Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, beside the mine pits, a place of gold and silver and it is always gold and silver for the Barrystown children. I am as always innately, inherently and naturally charming, charismatic, obliging, bursting with genius, a historian supreme, erudite, scholarly, innovative, a right boyo (is there a left boyo?) and—wily, above all else, wily—that wily boy. One of my relatives of old complained that while one of the boots that he bought was “a right one” (a colloquialism for a good boot as distinct from the other bad one) the supercilious shopkeeper riposted that the other boot was a left one.

I am still reading letters written by Tom Boyse from 1827 to 1829 to a member of the Parliament at Westminster, London: in my next blog I will deal at length with this correspondence. Tom Boyse wrote that neither his grand-father or father, living elsewhere, had visited the Bannow estate for over 50 years before circa 1816. They had lived at Bishop’s Hall, on the borders of Co. Waterford and Kilkenny, and near to Waterford city. This was the era of another Tom: Thomas Malthus who feared that excessive growth of population would generate famines in British and other European societies. His solution was widespread celibacy—that young people should not marry.

In 1826 the potato crop failed to be followed by a luxuriant crop in 1827. Tom Boyse feared the growth of population and claimed that measures taken by him had reduced the number of people on his estate to slightly above 1500. He considered that a reduction of this number by another 200 was required. He was enabling both individuals and families to emigrate to Canada where he claimed that they prospered; he indicated that he had kept in contact with them, over thirteen years, and they were (as Jack Kennedy said of the descendants of emigrants from Galway—if it was a clear day and you looked far enough and could see far enough you would see Boston) doing fine.  Boyse also knocked down cabins once their inhabitants left or died to prevent other people occupying them. The conditions of the Irish labourers were wretched and famine was ever imminent enough. This was the great fixation of Boyse’s mind at that time—the proximity of famine. He was driven by deep desire to improve the conditions of the people on his estate.

I will deal fully with these letters in my next blog: they are gems to any student of the history of Bannow. They are a window both into Boyse’s mind and on the conditions in Bannow in circa 1827.Do not miss my next blog! No student of Bannow or expert on it ever before cited them. That is the boy from Barrystown, for ye!

The Bannow and District notes in The People on April 28th 1951 had these items:-

“The Irish Lincoln—The win of Penny on the Jack 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 new golf course on Bannow’s green. It is hoped to have many interesting contests there this summer….

Spring Sowing—Good progress was made during the past week with the sowing of the corn crops. A number of farmers in Bannow area have made their first sowings of beet.”

The Bannow and District notes in The People on May 5th 1951:–

“Teaching Appointment—Mr G. O’Donnell N. T., a native of Galway, has been appointed primary teacher in Tullicanna National School, replacing Mr O’Halloran N. T., who has taken up another appointment.

Crossword Winner—Mrs C. Martin, Ballyfrory won a share of the second prize in a crossword competition.

Fishing—Some good catches of bass and mullet were made in Bannow during the week by local seine net fishermen. The fish met a ready market locally. Trawlers based in Dunmore East are operating in Fethard Bay. Large flocks of seabirds are to be seen over Ballyteigue Bay, a sign which has always been regarded by old fishermen  that fish are plentiful in the bay.

Camogie—A large crowd from the district travelled to St Leonard’s to witness the camogie match between St Mary’s Carrig and P. H. Pearses, Wexford. Despite their heavy defeat by their more experienced opponents, the local team played with great grit and determination but lacked the team-work and finish of the opposing team. With more attention to training and more matches, the Carrig team will be heard of in the future.”

From The Wexford Independent January 9th 1856:–

“Of your charity pray for the soul of Mary, eldest daughter of Mr Stephen Colfer of Carrig, who was suddenly cut off in the bloom of life on Saturday, 5th January, to the deep regret of her afflicted family and numerous friends.”

The Tintern branch of the Land League evidently were no friends of the Carrig-on-Bannow branch of the same League: Tintern and Bannow were ever at war and this time some dispute over Dr Cardiff—which I do not understand but which I am endeavouring to grasp—was the ostensible cause but the men of Tintern and Bannow would fight over the time of the day throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (I am sure the Bannow men were right in their stances):–

“The resolution passed by the Carrig-on-Bannow Branch at their meeting, on the 14th instant, defending the terrible conduct of Dr Cardiff, and censuring the National League branches throughout the county for their condemnation of the same was discussed. The committee were of the opinion that the Carrig-on-Bannow Branch had earned for itself the contempt of every honest man. They were glad to learn that the decent men who once did good work for the National cause on that committee have disassociated themselves altogether from the O’Hanlon-Walsh and the two or three from Ballymitty who are using the League for their own ends. But the day of their power for good or evil is over. The idea of Dr Cardiff, Jim Doyle and O’H Walsh ruling the side of a country is as absurd as the three tailors of Tooley-street making laws for London. The Ballymitty defenders of Cardiff would lead the public to believe that the Doctor is the meekest of men, that he would on no account give offence to anyone, and that all that provocation was given by that horrible Canon Doyle…”

The reference to that horrible Canon Doyle is ironic; they are in effect implying that the Bannow crowd had (wrongly) portrayed him as horrible. In fact Canon Tom Doyle while a stalwart of the Land League was a most controversial figure within it and outside it: he exaggerated his conflicts with other people and wrote letters of enormous length, replete with venom and grand and unfair attacks on his perceived opponents. The People on one occasion left out the more personal and potentially libellous parts of a letter written by him. He had an unending vocabulary but lacked tact and courtesy in his missives. He was, also, tiresome in his disputes with the Poor Law Unions over matters of the sexual purity of their female inmates and patients. He was fanatical about any violation of the sixth and ninth commandments.

From The People, Bannow and District notes, April 24th 1951:–

“Popular Broadcast—All radio sets were tuned in for Mr Patrick Redmond’s broadcast on Friday night of “Bannow’s Lonely Shore”. This grand old song was written about the middle of the last century by a John Keane, a native of Bannow, on the occasion of his departure for U. S. A. It has since been sung the world over, wherever Bannow exiles have made their homes. It was the first time the song was broadcast and Mr Redmond deserves great credit for keeping old traditional songs of this kind alive. His other songs on the same occasion were, “Kelly the Boy From Killanne” and “Kitty Mc Gee”. Mr Redmond has been invited to sing at concerts organised by the School of National Culture, Glasgow, later in the year.”

I am almost sure that John Keane wrote the ballad while in America; it works better, in my opinion, as a poem.

From The Wexford Independent May 2nd 1835:–


We are much concerned to hear, that a new boat, belonging to Francis Leigh of Rosegarland, Esq., was maliciously set on fire, a few days since, in that neighbourhood; and we sincerely trust that the vile perpetrators may be discovered. The inhabitants of that very moral and peaceful district owe it to the their own character to use the utmost exertions to bring the incendiaries to the bar of public justice.”

I may have this advertisement in a previous blog but it is possible that the post is still not filled; from The People July 16th 1884:–

“General Farm Labourer Wanted that can take full charge and make himself generally useful. House, coal and wages as may be agreed o. Copies of Testimonials, addressed to J. B. Carrig-on-Bannow Post Office, will be attended to.”

From The Wexford Independent January 16 1884:–


January the 28th at Barristown, in this county, the wife of Jonas King, Esq., J. P. of a son.”

Senator Kathleen A. Brown wrote in The Free Press on April 16, 1927:–

“From the scattering of the Catholic clergy by the religious persecutions down to the present day, a number of ancient parishes were grouped together to make up the modern ecclesiastical parish. As an instance we may take Bannow, which is nearly of the same extent now as in 1701; some of the other parishes have been sub-divided since then. The present parish of Bannow includes the following ancient parishes—Bannow, Carrig, St Imogue’s, Ballingly, Ballymitty and Kilkevan. Ambrosetown, which then belonged to Bannow, has since been added to Duncormack. There are now but two parish churches, Carrig and Ballymitty. The old parish church of Ballymitty was at some distance from the modern church—the site is near Mrs Codd’s premises. There was a crude old church at Tullicanna in Fr Edward Murphy’s time, but it was replaced by the present one at Ballymitty, which was built by the Very Rev. Peter Corish, Chancellor of Ferns. It is likewise in the other parishes. The parishes and parish churches were numerous but very small in comparison with those of the present time.

From The Free Press April 30 1927:–

“Taghmon League

On Sunday last two more matches in the Taghmon Hurling and Football League were brought off at Coolcull, viz., Ballymitty v Tomcoole in hurling and Coolcull v Wellingtonbridge in football. The Hurling was rather a one sided affair, due to Ballymitty being only a short time at the game. Tomcoole were a well balanced side and from their display should go a long way towards winning the League. The captain E. Maddock, J. O’Brien, W. Horneck and L. Walsh were the pick of Tomcoole while T. Waters, J. Molloy, Coughlan, Cullen and Hanlon were prominent on the losers’ side. The final scores were:–

Tomcole—8 goals, 2 points.


Tomcoole—E. Maddock, (captain and goalkeeper), J. O’Brien, D. O’Brien, W. Horneck, R. Donnelly, L. Walsh, J. Codd, T. Doyle, T. Hayes, J. Wadding, W. Doyle, T. Donoavan.

Ballymitty—Jos Coughlan, (captain), S. Waters (goal), J. Molloy, P. Tobin, T. Waters, P. Hanlon, J. Codd, P. Doran, J. Waters, N. Banville, P. Cullen, W. Byrne.

The football contest was a better game, although Coolcull were a much superior team all through and were it not for the fine defence of Culleton in goal for Wellingtonbridge the score against them would have been much larger. From the fine display given by Coolcull on Sunday they should make a bold bid for the League honours and put Taghmon, Growtown and Duncormack on their mettle if they are to retain their points. Coolcull showed much improvement from their first appearance and the few changes they made on the team were a great advantage. The Tobins, Reville and J. Roche were replaced by Jem Cullen, P. Harpur, J. Martin and P. Dunne. Wellingtonbridge played a good game and although they could not make any impression on their more scientific opponents they fought out a good battle. The final scores were:–

Coolcull—4 goals, 2 points.


Coolcull—W. Leigh (captain), J. Moran (goal), J. Carthy, N. White, J. Cullen, Jem Cullen, M. Kelly, P. Harpur, P O’Hanlon, J. Martin, N. Whitty, P. Dunne.

Wellingtonbridge—J. White (captain), M. Culleton (goal), P. Fardy, T. Daly, W. Howlin, P. Nacey (?), J. Byrne, P. Broaders, P. Stafford, M. Byrne, P. Roche, P. Hannon.

I do not know if these teams represented a formally organised club but I doubt it. They were, I presume novice teams or playing at that level. The existence of such teams and so many of them is proof of an intense interest in hurling and football in that era but the restriction of the size of the teams to twelve players suggests an absence of an abundance of young men. I presume that most of the young men had gone to work in Dublin or more likely in England. In the hurling match eight goals were scored and only two points: my impression is of the players pulling first time on the ball and doing a lot ground hurling and not stopping to lift. They would not have caught the ball in the air very much; they pulled on the ball in the air. The shape of the hurl used then did not facilitate lifting and carrying the ball, in the way the modern hurl does. In the 1956 All Ireland senior hurling final after Billy Rackard had caught a few balls in the air Christy Ring rushed out and shouted that this was not hurling.

Rev. John Hanton, second son of Mr Peter Hanton, Wexford, was ordained a priest on the first Sunday in March 1913. An uncle of the ordained priest Rev. W. Hanton, President of St Peter’s College, assisted the Bishop of Ferns Dr Browne, at the ordination ceremony. Fr John Hanton C. C. was appointed to be assistant C. C. at Carrig-on-Bannow. I presume that this was the Fr Hanton who presided at the meetings held in Carrig to discuss the crux over the refusal of the Ballymitty-Bannow team to accept the cheap-skate medals offered to them for winning the Co. Junior Football Championship of 1913 (the final was played in 1913).

From The Free Press March 28th 1908:–

“Diphtheria in Bannow

At Saturday’s meeting of the Wexford Guardians, it was ordained that relief be given in the case of a boy named Broaders in the Bannow dispensary district. The lad had recently suffered from diphtheria from which one of his family died.

The Chairman (Lady Maurice Fitzgerald) asked if the boy was recovering.

The Relieving Officer, Mr Walsh, replied that he was somewhat better. There were seven children in the family between the ages of three and fourteen.”

The Echo reported on April 4, 1953 that Jeremiah O’Connor had died at his son’s residence at Parnell Road, Enniscorthy. He was aged 86 years and had been born in Carrig-on-Bannow. “Two of his sons gave their lives for Ireland—Jack O’Connor member of an I. R. A. flying column killed in action defending the  Republic at Crory, Crossabeg in March 1923 and Har O’Connor, another staunch I. R. A. fighter through the War of Independence, who was killed a year before that.” Most of his life was spent in Enniscorthy.

From The Forth and Bargy notes in the Free Press on May 15th 1937:–

“Football Fever—Bannow district which has entered two football teams for the championship is to have a third team which will be known as “The Bridge Boys”. One of the principal organisers is Mr John Cullen of Tullicanna, who is very optimistic of the success of the club.”

A notice to anybody looking for a man to work:–


I caution the public from hiring William Nolan who lived in my service as Footman, without firstly enquiring strictly from me my reason for discharging him.

Francis Leigh

Rosegarland, Taghmon

January 29th 1840.”

At the meeting of the Carrig-on-Bannow branch of the Land League in January 1886 Fr Davey O’Hanlon-Walsh proposed that John Mc Cormack of Arnestown be elected President of the branch. Mr Mc Cormack was not present. Nicholas O’Hanlon-Walsh proposed that Fr Thomas Meehan C. C. Ballymitty be elected President of the branch. “On a show of hands being taken, all were in favour of Fr Meehan, except Mr Mc Cormack’s proposer and seconder.”

This confounds me and I have found no reason why Fr Davey O’Hanlon-Walsh should have proposed a candidate in opposition to Fr Meehan, especially as his brother had proposed Fr Meehan.

Moses Mc Evoy died at his home in Wexford town in mid May 1937. He had lived in Wexford for many years but was a native of Ballymitty and was a member of the old Ballymitty football team. He played with Ballymitty until their withdrawal from the G. A. A. in 1913. The removal of his remains to their last resting place at Ballymitty was one of the largest and most representative seen in the district for many years.