Mauherslieve / Mother Mountain /Motharsliabh (“mountain of wilderness”)(543m) (Photo by Coraryan)
Curreeny & Toor (Co. Tiperary / West)
Curreeny (Coirríní – “The little pointed hills”) is a rural area located approximately 1000ft above lea level, within the Silvermines Mountains. The local landscape is dominated by Mauherslieve / Mother Mountain. Much of the terrain is hilly and is covered in evergreen forestry.
The Vale of Cuneen is a beautiful valley with a cscading waterfall.
Curreeny is linked by scenic stretches of the R497 to Inch on ByRoute 7 and Dolla on ByRoute 9.
Toor is an isolated rural community in the Silvermines Moutains.
The church of Our Lady of Lourdes (RC) is an attractively simple edifice constructed in 1827.
Toor is not far from Rearcross on ByRoute 7.
Keepers Hill / Slievekimalta / Slíabh Coiméalta (“mountain of guarding”) (694m) is the highest summit in the Silvermines Mountains.When discussing the weather, locals refer to the halo of fog that often forms near the peak of the hill by saying, “Keeper is wearing his cap today.” Keeper Hill Scenic Drive takes in some breathtaking views.
Castle Waller, largely destroyed by fire in 1888, stands in ruins on the western slopes of Keepers Hill. (Photo – Waller / Jocelyn)
Originally known as Cully Castle, it was captured from Teige Ryan by Parliamentary troops during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, and subsequently granted to Captain Richard Waller, whose family rebuilt and renamed it. The local townland is still called Castle Waller.
Once a massive structure with rounded corners and at least two small circular flanking towers, the ivy-clad remains show traces of both periods of ownership, including a vast orchard encircled by high walls. Attached to one side is a more modern cottage residence, which is still occupied.
Castle Waller, C19th watercolour painting, artist unknown (Photo – Waller / Jocelyn)
There are three other former Ryan castle ruins in the vicinity.
Newport (Co. Tipperary / West)
Newport (Port Nuá / Tulach Sheasta) (pop. 1200) is a town on the Mulcair River, which has its source in the Silvermines Mountains.
The original settlement dates back centuries; its name was changed from Tulach Sheasta / Tullagh to Newport sometime after the mid-C17th Cromwellian Redistribution.
Newport’s Arts & Heritage Centre is housed in the town’s old Bridewell.
St John’s church (RC), a simple barn-like structure built in 1796 on what came to be known as Chapel St., is now an atmospheric roofless shell.
The church of the Most Holy Redeemer (RC), a major local landmark, erected in 1933 to replace the older centre of worship, is an elegantly stuccoed edifice situated prominently on the edge of the town.
Robert Jocelyn, a leading lawyer and politician who served as Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1739 until his death in 1756, was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Baron Newport in 1743, and was made Viscount Jocelyn in 1755.
His son Robert (1731 – 1797), 2nd Viscount Jocelyn and Baron Newport, who served as Auditor-General of Ireland, was created Earl of Roden, of High Roding in the County of Tipperary in 1770, when he also succeeded his first cousin once removed as 5th Baronet of Hyde Hall in the County of Hertford.
The 3rd Earl, a leading figure in the mid-C19th Second Reformation, picked up the title Baron Clanbrassil of Hyde Hall in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, and thus an automatic hereditary seat in the British House of Lords until that body was reformed in 1999.
The current 10th Earl of Roden presumably retains the title Baron Newport. Some members of the family live in Coolock, Co. Dublin.
Newport is expanding rapidly, with new housing estates being built each year for Limerick City commuters, and a new town centre planned.
Newport is within easy reach of Ballina on ByRoute 9 and near Castleconnell and Murroe (Co. Limerick), both on the outskirts of Limerick City & Environs.
The Clare Glens is a wooded sandstone ravine / gorge formed by the River Clare, part of the boundary between County Tipperary and County Limerick, featuring several rapids and cascades, popular for white water rafting. Both sides are pleasant, but the most spectacular views are available from the County Tipperary riverside walkway, as is access to the best swimming locations, notably “The Big Easy”, an opening below a waterfall. There are enjoyable “adventure walks”, and a looped nature trail provides access to all areas of the Glens.