1847. Father John Kelleher, PP. Ballydebob, on evils of Land Tenure. Townland of Kilronogue, Ballydehob, West Cork, Population 1841 445, 1847 125 Dead from Hunger, 6 from Disease, 84 Missing.  1841 74 Houses, 1847 27 Unroofed, 11 Unoccupied.

At Kilbronogue the Revd. continued his journey escorted by Captain Harston, agent of the British Association and the Catholic Parish Priest, Fr. Barry. He visited nine houses before turning away with despair. “In the ninth house that of Charles Regan, I found that of eleven only three remained. We had met the woman of the house on the road and she accompanied me to most of the houses. When we arrived at her cabin she said: ‘I have a fine young man of nineteen years of age and you could carry him in the palm of your hand.’ I entered and saw a bundle of skin and bones, partly wrapped in a blanket, sitting by the fire. The mother said: ‘Sir, we have no sickness, but hunger!’ I had seen enough.”

Revd. French set up an eating house at Kilbronogue near Schull with funds from donations received. Rosbrin was later taken into the scheme. He reports happily from Kilbronogue:  I have just returned from Kilbronogue. All is progressing there most satisfactorily. Excellent order is being kept. All your rules are being observed and had not this day been rainy, nothing could have been pleasanter than the sight of 200 or more eating food, certainly with thankfulness to men, and, I trust with thankfulness to God also. But they did not seem to mind the rain, and we got the children under cover.

Cork Examiner 05 January 1848

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Very Rev. Canon John Kelleher PP VF

Colleges Attended

St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth Co Kildare, Ireland

Details Of Ordination

St. Mary’s Cathedral, Cork



Kinsale PP : 10/1853 – 19/3/1875

Dunmanway PP : 1849 – 10/1853

Goleen PP or East Schull : 1848 – 1849

Cathedral CC : 1847 – 1848

Kilmurry CC : 1841 – 1847

Kinsale CC : 1839 – 1841

Kilmurry CC – 1839

Muintir Bhaire CC

Post-Graduate Studies/Irish College. Rome


He was appointed Chancellor of the newly-established Cathedral Chapter on the 23/2/1858.

For an insight into the life and times of Canon Kelleher we would recommend; ‘Famine in West Cork – The Mizen Peninsula’ by Patrick Hickey, p. 99; 116; 133; 265; 288-9; 302; 307; 314; 325.

Date Of Death


Place Of Death

The Presbytery, Kinsale, Co. Cork

Place Of Burial

St. John the Baptist Church Vaults, Kinsale, Co. Cork


His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Delany, Bishop of Cork, presided at the Solemn Requiem Mass at St. John the Baptist Church, Kinsale, Co. Cork.


  1.  Attended huge anti-tithe meeting Mount Gabriel led by Timothy O’Donovan, Tullagh, later prosecuted with Father Quin for not paying tithes.  Many Church of Ireland and Methodist farmers attended the Mount Gabriel meeting.  1833 told Poor Law inquiry eviction often to insert a Landlord favourite or to replace a Catholic with a Protestant.

1843 as Curate of Kilmurray prepared a statistical analysis and present it to the British Association their annual meeting in Cok

1848 thanked the Quakers for their famine relief

1848 writing to Cork Examiner as PP East Schull on evils of land tenure and effects of famine on townland of Kilbronogue 184,1 74 houses, population 445. 1847 27 house unroofed, 11 unoccupied, 125 died of starvation, 6 disease, 84 missing.

1863 Led supporters in Kinsale election of V. B. Fitzgibbon against Sir George Colthurst. Military called to Kinsale on nomination day in case of trouble.

1868 supporting Kinale fisherman against allegation in Fishery Inspector report.

1869 while PP Kinsale swore of apprehension of damage to Chapel by Antrim Militia who later rioteted.  A military enquiry was held into their actions.