Newmarket-on-Fergus is a modern village situated in south Co. Clare. It is 13 kilometres from Ennis, 8 kilometres from Shannon Airport, and 24 kilometres from Limerick City.
The village was historically known as Cora Chaitlín meaning Cathleen's Weir. This Gaelic name is reputed to have its origins in a story whereby a weir was placed across the river Canny at Newtown Canny, a bridge on the Limerick Road near the present entrance to O'Regan Park. Here in a weir on Finn Mill Race eels were snared, hence Cathleen's Weir.
The parish of Newmarket-on-Fergus is a union of seven ancient parishes which were brought together to create one large administrative parish in south Co. Clare.
These parishes are Bunratty, Fenloe, Kilnasoolagh, Drumline, Clonloghan, Kilconry and Kilmaleery. In 2000 the community were looking for a project to celebrate the millennium and a proposal to create a monument recognising this union of parishes was brought forward by Edwin Bailey and presented to the Board of Obair Newmarket-on-Fergus Ltd. who ran with the proposal. At the time DJ Meehan was chairman of Obair Environment Services and he with his fellow directors drove the project to completion.
Fenloe Monument Plaque
The monument shows Caitlin sitting beside a weir represented by the wavering tops of the upright stones and a fountain emitting water. The legend of each parish is told by inscription on a limestone upright representing each of the parishes.
Bunratty - Bun Raite - The mouth of the river Raite, site of Norman and Gealic castles. The medieval town of Bunratty made this an important and highly populated parish for hundreds of years.
Drumline - Drom Laighean - The Hill of Spears. At its centre is the graveyard and a fragment of the old church remains. It is said to have had St. Sanctain as its patron.
Fenloe - Tuaim Fionnloch - The Tumulus of the Fair Lake. Originating around a monastic site in the early sixth century. Its patron saint is St. Luichtighern who also had a connection with a church in Ennistymon in West Clare. Close to the road is a Holy Well named after him.
Kilnasoolagh - Cill na Subhallach - The Church of the Religious People. The church site is now occupied by The Church of Ireland church surrounded by the ancient graveyard which is still in use.
Kilmaleery - Cill Maolaighre - Little remains of the original church which was named after its patron St. Maolaighre. Nearby is a Holy Well, Tobar Maolaighre also named after him thought to have curative powers for eye ailments.
Kilconry - Cill Chonaire - The Church of Conaire. Its patroness is said to have been St. Conaire, a relative of St. Sennan of Scattery Island. She died in 520 and was buried on Scattery Island.
Clonloghan - Cluain Lochan. The Field of Chaff. Its graveyard contains a small remnant of the original church dating back to before 1,000 AD.
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