Kilcahill / Cill Chathail
Compiled by Paul Greaney
Irish name: Cill Chathail
English name: Kilcahill
Meaning: the church of Cathal
Area: 429 acres, 0 roods and 32 perches
Field names in this townland: None yet recorded.
Information from O’Donovan’s Field Name Books
Names: Kilcahill, Cill Cathail, St. Cathal, Kilcahil (B. S. Sketch Map), Killcahill (Barony Map), Killcahill (County Map), Kilcahill (High Constable 1838) Kilcoyle (Inq. Temp. Eliz.), Kilcahill (Inq. Temp. Iac. I), Kilcahill (Local), Kilcahil (Local), Kilcahill (Rector of Annaghdown).
Description: Townland. It is the Property of F. Blake Knox, Esq. All under tillage except a small portion of rocks ? end, and a portion of bog the West end, a fort on a boundary between Kilcahill townland and Caheravoola townland.
Situation: In Kilmoylan Parish. W. Roche, High Costable. It is situated 2¼ miles East of Annaghdown Church. Bounded N. Lackamore. South by Cloonagh. East by Caheravola and Anbally and West by Ardgainen.
The below archaeological sites appear in ‘Archaeological Inventory of County Galway Vol. II – North Galway’; compiled by Olive Alcock, Kathy de hÓra and Paul Gosling (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1999).
Cairn – Wayside Cairn. At a road junction on the west side of the Galway-Tuam road, c. 210m north-east of a St. Cathal’s Church. Indicated on OS Fair Plan as a small rectangular roadside recess and named ‘Monument’ and ‘Cahill na can Dherg’ in Gothic script. On 1st ed. of OS 6-inch map, it is shown as a circular dot and labelled simply as ‘Monument’ in Roman script. By the time of 3rd ed. (1933), it has been renamed ‘Leacht Chill Chathail’ but no location is indicated. According to local information, it was ‘an eight-sided flagstone’ c. 3m in diameter. It was removed during road-widening work. No visible surface trace survives.
Field System. Surrounding a ringfort and an adjoining enclosure. Aerial reconnaissance in 1968 and 1987 brought to light a series of banks, forming several irregular fields, covering an area c. 280m north-south by c. 200m east-west the field in which the system lay has since been cleared and subdivided. No visible surface trace survives.
Ringfort – Cashel. In level grassland. Poorly preserved circular cashel (diameter 39.5m) defined by a drystone wall best preserved at north-west. An enclosure and a field system are associated.
Ringfort – Cashel. Immediately south-west of a ringfort (above). An oval enclosure was noted during aerial reconnaissance in 1968 and again in 1987. It appeared to be of similar character to the ringfort, though somewhat smaller. The field in which it lay has since been reclaimed and no visible surface trace survives. A field system (above) is associated.
1841: 1 house, 10 people (6 male, 4 female)
1851: 2 houses, 15 people (9 male, 6 female)
1861: 2 houses, 14 people (7 male, 7 female)
1871: 1 house, 11 people (5 male, 6 female)
1881: 1 house, 11 people (6 male, 5 female)
1891: 1 house, 11 people (7 male, 4 female)
1901: 1 house, 9 people (5 male, 4 female)
1911: 1 house, 6 people (3 male, 3 female)
2011: 89 houses (incl. 2 vacant), 281 people (148 male, 133 female)
The Tithe Applotment Books record Mr John Cavanagh as occupier of 250 acres in Kilcahill.
1840 Griffith’s House Books & 1855 Griffith’s Valuation
The Valuation Office house books of July 1845 show John Kavanagh [of Gortroe] as occupier of a draw farm at Kilcahill, with a dwelling, barn, stable and store.
The December 1853 edition of the books record James Smith Esq. as occupier of a herd’s house and offices, and Matthew Dolly as occupying a house.
By the mid-1850s, Griffith’s Valuation shows Michael Cullinane as occupier of the entire townland, together with a herd’s house and offices, held from the Representatives of Francis B. Knox.
By 1901, the Broderick family were the sole household in Kilcahill townland. John Broderick (50), shepherd, lived with his wife Celia [née Cahill] (50), and children Patrick (19), shepherd, Michael (16), Mary (13), John (11), Celia (10), scholars, and Delia (5), and John’s brother Hugh (30), shepherd.
All were born in Co. Galway and spoke Irish and English. All except two could read and write.
The house, recorded as being of the third class, was constructed of stone with a thatched roof, between two and four rooms, and had two front windows. Michael Cullinane is recorded as the name of the landholder on which the house was situtated. A record of out-offices and farm steadings does not appear to be available.
The Broderick household remained the sole inhabitants of Kilcahill in 1911.
John Broderick (61), shepherd, lived with his wife Celia [née Cahill] (58), their sons Michael (25) and John (20), both assistant shepherds, and daughters Mary (21), Celia (18), and Delia (15).
All were born in Co. Galway and spoke Irish and English. All except one could read and write.
The house was recorded as being of the second class, constructed of stone walls and a thatched roof, with between two and four rooms, and having three front windows. Michael Cullinane is recorded as the name of the landholder on which the house was situtated.
Five out-offices are recorded: a stable, cow-house, piggery, barn, and cart-house.