Lease of 1836, Reenvanagh, Whiddy Island, ‘Covenant to lay out by Lessee (Tobin) Ten Boat Loads (each containing thirty horse loads) of Best Coral Sea Sand Annually of Premises under a penalty of £10.
The land on Whiddy is very fertile. A significant part of the Island was used in 1967 by Gulf Oil to build a major oil tank farm still operational which holds Ireland’s strategic oil reserve.
The reference to one of the lives of a son of a local Catholic Landlord Timothy O’Donovan might suggest their involvement in the coral sand business. This operated in Bantry until the 1950s. Until guano from Chile and late chemical fertilisers came in the late 19th century Bantry Bay coral was prized as a fertiliser.