Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, a sheer genius, historian supreme, blessed among women, charming, charismatic, original, inspired and inspiring, obliging, modest, humble, self-effacing, used big words (always correctly), blessed with the gift of prophecy and in a sense, a modern variant of St Kevin of Kilkaven, a right boyo, and wily—that wily boy from beside the mine pits. At the Christmas dinner of the Bannow Historical Society at the Tir nOg in Wellingtonbridge, I predicted the result of the coming election—it could have been to Rich Howlin, I am not sure—as a dead heat between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, both parties getting a nigh identical share of the vote. In this year of the 100th commemoration of the Easter 1916 Rebellion, the gods or the fates that control our destiny may have manipulated the election to pose a radical query, to ask if the Civil War—probably anticipated in the opposite concepts of the Irish nation held by Patrick Pearse and Eoin Mac Neill in the months before Easter 1916—may finally be consigned to history? Conversely, it all may be a cosmic joke and that things will persist as before. I agree with my former teacher Dr Ronan Fanning in his book of Eamonn de Valera that his rejection of the Anglo-Irish Treaty was a big blemish on an otherwise great public career. Sean Lemass in the course of a long public career never talked of his brother who was killed by the Free State forces in the Dublin Mountains in 1923; Mr Lemass urged the young men of modern Ireland not to fight but to work for Ireland. The very recent election was defaced and disgraced by a tsunami of demands, promises, manifestos, visions, agendas, etc, et al. Jack Kennedy, of exalted memory, told the Dail in June 1963 that you should ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.

“The Verdict of Ye Commons for Ye County of Ye Wexford

October 1537

Item they present that Laurence Neville come to St Imocks [near Bannow] ye lst last day of November, this present year and brake a house and [took] 10 shillings of Margaret Perle in escueing of ye breaking ye said house.” I do not know if she had alarms on her house.

“Houses of the Oireachtas

Questions-Oral Answers

Acquirement of Boyd Estate, Co. Wexford

Wednesday, 9 May 1928.

Mr [Richard] Corish asked the Minister for Fisheries whether the Land Commission have yet acquired the lands of the Boyd Estate, Co. Wexford and, if so, when it is proposed to allot them to applicants.

Mr Roddy: The Land Commission are unable to identify the Boyd Estate referred to as pending for sale before them under the Land Purchase Act but if the Deputy refers to the estate of trustees of Major Boyse, County Wexford, the Land Commission have agreed with the owners for the purchase of 118 acres, o roods and 28 perches of the lands of Ballymadder and 7 acres 2 roods and 12 perches of Cullenstown in this estate and hope to be in a position soon to allot the lands to approved purchasers.”

The Irish Times reported on Saturday June 26th 1915:–

“Constable Michael M’Guire, Carrig-on-Bannow, County Wexford, met with rather a nasty accident on last Sunday as a result of which he sustained a bad fracture of the collar-bone. It appears that when cycling down a steep hill he lost control of his machine and was thrown with great violence against the roadway. When picked up, the Constable was unconscious and was attended by Dr O’Brien. He was removed to the County Infirmary, Wexford, for further treatment and is progressing favourably.”

From The People September 29th 1866:–

“Irish Literature


Or The Buried City of Bannow

With another short story is just published

Price 5 shillings.

A few copies of the above named Work can be obtained by Non-Subscribers, on application to P. R. Hanrahan, School Street; or to Mr W. Haly, Bookseller, Main-Street, Wexford.”

The Wexford Independent reported on January 13th 1864 that James Codd, aged 70, Bannow, Margaret Dunn, aged 20, Ballymitty and Eliza White, aged 22, Bannow were admitted to the work house in Wexford.

On the 15th of January the Wexford Independent reported —


in this town, on Tuesday last, aged 72, Dorothy, wife of the Rev. Richard King, Rector of Killurin, deeply and deservedly regretted.” She was the mother of Jonas King of Barrystown.

From The Echo the 23rd of March 1909:–

“Raffle At Carrig

The raffle of a fat sheep was brought off at Carrig on St Patrick’s Day to raise funds to do some necessary repairs to the Chapel. It was a grand success. It may be mentioned in passing that the public houses were closed in the village on that day.”

From The Echo the 27th of March 1909:–

“Leigh Evicted Tenants’ Committee

Public Meeting To Be Held

On Sunday a meeting of the Leigh Evicted Tenants’ Committee was held at Clongeen. Rev. J. Sinnott C. C. presiding. Also present—Messrs Patrick Quinn, John Neville, Thomas Furlong, Laurence Furlong, S. Kinsella, Thomas Warren, John Middleton, J. Colfer, Laurence Furlong, Thomas White, Laurence Casey, Hon. Sec., etc

The Rev. Chairman stated that some unknown scribe had referred to the committee. It was a fact well known to the parish of Clongeen and to Wexford that no one ever took up the evicted tenants’ cases until that committee was formed. Yet “Rospile” had the hardihood to state they had taken up the evicted tenants’ cases over three years ago. Why did not the United Irish League do something for the evicted for the last five years? Did any of the so-called Leaguers ever attempt to do anything for the evicted until that committee was formed and then they attempted to break it up and destroy its influence in order that the evicted tenants’ hopes might once more be blasted? He would now say that unless every evicted tenant on the estate were quite satisfied with any action he took, he would at once, resign. Do you, the evicted tenants, proceeded Father Sinnott, approve of what I have done (we do). Unless he thought that they did so, he would not preside over that committee for one moment. He would suggest that the committee fix a date for the public demonstration.

Mr Casey said Father Sinnott need have no fear but that all the evicted tenants were most anxious to have him as their leader. Mr John Neville, evicted tenant, proposed that the public demonstration be held on the second Sunday of May. Mr P. Quinn, evicted tenant, seconded the motion, which was unanimously adopted, Mr Casey stating that they would show whether they were able to organise a public demonstration or not. On the suggestion of the Rev. Chairman, it was decided to write to leading public men, irrespective of their political opinions including Messrs William O’Brien, T. M. Healy, John Redmond, Sir Thomas Esmonde, T. D. Sullivan, P. Ffrench, D. D. Sheehan and others.

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on next Sunday week to make the necessary arrangements for the demonstration. Business of the utmost importance will be transacted; all members of the Committee are expected to attend.”

According to The Echo on the 27th of March 1909, among those prosecuted for not having lights on their cars, was John Cogley of Sheastown who was fined 6 pence. James Bolger, of no fixed address, at the same Sessions was, for being drunk and disorderly at Wellingtonbridge was fined 14 shillings and 6 pence or in failure to pay this fine, 14 days in prison.

From The Echo, the 3rd of April 1909:–

“Barrystown Mines

Good progress is being made with the boring operations which have been carried on for some time past at the Barrystown, by the occupier of the lands, Mr W. H. Lett, Balloughton and the success of the undertaking is now almost assured. Considerable quantities of ore have been taken out within the past few weeks. The mines were worked by an English syndicate some years ago and although a good prospect was opened up before the company at the time work was discontinued for want of sufficient capital. Since then various offers to purchase the lands have been made but the occupier was not satisfied with the price offered. About six months ago, Mr Lett himself, decided on carrying out with his own workmen some prospecting work and it would not appear that his efforts are about being rewarded with the success they deserve. It is expected that by the summer months everything will be in full swing and a large number of hands employed. Mr Lett deserves to be congratulated on his plucky and patriotic action.

From The Echo the 3rd of May 1909:–

“The Leigh Untenanted Lands

Owing to the success which has attended Mr Lett’s prospecting operations, it is rumoured that Mr Leigh, who owns untenanted lands adjoining the mines and which were about being acquired by the Estates Commissioners for the purpose of the Evicted Tenants Act, now have refused to surrender the lands in question to the Commissioners on the grounds that minerals are to be found there, a contention which seems to be borne out by the fact that the other day some of Mr Leigh’s workmen while engaged in fencing came across a quantity of silver ore. Mr Leigh’s refusal to surrender the lands of Maudlintown will injure the evicted tenants’ interests, unless the other lands are acquired instead. The matter is one which must be seen to by the Evicted Tenants’ Committee immediately. At the same time if silver and copper can be found in the lands of Barrystown and Maudlintown, as would appear to be the case from what has already been discovered, a bright prospect is opened up before the districts around and a large amount of much needed employment will eventually be given.”

From The Echo, the 10th of April 1909:–

“Carrig String Band

The new string band which was started in Carrig some time ago is going ahead by leaps and bounds. Something about a dozen young men are responsible for keeping it alive, notably amongst whom are Messrs P. Creane, J. Breen, T. Wade, P. Bowe, L. Ffrench, P. Hayes, etc. The members meet on Friday evenings for practice. Every parish could have a string band if anyone would take the trouble of organising it and we hope to soon hear that Duncormack has fallen into line.

Concert At Carrig

On Sunday a very enjoyable evening was spent at Carrig, when a most successful concert and variety entertainment was brought off in aid of parochial funds. There was a very large crowd of people present and the extensive programme was done full justice by the several artistes. The concert opened with the singing of “A Nation Once Again” by the Carrig School boys, in which they showed splendid training. Messrs J. O’Mahoney and W. O’Brien gave some step-dancing while songs were given by Messrs O’Brien and M’Grath. Then followed a side-splitting farce entitled “The Lady In A Trance”, which kept the house in roars of laughter. The entertainment concluded with a splendid series of….. (indecipherable in newspaper print!)”

From The Echo the 17th of April 1909:–

“Tullicanna New School

The work of erecting the new school at Tullicanna is progressing very well so much so much so, that by the end of the week it will probably be ready for roofing.

The Tullicanna Raffle

The raffle which will take place at Tullicanna on May 20th, in aid of the local branch of the Gaelic League, promises to be a great success.”

At the Duncormack Petty Sessions in April 1909, it was recorded:–

“Bazaar Proprietor in Trouble

Andrew Walshe, Carrig-on-Bannow, summoned Albert Flexmore, bazaar proprietor, to recover £1, alleged to have been due by defendant for one week’s pay for a filed of complainant in which defendant had his bazaar. The complainant said that on the 24th March, the defendant engaged the field at £1 a week and the defendant stopped in the field for two weeks. Defendant gave him £1 and wouldn’t give him the other £1. Defendant offered him 10 shillings and he refused to take less than the £1. Defendant told him that he might follow him to Arthurstown for it if he would not have the 10 shillings.

Defendant—Didn’t we date our take from Saturday? No; you took the field on the 24th and on the 25th you took possession of it. You drove in your waggons.

Wasn’t it the grass we took at £1 a week? Didn’t you say you would give us the stand for the show fro nothing/ Yes.

Did we put in any horses until Saturday? No.

William O’Brien, defendant’s agent, gave evidence of engaging the grass of the field from Walshe to date from Saturday. They remained for two days, and were willing to pay 10 shillings for those two days.

Chairman—Did you offer him 10 shillings? [Mr J. J. Roche was Chairman].

Defendant—Yes. I like the man very well and I would have given him the 10 shillings because I might want to deal with him again.

Did he see it? Oh yes, and at first a beautiful smile lit up his countenance and afterwards, he refused it.

Complainant—This man is a great pugilist and he thinks he is going to knock me out now.

Chairman—Would you be satisfied to give him 10 shillings now? Defendant—Yes.

Chairman—The only thing we can do then is to give a decree for 10 shillings without costs.”

My impression is of exasperation on the part of the Chairman but I am doubtful if Mr Walshe got strict justice! The spelling of his name is unusual.

From The Echo the 1st of May 1909:–

“The skeleton of a man was found on the burrow of Ballyteigue at the Barra-lough end by two men, named George Galavan and John Quinn, of the same place on Friday last, as they were walking along the strand. The skeleton, which was in a good state of preservation, was found a short distance above high water mark. Some forty years ago, a Grecian vessel was wrecked in this place and nearly all hands lost and it is supposed, owing to the exceptionally large skull, that the remains belonged to one of the sailors of the ship. Galavan and Quinn communicated with the authorities and the skeleton was buried where it was found.”

The reference to the large skull puzzles me: are they saying that the skull of an ancient person would be of less size?

The Echo on the same date carried this information:–

“The Leigh Estate

The hearing of the owner’s petition as to question of price in connection with the purchase of the untenanted lands on the Leigh estate was down for hearing on Monday before the Estates Commissioners, at their offices, 25 Upper Merrion Street, Dublin. It is expected that there will not be too much delay now in the acquisition of the lands in question.”

From The Echo, 1909:–

“The Isles

On Sunday the “Bannow Isles” had a practice at Barriestown (sic). There was a substantial muster of members and we are sorry to say that a great many of them showed bad form. The want of practice is evidently telling on the boys and if they mean to be successful in their tie with the Selskar Emmets, which will be played at Ballymitty on the first Sunday in June they will require to practice all they can, otherwise the visitors will have very little trouble.

A Loss To The Team

The team is to be sympathised with on the loss of one of their best backs, in the person of Christy Cleary, who has taken up his above in Wexford. Rumour is current that Will Codd, the famous Erin’s Hope back of a few years ago, is to replace Christy.

By The Seaside

The fine weather with which the country has been favoured (and the people too) has made things at the sea-side brighten up a bit. A slight indication of the approach of summer is manifest at Cullenstown and Kilmore. All the houses in which visitors generally stop are now to be seen glittering on a sunny day with their newly whitened walls, making a good effect. On last Sunday, which is universally believed to be the first Sunday of the Summer, there were a few people to be seen in Cullenstown, who are good patrons all the summer. Kilmore seemed to have a better attraction, as there were a good many “townies” knocking about.

The Fowl Markets

The Duncormack fowl market held on Friday was a very poor one. There was a bad supply of chickens and prices were from 5 shillings 3 pence to 6 shillings per couple. The market at Tullycanna on the Monday was much better. There was a good supply of fowl and prices were up to 6 shillings and 6 pence per pair.”

From The Echo May 1909:–


The village of Ballymitty is now one of the most stirring little places in South Wexford and the various shops present a busy and picturesque appearance on week evenings. All now that is wanted to make Ballymitty a thoroughly Irish village is a hall and we are quite satisfied that if a few of the local people form a committee a beag can easily be provided. There is at present a suitable house in the village if it can be acquired for the purpose.”