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The Breifne Historical

Cumann Seanchais Bhreifne,
the Breifne Historical Society, deals with the local history of Counties Cavan and North Leitrim.

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Cumann Seanchais Bhreifne


Fr Ambrose Cassidy OFM

(1817? - 1824)

Fr Ambrose was born about 1755 near Blacklion. He was a member of the Franciscan order and was parish priest of Ballinaglera in 1801. He was parish priest in Inishmagrath by 1817 where he was reputed for his charitable work for the poor and the hungry of the parish. He lived in Tarmon, in the “Long White House”. It seems that this is probably the old school, near the present church.

Fr Ambrose was buried in Curraghs Cemetery . The flagstone over his grave (see photograph) tells us that he died on 22 November 1824.


Thomas Forde (1835 - 1853)
Fr Thomas Forde, a native of Ballinamore, became parish priest in 1835He resided in the townland of Greyfield, in a house about 50 metres from Greyfield Cross. He died on 14
th May 1853 and was buried in Kilbride.

Bryan Keany (1853 - 1866)
A native of Glenfarne. As PP of Ballinaglera he worked hard for the alleviation of distress among his parishioners during the Famine years. In 1854 he was appointed PP of Inishmagrath and immediately commenced work on the building of a church in Newbridge. Work on the church, dedicated to St Colmcille, was not completed until 1864. Fr Keany also bought the land on which the present St Brigid’s Church, Drumkeeran, was built at a later date. He died in 1866 and was buried in Aughaloughy Cemetery.

John Magure (Apr 1866 - Nov 1866)
John Maguire was PP of Inishmagrath for only a few months of 1866. It was he who bought the Protestant Minister’s house and made it the Parochial House. The current Parochial House stands on this same site.

James McPartlan (1866 - 1886)
Born in the townland of Greaghnaslieve, James was appointed PP of his native parish in 1866. He decided to replace the old “Bog Chapel” with a new church, the current St Brigid’s Church, in Lugmeen.

Work on the new church started in 1866 and, three years later, the first Mass was said in it in November 1869. Work was not completed however until 1886 when the belfry was added.

Fr James died in that same year and is remains were buried within the church.  His burial place is marked by a plaque on the wall in the north transept of the church.

Fr James presented a chalice to the parish in 1873.  This chalice is now used at Mass in Tarmon Church.  The inscription on the chalice reads as follows:

“Presented by the Rev James McPartlan 1873.”

Fr James Dolan (1886 - 1904)

A native of Glenfarne, Fr James Dolan was born in Carrickrevagh, Glenfarne in 1840, the son of Charles Dolan and Rose Kelly.  Ordained around 1868, he was appointed professor a in St Augustine’s Seminary, Cavan.  He continued to teach in in St Patrick’s College, Cavan, when it opened in 1874.  He also served as Dean  of the College for two years and as President of the College from 1879 until 1886, when he was appointed PP of Inishmagrath.  It was during his time in the parish that work on the building of a new church in Tarmon commenced but he was transferred to Manorhamilton before this work was completed.

Fr Patrick McMorrow (1904 - 1923)

A native of Inishmagrath, Fr Patrick McMorrow, was the son of Martin McMorrow and Betty Rourke, of Tullymorrow.Born in 1839, Fr Patrick was ordained in 1871.

He served in Glangevlin, Ballinaglera, Manorhamilton and Killargue before he was appointed PP of Inishmagrath in 1904.  As PP in Killargue he had built the Parochial House there and now, in Inishmagrath, he brought to completion the building of St Patrick’s Church, Tarmon, in 1906.

He remained as PP of Inishmagrath until his death in 1923.