The Parish and Population
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The Parish and Population
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The Parish and Population


Enfield Village 2010Enfield Village 2010

The parish is identified varyingly as Rathmolyon, Enfield, Jordanstown, Rathcore or a combination of these names.  Some element of confusion is understandable, as there is a civil parish, a Church of Ireland parish and a Roman Catholic parish.  This overlapping and duplication occurs frequently and has its roots in the ad-hoc development and evolution of the Irish parish system, which has evolved from early Christian times.  The parish forms part of the Barony of Lower Moyfenrath and its boundaries are shown on the attached map.  It is acknowledged that there are various versions of spelling the names of the townlands in the parish.  Where it has been found that one version predominates in local use, then that one has been chosen for use in this book e.g. Enfield (Innfield).  Where more than one version is used in a townland, then preference has been given to that as used in the Ordnance Survey of Ireland Discovery Series of maps. 


Civil parishes in the proper sense of the term i.e. parishes created by an act of Parliament, are comparatively few in number.  Rathmolyon and Rathcore both happen to be civil, as well as religious parishes.  The civil authorities frequently adopted the Catholic parish structure as a convenient administrative unit and the Established Church generally adopted the traditional parish boundaries.  Various amalgamations of Catholic parishes took place for administrative reasons within the Church.  As a result of all these developments and amalgamations, Rathmolyon and Enfield form one unit for Roman Catholic purposes, Rathmolyon and Rathcore are aligned with Agher and Castlerickard to form a union of parishes for Church of Ireland purposes, hence historical data on Agher and Castlerickard has been included.


Rathcore 2010Rathcore 2010


The Rathmolyon civil parish is now known as Rathmolyon District Electoral Division (D.E.D.).  This is the unit used for census taking, voting, and identifying lands for European aid to agriculture and other civil administration.  The Enfield end of the Roman Catholic parish corresponds with the Innfield and Rahinstown District Electoral Divisions and is roughly based on the old civil parish and the Church of Ireland parish of Rathcore.


As Rathmolyon and Rathcore/Enfield parishes have evolved from two separate entities, they will be dealt with separately.



Rathmolyon 2010Rathmolyon 2010

Rathmolyon is referred to in the Papal Registers of 1212 and again (spelt Rathmullian) in the Civil Survey of 1654.  This lists the townlands, acreages and landlords - the principal landlord being Dr. John Bramhall, Protestant Bishop of Derry at the time.  The Ordnance Field Name Books for Meath 1835-36 recorded the parish as approximately 9,750 statute acres and listed the townlands, more or less as they are today.  A minor variation is Ballin which is in the civil parish of Rathmolyon but is in the Roman Catholic parish of Longwood (there were sixty-three people in the townland before the Famine in 1841 but there was no one recorded there in the 1996 census, so the matter is of academic interest only).  The townland of Moneymore is in the Rathmolyon Parish but has no road link to it (this lack of road was noted in the Ordnance Survey of 1836).  The full list of townlands is shown in the accompanying census table.


As the Roman Catholic chapel was in Killballyporter (Kill), the parish was occasionally called Kill but the new church is in Rathmolyon, as is the Church of Ireland church and so the new and the old are in harmony by name.



As already stated, the Enfield end of the Roman Catholic parish comprises the same townlands as the two D.E.Ds of Innfield and Rahinstown.  The older parish was Rathcore and it was on this that all earlier census returns were based.  Rathcore is mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters in AD 799, AD 800 and AD 815. 


Rathcore Church of Ireland, Church and Graveyard. Catholics from parish were buried here until early 1900'sRathcore Church of Ireland, Church and Graveyard. Catholics from parish were buried here until early 1900's

The Ordnance Survey Field Name Book recorded the area of Rathcore Parish as 13,883 acres and listed the townlands.  Included were Ardrums Big, Ardrums Little, Oldtown (in the barony of Deece) and Clonguiffin, none of which are in the present Roman Catholic parish.  In 1881, the net area of the parish was recorded in the census as around 12,042 acres.


An early, not very substantial chapel was situated at Jordanstown and as was the custom, the name of the townland Jordanstown transferred to the Roman Catholic parish.  An anomaly is that the present church is actually situated in Kilcorney but is always called Jordanstown Church, presumably on account of the earlier location of a church across the townland boundary.  A similar position exists in Baconstown.  The new school built in 1966 is across the road from the old building and is situated in Ballinaskea, but is always known as Baconstown School


The entire area of the parish is in the postal district of Enfield.  The village of Enfield is a focal point on the N4, though oddly enough there is no townland of Enfield and there is no church in the village.  Common consent is that the Roman Catholic parish is now referred to as Enfield and Rathmolyon, though Enfield is shown on many maps by its older name of Innfield.  The Church of Ireland parish is now known as the Dunboyne and Rathmolyon Union of Parishes.


Church of Ireland Rathmolyon. Catholichs from Parish were buried in Graveyard until early 1900'sChurch of Ireland Rathmolyon. Catholichs from Parish were buried in Graveyard until early 1900's


As can be seen from the accompanying graph, the population declined steadily from 1841 (a close analysis would require a separate study) to its lowest point in both ends of the parish in 1936, when a number of factors appear to have halted the decline.  The Irish Land Commission adopted a policy of re-settling farmers from congested areas in the west of Ireland and transferring them to the midlands, where the Land Commission had bought and sub-divided large farms.  Among the first of these families (or migrants as they were known) to this parish were the families on the Newcastle cul-de-sac, Coyles, Barretts and Walshes who came in the spring of 1939 and were followed for the next twenty years by many other families.  A further reason for the halt in the decline in the population was the Emergency[i] when Ireland had to become self sufficient in food and fuel.  The combined effect of new families in the area, extra employment generated in agriculture and in Bord na Móna, the end of the Economic War[ii] (1932-1938), as well as other factors contributed to maintaining the population at around its 1936 level until 1971, when numbers started to increase again.  New housing developments in Enfield and proposed developments in Rathmolyon village should show a marked increase in population in the next census.


Hereunder are tables of stated religious preferences in the 1861, 1991 and 2002 census:


Census 1861

Religious Profession



Established Church



Roman Catholic


















All other Denominations










Census 1991

Religious Profession



Roman Catholic



Other stated



No religion



Not stated







Census 2002

Religious Profession



Roman Catholic



Other Stated



No Religion



Not Stated






























Jack Fitzimons, The Plains of Royal Meath, Kells, 1978.


Census figures © Government of Ireland 2003.  Material compiled and presented by Central Statistics Office.  Reproduction is authorised except for commercial purposes, provided the source is acknowledged.

[i] The name given in Ireland to the period of the Second World War, 1939 to 1945.

[ii] A name given to series of tariffs, financial and other disputes between the Irish Free State and Britain.  (Brian Lalor (Gen. Ed.), The Encyclopaedia of Ireland, Gill and Macmillan Ltd. Dublin, 2003, p. 335).