• Rev Dan McCarthy (Apostatised and married his ward Ms.Sarah  Blair) P.P. 1790. He was one of the McCarthy Muclaghs and was known as’An tAthair Tadgh Na Muclagh’.  His father used to dispute the claim of the McCarthys of Carrignavar the right to the Chieftanship of the McCarthys.  He was influenced by the radical teachings of Voltaire and Rosseau as a student in France.’ He was a classical scholar and acted as interpreter in Bantry between General Dalrymple and the French Officer Prosseau in 1796.  His daughter married John Westropp Carey who lived in Glenlough Cottage on the Northside.  Carey was formerly of the Peninsular Wars (30th Foot regiment) and may have been the father of the first rector of Glengariff.  It is said locally that Father McCarthy reverted to Catholicism shortly before he died or in the alternative never renounced his faith.  His daughter married into the Agar Welbore family of Kilkenny suggesting a possible ease in mixing in all circles of society.  His grandson the (Anglican) Rev John McCarthy

Parish Priests.

  • Rev Humphrey (Auloffe) O’Sullivan b.1638, (Licensed) P.P. 1688-1714, Registered and offered sureties of good behaviour in 1703 in accordance with the law requiring the registration of ‘Popish’ priests.  He was ordained in Normandy in 1664 by Bishop Plunkett.  His sureties were Manus O’Keeffe, Knocknageehy and Arthur O’Keeffe, Ballyomihill.  He was indicted along with Fr. Daniel McCarthy P.P. Schull, Fr. Teige McCarthy P.P. Caheragh, and Fr.George Gould P.P. Bantry at the General Assizes and gaol delivery in Cork.  He is buried in the old church at Kealties/Tullig.
  • Rev Jeremiah O’Driscoll P.P. 1766-?
  • Rev Timothy O’Crowley (Resided in Coomkeen Upper) P.P. 1766, possibly built thatched church Carrigboy possibly c 1750.
  • Rev Denis Barnane P.P. 1790-1818, from Dunmanway, died 28 June 1834, buried Moulivard, devotion to him to this day. Two other priests who were in College with him, Father John Power d.1831 of the Dioceses of Ross reputedly had supernatural powers having a ‘solus’ light and Father Holland. Extracts from the Statutes of the Diocese of Cork show that he was absent from the Diocesan Synod – 09/07/1817, during the episcopacy of Bishop John Murphy, 1815 – 1847.

Fr. Barnane was credited with curative powers and also had the gift of healing animals. When he was reprimanded by Bishop John Murphy for publicly exercising these powers his reply was; “I’m dying, I’m in bad health, and when I’m dead, I’ll cure the same as I do now.”

Every year on the 28th June, St. John’s Night – anniversary of his death, the graveyard (Maulaward) would be full of people bringing their complaints, all in search of a cure. People even came from as far away as Cork City.  The church is still visited on St John’s Night by people from all faiths.  It is believed that he had a fondness for the drink and was silenced by the Church.  There was another Father Patrick Power from Bantry (1844- ) who had Durrus connections, trained in Louvain and died in Hole Cross. Malden, Mass and there are suggestions of miracles associated with him.  A relation was John Sullivan who got a VC in the Crimea War and a former Parish Priest of Durrus had his tabernacle.


  • Rev Richard Quinn P.P. 1818-1849, Incardated from Dioceses of Cashel, commenced registration of births and marriages, built church at Ahakista 1828 and Kilcrohane 1820.  Around 1823 proctors fro Rev Alcock attempted to seize his bed for tithe while he was saying Mass in his house stopped by  Protestant neighbour.  Involved in famine relief in 1822 with the Earl of Bantry and the Rev Alcock.  In the Ordnance Survey house books his house in Clashadoo was one of the few slated.  In 1842 a special jubilee indulgence was extended to Durrus among other parishes from the 26th June to the 10th July. This was for the distress of the church in Spain.  He was a correspondent of Dr John O’Donovan of the Ordnance Survey on town land names.

Rev. John Keleher, C.C. Kilcrohane 1834 referred to by Dr. John O’Donovan of the Ordnance Survey in a history of the O’Daly family. He says that the population of the parish  was 4,448 of whom 345 were Dalys (183 males 163 females).

Rev Cummins C.C. Kicrohane in a census of December 1849 referred to by Dr. John O’Donovan the population of the parish had dropped to 2,820 of whom the Dalys were 217 (125 males and 92 females).

  • Rev John Horgan P.P. 10 June, 1849-1860, signed a petition to Lord Landsdowne with the PP of Caheragh and the Rectors of Sneem and Kilgarvan in aid of the five unmarried daughters of Peter McSweeney (who had been evicted from Dereen House and died in Ahakista Cottage). Rev Patrick O’Flynn P.P. 21 Jan. 1860-1871
  • Rev John Dulea (?), P.P. 1875 Rev James Bowen P.P. 5 July 1877-1885, there is a tablet in his memory in the church.
  • Rev Michael Kearney P.P. 1835-1897, attended Diocesan College Cork and Maynooth from a substantial farming family in Manch, Dunmanway, Durrus 9 Feb.1886-1897 built new church Kilcrohane 1895. The Skibbereen Eagle reported in September 1865 on his move as a curate from Kilcrohane to Inchigeela that his move was universally regretted by all denominations. He preached in Irish.  He features in some of the Ballydehob Presentments for road building at Rossmore with Thomas Shannon in May 1896 and appeared before the Bantry Poor Law Guardians appealing for relief for a blind evicted tenant in Kilcrohane. He was a major purchaser of land on his own account and there are a number of properties in Rossmore and Brahalish listed in the 1901 Census as being owned by William Kearney, Manch, his brother.   One of these are lands (25 acres held yearly from the Bandon Estate) at Rossmore which he acquired by mortgage from Mary Evans of £88 5s in 1887.  She acquired the interest from her late husband William and paid off another mortgage in favour of George Rawlings, shopkeeper, Bantry and it is possible that Fr. Kearney advanced the money for this.
  • William Kearney also owned Cummer farm which was put up for auction in 1898 and consisted of 250 acres with 80 good acres and yielding 31/2 tons of hay to the acre.  He acquired Durrus Court and various lands from the Earl of Bandon in 1894 by way of lease for 99 years from 29th Sept 1894 at a rent of £25 he died on the 2nd July 1897 and let his interest to his successor Parish Priest of Durrus Daniel Foley he in turn assigned his interest to his successor Timothy O’Leary.  On his death the Bantry Poor Law Guardians adjourned for a week
  • In a court case in Bantry June 1908 arising from the burning of hay ricks belonging to his brother William, who gave evidence that he had acquired two farms (one at Gearameen one at Rossmore, the lands on which the hay ricks were had been acquired from Mr Moss and were near the village) from his brother Michael in his will.  One at Gerahameen his brother had acquired from the Evans family and he had made provision for Evan’s daughter in his will, however when William Kearney tried to sell that farm the child’s grandfather O’Connell turned up and said he had no right to sell and there were no bids, the implication was the grandfather considered that Father Kearney’s acquisition may have been improper.
  • He appears in the folklore of Coomhola as collecting money for church building.  He died in the Mercy Hospital in Cork and the funeral leaving Bantry was described as one of the largest seen in years with a cortège over a mile and a half to Kilcrohane and 159 vehicles.  The contents of his house in Durrus Court were auctioned off the following month.
  • Fr Foley 1897-8, he retired due to ill health and an auction of the contents of his property at Durrus Court was held on the 19th March 1898.
  • Rev Timothy O’Leary P.P. (1854-1928), 1898-1911. He is in the 1901 Census aged 47, speaks Irish and English has two servants, John O’Keeffe coachman and gardener and Anne Collins, housekeeper and cook and the residence Durrus Court has 14 rooms. He was heavily involved in politics and President of the United Irish League in Durrus 1901 and was described as a patriotic priest.  He negotiated the sale by Lord Bandon of his interest in the houses i Durrus village to the tenants in 1906. In 1906 he sent his regrets to a Bantry meeting to welcome Mr William O’Brien MP and suggested that were he to attend
  • D he would suggest the coming together of the 6 survivors of the old Parnelite party (Tim Healy Tom Sexton T D Sullivan T P O’Connor) as meet in the old spirit as old friends in the interests of the Irish race. His obituary in the Irish Times 1928 said that he was born in the Bantry area and was active with the Congested Districts Board and instrumental in settling many Land Disputes. He trained in the old Cork Seminary at the Mansion House (near the Mercy Hospital, Cork) and in Maynooth.

Rev George McDonnell P.P. 23 Sept. 1911-1912

  • Rev W Desmond (?) P.P. 20 April 1913, organising concerts for the young men’s society hall  Rev Michael Cotter P.P. ordained Maynooth 1896, 1922-1935, died 1946.
  • Rev Matthew McSwiney P.P. 1935-1943, he had a boat and was responsible for having the first pier at Hetty’s Rock erected. His helper was Mick Bohane.   He was attending a meeting of the Irish Forestry Society in Cork in 1938. He did his rounds on horseback  Chaired the Parish Council set up 1940 as a war time measure.

Rev Michael Roche P.P.  1943-1957, it was believed he had no great sympathy with Durrus saying he would prefer a back lane in Cork and not in favour of any type of ecenusim.

  • Rev Arthur Stritch P.P. 1957-1959

Rev Patrick O’Sullivan P.P. 1959-1962

  • Rev William J. Cashman P.P. 1962-4 Ordained 1922, native Glanmire d.1964.

Rev Jim Horgan P.P. 1964-1965 built priest’s house and later new church in Goleen.

  • Rev T.J. Walsh P.P. 1965-1970 (Historian), author of article on Muintir Bhaire Peninsula Capuchin Journal 1972 friend of Paddy O’Keeffe Historian, their correspondence is in the Cork Archive.

Rev John McSweeney P.P. 1970-1973

  • Rev Jerome Charles Lynch P.P. 1973-1977

Rev Jim Byrne P.P. 1977-1980

  • Rev Humphrey Mulcahy P.P. 1980-1982.

Rev Michael Murphy P.P. 1982-1985

  • Rev Michael McCarthy P.P. 1985-1997.

Rev Gus Keating 1997-1999

  • Rev Liam Crowley P.P. 1999-


  • Rev. M Gueran 1790 Rev John Kelleher C.C.  28 Jan1830
  • Rev D Meagher (?) C.C. 1822-1823 Rev Jim O’Mahony C.C. 14 Aug. 1824
  • Rev Edward Jefford C.C.24 Nov 1825 Rev R.Walsh C.C. 22 Jan 1826
  • Rev. John Stawey (?) 14 July 1829 Rev.Pat Begley C.C. 28–1834
  • Rev Chris Freeman C.C. 27 June 1835 Rev D O’Connell (?) 2 July 1839
  • Rev Simon Murphy C.C. 1 July 1840-1844 Rev Chas McCarthy 25 June 1845
  • Rev. J Barrett C.C. 20 Feb 1849 Rev Jeremiah Cummins C.C. 24 Jan 1850-1850
  • Rev J Collins (?) 13 Feb 1851 Rev D C O’Brien (?) 8 Feb 1853
  • Rev Ml Haly(?) 5 Feb 1856 Rev J Cronin C.C. 3 Sept 1858
  • Rev J B Barry C.C. 20 Oct 1859 Rev Thomas Palmer C.C. 25 Jan 1860-1860
  • Rev James Hegarty C.C. 3 Feb1861-1863 Rev Michael Kearney   C.C. 28 Jan 1864-1864
  • Rev John A. Daly C.C. 4 Nov 1865-1867, Castleknock and Maynooth 1841-1934. Rev John (Daniel) O’Sullivan C.C. 1867-1868 (?)
  • Rev James Hegarty C.C. 1861.

Rev Edmund Murphy C.C. 30 Jan 1869-1869

  • Rev John O’Sullivan C.C. 1869-1872 (?) .

Rev Patrick O’Neill C.C. 1872-1873

  • Rev Florence McCarthy C.C. 19 January1874-1874.

Rev John Crowley 23 Jan 1874 or 1873

  • Rev Thomas F. Burke C.C. 1875-1876 (?).

Rev Andrew Desmond C.C. 13 Jan 1877-1878 (?)

  • Rev John Magner C.C.  2 Nov 1878-1879.

Rev Florence Crowley C.C. 8 Feb 1880-1881 (?)

  • Rev Timothy O’Leary C.C. 4 Feb 1882-1886.

Rev Sylvester Cotter C.C. 8 Feb 1886-1889

  • Rev James Bowen P.P. 1877-1885 Rev Laurence Cummins C.C. 1879-1879
  • Rev George McDonnell C.C. 24 Feb1889- 1889.

Rev Patrick O’Donovan C.C. 1889-1891, d.1929 in his will he left £2,567 and £50 for the Parish Priest of Durrus and other parishes where he ministered.

  • Rev Denis O’Driscoll C.C. 1891-1911.

Rev John McSwiney C.C. 1897-1899

  • Rev John Gould C.C. 4 Feb 1899-1901, born Kilnamartyra ordained Maynooth 1899, d 1949 Rev Timothy Murphy C.C. 9 Feb 1902-1905
  • Rev John Callanan C.C. 10 Feb1906-1911 Rev O’Sullivan 28 Feb 1905, 11 Feb 1911
  • Rev Charles McCarthy C.C. 1 Sept 1912 Rev Charles Gould C.C. 7 Jan 1915-1918, native Kilnamartra, ordained 1899.
  • Rev Hugh O’Neill C.C. 1918-1923.

Rev Cornelius Creed C.C. 1923-1926

  • Rev Tom Daly C.C. 18 Sept 1926-1929.

Rev Con O’Brien C.C. 23 Sept 1929-1935

  • Rev J Fehily C.C. 1934.

Rev Tim McSwiney C.C. 1935-1938

  • Rev Michael O’Driscoll C.C. 1938-1939.

Rev Jeremiah O’Sullivan C.C. 1938-1939

  • Rev Dick Harris C.C. 1939-1943.

Rev David O’Leary C.C. 1943-1948

  • Rev Dan O’Flynn C.C. 1948-1955.

Rev Peter Lucey C.C. 1955-1959 (played football with Kilcrohane)

  • Rev John McCarthy C.C.  1960-1963.

Rev Michael Riordan C.C. 1963-1964

  • Rev Patrick O’Sullivan P.P. 1959-1962.

Rev Sean Buckley C.C. 1964-1965

  • Rev Sean Sullivan C.C. 1965-1966.

Rev Paddy Keating C.C. 1967-1969

  • Rev Kieran Boland C.C. 1970-1974.

Rev Sean Murray C.C. 1975-1978

  • Rev Liam Crowley C.C. 1979-1985.

Rev Jim Duggan C.S.S.P., C.C. 1985-1994

Note, The curates generally served in Kilcrohane (church built 1897, started by Fr. Kearney) and the last curate appointed there was Fr Jim Duggan, who left in 1994.  The curate’s house was sold in 1997.  There was a priest’s house in Ahakista in the 1940s later Shiros Japanese Restaurant; afterwards the curate lived in Kilcrohane.

It is recorded that Fr. Timothy Crowley, in 1766 lived in Upper Coomkeen, Fr. Dan McCarthy lived in Kealties.  Fr. Barnane lived first at Fort Lodge, Tullig but moved to Bantry.

Ministers Church of Ireland

Cornelius O’Sullivan, Vicar of the Rectory of Kilcrohane under the Abbot of St. Catherine, Waterford,   1591 also Vicar of Kilmoe and Skull.

Thadeus (Teige) McDonnell O’Sullivan Vicar, Durrus, 1615, pay Durrus £6, Kilcrohane £3.

Thomas Barham 1625-1663 Solomon Clarke 1639

Thomas Holmes1663 Richard Davies 1714-1734

George Lloyd 1736-1737 John Kenney 1737-1751

Thomas Millerd 1751-1756 John Barry 1756-1769

John Kenney 1769-1793,  built the present Church in 1792

Edward Herbert Kenney 1793-1799, a Justice of the Peace 28th May 1799.  He was later Rector Rosscarbery and his work in organising relief work (in the famine of 1822) and paying the workers in money or meal was praised by the Parish Priest for his ‘meritorious conduct’

Henry Jones 1799-1805

Mason Alcock 1805-1829, non resident being infirm.

Edward James Alcock 1805-1842, may have lived at Sea Lodge, built old rectory (Glebe House) in 1831. 1822 involved in famine relief with Father Quinn.  He sat on a committee in Bantry in 1824 to petition against the withdrawal of the bounty on linen production as had been agreed in the Act of Union. Magistrate.  He was a correspondent with the Ordnance Survey on town land names.

John Madras, Curate

Rev Evanson was an unbeneficed clergyman who lived in the family house at Four Mile Court (Durrus Court) in the 1830s and was friendly with Father John Ryan Parish Priest of Drimoleague.  Served for a while in England. John Windle antiquarian and Fr John Ryan (Drimoleague) visited him and this was subject to an article in the Dublin Penny Journal.  In the Parliamentary enquiry sitting in Bantry in 1844 he is mentioned as a middleman.

William Moore Crosthwaite 1842-1854. A newspaper report of his appointment to Durrus in June 1842 mentioned that he had been previously in Kilcoe and he was most suitable being familiar with Irish.   His family said that his death was brought on by a fever contacted in the famine when he was doing relief work. In London in 1847 seeking to raise funds for relief and wrote to London Times. He attended the opening of the new Church of Ireland Church on Cape Clear in October 1849 when the Vicar, the Rev. Edward Spring preached in Irish.  (The stones for this church were used to build the AIB Bank in Schull). The itinerant preacher Rev. Daniel Foley, accompanied by Rev. Fisher of Altar and Toormore, visited his parish in early 1849.  He had a Curate, paid for by the Irish Society in London.  It is probable that he was involved as a minor figure in the ‘Second Reformation’ being associated with controversial figures in West Cork and Kerry, Seamus Ó Suilleabhain, the Irish poet employed in the area as a scripture teacher was associated with the Rev Joseph Baylee who ministered in the Rev Nagle’s mission in Achill and later in Liverpool.  Around 1850 he was involved with Redmond Barry in efforts to develop a fishery in Dunmanus Bay.

James Freke Vicar 1852-1865, Magistrate 1862, attended the wedding of Lord Bandon’s daughter in Bandon 1863. John Harding Cole Curate, 1860. He was an early photographer and was involved in taking photographs at the Bazaar in Lord Bandon’s Castle Bandon in 1865.  He attended the funeral of Lord Bantry in July 1868.  Addressed a meeting in Durrus Courthouse in 1873 on the need to promote railways and gave the example of Belgium as having an efficient state owned railway system.  Recommended Frank Skuce, Clashadoo as recruit for RIC 1862. He was related to Baron Carbery of Castlefreke and was one of those who petitioned in relation to the estate in chancery  in April 1866.

John Pratt, 1875-1902, secured a Commissioners of Public Works loan for land improvement in Clashadoo. Grandfather and father clergymen, native of  Midleton, family in Burke’s Peerage.  Elected member of Royal Historical and Archaeological Asociation at Limerick 1889 on proposal of the O’Donovan, Lissaard House.

George T. Levis, 1902-1924, a native of Union Hall, BA Trinity 1892, ordained 1893, he married Sarah May Connolly daughter of Rev Quarry Connolly in Macroom in September 1902.  He was an athlete and cross country running champion, and brother of the GP Dr Levis.  He died in 1945 in retirement in Coachford..  His father was a popular landlord and one brother, F J was a solicitor in Cork and Thomas an auctioneer in Bandon.  Retired as Canon Levis.

A.A.Wilson, 1924-1928, transferred to Kilmoe. D.P.S. Wilson 1928-1931, previous parish Queenstown resigned and the Bishop directed a board of nomination to be summoned in July 1931.  This headed by Archdeacon Flewett appointed Canon McMananaway

T.J. McManaway (Johnny), BA Trinity 1909, MA 1918, served in WW1, Legion of Honour, 1931-1938, his previous parish was Eyrecourt, Galway.  Instrumental in establishing the Creamery in Durrus, 1934, later Kilcrohane.  He is commemorated in a poem by Charlie Dennis for his work in getting the road from Coomkeen to the North side started. There was surprise when he canvassed the new Fianna Fail government to promote this road.  When it was build it enabled farmers on the north side to come to Durrus creamery.  He had the National School built, the first new Church of Ireland School at the time since the foundation of the Free State.  Theologically he was against ‘mixed marriages’ and preached to this effect. He worked to improve agriculture active in the Show Committee which revived the Agricultural Show and is credited with introducing Golden Wonder potatoes to the district  which were called at the time ‘McManaways’  Made a Canon in 1943.  He was heavily involved in 1940 in establishing the creamery in Dunmanway.

William Doherty 1938-1947, ordained in 1930 for curacy of St Matthews Belfast, he left for Newtown Cunningham and Burt, Co Donegal.  In 1939 he was President of Durrus Show.  He sat on the Parish Council from 1940 with Father McSweeney and others. E.J.R. Tobias, 1947-1950, his earlier parish was St Finbarrs Cork his father was a Canon in Rathmines.

James Pennyfeather, formerly Kilagtree Raphoe, 1950-1952 B.J. Sole 1952-1953, he previously served in the Seychelles and in Addletone, Surrey, after Durrus he went to Castletown Roche.

  1. Ralph, 1953-1955, from St Mark’s Armagh.

There were a number of Church of England clegymen in the area in the 1950/60s.  One had Blairs Cove rented and had an Indian servant, later the same property was rented by the Rev Burton.  After his wife died he remarried and as his wife had been divorced the Bishop of Cork Dr Perdue was precluded by Church of Ireland law for permitting him to celebrate the sacraments. A fellow school mate of his the Rev Carpenter lived in the Kealties area in the same period.

Leonard V. Buckley- Jones, 1955-1973, He was installed after the customary declaration by J.B.Jermyn, Solicitor having previously served in Skibbereen.  He was chairman of Muinter na Tire and writing in the Diocesan magazine in 1961 he mentioned a poor spirit of co-operation in the area as only one parishioner had turned up at the Macra AGM.   He was in 1968 the Secretary/Treasurer of the West Cork Protestant Parents Association set up to improve opportunities for local children.  He built the new rectory, died in Scotland where his wife was from. She had been a nurse in Bantry Hospital and an uncle of his Rev Welwood died a Minister in Edinburgh in 1968

L.A. Elliott, 1973-1979 J.P. Clarke, 1979-1982

  1. Cavan, 1982-1985 Rev. Richard John McCoy 1985-1987

C.L. Peters, 1987- Rev Conner,

Rev. Paul Willoughby

Note, the parishes of Durrus and Kilcrohane seem to have been separated between 1634 and 1639 but reunited by 1663.

Methodist Ministers

Rev. W.J.Christie, Rev. Gentleman, Rev. Clerk Rev. James D. Foster 1926

Rev. M.J. Lewis 1933.