Ballylooby (Irish: Béal Átha Lúbaigh, meaning 'mouth, or pass, of Looby's Ford')[1] is a village in County Tipperary in Ireland. It is in the barony of Iffa and Offa West, and is also a parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Waterford and Lismore.

Béal Átha Lúbaigh
Ballylooby village, 2010.
Ballylooby village, 2010.
Ballylooby is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°19′38″N 7°59′02″W / 52.3273°N 7.9839°W / 52.3273; -7.9839Coordinates: 52°19′38″N 7°59′02″W / 52.3273°N 7.9839°W / 52.3273; -7.9839
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceR954207


One of the village's oldest buildings, Keating's thatched pub.

Ballylooby is on the R668 regional road between Cahir and Clogheen, approximately halfway between both towns. The village links two townlands, Knockannapisha (NE) and Knockane (Puttoge) (SW),[2] the boundary between them being the Thonnoge River.


The village is served by Ringalink community transport[3] and on Sundays only by the Bus Éireann Cork city to Cahir route 245.[4] The nearest railway station is Cahir railway station, 9 km distant.


Catholic Parish of Ballylooby and TubridEdit

According to Power's history, 'Place-names of Decies', this modern parish includes the ancient parishes of Whitechurch, Tubrid, and Tullaghorton (Castlegrace) with a section that was once the western portion of Rochestown It extends from the summit of the Galtees in the north, to the summit of the Knockmealdown range in the south.[5] The parish has two churches, at Ballylooby village and Duhill respectively. The Catholic church is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and St. Kieran. Mass is also celebrated at the recently renovated church at Duhill.


Church of Our Lady and St. KieranEdit

Our Lady's and St. Kieran's Church

The first church built in the village of Ballylooby ran East- West, on the site of the present structure. Its orientation was at right angles to the current building, constructed in 1813 by Rev. John Burke. The site of the old church was too small for the growing congregation, and so an extra twenty-six perches were bought from Patrick Burke. The land deal did not go smoothly and the latter erected a wall within the church and sought writs for trespass against those who crossed it. The heated disagreement lasted for several years but was eventually settled, and the wall removed in due course.[6]

St. Kieran's was remodelled (all but rebuilt), in 1927/1928 by the parish priest M. Walsh with the architect Rudolf Maximilian Butler.[7] It was funded by local subscription, and many of the pews and stained glass windows bear the names of local families that sponsored them.


Former National Schools, Ballylooby

The present Parish Hall, adjacent to the church and bridge was once the village school, or more correctly schools. Both the boys and girls classes, though operating under one roof, were administered separately.

RIC BarracksEdit

Former village RIC barracks

The Royal Irish Constabulary operated a barracks in the village for many years. It was sold to the local school-master, Michael Keating, by District Inspector Gilbert Potter in 1919 and so avoided damage by the Third Tipperary Brigade, during the Irish War of Independence.,[8] In December 1920, the barracks fleetingly became the focus of international attention when Daniel Francis Crowley and John Tangney, both ex-R.I.C Constables formerly stationed there, testified before the American Commission on Conditions in Ireland. They dramatically gave their reasons for quitting the force as the "brutality and lawlessness" of the contemporary administration, particularly the Black and Tans, as witnessed by them on their transfer from Ballylooby to Clogheen Barracks.[9]

Places of local interestEdit

Duhill ChurchEdit

Detail of the Beheading of John the Baptist window by Harry Clarke

Duhill church, the building of which was commenced in 1829 and completed in 1830, is dedicated to St. John the Baptist (Decollation). It was renovated at a cost of £1 000 in 1929. The Parochial Registers begin with the year 1828.[10]

Duhill church features two excellent examples of Harry Clarke's artistic achievements with stained glass. Created in 1925, they are located in the sanctuary, to the left and right of the altar, and depict Salome 'presenting' the head of John the Baptist to Herod and the Lourdes apparition.[11] The Holy Family is a window executed by noted artist Hubert McGoldrick, and was also commissioned in 1925.[12]

The mortuary chapel at Tubrid is the burial place of Seathrún Céitinn (Geoffrey Keating), a 17th-century Counter-Reformation priest of the parish and Gaelic historian of national repute. It is located just over 5 kilometres from Ballylooby.


Ned Tobin monument

Ballylooby is of local notability primarily for the Ballylooby-Castlegrace Gaelic Athletic Association Club.[2]
The GAA club competes at junior hurling level and intermediate football level. Thomas Ryan, a native of the area, represented County Tipperary at the ill-fated match against Dublin on Bloody Sunday (1920).

Ryan was also a member of the IRA and fought in the Irish War of independence. Tommy O'Connor was also a member of the Tipperary team at this time. In the centre of the village, there is a memorial to Ned Tobin, who achieved national fame as a track and field athlete, particularly in throwing the 56-pound weight "without follow". It is listed as S290, one of several protected structures in Ballylooby.[13]

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Slattery, Pat (1998). Growing Up in Carefree Days: Life in Rural Ireland as it was (Illustrated ed.). Rose Press. pp. 189 total. ISBN 978-0-9535272-0-5. Childhood memories and stories from Ballylooby and environs in the 1930s.


  1. ^ The Place-Names of Decies, by V. Rev. P. Canon Power, 2nd ed. 1952 Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine from N.B. This differs significantly from his 1907 edition which gives a translation of Winding ford-mouth, p. 349[ ]
  2. ^ South Tipperary County Development Plan 2003. 109. Appendix 3. RECORD OF PROTECTED STRUCTURES (BY TOWNLAND). [1][permanent dead link]
  3. ^[bare URL]
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Power, Patrick: Waterford and Lismore-A Compendious History of the United Dioceses : Cork University Press: 1937
  6. ^ Power, Patrick C. (1912). "Parish of Ballylooby and Tubrid". Parochial history of Waterford and Lismore during the 18th and 19th centuries. Waterford: N. Harvey. pp. 22–26. OL 22889298M.
  7. ^ "CO. TIPPERARY, BALLYLOOBY, CHURCH (RC)". Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720–1940. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  8. ^ A letter regarding the sale from R.I.C District Inspector Gilbert Norman Potter can be seen on display at the museum in Clonmel. D.I Potter was executed by the I.R.A in 1921 at Rathgormack, several days after his capture near Ballylooby.
  9. ^ Coyle, Albert ed.: pp390-397: Evidence on Conditions in Ireland -comprising the complete testimony affidavits and exhibits presented before the American Commission on Conditions in Ireland :Washington D.C. 1921
  10. ^ Power, Patrick: Waterford and Lismore-A Compendious History of the United Dioceses : Cork University Press: 1937
  11. ^ Costigan, Lucy; Michael Cullen (2010). Strangest Genius: The Stained Glass of Harry Clarke. The History Press Ireland. pp. 33, 297. ISBN 978-1-84588-971-5. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  12. ^ Duignan, Michael V.; Baron Michael Morris Killanin (1989). The Shell guide to Ireland. Peter Harbison (3, revised ed.). Gill and Macmillan. p. 87. ISBN 9780717115952. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  13. ^ South Tipp CoCo (2008). "Appendix 5 to 8" (PDF). South Tipperary Development Plan 2009–2015. 1 (digital pdf ed.). South Tipperary County Council. p. 67. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
  14. ^ "Archbishops & Bishops". Archdiocese of Hartford. 2011. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2011.