Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, ebullient, confident, inspired and inspiring, a prophet, a right boyo, blessed among the women, a trainor of hurling teams, marathon runner, florist who specialises in Sun Flowers, of astronomical genius, a user of big words (appropriately and always in the right place), eloquent, superbly articulate and the most devious and wily of them all—that wily boy from beside the mine pits. It has, always, been gold and silver for the Barrystown childre. Somebody said (maybe Jack Kennedy in the Dail in Dublin town in June 1963) that social scientists claim that there are two types of Irishmen: those who come from Bannow and those who wish they come from Bannow!

Hubert Butler wrote a superb article on New Geneva in the The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Volume 77, No 2, December 1947. It is on the JSTOR archive online.  For more information about JSTOR , contact support@jstor.org. It does not seem possible to go to New Geneva.

My website for Clonroche History is barrystownboywix. …or something like that. I have put a good amount of history on it with more to go on but I am illiterate on websites! I describe myself as the second historian of Ballymackessy in it; the first was the Rev. James Bentley Gordon of Boro Lodge, Ballymackessy. The United Irish considered his history of 1798 as reasonable but while he grudgingly favoured Catholic Emancipation Rev. Gordon despised the Catholic faith and felt the greater emancipation, would be that of freeing the people from control of the priests. It was not a tactful or Christian statement.

The Boy from Barrystown will join the Bannow Historical Society tour at Ballinaboola on next Saturday.

On Thursday the 9th of January 1862 Francis A. Leigh Rosegarland took the chair at the Taghmon Petty Sessions (I will resist the joke that he should have given it back). S. D. Goff, of Horetown, I presume, was, also, in attendance.

A case a bit down the list was that of “Francis Doran versus John Carty for wilful assault at Newcastle, on the 5th of January, by striking on the head with a  stick.

Francis Doran, sworn, deposed that on the 5th instant last, he was with others at  Rathgory or Newcastle, looking at some gorgeous hurling in a field on the road side, having heard dogs fighting on the road, he went to see them and while there the defendant struck his (Carty’s) brother—he (Doran) then said to him that he was a wicked fellow to strike his brother in that manner when he up when he up with the stick and struck him a blow on the head which almost broke his skull (here he exhibited a long strip of plaster on his head)

Chairman (Mr Leigh)—Now Carty, what have you to say?

Carty—Why your honours, I did not intend to strike him at all. I was only winding the stick about when I hit him.

Doran—And did you not intend to strike your own brother; and then challenged me to fight to give for striking me. I was obliged to go to the doctor’s to get my head dressed.

The Bench conferred for a short time and

The Chairman (Mr Leigh) said the order of the court was that the defendant pay a fine of One Pound, or in default to be imprisoned for two weeks; and, also, that the Constabulary ascertain the names of the parties engaged at hurling and have them summoned for violation of the Sabbath.”

Francis Leigh of Rosegarland was of the most intense mode of Protestantism and therefore insistent that olden (and musty and anachronistic) laws on the observance of the Sabbath be strictly observed; the civil law was to be an instrument in preserving the Sabbath. He had been involved in the Brunswick Clubs.

The Petty Courts generally—certainly by 1862!– were loath to apply this hideous and anachronistic law—one of the magistrates, Captain Harvey of Kyle, in a letter of protest to the newspapers stated that he did not know such a law existed; he had permitted young fellows to play hurling in a field of his.

I quote from the report by Agricola on a match held near Ballinkeele on April 30th 1864:–

“Hence, the difficulty which the clergy experience in preventing the youth of their flocks from hurling and other out-door sports on the afternoon of the Sabbath—Latterly, the police authorities have come to their assistance, having hunted up some old musty statute of the reign of William the Third. That law was enacted, I believe, to prevent the political gatherings of the scattered adherents of the faded fortunes of the Stuart dynasty, under the guise of hurling matches.”

The law of William of Orange on hurling was undoubtedly a penal law, directed against the Catholics. The Stuart Kings were comparatively sympathetic to the Catholic community in Ireland—King James who was defeated at the Battle of the Boyne was one of them; a section of the landlords were supporters of the Stuarts and in modern history they mutated into allies of the Whig/Liberal Party, which supported Catholic Emancipation and an end to the odious tithes. These landlords were sympathetic to native culture; in Co. Wexford the Carews and Colcloughs of Duffry Hall promoted hurling on their estates. Hurling was emblematic of varying degrees of opposition to English rule in Ireland.

However, that is all a digression— although explanatory. The Taghmon Petty Session met for a second time in the month of January 1862 on Thursday January 23rd; this time the chair was taken by Peter Stafford, (who presumably gave it back) with Mr Leigh and Thomas Dennehy, Resident Magistrate, on the Bench. The first case before the court was predictable enough:–

“Violation of the Sabbath

Constable Byrne versus James Doyle, John Carty, Michael Brady, James Sinnott, Martin Magrath, Patrick Carty, Patt Molloy and Francis Doran for violation of the Sabbath by hurling on Sunday, the fifth of January last, at Newcastle.

Complaint stated that it was by witness he purposed proving the case. An assault of rather a serious nature had occurred on the same occasion and was before the court on a previous occasion.

John Murphy being duly sworn, was severely interrogated by the Constable and the members of the Bench, but failed in eliciting the identification of any of the accused as being engaged in the hurling—The witness who exhibited great reluctance to enter into the question at all, was sharply rebuked by the Chairman, who ordered him to stand by.

The Bench consulted for a short time, when the Chairman said in the absence of the admission of the parties, or sufficient evidence against them, the Court decided on adjourning the case for further hearing the accuses to next Sessions. If, however, any wished to admit the complaint, the Bench would at once dispose of this case.

Patt Molloy and James Doyle accordingly stood forward and acknowledged they were of the party and engaged in the hurling on the day named.

Fined each 1 shilling and costs.

The foregoing convictions were made, we understand, under the 7th William III etc….”

This idiotic law was in the years afterwards allowed to go into desuetude (the dictionary defines that word as meaning “condition of not being in use.”). The historical verdict must be that Mr Leigh, for no real purpose, made a nauseous commotion and unnecessary inconvenience for young men merely playing a bit of hurling on the one free day in their week, Sunday. Very few of the other magistrates would have agreed with him.

William I I I, was the King of England that John Colclough of Tintern was supposed to have brought his hurlers (the yallow bellies) to—I move on without further comment and ado. The crowd at the meeting in some obscure rural village thought the Chairman at the meeting had said that they would move on without further ado—he then added “who is on holidays” and they realised he was referring to Father Ado. I should have a job in the circus, like the district justice in John Mc Gahern’s famous novel.

From The Free Press the 5th of May 1923:–

“Forth and Bargy Notes

Cycling Spill—A young boy named Wm Murphy in the employment of Mr John J. Cullen, Ballyfrory, Bannow, met with a nasty cycling accident recently. He was returning home from Carrig-on-Bannow and when passing Coolishal he lost control of his machine, the result being that he met with a very bad spill and had to be medically treated.”

The People on July 15th 1895 in its report of the Taghmon Petty Sessions, stated:–


Wiliam Whitney, Tullicanna, who was drunk at Taghmon, on the 1st instant, was fined 2 shillings and 6 pence.”

From The People July 17th 1895:–

“A Narrow Escape

On Friday evening about 5 pm, an engine belonging to Mr Colfer, Bannow, was drawing two loaded wagons up Ballyclemock Hill, near Cullenstown, when through some cause or other, probably the breaking of a coupling, the hinder wagon became detached and rolled down the hill at a rapid rate ere any effort could be made to stop its progress. Some distance below it on the road was an ass and car in which there were two children, a boy named Moses Furlong and a girl, Mary Fitzhenry. Both jumped before the waggon reached them, no doubt saving their lives by their prompt action, for the donkey was killed immediately by the collision and the car made a total wreck.

The People on July 17th 1895 reported on this appeal to the Grand Jury at the Wexford Summer Assizes [road contracts were for making or repairing roads by stoning them; the successful applicant had to have other persons to guarantee that he would do the actual job—these sureties could lose the money they put up as a result]:–

“Shelmalier West

Regarding the presentment of £6 11 shillings and 8 pence to Maurice Crane, Arnestown, for half a year’s contract for keeping in repair for five years 1, 580 perches between Patrick Browne’s limekiln and the high road leading to Crosbie’s Mill and the manure bank of Arnestown and the road from the manure bank of Ballinglee and between Ballymitty crossroads and Eakins’ cross at 2 pennies per perch. Mr O’Connor opposed on behalf of Moses Redmond, the old contractor. Mr Taylor, for Crane, said the notice was wrong as the 15th was in it. Foreman (having examined the notice)—The 18th is scratched out and it is the 16th. Mr Taylor said it was the 18th in another place and he submitted that the notice which he read was too inquisitorial and no one would consent to its terms for the sake of £14. The grand jury decided to go into the case. Crane was examined and stated that he had ten acres of land and was worth £50. To Mr O’Connor—He got the place from his father, who died about six months ago. He had three sisters and they were settled out of the place. His father had not made a will. Witness was not a contractor before. To Mr Cookman—Witness would say he was worth £40 over his lawful debts. He read the specification.

Michael O’Neill, Sheastown, one of the sureties, stated he would swear he was worth £400. Philip Crane, the other surety, stated he was worth £140. It was not his mother who was the owner of the farm.

To Mr O’Connor—Witness did not ask the poor rate collector to change the receipt to his name. Witness did not know but the last rent receipt was in his mother’s name. Foreman—And that poor-rate ticket ought to be in his mother’s name, too. To Mr Taylor—The cattle were his. He brought them from another farm which he sold to go back to his mother’s farm, three years ago and received £140 for it.

Martin Redmond, son of the old contractor, stated that he kept the road in repair for his father for the last five years and had never been disallowed. He had it at 2 pennies per perch and he put in at 3 pennies, as he considered it could not be done for less. To Mr Taylor—Witness signed the tender for his father. Mr Cookman—And what harm was that? Mr Taylor—I am not saying it was. I only want to get the facts.

Mr Webster said that Redmond had carried out the specification and had kept the road fairly. He did not consider that the road could be done for 2 pennies per perch.

On a show of hands a majority was found in favour of the presentment which was passed.”

The People on the 28th of January 1860 recorded the death of:–

“Martin Cleary of Macksboley, aged 90 years. He had been engaged in five battles during the insurrection of 1798.” I think that the Clearys had their lands from Cliffe of Abbeybraney and later of Bellevue, Ballyhogue—the Cliffes in 1856 converted to the Catholic faith.

The Echo reported on November 21 1931 that that the parishioners of Cloughbawn had met in Clonroche Hall on the previous Wednesday evening, November 19th 1931,  with Fr Patrick Donnelly C. C. presiding. They unanimously decided to erect a memorial to “the late lamented pastor, Very Rev. Paul Canon Kehoe.”

I do not need to tell my readership that Fr Paul Kehoe was a native of Moortown, Ballymitty and that Fr Patrick Donnelly was a native, also, of Ballymitty.

The report stated:–“The memorial will be a limestone Celtic Cross, in accordance with the wishes of the late Canon. It was stated at the meeting that parishioners were approached by people outside the parish who expressed their willingness to support such a project. It was agreed that any such subscription would be thankfully received by the Rev. Treasurer or by the Honorary Secretary. It was hoped to have the work completed by the beginning of the New Year.

At the conclusion of the meeting a warm tribute was paid to Rev. Patrick Donnelly C. C. who though only a short time in the parish, secured a warm place in the affections of the people by his unassuming disposition, kind demeanour and his zealous discharge of his priestly duties. He was assured that he had the prayers and good wishes of the parishioners that God would strengthen him in the carrying out of his sacred duties in his new sphere.

Fr Donnelly suitably replied and said that he would ever carry with him the warmest memories of the people of Cloughbawn.”

Canon John V. Gahan states in his excellent book on the secular priests of the diocese of Ferns that Fr Patrick Donnelly was appointed curate in Cloughbawn on August 15th 1930 and appointed C. C. Courtnacuddy on the 19th November 1931. Therefore Fr Donnelly must have been appointed to Courtnacuddy on that Wednesday, the day of the meeting. Fr Donnelly died on 15th October 1953, well before his time. Fr Paul Kehoe became a legendary figure in Cloughbawn and embedded in local lore. He was, among other things, a bit of a poet, like Tarry Flynn, alias Paddy Kavanagh. I hope that they will permit me to recite one of his poems on the tour. He abhorred bull fighting, during a visit to Spain—on that I would concur with him…