Tullaherin is an ecclesiastical site dedicated to Saint Kieran. Is has been a place of great importance since the earliest times and has seen continious religious worship on the same site for over one thousand years. Opinion is divided about the meaning of the name Tullaherin, Canon Carrigan suggesting that it derives from Tulach Thirim or 'dry mound', others feel it should be translated as Tulach Chiarain, or the 'mound of St. Kieran'. This second translation is supported by local tradition, which holds the pattern held on each St. Kieran's day (March 5th) up to the 1820's, and the presence in the locality of a well dedicated to St. Kieran as proof that the patron Saint and first Bishop of Ossory is buried in the shadow of the round tower at Tullaherin. The pattern on March 5th every year was so popular that in 1800 there were 75 tents and stalls set up to cater for the large crowds.
The round tower at Tullaherin was most likely built by Cearbhall MacDunghal in the 9th century as a fortification against the Norseman. It is about 73 feet high and had seven storeys, although the upper storey is a later addition. The walls of the round tower are three feet thick.
When repairing the round tower workmen found several walking sticks on top. These came from times past when young men in the area challenged each other to throw the sticks over the tower with on hand while resting the other hand against the wall of the tower.
The church at Tullaherin is a 9th century building, which was added to in the 13th century. It was further rebuilt in 1616 to convert it for use by the local protestant population. Other features of historical interest at Tullaherin include two ogham stones and a marigold stone. Marigold stones date from pre-Christian or early Christian times and were used to mark burial sites.
Back To Kilkenny.
Kilkenny Castle, Saint Canice's Cathedral, Rothe House, Black Abbey, Kells Priory, Tullaherin, Cantwell Fada, Jerpoint Abbey, Inistioge.