TURLOUGH, a parish, in the barony of Carra, county of Mayo, and province of Connaught, 3 miles (N.E.) from Castlebar, on the road to Swinford; containing 6949 inhabitants.
This parish, which is situated on a small river connecting Lough Lannach with Lough Cullen, comprises 22,405 statute acres; a large tract is mountain and bog, and of the remainder the greater portion is under tillage. The land is generally of good quality, and the system of agriculture is improving. Limestone abounds, and is extensively quarried for agricultural purposes, and for building; and there is also a quarry of very fine black marble.
About halfway between Castlebar and Ballina is a wild romantic district, in which Lough Conn and Lough Cullen unite by a narrow sound, over which is a stone bridge of one arch. Within this district, which is called the Pontoon, the river Deel and several smaller streams flow into Lough Conn, which discharges its superfluous waters into Lough Cullen, into which also flow several large streams, of which the chief is the river Moy. When these tributary streams are swollen by mountain torrents, the Moy, which is the only outlet, is insufficient to carry off the redundant waters, which are forced back into Lough Conn.
The road here winding round the lake presents a succession of highly picturesque and romantic scenery. On a rock overhanging the lake is a rocking-stone nicely poised, and at the bridge leading from this parish to that of Kilbelfad Lord Bingham has erected a very commodious inn. Here is also a constabulary police barrack, in which is stationed a constabulary police force.
The principal seats are Turlough Park, the residence of Col. Fitzgerald, finely situated in an improved demesne; Turlough Cottage, of Mrs. Semple; and Ballyvilla, of R. Kearney, Esq. A bleach-green, in which ten men are constantly employed, is conducted by Mr. W. Malley; and fairs are held on May 9th, June 13th, Aug. 24th, and Dec. 8th.
The living is a rectory, vicarage, and perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Tuam; the rectory and vicarage form part of the union of Castlebar; the perpetual curacy comprises this parish and that of Kildecamogue and is in the patronage of the incumbent of Castlebar; the tithes amount to £207.13.10-1/4, and the stipend of the curate is £100, of which £75 is paid by the incumbent, and £25 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners from Primate Boulter's Augmentation Fund.
The church is a neat edifice in the later English style, and in good repair. In the R.C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also the parish of Kildecamogue, and containing three chapels, two of which are in this parish, situated respectively at Park and Crumlin. There are places of worship for Presbyterians, in connection with the Synod of Ulster, of the third class, and Wesleyan Methodists.
There are eight public schools, of which the national school is aided by the Rev. Mr. Hamilton; a school at Meaghanny is supported by the Rev. Mr. Allen, and one by the Rev. Mr. Grale. Some remains exist of an old church, near which is one of the ancient round towers, in an excellent state of preservation.