and Limerick 1211 and Kerry 1233. It was only in 1606 that Kerry was eventually joined to Desmond to form one county.
Why Millstreet Parish is included within the Diocese of Kerry. An intriguing question which often arises is why are Millstreet and the three adjacent parishes in NW Cork in the Diocese
of Kerry? In keeping with a modern tourist ad, which says "Kerry is a kingdom because it has many jewels one might flippantly answer that Millstreet Parish is one of its crown jewels. However, the real answer is very simple. The diocesan boundaries existed before the county boundaries, which were a Norman innovation. The territory within the diocese was predetermined at least a half a century before
the county boundaries were drawn up.
However, nothing is ever simple. It is further complicated by the fact that the townlands of Ballydaly, Kippagh and Comachoe were regarded as part of the East Fractions of Kerry for about 300 years and the townlands of Shanaknock, Annagloor and Clarathlea were part of the Barony of Duhallow, which extended south of the river Blackwater, as far as Clara mountain.
Furthermore, a proposal was made in the middle of the 19th Century to join the three parishes of Millstreet, Dromtarriffe and Boherbue with the Diocese of Cloyne as compensation for the parishes which the Diocese was proposing to give to Cork. Part of that proposal was, that the Dioceses of Kerry and Cork were being asked to give additional parishes in the Beara Peninsula to rejuvenate the Diocese of Ross, in order to make it viable. In 1863, Bishop Moriarty of Kerry strongly resisted the proposal, so nothing came of it.
How the Parishes of Cullen and Drishane evolved.
Because Cullen and Drishane developed and functioned as separate parishes for a number of centuries it is more logical to treat them separately.
Cullen Parish and its early records.
For over 500 years Cullen was a separate parish (1300-1806). It was joined to Millstreet in the early years of the 19th Century. It was part of the Parish of Drishane (Millstreet) in the earliest baptismal records held in the parish (1835). The present church was solemnly dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady when it opened on September 8th 1907. In October last year it celebrated its centenary with a week of spiritual festivities. A commemorative book by Eileen O'Connor was published to honour the occasion. It mainly covers the history of the parish during the 20th Century.
Cullen is first mentioned in official records in 1302.
At the beginning of the 14th Century the parishes of Ireland were assessed for Papal taxation and were expected to contribute a tenth of their valuation (a tithe). In 1296, Pope Boniface VIII issued a Bull forbidding kings and rulers to exact taxes on the Church without the express permission of the Papacy. When King Edward I of England demanded part of the clerical income to subsidise his wars in France, the Church appealed to Rome. As a result, a new tax was introduced by the Pope for a three year period (1302 - 1305), to begin with. As a consequence we have a comprehensive list of all the parishes in the Diocese of Ardfert from that time.
Aghadoe (Hacudeo) was one of six deaneries in the Diocese and within the deanery were 28 parishes. Amongst those named, with their respective valuation, are the following:
N.Congill (Nohoval): Conlumalla (Cullen):
3s-4d = 1/6 of a pound sterling. 6s-8d = 1/3 of a pound.
= 2/3 of a pound.
The above details are taken from the "Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland" (Vol. V p.294) Ed. H S Sweetman (1886). Amongst the parishes listed there is, surprisingly, no mention of Millstreet under any of its earlier known names. Cullen is the oldest