Glenbrohane (Knocklary, Barony of Coshlea, and Co. Limerick) has a collection of moats. Hardly a farm that does not hold a moat and the old people and some of the younger generation hold these moats in great awe and veneration. No one would be allowed to cut a bush off one of them or interfere in any way with them, and stories are told of punishments meted out to some who did dare to interfere with them.
In this place are 13 or 14 moats and from the top of any one of them, three more are visible.
The largest moat of all is in a farm called Quane's, and is known as Quane's moat, and it is said to be the second largest in Munster, and it is said that it is from a chief who once lived there that the name Glenbrohane is got. The Glen of the Brohans (Brohan's being the name of the Chieftain). From this large moat, the others circle so that a complete half circle is formed by all. An underground channel connects all but so far, no one seems to have gone down and explored any of these passages.
One of these is said to have removed from one farm (Madden's) and goes across the river to another farm (Howard's) in one night. The hollow is in Madden's farm where they say the moat once stood. The late owner of the farm - Howard's - would not allow a bush to be cut from the moat, so that it is overgrown with furze bushes, and I remember myself as a child passing by that silently and very [sickened?] lest the fairies would hear us within. That idea prevailed in this place up to the last generation, who had a great dread of insulting the fairies or rousing their anger in any way, but at present bushes are being cut and these moats are regarded as part of the farms and no more. But when the antiquarians were excavating in Cush-Kilfinaine, Co Limerick, which is only one mile from here - a man who had a moat on his farm would not allow them interfere with it, lest there may be reprisals by the fairies.
Laune's Moat, in the townsland of Glenbrohane, is a very large moat and though it was overgrown a few years ago, a man came along and cut away all the furze from it, but he lost the farm, and the old people said that it was not right to interfere with the moat.
Story:- The owner of this - Morgan Laune (RIP) had made up his mind to cut the bushes from this one day, years and years ago. He had a very quiet old horse and he harnessed him meaning to take down a car to bring home the bushes. No sooner was he harnessed than away with him from under the car, towards the moat and fell dead at the entrance to the moat.
Ever after, no one ever interfered with that moat during his life time, but the bushes are being cut now and the grass mown off it.
From the Schools Collection of the 1930s, currently being transcribed here and here at Duchas.ie. I'm not sure which of the many moats are the ones referred to. The grid reference I've give is the largest and is named 'Doonglara' on an old map.