1951 – 2017
Tom McDonald was born in Barrystown Wellingtonbridge, and spent his early years in the parish of Bannow before his family moved to Ballymackessy, Clonroche.
Tom was a historian of note and was passionate about the history of his home county. He had a particular fascination for and knowledge of the parish of his birth. He invested countless hours in Wexford library researching all sources of information relating to Bannow.
His blog, always signed ‘The Boy from Barrystown’, is a unique and entertaining insight into all aspects of the day to day life of the people of the parish for the past 150 years. From the very first meeting of the Bannow Historical Society in Stafford’s of Tullycanna, Tom was unfailingly supportive of our society and its events for the next 14 years. With his passing in 2017 our society has lost a part of its soul. R.I.P.
Tales From Carrig-on-Bannow
Harvest Day At Knocktartan
Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown. As I am pressed for time I will dispense with a recital of my greatness—check a previous Blog. I remain the most devious and wily of them all; that wily boy from beside the mine pits…The world well knows of my greatness; if I stepped off at any foreign airport, they would inevitably observe that this man was the born historical genius from Barrystown, ever in adulation. The People on the 31st of August 1881 devoted a full page to a dramatic piece of Land League activity on the farm of the evicted Mrs O’Hanlon-Walsh at Knocktartan on the previous Monday: there were fifteen hundred harvesters there to harvest her crop of corn. The reporter outlined the history of the dispute—not for Co. Wexford readers who well knew it—but for readers in other parts of Ireland, in England, the colonies and America;
Madness in Keane’s Pub on the Moor
As I am in a hurry I will not include this week the usual recitation of my sheer greatness; check previous blogs. From The Wexford Constitution the 3rd of March 1860:– Wexford Spring Assizes. “Michael Fitzgerald was indicted for that he on the 17th January at Bannow did kill and slay one Thomas Ouslam. Also his brother John was charging with aiding and abetting same. The prisoners pleaded not guilty…. Counsellors Purcell and Davitts appeared on the part of the Crown and Counsellor Nunn for the prisoners. Patrick Colfer sworn, deposed that he was at Keane’s public house on the 17th January, at the Moor of Bannow. He saw the prisoners and others there at the time; they got some drink, but I was not in the company; none of them were drunk; Gregory White ordered a quart of whiskey. This Ouslam came in whilst they were drinking; he
The Constable at Foulkesmills Laughs at the Leighs of Rosegarland
Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming and charismatic, scholarly, erudite, historian supreme, an intelligence greater than Einstein; moves and talks with panache; blessed among women…if you like, a prophet of our age; the most devious and wily of them all—that wily boy from beside the mine pits. The relentless cold of this summer has meant a poor crop of dahlias in my garden. From The People the 20th of September 1882:– “Ordinations at Grantstown—The Most Rev. Dr Crane O. S. A., Bishop of Sandhurst, Australia, held ordinations in the Augustinian Convent at Grantstown on Sunday last. The young men ordained priests were—Rev. Denis M’Carthy and Rev. Patrick Kavanagh. His Lordship was assisted on the occasion by the Rev. Dr Fortune, All Hallows College; Rev. Canon Sheridan P. P. Bannow and Very Rev. J. Keogh. It is understood that the newly ordained priests will leave in a month
The Origins of Prince Naele’s Title
Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, erudite and scholarly; historian supreme, blessed among women, a right boyo, a genius with an intelligence far in excess of Einstein, moves and talks with panache, an inspiration in this age and ever fated to the historian of Carrig-on-Bannow, the most devious and wily of them all, that wily boy from beside the mine pits. In the times long ago, when we talked interminably about the phenomenon of Prince Michael Naele of the Saltee Islands, my mother remarked that she read a report of a justice in court who posed a query as to the origin of the title. In latter years I have searched for this court case and assumed that it was a court in the County Wexford. One assumes all kinds of things! In the last fortnight or so I found the case: it is The Free
Cockles for the Cowled Monks Supper
Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, peerless, erudite, only to be described in superlatives and yet astoundingly humble. I am not to be replicated. A right boyo, historian supreme, walks and talks with panache—the list of my attributes is endless. As an area steeped in history, Bannow was perhaps fated to produce a superb historian such as that wily boy from beside the mine pits, the most wily and devious of them all. From The Wexford Independent the 29th of April 1854:– “Bannow Reclamation Bill The objects of the bill are the embankment, reclamation, and drainage of the several tide and slob lands lying in the bays or lakes of Bannow, Tacumshin, and Lady Island on the south shore of the county of Wexford. Their Lordships will assent to the Bill on the condition that plans of the proposed embankment and other works shall be submitted
A New Chapel Built at Grantstown, from 1829-32
Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, inspiring and inspired, eloquent, scholarly, erudite, moves and talks with panache, blessed among women, one whose genius cannot be replicated; as the people tell me there is no end to my brains as there is no end to my knowledge—I am the historian supreme, the most devious and most wily of them all, that wily boy from beside the mine pits. A great Irish poet wrote of how “the rustics”, as he patronisingly called them, gathered around the village school-master and still the wonder grew that one small head could carry all he knew. I would need a fleet of lorries to carry around all that I know. The summer has again turned cold and a lot of my flowers did not come to anything because of the appalling spring weather. The fragrance of my lilies wafts out across the
The Long Stone of Bannow
Hi,it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, outgoing, egregious, moves and talks with panache, historian supreme, blessed among women, honoured and revered, a right boyo, a genius, an intelligence greater than Einstein, erudite, scholarly, and the most devious and wily of them of all, that wily boy from beside the mine pits. My lilies are exquisite, pure beauty and admired by all who travel along that road; the heavenly fragrance wafts across the road. It was said of a famous Irish poet that he touched nothing that he did not adorn: the boy from Barrystown surely adorns everything that he touches. My humility is astounding given the avalanche of adulation that pursues me every waking day. Adulation may be defined as uncritical admiration or intense admiration not necessarily fully attained. -:Dr Grattan-Flood wrote in The People on the 27th of August 1910 “Any account of Bannow would be
Mike Hawkins Sung Like a Jackdaw (or so he said…)
Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming and charismatic, erudite and scholarly; historian supreme, with, as the people tell me, endless brains, an intelligence greater than Einstein, blessed among the women, a right boyo, the most devious and wily of them all, that wily boy from beside the mine pits. The Ui Cinseallaigh Historical Society tour on Wednesday had a beautiful finish at Grantstown and the nostalgia of it for me was enormous. I had gone regularly with my mother to Sunday Mass at Grantstown for at least three years. I was most gratified that so many of those present knew me and recalled old times to me. The music, the songs and the dancing were delightful, phenomena that are ever the leaven of community spirit. Afterwards we walked along by the “Peace Garden” and entered the Chapel. Somebody posed the puzzle why the North or North East
Dancing on the Tombstones
Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming and charismatic, inspired and inspiring, erudite, scholarly, historian supreme, superb florist, an intelligence greater by far than Einstein, marathon runner, a right boyo, blessed among the women, and above, all else, the most devious and wily of them all—that wily boy from beside the mine pits. I intend to join the Bannow Historical Society tour. It is not necessary to have a plethora of eulogies to me, blah, blah…. The Ui Cinsealaigh Society will—on Wednesday the 19th of July— visit the walled garden at Tintern, Clonmines and arrive at Grantstown Centre for lunch. For details contact Kitty O’Reilly 0877546202. I hope to come with them. From The Wexford Herald, Saturday, November 8th, 1828:– “Bannow School, Saturday November 8th, 1828:– “Bannow School William James will receive into his family 12 Boarders, at the annual sum of 20 guineas. Such pupils as may
Two Perches of Land Beside Tullicanna Village—For Sale….
Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, erudite, scholarly, expert on all subjects, an intelligence higher than Einstein, historian supreme, a right boyo, blessed among the women, a right boyo, a superb florist, a marathon runner, a trainor of hurling teams, a prize winner at reciting poetry, a visionary¸ one fated to guide and lead; walks and talks with panache and is above all else, the most wily and devious of them all—that wily boy from beside the mine pits. The Rev. Dr Henry Newland was in 1832 the Rector of Bannow; he had an associated career as a writer, mainly on theological issues but sometimes on political ones. His great adversary in these literary matters was Bishop James Doyle of Kildare and Leighlin. It is difficult to understand the logic and emotions of these long since musty dispositions but I am reading Dr Newland’s writings and,