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Muileann na hUamhan
Pub in Mullinahone
Pub in Mullinahone
Mullinahone is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°30′43″N 7°30′22″W / 52.512039°N 7.506036°W / 52.512039; -7.506036Coordinates: 52°30′43″N 7°30′22″W / 52.512039°N 7.506036°W / 52.512039; -7.506036

Mullinahone (Irish: Muileann na hUamhan, meaning 'Mill of the river, mill of the cave') is a village located in the barony of Slievardagh, County Tipperary in Ireland.[2] It is also a parish in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly. As of 2016, the village population was 499.[1]

Location and access[edit]

Signage on the road into Mullinahone

Mullinahone is situated roughly halfway between Clonmel and Kilkenny City, at the junction of the R690 and R692 roads. It is located in a low-lying broad valley area, for the most part, two to three hundred feet above sea level in South-East Tipperary. It reaches its highest point of 1,088 feet (332 m) on the mountain of Slievenamon, its southern boundary. The land for the most part is on a limestone base. This has 'karst' features, which means that it is fissured with many caves and underground streams, subjecting some areas to flooding in times of heavy rainfall.

Overlooking the northern boundary are the Slieveardagh hills and Ballingarry parish, while its western side is formed by some smaller hills such as Cappaghnagrane and Kilnagranagh and the parish of Drangan/Cloneen. To the east is Killamery (or Carrolls) hill together with a stretch of flat, often boggy land; its boundary with County Kilkenny county and Leinster. This modern parish is twenty-five square miles, area or 16,000 acres (65 km2).

In an extended form this whole area was called "An Cuimseanach" or Compsey in pre-Norman times, an ancient Gaelic word suggesting an enclosed valley area. The barony of Slieveardagh, now the electoral area, was known as the barony of Slieveardagh/Compsey in Anglo-Norman times.


Its most famous son was Charles Kickham (1828–1882), writer, balladeer and Fenian leader. He was born in the village, and is buried in the parish cemetery.[citation needed]

The name of Mullinahone appears first as a settlement in the records of the "Hearth Money Rolls" in the years 1665 to 1667, then spelled as Moninehoan. The "Hearth Money Rolls" were a rent or tax on houses in the post-Cromwellian period. It was entered as a village or settled area of nine 'cabbins' with hearths, that is, permanent structures, which were not very common then it appears after the wars of the time. Just across the river (a tributary of the River Anner) was the main village of Killaghy, in what is now Fethard and Killaghy streets. Both were extensions of the worker/artisan settlements of Killaghy Castle and lands whose estate walls adjoin the modern town today. Killaghy has existed since the first lord of Killaghy or Compsey, named St Aubyn or Tobin, built his castle there in the 13th century.[citation needed]

There is one earlier mention of Mullinahone as a place name. This is dated 1551 in the Calendar of Justiciary Rolls (State papers then), regarding Inquisitions or trials held there. This was possibly at the old 13th century Norman keep in present-day Carrick St in Mullinahone townland. The Lord of Compsey was James Tobin, who was then (1551) Justiciar of County Tipperary. The Tobins were a Norman family.[citation needed]

Modern boundary[edit]

The modern parish was formed in the 18th century as the Catholic Church was re-organised when Penal Laws were relaxed. From 1772 it was joined with Drangan parish, then in 1826 it was separated again. The old Gaelic entity of Compsey extended as far as Glenbower and Ahenny in Grangemockler parish and also part of Cloneen and adjoining areas.

Mullinahone was on one of the two routes from Ossory to Cashel or Leinster to Munster in medieval times. Known as the Pass of Compsey in Norman times, the passage was by Callan and Modeshill and crossed the river at Mullinahone at the ford of Aghmonenahone under the old Norman keep in Carrick St., then on the high road by Cappaghnagrane to Fethard and Cashel. It was then a heavily wooded area. One of the first Tobins was instructed to cut down the woods of Killaghy by royal decree to "ensure safe passage for travellers" i.e. the army and supplies.

Feudal period[edit]

In 1317, the Scottish army of Robert and Edward de Bruce came through here with much pillage. It took a week for them to get from Callan to Cashel.[citation needed]

Cromwell's troops attacked "ye States' expense" in 1654. The Tobin estates were broken up then and most of the Tobin kinsmen were transplanted to Connacht.

The army of William of Orange camped nearby in 1691 and an order went out to 'burn the Compsey' as it was believed to harbour rapperees or highway men. The order was not carried out, however.

After this time the Penal Laws were enacted, with a long period of religious persecution. This was the time of the Mass rocks and of laws forbidding education and holding of property, positions of importance or the right of political franchise, lasting about a century. Priest hunters were used but only served to strengthen the religion.

This dark period in the history of the parish was marked by an uprising in 1798 on Carraigmoclear hill on Slievenamon, ending in defeat for the local men.

Great Famine[edit]

Later, in the 1840s the Great Famine caused many deaths in the parish, perhaps as high as 27% of the population between famine and emigration, in a decade. Locally there were attempts at physical force movements in 1848 and 1867, influenced by local writer and patriot Charles Kickham, Mullinahone's favourite son.

Land War[edit]

Mullinahone suffered considerably during this period at the end of the 19th century from the excesses of landlordism. Tenant rights were achieved after many Government Land Acts and much suffering.

The parish and people were very much involved in the War of Independence from circa 1919 to 1922. A monument in the village square was erected to the memory of those who lost their lives in the struggle.

Places of interest[edit]

Killaghy Castle

Amenities in Mullinahone include Killaghy Castle which is a Norman castle dating back to 1206.[3] It was originally a Motte-and-bailey, (a man-made hill of earth with a fortified wooden house on top). Later in the 15th and 16th century, a tower house was built. The tower house was a tall slender castle of stone, and was built primarily for defence. During Tudor times in the 16th century, a long house was added. The 18th century saw the construction of two further buildings forming the structure of Killaghy Castle as it stands today. The castle has undergone extensive restoration. The castle was originally owned by the Despard family. It is now a self-catering business.

Mullinahone is the home of PAWS Animal Rescue,[4] the second largest dog sanctuary in Ireland, next to Dogs Trust Dublin. PAWS is a registered charity which rescues and provides new homes to abandoned and abused dogs.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Sapmap Area: Settlements Mullinahone". Census 2016. Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Placenames Database of Ireland". Dublin City University. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  3. ^ Killaghy Castle
  4. ^ PAWS Animal Rescue
  5. ^ Mullinahone soccer club Archived 2011-02-03 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]