Hi, it’s the boy from Barrystown but I do not have time this week to do a recital of my greatness as I am so busy finalising my lecture on the hurling for September 29th at Clonroche. Anybody who respects himself or herself will be there.

From The Enniscorthy Guardian April 19th 1941:–

“Frazer in his Survey of county Wexford tells us about the Danes having a mint at Clonmines but does not allude to Henry VIII, Edward III, Queens Mary and Elizabeth having mints there as well as working mines. In July 1550, King Edward III sent instructions to Sir Anthony St Leger, the Lord Deputy and Council of Ireland, for the management of the mines of silver at Clonmines. On January 12th, 1552 Joachim Gunderfilgen explained to the Privy Council that he was building a workshop at New Ross and was unable to send particulars about the mines. Sixteen days later Robert Record, surveyor of mines for the Privy Council of England complained to the King of the great waste of Alamin (Dutch) miners at their washings, maltings and finings. He says:–“The waste is excessive. He hopes to save two thousand pounds yearly till the mines may be sunk deeper and then he hopes to have much greater gains. The English and Irishmen employed are better skilled than the Almains. The King’s charges are at this hour over £260 per month and the gains not above £40 so His Majesty loses £220 monthly. The surveyor of Mines Mr Record evidently wanted to get the management of the mines and works into his hands and shortly after Gerard Harmon wrote to the Privy Council imputing the decay at the mines to Mr Record.” He further states—“the mines are very rich, profitable and commodious” and concludes by complaining of the “wilfulness, pride, presumption and covetousness of Mr Record.”

Jealousy seemed to be at work between those in charge of the mines. About this time the Lord Deputy wrote to Secretary Cecil describing the miserable condition of Ireland in consequence of the unsettled state of the currency. The King, in answer, directs that Martin Pirry, under treasurer to the mint; Oliver Daubeny, comptroller and William Williams, assay master, should go over to Ireland to coin money. Pirry was directed to visit the mines at Clonmines and report on their management and on August 12th, he sent an inventory of “all the King’s stuff” remaining at Barrystown, Clonmines and Ballyhack. Mr Record, having received a check from the English Privy Council relative to his management of the mines, sent back on May 9th 1552, an account of the total sums expended on the works from 13th April 1552 up to that period. Six days after this letter Joachim Gunderfilgen again complained to the Privy Council and informed them, “that many of our body (workmen) have fallen sick and three have died from lack of victuals.” On the 1st of August 1552, Joachim sent his books of the Almain (Dutch) miners from the commencement of their work on the 17th July 1551 to the 1st August, 1552 at Clonmines and Ross. Silver and lead ore, it may be pointed out, were molten at Ross. In October 1553, Queen Mary sent instructions to the Lord Deputy to cause a cessation of all works at the mines and in the same letter she commanded him to “restore the old religion and to reduce Leinster”; the Kavanaghs and others at that time being rather troublesome to the Government. It is not know if the mines were closed during the short reign of Queen Mary but that they were in the early part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth is evident from the letter written by Sir William Fitzwilliam to Cecil, Secretary of State, in which he refers to his dealings with Walter Pepparde concerning the lead and ore at Clonmines and Ross. He says “that Pepparde will only give him half his demand but his –is not great in such matters.” About this time John Eustace and Patrick Sarsfield entered into recognisance’s with the government for the sum of £2,000….[unreadable text]  Pepparde also gave bonds for the exportation of the ores and metals of the mines. He afterwards entered into a bond with Queen Elizabeth to give up all tools, instruments etc, used in the mines on the expiration of the lease. Notwithstanding all the bonds and deeds entered into Sir William Fitzwilliams was suspicious of Pepparde’s management and he informed the Secretary of State “that he was going to have one cwt of the ore from Clonmines fired in his own house.” He, also, requested that Pepparde “may be stayed ‘till he had made this experiment.”

On March 12th 1564 Pepparde appealed to Cecil (Secretary of State) “that he may have a letter to the Commissioners now coming over to examine into his grief and end it according to right.” Then, on May 10th John Chaloner wrote to Cecil intimating that he heard that Walter Pepparde had no workmen at Clonmines for the last eight months, which was contrary to his indenture. He made the request that  Pepparde’s lease should be surrendered to the Queen and granted onto him (Chaloner) as Pepparde had refused to give him up the store. Pepparde having died Queen Elizabeth in October 1565, directed Lord Deputy Sydney to examine into Pepparde’s affairs as regards Clonmines and have a certificate returned of their true circumstances and what he might deem just for her to allow Pepparde’s widow in equity and conscience. Pepparde’s son was afterwards accused of treason but acquitted. He and his mother applied to the Privy Council that they might be permitted to proceed by law against such as did spoil them of £4,000 notwithstanding their pardon for treason. Owing to the constant quarrelling going on between persons trying to get the mines they ceased to be worked for many years. About the year 1840 the mines at Barrystown were re-opened and were under the supervision of a Cornish gentleman’s experience in mine working. They were worked until famine when with the general dislocation of industrial activities they were closed down never to be re-opened again.”

The details about the Barrystown mines are not exactly correct—I will get the correct details and put them on a future blog.

From The People May 16th 1891:–



May 14th , 1891

Sir—I gave no authority whatever to have my name as a collector of the Parnell Fund. I now disclaim all connection with him and his followers.

Your obedient servant

James Daly, Poor Law Guardian.”

It is difficult to see how any ordinary Irishman could have agreed with Charles Stuart Parnell, the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party. There is no doubt that he was an inspiring leader but his affair with Mrs O’Shea was not a feasible option for a political leader in that era in Britain, let alone in Ireland. The last thing post-Famine Ireland wanted was sexual license and a weakening of marital bonds; mad demographics charted the road to Famine in 1845—1848. It would be extremely difficult for the Catholic Church at that time to endorse as the national leader a man who was living with a married woman and who was named in the husband’s divorce suit. If such became a common paradigm of life then the Poor Law system would be burdened with unwanted and abandoned children and destitute deserted wives. The payment of alimony and child maintenance by divorcing husbands in 1891 in Ireland would amount to grim comedy. All the authorities, civil and religious would have to insist that married men stay with their families and support them. To do otherwise would be a dereliction of responsibility.

From The Free Press February 23rd 1935:–

Entertainment at Carrig—On Tuesday night, a very fine concert and dramatic entertainment was given in the new hall, Balloughton, by the members of the Carrig-on-Bannow Dramatic Class and Concert Troupe. The function was in aid of the parochial fund and the attendance, though the weather was anything but favourable, was very large, the fine hall being packed to its utmost capacity. The recently organised Dramatic Class acquitted themselves very creditably and now that they have been placed on a firm basis, they should keep it up, as they give good promise of developing into as good a rural class as is to be found. Mr T. Wallace carried out the duties of stage manager as to the manner born. The music was supplied by Messrs H. Bowe (violin¸ M. Walsh and J. Hogan (flutes) and J. J. Holmes (accordion). The following programme was give:–Songs—“Love Thee Dearest” and “Friend of Mine”, Mr P. Redmond; Song, “Kerry Long Ago”, Miss M. Warren; comic songs, Mr J.J. Holmes; reel, Miss F. Rossiter; songs, “Ben Bolt” and “Mary of Argyle”, Mr W. Roche; songs, “I Don’t Care If I Do” and “Over the Mountain” Mr W. Rigley, Bannow; song “My Love, Nell”, Mr T. Crosbie; 3 hand reel, Misses F. Colfer, F. Rossiter and Mr W. Purcell; vocal duet, Messrs Roche and Redmond; dialogue and comic songs, Messrs T. Crosbie and J. J. Holmes; hop jig, Misses F. Colfer and F. Rossiter; song “Pat Molloy and the ass”, Mr W. Rigley; song, “When Your Hair is Turned to Grey”, Miss Warren. In a stirring drama entitled “In the days of the Black and Tans” the following members of the Dramatic Class took part:–Misses Mollie Devereux and Josie Byrne, and Messrs M. Byrne¸ P. Byrne, J. Cousins, T. Wallace, W. Purcell, R. Dake, and J. J. Holmes. The Dramatic Class, also, played a very laughable farce. At the conclusion, the Rev. Father Doyle thanked the artistes and Dramatic Class or their great help in bringing off so successful an entertainment. He, also, tendered his very sincere thanks to the Rev. Mr Furlong and the members of the New Hall Committee for their kindness in giving the use of the splendid hall for the occasion and he thanked the audience for their patronage.”

The People reported on January 28, 1860 that Martin Cleary of Maxboley had died aged 90 years. “He had been engaged in five battles during the insurrection of 1798.”

From The Forth and Bargy Notes April 6th 1935:–

“The Mechanical Hare—There will be a mechanical hare meeting at Carrig-on-Bannow on Sunday and two stakes are provided—one open to all comers and one for dogs 13 inches and under. Entries will be accepted up to 2 pm on the day of the meeting and prizes will be divided in proper proportion amongst the winners and placed dogs. An energetic committee with Mr Willie Neville, an old Gael, as Hon. Sec. will have everything in perfect order for the occasion and with a very suitable field near the village being got ready the success of the fixture is a foregone conclusion. The gate receipts will be added to the parochial fund.

Bannow Hurling Club—The members of the newly formed Bannow Hurling Club are leaving nothing to chance in getting into their best form for the championships. They will field a team for the first time on Sunday week when they are down to meet the Taghmon St Munn’s at Rack’s Cross, the most popular G.A. A. centre for matches south of Wexford town. It is heartening  to see the fine old Irish game of hurling taking on in the district and its popularity will not be dimmed if the Bannow boys are only second best to the more experienced St Munn’s. If they keep on there will be plenty of victories in store for them when they become masters of the game.

The Wexford Independent reported on the 12th of January 1848 that Paddy Cahill had died on the 7th of January on Bannow Island, aged 85 years. The celebrated “Bannow Boatman” in Anna Maria Hall’s Sketches was based on him. Paddy Cahill and his people had rented the Island for two centuries from the Colclough family. John Tuomy (who else)  wrote in the obituary:–

“Cahill, in early life, to the business of a farmer, added that of a mariner and traded in his own sloop to different ports along the Irish coast, and beyond the channel. It was in “the sear and yellow leaf” of life, and when his family had grown up, that “Paddy” betook himself to the occupation of ferryman. In February 1836, when for the first time, I visited Bannow and full of Mrs Hall’s glowing descriptions of Irish scenes, in company with a lamented friend, now no more, I went to pay my respects to the “Boatman”. True to Mrs Hall’s sketch, we found him on the bank, his boat upturned on the beach and in the immediate vicinity of a wretched thatched cottage. He was a man of herculean frame and after a first salutation “to go acrass!” we answered not and said we only came to see him—Aye, aye, said he, this is some of Mrs Hall’s doings. “Order me out half-a-pint (pointing to the cabin) and you shall know all. “The native” was quickly forthcoming and Paddy having quaffed a glass to our good health, entered into very interesting anecdotes of Miss Fielding’s early life, how often he had since passed her and her husband “acrass the ferry” and related how many strangers, induced by her sketch, had come to see him. The cabin was not the boatman’s house; it was that of a poor woman, who generally kept “a drop to warm the people” passing and re-passing the ferry. “Paddy” true to his vocation, plied his boat to the last and to his credit, be it told, he never charged persons in his own rank of life, more than “a glass of grog at the little house.” From “gentle folk” he thankfully received whatever piece of money they chose to bestow. The boatman’s remains were on Sunday the 9th, interred, within the mouldering walls of the old church of Bannow, a ruin well known to the distinguished Authoress, who first brought poor Cahill, into public notice, as “The Bannow Boatman.”

The above proves that John C. Tuomy first came to Bannow in February 1836 but where did he come from? To teach in Taghmon and if so how did he get to Bannow so regularly? He was a superb writer, without peer.