Post Napoleonic  War Half Pay Officers in Bantry, West Cork.


Paddy O’Keeffe. Bantry Historian reckoned that in the greater Bantry area there wee around 24 such officers of whom quite a number were Catholic.


The Napoleonic Wars imposed a state of total war not seen again until World War 1.  For Ireland a time of great prosperity which collapsed after the battle of Waterloo 1815.


The officers were paid around £40 per annum, not enough to live their lifestyle.  The Chief Secretaries papers have a lot of correspondence from such officers seeking employment s Chief Constables of Police pre RIC.


They were favoured for official position in preference to affluent Catholics as in Father’s Collins evidence in 1825:






Burke, Stephen, Lieut., Chief Constable, North-st. (NGC).  Probably originally from Galway.
Burke, Thos., Surgeon, HP, Blackrock-road (NGC).  May be from Caheragh, port JJ Callanan stayed with him for two years leading anti tithe and repeal activist.
Carew, Wm. M., Ensign, HP, Chapel-hill (NGC)
Cooke, James, Lieut., HP, Blackrock-road (NGC)
Ellis, Dixie, Captain, HP, Whiddy Island (NGC)
Kirby, David, Lieut., HO, Strand (NGC).  Originally North Cork Militia family later prominent as doctors in Bantry.
McCarthy, Wm., Lieut., HP, Caheir Daniel (NGC).  
O”Donovan, Daniel, Lieut., HO, Kealevenogue (NGC). When he died in 1830s describes as last of the Irish Brigade who after the fall of the Bastille joined the British Army retaining their rank.  Probably related to O’Donovan family of O’Donovan’s Cove, Durrus.
Pottinger, H., Lieut., HP, Main-st. (NGC)
Ratcliffe, Wm., Lieut., HP, North-st. (NGC)


1810, 1831, 1840 Dr. Thomas Burke 1824, Surgeon, HP, Blackrock-road (NGC). Possible The Square, 1810 Thomas Burke Haalf Pay Surgeon married Margaret McCarthy, (1784-1831), posssibly through her he acquired lands at Caheragh, she was likely of the Muclaghs (Clann Tighe Roe Scartaigh) and the lands from McCarthy Gurtnascreena. May be from Caheragh the person tht poet JJ Callanan stayed with for around 2 years when he wrote Gougan Barra and Lamesnt to Morty Oge. memorial to Father Walsh PP leaving Bantry. Attending Great Meeting re Poor Law in 1840, Bantry, gave a speech promoting reeclamation of waste, mine development, employment rather than charity. 1846 distress meeting Bantry. Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier 28 April 1831