claims a Patrician origin for Christian faith in this
area. Pobal in Irish means people, and in this name
some would see a memory of crowds who gathered to hear
the preaching of Patrick. The name Tempo comes from
the Irish An tIompu Deiseal – ‘the turn
to the right’. Again there are tales of Patrick
and why he turned at this place. But the scholar Joyce
in his work on placenames sees an older religious tradition
behind this name, finding in it an echo of sun-worship
rites. It is notable that the custom of praying while
walking in clockwise circles (turning always right,
the direction of the sun) still survives in traditional
prayer patterns at Lough Derg and in other places.
is strong evidence of early settlement in the area with
at least fifteen megalithic sites still visible in the
upland areas of Pobal Parish, of which the best know
is the ruined cairn on Topped Mountain.
A Scan Through History.
As a parish,
Pobal can trace its origins back to monastic roots through
the earlier parishes of Inniskeen, Derryvollen and Derrybrusk,
which was known in the 16th century as Pobal Phadraig.
The medieval church site was in Pubble townland, where
the traditional herenachs were the Owens family, bound
to keep the church in repair and to pay a rent to the
Bishop of Clogher. This site was still used by the Church
of Ireland until the end of the 18th century.
From penal times
there remain memories of several mass sites. One of
the earliest massrocks recorded in Clogher Diocese was
in use on Glen Mountain in 1613. Mullinaskea was another
location, and in Ballylucas there was a mass garden
where foundations of the little chapel which was built
there as times improved are still pointed out, known
now as Chapel Park.
The present Catholic
church in Tempo village was built on land given by the
local landlord, Hugh Maguire. The foundation stone was
laid by Bishop Kernan on 19 May 1826. The builder was
a John Maguire and the work was overseen by the parish
priest of the time, James Kelly. Cradien church was
also built on a site donated by a landlord, this time
the Earl of Belmore. On this site, a Lissan, for most
of the 19th century a long, low, thatched masshouse
with a stable served the Catholic people of this area,
then in Enniskillen Parish. In 1890 the landlord extended
the site and Archdeacon Smollen carried out the building
of the present St.Joseph’s. The Cradien area was
transferred to Pobal Parish in 1980 and the church was
renovated over the following years.
For The Future
resettlement over the centuries leaves Pobal today with
a population of over 2600, about half of which is Catholic.
Improved relations between the various Christian congregations
in more recent times are reflected in different cross-community
initiatives like the Tempo Development Association which
concerns itself with the physical environment around
Tempo Village. Topped Mountain Historical Society and
the History and Education Centre at Dooneen promote
awareness and appreciation of a shared cultural heritage.
Presently housed in the old Catholic school at Dooneen,
the latter looks forward to moving into purpose-built
premises as the new millennium begins.
: Diocese of Clogher A.D. 2000 –
Reverend La Flynn.