© Donal G. Burke 2013
At the start of the seventeenth century the parish of Fahy in east Galway, almost in its entirety, was still held by the O Horans. The head of the O Horans, Rory O Horan of Fahy, was the largest individual landholder, with lands in Fahy and the later parish of Meelick. He held half of the land in the quarter of Carrowanclogha, ‘with the castle there’, which would appear to have served as his principal residence.[i]
In 1574, the head of the family, identified only as O Horan in a detailed list of the chief men and their residences of the barony of Longford, was given as resident at ‘Faheioran’. From an early date a castle or tower house was erected at Fahy in the quarter of Carrowanclogha.[ii]
No remains of this tower house appears to have survived by the late nineteenth century, but reference is made in the late eighteenth century to the ruins of a castle located close to the public road, on the opposite side of the road to the seat of the Hamilton family of Fahy, at a distance of almost two miles from the village of Eyrecourt.[iii] As the later Hamilton seat appears to have been known as Greenfield in the modern townland of Fahy, on the right hand side of the public road as one travelled from Eyrecourt to Portumna, this would suggest that the castle was located in the modern townland of Fahy, not distant from the entrance to Greenfield or in that narrow part of the adjoining modern townland of Tullinlicky.[iv]
The ruins of an old church and graveyard were extant in the late nineteenth century in the same vicinity, close to the road, on the modern townland border between Fahy and Tullinlicky and it is unclear if the eighteenth century author was confusing the ruins of this church for that of a castle, or if the castle ruins and church ruins co-existed in close proximity. It is noteworthy, however, that what may appear to have been a residence is shown in close proximity to, and to the east of, the site of a church in the parish of Faghy on Petty’s late seventeenth century map of the barony of Longford.
[i] Rory is given elsewhere as Rory mcConor mcDermot O Horan of Fahy.
[ii] O Donovan, J., Tribes and Customs of Hy Many, commonly called O Kelly’s Country, Irish Archaeological Society, Dublin, 1843, pp. 87-88. This townland was described as the 2 quarters of Carrowcloghy Tullaghanelicky als Ballyeghnagh circa 1641. Also Cal. Pat. Rolls 16 Jas. I, p.414
[iii] Wilson, W., The Post-chaise companion; or travellers directory through Ireland (4th edition), Dublin, J. Fleming, No. 6 Dame Street, 1786, p. 569.
[iv] The Hamilton residence at Greenfield, located on the right hand side of the road as one travelled from Eyrecourt to Portumna about 1786 is a different residence from that house known as Greenfield House, located in the same townland of Fahy but on the left hand side of the public road. The latter house was not constructed until the nineteenth century as evidenced by its appearance on later Ordnance Survey maps only.