Tom’s Blog2021-05-24T18:10:57+00:00
1951 – 2017

Tom McDonald

Tom McDonald - The Boy from Barrystown - Bannow Historical Society

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.

TOM’S BLOG

Tales From Carrig-on-Bannow

Nicky Coady and Redmoor Tug-o’-War

Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, ebullient, scholarly, erudite, eloquent, acts and talks with panache, poetic, inspired and inspiring, historian supreme, blessed among the women, a marathon runner, a florist with a flair for cultivating sunflower, an intelligence far in excess of Einstein and above all else, the most devious and wily of them all—that wily boy from beside the mine pits. The Wexford Historical Society has sent me their notice of their A. G. M.; this note at the end caught my attention:– “The A. G. M. will be followed by a lecture by Mr Bernard Browne on Peter Ffrench M. P. for Wexford. He was at the forefront of Wexford politics for over thirty years and is largely forgotten and his story full of incident and struggle remains to be told.” The A. G. M. is on Wednesday February 15th at St Michael’s Centre,

February 10th, 2017|

Who Broke the Windows at Kilcavan Church?

Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, as ever charming,, charismatic (the word denotes a mystical and enigmatic power to attract, influence and heal people), original, ebullient, scholarly, erudite, eloquent, articulate, a raconteur, like Uncle Paddy), a right boyo, blessed among the women, a trainer of hurling teams, marathon runner, a genius with an I. Q. far in excess of Einstein, blah, blah, I could go and on in recital of my own greatness and I nearly forgot…. I am that wily boy from beside the mine pits. I always say that most wily and most devious boy. The perception of genius had followed me all my life and not a day goes by that somebody does not remind me of it: yet inwardly, I am conscious of my mistakes, my perception of acting and/or speaking foolishly at times. Every human being is a mix—I opine—of great intelligence and

February 5th, 2017|

Mr Leigh’s 10 Acres of Furze Bushes Sown in Drills

Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown—as if it could be anybody else! The dictionary of the English language does not suffice to describe my greatness, historian supreme, a genius with an intellect far higher than Einstein, scholarly, erudite and now writing a long over due account of my life and I am sure that my millions of readers will be most eager to bring forth information and photographs to aid my biographical endeavours. I am, of course, blessed among the women and my likes will not tread the world again. I ever remain that wily boy from beside the mine-pits. I am sure that all of you have read David Tucker’s excellent article on the Barrystown mines in The People newspapers. Tom Boyse assisted some of the destitute miner families to emigrate and presumably financed them on their arrival in America as well. The pre-truth phrase I intended

January 29th, 2017|

Off About That Old Sea Weed Again

Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, ebullient, original, innovative, inspired and inspiring, historian supreme, etc, etc. I am asked to write an account of my life, by the Editor of a Journal, and if any of my legions of readers have any memories of my time in Barrystown, I will be happy to hear of it. I remain as ever the most devious and most wily of them all—that wily boy from beside the mine pits. The People on June 9th 1877 reported that “On Thursday His Lordship, the Most Rev. Dr Warren, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to nearly two hundred children in the large and commodious church at Carrig-on-Bannow. A good many of the neighbouring clergy were in attendance.” My impression is that confirmations were infrequent due to travel difficulties and it is clear that these children could range in age from ten to

January 25th, 2017|

John Breen’s Cheque-book

Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, obliging, innovative, original, inspired and inspiring, historian supreme, a man of vision, a trainor of hurling teams, marathon runner, a whiz at Mathematics, Latin and Law, one who moves and speaks with panache, like St Francis a kind friend to the birds, the rabbits, the dogs and cats and many other species as well, and blessed among women. I am currently writing the story of my most eventful life and if any of my readers has any recollections of the times and events of my early life let me know [0872937960]. The boy from Barrystown is ever the most devious and most wily of them all—that wily boy from beside the mine-pits. From The Echo the 4th of July 1938:– “Lecture at Bannow On Tuesday evening last Very Rev. P. Murphy P. P. Glynn delivered a lecture in Carrig-on-Bannow on

January 15th, 2017|

Discuss: “Health and Safety at Barrystown Mines”

Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, the most devious and most wily of them of all, that wily boy from beside the mine pits, so charming, charismatic, obliging, inspiring and inspired, historian supreme but as I am a bit caught for time, I would ask my millions of readers to consult any of the previous blogs for a comprehensive recital of my greatness: my greatness is axiomatic, so obvious that it needs no proof or so self-evident as to require no proof. I hope in my next blog to examine folklore accounts of the re-opening of the Barrystown mines circa 1840. My problem with folklore is that events and personalities from different eras and chronologies are hybridised so it becomes a warped history, a mix of truth and imagined history. A succession of teachers, including Mr Healy at Clonroche, the Christian Brothers at Enniscorthy and lay teachers there

January 11th, 2017|

The Horse That resisted Eviction at Knocktarton

Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, scholarly, erudite, inspiring and inspired; historian supreme, blessed among the women, living in sheer adulation, a higher intelligence than Einstein, a visionary, innovative, creative, a trainor of hurling teams, marathon runner….One could go and on reciting the countless facets of the charmed and magical life of that wily boy, the most devious and wily of them all, from beside the mine pits. “Corbett and Other Against Tottenham and Others Pursuant to an order of His Majesty’s High Court of Chancery in Ireland, made in this case, bearing date 23rd day of March, I will on Saturday the at one o’clock in the afternoon, at my chambers, on the Inn Quay, Dublin, set up and let by public cant, to the highest and fairest bidder, for the minority of the defendant, Anthony Cliffe, now about nine years old, in such parcels

January 2nd, 2017|

The Lease On Canon Sullivan’s House at Danescastle or Carrig

Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown who like a meteor ascends the metaphorical skies of the historiographical universe and illuminates the past for evermore. I am best (and usually) described as charming, charismatic, scholarly, erudite, historian supreme, an intelligence much higher than that of Einstein, the most original thinker of our age; one who has ornamented everything that he has touched and I nearly forgot, blessed among the women and the most devious and wily of them—that wily boy from beside the mine pits. My equal will not walk this earth again. On last Thursday the Uí Cinsealaigh Historical Society published Volume 32 of The Past—I could not (to my sincere regret) not be there as other essential business brought me to Waterford at that precise time of the day. I have always felt a special gratitude to the editor Canon Séamus De Vál, as many years ago,

December 16th, 2016|

Wellingtonbridge Hotel Built on a Bare Field

Hi , it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, obliging, eloquent, inspiring and inspired, visionary, a prophet, a poet, a trainor of hurling teams, a marathon runner, (and as the woman in Clonroche village prophesised twenty five years ago or more) blessed among the women, uses big words (appropriately), historian supreme, a right boyo, an intelligence far greater than Einstein, humble, modest, self-effacing; the most devious and most wily of them all; as I always say, if it is true it ain’t bragging. I am not sure if I need to recite all that on every Blog as the world must know it all, by now. No native of the parish of Carrig-on-Bannow has any need to brag: as some great orator of the English language asserted—maybe it was Jack Kennedy in the Dail in Dublin town in 1963—there are two genus of Irish people—those who are natives

December 9th, 2016|

A Fascination With Bicycles

Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, inspiring, inspired, erudite, scholarly, historian supreme, blessed among the women, of an intelligence far in excess that Einstein, invulnerable, invincible—that wily boy from beside the mine pits…actually the most devious and wily of them all. It was ever gold and silver for the Barrystown childre—the highest awards and prizes. As proclaimed in The People on February 13th 1884:– “We the undersigned farmers of the Townlands hereinafter mentioned will allow no hunting on our lands; and we give notice to the Master of the Foxhounds and to all others whom it may concern that our lands are poisoned:– Kilkevan—Patrick Murphy, John Murphy, Thomas White, John Gallagher. Whitttyshill—Patrick Scully, Thomas Cullen, Joseph Neville, John Neville. Sheastown—Michael Neill, Martin Nugent, Mrs Ennis, Miss Nugent. Kilderry—James Donohoe, Mrs Donohoe, Thomas Codd, James Hayes. Ballinlee—Luke Long, John Browne, Moses Redmond, Thomas Waters, Simon Furlong, Patrick

December 2nd, 2016|
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