By Wm. Brendan Hayes

The following is a description of the village between those years from my knowledge and ongoing research.

The village of Danescastle/ Carrig on Bannow usually referred to as CARRIG during the period from 1885 to 1954 changed little. It was a typical rural village, Catholic church, About 30 private houses. R.I.C. barracks, later the Garda barracks (attached to which were three guards and a sergeant), three grocery shops, post office (which included a stationary and small drapery area) At different times 2 milliners shops, three public houses, parochial house, school teacher’s residence, which for a period was the catholic curate’s residence, shoemakers, forge and tailoring business’s, handball alley. Two public water pumps. The village hall (dating from 1930’s) doubled as a cinema. The graveyard is situated adjoining the Catholic church. The Church of Ireland church and graveyard is just beyond Duffs turn outside the village. This Church is in sight of the Kearns/Hayes houses. Two laneways led to farmhouses. With some exceptions the village in 1954 was much as it was in 1885.

Population according to the national census in 1901 was c.110 people.  A personal memory calculation of population of the village in 1954 was that a similar no. of people lived in the village.

Duffs Turn is the first junction going from Carrig to Duncormick. The name Duff is from brothers of that name who it is said fought and died at the 1798 battle of ‘Tree Bullet Gate.’

I will start with the Hayes House my family home. Then I shall move on to The Kearns House and then move across the road and proceed as per the plan.

The Hayes House has been the family home since 1885. The house was originally two houses. From the width of the walls the house would appear to date from at least 1850 or earlier. Until 1974 the house was a two storied thatched house. It was then renovated and extended as a single story slated house. The family occupation began in 1885 in the house nearest the village. In 1885 the lower house was the home of elderly widow Catherine Kehoe. This lady lived on for a number of years.

Hayes house at Carrig, 1911.

Seated Johanna Redmond Hayes, James Hayes L to R Daughters Minnie, Katty and Maggie.

When this photograph was taken, Katty was 20 years of age, she lived a further 75 years, dying in 1986(Katty  is buried in the graveyard in Carrig).

After the death of Mrs Kehoe my grandparents James Hayes and Johanna Redmond Hayes then in their mid thirties occupied both houses. My grandparents had been married in Ballymitty church in September 1880. By the time five years later when the family moved to Carrig on Bannow three children had been born. In 1885 the Hayes household also included Johanna’s elderly mother the twice widowed Johanna Breen formally Redmond nee Redmond then aged 65.

Grandfather James Hayes was a master tailor who had learned his trade in Liverpool and Wexford.  He established his business at the house. The business from the death of Mrs Kehoe operated from the lower house. The business in 1911 employed other family members and at times two journeymen tailors. After their arrival in Carrig my grandparents were to have ten more children making thirteen in all.

Nine of the thirteen children survived to adult life. One daughter died aged eleven years. Three children died in infancy. These four children were buried in the family plot in Kilcavan graveyard.

Schools days for the family were mostly pleasant and provided a good basic education. The family and some of their village friends had a good degree of literacy. Letters from that era and the two extensive postcard collections now in my possession would testify to that.

Between 1903 and 1918 all the nine surviving Hayes siblings had studio photographs taken. Here I mention only Catherine Frances (Katty). Katty who died in 1986 lived to within one month of her 95th birthday. She was part of the household at Carrig on Bannow for the first 65 years of her life. Katty is buried with many of her wider family in the graveyard at Carrig.

As the family became adults, socially the bicycle played a major role in their lives and the lives of their friends. The bicycle gave freedom to socialize. My father Nicholas had a 3speed bicycle and cycled to many parts of Leinster parts of Munster and Connaught. My aunts and their female friends also embraced the bicycle. My father enjoyed travel he was happy to have visited other nearby countries.

Gaelic games, tug of war, and card games such as whist, solo and forty five were enjoyed by many families in the village. Darts and ‘horse shoes’ were also played in the Village. A Marconi radio was acquired in the Hayes house in the early thirties. Walking for pleasure was a feature of life for many people in Carrig. Visiting Cullenstown and Blackhall strands was an outing to be enjoyed. Hand ball was a major pastime. Phil Wade (house no 2), my father Nick Hayes and his brother Johnny were noted players. A daily newspaper was taken by our house and some other houses. (Colfers sold the Irish Independent. Kennedys sold the Irish Press and also two/three copies of the Irish Times). Their faith played an important part in the life of the most families. The visitation and care of family graves was important.

Grandmother Johanna Redmond-Hayes died aged seventy eight in 1933.

Kearns House:

Larry Kearns my neighbour and his siblings were raised there by their parents Michael (Mikey) and Mrs Johanna (Judy) Kearns, Prior to that Larry’s  grand parents Nicholas and his wife Mrs Kate Kearns raised their family at the house. Nicholas Kearns lived from 1872 to 1952 his wife Kate 1870 to 1948.  Prior to Nicholas and Kate living at the house Nicholas’s parents  Edward Kearns and his wife Mrs Mary Kearns lived there from about 1890. Edward died in 1905 and Mary in 1920. This last couple were the great grandparents of Larry and his siblings. Other Kearns family members resided at the house from time to time.

I asked once where the Kearns family lived before the present house was built.  My aunt Minnie born in 1884 recalled that the Kearns family prior to c.1890 lived in a thatched house in what is now the Kearns garden. This is borne out by the Danescastle address on Nicholas Kearns baptismal cert of 1872.

The Kearns family and the Hayes family have lived side by side as immediate neighbours for over one hundred and thirty years.

The garden at Kearns was and is remarkable for the quality of its vegetable produce. In particular the late Joe Kearns was a highly skilled gardener.

The Kearns family are buried in Carrig.

Now we will move to the other houses approaching the village from Duffs turn on left hand side.

House 1:

House no 1 was a thatched house occupied 1901 to September/October 1942 by Frances Doyle. Prior to 1901 the occupier Frances Doyle who was born in 1863 was a newly appointed mid-wife for the area. In Oct 1942 my parents visited their near neighbour Nurse Doyle to inform her of the forthcoming birth of their first child. During that visit Nurse Doyle told my parents that she (Nurse Doyle) had made arrangements to enter what is now St John’s hospital. Nurse Doyle died there on 4 February 1943. Her age at death was 80. The census return of 1901/1911 and Nurse Doyle’s death certificate confirm these dates.

This house in 1943 became for eight years the home of the Frank and Eileen Ffrench family. Their second son Philip was born at the house in1943. The Ffrench family in 1951relocated to Balloughton.

Frank and Mrs Ffrench are buried in Ballylannon.

This house became a muinter na tira hall for some years, It was referred to as the Ritz. Irish dancing was also thought there. The house was demolished in the early nineteen seventies.

House no 2:

The Wade family House

A  stile (still visible in a slightly different location) gave access to a side garden of the Wade house. In the 1950’s the house was demolished. The Wade house was  thatched and end on to the public road. The house incorporated a shop premises and shoemaking business. A high walled garden was adjacent to the house.

John and Ellen Wade who married in 1876 had a large family. Two of their children son Benjamin and daughter Ellen had a double wedding in Carrig on Bannow. This event took place in August 1918. Ellen became wife to another villager John Mahoney of house no 20.

The last occupant of the Wade house was son Jim who in later years worked as a road ganger. Jim Wade married October 1921 Mary O’Neill of Barriestown. Mary O Neill- Wade died in 1940. Jim died in 1954. A younger brother of Jim namely Philip was a county champion hand ball player. In 1914 Phil relocated to Chicago. There are numerous Wade relatives. In Memoriam cards show John Wade died in May 1910 his wife Ellen died in June 1917.Their son John aged 28 also died in 1910. The Wades originally from Bannow are buried there.

House no 3: 

Situated before the ball alley end on to the road was a thatched house. In 1900 this was the house of Patrick Wallace and Margaret Sutton – Wallace and their family. Patrick Wallace was the letter carrier (postman). Patrick died in 1919 and Mrs Wallace in 1908. This house is long demolished. Wallace sons included Tom (postman) later of house no 7 and Mike (blacksmith) of house no 19. Pat and Mrs Kenny and their family later occupied this house until it was replaced with the present Monahan House.

The Ball Alley C.1900. Then the White/Carty lane

Located at beginning of laneway beside the ball alley was a corrugated garage which housed Paddy Byrne’s (House no 11) hackney car. A small pig house was adjacent to the garage. There Mike Byrne (house no 11) raised two sometimes three pigs.

House 4:

Further down on same side of laneway was house no 4, the farmhouse of the White later Carty family. Moses White who died in 1898, his wife Ellen White nee Wade died some years later. Ellen Wade-White was sister of John Wade of house no 2. Ellen Wade-White and her brother John were from Bannow.

The Whites had one son John who as a young man relocated to the U.S.A. Mary the youngest of the three White daughters succeeded her parents. Mary in 1923 married John Carty. Mary White-Carty in 1930 became a young widow with two daughters.

This farm supplied milk to many households.

If no suitable male was present Mrs Carty at times served mass from outside the alter rails. An early recycling example was when going for milk today we brought yesterdays Irish Independent to Mrs Carty. The following Monday we received in return the Irish catholic, St Anthony’s Annals even the Beet Growers association magazine and other periodicals. All were neatly rolled for ease of carrying.

Moses and Ellen White and their three daughters are buried in Bannow.

House 5:

Returning towards the village on the right hand side was House no 5 the home of the Barnwell family. From Grange, Philip Barnwell was a postman his wife was the former Elizabeth Cooney of the Littlegraigue family. Phil and Mrs Barnwell had two daughters Johanna and Statia.

Phil Barnwell was the maternal uncle of Dominick and Katie Broaders.  This house is now the house of the Stafford family. Philip Barnwell died in 1954. The only grandchildren of Phil and Mrs Barnwell are from their daughter Johanna (Josie) and were brought up in County Kerry.

House 6:

House no 6 was a house constructed mainly of corrugated galvanise. The residents in 1901 were Richard and Mary Grace and family. This house was intact in the early1950’s. I do not remember this house being occupied.

House 7:

House no 7 at the top of the White-Carty laneway was a long thatched house end on to the Village Street. One wall of this house was built directly as the boundary of the lane.

This house dated from the early 19th century. On the wall facing Duffs turn side it featured one window spanning two floors and dating from the era of the window tax. (This tax in Ireland operated from 1799-1846) This tax depended on the number of windows in a house).

House no 7 was the house of David Furlong who according to the census of 1901 was born in 1825. David Furlong then a widower died in late1901. David Furlong operated a bakery. He was assisted by his step children, Richard Power, 1848-1935 and Mary Power 1850- 1925.

The bakery was separate to the main house but under the same roof. The bakery would have survived to the era of the world war one. My aunt remembered c.1900 while on her way to school buying at the bakery a halfpenny current bun. This bun was of a good size and enough to provide for two children.

It is my understanding that the John Furlong who was the donor of the two holy water fonts in Carrig  church was a near relative of David Furlong.

David Furlong was a witness at the marriage of his house no 5 neighbour Moses White in 1878.

Annie Gleeson a widow had joined the House no 7 household after the death of David Furlong in 1901. Annie Gleeson was born in 1857 she died in1936. Mrs Gleeson had spent many years in Chicago. She was a relative of the Powers. There is a memorial in Carrig graveyard to Mrs Gleeson.

Prior to 1930 Tom Wallace (house no 3) and his wife the former Mary Kenny joined the household. (Mrs Wallace was the sister of Pat Kenny later house no 3).Tom Wallace was the informant of the deaths of both of Richard and Mary Power and of Annie Gleeson.

Tom and Mrs Wallace lived on in this house until their deaths. Tom like his father was a postman. Mike Wallace (blacksmith) house no. 19 was and older brother of Tom. Mike for the latter part of his life lived as part of his brother’s  household. The Wallace family had some cows and also supplied milk to some villagers. The Wallace burial ground is in Carrig. Tom and Mary Wallace were succeeded by their only child Peggy. (1922-1979 ) Peggy married Mike Byrne of house no. 11. The house fell into disrepair it was demolished and a new house was built further back from the street.

The village pump was nearer the village adjacent to the Wallace house.  Public pumps mid nineteen century were usually funded by the state or county councils.

In an extension to the main house in the grounds of the then Wallace house for many years lived Mike Doyle a widower since 1928. Mike’s wife was the former Ellen Kenny who was a sister of Mary Kenny-Wallace. Mike Doyle died in 1962 aged 84 years. Mike Doyle was a brother of Mrs Colfer of House no 9.

Carrig on Bannow C.1935.

Left to right: Malt house, at back Wallace house, Walsh house, Barry Colfer’s house, Post office. hidden, the Byrne house, and White-Ffrench house.

House 8:

House No 8 The field to the side of the Furlong/ Power /Wallace House next to the Colfer/ Barrys pub is where in the nineteen thirties Tom Walsh built his house. Originally from the Tullycanna/ Woodgraigue  area Tom was carpenter by trade. Tom married in 1935. Sadly his wife the former Lucy Doyle died five years later at a young age. Tom brought up his two young sons Bob and Toddy in this house.

The neighbouring Byrne family from house no 11 greatly assisted Tom to care for his two young sons in Carrig . Polly Byrne in particular played a major part in that role.

Tom Walsh regularly hosted evenings at his house where cards, rings and darts were played. Local men attended these evenings from time to time. Tom, Lucy and Bob Walsh are buried in Ballymitty. Toddy is buried in London. There is a memorial over the Walsh graves in Ballymitty (Toddy’s name is inscribed there also).

Left to right: In background Malt House, House 9 and 10. Ruined house later Byrnes, thatched on right shoemakers workshop (view from early 20th century).

House 9:

House no 9, the pub next door to the Walsh house is where we are now .John and Teasie Murphy are our hosts. Originally thatched, this pub was in 1885 occupied by John and Mary Evoy-Barry. John Barry in 1869 gave his marriage address as Carrig on Bannow. John and Mrs. Barry both died just prior to 1901 census. Mrs Barry hailed from Tintern. Their son John succeeded to the business. John died in 1941 and his wife Mary Theresa Corry (native of Kerry ) in 1938. The family relocated from Carrig  in the 1930’s. Their son Nicholas was born in 1904.  The Barry’s  are buried in Carrig  graveyard.

Succeeding  the Barry Family were the Colfer family who also operated a pub and shop. The household consisted of the elderly Mrs Annie Colfer and four of her children. Sons Phil and Marky ran the shop and pub. Of the two daughters Maggie was a reserved person who visited the church at least once every day. Bridget had a pleasant manner, an understated elegance. Bridget’s interests included walking. In particular she enjoyed walking around the Ballymadder road. Mrs Colfer died aged 90 in 1959. She is buried in Bannow. her four children mentioned above are buried in Carrig . The Colfer family had originally lived in Ballymadder.  Other family members lived elsewhere.

House 10:

House no 10, was the William Murphy Post office and shop. This house while in the Murphy name is well documented. Schoolteachers, high ranking Garda Officer etc.

From 1912-1943 this house was occupied by members of the Whyte-French family of Cliff Cottage, Cullenstown. Mentioned on different documents in connection with running the post office were the four Whyte sisters, Anne-Eva, Mary, Margaret, and Elizabeth.

In reverse order Elizabeth relocated to and died in Canada in1964, Margaret became Mrs Philip Ffrench and was matriarch of a large family based in Cullenstown. (She was mother of Frank Ffrench (house no 1).

Mrs Whyte- Ffrench died in 1943).

Mary married Ambrose Murphy. Mary Whyte Murphy (Post Mistress) lived at house no 10 until she died in 1942.

Both the sisters Mary and Margaret are buried in the Whyte -Ffrench plot in Carrig on Bannow.

Older sister Anne -Eva Whyte was born in 1883 and died in 1919. Mary –Minnie Hayes (my aunt) who was born in 1884 and Eva White were firm friends. In 1915 Anne- Eva married Patrick Devereux of Danescastle. They had four children two of whom both named Andrew died in infancy.

Last year while visiting Ballymitty graveyard I came across the grave of Anna Eva and her children. It was poignant that when I saw this memorial it was around the one hundred anniversary of her death.

After the death in 1943 of Mary Whyte -Murphy the house evolved through a daughter of Anne Eva Whyte-Devereux to a cousin Sheila Sinnott- Kenny and her husband Mogue. Sheila Kenny’s mother was a Devereux. Mrs Kenny ran a post office, drapery and stationary shop in Carrig for over thirty years.

This house is now occupied by the Harper family, and the Red Door restaurant.

House 11: 

House no 11 next to the post office was the ruined house in 1900-1910 which when restored was the home of the Byrne family. Jim and Johanna Byrne (Kinsella) who married in 1896. They lived in Killtra until at least 1915, they then removed to Carrig. They had seven in family.

Jim Byrne who died in 1947 aged 70 years and his son Paddy had a shoemaking business. Paddy also had a hackney car for hire

Daughter Polly-Mary Agnes 1915-1978 was a kind and caring woman. Polly was involved in tending to the church and school. Her role included reciting prayers for public occasions. Polly rang the church bell for all occasions. That iconic bell lasted beyond 1954.But not for very long after that!!. The Byrne family are buried in Kilcavan.

Josie a younger Byrne daughter married one Joseph Griffin. Joseph from Kerry was a fluent Irish speaker. The Byrne /Griffin headstone in Carrig on Bannow  graveyard is totally inscribed in Irish. Mrs Mackey, Ballygow, and Mrs Kelly, Coolishal were daughters of this family.

House 12: 

House no 12 was also a White- Ffrench house It was not always used as a dwelling house. It was later occupied for a short time by a Neville family. From the early forties until 1952 it was occupied by Guard Arthur Lennon, (1906-1981) his wife Bridie (1915-1984) and their family. Four of the six Lennon children were born at Carrig. Guard Lennon and Mrs Lennon transferred to Co Meath and later to Dublin Guard Lennon, originally from Dublin and Mrs Lennon originally from Co Kilkenny are buried in Glasnevin.

Later John Furlong and his wife Elizabeth lived in this house. It is now the home of the O’Brien sisters.

House 13: 

No 13 house is a Colfer house. The Colfer’s are a long established family who also lived in Graigeen. I remember Pat and May Colfer. Both always made time for a friendly greeting. I remember Pat’s parents John Colfer and Mrs Bess Chambers –Colfer. I also remember Pat’s grandmother Mrs. Catherine Colfer she was also formally a Colfer (of Kiltra) and was wife of Patrick Colfer. Catherine Colfer was in her 90th year when she died in 1955. Mrs Colfer in old age spent some of her time in Dublin with family. As a young child I remember meeting this venerable lady. The Colfer burial ground is Carrig on Bannow.

The second water pump of the village was located near here.

Houses 14 and 15: (thatched houses)

Houses 14and 15 were thatched and are long demolished. In 1901 one of the houses was lived in by the 3 McElroy sisters. This is where Miss Redmond N.T. lodged (census 1901/1911). Two of the McElroy sisters died in 1915 and 1925. The second house was the home for a period of the Broaders family. The Broaders family relocated to Graigeen/ Danescastle.

Next is the Hall now usually known as the community centre. The hall was built in the nineteen thirties. Until the early 1960’s a cinema operated there. Dan Curran and others were responsible for activating the building of the hall. A voluntary committee oversaw the running of the hall. Whist drives and stage plays also took place there.

House 16:  

House no 16 situated down a long laneway after the village hall. Until March 1911, this was the home of a Colfer family. This is one of the few houses listed in the 1901 census as a first grade house recorded for the area.

The first Colfer child Stephen died in infancy in 1865. The other five children in the family lived to adult life. Patrick Colfer was alive in 1870. The widowed Mrs Alice Hore-Colfer died aged 74 In1908. Shortly before the census of 1911 the daughters Annie and Alice relocated to the United States. (Ellis Island records). They were joining their sister Margaret. The sister’s ages were 39 and 37. There is no Colfer census return for house no 14 on the 1911 census. The two sons John and Stephen had emigrated before 1910. (U.S. Census 1910).

The house evolved to the Cowman /O’ Dwyer family of Ballygow. This house was later occupied by two ladies named Gleeson and Sinnott.  This house is now the house of O’Dwyer family member’s.

House 17:

The next houses were at the cross of Carrig. No 17 the first house part of a semi detached pair was that of the Andrew Walsh and Johanna White-Walsh and family. Andrew was born in 1855. From house no 31 Andrew married Johanna White in 1881 he died in 1926. He was a shoemaker. The family included his wife, one son and many daughters. See census 1901/ 1911.

I remember their daughter Mary Walsh who died on 21th December 1958. Mary spent time in the United States. I understand Miss Walsh had booked a passage on the ill fated Luisitania (Detail from Molly Dunphy-French). Fortunately she was unable to travel at that time. She later returned from the United States and for the remainder of her life lived in Carrig. The burial place of the Walsh family is towards the front of the graveyard in Carrig on the school side. The grave does not have a memorial. Members of the family emigrated to the United States including some to the state of California.

Tom and Mrs Dunphy (formally Murphy) and family shared the Mary Walsh house for many years before their new house was built close by.

Tom and Mrs Dunphy had five children of whom daughter Molly now Mrs French lives in Carrig.

The former Walsh House

House 18:

No 18 house the former Breen’s public house was a long established business since the mid nineteen century (After 1958 it Incorporated the next door house of the Walsh family). These premises remained in the Breen family for over a century. The history of this establishment is already well documented by Nicola the great granddaughter of the first Breen’s to live there.

The AA sign is of interest. It was in place until later than 1954. I notice the Spelling is Carrick! The sign was located on the side wall of the Breen building facing the Windmill Hill.