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A look at Abington, Co. Limerick in the 1840s

ABINGTON, a parish, in the union of Limerick, partly in the barony of Owney-Arra, county of Tipperary, and partly in the barony of Clanwilliam, but chiefly in that of Owney-Beg, county of Limerick, and province of Munster, 7 miles (E. by S.) from the city of Limerick ; containing 8314 inhabitants. This place, anciently called Wotheney or Woney, attained considerable importance at a very early period, and was celebrated for a Cistercian abbey founded, according to some, in 1189, and to others, in 1205, and provided with monks from the abbey of Savignae, in France, by Theobald Fitz- Walter, Lord of Carrick, and ancestor of the Butlers, earls of Ormonde, who was interred here in 1206. To this abbey King John made extensive
grants of land in the kingdom of Limerick, with the advowsons of several parishes ; and the abbot sat as a
spiritual peer in the Irish house of lords. The abbey, with all its possessions, was granted by Elizabeth, in the 5th year of her reign, to Capt. Walshe, who erected a handsome house near the ancient buildings ; but in the war of 1641 these estates were forfeited to the crown. Some small fragments of the abbey remain, situated near the present church ; and also portions of the mansion of the Walshe family ; but neither are adequate to afford any idea of their original character. The parish comprises about 30,400 statute acres, of which 10,984 are in the county of Tipperary, and the remainder in the county of Limerick. Towards its north-eastern boundary it includes a large portion of the Sliebh Phelim mountains, which rise to a considerable height, and in many parts afford pasturage for numerous herds of young cattle and for flocks of sheep. The fields are generally well fenced, and the lands in a good state of cultivation. There arc some excellent meadows, mostly attached to the dairy farms ; and the farm-houses are comfortable and of neat appearance. Fairs are held on May 29th and Aug. 31st; besides which, there are fairs at Murroe on April 29th and Oct. 27th. Petty-sessions are held every alternate Tuesday ; and here is a station of the constabulary police. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Emly, with the rectory and vicarage of
Tuough united by act of council in 1776, together forming the union of Abington, in the patronage of the
Bishop of Cashel : the tithe rent-charge of Abington is £187. 10., and that of the entire benefice £675. The
church is a neat small edifice, without tower or spire. The glebe-house, situated on a glebe of 20 acres, was
built in 1804, at an expense of £1700. In the Roman Catholic divisions this parish is the head of a district,
comprising also Clonkeen and a small portion of Doone. The chapel at .Murroe is a large and handsome edifice, built in 1811, and enlarged in 1836: there is an old chapel at Borroe.

Extract from: Lewis – A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland

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