John McCullagh August 17, 2006
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Faughart, a parish in the barony of Upper Dundalk had in the late 1860s a total population of 1,640 souls. The parish is probably named after an ancient fort located on an elevated site in the area.


The ancient fort was on a sixty foot high artificial mound surrounded by a deep trench: the whole area of the summit is circumscribed by the foundations of an octagonal building.

In 638 Saint Moninna founded a nunnery here for one hundred and fifty sisters – a very sizable establishment in any era – over whom she presided for a number of years. When she resigned in favour of Orilla and Sarisla, she re-located a few miles to the north where she set up a second community in Killeavy.

A monastery for Canons Regular was also set up in the area at an early period and dedicated to Saint Bridget. 

In 1506 the Archbishop of Cashel and the Earl of Ormonde held a conference here with the Irish chieftans O’Neill and MacDonnell in order to negotiate a peace treaty but their proposals were rejected by the chieftains.

According to the Ordnance Survey of the mid-nineteenth century the parish comprised of 2404 statute acres, one quarter of which was pasture and the rest arable. Good quality limestone was plentiful and there were several lime-kilns.

In the 1860s the principal ‘gentlemen’s residences’ were Faughart House of Neale McNeale: Fort Hill of the Rev G Tinley: and Mount Bayby of D Courtenay.

The Rectory, in the patronage of the Lord Primate (the Protestant Archbishop of Armagh) had tithes amounting to

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