendicular, the foundation having given way…” (O’Flanagan 1929, 144-145)[6]

The south side wall and the west gable have entirely disappeared and were gone long before the first Ordnance Survey maps of 1840. Therefore the length of the church cannot be ascertained. The width of the church is 21 feet.

The inside view of Okyle church facing eastwards with the east window 
and "anchorite" cell to the left

The so-called anchorite cell

Attached to the north east corner of the church there stands a small cell. Several theories have been advanced regarding the purpose of the cell, including a sacristy, a place of communion for lepers and a confessional. The cell is nearly pentagonal in shape and measures on the inside 5 feet 8 inches from north to south and 4 feet 10 inches from east to west. The stone roof of the cell is slightly corbelled.

The cell is said to be the abode of a hermit or ‘anchorite’ attached to the church. Some anchorites had lives of strict seclusion, holding no communication with the world while some preached occasionally and gave advice through a small window in their cell. In the adjoining townland of Camphire there is a holy well called “Well of the Pilgrimage” which may have associations with people visiting the hermit of Okyle.[7]

It is said that the anchorite cell at Okyle is unique to Ireland although many examples can be given for England.[8] This is not an entirely accurate statement as the church of Kilronan in the Barony of Glenahiery has a somewhat similar cell in the same north east corner of the church and which is similarly only accessible from inside the church.[9]

It is suggested as a “practically certainty” that an anchorite living in this cell was part of the ecclesiastical establishment of Lismore and the townland of Ballyanchor (west of Lismore), is showed as part of the endowment of anchorites in the Lismore area. But that is no evidence that the anchorite of Okyle was attached to Lismore. The anchorite at Okyle may well have been a lay person who sought out a hermit life without the life of a religious cleric.

The doorway into the "anchorite" cell from the interior of the church

Of course it is possible that the anchorite was a woman, in which case she would have been called an anchoress. A good example of an anchoress was Julian of Norwich.[10] Here is an article on this person =

As we have no documentary evidence of any kind about the anchorite or an anchoress at Okyle, even to say that there was indeed an anchorite living in the small cell, all suggestions on the subject are purely speculative. As Canon Power remarked “churches [in former times] were used for purposes that would seem to us very strange today”.[11]

The east gable

The east gable of Okyle church is now the only section of the old church left standing apart from the “anchorite” cell. The gable is about 20 feet high and 3 feet in thickness. Its notable feature is a window opening just off the centre of the wall. A ledge above the window suggests the possibility of an upper room at first floor level. The gable wall is not totally original and shows signs of reworking at a few times in its history.

The moving east window

At the centre of the east gable was the important east window of the church. The finely decorated east window was measured on the outside at 7 feet 6 inches by 3 feet and sprayed interiorly to 9 feet 7 inches by 5 feet 4 inches. In about 1840 the centre stone mullion and associated pieces of the window were still in sit'u. The Ordnance Survey people recorded this about the window:

“The east window is formed of cuts and stone and pointed on both sides; it measures on the inside nine feet seven inches in height and five feet four inches in width and on the outside, where it was divided into two lights by a stone mullion, seven feet three inches by two feet nine inches, each division (light) one foot two and a half inches”.[12]

When Canon Patrick Power, the ecclesiastical historian of Lismore and Waterford, first visited Okyle church around 1900 the stone mullion tracery at the centre of the window was gone and the sight gave the impression of a single window opening. But a few years later the tracery was discovered in the back of a nearby garden and restored to the church. The accompanying photo in Canon Power’s 1938 article shows the stone tracery in sit'u and the church gable covered in greenery with more foliage within the church.[13] Unfortunately since Canon Power wrote his updated article on Okyle church in 1938 the stone tracery has disappeared once again. At least we have the photo to show how it used to be.

Photo published in J.R.S.A.I. volume 8 of Series 7 for 1938

Elsewhere the window is described as of fifteenth century in date.[14] Yet evidence in the stone suggests that there was an earlier and much larger window. It often seen in medieval churches, where large thirteenth and fourteenth centuries windows were made smaller in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries because of the more unsettled nature of the countryside. A large window was an open invitation for robbers.

The church after it ceased to be a church

Later in this article we will observe a stone house in the area of Okyle mentioned in a mortgage deed of 1603. Some have written that this stone house was near but separate to the church. Yet Canon Patrick Power suggests that the stone house and the church of Okyle are the one and the same building. He cites the local Irish speakers who called the “anchorite” cell, tig cloice, or stone house.[15] A curious feature of the “anchorite cell” is the presence of four musket loops in the chamber.[16] Were these original to the chamber or later additions when the church was a secular building? The absence of any recognised burials inside or around the church suggest the building was for a long time in secular use. Many medieval churches are noted for their burials and headstones, both inside and without, from the 1750s onwards.

The parish of Okyle

It is unclear if the church at Okyle was a chapel of ease for the large parish of Lismore, in which it now lies, or if it was the parish church of a long disappeared parish of Okyle. At the western end of the old medieval parish of Lismore was the independent medieval parish of Mocollop. This parish existed in the thirteenth century but was absorbed into the larger parish of Lismore on or shortly after 1363. From that time the Vicars Choral in Lismore Cathedral used to receive the revenues of Mocollop while supplying one of their number as vicar. Mocollop was somewhat restored as a parish in 1844 with a separate vicar but the rector still was the dean at Lismore.

If Okyle was once an independent parish that status was removed before c.1302 as its name those not appear in the list of parishes of that time whereas Mocollop is so mentioned as a parish.[17] It is possible that Okyle was a church in a pre-Norman territory but never reached parochial status. The church records of Joshua Boyle, made in the 1660s, make no mention of any church income or tithes attached to Okyle.[18] It would seem that following the establishment of parishes and dioceses that Okyle church was maintained by a local lord or the Bishop of Lismore as a chapel of ease for the parishioners of Lismore living in that part of the parish. The parish and cathedral church at Lismore would be a considerable distance at a time of bad roads and poor transport.

Lay lords and people of Okyle

It is not clear who was the lord of Camphire and Okyle in medieval times. A branch of the Fitzgerald family possessed Camphire in the early seventeenth century and may have so held it before that century. It is said that the Fitzgerald, otherwise called Fitzgibbon, family of Camphire descended from Henry Fitz David Fitzgibbon of Kilbolane, Co. Cork. This Henry Fitz David lived c.1325 to c.1345. The Fitzgerald family of Ballinatray are said to be an offshoot of the Fitzgerald of Camphire family.[19]

Towards the end of the Tudor period Edmond Cotton settled at Camphire Castle with his wife and family. There he built a “pretty town” in the style of English architecture. Edmond Cotton was well respected in the area and seems to have developed his estate to a high degree. It was said that he served the government for 13 years without absence and often by his own expense.

During the Nine Years War many of the recently formed English settlements in Munster were attacked and destroyed. This was in the year 1597. Edmond Cotton did not escape this wave of destruction. He was forced to flee Camphire with his family under great threat of harm. The rebels burnt his castle and destroyed the town. As a result Edmond Cotton suffered great financial loss, to the value of about £2,000 which broke his health. He died sometime before May 1604 without any compensation from the government.[20]

After the Nine Years War the Fitzgerald family returned to Camphire and rebuilt their estate. A stone-house at Okyle appears on a deed of mortgage in 1603 from John Fitzgerald to Robert St. John. This stone house appears to be in ruins a few yards from the eastern boundary of the townland.[21] A lengthy court document from 1628 stated that townlands of Camphire and Okyle contained one ploughland each and that Okyle was mortgage by John Fitzgerald to Thomas Fitzjohn Fitzgerald of Rostellan and that Robert St. John was a brother-in-law of this Thomas. The full mortgage on the two townlands was worth £900.[22]

This John Fitzgerald may be the same John Fitzgerald of Camphire, gent, who in April 1604, at Tallow, sat on a jury of inquiry into the lands of Sir Walter Raleigh.[23]

In 1610 Sanderis Fleming of Camphire, Ireland was mentioned in a witness statement in Edinburgh. It would appear that he was involved in illegal shipping with some people from the West Country of England somewhere in the Scottish waters.[24] The witness statement of the affair is repeated in another source without any elaboration of what the illegal shipping business was.[25]

Sometime before 1628 Sir Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, acquired the lands of Camphire and Okyle from Robert St. John. The latter had the lands in mortgage for £500 given to John Fitzgerald and the Earl of Cork purchased the mortgage deeds. In October 1628 Margaret Fitzjohn Fitzgerald, the widow of John Fitzgerald, complained to the Irish Privy Council, on her behalf and that of her son, Garret Fitzjohn, that Camphire and Okyle were her lands and that the Earl of Cork was an illegal occupier.

The Earl of Cork replied that Margaret’s husband had no title to Camphire and Okyle at the time of their marriage as the lands were in mortgage to Mr. Rowe and John Power. Thus the Earl claimed that Margaret Fitzgerald had no title to the lands. Yet the Earl did acknowledge that Margaret Fitzgerald had a yearly fee of £5 on the ploughland of Okyle but she had sold this for good money to the Earl of Cork. The Earl concluded his reply by describing Margaret Fitzgerald as an “uncontested unsettled woman” and that her further claim that Boyle had leased the parsonage of Lismore to John Fitzgerald was totally false.[26]

In a separate court document from 1628 the Earl of Cork stated that Margaret’s son, Garret Fitzjohn Fitzgerald, had petitioned the Earl of Cork to clear the mortgages on the property and pay outstanding debts in return for a fresh mortgage from Garret to the Earl. The Earl paid off the mortgage but “persuaded by priests” Garret Fitzgerald gave the lands to John Oge Fitzgerald of the Decies in a new mortgage. John Oge Fitzgerald then approached the Earl of Cork to give back his money but the Earl refused to accept it.

The dispute was heard before Lord Aungier who declared that the Earl of Cork was to pay certain monies to Fitzgerald and give the lands of Ballyellenan to Fitzgerald and his heirs. In return Garret Fitzgerald, Robert St. John and John Oge Fitzgerald were to give Camphire and Okyle to the Earl of Cork for the £900 he had paid for it. The Earl of Cork declared that he had fulfilled his said of the deal and had letters to prove it. The Earl concluded his statement to the Privy Council by praying that the case be dismissed.[27] The civil survey records that Ballyellinan in the parish of Kinsalebeg was held by Garret Fitzgerald of Dromana.[28]  

In the civil survey of 1640 the Earl of Cork is listed as the owner of Camphire and Okyle which contained two ploughlands and was leased by Lt. Col. Francis Foulke.[29]

In the poll tax census of 1660 it was found that Francis Foulke was the chief person of Camphire. The census also returned 13 English tax payers and 71 Irish tax payers for the townland of Camphire. In Okyle there were 34 Irish tax payers and no tax payers of English descent.[30]

The subsidy roll of County Waterford of 1662 lists Sir Francis Foulke, knight who had movable goods worth £30. After Sir Francis the names of ten people were listed but as specific townlands were not mention in the roll for any place in the Barony of Coshmore and Coshbride it may be too speculative to suggest that these ten people lived in the area of Camphire and Okyle. Further research is needed is this regard yet to aid that research here are the ten people so listed: Dermot Fitzgerald, William Trant, John Power, Donogh MacPatrick, Donogh MacEdmond, Daniel MacShane, Edward Power, James Trant and John Fannidge.[31]

Camphire castle and house

The ruins of Camphire Castle stand on the west bank of the River Blackwater. The remains of this rectangular tower house measure about 12.5 meters East-West and 10.35 meters North-South. The structure has a base batter and cu-stone quoins partly survive to first floor level. The South-West corner has the remains of a spiral stairs while a garderobe chute survives to first floor level on the East wall. The vast majority of tower houses have some element of vaulting yet no evidence of vaulting exists at Camphire Castle.[32]

As noted above Edmond Cotton lived at Camphire Castle for a number of years before 1597.

During the Confederate War (1641-1653) hardship and atrocities was committed on all sides on the ordinary people caught in the middle. Dean Naylor of Lismore wrote to the Earl of Cork in March 1642 that “the soldiers and English tenants in and about Camphire Castle have robbed and stripped all ye poor harmless Irish, and that the unruliest rogue belonging to Camphire is one Edward Caine (whose name agreeth with his nature)”.[33]

Later in the letter Dean Naylor wrote that “The unruliest rogue belonging to Camphire is one Edward Caine, this villein stole a lighter from Camphire when ye rebels lay in hundreds along ye water side, which lighter as it was passing down was intercepted by John O Farnane and his Company, who came oyer in ye same to ye Parishes of Kilcockan and Kilwatermoy and Rincrew and by that means stripped your poor tenants of all ever they had”.[34]

Later in the war Camphire castle was garrisoned by English soldiers who were supplied by a pinnace from Youghal.[35]

In more peaceful times Therese Muir Mackenzie remarked that “Nowadays instead of war like sallies and violent recriminations, the inhabitants of Dromana and Camphire embark in boats to exchange innocuous afternoon calls and drink a friendly cup of tea”.[36]

After the Foulke family had left Camphire the ancient Anglo-Norman family of Ussher came to residence. The first of the family associated with Camphire was Arthur Ussher (born 1683) of Cappagh who married Lucy, daughter of Berkeley Taylor of Askeaton, Co. Limerick and died in 1768. He left one son (John) and two daughters (Sarah and Judith). The eldest daughter, Sarah, married Richard Kiely of Strancally Castle and her grandson, Arthur Kiely took the additional name of Ussher in 1843.

Camphire Castle and house as seen from the River Blackwater

John Ussher succeeded to Cappagh and Camphire and married his cousin Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher Musgrave of Tourin in June 1761. John left Camphire to his eldest son, Arthur Ussher. Arthur Ussher was born on 30th March 1764 and married (January 1788) Margaret, daughter of Rev. John Hewetson of Suirville.[37] Arthur Ussher was living at Camphire House in 1819.[38]

Arthur’s eldest son, Christopher Musgrave Ussher succeeded to Camphire. On 7th December 1833 he married Eleanor, daughter of Thomas O’Grady, and niece of the 1st Viscount Guillamore. Christopher Ussher died on 2nd December 1880 leaving two sons. His second son, Thomas O’Grady Ussher, lived at Flower Hill near Ballyduff, Co. Waterford.[39]

The eldest son of Christopher Ussher, Arthur Edward Ussher, was a magistrate for County Waterford in 1869 and living at Camphire House at that time.[40] Arthur Edward Ussher was born in 1835 and married his first wife in April 1861. She was Annie Julia, daughter of William Henry Hassard, Recorder of Waterford. In February 1876 Arthur married his second wife, Kate Emile, daughter of George Henry Adams. Arthur Ussher died on 15th May 1903.[41]

In 1902 Arthur Edward Ussher sold Camphire to Robert Conway Dobbs, eldest son of William Dobbs, QC, of Ashurst, Killiney, Co. Dublin. Robert Dobbs became a Deputy Lieutenant for County Waterfpord and was appointed High Sheriff in 1909. Robert Dobbs was born on 26th December 1842 and was educated at Shrewsbury and Trinity College, Cambridge. He had qualified as a barrister-at-law at Lincoln’s Inn. On 28th September 1869 he married Edith Juliana, second daughter of Henry Fowler Broadwood of Sussex and died on 3rd January 1915.[42]

Robert Conway Dobbs left three sons and three daughters. The eldest son, William Dobbs, was killed in the Great War in July 1917. Thus the second son, Henry Robert Dobbs, succeeded to Camphire. Henry Robert Dobbs was born on 26th August 1871 and was educated at Winchester and at Brasenose College, Cambridge.  Henry Dobbs then entered the British diplomatic service in which he spent a quarter of a century representing Britain in various places, principally in Asia.

Henry Dobbs first post was as Consul for Seistan and Kain in 1903 followed by: British Commissioner on the Russo-Afghan Boundary (1903-4), Secretary Kabul Mission (1904), Famine Commissioner Rajputana (1905), Deputy Secretary Foreign Department (1906), Revenue and Judicial Commissioner Baluchistan (1909, 1911 and 1917), Judicial Commissioner North West Frontier Province (1914), Resident and Consul-General Turkish Arabia (1914), Police Officer with the Mesopotamian Force (1915-16), Agent to Governor-General and Chief Commissioner Baluchistan (1917), Foreign Secretary to the Government of India (1919), Chief British Representative to the Indo-Afghan conference at Mussoorie (1920), Head of the British Mission to Kabul (1920-21), and finally High Commissioner and Consul-General for Iraq (1923-29). Henry Dobbs retired in 1929. In the first decade of the twenty-first century British forces returned to Iraq and Afghanistan and fought battles in places that Henry Dobbs would have found familiar.  

In between his overseas missions Henry Dobbs took time out to marry Agnes Esme, daughter of George Rivaz of Canterbury in 1907 and had two sons and two daughters. Henry Dobbs also made time to be an explorer, navigator and geographer. In 1904 he traversed a tract of unexplored territory of the Hazarajat between Herat and Kabul. Henry Dobbs was also a writer, composing a play and writing a monograph on pottery and glass work in the North West Province. Henry Robert Dobbs died on 31st May 1934.[43]

Henry Dobbs was succeeded at Camphire by his second son, Henry Adrian Dobbs, who also followed his father into the diplomatic service. Henry Adrian Dobbs was born on 19th December 1914 and was educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge. His first posting was as private secretary to the governor of Ceylon (1939-45) which was followed by two years as lecturer at Oxford University. In 1947 he was Liaison Officer to the Government of Palestine with the U.N. Committee of Enquiry. He was U.K. Commissioner for the South Pacific Command in 1949-50 and 1951-53. Henry Dobbs was private secretary to the Governor of the Federation of Malaya 1954-57 and subsequently with the Ministry of Defence. Henry Adrain Dobbs died unmarried in April 1970 and was succeeded at Camphire by his second sister, Susan Catherine Dobbs.[44]   

The Northern Ireland politician, Nigel Christopher Dobbs, was a cousin of Susan Dobbs. His father, Richard Arthur Dobbs of Castle Dobbs, Co. Antrim was her fourth cousin.[45]

Additional information and history

This article is by no means a full history of the land and people of Camphire and Okyle. Additional information can be had using the Registry of Deeds archives in Dublin. There is also the tithe records the 1820s and 1830s,[46] Griffith’s Valuation from c.1850[47] and the census records of 1901 and 1911.[48] Records of the Waterford Grand Jury and Waterford County Council, held at the Waterford County Archives will supply more information for those with time to search for it as these records do not have a ready to use index of places.[49]


End of post


See more photos and information on Okyle Church at this blog = Pilgrimage in medieval Ireland


[1] Canon Patrick Power, The place-names of Decies (Cork University Press, 1952), p. 53
[2] Charles Smith (edited by Donal Brady), The Ancient and Present State of the County and City of Waterford (Waterford County Council & Waterford City Council, 2008), p. 37
[3] Canon Patrick Power, The place-names of Decies, p. 39
[4] Canon Patrick Power, The place-names of Decies, pp. 39, 54
[5] Michael Moore (ed.), Archaeological Inventory of County Waterford (Stationery Office, Dublin, 1999), no. 1472
[7] Canon Patrick Power, The place-names of Decies, p. 39
[8] Information sign at Okyle church seen in 2012
[9] Canon Patrick Power, ‘Some old churches of Decies’, in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, series 7, vol. 8 (1938), pp. 63-4
[11] Canon Patrick Power, ‘Some old churches of Decies’, in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Irelandseries 7, vol. 8 (1938), pp. 63-4
[13] Canon Patrick Power, ‘Some old churches of Decies’, in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland series 7, vol. 8 (1938), pp. 67
[14] Michael Moore (ed.), Archaeological Inventory of County Waterford, no. 1419
[15] Canon Patrick Power, ‘Some old churches of Decies’, in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland series 7, vol. 8 (1938), p. 68
[16] Michael Moore (ed.), Archaeological Inventory of County Waterford, no. 1419
[17] H.S. Sweetman (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland (Kraus reprint, 1974), Vol. 5 (1302-1307), pp. 305-307
[18] Joshua Boyle (edited by Rev. Wm. Rennison), ‘Accompt of the Temporalities of the Bishoprics of Waterford’, in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Vol. 32, pp. 42-49, 78-85, Vol. 33, pp. 42-47, 83-92, Vol. 35, pp. 26-32, Vol. 36, pp. 20-25
[19] Paul MacCotter & Kenneth Nicholls (eds.), The pipe roll of Cloyne: Roulus Pipae Clonensis (Cloyne Literary & Historical Society, 1996), p. 243
[20] Rev. C.W. Russell & John P. Prendergast (eds.), Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland of the reign of James I (Kraus reprint, 1974), vol. 1 (1603-1606), p. 176
[21] Information sign at Okyle church seen in 2012
[22] Robert F. Mahaffy (ed.), Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland of the reign of Charles I & the Commonwealth (Kraus reprint, 1979), vol. 3 (1647-1660), p. 120
[23] Rev. Samuel Hayman, The hand-book for Youghal (Field, Youghal, 1973), p. 19
[24] J.S. Brewer & William Bullen (eds.), Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth (6 vols. Kraus reprint, 1974), Vol. 6 (1603-1624), p. 57
[25] Rev. C.W. Russell & John P. Prendergast (eds.), Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland of the reign of James I (Kraus reprint, 1974), vol. 3 (1608-1610), p. 483
[26] Robert F. Mahaffy (ed.), Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland of the reign of Charles I (Kraus reprint, 1979), vol. 1 (1625-1632), p. 394
[27] Robert F. Mahaffy (ed.), Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland of the reign of Charles I & the Commonwealth (Kraus reprint, 1979), vol. 3 (1647-1660), p. 120
[28] Robert C. Simington (ed.), The Civil Survey A.D. 1654-1656 County of Waterford, vol. 6 (Stationery Office, Dublin, 1942), p. 29
[29] Robert C. Simington (ed.), The Civil Survey A.D. 1654-1656 County of Waterford, vol. 6, p. 3
[30] Seamus Pender (ed.), A Census of Ireland circa 1659 (Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, 2002), p. 340
[31] Julian Walton, ‘The subsidy roll of County Waterford, 1662’, in Analecta Hibernica, no. 30 (1982), p. 61
[32] Michael Moore (ed.), Archaeological Inventory of County Waterford, no. 1596
[33] Therese Muir Mackenzie, Dromana – the Memoirs of an Irish Family (Sealy Bryers, Dublin), p. 107
[34] G. O’C. Redmond, ‘The Fitzgeralds of Farnane, Co. Waterford’, in the Journal of the Waterford and South-East Archaeological Society, Vol. 14 (1911), p. 76
[35] Therese Muir Mackenzie, Dromana – the Memoirs of an Irish Family, p. 110
[36] Therese Muir Mackenzie, Dromana – the Memoirs of an Irish Family, p. 83
[37] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976 (Burke’s Peerage, 2007), p. 1157
[38] Joseph Hansard (edited by Donal Brady), History of Waterford (Waterford County Council), p. 247
[39] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976 (Burke’s Peerage, 2007), p. 1157
[40] Joseph Hansard (edited by Donal Brady), History of Waterford, P. 13
[41] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976 (Burke’s Peerage, 2007), p. 1157
[42] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976 (Burke’s Peerage, 2007), pp. 372-3
[43] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976 (Burke’s Peerage, 2007), p. 373
[44] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976 (Burke’s Peerage, 2007), p. 373
[45] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976 (Burke’s Peerage, 2007), pp. 369, 372-4
[48] accessed on 16 February 2014


  1. I have just discovered your blog by accident. Wow what an exciting discovery.!! It is a treasure trove of information. The level of research is astounding. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Analyser. Glad you enjoy. Ah sure - the wonders of exploration and discovery.

  2. Hi niall my relations are from camphire and they used to say that there once stood a monastic settlement similar to molana abbey along the blackwater in camphire ive tried to research it but haven't found anything on it any insight would be of great help.

  3. Dear Mr. O'Brien,
    I'm writing on behalf of Dr. Givens who is publishing a book and interested in using your image of Okyle church to accompany his commentary. We'd be happy to reimburse you financially for copyright permission. Please email me at