Population: The Parish
of Mullinavat, at the last returns of census, had a population of 1533
Area: The longest
distance travelling north to south '' as the crow flies'' from Killahy in
the upper end of the parish to Fahee, or Fahy as it is on the map in the
lower end, is 7.4 miles. The longest distance east to West, again ''as the
crow flies,'' from Rathnasmolagh on one side to Listrolin at the other, is
6.6 miles - giving a total area of 48.84 square miles (78.6 kilometres).
A Brief history of the Parish of Mullinavat
Mullinavat, prior to 1842, was part of Kilmacow
parish. In 1801 the village had only 35 houses and 158 inhabitants. The
building of the present parish church in 1805 improved matters and by 1841
there were 110 inhabited houses. In 1871 the population of Mullinavat was
The Name Mullinavat is an anglicised pronunciation
of the Gaelic Muilleann an Bhata, meaning the Mill of the Stick.
The name is said to have derived from the site of an ancient mill, which
tradition has it, could only be approached by the means of the large stick
(probably a tree trunk) over the Glendonnell River. It is situated on the
southern end of the village, near where the bridge on the main road is
today. The Garda Barracks is also nearby.
Mullinavat originally comprised of the civil
parishes of Kilbeacon, Killahy and Rossinan. The parish church of
Kilbeacon was in use up to 1830. The Protestant community of the area used
it at the time. Only the tower of the original building remained standing
up a few years ago. It was latterly demolished, as it was considered to be
in a dangerous structural state. The surrounding stone wall and the
graveyard remain today.
Killahy church was mentioned at the time of the
suppression of religious houses around 1530. It was dedicated to the
exaltation of the Holy Cross and very little of it's remains are visible
today. The church that stood in Rossinan was also mentioned during that
time. It was dedicated to St. Senan, patron of the adjoining parish of
Kilmacow. The site of the church was to the south of the village, near the
left bank of Blackwater River, on the main Waterford to Dublin road. Both
the road and railway line cut through its former location at present.
In 1946 the townslands of Clonassy, Listrolin and
Rochestown were annexed from Mooncoin. The ancient church that served that
district stood is Listrolin, in the laneway leading over the Assy River to
Ballinacooley. The remains were uprooted and destroyed in the middle of
the last century.
Tory Hill is one of the great landmarks of the
parish of Mullinavat. It is said to have got its name from a famous outlaw
called James Denn. Denn used its superb vantage as an ideal spot for a
hideout. The word Tory derives from the Irish Toraidhe, meaning outlaw, or
more precisely, one who is pursued. It stands four feet short of a
mountain at 966 feet. Spectacular views can be had from its summit on a
This was the dwelling of one Walsh clan and was
occupied by a John Mac Walter Walsh. This gentleman was a poet of
considerable merit and has a dance tune called ''Tatter Jack Walsh'' named
after him. His property was confiscated and he died in 1660. ''Tatter
Jack's remains were buried in Killbeacon cemetery. The site of the
original castle was located in the field beside the parish GAA grounds.
The remains of the foundation of this other Walsh
clan castle is to be found in the townsland of the same name. It is
located in a field overlooking the village, appropriately called ''The
Castle Field.'' Its last occupant was Robert Walsh, Member of Parliament
for Kilkenny. He was slain in the Siege of Limerick in 1691.