Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, the historian supreme, ebullient, charming, charismatic, generous, obliging, erudite, sophisticated, scholarly, a genius, humble, modest, self-effacing, a big hit with the girls, a right boyo and above all else, wily, that wily boy from beside the mine pits. St Kevin of Kilkevan prophesised that a great and celebrated historian would come from Barrystown and why not? Bernard Browne in his lecture at Clonroche referred to me as the other historian from Ballymackessy—the allusion, not really understood by the audience, was to my article in the Journal of the Wexford Historical Society many years ago, entitled “The Historian of Ballymacassy” (on the Rev. James Gordon of Boro Lodge, Ballymackessy). I presume that if Ballymacassy (the inadvertently comical spelling variant of the name of the townland circa 1800) may have two historians then Barrystown is surely entitled to one! As I always say it is gold and silver to the Barrystown children.

In my next blog I hope to wrestle with the mystery of the objection or suggested objection of Ramsgrange to Ballymitty/Bannow winning the 1946 Co. Junior Football championship in 1947. The Co. Board were dismissive of the matter but I do not know as yet what it was all about. I will do my best to make sense of it.

From The People the 15th of March 1958:–

“Wellingtonbridge Gorse Fire

The danger that flames and sparks from bushes which caught fire in a knock at Wellingtonbridge might spread to adjoining farm-houses prompted Mr Jas. Cahill, Clonmines, Wellingtonbridge, to summon Wexford Fire Brigade on Tuesday evening. The fire was speedily brought under control and was prevented  from spreading.”

When we came to Ballymackessy one of the four fields was totally under bushes with bushes and there were bushes plus “shaky bogs” in another. Knocks, that is land over-grown with bushes, disappeared with the land reclamation works of the 1950s and 1960; the bushes at Ballymackessy were taken out circa 1968 but the quality of the soil remained meagre. My mother told me that in May 1960 she walked about the fields but when she came to the field with the shaky bogs and furze she, after looking over the gate, decided that it was not worth the bother of walking any further to look at it and went home!

From The People 19th of October 1957:–

“Bannow and District

The Satellite—Some residents of the district set their alarm clocks for five o’clock on Sunday morning to see the satellite pass over. It could be seen coming from the north-west to the south-east

Hurling—A challenge game at Bannow on Sunday afternoon, between Cullenstown and Bannow resulted in a draw of 3 goals, 9 points each.

Beet Season—Harvesting of beet has commenced of this year’s crop will start on Monday next. The crop is well up to the standard of other years’.”

The satellites were put into space by the Russians in bid to win prestige for the communistic/Marxist system of government. I remember hearing a relative talk about the satellites at that time. In the early 1960s President Jack Kennedy of the United States—presumably, also, to win prestige—promised that America would put a man on the moon.

From The Free Press in 1944;–

“A new dramatic class—A move is on foot to provide a small club-room for Whitty’s Hill, Wellingtonbridge and a dramatic class is being got up there to help the project along. There is plenty of room for it and with energetic management the new troupe should be a very valuable help to the fund. The enterprising committee in charge should go about providing a first class social centre when they are about it. It could be done.”

From The People June 25th 1927:–


Harvey and Leigh—June 21, 1927, at Horetown Church, by the Right Reverend, the Lord Bishop of Ossory [name inadvertently left out in notice], assisted by the Rev. T. Talbot B. D. Rector of the parish, Captain C. C. Harvey, Bromley, Wexford to Nancy, eldest daughter of the late Francis Robert Leigh Esq., D. L and Mrs Leigh, Rosegarland, Wexford.”….


Cullen—June 18, 1927, at her residence, Johnstown, Duncormick, Margaret, relict of the late Thomas Cullen, ex-inspector D. M. P., Dublin, aged 82 years; deeply and deservedly regretted by her sorrowing relatives and friends. Interred in Ballymitty Cemetery on June 20th. Requiem Mass and Office were held in Rathangan Church on June 22nd. R. I. P.”

From The People June 7th 1919:–

“Football Practice—The Bannow Sean Mc Dermott’s travelled to Clonmines on Sunday last and played a football practice with the newly formed football team there. The Mc Dermott’s were short of some of their players, as they had not recovered from the effects of the athletic contest at Wexford on the previous Thursday but, nevertheless, a team was got together and a rattling game was the outcome; the result being a win for Clonmines, on the score of 2 goals, 2 points to one point for the Sean Mc Dermott’s.”

The Bannow team were named after the executed leader of the Easter Rebellion 1916, Sean Mac Dermott or Sean Mac Diarmuida.

In June 1942 the Ministry for Industry and Commerce informed John Keating T. D. that black polished slate, being coal-like, was mistaken for coal in Ballymitty. There was no prospect of “obtaining coal of commercial value from the geological formations (Cambrian and Lower Silurian) underlying Ballymitty townland.”

From The People March 14th, 1857:–

“Rev. P. C. Sheridan

The parishioners of Carrick, Bannow, on Thursday last presented an address to the above named reverend gentleman, together with a very beautiful present, consisting of a jaunting car, harness and a piece of plate. The deputation who conveyed this mark of the esteem and affection of the people to their priest, consisted of Mr John Colfer, Mr Patrick Colfer, Mr Crane and Mr Rossiter. The Rev. Mr Sheridan returned an appropriate reply. The presentation of this valuable testimonial is equally creditable to the donors and to the recipient.”

From The Wexford Independent May 4th, 1850:–


On Tuesday, the 30th ultimate, at Tagoat, by the Rev. Mr Kavanagh, Mr Patrick Colfer of Danes Castle, to Alice, eldest daughter of Mr Stephen Hore of the Hill of Sea.”

From The People September 5th 1875:–

“The feast of St Augustine was solemnised with its usual magnificence at the Convent of St Augustine, Grantstown. The panegyric of the saint was preached by Rev. William Doran O. S. A. Miss Colfer, Balloughton, presided at the harmonium.”

From The People July 15th 1896:–


Daly—July 13 at Whitty’s Hill, William Daly, aged 48 years, deeply regretted by a large circle of friends. R. I. P. Funeral will leave today (Wednesday) at 2 o’clock for Kilcavan.”

According to a statistical survey in the early 19th century there were in the parish of Kilcavan 89 houses and in the parish of Bannow 131 houses.

The People reported on the 8th of July 1917:–

“Roll of Honour

Bell—Killed in action, Martin Monbray Bell, Canadian Heavy Artillery, younger son of the late B. Barton Bell, Blackhall, Lanarkshire, and brother of Mrs F. R. Leigh, Rosegarland, Co. Wexford.”

From The People February 11, 1888:–

“Carrig-Bannow National League

The collection for the funds of the Carrig-Bannow Branch of the Irish National League will be made at the chapel gates of the parish, with the consent of the clergy, on Sunday, the 12th February. The collection will be made on the valuation of each person’s holding—1 shilling for the first £5 and 6 pence for the every additional £5. No subscription less than 1 shilling, more than £1. The collectors appointed at the last meeting of the League will attend. Ballot papers to be handed to each subscriber and collected on the following Sunday. Remember those who are in prison and rally round the standard of the League. God Save Ireland!”

The Land League was proscribed or outlawed so it was re-constituted as the Irish National League.

In June 1859 Mr Nicholas Sinnott, Kilcavan was nominated by Mr Thomas Mayler, Harristown for election to the Board of Guardians of the Wexford Poor Law union.

On Sunday October 19th 1957 Wexford defeated Carlow at Dr Cullen Park, Carlow on a score-line of 1—13 to 1—8 in the National Senior Football League; this is an extract from a report of the game:–

“Wexford’s star man was Corah Ramblers’ forward (and former inter-county wing back) Frank Cullen. Ever elusive at full-forward, he was too speedy and too clever for the home defence. He notched seven points of his side’s total.”

From The People January 1, 1936:–

“Ceilidh At Ballymitty—On Sunday night a very successful Ceilidh was held in Ballymitty Hall, under the auspices of the Tullicanna Branch of the Gaelic League. There were about 200 couples present, which included contingents from many parts of the county. The arrangements in the capable hands of Messrs J. Carthy (President of the Branch), J. Martin (Treasurer) and P. Martin jun., (Hon. Sec.) were all that could be desired. Dancing commenced at 8 pm and ended at midnight. As M. C. Mr John Butler kept everything going like clock-work and the general opinion was that it was one of the most successful functions of the kind held in Ballymitty for a long time. The new Ceilidh Band, lately organised in the district, supplied an excellent programme of music. The following comprised the players:–

Messrs James Cullen and John Murphy (violins), James Hawkins, J. J. Holmes and Rupert Martin (accordeons), Thomas Malin (piecolo) and Stephen Keane (flute).”

One would imagine that a band would have a drummer.  They seemed to have nobody playing the tin whistle or flute.

From The People April 28th 1951:–

“The Irish Lincoln—The win of the Penny on the Jack in the Irish Lincoln was a very popular one as the jockey—P. F. Conlon—has family associations with Bannow. Local punters had him heavily backed.

Golf—Work was in progress during the week on the golf course on Bannow green. It is hoped to have many interesting contests there this summer.”

From The Wexford Independent April 5th 1851:–

“To Be Sold

The Interest in a Farm

Containing forty Irish acres of good land, a dwellinghouse and offices, situate at Wellingtonbridge, well circumstanced for sale of coal and culm.

For particulars apply to R. D’Ousley, Esq., Collector of Customs, Wexford; or Mr George Langley, Maudlintown, Carrick, Co. Wexford.”

40 Irish acres might represent 64 acres in modern statute measure.

From The London Post October 29th 1737:–

“They write from Wexford that on Wednesday the 12th instant Nicholas Loftus Hume Esq., was unanimously elected Member of Parliament for the Borough of Bannow in that county, in the room of William Harrison; where there was a very great appearance of the Protestant people of that county, who sincerely rejoic’d that the Borough was again restor’d to the family of Loftus Hall, in which it had been time out of mind.”

From The People November 7th 1857:–

“Married—On Monday the 2nd instant, at Carrig, by the Rev. Patrick Sheridan C. C. Mr Michael O’Neill, Cloughalthy, to Mary, youngest daughter of Mr William Stafford, Shaystown.”

Robert Leigh of Rosegarland wrote in 1684:–

“It is believed that Clonmines (called in Irish Clonemeene) took its name from the silver or royall mines formerly dug there; and on the other side of the river, over against it in the barony of Bargy, there are still to be seen five or six deepe pits or mines and some of the oar that was cast up, which seemes to contain more lead than silver. There lived in these partes, within a few years, a very old man, that said he remembered to have seen miners at worke there, but that the river water (neere the banks of which those mines are) came in upon the workmen so fast, when they were deepe in ground, as that they were forced to quit the undertaking for good and all. The towne land of Clonmines is now for the most part the inheritance of the Earle of Anglesey. The river there aboutes yeilds good fish, as base, mullet, and abundance of fluckes and (from Michaelmas tide till after Christmas), salmon is in very good season and so doth the river of Rosegarland, and the Blackwater that falls into it as aforesaid, whereas few other rivers in Ireland affords any salmon at that time of the year.”

Mr Leigh’s spelling may reflect the influence of continental linguistic influence; a not to be an unexpected feature of the dialect of this area.

The famous scholar Herbert F. Hore in a footnote contradicts one of Mr Leigh’s assertions:–

“The “mines” did not give the name to Clonmines (or Cluainmain, i.e. “Ecclesiastic Retreat on the plain”, being situated at Barrystown). The state papers of the middle of the sixteenth century contain some curious particulars as to the workings of these mines.”