Moonveen, or Móin na bhFiann is a very historical village. It is situated on the banks of the river Suir and many people used to hunt in woods surrounding, and fish in the river Suir.
The old people also relate that Moonveen is connected with the Fir Bolgs. It is stated that they used to signal to their friends in County Waterford in times of distress by means of a triangle in the form of smoke signals.
On the Kilkenny side of the river in Moonveen, there is a hill called Cnoc na Sarazan. In County Waterford, about four miles up and five miles from Waterford, is another called Cnoc-gCapall. On a parallel line from this, near Portlaw, is another hill called Cnoc na Stuain.
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The Fir Bolgs used to send messages from one or other of those hills in times of danger. Near this Cnoc na Sarazan was found many old stones with ancient carvings on them. Some time ago, the owner of the field was ploughing it, and not knowing the value of the stones, buried them. In later years a battle was fought in Moonveen, Power of County Waterford used to come over, plundering the farmers of Kilkenny. This was going on for some time until in the end, Butlers of Ormonde Castle in Kilkenny, collected a small force and tried to drive the invader out. The first great battle was fought in Piltown. Many of Ormonde's followers were killed and the others included.
Butler himself fled to Mooncoin, where the second great battle was fought in the place which is now called "Buile Mor", or "Big Fight". Power again was victorious in this conflict and he hunted his enemies as far as Moonveen. Here Butler stood again and pitched battle, fought in a field known as "Buail-na- Gcoinne". In this battle, Power was beaten and most of his men killed. Power fled as far as the river and in a field now known as" Pairc-mhórbháth", or the field of slaughter, Butler and his men fell on their enemies slaughtering all but Power and his horse. When he was well out of danger, Power on his horse, swimming across the river, shouted back - "Beidh lá eile ag an bPaorach". He crossed safely to Old Court Castle the ruins which are still to be seen. In the field adjoining Buaile na Gcoinne all the people who fell in the battle are buried and this field is known as Páirc an Ciannaidh or the Headstone Fields. The above quotation"Beidh lá eile ag an bPaorach" means that " We will live to fight another day".
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Portnascully, or the "Big School", was a large parish at one time. It contained a chapel, the ruins of which are still to be seen. Beside the ruins is a Reilg or churchyard. The tombstones are very ancient, and the inscriptions almost impossible to read, many of them of which are in Irish. There was supposed to be a school attached to the church, hence the big "school above".
There is an interesting moat in Portnascully surrounded by three walls. There are secret passages underneath. It is easy to go in through these channels, but when one comes to a certain place, he has to crawl, until the walls nearly topple, but still the tiny passage goes through to some unknown place. The flags are now getting quite dangerous.
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Carrigeen, or "Carraigín" means "the little rock". The village is situated at the top of a hill. Built on this hill is the present School, Church and olad school, now a parish hall. Nearby is a little field in which the people gathered to recite the Rosary in the evening during famine times and when religion practices were prohibited. This field is known as Páirc na bPaidrín.
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Aglish was a parish church long ago. The chapel is still to be seen and it also contains a small Reilg. Reilg is the Gaelic for "graveyard". One time the Reilg was bigger but now houses are built over it.
Glengrant, or to give it its Irish title, Gleann an Gruntaigh, means The Glen of the Grants. This is a tiny village of thirty five acres. It was owned by a landlord named Grant who resided in Corluddy Castle. The village is situated in a glen and all its land surrounds it. It is stated that when Cromwell was passing through from Waterford to Clonmel, he missed it and that the land was then free. Glengrant is unique in history for its quaint setting. It was self contained with carpentar, wheelwright, smith , harness maker, thatcher and many other trades.
Cusanna: = the little paths. There were many paths leading in all directions.
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Licketstown: The oldest village in the country. Named from the landlord "Licket".
Portnahully: The field
Ballinlough: from "Baile an Locha", the townland of the lake from the wet surrounding land.
Ashgrove: Formerly the grove of Ash trees. There are still some remaining ash trees growing. Many were cut for hurley making , but mostly for firing and land reclamation.
Mountneil: Neil's hill.
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Most of those are of little historic interest with the exception of Buail na gCoinne, Garra Ceannaithe, Poll na gCorrach, and a few others.
It was in the field Buail na gCoinne that the battle was fought between Butler of Ormonde and Power of Waterford. In historical records testimony is given to this battle. In the adjoining field, Garra Ceannaidhe are burried the people who were killed there.
In Bán Dréimsighe, are secret caves in which smugglers used to manufacture tobacco some years ago. The tunnels are hard to find but still they exist. The field is very near the river Suir, but there is still a little patch of ground near it, called Poll na Corrach.
In this place, smugglers used to hide their boats until cargoes were ready for sail. The instruments for the making of tobacco are still supposed to be there. In later years, great cock fights were held and people from as far away as Kerry, came to see them.
In the field, Carraigín an Aifreann, stands a mass bush tree. It was under this tree that Mass was said during the Penal Days. One person kept guard while others attended Mass. The Mass bush stands up on top of a hill. The countryside for miles around can be seen. Therefore if any enemy was coming, people fled. The people could not be seen because the top is flat. There is a flag of stone nearby, and it is supposed to have the Holy Vessels. Not far from this, is Páircín na Scoile. It was here that children attended school, known as hedge schools. Our Grandfathers were taught there and the teacher was paid by the children bringing a few pence whenever they could.
In Bun t-Óg, all the strayed cattle were kept. If a farmer wanted to get out his animal again, he had to pay its value to the Government. The field is now anglicized and known as "The Pound Hill".
Local Field Names
The Forgotten Blacksmith