Kilmaley (Clare)

Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out Parish of Kilmaley, County Clare.


Our aim is to connect all people with a link to Kilmaley. You may live here, have visited here or maybe are tracing ancestors who left long ago. In any case, we’re sure to have lots to share and are delighted to welcome you.
The parish of Kilmaley or Cill Mhaille in Irish is situated in the Midwest of Co. Clare and is deemed to be one of the largest parishes in Co. Clare. The parish is named after the 6th century saint Maille who is said to have brought Christianity to the area. Cill Mhaille translates to English as aChurch of Maillea.

The landscape of the parish is described as rolling drumlins with numerous earthen forts. The parish consists of 5 sub-divisions namely Kilmaley, Inch, Connolly, Lisroe and Kinturk. Each sub adivision had its own school until the mid-1960s, when decreasing numbers resulted in the closure of Lisroe and Kanturk national schools. Today the local school and church are at the heartbeat of the villages of Kilmaley, Inch and Connolly.

Kilmaley church was founded in 1195 by King Donal Mar OaBrien of Limerick and Thomond. He invited the Augustinian order to be the administrators of the new church. The site of the original church was built on a slope overlooking a blessed well which would have been a pre-Christian site of worship. Legend has it that during the invasion of the Cromwellian army, 400 people were killed in the destruction of Kilmaley Church.

During Penal times mass would have been celebrated on Mass rocks in isolated areas throughout the parish. The present day church was built in 1845 under the guiding hand of Fr. Donal Lynch PP (1832-62). An onerous task undertaken during the aGreat Faminea. The famine afflicted Kilmaley like so many other rural areas throughout Ireland with mass starvation, eviction and emigration. Indeed local landlord Marcus Keane during this period is said to have developed the scheme of breaking the ridge poles of local houses to ensure that they could not be repaired.

The predominant source of employment in the parish until recent decades has been farming. While the most prominent sports in the parish are hurling and camogie. Indeed during the formative years of the GAA three clubs existed in the parish namely Inch Davitts, Kilmaley (Wolfe Tones) and Connolly (Smith OaBriens). Today the parish is solely represented by Kilmaley GAA club, whose proudest days arrived in 1985 and 2004 when they were crowned senior champions of Clare. While Kilmaley have been senior camogie champions on three occasions 2008, 2009, and 2012.

Meet and Greet Team

David Dillon, Eugene McMahon and Tom McNamara are our Ireland XO team and Sheila Considine is the Parish Liaison. We also have help from Martin Killeen, Anne McMahon, Carmel O'Brien and Grainne O'Loughlin.

As part of our Reaching Out project, we are creating a profile of Kilmaley Parish in which we hope to trace our ancestors and tell their story. If you are interested and would like to trace your own family history, we would be very happy to hear from you. We can assist you in your search as well as share our resources with you.

Please check out the following websites for further information:

Clare Local Studies Centre is a reference library and research centre dedicated to the collection of material on any aspect of County Clare

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If you wish to leave a message, we would be delighted.

Best of luck with your research.

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Dillon/Carney family of Connolly 22 Apr 2018 15:08
Burkes of Kilmaley 17 Dec 2016 9:22
Reddan/Neylan/McMahon/Roughan 5 May 2016 17:26
Custy family - looking for info 19 Jul 2015 0:17

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