Rahan, County Offaly

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Rahan Churches
Rahan Churches
Rahan is located in Ireland
Location of Rahan within County Offaly in the Republic of Ireland
Coordinates: 53°16′50″N 7°36′57″W / 53.280541°N 7.615762°W / 53.280541; -7.615762Coordinates: 53°16′50″N 7°36′57″W / 53.280541°N 7.615762°W / 53.280541; -7.615762
Country Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland
Province Leinster
County County Offaly
Elevation 50 m (160 ft)
Irish grid reference N256256

Rahan (Irish: Raithean)[1] is a parish and village associated with Mochuda (also known as St. Carthage).

The village is located on the banks of the river Clodagh approximately 8 km from Tullamore in County Offaly, Ireland.

The parish of Rahan extends from The Island near Ballycumber in the north to Mucklagh in the south.[2]


The first monastery in Rahan was created by Camelacus in the 5th century and later re-founded in the 6th century by St Carthage. The ancient monasteries and churches located here are known as the church of St Carthage or St Carthach, and the monastery of Mochuda.[3][4]

A mass rock (where mass was said while the Penal Laws were in effect) can be found near the Present Catholic Church in the Killina townland, approximately 1 km southeast of the ancient churches. The rock is dedicated to Saint Anthony.[5]

Rahan also has a long association with the Jesuit community who founded a seminary there in the early 19th century (1818) and with the Presentation Sisters who founded a convent and school in the early 19th century (1818 also), both Convent and School have survived to this day. The Presentation Mission to India went out from here in the past.[6]

Ancient Churches and Monastic Site[edit]

The monastic site in Rahan contains the remains of church buildings dating from the 11th and 12th centuries and both Protestant and Catholic cemeteries.

In 1732, the Church of St Carthage at Rahan was repaired by the Church of Ireland community for use as a parish church.[7]

Mass is celebrated here once a year on Cemetery Sunday August 15. Access can be gained through a farm gate.

Parish of Rahan[edit]

The parish of Rahan comprises 44 townlands: Agall, Aghadonagh, Aghalusky, Backsteel, Ballina, Ballincloghan, Ballincur, Ballindrinan, Ballybruncullin, Ballykeenaghan, Blackwood, Bohernagrisna, Brackagh, Cappaloughan, Castletown, Church Hill, Clonshanny, Corcush, Cornalaur, Currygurry, Deerpark, Derries, Derrinvullig, Derrooly, Derrycooly, Derryesker, Derrynanagh, Glasshouse, Goldsmithslot, Kilgortin, Killaranny, Killina, Kilpatrick, Loughroe, Mountarmstrong, Murragh, Newtown, Oldtown, Rabbitburrow, Rahan Demense, Roscore Demense, Tullybeg and Tullymorerahan.[8]

It contains three churches, a Presentation Convent, two primary schools and a secondary school.[9]


St. Carthage's Church, Killina

St. Carthage's Church Killina (built mid 1700's). Killina Parish Church was built in the mid 1700s. During the reconstruction in 1966 traces of a previous church were found. Side aisles were added to the church between 1800 and 1817. The title was originally the Church of the Assumption but was later changed to that of St. Carthage.[10]

St Patrick's Church The Island (built 1834-1847). St. Patrick's Church was built by Fr. Robbins who was curate in Rahan from 1834 to 1847. The Island was once called the Island of Clonkeen.[11]

St. Colman’s Church Mucklagh (built 1979). St. Colman's Church was built in 1979. Very Rev. J. Mooney and Father Sean Heaney lead the project. The previous church was demolished.[12]


St Colman's National School Mucklagh [13]

Scoil Charthaigh Naofa Newtown, Rahan [14]

Killina Presentation Secondary School Killina [15]