Holy wells: Mapping Ireland’s hidden heritage

Courtesy BBC:





Rounds, Holy Wells, at Rooska, Moulivard and Father Bernane from 1938 School Folklore Collection, Carrigboy National School, Durrus, West Cork.


Pishógs (Pre-Christian Taboos), Old Cures, Holy Wells from Sherkin Island, West Cork.


The Bishop of Cork , John Murphy, wrote on the 9th June 1817, to the parish priest of Inchigeela, Macroom, the Reverend. Jeremiah Holland. He imposed the penalty of excommunication on those who attended the Pattern at Gougán.


The Reverend Alcock, Church of Ireland Minister, Journey in a Gig from Durrus to Gougán Barra, West Cork, 1827, aftermath of Whiteboys 1823 at Keimineagh, attempts to use Irish Testament complaint about futility of Holy Wells unsuccessful attempt to set up Irish school in the area.


Lough Hyne Holy Wells


Devotions to Father Bernane, Moulivard, Durrus, 28th June, Holy Well Visitation at Kil-na-Comoge, Kealkil, Lady’s Day 15th August, Pilgrimage to St. Finbarr, Gougán Barra, West Cork, 25th September.


Bantry Gang: Healy Brothers, Thomas, Solicitor, M.P., Timothy, M.P. , Queen’s Counsel, Governor General Irish Free State, Tim, Sullivan Brothers, Alexander Martin, Owner ‘The Nation’, Founder Irish Parliamentary Party, M.P. Queen’s Counsel, Timothy Daniel, M.P. Composer ‘God Save Ireland”, Donal, Secretary Irish Parliamentary Party, M.P, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Harrington Brothers, Tim, Teacher, Journalist, Author of The Plan of Campaign, M.P., Barrister, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ned, Organiser, M.P., William Martin Murphy, International Businessman, Railway Contractor, owner Irish Independent, Dublin United Tramways, M.P., James Gilhooley, Fenian, M.P.

Courtesy Southern Star, Centenary Edition 1989


This is an extract from Memoirs of James Stanley Vickery, written c 1889 Australia, a good chance the master Healy wa the grandfather of the Healy brothers coming from Donoughmore again likely to be of salem extended family as John Hely Hutchinson Lord Donoughmore

c 1835 Then I was sent to the usual infant school where I presume I learnt something as when about eight a more advanced school was chosen. Unfortunately there was no great choice, the national school then newly established or a private one conducted by a man named Healy. The Irish protestants from the very first were prejudiced against the national system of schools describing them “poor schools”. The result being they were almost from the commencement under the wing of the R.C. priests. Healy the teacher of the small private school was a self taught man attaining as many self-taught men do a fair knowledge of mathematics but seemingly holding in contempt all other branches of learning. He was a little man essentially a tyrant cruel to a degree whose great delight was to make the unfortunate little come trembling and sobbing into his presence. In certain aspects of his character he exceeded any thing depicted by the pen of Dickens. The treatment I received thus early in my life at this man’s hands must have had an ill effect on me throughout life. He was a Roman Catholic but my grandfather insisted that I should learn so many verses of the bible every day. In the repeating of these and other lessons the rod was continually shaking over us and that rod was usually a well seasoned holly one with the sharp points adhering. I had to endure it all silently having no one to complain to. As an instance of his treatment I may relate the following. The school room was a rough one with an open roof, over one of the rafters one day he threw a small rope tied under my arms and then hoisted me up swinging me too and fro at the same time letting me feel the holly rod greatly to the amusement of the other boys. His wife happened to see him at this, to his pleasant, occupation when she rushed in and released me at the same time giving him some of her mind. He was eventually had up before the Magistrates and fined for cruelly treating some other scholars whose friends became aware of the fact.

The Healy brothers father Maurice became Master of the Bantry Workhouse at the age of 20. The person he replaced Spenser ran a guerilla warfare campaign against the Union being a self styled union accountant advising client on how to avoid rates.

Thomas Francis O’Higgins (23 July 1916 – 25 February 2003) was an Irish Fine Gael politician, barrister and judge who served as Chief Justice of Ireland from 1974 to 1985, a Judge of the Supreme Court from 1974 to 1985, a Judge of the European Court of Justice from 1985 to 1991, a Judge of the High Court from 1973 to 1974, Deputy Leader of Fine Gael from 1972 to 1977 and Minister for Health from 1954 to 1957. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1948 to 1969.

His son Kevin, a solicitor, some years ago President of the Law Society of Ireland, his brother a prominent auctioneer South Dublin.

1931 Funeral of Tim Healy, Bantry Born, M.P., Barrister, Governor General of Irish Free State. Genealogy (by John T. Collins 1944) of O’Healys/Healys/Hely from 5th Century, Patron Saint of Family St. Lachtin died 622 AD.


1885, House of Commons, London, A Lash of Tim Healy’s , MP, Tongue, The Earl of Bantry Off Chasing Kangaroos in Australia instead of Sitting on Cork Lunacy Board and Non Attending Board Member 90 Year old Earl of Mount Cashel.


Tim Healy Governor General Irish Free State Census Return 1901


At the fireplace in the Anchor Hotel Bantry, the Future Governor General Tim Healy (1855-1931) with friends asked as a parting gift that ‘something be done about the path from Adrigole to Lauragh’ now the Healy Pass and Bill O’Donnell’s Memoir ‘The Shortest Way Home.


1890, Will of Denis Murphy, Builder, Bantry, Builder of Bantry Pier, Father of William Martin Murphy. 1919, William Martin Murphy, Derrymihan, Beara and Dublin, businessman. Estate £250,000. He left a range of businesses with a substantial asset value, including Dublin’s tramway system, hotels in Dublin and Glengariff, Cleary’s Department store, a range of railway shares and various properties including a builders yard in Bantry (which is still in business). He had also invested heavily in the Dublin newspaper industry.


William Martin Murphy, Magistrate, 1884, The Square, Bantry, and Dartry Rathmines, Dublin, listed 1913.


A love affair between Samuel Beckett’s father Bill and Eva Murphy frustrated by her father William Martin Murphy


Associated with William Martin Murphy was the Chance family who sponsored Noel Browne, (Doctor, Minister for Health in coalition Government 1948-1951, through his medical studies. They had Bantry connection to the 1960s.

Families of Huguenot Extraction, Durrus/Mizen Districts, West Cork, Camier, Connell, Dukelow, Lavers/Levis, Madras, Peer/Pier

West Cork History

Screen Shot 2019-02-28 at 21.28.42


Families of Huguenot Extraction, Durrus/Mizen Districts, West Cork, Camier, Connell, Dukelow, Lavers/Levis, Madras, Peer/Pier.


Durrus_Mizen_Caheragh Huguenot Families, 2nd March 2019



Updated, click on link:








Schull Burials:


Post 1823 Letter from William Hull, Lemcon, Skibbereen, County Cork, to Henry Goulburn, Chief Secretary, Dublin Castle, referring to his former letter, emphasising the need to provide a simpler and less expensive means for the lower classes to recover small debts owed to them. Encloses, in support of his claim, a document entitled ‘ “a Manor Court Decree” taken by Richard Connell against Edward Butler, both of Kealfada, County Cork, demonstrating that the legal costs far outstrip the amount of the original debt; decree originally signed by John Sweetnam, seneschal [of Aghadown and Schull Manors], 4 October 1823. Chief Secretary Papers


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Photo c 1890 Ballabuidhe, Dunmanway, Horse Fair and Races, 1614 Charter to Randal Óg Hurley, Ballinacarriga Castle of Fair, Re Randal Óg Hurley it is possible that the Protestant Hurley family of nearly Kilmeen are successors. They repeatedly use Randal as a Christian name, farmers, teachers and latterly doctors.

Courtesy Southern Star, Skibbereen, 1989 Centenary Supplement:

Photo c 1890 Ballabuidhe Horse Fair and Races, 1614 Charter to Randal Óg Hurley of Fair, Re Randal Óg Hurley it is possible that the Protestant Hurley family of nearly Kilmeen are successors.  They repeatedly use Randal as a Christian name, farmers, teacher and latterly doctors.

The probability is that the horse fair goes back to the dawn of time.. I don’t think the Annals of the Four Masters were into horse fairs.


Ballabuidhe Horse Fair


1684.  John Bourk, Phylomath, Almanac, With Faires and Markets, of Ireland, 10th April Bandon, August Enniskeane, Timoleague. Dunmanway Fairs.


 Ballygurteen Fair, Dunmanway


 Surrender and Regrant.  Patent of James 1 of England, Court of Pie Powder Reserved to Donnell O’Donovan for Fairs, Ascension Thursday and Townlands Listed from Castledonovan to Castlehaven, Caheragh, Glandore, Squince, Brahalish in Durrus. Manor of Castledonovan Power to Hold Court of Leet and Baron,  Friday Market at Rahine, Tuesday market at Drimoleague.


 Sale of Lordship of Manor of Dunmanway (Town Charter 1693), The Purchaser will be Entitled as Lord of the Manor, To Hold  a Court of Pie Powder, To Adjudicate at Disputes Arising From Fairs.


1616. Ancient Bawnlahan, Leap, Fair Day, Ascension Thursday


The Manors of Bantry and the Manor of Altham are granted by Charles II, King of Great Britain and Ireland, 1660-85, Chancery Roll of 6 February 1679 to the Earl of Anglesea.


1963, John T. Collins, ‘Durrus, ‘An Ancient Highly Prized Celtic Parochial Centre. Listed in a Papal Decree 1199 AD’

1963, John T. Collins, ‘Durrus, ‘An Ancient Highly Prized Celtic Parochial Centre. Listed in a Papal Decree 1199 AD’

He was from around Kilmeen outside Clonakilty and in th e1910 became a nurse in Cork Mental Hospital. He retire in the early 1960 as a senior administrator.

His historical work emerged in the 1930 perhaps before and is characterized by a very high degree of accuracy. His circle included Paddy O’Keeffe, Bantry businessman (40 boxes of his papers are in the Cork Archives), Bernard O’Regan of Aughadown, Basil O’Connell, a descendant of Daniel O’Connell and author with is brother of the O’Connell Tracts.


A lot of John T. Collins articles have been digitalised

1590-1940, Updated Petitions, Lists West Cork.


Click here:


1580 Bandon Settlers, p. 1

1641, Depositions, Individuals, Bantry, Durrus, Schull areas, p.4

1659, Bandon District, Census of Ireland 1659 with supplementary material from the Poll Money ordinances 1660-1661

1688, Jurors, Inquisition, Ballinspittle. Initiated by Mary de Courcy, Lady Kinsale, Widow of Patrick to Recover Dower

1732, Subscription list of donations by the Gentlemen of the Parish of Bantry, sent by Father Peter O’Sullivan, Parish Priest of Bantry, West Cork, 8th January 1732 to Bishop Doctor Teige McCarthy Rabagh, against Penal Laws 

1766, Probable West Cork Subscribers  of 1766 ‘The History of the Irish Rebellion’, Cork,


1780, West Cork Subscribers, John Fitzgerald’s Cork Remembrance.

1787, Subscribers to William Collins Poetry, West Cork

1787, Lucas Commercial Directory, Bandon

1789-1839, Churchwardens, Kilbrogan, Bandon

1794, On the eve of the  Assizes The Minister, Churchwardens, and the Principal Inhabitants of Kilmeen thank the Government for their aid when their property was attacked by a deluded mob. p. 36

1796, Spinning Wheel Premium, Irish Flax Growers, 1796, p. 4

1799, Game Certificates, p. 89

1799, West Cork Supporters, Act of Union

1822, West Cork Subscribers Dr. Wood’s primitive Inhabitants of Ireland

1822 Local Fishery Committees

1825, Donors New Catholic Chapel, West Schull.

1826, Teachers of Baronies of East and West Carbery, Bantry and Bere, West Cork, p. 72

1826, United Parishes of Durrus and Muintervara, The Rev. Richard Quinn P.P. begs leave the undermentioned Ladies and Gentlemen by which he has been enable to nearly complete two churches in the United Parishes.  


1827, Lost, Beagle Bitch answers to name of ‘Lily’. Belongs to Dr. O’Donovan, O’Donovan’s Cove, Durrus, Reward to Person if Poor.

West Cork History


1827, Lost, Beagle Bitch answers to name of ‘Lily’. Belongs to Dr. O’Donovan, O’Donovan’s Cove, Durrus, Reward to Person if Poor.

This may be the celebrated Dr. O’Donovan active in Famine Relief adn author of a History of Carbery. Up to the 1830s there was a large beaging establishment at O’Donovan’s Cove. There may have been a change in the law at the time ending it.

The general area of uplands was much used for hunting, to the East Lord Bandon from 1850 used Durrus Court as a shooting lodge and paid some of the tenant to act as Gamekeepers.

Across the Bay in the 1870s Michael Morris of Friendly Cove (Evanson descendant) held coursing meetings at Coolculaghta.

In the newspaper ad there is a reference to Barrett of Dunmanway. That family were intermarried to the O’Donovans of the Cove. One branch of of the Barrett family were agent…

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