|Rinn Bó Phadruig looking east|
As I read through it I noted that I had read most of the references to St. Patrick in Gleesons paper in the North Tipp area before and it was with great surprise that I found Gleeson's reference to the "Rinne Bó Phadruig" or track of St. Patrick's Cow in the Ormond area.
I had read about St. Patrick's cow's mythical journeys in different parts of the country such as in Limerick near Knockpatrick and in South Tipp / Waterford area from Lismore to Cashel before. Dr. Louise Nugent has written a great paper on it here.
Gleeson details this road as follows in the NMAJ
"The only other tradition of the saint I know of in the Ormond area concerns not himself but his cow. This is the "Rinne Bó Phadruig" or track of St. Patrick;s cow at Grennanstown in Toomevara. On the ancient road, part of which still remains, between Latteragh and Tyone and just after it passes by the road from Ballinamona cross to Grawn, is found a large stone by the roadside with a depression in it said to have been made by the knee of the saint's cow when she fell while running from the devil."
This old road can clearly be made out on the old maps as below.
It runs adjacent to the existing R498 or Thurles Rd and as per a note in Gleesons paper it "leaves the main Nenagh/Thurles road at Sallypark and proceeds vis. Kilnafinch, Carrick Maunsell, and Carrick Peacock, to cross the Ballinamona to Toomevara road a little east of Ballinamona cross."
It is interesting to note the number of eccesiastical sites in and around this road from Borrisoleigh to Nenagh. Going from east to west you pass Glenkeen Monastic site, Latteragh Monastic site, Kilkeary Monastic site and Tyone Monastic site, all which would be on or near the Rinn Bó Padraig.
The road itself is clearly exists as an old track as the photo below and at the start of the piece illustrate (taken near where Lurganaboe is marked on the OS map).
What is also very exciting is that the stone with the marking from the cow is also recorded on the old OS maps as "Lurganaboe".
It is on private property so I haven't had the opportunity yet to see if it still exists, hence the reason for writing this piece. If anyone happens to know its exact location or who the landowners are please do contact me.
Unfortunately and unlike Dermot Gleeson, he does not reference where the information on the Rinn Bó Padraig originated and I do find it unusual that I have not came across any other references to it before.
However if the Lurganaboe is still there (and hopefully it still is) then it will surely back up the story and give North Tipp its own "Rinn Bó Phadruig".