Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, inspiring and inspired, innovative, original, eloquent, speak, writes and moves with panache, blessed among women, florist who grows fabulous sunflowers, historian supreme, scholar, erudite, a trainor of hurling teams, an intelligence far in excess of Einstein, visionary, seer, prophet, marathon runner, gifted at reciting poetry and above all else, wily—that wily boy from beside the mine pits, the most devious and wily of them all. It was always gold and silver for the Barrystown children.

The Waterford Chronicle on March 18th 1819 carried a report of the Wexford Assizes, lifted from The Wexford Herald [was it not wonderful that my ancestors got the Waterford papers!]. This extract recounts His Lordship (the appellation used for the presiding Justice) addressing the Grand Jury [who had responsibility for providing various services in the County Wexford]:–

“His Lordship then begged leave to draw their attention, which he did in the most earnest manner, to two memorials that had been put into his hand; one of them respecting the Dispensary and the other the Hospital of Ross. He had spoken to some of the persons connected with these establishments and could say that the most diligent attention was paid to the health and comfort of the patients and that the funds were providentially and faithfully administered. There was another institution, of recent date, formed in December 1818; it is called the “Bannow and Kilkevan Sick Poor Institution and Dispensary”. This, also, he would recommend, in the strongest manner, to their consideration. They can grant to the amount of £250 each, for such laudable purposes; and he was happy to observe that the County of Wexford was at present the most healthy county in the Kingdom, owing to the attention of the Gentlemen in their respective neighbourhoods….” I have no doubt that Sam and Tom Boyse had initiated this innovative development of establishing hospital and dispensary for the sick poor.

The People on Saturday August 6th 1859 carried a complaint from a Bannow reader:–

“Answer To Correspondent

“A Bannow Subscriber” informs us that he does not receive his papers regularly and that sometimes they come to him “thumbed, crumpled and soiled”, three or four days after publication. The letter-carrier of the district, he says, instead of having letters and papers sealed in a bag, “more generally has them roosted on his head or shoved into his pockets.” We hope this notice may meet the eye of the postmistress of Bannow and her assistant and save you the necessity of writing to the Postmaster-General.”

The Board of the Wexford Poor Law Union could not be accused of ageism, that latterly denounced policy of preventing people from working or seeking promotion on the basis of advanced years! As Ronald Reagan said in that U. S. A. Presidential debate long, long ago, he would resist any attempts to introduce the age issue as he did not, wish to exploit the youthfulness and political immaturity of his opponent, for political purposes.

This is an extract from a report of their first January meeting in 1907:–

“Midwife Resigns

Mrs B. Howlin, Ballymitty, wrote stating that owing to her recent illness she felt unable to resume her duties as midwife of the Bannow (No 2) dispensary district and tendering her resignation as such. She asked the Board to allow her the usual superannuation.

Lady M. Fitzgerald—I am sure it will be the wish of the Guardians to treat her considerately after her faithful service.

Mr Ennis—She is over 80 years of age.

Lady M. Fitzgerald—Yes; somebody said so.

Mr Hore—How long is she in the service?

Clerk—Twenty-six years.

Mr Murphy—What a year had she?

Clerk–£10; and £4 6 shillings and 8 pence or so would be her superannuation allowance.

Mr Murphy—I think these people are paid very well taking into account the position of the people who are paying them and I think they should provide for their old same as any other.

Lady M. Fitzgerald—I don’t think you could provide much out of £10 a year.

Mr Murphy—Well, I think the work she had was very light. At all events I’ll oppose superannuation. There was only one midwife before the district was divided.

Clerk—Yes; there was only one up to 1896.

Lady M. Fitzgerald—I suppose there must have been very good reason for making the change then.

Mr Walsh, Relieving Officer, said the Medical Officer of the district had informed him that a successor to Mrs Howlin would want to be appointed immediately; the other midwife was older than Mrs Howlin.

Mr Boggan suggested that the other midwife be called on to resign and to appoint one woman for the whole district at £20 a year.

Mr Hore—You won’t do that as long as she does her duty.

Mr Boggan—Well, there’s one thing certain, the thing is bound to come on. You are not going to get anybody to take Mrs Howlin’s portion for £10.

Clerk—And if you appointed a temporary midwife it will cost a good deal.

Mr Browne—You might get one at the rate of £10 when she would have a prospect of being appointed permanently.

It was decided to leave the matter in the hands of Dr Keogh pending the appointment of a successor to Mrs Howlin.”

As Mrs Howlin was over 80 years of age then the other midwife—who was older than Mrs Howlin—must have been approaching eighty five years of age. It beggars belief that anybody could carry out such duties at that age. I am unsure of the meaning of superannuation in that context—does it mean that Mrs Howlin would get £4 plus each year or did it mean that this was a once-off, lump sum?

There is no need for me to tell a Carrig-on-Bannow readership that Mr Peter Ffrench Member of Parliament was a native of Bannow; The County Wexford Independent on January 5th 1907 recounted his meeting with the National Teachers’ deputation:–

“Mr P. Ffrench M. P. and The Teachers

On New Year’s Day, the deputation appointed by the Wexford Teachers’ Association waited upon Mr Ffrench M. P. at Harpoonstown. The deputationists were—Messrs P. Doyle, Ballymitty; W. J. Lambert, Tagoat and N. P. Phillips, Balwinstown. Mr Doyle was unable to attend and Mr Kehoe was requested to attend in his stead. Mr Ffrench received the deputation most cordially and treated them in his usual kind and hospitable fashion. He entered largely into the details of the teachers’ grievances, assured them of his whole-hearted sympathy and promised that he would utilise the information acquired in the House of Commons on every available opportunity. He was at all times ready and willing to forward the interests of the teachers as far as he could and requested the teachers of Wexford to let him know of any grievance under which they labour and he would do his utmost to have them remedied. At the end of a long interview the deputationists warmly thanked Mr Ffrench for the very kind manner in which they were received and for the great interest which he took in their cause, after which they withdrew.”

The post of National Teacher carried a comparatively high status but the remuneration was low enough.

From The People February 1, 1873:–

“In The Goods of James Kehoe of Moortown, in The County of Wexford, Farmer Deceased

Take notice that the said James Kehoe by his last will and testament, dated the seventh day of October 1872, bequeathed the following legacies for charitable and pious purposes, viz:–The sum of twenty pounds to the Rev. William Murphy P. P. of Taghmon for the improvement or benefit of the Roman Catholic Chapel of Taghmon, in the county of Wexford; To the Rev. Peter Corish P. P. of Ballymitty, or his successor, the sum of £40 for the improvement or benefit of the Roman Catholic Chapels of Ballymitty and Carrig, in the county of Wexford. To the Rev. James Roche P. P. of Wexford, the sum of £20 for the completion of improvement of the new Churches in the town of Wexford; and the sum of £20 to the Rev. Patrick Crean of Grantstown, in the county of Wexford; and the sum of £20 to the Rev. William Murphy P. P. of Taghmon, aforesaid, to be applied towards the building of a Convent in Taghmon, provided said building shall be commenced within twelve months from the decease of said James Kehoe and his sister, otherwise for such charitable purpose as his Executors should think fit.

Probate of said will was granted by the District Registry of the Court of Probate to John Roche of Clairstown [sic probably Clearystown], in the county of Wexford, one of the Executors named in said will on the 11th day of November 1872

Gerald O. B. Ryan, Solicitor, 13 Wellington Quay and Wexford.

To the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests.”

I presume that Fr Paul Kehoe the Parish Priest of Cloughbawn was a relative of this James Kehoe, maybe a nephew or grandnephew or grand-son; I shall try to find out. The extent of the bequests to Catholic Churches mark out James  Kehoe as a man of strong Catholic faith, as well as a prosperous farmer.



The Council will up to noon on Saturday, the 5th January 1907, receive applications for the tenancy of the under-mentioned Labourers’ Cottages, viz:–Neemestown (Kilmore Electoral District) and Haggard (Bannow Electoral District). Rent 9 pence per week

By Order

Nicholas Kehoe

Clerk of Council.”

From The People March 31, 1866:–

Rosegarland, County Wexford

Ninth Annual Sale

Of Superior Fat Stock, Sheep, Springers and Thorough Bred Colts

Walsh & Son, Auctioneers, Wexford having been honored with instructions from Francis A. Leigh, Esq., J. P. to conduct his annual sale of Fat and Breeding stock, in the same spirited and unreserved manner, as in preceding years, will sell by Auction on Thursday, the 18th April 1866, in the farmyard, Rosegarland, thirty-five magnificent fully finished stall-fed Bullocks and Heifers, viz.:–

25 four year old Bullocks

10 maiden heifers

70 splendid two-year-old Wethers (in pens of five)

Also, 20 highly bred three year old Springing heifers, all in calf to a pure bred short-horn bull.

A thorough bred bay colt, rising 5, by “Eglington” stands 15.3, would make a first rate Charger or Phaeton Horse.

Terms—Cash. No auction fees. Sale at 1 o’clock. Lunch at 12 o’clock

Wexford 29 March 1866.”

From The People the 3rd of February 1866:–


The Hotel and Posting House, situated at Foulk’s Mills, midway between Wexford and New Ross, together with about 50 Irish acres of prime land. The house is in perfect repair and would be well suited to the establishment of a General Shop. The land has been for some time in the owner’s hands and has been thoroughly cultivated; part of it has been laid down with the choicest of clover and grass seeds; the reminder is under preparation for a crop.

Proposals to be made in writing to Mr Leigh, at Rosegarland; the caretaker (on the spot) will show the lands.

January 20, 1866.”

The Wexford Independent on the 24th of February 1866 reported on the demise of Tom Mayler of Harristown:–


At Harristown, on Thursday, after a long and painful illness, which he bore with Christian fortitude and resignation, Thomas Mayler Esq., to the inexpressible regret of a large and attached family circle and a host of sorrowing friends. In him the poor have lost a magnificent benefactor, his country a single minded, earnest and devoted champion and society at large a man of the strictest probity, keenest sense of honour and the greatest public and private usefulness. In the Famine years, he devoted all his energies to the alleviation of the wants of the people, not by the mere administration of eleemosynary aid but in giving them employment on works of public benefit and from his very boyhood to the moment he was called to another and a better world to enjoy the reward of his virtue here below, he never lost a friend or made an enemy—May he rest in peace.”

I do not know how much of the above is true. It was the convention in that era to write that the poor would have lost a magnificent benefactor every time a distinguished person died. I thing that Mr Myler did his utmost to save people from starvation during the Famine but I will check that.

From The Wexford Independent the 6th of January 1866:–


On Sunday the 31st December at his residence Ballyowen, Wellingtonbridge, Mr John Corish, at the advanced age of 85 years, deeply and deservedly regretted by an attached family and a large circle of relatives and friends. Well might it be said of him that he was an honest man, the noblest work of god—May he rest in peace.”


In consequence of the March fairs in Carrig-on-Bannow and Taghmon falling on the same day, the fair of Carrig-on-Bannow will be held on Monday, February 26 1866.

William Sparrow

Honourary Secretary

Table d’ at One o’clock pm, at the hotel.”

I do not know what the last line refers to. Was there a hotel in Carrig village?

From The Wexford People December 24th 1865:–

“Fatal Accident—An old man named Patrick Roche of Tullicanna, was on Thursday fixing a barrel of palm oil on a car, part of the cargo of the Empress, recently wrecked at Kilmore, when the belly band broke and the barrel rolled out upon him and crushed him to death.”