Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown who should really change his name, as using his present name they are so many contacting me about historical issues. But who could blame them? Where will my like be ever found again: a sheer genius with an intelligence greater than that of Einstein, blessed among the women, erudite, scholarly, eloquent, moves and speaks with panache, truly larger than life and, above all else, the most devious and wily of them all, that wily boy from beside the mine pits. Whatever about acquiring a second name, it does seem that I have acquired a second birthday! On perusing my Baptismal Certificate, kindly and promptly sent to me by Father Kehoe, I see that Fr John O’Brien wrote that I was born on the 23rd of April 1951. My birth certificate states that I was born on the 22nd of April, 1951. Such an ambiguity could easily arise: maybe I was born close to 12 o’clock on the night of the 22nd of April; another possibility is that in an era when children were effectively required to be Baptised as quickly as possible after birth, maybe somebody crafted the fiction of placing my birth a day further on! In an era when transport meant resort to bicycles and horse or/ass drawn vehicles, it would be a daunting task to make preparations for a Baptism quickly and effectively. So now I have two birthdays and I propose to celebrate both of them.

On the 16th of December 1819, the good ship The Demerary struck the lesser of the Keroe Islands or rocks and all twenty of its crew perished and were buried in the one grave; a day or two later two more bodies washed ashore. They were buried in The Cill Park at Cullenstown. It seems that the grave yard is marked in a map among the nigh countless extant documents of The Demerary. It was all a long time ago—as in a Jack Kennedy gaff of a joke!—but the irony is that the archives in Britain are literally awash with information about the wreck of The Demerary. John Mc Clune was Master of the ship and its cargo was sugar, rum, coffee and cotton. The ferocious weather made it impossible to get any ship out to the wreck. Shipwrecks were rife at that time of the year. The folklore about the Demerary floundering on one of the Saltees Islands is incorrect. The Lloyd’s Register constantly spelled the name of the ship as The Demerera. On the 19th of December 1819 Samuel and Sandham Elly, New Ross, Agents for Llyods asserted that “it speaks well for the honesty of people that one badly mutilated letter, containing six one British pounds and five guineas was safely lodged with us.” The accounts of determined—almost outlandish—honesty among the people of the parish of Carrig-on-Bannow are so frequent in that era, that any observer has to conclude that such is not mere mythology or codology but genuine truth. The traditions of the people of Bannow are most proud ones.

Anyway there is no excuse for anybody anywhere (let alone in the parish of Carrig-in-Bannow) not to know the story of the good ship The Demerary as Edward J. Bourke (a most erudite scholar on ancient shipping matters) published an enthralling and most informative article on this ship-wreck in 2008 issue of The Journal of the Wexford Historical Society. This article is now on Google.

Bernard Browne in his lecture to the Wexford Historical Society made a pleasant reference to my accounts of Mr Peter Ffrench M. P. for South County Wexford—or at least, I am told that. I do not need to observe that Mr Browne is an assiduous and brilliant historian. I have an item on Mr Ffrench later in this Blog.

From The People the 9th of February 1881:–

“The tenants on the Clonmines property have again to return their most sincere thanks to Mr Darcy for his kind consideration in allowing them 20 per cent on a year’s rent, no matter how much they owe him. Mr Darcy is one of those landlords who don’t want Coercion Acts to recover their rents; for he never met a tenant with a frown in his face, with money or without it, although the property cost him £19,000 in the Landed Estates Court a short time ago—[submitted by]A Correspondent.”

The Landed Estates Court put up for public auction bankrupt estates so the previous owner of the Clomines estate must have rendered it bankrupt. One of the Darcy [or D’Arcy] family represented Co. Wexford in Parliament.

From The People the 11th of July 1908:–


The holiday resort that is fastly becoming the most popular in county  Wexford is Cullinstown by the sea, near the buried city of Bannow. Hundreds of cyclists flock there every Sunday and the best of order prevails. The aspect here is a southern one and the sea bathing is very safe. It is no wonder that such crowds assemble there every Sunday. The restaurant and tea rooms established a few years ago are an immense addition to the place”

From The People the 11th of July 1908:–

“Mr Ffrench’s Bill

The Coroners (Ireland) Bill, which was brought in by Mr Ffrench has successfully passed through the various stages of the House of Commons and gone up to the Lords. The Member for South Wexford [Mr Ffrench] assiduously watched over his Bill and has been complimented by the Irish Attorney General, his own colleagues and by several members on his own side of the House. The Coroners (Ireland) Bill, if passed into law, will supply the want that has long been felt, and Mr Ffrench will have placed on the Statute Book a really useful Act.”

From The Echo,  the 13th of May 1939



PETER CREAN, late of Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Shop Assistant—Deceased

Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the Statute 30 and 31 Vic. Cap. 54 that the above named Peter Crean, deceased, who died on the 25th day of January 1939, by his will, dated the 10th day of January 1918, made the following donations and bequests, viz.,

To the Reverend John Codd, Administrator, Enniscorthy, the sum of £100 for the renovation or repair of the Enniscorthy Cathedral.

To the Reverend John Codd, Administrator Enniscorthy, the sum £50 for the celebration of Masses for the repose of deceased’s soul and the souls of deceased’s relatives and friends at an honorarium of 10 shillings for each Mass.

To the Reverend James Sinnott, Superior of the House of Missions, Enniscorthy, the sum of £100 to be applied in Ireland in such manner as he in his uncontrolled discretion thinks fit for the objects and towards the support of the said House of Missions.

To the Reverend Mother Patrick, Superior of the Convent of Mercy, Enniscorthy, the sum of £100, to be applied in such manner as he shall in her uncontrolled discretion think fit for the object and towards the support of the Convent of Mercy.

To the Reverend Father O’Connor C. C. Ballymitty, the sum of £100 for the renovation or repair of the Catholic Church at Ballymitty.

To the Prior of the Augustinian Convent Grantstown, the sum of £50 for the celebration of Masses for the repose of deceased’s soul and the souls of the deceased’s relatives and friends at honorarium of 10 shilling for each Mass.

To the Prior of the Augustinian Convent, Grantstown, the sum of £50 for the celebration of Masses for the repose of the deceased’s soul and the souls of deceased’s relatives and friends at an honorarium of 10 shillings for each Mass.

To the Society of St Vincent de Paul (St Mary’s Conference, Enniscorthy) the sum of £25 for the charitable purpose and objects of the said Society.

Probate of said will was on the 27th April 1939, granted forth of the High Court of Justice, Eire, to John Crean of Ballymitty, and Patrick Doran of Knocktarton, Farmer, The Executors therein named.

Dated this 11th of May 1939

John A. Sinnott & Co.

Solicitors, Enniscorthy


The Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests and all others whom it may concern.”

There is no doubt that the stipend of ten shillings for each Mass celebrated for a named or named persons brought in welcome revenue to the Catholic clergy who would in a money pinching era have a need of it. The theology of it would seem doubtful, however, and inadvertently seem to ease the way of richer people to Heaven: it was anticipated that the Masses celebrated for the deceased person or soul of same would earn a remittance of the time spent in Purgatory where souls were purified before entry to Heaven.

Peter Crean was not a mere shop-assistant but, also, a director of Donohoe’s, Enniscorthy where he worked. He was a native of Ballymitty.

From The People the 17th of August, 1912:–

“Unprotected Shafts

Sergeant O’Keeffe, R. I. C., Wellingtonbridge, reported that there were six mine shafts on the lands of Mr W. H. Lett, Balloughton, Bannow, which should be enclosed by fencing; also, two other shafts in use recently required to be more securely faced.”

From The People the 19th of July 1911:–

“Operation Necessary

Dr J. B. Keogh, Bannow, wrote stating that he was obliged to go to Dublin to have an operation performed on his face. The condition was due to an attack of influenza contracted in the discharge of his medical duties. He enclosed a certificate from Dr Patrick Dempsey, Merrion-Square. He applied for three weeks leave of absence

Chairwoman—I am sure you will all be in favour of granting this leave?

Mr D. L. O’Brien—Has he mentioned a substitute?

Chairwoman—No. He leaves the appointment of substitute to the Guardians.

On the motion of Mr John Murphy, seconded by Mr James O’Connor, the leave request was granted. On the motion of Mr John Murphy, seconded by Mr Rossiter, Dr Hassett was appointed as substitute.”

From The People the 19th of August 1911:–


Not for a great number of years have the Cullenstown people witnessed such crowds as visited that popular resort on the 15th and made one wonder that they were in proximity with Bannow’s lonely shore.”

From The Wexford Independent the 20th of July 1859:–

“Traverse Case

The same jury were then re-sworn to hear the only traverse case before the Court.

Mr Ryan Q. C., on part of Mr J. Wm Deane of Longraigue appealed against the stoppage of a road from Nelson’s Bridge to the Cross of Ballyowen. He, then, produced a tracing of the line taken from the Co. Surveyor’s Office. Mr Deane as by the change injured more that served by a leveller and better road for carriages. Time and distance were more to Mr Deane than the new improvement and to others, also; but Mr Dean did not object to the old road which might be a benefit to others; only objected to the old one being shut up from him and his other neighbours. Mr Leigh had got another road but the Ratepayers had a right to object being inconvenienced for the right of others. The shutting up of the road was  of no advantage to any one except Mr Leigh.

Joseph W. Dean sworn—resides at Longraigue—knows the road in question-has frequently drawn from 400 to 500 barrels of lime in the season from Clonmines twice a day—the new line as turning back from his  direct way would cause him to turn up a bye lane; it would be to him a great inconvenience and delay; the new is, also, uphill and a heavy cutting; was never forced to stop his horse on the old road; it was singular that the metal had been taken off the old road; there is great traffic on the old road to Newbawn and Clongeen, but no use to his line from the new one; did not  oppose the new road as good to go to other places; was down the old road the other day and saw it tracked over, and although even so, it is used much still.

Cross-examined by Mr Johnson—Was one of the Associated Cesspayers when the road was passed; believes it to be a most useful road, but there was no understanding then that the old road was to be closed up. A Mr Brennan said there were too many roads, when it was remarked that there could be a shilling presentment go to close one—The difference between the old and new road to him would be considerable but every minute was a value and believes the distance to be nearly double. At present he makes two rounds a day and could do so by the new; the metal was taken off the old road to be put on the new, even though the new is not finished yet; the public use the old stripped road still.

Lord Henry Loftus sworn—Knows the line in question; knows where Mr Dean resides and knows the old road to have been most useful; would take the old road still.

To Mr Rolleston—The old road is hilly; so in a degree is the new one and about three-quarters of a mile longer; Mr Leigh said he would not oppose the new road but part of it was useless.

James B. Farrell sworn—Is the County Surveyor—know the road under traverse; measured the old road from Nelson’s Bridge to Ballyowen, also the new road and the lane spoken of by Mr Dean; the distance is 98 statute metres longer. (Mr Farrell here explained on the map to his Lordship the precise locations of each place.).

To Mr Johnson—Was by at the Presenting Sessions.

The Court remarked that the road had been presented as useless—was it so; that is the question. It may injure some any way.

Mr Ryan said the traverse was to try is the old road as useless. He said it was not.

Mr Farrell could not tell what passed at the Sessions between Mr Leigh and the Cesspayers; sees the line on the map; the old and new run a part way nearly parallel; considers the new road the better general line but the horse that went by the new would have about six minutes to lose on it; taking both horses to travel three miles an hour he came to that conclusion; the new road for the general purposes of the County is the one preferable—to keep open what Mr Dean wants would be about £2 a year or £3; the old one was a contract one; the length of the lane is no more than the old road and the new road causes the difference.

Thomas Power sworn—Is the proprietor of the limekilns at the strand of Clonmines; going to Mr Dean’s wou;d cross Nelson’s Bridge; three-fourths of the lime go up the old road; sells from 7,000 to 9,000 barrels of lime from the kilns; different parties told him they would not buy from him if the old road was stopped.

Cross-examined—If a good pack was on his back he would go up the old road, had seen cars going on the new road but none of them were going to Mr Dean’s district.

Mr Johnson addressed the jury remarking that Mr Deane had let the matter run to the last link in the limitation for objection and the County Surveyor had accordingly proceeded with the work presented and not traversed at last Assizes.  Mr Leigh had given up his property only asking as compensation the privilege of closing the old one and to that the Cesspayers had consented. The Cesspayers had not come forward and Mr Deane and that slender man, Mr Power, alone, came to represent them. He would call—

James Howlin, Esq.,–Is a Cesspayer, was present at the Sessions; does not always take part; at the Sessions the Cesspayers thought that it being an extreme end of the Barony was going to be more of use to Shelburne, objected to the great expenditure; witness was opposed but Mr Deane was highly favourable to it; Mr Farrell said it would take away the hills and Mr Leigh was to get the old in place of the new line; had witness stood in Mr Leigh’s coat would not have let the new road be made; he is one of the fairest men in our county.

Cross-examined—Cannot swear he was an associated Cesspayer sworn on that occasion but is always on the list; was not sworn on the day in question; holds farms but does not reside in the Barony; frequently uses the old road; Mr Deane was an associated Ratepayer; he was favourable to new road; a Cesspayer thought the old could be dispensed with.

E. R. O’Farrell sworn—Is the nominal contractor for closing the roads; has as many horses as Mr Deane and thinks he would discharge his servants if they made use of the old road; has seen several do the same and like him makes use of the new one; when finished no one but a madman would use the old one.

Cross-examined—Is the nominal contractor; if the traverse be carried witness would have to put on the old metal again; is on the very best of terms with Mr Deane.

Mr Ryan addressed the Jury for the Traverse, relying that they would concur with him that the old road was still valuable and of use to the Traverser not alone, but to many others and concluded by calling for a finding for the Traverser.

The Jury retired and were in consultation for half an hour. On coming out, the Foreman handed in the issue paper, finding for the presentment and against the traverse.”

The ordinary translation of the verdict is that Mr Deane lost his case!