‘Tá lampa dFocal do mo mar Choraibh’ Thy words are a lamp unto my feet. Sacred to the memory of Thomas Olden, D.D., M.R.I.A.,, Historian of Church of Ireland, Gaelic Scholar, for thirty years Vicar of Ballyclough Parish, Co. Cork. Born 1st March, 1823. Died 29th October 1900. An eminent Irish Scholar, Antiquarian and Church Historian. He served God in his generation. Erected by a few friends.

From Colonel Grove White:

Click to access gw1_141-150.pdf

Thomas Olden, son of Robert Olden, of Cork. T.C.D.; B.A., 1846′ M.A. 1888; B.D. 1897; D.D. (Honoris Causa) 1898; M.R.I.A. 1870. Obtained honours in science, gold medal in logic and ethics, and first-class Div. Test. He was ordained deacon, 12th July, 1846, at Down, for the curacy of Cullen, Cork; and priest, 30th May, 1847, at Midleton, by * Laban signifies mud, dirt, or perhaps the meaning may be Leath (Lah), Half-La-bawn, half-bawn. REV. THOMAS OLDEN, D D. » I – • • BALLYCLOUGH (LAVAN ) PARISH AND CASTLE ’47 Bishop of Killaloe. Wa s curate of Tullilease, Cloyne, i860, and vicar of same, 27th August, i860 to 1868 (vide his important work in that parish). He married on 28th July, 1853, Sophie Elizabeth, dau. of the Rev. James Morton, V. Clonfert (Brady), and by her, who died 27th December, 1899, had issue—1. James Morton Ruxton Fitzherbert, b. 25th May, 1854, who was unfortunately drowned, together with his cousin, Robert Aidworth, when at Rossal College, in Lancashire, in 1868; 2. George Gustavus, ob. juv. ; 1st, Olivia; 2nd, Sophia Jane Louisa; and 3rd, Dorothea Emily Morton, wife of Rev. John Harding Cole, B.A., last R.V. of Leighmoney, Cork. Dr. Olden was a scholar of much distinction, a learned antiquarian, and well versed in the Irish language. He published many valuable writings, amongst them being—The Epistles and Hymn of St. Patrick (3rd ed. S.P.C.K., 1894); A History of the Church of Ireland (2nd ed., 1895); ZTre Scriptures in Ireland One Thousand Years Ago, a translation from the Wurtzburg Glosses; sixty-three “Lives of Distinguished Irishmen,” in the Dictionary of National Biography; numerous papers in the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, the Royal Society ‘of Antiquaries, and the St. Paul’s Ecclesiological Society, etc., etc. In recognition of his merits, his University conferred upon him (Honoris Causa) the Degree of D.D. in 1898. Dr. Olden resigned Ballyclogh, owing to ill-health, in July, 1899, but retained his stipend and glebe; and the parish of Ballyclogh, with Dromdowney was added to Castlemagner union (q.v.) Dr. Olden died at his vicarage, Ballyclough, on the 29th of October, 1900, aged JJ years. Of him, the Bishop of the Diocese said, in his annual pastoral letter, January, 1901 :—”We were proud of him in this diocese. We felt it to be an honour that he was numbered amongst our Clergy. By his learning and ability he has done a great work for the Church. As an Irish scholar, there were not many that could surpass him. But it is as the historian of the Church of Ireland that he will ever be remembered. Although he was so learned, and so distinguished, hse was kind and gentle and unassuming in his manner, and was dearly loved by his family and his friends, and by the people amongst whom hie ministered for thirty-one years. A mural tablet has been erected to his memory in Ballyclough Church by his parishioners and friends.” The late Rev. Dr. Olden also wrote:— St. Patrick and his Mission, Dublin, 1894, an(* a now very scarce and valuable pamphlet: Some Notices of St. Colman of Cloyne, Bishop and Poet. Cork: T. Morgan, 1881. To the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries he contributed a paper on ” The Voyage of St Brendan,” 4th quarter, 1891. To the Cork Historical and Archceological Journal he contributed a paper on “Kilmaclenine” in No. 39, July-Sept., 1898, besides some interesting notes to the article on St. Beretchert of Tullylease, that appeared in the No. for February, 1895, and he also contributed still more frequently to the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, of which he was a ember. The wording of his mortuary tablet will be found later on in the portion of the present series relating to Ballyclough Church. . (Lewis, pub. 1837), under “Ballyclogh”





1822, The Troubles of a Struggling Farmer, Mud Cabin, Heavy Taxes, Tithes, Cess, and Rack Rents, Wintry Wind, by Poet Mícheál Óg Ó Longáin (1766-1837), Caheragh,  (lived later Glanmire), Co. Cork.


1766–1837),poet and scribe; born to the Ó Longáin learned family in Carrignavar, Co. Cork.
1766-1837; b. Carrignavar, Co. Cork; son of Mícheál mac Peadair; orphaned young, his parents dying in 1770 and 1774; employed as cowherd; returned to education, 1784; assisted United Irishmen, 1797-98; wrote for Whiteboys, 1785; ‘Buachaillí Loch Garman [Boys of Wexford]’, 1798; m. 1800; worked as scribe, labourer, and teacher in Co. Cork; settled in north Kerry and East Limerick, 1802-07; wrote on poverty and oppression; employed as a teacher and scribe by Rev. John Murphy, Bishop of Cork, 1814; copied manuscripts, 1817-1820; sons Peadar and Pól, and Seosamh, also became scribes; died. on his son Pól’s 11-acre holding in eleven acres in Knockboy in Carrignavar.

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Breandán Ó Conchúir, Scríobhaithe Chorcaí 1700-1850 (1982)

It is likely that poet JJ Callanan sent quite a while in Caheragh through Bantry Doctor Dr. Thomas Burke in the 1810s who had associations in the area.

The Ó Longáin Family

… http://blogs.ucc.ie/wordpress/theriverside/2015/09/09/o-longain-family/

From the 18th century to the late 19th century the surname ‘Ó Longáin’ was synonymous with ‘scribes.’  Working as a scribe meant copying stories, poetry, histories and religious texts from manuscripts and printed works for patrons. Working as a scribe also involved translating texts from Irish to English.  Frequently their patrons were from Cork merchant families, were Cork scholars themselves such as John Windele or from Cork clergy such as Bishop John Murphy. Working as a scribe had previously been a position of privilege but as the Gaelic order disintegrated following the Flight of the Earls in 1607, scribes found their living situation growing perilous and frequently lived in poverty. Micheál mac Peattair, his son Micheál Óg and his grandson Peadar were based in Carrignavar, Cork. Grandsons Pól and Seosamh were primarily based in Dublin. Seosamh transcribed manuscript facsimiles for publication on behalf of the Royal Irish Academy. The Ó Longáin preserved a tradition and ensured access to countless texts through their scribing endeavours.


Caheragh Poets:


Courtesy Father Patrick Hickey, Famine in west Cork.

Fuacht na scailpe-se, deathach is gaoth gheimhridh,

Cruas na leapsa-sa’s easpa braith lae’s oíche,

Muarcuid teascnna, deachmaithe’s glaoch cíosa,

Tug buartha cáthach mé, easpaitheach éagaoinaointeach.

The cold of the mud cabin, smoke adn wintry wind,

The hardness of this bed and the lack of a mantle day or night,

Heavy taxes, tithes, and rack-rent demands,

Have made me troubled, in want, and lamenting.

Campaign against ‘Irishry’ from the 17th Century Plantations of Co. Cork, Attempted Eradication of Irish Place names and Townland Names, Bandon,Mossgrove/Garranaghooney, Carrigaline, Hoddersfield/Moneyvrin, Ringabroe and Killacrow, Doneraile, Annsgrove/ Ballynmock, Among Others.

The undertakers in the plantation were exhorted to eradicate all traces of ‘Irishry’ in language, dress, religion, culture and local place names and impose English ones.   In the listing of the Cork Magistracy from 1650 to 1922 there are very exotic names given to the Magistrates Castles and Demesnes.  They would sit comfortable in the West County of England but sounds strange in the wilds of West or North Cork.  In many ways the English West Country and Cork form a common economic zone with the short sea crossing.

The Cork Magistracy on one reading can be viewed akin to the US Military Forts in ‘Injun Country’ keeping the wild Irish in check.  The policy of cultural subjudication has a long one in  human history.   The current example being ISIS and their systematic destruction of Christian and pre Islamic cultural manifestations in the Middle East.

In Ireland the area with the lowest level of survival of Gaelic placenames is Leinster where the Normans transformed the landscape from the 12th century.  Surprisingly the highest level of survival in in Presbyterian Ulster.




Obituary, Faulkner’s Dublin Journal,  7th February 1756, Owen An Mheirín (The Little finger) McCarthy, at Aharlu, near Ross, Co. Cork, Well Known Gaelic Poet, Historian and Herald, in which his Superior Knowledge and Singular Talents had rendered him very agreeable to such as had the Happiness of his Company.