Our Parish History
In 14th century the parish was called Tamlaght McNinagh “The Plague Grave of MacNinagh”. By the 16th century the name then changed to Tamlaght O’Crilly called after the O’Crillys who were the Erenaghs or Church Stewards of the parish. Many of the Erenagh families became parish priests.
The parish is named in Archbishop Colton’s Visitation of the Diocese of Derry (1397) and in the Taxation Lists and in the Dungannon Inquisition of 1609. The churches and monasteries were destroyed and the priests and monks dispersed in the 16th century. But we still find the O’Crillys as priests in the area.
So we find Abbot Laurence O’Crilly mentioned as Abbot of Tamlaght O’Crilly. The friary or monastery was located in the townland of Drumnacanon and was under the jurisdiction of the Abbey of St Peter and St Paul in Armagh. The last recorded Erenagh of Tamlaght O’Crilly was Nicholas O’Crilly, who lived in the townland of Eden. After the Plantation, Catholics could no longer use the Church at Tamlaght which became the Church of Ireland Parish Church, although Catholics continued to use the burial ground up until the 1800s. The Protestant Bishop Montgomery’s survey of the Diocese of Derry in 1608 has this entry for the Parish:
Deanery of Rathlowry
Name of Parish: Tamlaght O’Crilly
Patron Saint: St Conlus
Rector: Eoghan O’Crilly Vicar: Donal O’Crilly
Erenagh: The Rector, Eoghan O’Crilly
Rent: 40 groats 5 acres assigned to the Rector, 3 acres to the vicar.
Procurations: 2s Pension: 10s 20 balliboes (ie. Townlands)