Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland. Here are From-Ireland.net’s records for Co. Limerick.
ContentATHNASSEY, or ATHENEASY, a parish, in the barony of COSTLEA , county of LIMERICK, and province of MUNSTER, 3 miles (E.N.E) from Kilmallock to Hospital, and comprises 2799 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act.
The land is good; about one-half is under tillage, and the remainder is meadow, chiefly attached to dairy farms, except a small-tract of very valuable bog, which is rapidly diminishing.
Nearly in the centre of the parish is Martinstown, the residence of M. Walsh, Esq.
The parish is in the diocese of Limerick, and is a rectory forming part of the union of Kilmallock belonging to the Dean and Chapter of Limerick; the tithes amount to £225.11s.2.50d., forming part of the economy fund of the cathedral; the glebe comprises 27 acres of profitable land.
In the Roman Catholic divisions it is the head of a union or district, also called Ballinvana, comprising the parishes of Athnassey, Bulgadine, Emly-Grenan, Kilbreedy-Major, and Ballinvana; the chapel, built in 1834, is near the verge of the Red Bog.
The only school is a pay school of about 15 boys and 12 girls.
Some fragments of the old church are still remaining in the burial-ground attached to it: it is supposed to have been founded in the seventh century, and was dedicated to St. Athanasius, from which circumstance probably the parish may have derived its name. There are several traces of ancient military works within the parish, and several military weapons of rude workmanship have been found; also the ruins of a small religious house called Adam's Church, and fragments of castles or buildings at Fauntstown, Gormanstown, and Stephenson, near the first of which are a ruined chapel and a celebrated holy well.