Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming and charismatic, a pure genius, historian supreme, a right boyo, humble, self-effacing, modest, scholarly, erudite, original, innovative, eloquent, blessed among the women, gifted at flowers, especially the sun-flowers,  of astronomical intellect, inspiring and inspired, with a hawk-eye for telling detail, with the hint of proper elocution, and above all else the most devious and most wily of them all, that wily boy from beside the mine pits. As the poet William B. Yeats might have exclaimed—could such a person ever exist, is he but a dream, a mirage, a mythical man? Do you remember the poem about the Fisherman that used to be on the Leaving Certificate course? The great enigma of out era is that such a person does exist! But a native of the parish of Carrig-on-Bannow never brags….if it is true it ain’t bragging.

The Black Death swept through Europe in 1347—49 and came to Ireland in 1349. One of the few records from Ireland that survives of it is the Kilkenny Chronicle, written by a monk named John Clyn, who stated:–

“Plague stripped villages, towns and castles and swallowed them up. This pestilence was so contagious that those who touched the dead or the sick were immediately infected themselves and died, so that penitent and confessor were carried together to the grave. Many died of boils, abscesses and pustules which erupted on the legs and in the armpits. Others died in frenzy, brought on by an affliction of the head or vomiting blood.” The observation of another scribe at the end of the unfinished manuscript indicates that Brother John Clyn had died before he could complete it. He wrote of waiting for death, towards the end of the manuscript.

Across Europe and indeed many other parts of the world, the Black Death swept away entire communities in villages and towns. It was so named, I presume, because the heart of an affected person ceased to supply oxygen to the body, as its capacity to properly pump blood became diminished, thus leaving a dusky and blackish colouring to one’s appearance. The great flu of 1918 was called the black flu for a similar reason.

As Bannow was a port where ships regularly came in, it is almost certain that the Black Plague, also, came into Bannow: if it did then it would have obliterated the local community of people living in the confined spaces of the old city of Bannow. It is highly improbable that after the demise of the entirety of the people there that outsiders would seek to occupy the vacant houses—thus the old town of Bannow was abandoned and completely forgotten about. At the very least that is a more convincing theory for the disappearance of Bannow than the other theories advanced, including that of John C. Tuomy! The baffling absence of any folk memory of the disappeared city may be consistent with the argument that the Black Plague literally obliterated the entire local community. I am now almost certain that a plague obliterated the people of Bannow city. A number of medieval towns, situated inland, were swept away be plague. Nobody would return to live in a house visited by the plague. Well into modern history western society was obsessed by the fear of plagues and epidemics and it was generally believed that dirt and lack of hygiene spread them. For this reason Tom Boyse, of glorious memory, would not tolerate beggars and vagrants coming to Bannow; on one occasion, in 1831, he burned the clothes of Spanish sailors who died in a ship wreck near Bannow, to prevent the local people attempting to wear them. The implication is that he and other leading people of that era believed that disease arose from invisible organisms harboured by dirt.

My parents talked occasionally of the black flu of 1918. I will endeavour to determine if there are any accounts of it in Carrig-on-Bannow parish; maybe some of the millions who read the blog will recall those times or refer to stories of it told to them by parents or other relatives.

“Membrane 13.

197. Deed, whereby William Kynay of Wexford, mariner, granted to Philip Lowys 15 acres of land, with its appurtenances, situate in the borough of Banno; to hold for ever of the chief lord of the fee, by the service thereout due and of right accustomed. Witnesses, Thomas Keating, chaplain; Nicholas Kynay, William Meyler, Patrick Tornor, Thomas Hay and many others—Wexford May 4th 19th Henry VIII.

198. Release from William Kynay of Wexford, mariner, to Philip Lowys, of all claim to the premises in the preceding article mentioned—May 4th, 19th Henry VIII.”

The above ancient deed occurred in the nineteenth year of the reign of King Henry VIII. Could Kynay translate as Kenny?

I have viewed a reproduction (not really the correct word) of the Charles Frizell survey of the “Mannor of Rossgarland”, made in 1752, but I am not sure if I might infringe some aspect of copyright by describing it in detail. I will check these matters out. The (now) archaic spellings of townlands are intriguing. Three were then a total of forty tenants on the estate which included lands in Newbawn but I assume that most of these tenants had sub-tenants of their own. Fields are not shown in detail. The population of the country would have been much less in 1752 that in subsequent times.

Some names and details of men who served in the British army:–

Thomas Murphy born Bannon, Wexford [I presume Bannow] and served in 14th Foot Regiment; discharged, aged 36, from 1832 to 1848.

James Williams Bullymitty, Wexford; Served in 14th Foot Regiment and discharged, aged 34, from 1832 to 1848. I presume that Bullymitty is Ballymitty as no native of the parish of Carrig-on-Bannow was ever a bully.

Matthew Ryan, born Rosegarland, Wexford and served in 68th Foot Regiment; discharged aged 33, from 1838 to 1850.

John Tubritt, born Rosegarland, Wexford and served 57th Foot Regiment; 11th Foot Regiment; discharged, aged 47, from 1799 to 1820.

Francis Grey, born Rosegarland, Wexford and served in 98th Foot Regiment; discharged, aged 34, from 1804 to 1818.

From The Wexford Independent the 22nd of April, 1868; extract from report of Wexford Board of Poor Law Guardians:–

“Anne Stafford applied for re-admission [to the Wexford Workhouse]. She had formerly been charged to Ballymitty. Mr Devereux objected to her admission on Ballymitty as she had no claim on it. She had been charged to Ballymitty when there was no Guardian to represent it.

Under these circumstances she was charged to Bannow.”

The ratepayers of the electoral division from which a pauper [an awful word] in the Workhouse came were required to pay extra rates for the maintenance of that person in the Workhouse.

The Echo on the 22nd of February 1913 reported a week of deaths in the parish of Carrig-on-Bannow:–

“We regret to chronicle a record in sudden deaths in the district as during the end of last week no less than three occurred in a small area and which has caused a good deal of sensation. The first death was that of Bryan Keane, Harriestown, Ballymitty. Keane who was about  25 years of age and affected with that dread disease Consumption, for some time past, went to Wellingtonbridge for coals on Thursday week last. He was on the return journey and when passing through Ballymitty he walked up the steep hill by the chapel gates. He must have felt a weakness for when opposite Mr Donnelly’s shop he called to the latter but before Mr Donnelly could reach him, he fell in the roadway. He was conveyed into the house and Father Scallan was quickly on the scene and administered the last rites of the Church. Keane expired soon afterwards. About this time, also, a farmer, John Murphy, Kilcavan, Ballymitty, was called by an old age pensioner, Philip Moran, who lived close by, to go for the priest, as he (Moran) believed he was dying. Mr Murphy made all possible haste, and poor Moran died in a short time. On Friday last Catherine Byrne, aged about 76 years, died rather suddenly. The deceased who resided with her relative, Mr Walter Hayes, Grageen, Carrig-on-Bannow, seemed to be in her usually good health on Friday and partook of her dinner all right. Soon after, she complained of being ill and the Rev. Father O’Sullivan was quickly sent for. He attended punctually and before 2 o’clock the poor woman had expired. An inquest was not considered necessary in any of the cases.”

From The Enniscorthy Guardian the 24th of February 1912:–

“A Probable Football Match

The Secretary of the Ballyfrory football team has received a communication from the captain of the newly formed team at Murrintown stating that they are anxious for a practice match at an early date so that it is quite probable that the contest will come off, as the Ballyfrory boys are expressing eagerness for a match with some team at present, so that they might get in proper form for the coming championship.”

I assume that they would enter the second junior championship—the Ballyfrory team did not reach for the stars but were earnest enough with limited resources in terms of playing talent.

The People on the 28th of August 1895 reported on the consideration of applications for labourers’ cottages at the meeting of the Board of Guardians of Wexford Poor Law Union:–

“Patrick Dunne, Danescastle, wrote regarding the house at Cooleshall (Bannow):–“I am promised the house No. 9 for the last four years by Andrew Devereux, the late Guardian. I am almost sure when it comes to the point I won’t be accepted as the tenant (laughter). The fault I have on the house I live in is that I can’t get work (laughter). I am two or three miles from where I would get work. I am well inclined to work and my family, also. I would be thankful if you would let the Guardians know” (laughter).

The writer of the above did not put in an appearance.”

I am unsure why Pat Dunne’s letter created such mirth in the meeting; my reasoned conjecture is that he was known as a “character”, a witty and amusing man. If he was the Pat Dunne who came to live at the house beside the strand where on the road from Wellingtonbridge to Carrig one turns up the road to Grantstown (with the mine pits on the left and above the house), then he was most witty and insouciant.

The report continued:–

“James Fanning, also, applied for this house. He was recommended by the owner of the land, Mr Arthur Keating, and by a large number of other people. Fanning was called before the Board and stated he was on lodgings. He worked with Mr Lett, Balloughton, and was the specific instance. Accepted.

John Wallace who applied for cottage No. 3A, Haggard, Bannow, said he had two in family. He was lodging in  a labourer’s cottage and had no house of his own. Mr Peacocke—How long have you been in it and what is his name? Tom Cullen and I am in it for two years. Mr Peacocke—Will you take a note of it, Mr O’Connor and it is against the law. It should not be tolerated. Wallace said Cullen was a first cousin of his and he paid no rent. Mr Devereux said that Wallace was only lodging with Cullen while his own house was building.

On the motion of Mr Murphy, seconded by Mr Devereux, Wallace was accepted.”

I thing that the admonishment of Mr Peacocke to John Wallace for lodging in his first cousin’s cottage, with the hint of legal action, was outlandish and nit-picking. Mr Wallace was simply desperate for a place for his family to live in. The Board acted correctly in giving him a cottage at Haggard. The report continued:–

“Simon Holmes, Cullinstown, applied for cottage No 5A, Cullenstown, Bannow. Applicant said his house was very small and had been condemned by the doctor. He had eight in family with his wife. His application was accepted.

Laurence Foley, who applied for cottage No 6A, Blackhall, Bannow said his house had been condemned by the doctor. He was the specific instance and had a wife and four children. He worked with Mr Corvan, Rector. Accepted.”

From The People January 3, 1925:–

“Quite a number of accidents have occurred of late, the most serious being that of Mrs Gore, Little Graigue House, Bannow. It appears that when leaving Duncormick railway station on a night recently she slipped on the platform and fell on the rails, a distance of three feet and injured her leg badly so much that after being medically treated she had to go to a Dublin hospital where she was detained. The latest account is that she is progressing favourably. Another accident occurred to a boy named Patrick Neville, residing at Grantstown, Wellingtonbridge, who fell from the top of a threshing mill. He was on the top of the mill cleaning the machinery when he slipped and fell to the ground. Luckily he escaped with a severe shaking.

In the course of a report dated 23rd August 1895, Dr Eugene Byrne, Bannow wrote, inter alia, [Latin for among other matters]:–

“Following your instructions I visited Shelbridge and beg to report on the water supply. There are 11 families, comprising 47 individuals, concerned in the report. They have no supply of drinking water except through the kindness of four neighbours who allow them to enter their premises at all hours to draw water from their farmyard pumps. Two families draw water from Mr White’s Nickaree, at a distance of about 400 yards.”

On Wednesday January 31 1894 there was A Local Government Board Inquiry in Wexford to hear evidence regarding the need for housing; it heard of some lovely places and houses!


Dr Byrne stated that William Parle’s house was propped up and the dwelling was three feet under the road level. There were six in family. Richard Fowler was living in a wooden house; it was over-crowded and was inhabited by seven people. It was 14 feet by 13 feet and was unfit for habitation.

William Parle stated that he was employed by William Murphy, Carrig. He had a very bad house and wanted to get a house on the land of John Devereux, Barrystown.

Mr Andrew Devereux Poor Law Guardian, said he was quite satisfied to have the house built.

Richard Fowler, Whitty’s Hill stated he had formerly lived in Kilkevan. He was living in a wooden house and wanted to get a house at Mr Jackman’s. The latter was satisfied at the time the site was taken but he was dead about three weeks. Mr Ryan C. W. stated Mr Jackman had pointed out the site to him.”


Notice is hereby given that the GAME on the estate of Francis Leigh is strictly preserved. Any person found sporting thereon will be prosecuted. All former leave is withdrawn.

Rosegarland, September 4th 1841.”