Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown; charming, charismatic, innovative, scholarly, in fine fettle, a right boyo, obliging, modest, self-effacing, erudite and wily—that wily boy. As St Kevin of Kilkaven prophesised it would always be gold and silver for the Barrystown children.

On Wednesday March 14th 1832 they had a massive meeting to protest against the Tithes—a charge on all, including Catholics, to pay for the upkeep of the Protestant clergy—in the Catholic Chapel at Rathangan. There was a deafening applause as Tom Boyse of Bannow took the chair and these were his inspiring and emotional words, so intensely sincere:–

“Gentlemen—I think of you for these manifestations of your confidence and good will. The confidence of such a community, as that in which it is my enviable lot to live, I consider a sacred deposit. I trust I know how to value it. This, at least, I know, that the most honourable title to your confidence is an honest sympathy with your wrongs. That, I have never ceased to feel.”

From The People January 13th 1883:–

Carrig-on-Bannow Irish National League

A meeting of this branch was held at League Cottage, Ballymitty, on Sunday, the 7th instant, for the purpose of electing a committee for the year 1883. There was a large attendance.

A Head Constable and three members of the Royal Irish Constabulary were present, but their services were not required.

All the collectors with one or two exceptions attended and gave a most satisfactory account of their collection in their respective townlands.

The Ballymitty Fife and Drum Band attended and played a selection of national airs.

The following members of the provisional committee were appointed to scrutinise the voting papers:–

Messrs John Wade, Bannow; James Harpur, do; John Devereux, do; Michael Boyse, do; Nicholas Moore, Gibletstown; Nicholas Furlong, Ballymitty; James Long, Ballinglee and Walter Ennis, Arnestown.

They selected Tuesday to scrutinise them.

On Tuesday evening they again attended and after a careful and exact scrutiny, the following persons were declared elected to serve on the committee for 1883:–

Messrs James E. Mayler, ex-suspect; Nicholas O’Hanlon-Walsh, League Cottage, Ballymitty; Denis Crosbie, ex-suspect, Bannow; Patrick Wade, do; Andrew Cullen, do; Stephen Dake, do; John Breen, Carrig-on-Bannow; Nicholas Furlong, Moortown; Nicholas Moore, Gibletstown; Nicholas Furlong, Ballymitty; James Kehoe, Moortown; James Long, Ballinglee and John Keane, Tullicanna.

The elected committee will meet on Sunday, the 21st January, to select their offices. A full attendance of committee is required.

Collectors who hold subscriptions will please hand them in on that day, with a list of subscribers’ names. Hour of meeting, 3 o’clock p.m.”

The Land League was proscribed so it had to re-create itself as the Irish National League.

The following letter from Constable Withers, Duncormack was read at the meeting of the Board of Guardians of Wexford Poor Law Union in early January 1883:–

“Sir—I beg to inform you that on yesterday, 3rd instant, James Meagher of Knockbine, Parish, was affected with lung disease. I visited his farm and found he showed symptoms of pleuro-pneumonia. I, therefore request that the Inspector to the Board of Guardians, or Veterinary Surgeon, should at once see him, as he appears to be very far gone.

The Clerk stated that he had reported the case to Mr Malone V. S. The Chairman and Mr Hunt remarked that it was the duty of the Constable to report the case to Mr Malone and not give the Clerk the trouble.”

Pleuro-pneumonia was a fictional disease, discovered in an era when Veterinary medicine was nigh pre-scientific. I assume that the disease was really the latter time T. B, which afflicts modern livestock. The Poor Law Unions were required by law to pay compensation for any animals which the Veterinary Surgeon, employed by the Poor Law Union, would order to be slaughtered.

The Board of Guardians of each Poor Law Union had two obvious difficulties with the scheme.

Firstly the outlandish cost of compensation required to be paid to farmers who had animals slaughtered with this supposed disease. The famous Professor Ferguson in Dublin claimed on analysis of samples from slaughtered animals that they were not afflicted by this disease, in many cases.

Secondly, it was clear that farmers with old or deceased or worthless livestock were tempted to tell the local R. I. C. policeman that they had the pleuro-pneumonia on their farms and after Mr Malone would have the beast slaughtered they would collect compensation from the Board of the Poor Law Union. It was wonderful scam! The procedure (I think) was for the Constable to shoot the infected animal after Mr Malone determined that it was so affected: at least the demise of the animal came about with relative humanity. Young Leigh of Rosegarland used to shoot cattle for use as meat, around that time; again one is relieved to read of the touch of humanity involved.

The Board of Guardians of each Poor Law Union were obliged to provide health care and outdoor relief plus provision for the Workhouse (and sometimes provide coffins for poor people)—their only revenue came from rates on land and business property. They were exasperated at so much money going out to pay for dubious exercises in cattle disease prevention….effectively squandered in scams. The money was badly needed for the relief of hardship and grim poverty in the wider population.

The exasperation of the Guardians of Wexford Poor Law Union is obvious: they would wish that Constable Withers would forget to inspect such farms and equally forget to tell either themselves or Mr Malone, the Veterinary Surgeon! He was driving the Guardians up the wall.

From The People May 17th 1882:–

“Grass To Let

To be let Hayestown, the grazing of about 27 acres (Irish), until the 1st of December.

M. K. Corish, Coolhull, Bannow.

May 12th 1882”

Michael Kehoe of Coolhull became an opulent shipping magnate in Dublin and left his fortune to his four daughters. One of them married the 1st Laurence Sweetman of Ballymackessy, Clonroche and another married Corish. The K in the name is “Kehoe”.

The People on January 6th 1917, in its report of the meeting of Wexford Poor Law Guardians, indicated:–

“Coal For Dispensary

The requisition of Dr O’Brien, Bannow, for a supply of coal for Bannow dispensary and for an extra fire at Murrintown dispensary, as the fire was not sufficient to keep the drugs from deteriorating, was granted.”

From The People May 17th 1882:–

Land Act 1881

Valuation of Farms

Mr William H. Lett, Balloughton, Bannow, New Ross, offers himself as a general valuer to the public under the Land Act.

Having much experience in the farming of land, holding more than four hundred acres in different parts of the country, he trusts he will be able to satisfy all. His terms will be found moderate. Address as above.

February 11th.”

The Land Act of 1881 provided for the Land Commission Courts, to which tenants—and landlords—could apply to determine fair rents for their holdings. The unstated purpose of these courts was to force landlords to reduce their rents: a tenant would get a person like Bill Lett of Balloughton to put a valuation on his holding—naturally including every possible defect in the farm—and apply to the Land Commission Court; a hearing of the case would follow and in the great majority of applications, a rent reduction was the outcome. The government also, intended the Land Courts, as a discrete pressure on the Landlords to sell out, preferably to the Land Commission.

From The People 1880:–

Land Steward

Wanted, by an active man, in the prime of life, a situation as above; has long practical experience of farming in all its branches, a thorough knowledge of the care and management of cattle, etc; a good accountant and strictly temperate; will be found most anxious to forward his employer’s interest; unexceptionable testimonies as to capabilities and character can be produced.

Please address—James Murphy, Bannow, New Ross,

January 6th, 1880”

There is, to the above advertisement, a touch of the candidate who told the radio interviewer that he was standing in the coming election to find employment for the constituency and the interviewer sarcastically queried if the other candidates were opposed to employment coming to the constituency? No workman would be likely to tell his prospective employer that he would not forward his employer’s interest! Jim Murphy was strictly temperate, the contemporary parlance for saying that one stayed rigorously off alcohol—that would be a requirement for any man seeking a responsible post in that era.

From The People April 5th 1882:–

“Who Is To Pay The Rent?

Mr Keating asked if Mr Barry, Ballyfrory applied for payment of the rent for the dispensary house at Bannow and if the guardians intended paying him as they were his tenants.

The Clerk said that Mr Barry had applied for the rent and so had the landlord but the Board had ordered no rent to be paid to either of them.

Mr Keating—Of course, Mr Barry’s place was sold by the sheriff in Wexford, but his is still in possession and is therefore entitled to be paid the rent.

Mr Le Hunte—It is better to let them fight it out between them and take proceedings for the recovery of the rent.

Mr Browne suggested that they should get the advice of their solicitor as to whom they should pay.

It was ordered “that the guardians adhere to their former resolution.”

The problem was that the Board of Wexford Guardians had rented the house from John Barry but Barry had been evicted by Captain Boyse. I think that in such a situation the lease of the  house would revert to Captain Boyse but the Board of Guardians could still remain as tenants, now of Captain Boyse. If John Barry had built the house that might complicate the situation. It became an angry controversy.

From The People February 24 1883:–

“Second Salvage Sale of Hungarian Flour

TO Be Sold By Auction, for account of whom it may concern

On Tuesday the 27th of February 1883

At 12 o’clock noon


(County Wexford)

About 3,000 sacks of flour, 200 sacks of pollard, some logs of Wainscot Oak, all more or less damaged, being part of the cargo of the screw steamer “Szapary”, recently wrecked on her voyage from Fiume for Dublin and Glasgow.

Terms—Cash. The Purchaser to pay the auction fees.

For Particulars apply to                                                                                                                      Walsh & Sons, Auctioneers

N. Rundell, Esq., Salvage Association, Liverpool;

Captain Archer, Agent for the under-writers, Carrig-on-Bannow;

or to Jasper W. Walsh, Lloyd’s Agent, Wexford.”

 I do not know if Captain Archer had an office or residence in Carrig-on-Bannow.

From The People circa 1884:–

“General Farm Labourer wanted that can take full charge and make himself generally useful. House, coal and wages as may be agreed on. Copies of testimonials, addressed to J. B. Carrig-on-Bannow Post Office, will be attended to.”

I presume that J. B. is John Breen.