Rathcoole Aerodrome (ICAO: EIRT) (also called Rathcoole Airfield) is situated just north of Rathcoole Village, about 9km north-east of Millstreet. It has a single grass strip (approx. 450m in length and 18m wide) running to the south of the River Blackwater.
The airfield has numerous aircraft based there, including:- a Piper J-3 Cub (G-ATKI), Cessna 210 Centurian (EI-AWH), a homebuild Vans RV-6(G-BYDV), a Chevron 2-32 motor glider (EI-CAU), a Streak Shadow (EI-CZC), and a Medway EclipseR (EI-CRY).
It is operated by the Rathcoole Flying Club – Tel: 029-58004. Or contact- Jerry Creedon. Tel: 022-22344
The runway headings are: 09/27
This aerodrome is licensed by the Aeronautical Services Department of the Irish Aviation Authority.
Rathcoole airfield was opened during the 1960’s by the McCarthy Family who who ran a popular and much needed pipe and tile business in Rathcoole. It was at a time when air travel was in its infancy and the development created quite a stir in the locality. It is owned and maintained by Donal Mc Carthy.
In August 2019 the country’s first charity air ambulance service, led by the Irish Community Rapid Response charity, started operating from the Aerodrome. The service is centrally located for all of Munster and deals with severe medical emergencies that need to be transferred to hospitals quickly.
Rathcoole is about 9km north-east of Millstreet. Directions are HERE [GMaps]
2019: Zenith CH701 landing at Rathcoole, County Cork
2016: AFTA CFI Daniel Lynch performing a short-field landing into Rathcoole airfield in C172 G-CFMM.
In 2007 The pilot of a microlight aircraft had a narrow escape when a spare helmet bounced out of the back seat and smashed into the rear propeller as he was taking off from Rathcoole airfield near Mallow in Co Cork… [Irish Times]
In 1992 when the the then owner Thade Mullane had a digger on his farm at Curragh, an Iron age Log Boat was discovered when landscaping the edge of Comeenatrush Lake. Made from oak, it had been preserved by the acidic bog water. It was dug out and researched by archaeologists from UCC and dated to 393 AD to 537 AD, it is the earliest boat found on the Blackwater Valley. After inspections, it was re-submerged into the lake to preserve it.
Other artefacts were also found in the lake, and these are now museum pieces .
The logboat discovered at Comeenatrush, seen here after it was taken from the water.
It’s sometimes known as the Secret Waterfall, because few outside Millstreet know of its existence. Indeed most locals don’t even know how to get there, but Comeenatrush is a gem, and visitors are astounded that it’s not better known. Essentially it is at the start of the Finnow river, bringing its water from the upland valley that is Gneeves. The water cascades over 100m down the multi level waterfall, before resting in the lake. The peace, tranquillity, and the sound of water are refreshing to the soul.
Road – Comeenatrush taken in 2008 by James (rip)
The waterfall froze in December 2010 (photo Kevin Buckley)
The waterfall featured in Eurovision 1993, as the Norwegian contestant Silje Vije travelled there on horseback
1. Starting from the Square in Millstreet, head south on the road to Macroom (R582) for 3.2 km
2. Turn right onto the L5224 after passing the turn off for Kilmeedy Castle and crossing the bridge over the River Finnow.
3. Continue for 350m, until the road forks. Keep left.
4. Continue for 1.5km, turn right down small the side road
5. Continue for 600m until you get to the old farmhouse & farmyard on the right side of the road. 6. Walk to the right of the house, and follow the path for 1km until it takes you to the lake.
6. [Change 2019] Do not enter by the house, but it’s best to drive or walk up past the house and park at the double gate on the right and walk through the field there and down to the farm passage that leads to the waterfall [Directions on Google Maps]
If you want to get to the lake and the bottom of the waterfall then follow these Directions on Google Maps. DO NOT follow the default route from Millstreet to Comeenatrush on Google Maps, you will be landed on top of the hill at the entrance to Gneeves Windfarm. Many people make this mistake. BUT … It’s not really a bad thing though as if you make your way across 100m of bog, you are at the top of a cliff looking down on the lake and the view is spectacular. Sitting on the rock just down from the top of the cliff my favourite spot here, with the views and the sound of the water … but you need a head for heights, so it’s not for everyone. [route to the top of the cliff]
Iron Age Log Boat
In 1992 when the the then owner Thade Mullane was re-landscaping the site, an Iron age Log Boat was discovered in the lake. Made from oak, it had been preserved by the acidic bog water. It was dug out and researched by archaeologists from UCC and dated to 393 to 537, it is the earliest boat found on the Blackwater Valley. After inspections, it was re-submerged into the lake to preserve it. To find out more about the boat read our article HERE.
Bits and Pieces
There is an Iron Age Logboat in the lake from about the 4th century. It was discovered in 1992, researched, and placed back in the lake to preserve it.
Tips: As with most waterfalls, it is always best to enjoy the waterfall after it has been raining heavily and there is lots of water flowing.
Local Legend: the golden gates of Kilmeedy Castle are reputed to have been thrown in Comeenatrush Lake!
Comeenatrush has a Wikipedia page in Cebuano (a language from the Phillipines), but none in English!
Spelling Variations: Coomeenatrush, Caumatruish,
Many places online give the address as ‘Glantane’. This is incorrect. The lake is split by the townlands of Curragh and Gneeves. Glantane is at best two miles away.
In the 1880’s a man by the name of Daniel Dennehy was murdered nearby, and his remains dumped into the lake [TODO: complete article and link]
The logboat discovered at Comeenatrush, seen here after it was taken from the water. Thade Mullane who found the boat was the long time owner of the lands, and always welcomed people to see the lake, waterfall, and the boat.
Update June 2019: is seems that the new owner of the land have planted the entire place with trees and the boat has been covered too (possibly destroyed) by the digging work 🙁
Different owners of the house and yard at the front have blocked access to the roadway. Its best to drive or walk up past the house and park at the double gate on the right and walk through the field there.
Matthew Murphy’s Eurovision Wall in Minor Row has been one of Millstreet’s most photographed features. Painted by Patty “Muds” Murphy, it features the flags of each country that participated in Eurovision 1993, arranged in random order with Ireland as the first flag on the top left.
The original painted version lasted over nineteen years, and in 2012 Millstreet Tidy Town replaced each flag with a new colourful and attractive panel securing its future. Matty Murphy, was caught by GMTV painting the original Eurovision Wall, in the leadup to the Eurovision [news report]
Eurovision Song Contest 1993: The flags painted on this wall represent the European countries which participated in the Eurovision Song Contest held in the Green Glens Arena, Millstreet, o 15th May, 1993, and was the idea of Mr. Matt Murphy, owner of these premises. Ireland won the contest that year with Niamh Kavanagh, singing “In Your Eyes”, composed by Jimmy Walsh, with the orchestra conducted by Noel Kelehan. Reading from the top left to the right, the countries represented here were: IRELAND FINLAND AUSTRIA PORTUGAL SWEDEN GERMANY MALTA ICELAND ITALY BELGIUM SLOVENIA SWITZERLAND ISRAEL NORWAY EUROVISION LOGO GREECE DENMARK SPAIN CYPRUS NETHERLANDS BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA UNITED KINGDOM TURKEY LUXEMBOURG FRANCE CROATIA ERECTED BY MILLSTREET TIDY TOWN ASSOCIATION
(the new layout of the flags differs slightly from the original version!)
St Anna’s church was built in 1798 on the site provided by the local landlord J. Wallis of Drishane Castle. In the period 1807-1814, the church was enlarged and a belfry added. The church building covered an area of approximately 1,500 square feet (175 sq m) and had the capacity to seat 70-80 people. An 1835 Church report stated that, on average, 60 people attended the weekly service. Due to the gradual decline of the local Church of Ireland population from the 1800’s, the parish of Drishane with its church, St. Anna’s was eventually united with the nearby parish of Dromtariffe in 1904. Thereafter, church services became less frequent in Millstreet. The last religious service held in St Anna’s was in the late 1930’s and it was officially closed for public worship on 16th November 1958. The following year the church building was demolished for safety reasons, leaving only the belfry intact. In 1994-95 the Millstreet Tidy Towns Association, assisted by FÁS and Cork Co. Council, undertook the project of restoring the Belfry and the adjoining graveyard and recording its history. The St. Anna’s restoration project has enhanced the image of the town and preserved an element of our history and heritage.
The resulting St. Anna’s Amenity Park was officially opened by Rt. Rev. R. A. Warke B. D. Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross on May 4th 1997. In 1995 at the time of the restoration, Denis Tagney wrote a book about it called: “St.Anna’s Church, Millstreet – a history” published by Millstreet Museum Society (56 pages)
“St. Anna’s Amenity Park – This Church-yard having remained unused for many years was developed for the people of the Millstreet area by Millstreet Tidy Town and Tourism Association in conjunction with FÁS and Cork County Council. We dedicate this park to the memory ofthe Church of Ireland Community who worshipped here 1798-1930. We acknowledge with heartfelt gratitude all those who lent their support and helped in various ways during its development and reconstruction. Officially opened by the Rt. Rev. R.A. Warke B.D. Bishop of Cork Cloyne and Ross on May 4th 1997. Go dtuga Dia suaimhneas d’anmacha na marbh atá curtha anseo. (God rest the souls that are buried here)”
The view of the Clock Tower from the Macroom Road (c. 2012). This view has now been overgrown (2018).
TODO: insert view from the Drishane Road.
St. Anna’s is only a two minute walk from the Square. See the map below. You can also park outside the gate.
The Rectory for the protestant clergy was located just 100m further up the Liscahane Road. It is now a private dwelling house (bottom-right of the above map)
Stone upon stone the bell tower rises outside my window,
a protestant ruin of the village church. You belonged
to Drishane Castle. You belonged to the people.
The ringer gently bowed to the lintel, climbed
narrow stone steps spiraling, to call worshipers to holy communion.
Years later, Tidy Towns filled your belfry with a white-faced clock.
I raise the linen shade, wake to your dial, Black Roman numerals
go round and round. You move through my tea and egg.
I notice the time as I am off to the shop for the Guardian
and lamb. You are my companion as I play with poems
and read Passing Through. I stroll in the deep grass,
rubbing old tombstones, no longer legible.
You move through my days until you wane in the light
of the evening and fade at the unfairness of fate.
1795-1803 John Hoare (Died 1813) Son of Rev Deane Hoare of Drishane. Chancellor of Limerick 1803-1813. Married Rachel Newenham, issue included Rev Edward Newenham Hoare, Archdeacon of Ardfert and Rev William Hoare, chaplain Limerick Asylum 1838.
Rachel Newenham Hoare died at Brailsford Rectory, Derby, residence of Rev Walter Shirley, in 1850.
1803-1814 William Wray Maunsell — 1815-1822 (b.1782-d.1860) Son of Rev William Maunsell, Chancellor of Limerick. Rector of Drishane 1803-1814, Archdeacon of Limerick 1814, Precentor of Cloyne 1822. ‘Rev Wm Wray Maunsell has cure of souls [Dromtariffe], is resident in Limerick of which he is archdeacon and rector of St Michael’s’ (Miscellaneous Papers, p308). Married Charlotte, daughter of Bishop Charles Mongan Warburton and had issue, including Rev Robert Augustus Maunsell, prebend of Limerick 1857-1863.
1815-1820 Charles Warburton (1780-1855) Son of Charles Mongan Warburton (Bishop of Limerick). Chancellor of Limerick 1813-1855, Archdeacon of Tuam 1806-1855 and rector of Clonmel 1822-1855. Married Alice Sunbury Isaac of Holywood, Co Down and had issue. Rev Warburton was brother of John Warburton, rector of Valentia and brother-in-law of Rev William Wray Maunsell (above).
1820-1860 John Charles Mongan (1798-1860) For many years chaplain abroad and incumbent of St Mary’s, Belize, Honduras (where he died on 24 August 1860). Married Elizabeth Wallis of Drishane Castle and had issue. His daughter Marianne Charlotte married Rev Francis Young, curate of this parish (as below).
1861-1874 Edward Norman — see Bishops, Deans and Chapter (Precentors)
1877-1879 Thomas Alexander Moriarty (1839-1879) Son of Thomas Moriarty, Dean of
Ardfert. Temporary curate Ballymacelligott 1862, curate Killarney 1864, curate Dromod
1866, curate-in-charge Drishane 1874-76. Married Rose Hickson, daughter of William
Hickson of Tralee and had issue, including Rev Thomas Alexander Hickson Moriarty who
ministered in Derry and Mr Cecil C H Moriarty, District Inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary and later Chief Constable of Birmingham, who published volumes on police law regarded as standard works, including Moriarty s Police Law in 1929, Police Procedure and Administration in 1930 and Questions and Answers on Police Duties in 1935, and who in 1936 observed, ‘as juveniles are responsible for such a large proportion of crime, the time has come to recognise the necessity for asking for finger-prints of juvenile offenders’ (Irish Independent, 15 April 1936). Rev Moriarty died 25 September 1879. Rev Moriarty’s widow died 25 Dec 1931 aged 84.
1879-1894 Thomas Moriarty, father of above — see Bishops, Deans and Chapter (Deans)
1892-1894 Percy James Mitchell [ref]. Had two children with his wife Mary Muinitt while in Millstreet: Anna (1893), and Ella (1894)
1895-1896 James Edward Cullen — curate-in-charge, see Ballyheigue
1897-1898 William Walters — see Kilflyn
1898-1904 Joseph Doherty — see Ballymacelligott
1904 Joined to Dromtariffe
1792-1817 George Franklin (1762-1840) Son of Joshua Franklin. Married Mary, daughter of Thomas Evans of Pollardstown, Co Limerick in 1791. Rector Kilquane 1817-40 and perpetual curate Kildimo, Limerick same period. During the last year of Rev Franklin’s life his glebe house at Kildimo was raided in the early hours and shots fired, ‘the motive for this attack cannot be supposed to have originated from a wish to obtain fire-arms, as Mr Franklin’s house was attacked last winter, and those which it contained were taken off, the rev gentleman (in his 80th year) having on that occasion been severely wounded by a blow from a blunderbuss. Mr Franklin, in consequence of age and indisposition, was unable to offer any resistance to this last attack upon his house’ (The Standard, II Feb 1840). Had issue a son, Rev Joseph Uriel Franklin, prebend of Ullard, Leighlin. Mary Franklin died at Ballinacurra Cottage, Co Limerick on 7 Sept 1853 at age 87. Rev Franklin died July 1840.
1820 Daniel Eccles Lucas — see Dromod
1848 Francis Young (born c1818) Son of George Young. Married in 1852 Marianne Charlotte Mongan, daughter of Rev John Charles Mongan (see rectors above). Son born 1 December 1857 at Woodview Cottage, Millstreet.
1875 William Cooke
‘ Freeman’s Journal, 16 June 1920. Shortly afterwards the parish was returned to national attention when Sgt F Boxold was killed during the Millstreet Train Ambush, 1921. More information on the ambush is contained in an article, ‘The 1921 Millstreet Ambush’ by Oliver Doyle, Journal of the Irish Railway Record Society, no 175, June 2011. Sgt F Boxold was killed on 11 February 1921 and interred on 14 February 1921 with full military honours in Killarney New Cemetery following a service at Killarney Cathedral. His coffin, draped with the Union Jack, was borne on a gun carriage headed by a firing party and accompanied by a Guard of Honour from the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Freeman’s Journal. 17 February 1921 & Irish Independent, same date).
Basil Orpin (son of Rev. Abel Orpin, Curate of Drishane,
dioc. Ardfert and Aghadoe, by his second wife, and grandson
of Robert Orpin, esq., of Dublin), was ordained Priest at Cloyne
on 29th Sept. 1786. He was licensed to the Curacy of Clonmeen and Roskeen on 4th March, 1786. In 1807 he was Curate of Aghinagh. From 1804 to 1808 he was V. TuUilease ; and from 1808 to his death in 1842 was R. V. Ballyvourney. He was buried at Millstreet, Drishane, Ardfert diocese, on 1st Nov. 1842. He left issue by his wife, Ellen Lewis, four sons — John, Benjamin (dead), Richard (dead), and Basil; besides four daughters — Mary, Johanna, Isabella, and Charlotte.
People Buried in St.Anna’s
Many of the headstones at St. Anna’s are now unreadable. The legible ones are listed on Historic Graves.
Just beyond the grotto on the Clara Road and on the lower slopes of Clara Mountain, there is a small old graveyard known as Cillín (or ‘the Cill’ (pronounced “Keel”) Cemetery in English), but known by many as The Famine Graveyard. It is a sad place where many are buried without headstone. Neither is there a list of names of who is buried there.
It dates from the middle of the 19th century and was located there because its close proximity to the rear of the Millstreet Union Workhouse (which is now St. Joseph’s Community Hospital). Many victims of the Famine (especially from the Mallow area) are buried there, including unbaptised babies born in the workhouse.
The graveyard is closed a long time now, but a few who have given of their time and energy have been laid to rest there. Hannah Mary O’Connor of West End was buried there because of her commitment to the restoration of the Cemetery and the placement of a large Crucifix in the middle of the sacred area (1965) [Read the comment by Jerry Kelleher below on her family connections to the Keel and the Workhouses]. In 1993, similar permission was given to the family of the late Christopher Fitzgerald who also did much to maintain the Cemetery. Christy’s wife Dorothy was also laid to rest there in 2011. No other person has since been permitted to be buried there.
with thanks to Ola for some photos and Seán for information on Cillín