Rathreagh Civil Parish Characteristics, County Mayo, Ireland

Rathreagh (a.k.a. Rathrea) Civil Parish is within Tirawley Barony and only had 20 Townlands (all on the small side) when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856. It is located only five miles from Killala, one of County Mayo's major market Towns in the 19th century. Rathreagh Civil Parish is part of Kilfian Roman Catholic Parish (Kilfian Civil Parish is also part of this Catholic Parish). Church records are available for the years 1836-1844 (earlier than many Catholic Parishes in County Mayo).

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Rathreagh Civil Parish, there were no documented Catholic Chapel, other Churches or Graveyards.

As far as education goes, Schoolhouses were present in the Townlands of Crevagh Beg and Rathreagh.

From an economic perspective, there is very little to mention in this parish. Ballygowan had a "Customs of Fairs," there was a Turbary in Ballybeg and Herd's Houses in Ardnagor, Atticloghy, Lecarrowwanteean and Rathreagh. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Rathreagh).

I couldn't find any patent applications for fairs or markets for any Townlands in Rathreagh Civil Parish or mention of any fairs in the Statistical Survey of County Mayo in 1802, but "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" that was published in 1837 mentions fairs for cows, horses and Sheep on March 17, June 24, September 29 and December 26, but acknowledges that they are "not much frequented." (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 507).

The Townlands in this Civil Parish are fairly equally distributed among five primary landlords and a smattering of others. Sir William Roger Palmer Bt and Ernest Knox each dominated four Townlands, Harriet Gardiner and the Earl of Arran had three and William Orme and Mervyn Pratt had two. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Rathreagh).

The population in Rathreagh Civil Parish declined during the famine years and beyond in Rathreagh as it did in many other Civil Parishes in County Mayo. In 1841, the population of Rathreagh was 1,664, dropping by more than 50% to 790 in 1851. By the year 1911 there were only 388 people living in the Civil Parish of Rathreagh. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 8).