Tomacork Parish

Given to me by Kevin Lee, Carnew, County Wicklow

Extracts from ‘History of Diocese of Ferns’ by Grattan Flood

The parish of Tomacork was formed at the close of the 18th century. It consists of the old parish of Carnew and part of Crosspatrick. In olden days Carnew was in the deanery of Shillelagh and was dedicated to St. Brigid. In 1760 the parish was known as Ballyellis.

The register of baptisms goes back to 1785 and the marriage register begins in 1793. In 1801 Bishop Caulfield returned the parish of Coolfancy as valued at £50 with no curate.

Parish Priests

Rev. Daniel Doyle was parish priest of ‘Carnew’ from 1700 to 1746. He registered himself in 1704 and he was living in Askamore. In 1739 he subscribed to a parochial fund.

Very Rev Patrick (Canon) Cullen was appointed parish priest on April 2nd, 1767, the parish being described as ‘Ballyellis-cum-annexis’. He appears as Precentor of Ferns in 1785 and he died in 1787.

Very Rev Patrick (Canon) Fitzgerald was parish priest from 1787 to 1811. On May 26th 1793, Rev John Kavanagh was sent from Kilrush as curate of Tomacork . Fr Fitzgerald built thru church at Tomacork in 1794.

Very Rev Michael (Canon) Murphy, a native of Gibberpatrick, a student of Lisbon, and curate of Cushinstown, from 1804 to 1811, was promoted to the pastorate of Tomacork in 1811 and laboured zealously for 36 years. Rev. Clement Pettit was curate from 1816 to 1832 when he was made parish priest of Oylegate. In 1826 , EARL Fitzwilliam gave £100 towards the rebuilding of Tomacork church. Canon Murphy died on April 28th 1847 aged 71.

Very Rev (Canon) James Murphy, curate of Ballygarret since 1828 was appointed parish priest on May 29th 1847 and had a pastorate of 25 years. The present church of Coolfancy was built by Rev Patrick Parker who was curate from 1857 to 1864. Canon Murphy died on October 8th 1872.

Rev Loughlin Druhan, curate of Taghmon since May 1862 was appointed parish priest in November 1872, and after a pastorate of almost seven years was transferred to Suttons Parish on September 15th , 1879.

Rev Walter Sinnott (a native of Ballybough) and curate of Cloughbawn from 1865 to 1867 and of Annacurra since 1867 was appointed parish priest on September 21st 1879 and had a pastorate of over 31 yeara. He died on March 26th, 1911, aged 84.

Rev James Prandy curate of New Ross since 1896 was then promoted as parish priest of Tomacork.