History & Religious Sites
Corlough-Templeport is a rural parish located in West Cavan, situated between Ballyconnell, Swanlinbar and Ballinamore. Corlough formed part of the larger parish of Templeport until 1877 when Corlough was made a separate parish. In 2016, in line with Diocesan parish re-alignment - Corlough was amalgamated again with the Parish of Templeport to form what is now known as "The Parish of Corlough-Templeport". There are three churches in the parish of Corlough-Templeport: St. Patrick's Church, Corlough; St. Mogue's Church, Bawnboy; and St. Patrick's Church, Kilnavart
St Patrick's Church, Corlough is a Roman Catholic Church situated in the Barony of Tullyhaw, (which means 'The Territory of Eochaidh', an ancestor of the McGoverns, who lived c.700 A.D.) in County Cavan. The area has been in constant occupation since pre-4000 B.C
Corlough parish derives its name from the townland of Corlough, in which the parish church is situated. The earliest reference to the townland is in the 1790 list of Cavan townlands where it is spelled "Corclagh", which would be an Anglicization of "Cor Cloch", meaning either 'the Stone on the Smooth Hill' or "the Stony Hill", a more likely explanation.
There was a post-penal church in Arderra, which was also used as a school. The present church, a lovely sandstone structure, was built in 1857 less than a decade after the Great Famine, when Patrick Smith was parish priest.
Extensive renovations of the Church began in 2001. An unusual feature of the church is the arched stables or shelter for horses which was built into one side of the Church
The village of Bawnboy is situated in Templeport. At the geographic heart of the Templeport is St Mogue's Island. The Christian presence in this area dates back continuously to the times of St Mogue in the 5th century.
The earliest mention of the name in the annals of Ireland is in the Annals of the Four Masters for 1496 A.D.- "M1496.17- Magauran, i.e. Donnell Bearnagh, Chief of Teallach-Eachdhach, was treacherously slain before the altar of the church of Teampall-an-phuirt, by Teige, the son of Hugh, son of Owen Magauran; and the marks of the blows aimed at him are still visible in the corners of the altar."
The name of Templeport parish derives from the old townland of Templeport (now shortened to Port) which is the anglicisation of the Gaelic 'Teampall An Phoirt' ("The Church of the Port or Bank or Landing-Place"). The church referred to is the old church on St. Mogue's Island in the middle of Port Lake. This church fell into disuse in medieval times and a new church was built on the opposite shore of the lake. It was forfeited to Queen Elizabeth in 1590 and started use as a Protestant church in about 1610.
The parish was famous in ancient Ireland as the location of Magh Sléacht and the centre of worship of the pagan god Crom Cruach.
The saint most associated with Templeport is Saint Mogue.
The population of Templeport is approximately 1,000, with two churches catering for the worshipping Catholic community, St Patrick's Church, Kilnavart and St Mogue's Church, Bawnboy.
St Patrick's Church, Kilnavart is an impressive church designed by the renowned Cavan church architect William Hague and was dedicated on the 12th April 1868. It is located in a ring fort where St Patrick is reputed to have built the first church in this area. Tradition says that after Patrick had destroyed the Crom Cruach idol, the local chieftain donated his fort to him. It has been a place of Christian worship ever since.
St. Mogue's Church, Bawnboy. This fine modern church was opened in August 19th 1979. It was built by local builder James McGovern of Bawnboy. It serves the area of Templeport around Bawnboy and replaced both Holy Trinity Church and the Workhouse chapel. An unusual feature is a holy water font said to be carved from the stone which miraculously floated the infant Mogue from his island birth place to the shore for baptism. The font had been in Kildoagh Church and probably in Port Church before that..
The Workhouse Chapel was built as part of the workhouse complex in 1852. Originally it was quite small and located behind the dining room. When the workhouse was closed in 1922 the chapel continued in use and some time afterwards the dining room wall was removed and the chapel enlarged. It had a fine altar which was moved to Kilnavart after the workhouse chapel closed in 1979..
Holy Trinity Church, Kildoagh (Barn Church) was built and opened in 1796 by Father Peter Maguire. Originally it was very austere having a thatched roof and clay floor. Later it was slated, the floor tiled and galleries added. It closed in 1979. It is regarded in architectural circles as very rare, being only one of two surviving churches of its type
St. Mogue's Island. Having completed his monastic training in the late 5th century, St Aidan (Mogue) is said to have founded his first church on his island birthplace on Port Lake. The main centre of Christian worship then switched from Kilnavart to Port where a small monastic settlement was established. This continued through-out the medieval period. Indeed the ruined church on the island is of late medieval style. Roman records dating from 1416 and 1426 mention a chapel on the shore. Templeport, Teampeall an Phoirt in Irish, means the "church on the back of landing place". The parish derives its name from this. In 1590, under the Elizabethan Inquisition, the church was ceded to the Anglican Church. Catholic worship then reverted to a barn type Church in Kilnavart.
Holy Wells. There are four Holy Wells in the parish of Templeport: Corran, Toberlyan, Bellaleenan and Mullaghlea. Tobar Patrick in Corran is where St Patrick is reputed to have baptised his first converts in the area. Little is known about the traditions surrounding the other wells. However patterns or stations were held on the first Sunday of July in Ballaleeenan up to the 1950's. An old man, now deceased, remembered devotions at Mullaghlea in the early years of the 20th Century