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, to put it mildly, Tom Boyse would hardly have them in his library! The Established Church or Protestant Church as depicted by the Rev. Newland was the sole depository of Christian truth and the Catholic one was riddled with moral and theological error and beyond redemption.

Dr Newland accused Bishop Doyle of rank cupidity, a craving for material wealth, especially, that held by the Protestant Church. Bishop Doyle had told a House of Commons Committee that in ancient times the tithes were divided into three or maybe four parts; and claimed that early legal texts and canons proved that—although he was slow in citing these sources. Dr Doyle asserted that, at least, one fourth or more likely, one-third of the tithes were in ancient times, given to the poor; another third or fourth was used for the upkeep of Churches and another fourth given to the Bishop. Tithes were initiated by the Catholic Church centuries before the Reformation but after the Reformation the Protestant Church, by reference to enacted civil law, required all inhabitants of a parish¸ regardless of their religious allegiance, to pay the tithes to the Protestant clergy of the parish.

Mrs Merton might ask why would Dr. Newland find the assertions of Dr Doyle about the poor getting one-third of the tithes so abominable. While I think that in matters of quoting precedents, sources and exactitude in quoting ancient history, Dr Newland is clearly superior, I found his overall argumentation repellent: in a country, such as Ireland, teeming with poverty, the legal requirement that one-tenth of the produce of all arable land be paid to the Protestant clergy, by Catholics and Dissenters as well as Protestants, would seem to me the height of cupidity and avarice. Tom Boyse felt out-raged by the tithes. I doubt if the Rev. Newland ever collected much tithes in Bannow. Dr Newland’s insistence on the retention of the tithes indicated an utter lack of political realism on his part.

From The Bannow and District Notes in The People on the 7th of March 1953:–

“Early Primroses—Due to the mild winter primroses are to be seen in bloom in the hedgerows. Both children and grown-ups were busy on Sunday picking bouquets. The furze and thorn bushes are, also, budding into bloom about six weeks earlier than usual.”

From The People, the 19th of July 1907:–

“Big Throngs in Cullenstown

Tremendous crowds invaded Cullenstown on Sunday last. Attracted by the gloriously fine day, visitors came on motors, cycles and cars from all parts and enjoyed the invigorating breezes of the Atlantic till a late hour in the evening.  An excellent handball contest took place in the new ball alley, particulars of which appear below, and was keenly watched by a large and excited crowd on the banks, which provide an admirable grand stand for such occasions. It is only fair to remark that the conduct of the crowds was most praiseworthy and not a sign of drink was seen on anybody during the entire day.”

From The People the 25th of July 1959:–

“Plot Presented to Guild

The monthly meeting of the Carrig-on-Bannow Guild of Muintir Na Tire was held on last Monday night. Large numbers of members were present, including Mr Mervyn Boyse, formerly of Bannow House.

The principal reason for Mr Boyse’s presence at the meeting was to present the recently planted plot at Carrig to the Guild.

The Chairman thanked Mr Boyse for his kindness and Mr Boyse, in his reply, wished the Guild every success and hoped the trees would grow well. He said it was a splendid plantation and in a few short years would add very much to the beauty of the village.

The very enthusiastic ladies committee are making preparations for a sale of work and jumble sale.”

From The People the 4th of April 1953:–

“The death of the Very Rev. Francis K. Donnelly, Prior of the Augustinian Community at Grantstown, which took place as he was celebrating Holy Mass, occasioned feelings of deep and widespread sorrow throughout the parish of Bannow. When the sad news reached New Ross, where he had many ties, a universal grief was manifested by all classes and none felt his loss more than the members of the Order of which he was a beloved and distinguished priest. Born at Ballymitty, Co. Wexford, Fr Donnelly came from a family that gave many illustrious sons to the Augustinian Community. He was a kinsman of the Crane family, members of which gave invaluable service to the Church and who hold an honoured place in the traditions of the Augustinian Order.

Like his kinsmen, the late Fr Donnelly showed an early vocation for the Church and studied for the priesthood at Orlagh, where he was ordained about the year 1920. He used to recall that, while a student at Orlagh, the Easter Week Rising of 1916 occurred and that the late Eoin Mac Neill took up temporary residence there. After his ordination, Fr Donnelly was attached to the New Ross Priory, where he spent a couple of years and was then sent to Rome. On his return to Ireland, he was attached as Prior to Grantstown Convent and later appointed to the Community at New Ross. He was again reappointed as Prior at Grantstown and in 1948 returned to New Ross as Prior where he remained in charge until the summer of 1951, when he finally took up duty at Grantstown. At New Ross he took a keen interest in the Arch-Confraternity of the Sacred Cincture of which he was Spiritual Director. He was brother of Rev. Patrick Donnelly, the popular Curate of Courtnacuddy, and is survived by his mother, now in her 93rd year. To them, other relatives and the members of the Augustinian Order, the deepest sympathy is extended in their great sorrow. The attendance at the funeral obsequies on Tuesday was an impressive public testimony of love and respect and of tribute to the memory of Fr Donnelly.”

Fr Patrick Donnelly would, also, die long before his time.

From The Wexford Independent the 10th of August 1853:–

“On the 7th August, the house of Martin Boyse, of Bannowmore, Parish of Bannow, was entered by his servant boy, James Walsh, who stole therefrom ten pounds sterling and decamped.”

From the report of the meeting of the Board of Guardians of Wexford Poor Law Union of Wexford in The People the 13th of January 1892:–

“The Plot at Tullicanna

The following letter was received—“As your plot of land at Tullicanna has not been disposed of, and I understand Mr Roche has withdrawn his claim, I beg to remind you, being the highest bidder, to consider my offer. It was mentioned in some of these former letters which stopped the sale at the time that the right of pre-emption should be given to the parties who sold it to you. I would wish to inform those parties, if the right of pre-emption be given to anyone, it ought in justice to be given to me, as my father owned that before either Mr Roche or the Court of Chancery, for it was on that very spot I was reared and if any man want it worse, or can lay stronger claim to it, I will withdraw altogether; otherwise I hope you will accept my offer.—John Keane”

Chairman—What offer did he make?

Clerk—I forgot.

Chairman—Are there any claimants for it?

The Clerk said he didn’t know. They got this little piece of land from Mrs Louisa Heaton, as a plot for a labourer’s cottage and paid £20 for it. There was a couple of perches over the quantity allowed with the cottage, and as this was close to the village, it was of some value. The Guardians didn’t want it and would dispose of it.

Chairman—In whose possession is it at the present time?

Clerk—In ours. Chairman—Is there no one making use of it? Clerk—No. the Act of Parliament provides that we must make the first offer to the person from whom we originally bought it.

Mr Walsh—And if she declines to purchase? Clerk—The person whom we bought it from is dead (laughter). Mr Walsh­­–Does this man make a reasonable offer? Chairman—He must have made an offer. He stated so in his letter. Mr Walsh—I think we ought to give it to him. He appears to have the best claim. Clerk—We could not give it to him without enquiring further.

Ultimately it was decided to refer the matter to the Guardian, Mr Kehoe.”

The People on the 27th of January 1892 reported:–

“Tullicanna Plot

The Local Government Board wrote relative to the proposed sale of a small plot of land taken by the Guardians in connection with the building of two cottages at Tullicanna, under the Labourers Acts and requested the Board may be informed whether the piece of land in question is in excess of the statuteable quantity allowed for all cottages and mentioned in the arbitrator’s report and, if so, how the Guardians happened to come into possession of it.

The Clerk said the reason of this was that Mrs Heaton would not sell what was required, so that the Guardians were obliged to purchase the whole field.

It was ordered that a reply to this effect be sent to the Local Government Board.”

A discrepancy between the two reports, where the first seems to indicate that a plot for a labourer’s cottage was bought and the assertion in the Local Government that two labourers’ cottages were to be constructed, makes it difficult to determine the size of Mrs Heaton’s field with certainty. The plot for a labourer’s cottage was half a statute acre—so Mrs Heaton’s field was about half an acre plus a couple of perches. Alternatively it could be one acre plus a couple of perches. It is reminder of how small fields were in that era.

A couple of perches would be of little use to Mrs Heaton—hence her determination to sell the tiny field in its entirety.

The People on May 13th 1865 reported that His Lordship, the Most Rev. Thomas Furlong, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to about two hundred and fifty children of both sexes, together with several adults, in the beautiful and capacious Church of Carrig-on-Bannow. That seems to be an astounding number; perhaps, the Sacrament of Confirmation was not administered on a regular basis; it seems that in an era some of the candidates for receipt of the Sacrament of Confirmation were adults.

From the report of the meeting of the Board of Guardians of Wexford Poor Law Union in The Wexford Independent on the 26th of February 1902:–

“Dr Keogh reported that the house occupied by James White at Barrystown, is unfit for human habitation. The dwelling house has fallen and the man, his wife, and five children are at present living in an out-house which had neither proper chimney, ventilation, nor sufficient accommodation. He recommended that a suitable house be constructed.”

At the same meeting it was reported that:–

“Dr Keogh, Bannow, wrote stating that it was very inconvenient to him to send in the dispensary books. Friday was dispensary day and he would often be detained until 4 o’clock and the books should be posted by 4.30 pm at Carrig. He suggested that a committee of the Guardians should examine the books at the dispensary, and thus save him a good deal of inconvenience and save expenses to the Board, as the posting of the books alone cost £1 4 shillings per annum.

Clerk­­–The Order in Council obliges the doctor to send in his books here. They cannot be inspected at the dispensary.

Mr Browne—The order in Council might be rescinded. It was the most ridiculous order that ever was made.

Mr Hore—We must comply with it at all events.

Mr Browne—He need not enter the books for the last quarter if has not time.

Mr Hore—He need not.

Mr Murphy—It costs a lot of money to send the books in.

Mr Hore—But the Guardians pay that and not the doctor.”

From The People the 9th of February 1856:–


Near London recently, Mrs Fielding, mother of Mrs S. C. Hall, the authoress.”

From The People the 7th of June 1919:–

“Football Practice—The Bannow Sean M’Dermott’s travelled to Clonmines on Sunday last and played a football practice there with the newly formed football team there. The M’Dermott’s were short of some of their players as they had not recovered from the effects of the athletic contest at Wexford on the previous Thursday but, nevertheless, a team was got together and a rattling game was the outcome on the score of 2 goals, 2 points to one point for the Sean M’Dermott’s.

From The People the 2nd of October 1929:–

“Flukey Sheep and Cattle

Lett’s perfect cure, which cures in half an hour. For sheep, 6 pence; for cattle 1 shilling. You must give age of cattle and say, if any, weak lambs. Supplied here, Tuesdays and Fridays (only), from one to two pm and return post. Postage 2 pence. Box 2 pence on return.

Flukey Sheep and Cattle

Bought by—


Balloughton House


Co. Wexford.”

There is in Maxwell’s “Statistical Survey of the County Wexford”, published in 1807, this enigmatic and confounding passage:–

“There is an ancient working of a mine to be seen on the banks of the river Bannow near Barrastown and which was renewed about thirty or forty years ago by Mr Ogle, on whose property these workings appeared. It did not turn out to any profit. I have, however, amongst the deads thrown out, found some galena, adhering to quartz and rhomboidal iron-stone and I should apprehend it would be worth while to clear the old works, which could be done at a small expense, and examine the veins, from which these had been broken, with some attention.”

Barrastown was a very old form of the modern Barrystown. Mr Ogle could have renewed the working of the Barrystown mine in circa 1767 or 1777.

From The Bannow and District Notes on the 16th of September 1950—

“Visitors—Mrs Madge Newman, from Longford, who was on a motoring tour of the South of Ireland, paid a visit to her mother, Mrs M. O’Neill, Cullenstown, during the week. Rev. Father Lynn paid a visit to friends in Cullenstown during the week. Father Lynn is a member of the Carmelite Order, New York, flew to Ireland on a two week’s holiday to friends in Enniscorthy. Miss Nancy Holmes is home on a holiday from South Wales.

Recent Death—Mr Walter M’Donald, an old and respected resident, who has lived alone at Tailors’ Lane, Ballyfrory, passed away rather unexpectedly last week-end. He spent much of his earliest days in U. S. A. He was predeceased by his wife over 20 years ago. R. I. P.

Hurling—Following the good example of the cailini of the district in forming a camogie club, the young men are now set on organising a hurling club. Hurleys have been procured and Mr John White, Farm House, has given a field for practice. The parish, around the 18th century, had a great hurling tradition. A field in the locality is known to the present day as the hurling green.”