Killure or “ church of the yew’’ is a small village on the fourth stage of the Beara Breifne / Hymany Ways from Portumna to Balygar to meet the next stage of the journey northwards to meet with the Suck Valley Way.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that St. Ciaran once considered building his seven churches here, instead of Clonmacnoise.
Had it not been for the chance encounter by workmen of a red haired lady while building the second church which caused them to flee the site and changed the course of monastic history in Ireland forever.
However, their eminent departure might have more to do with the fact that St. Ciaran got a more lucrative deal in Clonmacnoise.
The surrounds of the unfinished church was used as an infant burial ground with stones from the church used as markers for their graves including a holy water font, worn smooth by worshippers through the ages.
The three storeyed building, known locally as Killure castle, is a Tower House dating from the 15th. to 17th. century
A standing stone, which folklore says may have sacrificial origons, may date back to the Bronze Age can be seen at Cappagh Bridge. It is a squat granite boulder, roughly D shaped in plan with a notable chiselled groove across the top. An “ axehead ‘’ was found nearby.
The Esker Riada and its exposed face is a series of ridges stretching from Dublin to Galway across the midlands. These geological features were created at the end of the last ice-age when silt, sand and gravel were deposited by rivers of glacial melt- water under the ice. “Eiscir’’is a mound or an elevation and this was the highway used by travellers going from east to west through the midland bogs of Ireland.
We are fortunate that this part of the glacier has survived as many have been lost due to gravel extraction, forestry and being levelled by farmers for tillage and grazing.
The eskers have developed an abundance of their own species of rich flora and wild flowers.
Cloonigny Castle, now in ruins, with its moated site, was occupied by “Shane De Moy’’ (O Kelly) in 1574.
It is surrounded by a well preserved moated site. It is defined by two banks with an intervening fosse. The inner bank is well preserved and there is a mound defined by a scarp and an external fosse. Close by is a ringfort containing a souterain.
Killure bog due to the ecological importance of its plants and animals Killure Bog was declared a Natural Heritage Area in 2003.
It consists of raised bog and cut over bog and part of it is afforested.
Raised bogs are valuable wetland habitats and are becoming increasingly rare in Ireland. These bogs once formed extensive wetlands over much of the central lowlands of Ireland. Over milennia, they were intrinsically linked with Irish culture, but for the most part, they were considered wastelands, to be converted to more productive purposes on a large scale such as the production of fuel and horticultural peat.
There are sports grounds in nearby Ahascragh where both hurling and soccer are played.
A particular attraction in the area is the participation by enthusiasts in vintage rallies.