Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, comedic, innovative, inspired and inspiring, original, comedic, modest, scholarly, erudite, self-effacing, a right boyo, a historian supreme, a big hit with the girls, a sheer genius and above all else—wily, that wily boy from beside the mine pits. As the woman said on a windy street many years ago, now, the boy from Barrystown would always be blessed among women and so it has proved. As St Kevin of Kilkevan prophesised gold and silver would always follow the Barrystown children; always first. That is the natural order of things; it aint bragging if it is true.

My birthday on Wednesday is the big up-coming event and I have been suffused with presents and in a neat symbolic one of my readers brought sea weed for my garden. To say that one of my readers brought it is to give a useless clue: one would quicker find a needle in a haystack than isolate the bearer of the wore or sea weed on that morsel of evidence.

If a mere fraction of those who say they are coming actually come, then the crowd at Bernard Browne’s lecture on the Rebellion of 1798 with special reference to General Tom Cloney of Moneyhore, Davidstown and the Rev. James B. Gordon of Boro Lodge, Ballymackessy on Tuesday night April 21st at 8.30 pm in the Clonroche Community Centre will be larger than the Allied Forces that landed on the Normandy beaches on June 6th 1944!

According to a police report of 15 December 1880:–

“John M—received a letter through the post threatening he would be “Boycotted” if he sent his machine to thresh Mr Leigh’s corn; the latter is very unpopular with his tenantry.”

On September 14 1880 the police reported:–

“A notice was found posted on a gate in New Ross in November 1879 death to the Boyds and all land robbers and stating that the writer was watching Messrs Boyd and Mr Leigh of Rosegarland and that their day of doom was near. The Boyds and Mr Leigh are very obnoxious in the neighbourhood.”

On the 7th or 8th of October 1880:–

“A notice was found posted on a telegraph pole threatening any person with death should they take a farm which Dr Boyd of Bannow surrendered to Mrs Colclough. The motive is to deter her from re-letting and to prevent any person taking possession of it.”

On the 17th of October, “on the same telegraph pole” there was a notice “threatening the tenants on Mrs Colclough’s estate with death should they pay their rents.”

I do not understand why these notices were not put on the internet by these people. Maybe the tenants and labourers could not afford to have the internet? They must have been really poor!

From The Echo August 27th 1927:–

“Gallant Attempts At Rescue”

I resume the account of the evidence at the inquest of George White (aged 73) of Cullenstown, from the last blog:–

“When the boat turned deceased said it would not be worth while trying to swim ashore as they would be numbed with the cold. The boat was practically full of water when they got back in it and so was on a level with the surface of the sea. To a juror, when deceased was floating in the water the second time he was struggling as if endeavouring to keep afloat.

Mr Scallan’s Efforts

John N. Scallan, Co. Registrar, stated that on Tuesday about two o’clock he was down at his own shed when he saw men coming for the life boats and heard the signals. Witness thought it was an ordinary practice and when the life boat was being launched from the slip he heard that someone had been blown away from Fethard. Witness sent for his glasses and between the Hook and Bannow a long distance out he thought he saw a boat in a different place altogether from where the boat capsized. Witness got out his own motor boat with his man and a friend, Mr Colman. They took the boat in tow to near Cullenstown, as the wind and tide were against it. They left go the life boat and saw the motor boat “Kingfisher” coming abreast of it.

They could see something awash in the sea. The “Kingfisher” was, also, coming to the rescue. They saw the “Kingfisher” round up on the object in the water—the wreck—and take a man, the last witness, out of her. The wreck was a small fishing cot. Philip Walsh and William Furlong were in the “Kingfisher” and they cried out that the other man was gone. Witness put around and the lifeboat standing close by, pointed out some object in the water, a couple of cables length away from the wreck. Witness turned his boat for it and saw a body lying in the water. The man was lying on his face in the water and when they picked him up there was very little heat in the body. To all appearances the man was dead.

Could Have Been Saved

When they got the body in they tried artificial respiration without avail. They then brought the body ashore. Witness said he would like to add that if the message had been given properly or in time they would have been out to the wreck, half an hour sooner and saved both men. They heard it was out towards Fethard and lost time standing out that way. In witness’s opinion the message should have been sent to the Civic Guard who are on the telephone or to the coxswain on the lifeboat. Instead of that it was sent to the rocket apparatus man. When he took the lifeboat in tow, he was told by them that a boat had been blown out for Fethard. If they had got the message correctly and in time they might have rescued both men instead of trying to make Fethard.

The Coroner said he heard that the people in Cullenstown were ringing for half an hour on the telephone before they got Kilmore. Supt. Murphy said the man who sent the message was present and could be questioned.

George Galvin, Cullenstown, stated that on Tuesday, about 12 o’clock, he missed George White’s boat on the sea. He saw it going out about a quarter to eleven but now he could not sight it. Witness got a glass and scanned the bay and could not see the boat. He rang Kilmore No I man, Mr Spanner and got through with an urgent message, in about three minutes. It was not true that he was half an hour ringing before he got through to Kilmore. The handle did come off the telephone but he had got through at the time and later replaced it to ring Bannow. He asked Spanner, the No. I man, at Kilmore to send out a motor boat or lifeboat as two men had left Cullenstown and no trace of them could be found. That was about ten minutes after twelve, old time. Kilmore replied that all the assistance possible would be sent out. Witness’s message was not that the boat was blown off Fethard.

He would be a madman to send such a message. It was witness’s duty to summon the lifeboat but he, also, called for the motor boats as he knew they would be willing to give aid and would be quicker. The first boat he sighted leaving Kilmore was at a quarter after one, old time. It could be out before that time but it was then he saw the boat, the life boat clearing Forlorn Point. When witness located the missing boat it was about a mile and a half off Lough and he telephoned the information to Kilmore, also Miss O’Flaherty, Mr Spanner’s step-daughter who answered the telephone on both occasions then said that the lifeboat was leaving. The boats at Kilmore had at that time, witness understood, already put out to sea.

To Supt. Murphy—No boats could get out from Cullenstown except that owned by the deceased. One man would have tried to go out but he was not there at the time.

To the Coroner—Witness’s message had to go through Bannow post-office and that might have given rise to the mistake about the place.

The Coroner agreed that the question of delay about the message had now been settled, while the mistake as to the place might have arisen as suggested.

Dr Doyle, Bridgetown, swore he made a superficial examination of the body. There were no marks of violence. Witness believed that death was due to heart failure, due to immersion in the water for some hours. A man of his age could not stand the strain. His condition was not consistent with drowning.

Mr Scallan said that his reason for drawing attention to the message was to explain why they took a course for Fethard.

Expressing an appreciation of Mr Scallan’s assistance, the Coroner said it was not the first time he came to the rescue. He (Coroner) thought great credit was due to him and the owners of the other boats who rushed to the rescue, the moment the message was received. Credit was, also, due to the lifeboat, which, of course, was only a row boat, so that the motor boats reached the scene of the disaster more quickly. Mr Scallan and those on board his boat did their best to restore the deceased when they took him from the water and it was not their fault that they failed. He (Coroner) presumed that the man was already dead at the time. He thought there was no reason to disagree with the doctor’s decision that death was due to heart failure. It was a very sad case and he would like on behalf of himself and the jury to express sympathy with the relatives of the deceased.

Supt. Murphy said that on behalf of the Gardai he would like to be associated with the messages of sympathy and also with the expression of appreciation and thanks to Mr Scallan and the other people who went to the rescue.

A verdict in accordance with the medical testimony was returned. The Coroner added that if the rescuers had not been entirely successful it was not their fault. At least they saved one life which would also have been lost if they had not acted so promptly.”

“Bannow Glebe


February 20, 1823


As I understand one of the principal objects of the Dublin Society is to encourage Agriculture, I take the liberty of submitting to their consideration, a pamphlet on the subject of agricultural education, which I published two years ago and the information that I have established in my own parish a school on the principles laid down in the pamphlet. I shall, as succinctly as possible, state the circumstances of the school and the effects likely to follow from its establishment in the hope that the Dublin Society may be induced to afford me some assistance in furtherance of my object:–In July 1821 I obtained from a very liberal and spirited landlord (Mr Boyse of Bannow), forty acres of land as a school farm, on which laid out about 700 pounds sterling in building farm offices, school-house & and immediately afterwards admitted pupils into this new institution to be boarded, educated and clothed, during a period of five years, some gratuitously and others for a small annual payment. There are now nineteen lads, with two masters, in the establishment, enjoying the advantages of education suitably directed. My intention is to enlarge the establishment so as to admit forty or fifty scholars.

These boys are instructed in the theory and practice of husbandry, in its most approved forms, the sciences of chemistry (as far as it is applicable to agriculture) and botany are taught; and if I can procure funds for my purpose, it is my intention to have a green-house and walled in gardens for botanical purposes. Mechanics are also taught, as there is, generally speaking, such lamentable ignorance among the lower order of our husbandmen, as to the proper construction of carts, ploughs and almost all other farming implements.

I should not venture to think that I have any claim on the Dublin Society for patronage and support, but that important effects will probably follow my exertions, (made at a certain loss and inconvenience to myself), to this country at large. I hope to prove the practicality of conducting schools similar to my own in every county of Ireland, without any loss than that which must necessarily attend the outfit. These schools may be so constituted as to support themselves, in which case it is obvious that much advantage will arise to the country, from having moral and experienced agriculturalists annually sent out to occupy the soil, or act as stewards, in case they do not succeed to the actual possession of land

I have the honour to be,

Your obedient servant

Wm Hickey, Clerk.”

On the basis of this letter it would seem that the Farmhouse, Bannow was built in 1821, albeit as a schoolhouse.

Rev. William Hickey must have had considerable personal fortune to be able to invest 700 pounds sterling in the school and the related infra-structure.

He envisaged that some of his pupils would secure employment as farm stewards.

On January 22 1824 the Committee of the Royal Dublin Society mindful of the judicious and praiseworthy exertions of Mr Boyse, as a resident landlord and the benevolent and disinterested efforts of the Rev. Mr Hickey, in establishing the Agricultural School at Bannow” recommended that “the gold medal of the Society be presented to Mr Boyse and to the Rev. Mr Hickey, that they may be elected honorary members and that a sum of sixty guineas be granted to their Agricultural Schools…”

It was always gold for the Boyses of Bannow.