The name Killeen is derived from the main focal point of the area where the church is located. Killeen, Cillin or Cillin Beg means “A burial place of un-baptised children”. Over time many of these places lost their identity as generations forgot or were not informed of the burial grounds. Thankfully, there are many Cillins marked on maps.

Gathering at the church

Killeen Church and Clare Island

A very prominent standing stone is located in the graveyard at Killeen and from this one could deduce the graveyard has been in use for many years and was called Killeen because of the many unmarked graves located there, noticed only by the raised level or small marking stones. As the church has been the main gathering point for over one hundred years, it is possible that the half parish of Kilgeever was thus named Killeen.

Boasting Connaught’s Highest

Doolough Valley

The half parish of Killeen starts at the mouth of the Killary, Irelands only Fjord, and stretches up along the coast towards Clew Bay. From the coast inland is Doolough. Every year the Famine Walk takes place in this area which is a vast hilly, green and brown landscape shadowed by Mweelrea, Connaught’s highest mountain.

The area is rich in archaeological sites

  • Standing stones at Killeen, Dadreen, Cross and Doughmakeon.
  • A wedge tomb at Altoir
  • A court cairn tomb on Aillemore hill known locally as “Leaba Diarmaid agus Gráinne”
  • The old church at Gowlan
  • The renowned Clapper Bridge
  • There are many deserted villages of the Killary on the slopes of Mweelrea.

Comments about this page

  • Jim, I’ve also posted your message onto our messageboard page to try and bring it to as wide an audience as possible.

    Hope this helps and good luck in your research.



    By Editor (15/03/2016)
  • Hello, this is Jim Hastings from Bellingham, MA.

    I am trying to find info on my Grandparents, Peter Hastings and Ellen Conroy Hastings.

    They were married in Newton, MA IN 1903. I am not sure how or when they arrived here. Peter’s parents were Martin Hastings and Bridget Kerrigan Hastings.

    Not much information other than that.

    Thanks, Jim Hastings

    By Jim Hastings (14/03/2016)
  • Very interesting article.

    By Noelene Beckett Crowe. (23/03/2015)
  • My Mayo Ancestors

    Two of my great grandparents, John Hastings and Honore (Nora) Kittredge were from your area. I believe it was Dadreen, Killadoon. They emigrated in the early 1900’s to Massachussetts. Several families of Hastings emigrated at the same time and originally settled in the Worchester, Clinton, Grafton, Lancaster areas. John Hastings lived to be about 100yrs old and died in the 1940’s. He is buried in St. John’s cemetery in Lancaster, Mass. Nora died in 1944 at 91 years of age. Many of their descendants still live in the Worchester/Clinton area. In 1994 I met Officer Thomas Hastings (a cousin) of the Worchester Police Department. He had just been promoted to Detective and was assigned to Auto Theft. At the time I was a Sergeant in the Chicago Police Auto theft section. I retired in 2005. My wife and I have visited your area twice, so far, and hope to come back A.S.A.P. It is beautiful! I will have to dig up some photos & post them. Thank you for putting this website up! It’s great! Love the pics & histories! Is it possible to post video?

    By Edward M. Kane (02/03/2012)
  • Thanks Edward, we would love you to post some pictures. Just follow the guide on the “add your own story” page. Video clips can be uploaded onto the site, just email us if you wish to discuss.

    By Editor (02/03/2012)

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