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Welcome to Dunkerrin (Offaly)

Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out Parish of Dunkerrin.


Dunkerrin and its history.

The parish comprises of 67 townlands three of which are detached from the main portion by the intervention of parts of the Parishes of Roscrea and Shinrone. It is part of counties Offaly and Tipperary and covers approximately 24,500 acres. The population of the parish is approx. 1600 people.

The land for the most part is a plain, rising in a gentle slope from North to South and culminating in the hill of Crimlin and Rathnavogue with Benduff as their highest point reaching to1399 feet. These hills serve as a watershed dividing the upper reaches of the Nore and Suir rivers which flow south east, from the sources of the little Brosna and the Ballyfinboy which follow a North-Westerly course to Lough Derg and the Shannon.

The underlying rock in the plain is carboniferous limestone and the numerous round backed hills or Drumlins yield rich deposits of sand and gravel used in building and road making. Approaching the hills the limestone merges into old red sandstone which contains light veins of copper and iron. The land is mainly fertile and the farming is a mixture of Dairying and the raising of dry stock and sheep, with a decreasing areage of tillage. Many boglands, which gave good fuel for centuries, have been exhausted and reclaimed as farmland or planted forests. In the bogs that remain turf is cut by modern machinery methods.

In 1841 the population of the entire parish was approximately 8,500. Thirty years later in 1871 the population had dropped to about 4,000. A lesser decline continued for the remainder of the 19th century at the end of which the population was 2,500. Today the population is about 1,600. The decline in the population in the second half of the 19th century can be attributed to the famine and the terrible destruction it caused. Huge numbers died and many more were forced to emigrate. Emigration was a final parting with friends, relations and native place, although there was always the hope, rarely realised, of returning home someday



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