Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, awesome, a historian supreme, dauntless, humble, modest, charismatic, charming, blessed among the women, inspiring and inspired, loath to self brag, scholarly, erudite, an unprecedented genius and above all else—wily, that wily boy from beside the mine pits. Always a recipient of gold and silver—the hallmark of every Barrystown child. If it is true, it ain’t bragging. They are saying that John C. Tuomy did a lot of bragging about himself and that, therefore, he could not have come from Bannow though he wrote incessantly about it—a true son of Carrig-on-Bannow never brags.

There is no need for me to brag about my lecture on the history of Hurling plus an account of the Cloughbawn hurlers from 1947 to 1952; the world is already bragging about it. To speak in analogies, that period now seems a place vacated; an era becoming history and not part of the present. At the co. finals in 1949 and 1951 (played in May and June 1952 due to a replay) the men were dressed in white shirts, ties and suits—not those awful jeans and cords that are now required uniform wear, even on formal occasions but maybe my sartorial ideas are dated. The heat in Wexford Park at the drawn 1951 Cloughbawn v Horeswood Co. Senior Hurling Final in May 1952 was stifling, enervating and over-coming. In May 1952 the “I Hear” columnist in The Free Press quoted a young lady in the crowd at the Co. Final saying that the side-line and goals flags needed washing; they were washed on the day of the replay in June. They probably washed by hand then. My lecture is on the 29th of September at Clonroche Community Centre after the brief A. G. M. of Clonroche History Society at 8.30 pm.

On the 31st of July 1939 Mr A. John B. Boyd, Kiltra House, wrote to the Co. Council for refund of rates:–

“Rate no. 15a Kiltra—Mrs Dora Boyd—is on a house which has been in ruin for nearly twenty years, so will you please have it struck off your list and will let me know how I put in a claim for refund of rates.” It was decided to inform Mr Boyd that the Finance Committee have no power to make refund of rates in the circumstances.

From Forth and Bargy Notes on June 7th 1952:–

“Home From America—Mr John Miskella of Cleveland, Ohio, is paying a visit to his brother, Mr Patrick Miskella, Johnstown, Duncormack. A native of Barrystown, Wellingtonbridge, Mr Miskella, emigrated to America nearly 25 years ago. He hopes to return for good to Ireland when he retires in a few years time.

Who among my readers recalls Miskellas in Barrystown; the hints in the notes are that this family may have moved to Duncormack but I could be completely wrong on that.

Dance in Carrig—The function in Carrig Hall on Sunday night organised by Ballymitty G. A. A. Club was splendidly patronised and a most enjoyable night was spent. Mr R. Dake was M. C.

Accident—While driving cattle to Taghmon fair, Mr T. Doyle, Cullenstown, suffered a dislocation of the shoulder, following a fall, as he endeavoured to get the cattle back to the road when they broke away.

Carrig Cinema—On to-morrow (Sunday) night Carrig Cinema presents the film “The Inspector General” starring Danny Kaye. It is a riot of singing and dancing. On Thursday, June 12th, the film “At The Circus” starring the inimitable laughter makers, the Mark (sic) Brothers, will be on show. Groucho, Chico and Harpo are at their best in this grand and side-splitting film.”

I think that it is the Marx Brothers that are referred to; probably a misprint.

On the fifth of January 1952 the Free Press reported that Mr James Mc Cormack M. P. S. I. died at his residence “Ardeevin”, Spawell Road on the previous Saturday. A native of Arnestown, Ballymitty, he qualified as a pharmacist in 1906 and established a very successful business in North Main Street, Wexford, “where it is being carried on by his son, Mr Eamonn Mc Cormack L. P. S. I.” Mr Mc Cormack was a member of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland. The obituary continued–“His popularity in Wexford town and district was widespread for he was very obliging and courteous and his ability and kindly disposition was much appreciated by all who knew him. He had a national outlook in political affairs and for his activities in the early years of the Independence movement he suffered internment for a period in Kilworth Camp, Co. Cork, in 1920. After the establishment of the Free State, he was one of the first Peace Commissioners appointed in this county. In his youth he was a keen footballer, winning a county championship medal playing for Ballymitty, a club in which his nephews are prominent players to-day. His sons are well known athletes at local sports meetings and Mr Eamonn Mc Cormack had represented the county N. A. C. A. in inter-provincial competitions. He is survived by his wife, who was formerly Miss Lena Walsh of New Ross, his sister Miss Statia Mc Cormack, Arnestown; one brother Mr John Mc Cormack, Ballymitty; six sons and two daughters, to whom sincere sympathy is extended in their bereavement. He was father of Sister Mary of St Agnes, Perpetual Adoration Convent, Wexford; Dr Kevin Mc Cormack, Kampala, Uganda; Mr Aidan Mc Cormack, Cardiff and brother of the late Very Rev. Aidan Mc Cormack, P. P. of Kilanerin.

Most Rev. Dr Staunton, Lord Bishop of Ferns, presided at the Office and High Mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Wexford, on Monday. Rev. T. Murphy C. C. was celebrant.

There was a large attendance at the funeral to St Ibar’s Cemetery. The chief mourners were:–Mrs L. Mc Cormack (wife); Miss Kathleen Mc Cormack (daughter); Eamonn Mc Cormack L. P. S. I.; Brendan, Owen and Con Mc Cormack (sons); Jack Mc Cormack, Ballymitty (brother); Miss Statia Mc Cormack (sister); Bridie and Tess Mc Cormack (nieces); Sean, Paddy, Jim, Aidan and Nicholas Mc Cormack, Ballymitty (nephews). The prayers at the graveside were recited by Rev. J. M. Butler Adm. Wexford; Rev. T. Nolan St Peter’s College; Rev. T. Rossiter St Peter’s College; Very H. O’Byrne President St Peter’s College; Rev. W. Gaul St Peter’s College; Rev. M. Doyle C. C. and Rev. Fr Bertrand O. F. M.”

Jack and Paddy Mc Cormack were, indeed, famous and outstanding footballers and played both on county teams and on the Ballymitty team that won the Co. Junior Football Championship of 1912 (played in 1913) but it is news to me that James Mc Cormack played on the Championship winning team of 1912. That is not to deny that he did: I simply did not come across such information previously.

As it is more or less obligatory to have an item on Tom Boyse in each Blog, I take this piece of an account of the meeting of the General Association or Catholic Association in The Wexford Independent on the 17th of August 1836:–

“Mr F. W. Conway proposed Mr Boyse of Bannow and handed in eleven pounds as the subscription of that gentleman and his father. This acclamation was received with loud cheers.

Mr Costelloe said that he had the honour of having met Mr Boyse at a tithe meeting and heard him declare his sentiments in the most chaste and classic terms. He was a man who deserved well of Ireland; he was a thorough going Reformer and the father of his tenantry.”

As with the boy from Barrystown they were always praising Tom Boyse.

From The Free Press 21st of June, 1952:–

“Bees In A Letterbox

When Mr T. Wallace, postman, went to clear a pillar box at Bannow, during the week he found it occupied by a swarm of bees. With the aid of a local bee-keeper, he got them dislodged and cleared his box.” It would be one way of sending bees in the post without the expense of a stamp.

From The Free Press the 17th of May 1952:

“Unusual Find—When Mr Seamus Nolan was renovating his licensed premises at Cullenstown he got a surprise when he discovered in a wall a large bottle of castor oil sealed and intact. The premises are one of the oldest in the county.

Horse Drops Dead—While drawing a load of sand from the beach at Cullenstown strand on Friday of last week a horse owned by Mr J. J. Furlong, dropped dead under the cart.”

The Echo on April 15th 1950 had an account of the priests at Carrig-on-Bannow in centuries past—I quote from it:–

“Rev. Stephen Lambert was P. P. of Bannow from 1712 till his death on November 21st 1751, aged 80. He resided at Lacken and was interred at Duncormack, where his monument may be seen. Rev. John Fitzhenry, a native of Adamstown, was P. P. from 1751 to 1782. Bishop Sweetman made a visitation of the parish on June 26, 1753 and describes the pastor as an honest, indolent man.” Father Fitzhenry’s silver chalice, dated 1776, is till preserved in the presbytery at Newbawn. He resided at Ballygow and died January 23rd, 1782 and was interred at Adamstown, where a fine monument was erected to his memory.

Very Rev. Michael Canon Fitzhenry, a nephew of Bishop Sweetman, and of the preceding pastor, was made Canon on March 20th, 1773 and was appointed P. P. in 1782 but fell into ill-health in the Autumn of 1789. Rev. Laurence Comerford was therefore sent as his assistant in the Autumn of 1789. However, Canon Fitzhenry did not long survive and he passed peacefully away on December 4th , at the early age of 49 and was interred in the grave of his uncle at Adamstown. His epitaph is still decipherable and he is described as “universally regretted” and a “worthy successor” to his uncle.

Rev. Andrew Devereux C. C. of the Hook, was appointed P. P. on December 17th 1789. In the Episcopal Register, his appointment is given as “Pastor Ecclesial S. M. V. de Bannow cum suis annexis, scil. Parochus de Carrig, Ambrostown, Ballymitty, Shimogue and Ballingly.” On the same day Rev. Laurence Comerford C. C. was appointed curate of Ballymitty. Father Devereux was a native of Danescastle and resided at Lacken. He had a short pastorate and died on July 27th, 1793, aged 43.

Rev. Edward Murphy, a native of New Ross, was appointed P. P. on August 6th 1793 and had a pastorate of 37 years. Father Murphy experienced all the troubles incidental to the ’98 period, and his portrait has been vividly penned by Mrs S. C. Hall. He built a thatched chapel at Ballymitty in 1806, replacing the former chapel at Tullicanna. His curate, Rev. John Sutton, died on June 16th, 1821 and was replaced by Rev. James Harpur. Father Murphy died on June 23rd, 1830, aged 80.

Very Rev. Peter Corish, C. C. of Gorey since 1822, was promoted P. P. in August and had a pastorate of 43 years. His curate, Rev. Martin Murphy (sic) (1834—46) commenced the erection of a new church at Carrig in 1836, towards the erection of which Mr Thomas Boyse of Bannow generously contributed. It was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph on April 6th 1856, by Bishop Murphy, the preacher being Rev. Thomas Burke O. P. Canon Corish built a church at Ballymitty and effected much good during his long pastorate. He died on June 16th, 1873, aged 88, and was buried in Carrig.”

There are two obvious mistakes in the above—surely obvious to all of my readers who undoubtedly have read my article “Tom Boyse’s High Steeple” in the last Journal of the Wexford Historical Society. Rev. Martin Moran was the curate at Carrig-on-Bannow and he was associated with the building of the new chapel there as Fr Corish ministered in Ballymitty due to a row about his appointment to Bannow but he was the Parish Priest. The famous preacher Fr Cahill preached at the dedication and consecration of Carrig-on-Bannow chapel. I think that Canon Gahan’s book on the secular clergy of the diocese of Ferns is now the most factual and correct account of the clergy in the various parishes. It is a monumental work, painstaking research. It is in Wexford Library.

From The People November 21, 1891:–

“Breen—November 18, at Dublin, James Bree, eldest son of John Breen, Carrig, aged 20 years. Funeral will [arrive?] Wexford at 10am on to-day (Saturday) for interment in Bannow. Deeply regretted by a large circle of friends. American papers please copy.”

From The County Wexford Independent, May 5th 1906:

“Ballymitty v Wexford Independents

The final of the No. 2 football county championship, Wexford district, was played at New Ross on Sunday. A report of the match appears in another column. The game resulted in a draw, both teams having four points scored after the hour’s play!” The exclamation marks indicate amazement at the low scoring. Maybe James M’Cormack, the pharmacist, played in that.

From The County Wexford Independent June 8th 1907:


Cahill—On June 1st, at Cullenstown, Thomas Cahill, aged 51 years; deeply regretted—R. I. P.”

Barry—On Friday May 31st, at his residence, Ballyfrory, Bannow, after a fortnight’s illness, fortified by the rites of the Holy Catholic Church, John L. Barry District Councillor, aged 59 years—R. I. P.

The obituary of John Barry stated that he belonged to a very old and respected family, being a first cousin to Mr John Barry ex-M. P. and nephew to the late Father Barry, Crossabeg and the late Fr Colfer of Bannow.

Interment took place at Carrig on Sunday and the long procession of vehicles which followed the remains to their last resting place proved the high esteem in which deceased was held. The chief mourners were—Messrs L. Barry D. C., Kilmore; M. Murphy, Kilmore; J. E. Mayler M. C. C., Harristown; J. Meyler D. C. do and P. Meyler (cousins).”

From The People the 8th of May 1918:–

“Wanted, general farm man, (married) to attend cattle, sheep, milk;  wife, poultry;  send testimonials to J. B. Boyd, Kiltra, Wellingtonbridge, Co. Wexford.”

I presume that “wife, poultry” meant that the wife should be good at handling poultry.

From The Co. Wexford Independent 10th March 1906:–

“What a Referee Says

Mr J. M’Cormack who so ably refereed both matches in Wexford Park on Sunday, and who is recognised as one of our best administers of Gaelic rules on the football field, spoke to his charges as follows—Gaels of Wexford (perhaps I am addressing the junior champions), permit me as a referee to speak a few words to you ere I start the game. First of all a referee’s task is a very responsible one, for an accident may occur during the game, and the fault is certain to be laid on him. Therefore, I intend to make you play the game, and by you so doing it will help me to perform my duty and to the satisfaction of both teams. Secondly, I intend to put down roughness with a firm hand, for you are all well aware that such conduct tends to degrade our Gaelic games—some of the few of four grand old pastimes; and finally, I want you to play the game in such a manner and in such a spirit that, when the hour is ended¸ victor and vanquished may clasp hands in a friendly shake and say, “Brother Gaels, I congratulate you; it was the better team won.”

It does not follow that the better team will inevitably win; random effects, freak occurrences, injuries, unexpected sickness afflicting a good player, a referee’s decisions and good or bad luck may doom the better team to defeat. Jack M’Cormack (as they spelled the name then) spoke plainly and in forceful terms; he played football not only for Ballymitty but also for Wexford. He was later elected as a District Councillor. He was brother of James Mc Cormack the pharmacist in Wexford town who died in January 1952 and of course brother of Paddy Mc Cormack, Arnestown.