(Scroll down for bigger map)
No 4 Shanakill Loop Walk = Orange
Tim Lee’s House marked “D”
The Barrack Ambush
The IRA attacked the Gortderrybeg Barrack marked “A” on the attached map on the night before the Truce in 1921. The Irish War of Independence was brought to an uneasy end with a Truce on July 11th 1921 between the IRA and British forces. The attack took place from behind the cover of a large clamp of turf marked “B” on the map.
The Barrack Well marked “C”
This Well was used to supply water to Gortderrybeg Barrack and to households in the locality. The well and adjacent hand pump erected by the Co. Council in the 1940’s had fallen into disuse and was completely overgrown and invisible from the road. Our thanks to Michael & Joe Sheedy, Joe Hynes & Donal Lee who facilitated the removal of the bushes and scrub to make it visible again. It was constructed at the time of the opening of the local Barrack, is fully lined with stonework & has stone steps leading down to the clear water. The handpump is not in working order, however.
Harry Ogle’s Cross (52.871358, -7.773023)
Gortderrybeg Constabulary Barrack marked “A”, was always officially known by the incorrect name Gortderrybeg. Gortderryboy is the correct name of the townland in which the barrack is situated. The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) was formed in 1836 and was the armed police force of the United Kingdom and in Ireland from the early nineteenth century until 1922. In January 1922 the British and Irish delegations agreed to disband the RIC. Phased disbandment began within a few weeks, with RIC personnel both regular and auxiliary being withdrawn to six centres in southern Ireland. On 2 April 1922 the force formally ceased to exist, although the actual process was not completed until August that year. The RIC was replaced by the Civic Guard (renamed the Garda Síochána the following year). The Barrack was occupied by a Sergeant and four constables with the Sergeant’s wife in residence in a small separate Married Quarter to the rear of the main building. Originally, the Old Road towards the West was at the northern side of the Barrack and led to several houses but has now almost completely vanished. Later, during the 1850’s, the Old Road led into a farm where the present road which we call the ‘Back Lane’ is now. It was extended when the Roe estate was divided in 1926 but initially only to the Loran Estate boundary the Black Drain.
Andrew Russell’s House marked “E” (52.869011, -7.778597)
Army Camp Some short time before the outbreak of The Great War in 1914, a Cavalry detachment of the Imperial Army as it was then, camped for one night in Russell’s field beside us. Where they came from or went afterwards is unknown. They were marching north and where better to spend the night than in a fine field of grass owned by the Army’s retired Deputy Surgeon-General William Carden Roe, of Loran Park? The actual date is unclear but there was a wake in progress at Hearney’s on that night (Opposite the sheep dipping tub marked “X”)
(52.861804, -7.771309) and proceedings were disrupted for quite a while as the Cavalry thundered past. In reality, little appears to have happened but locals took good note of the fine horses. They were tethered by a front leg around which was tied a leather strap attached to a rope lying on the ground. In that way a good number could be effectively controlled by one handler. They were all watered in the morning at Dromard Bridge (marked “Y”).
(52.863371, -7.772071) Stories were related afterwards of how some live bullets were found and thrown into the embers of the many campfires, with explosive results! Other practical jokers “found” pennies in the campfires which encouraged the gullible to search the ashes- just in case the stories were true!
We are in the townland of GORTDERRYBOY which was part of the old O’Meagher Clan territory and at the time of Cromwell’s arrival it was legally owned by JOHN MEAGHER. This John Meagher owned lands in the townlands of Clonakenny, Bonagortbaun, Ballyhenry, Shanballynahagh, Loran, Ballynough and Gortderryboy, all in the Barony of Ikerrin. The family had castles at Clonakenny, Boulabaun, Bawnadrum, etc. Incidentially, Boolabaun was owned by THOMAS MEAGHER at this time. The Meaghers were in control until Cromwell arrived in 1649.
Under the Cromwellian settlements the lands of Gortderryboy were granted to a new settler/planter as follows: 236 Plantation Acres of Profitable land were confiscated and given to Sir Martin Noell. 68 unprofitable Acres were probably left to Meagher.
A 1659 Down Survey Census Record, we do not know the accuracy of it, shows that there were a total of 9, in Gortderryboy, all English. Whether this is a total of families, landholders, or what exactly, is unknown to us. We have no knowledge of any events, residents or changes of ownership between 1670 and 1820, a full 150 years!!! As far as is known no castle, mansion or Big House ever existed in this townland.
The next record we have is the Tithe Applotment survey of the late 1820’s when the sole landholder in the townland was listed as Major Willington, of the Killoskehane family. The area is listed as 120 (Irish) acres profitable and 20 (Irish) acres of bog. There would seem to be land missing, untenanted or a mistaken border with another townland. Griffith’s Primary Valuation Survey of 1850 is very clear however and using the same Ordnance Survey maps as are used today gives a total acreage of 242 acres, 2 roods and 10 perches, statute measurement. In January 1851, the owner is listed as Henry Minchin, who had leased it to George Roe who occupied half of it himself and sub-let the other half of it to 5 tenant farmers, some of his Herds and others. Some of the dwellings appear to be unoccupied, we do not know why but this survey was taken just after the famine so hunger and emigration MAY already be having an effect on the population.
Houses in this townland in the mid nineteenth century were occupied by Bergins, Connells & Costigans. The Constabulary Barrack is listed with a R.V. of 5 guineas on the buildings. The Roe family later became full owners of the whole townland. The 1901 Census lists only 3 occupied dwellings in Gortderryboy: 1.The Constabulary Barrack, 6 people, 2.The Maher household, 7 people, 3.Sarah Costigan living alone. The total population is 14 people. The 2011 census remarkably, shows an INCREASE in both households and population to: 8 occupied houses and a total population of 16 people.
In the mid 1920’s the Roe Estate was acquired by the Irish Land Commission and divided among mostly local families with the exception of parts of Dromard More, Cullahill and Loran. Here in Gortderryboy it was given to existing tenant farmers, former Loran estate workers and local dwellers under a Land Purchase Scheme with a repayment period of 60 years.
The Black Drain Marked “F” (52.866857, -7.784627)
The Black Drain is the boundary between the three townlands of Gortderryboy, Shanakill and Gortnagowna and also the Dioscesan boundary between Killaloe and Cashel. It is also the Loran Estate Boundary. The old people say that long ago a black pig was seen running on its bank.
Cody’s Saw Mill marked “G” Horse power was used to work the machines here at the first site of Cody’s Sawmill, a business which remarkably still operates today as Patrick Cody Limited at Clonakenny. The round track on which the horses walked round and round is marked on the 1903 Ordnance Survey map. Carey’s, Cody’s & Donellans lived here in houses which are marked on the Ordnance Survey maps from the 1830’s onwards. One small field here was known as "Danlin's Garden". Access to all was across the fields from a point adjacent to Greenane Gate at Foxburrow Lodge marked “M”. The continuation of the construction of the Back Lane beyond the Loran Estate boundary to Shanakill was facilitated by a grant of some land of the Roe Estate to the Maher (Conn) family through whose land the new road traversed. This also provided access by road to lands of the Roe Estate adjoining the Back Lane granted to other Shanakill farmers.
Frank Smith’s House marked “H”. (52.864850, -7.793575)
Known to older local people as Master Dargan’s House. Master Thomas Dargan was the School Teacher in Shanakill School at the date of the 1901 & 1911 censuses, and later the residence of his son Tommy Dargan and his wife, up to the 1970’s when it was purchased by Frank & Nance Smith. Newe’s occupied it in the 1850’s
Newe’s Forge Lawrence Newe was a Blacksmith and had a Forge here in the 1850s. Paddy Newe later lived here and was reported to be a good Blacksmith also and great at making gates and Iron bands for cart wheels. The workshop/forge area is clearly recognisable today & has a galvanise roof while the residence was thatched (of course) up to renovation & slating by Smiths in the 1970’s, one of the very last houses in the area to have this conversion completed.
Liam Fanning’s House( 52.864303, -7.795039)
The Lime Kiln marked “I”
(52.863924, -7.795457) Maher (Corrs) lived here. There was a large & deep quarry alongside the lane behind the Lime Kiln which was filled in in the 1970’s for safety reasons as it had become a dangerous water-filled hole. Having removed some briars and ivy from the front of the kiln some days earlier to give a view of a very well preserved façade, we visited the Lime Kiln by kind permission of owner Liam Fanning.
Frank Maher gave us a full description of how stones, probably from the quarry to the rear, were converted into quicklime for use as fertiliser and building mortar. Lime has been used in Ireland since before the Christian era. It has many uses the principal of which is probably in agriculture where it is used to reduce the ph value soil. The use of lime for agricultural purposes began in Ireland in the 12th century, possibly a Norman introduction, dressing soil with lime was widespread by the mid 1600's, the industry must have employed a considerable number of people. Lime kilns across the country basically followed the same design consisting of an egg shaped chamber 3 to 7 metres in diameter, with a hole at the bottom allowing access of air for combustion and the removal of the quick lime, this was constructed of bricks inside a square stone tower the height of which varied and may have been between 4 and 8 meters high. The kiln was often built into a bank allowing the fuel and limestone to be easily loaded into the top of the kiln and this is exactly the case in this instance. This was a batch process, each burning may have taken as much as four days, so allowing for filling, burning, cooling and removal each batch probably took a week. For the process to work efficiently it was necessary that the kiln attained a temperature of 900 degrees C.
The old Townland of Achaboy - Ahavoymarked “J”
This is the old name, with several similar spellings, for a part of present-day Shanakill & Gortnagowna. The Townland name has disappeared off the Ordnance Survey Maps and Land Registry documents. It lives on among local people when referring to a particular small parcel of land. However, prior to the Cromwellian Invasion of 1649 it comprised around half of present-day Shanakill and was owned by James Purcell of Knockanroe, whose castle (now gone) was beside the Suir just past Knockanroe Bridge.
Under the Cromwellian settlement dated 11th May 1666, the lands of Agavogue were granted to a new settler/planter as follows: 258 Plantation Acres of Profitable land were confiscated and all given to Sir Martin Noell. 38 Unprofitable Acres were left to Purcell. The annual rent was £3-18-4 ¼, a part called Gortnagowna had a rent of £3-0-9.
Historically, Shanakill was part of the O’Meagher territory. After the Plantation of Munster in the 1580’s under Queen Elizabeth 1, it fell to the Butler’s, Dukes of Ormond. The Butlers were Norman invaders and all loyal to the English Crown and took over huge tracts of the land in Kilkenny and Tipperary and built castles and mansions all over the place. The principal seat was Kilkenny Castle with others in Carrick on Suir and locally at Ballinakill Castle. Some of the Butlers were Catholic and some were Protestant at this stage, the Reformation having been “promoted” by King Henry 8th since 1529. The Flight of the Earls of 1607 consolidated this position.
All was well until Cromwell arrived in 1649. The owner of Shanakill at that time was Sir Richard Butler. However, under the Cromwellian settlement dated 30th November 1666, the lands of Shanakill were granted to new settlers/planters as follows: 275 Plantation Acres of Profitable land were confiscated and given to Bartholemew Foulkes, Colonel Carey Dillon and Sir Martin Noell. 104 Unprofitable Acres were left to Butler. Noell’s annual rent to the Crown was set at £2-1-3¾.
Shanakill & Aghavogue became known as SHANAKILL only.
Shanakill School marked “K” (52.863419, -7.801112)
About seventy years ago this school was different. (See note re: Author) There was no porch or door towards the south. The one door on it was towards the North in front of where the pump is now, with a window on each side of it. The teachers were Master Corbett and Miss Margaret Maher. Master Corbett lived in Skehanagh. He was lame. Margaret Maher lived in Killough before she got married and when she was married to Mr. Fennell she lived near the school. Afterwards she resigned.
About fifty years ago Master Dargan was the only teacher. (See note re: Author)
In those days the pupils used get an hour's play. The game often played was pelting stones. Two teams would be arranged about fifty yds. from each other and then the pelting would begin. The school was built in 1854 and closed in September 1999 Dargan’s had a Pig House across the road, the final remains of which were visible up to at least the 1960’s when we attended school here. Shanakill Fife and Drum band 1890 – 1950 was one of a number of bands in the locality. It is said that the bands followed political loyalties, not unusual for the time and still common in Ulster even today. The Forking tree field" There is a 14 acres in the field belonging to P. Dargan’s in Gortnagowna, Roscrea called the "Forking Tree Field". It got its name from a big ash tree growing there with a lot of branches growing out of it.
Much of this piece was written by the pupils of the school in 1937/38, when Mr. John Kelly was the teacher, from information supplied by their parents, grandparents and neighbours and recorded by the Folklore Commission. (see www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5017943).
The Dispensary Marked “L” (52.864092, -7.788816)
- Foxburrow Lodge
Very little is known of the history of Shanakill between 1666 and the first recorded partial Census which was the Tithe Applotment survey of the late 1820’s which lists the names of the occupiers of the land for the purpose of calculating the Tithes to be paid to The Established Church. It does not list the owners however. There was no castle or mansion built in Shanakill. However, an important piece of information has been discovered by Jim & Tim Maher (Orchard). In the old cemetery in Templemore Park, lies the grave of a Lalor family. Seemingly insignificant at first, the later inscription on the tomb reads : Richard Lalor, Shanakill, died 15-6-1776 aged 49 years and His wife Elinor Lidwell, died 8-8-1789 aged 42 years . We are not sure where they lived but it seems likely that it was at the only ‘Gentleman’s’ residence in the townland- Foxburrow Lodge. One reason for this assumption is the fact that they were not buried in any of the local cemeteries but rather in Templemore where earlier Lalor’s were buried and who had the means to finance a tomb and inscriptions. A descendant, either son or grandson was Fr. Thomas Lalor who was Parish Priest of Clonmore from 1807 to 1815 when that parish was independent of Templemore parish. These Lalors were related to a Jeremiah Lalor who is buried in the same tomb in Templemore and whose inscription reads: Jerimia Lalor Killough 1626-1709 , Died 9-7-1709 aged 83years. Killough adjoins Shanakill to the South & West. This man was a Major who fought on the side of the Confederacy in the 1641 to 1649 Rebellion and came from Dysart near Portlaoise, presumably dispossessed in the Plantation of Queen’s County. He married Judith O’Meagher daughter of Kedagh O’Meagher of Boolabaun who was involved in the O’Neill & O’Donnell campaign leading up to the Battle of Kinsale in 1601. The Lalors of Long Orchard descended from Jeremiah and Judith.
Foxburrow Lodge is shown on the early Ordnance Survey maps of the late 1820’s as a smallish residence with large gardens of several acres. The house was a thatched building.In the Griffith’s Valuation survey dated 1852 it is occupied by John Maher Andrew. By 1890, it is listed in the Rate Book as a Dispensary, and occupied by James Maher with half of the Annual Rent payable to the Co. Council in rates. There is evidence that the Co. Council carried out repairs around this time which may account for the large abutments at the front of the building? The 1904 Ord. Survey map shows no gardens and is marked as ‘Dispensary’ with no mention of Foxburrow Lodge at all and the entrance now at the front of the building. It closed in the mid 1950’s when the new dispensary was built in Clonakenny and quickly fell into disrepair, the thatched roof fell in and was finally demolished in the 1970’s. Some school children may have paid visits from time to time after it became vacant.As with most of Ireland in the 19th Century, Shanakill was owned by an absentee landlord but occupied by families whose names are very familiar to all us locals. Mahers, Meaghers, Ryans, Tierneys, Murphys, Harringtons, Harrolds, Greeds, Treacys are all familiar names of those who were living here nearly 200 years ago, many as tenants, others as landless tradespeople and labourers. But, Griffith’s Primary Valuation of 1851 shows clearly that the OWNER of the entire townland comprising 872 Statute Acres was ‘John Maher, Esquire’.Who was John Maher?
It is likely that he was of Tullamaine Castle, Fethard. This Maher family originated in Tullamacjames, Templetuohy but became large landowners in the early to mid19th century. Nicholas Maher of Turtulla House married a Miss Smyth from Callan, Co. Kilkenny and had three children.Turtulla House, is the clubhouse of Thurles Golf Club since 1944. This was the Irish residence of Valentine Maher who was M.P. for Tipperary from 1841 to 1844 when he died unmarried & childless aged 64. John, the elder brother lived at Tullamaine Castle, married Catherine Prendergast and also died childless in 1850. Their sister Marianne, married a man named Edmund Smyth Esquire. They had two children, Edmund and Lorenzo. We don’t know anything about Edmund but Lorenzo was also known as Lary John Smyth and lived in Paris at 4 Rue D’Aboukir.He is listed in the Landowners of Co. Clare in the latter part of the 1870’s as owning 2,502 acres either jointly/in partnership/tenant in common with Countess De Boisi of 243 Boulevarde St.Germains, Paris. As of now, we do not know the relationship between the Countess and Lary John. However, the owner of Shanakill in 1890 is listed in the Rate Books as The Countess De Boisi only.Eventually, ownership of all of Shanakill passed to the existing tenants facilitated by the many Land Acts passed as a result of agitation initiated by the Land League and carried on by Parnell and subsequent Irish MP’s in Westminster.
The landlords of old were bought out by payments by The Crown through various systems operated by the Irish Land Commission and the former tenants paid a Land Annuity over 60 years to clear the capital.
Greenane Gate marked “M”
Greenane Gate: Just past the Dispensary on the other side of the road is Greenane Gate, now no more than a barely perceptible change in the foliage of the hedge. Deriving from the term "Green Ann", The green "Hill of Ann" It was also the way into Coady’s 1st Saw Mill and the other houses, the site of which we passed by on the Back Lane.
Cody’s 2nd Saw Mill marked “N”
The 2nd Saw Mill was in the field now owned by Bridget Delaney, just to the left of the laneway. A steam engine was now used to drive the mill machinery and so water was constantly needed for the engine which had to be drawn by a horse and operator.
Cody’s 3rd Saw Mill marked “N2”
After some time another move was made back towards Foxburrow to the corner of the Dispensary field. The same steam engine was used but now it used water from the stream nearby which was dammed to provide a small lake in the corner of the field. The concrete foundations used under the engine were still in place up to the 1970’s when the pond was also drained and covered over. The mill, steam engine and machinery was finally moved to Clonakenny in the 1920’s.
Andy Maher’s House (52.862732, -7.785694)
Nancy’s Well marked “O” (52.862537, -7.785361)
This Well is named after Nancy Ryan, who lived closest to it. As shown in the 1901 census, she was an 80 years old widow and retired domestic servant. A Michael Ryan of the Lough is living here and leasing this portion of land in the 1850’s - He could have been either her husband or her father. The well, directly by the roadside, has fallen into disuse and was uncovered by the Bournea Xo team for today, but was used by the local residents up to the 1960’s. We saw Water Hens and Earc Luachra (Newts) here during our schooldays but these are now confined to the Brookgady.
The Brookgady marked “P” (52.862337, -7.784846)
This unusual feature and it’s unusual name is really a tiny lake with no obvious source of water. Directly across the road from Nancy’s Well it is likely to be fed from the same fresh water spring. Overgrown with sally bushes and full of muck now, it was often used by horse cart drivers to wet the wheels of the common cars in order to keep the bands from loosening. They simply drove in off the road through the pond and back out onto the road without stopping. The origin of the name is unknown, several interpretations of an originally Irish name would suggest that the first syllable might derive from ‘bruach’ meaning border or edge. The second part is less obvious, some say gadaí meaning thieves, or it could be diabhail – the devil. It is possible that the pond originated when limestone was quarried for use in another lime kiln situated almost directly across the road.
Lime Kiln (Joe Maher’s Lane) marked # (52.861767, -7.784954)
We didn’t actually visit this lime kiln but it is exactly the same as that which we saw earlier at Liam Fanning’s and dates from the early part of the nineteenth century.
Church in Harrington’s field marked “Q” (52.861258, -7.790007)
To the west , away from the roadway is the old church site in Shanakill, dedicated to St. Anne as is the present church in that parish, at Clonmore. No ruins or other obvious remains are now visible. There was also a burial ground there and the marks of the graves were still visible in the field until it was ploughed and reseeded in the 1970’s. Mrs. Murphy, Walltown, remembered seeing mourners coming from the funeral of a child there, towards the end of the nineteenth century.
O’Brien’s New Road (52.861371, -7.783184)
Leahy’s Lane marked “R” (52.861216, -7.781609)
In this lane is where a man named Tom Leahy lived. He was a spinner, a weaver and a carder of wool. It is about 155 years ago since he lived there, in the middle of the 19th century. He is remembered by the name on the laneway which has now been extended by the current owners to completely cross Shanakill & Gortderryboy to the main Loran road at the point marked “Z”
Fenian Arms Buried
After the Fenian Rising of 1867 local folklore related a story of Fenian Arms being buried in this area. As it was boggy ground in times past it would have been plausible but in fact nothing was ever found to either prove or disprove the story.
John Lee’s House (52.857284, -7.774420) (52.857245, -7.775890)
A family named Monahan occupied and later owned land and a house to the north of here but had no entrance from the road. It was ‘landlocked’ and the only entrance was through the River to their property.
Church in Greed’s marked “T” Graveyard (52.853196, -7.779645) (52.852749, -7.780332)
A quarter mile due west from this point, just past the bridge in the adjoining townland of Skehanagh was a Church and graveyard – in Greed’s land, called Kyleshall. Beside the river, there was a children’s burial place and church field. There was also an old school at Greed’s entrance gate at some time in the past.
Buggaun Penal Church marked “U” (52.856098, -7.773347)
In Buggaun townland, in the eastern end of a field owned by Lee’s purchased from from Mrs. Patrick Ryan is the site of a Penal Days chapel. No ruins or other visible sign remains except that in a dry year the colour of the grass changes to show an outline of what lies underneath.
In 1695 harsh penal laws were enacted, known as the 'popery code': Catholics were prohibited from buying land, bringing their children up as Catholics, and from entering the forces or the law. Catholics could no longer run for elected office, purchase land, or own property (such as horses) valued at more than 5 pounds. As a result, much of Catholic church services and education were forced underground, to operate only under extreme secrecy. The religion and culture were kept alive by secret open-air masses and illegal outdoor schools, known as 'hedge' schools.
Loran Creamery marked “V” (52.858682, -7.770531)
After the Land Commission divided the Roe Estate between farmers from the area and seven families that came to live in the locality from Toor, Newport, John Kennedy with the help of his brother Dr Henry Kennedy who was secretary of the I.A.O.S. “Irish Agriculture Organisation Society” decided to try and set up a local creamery. A meeting was held in Marnell’s house in Clonmore attended by Ned Byrne, Michael Fitzpatrick, Tom Hackett and John Kennedy. They went about canvassing local farmers to encourage support. Approximately 160 farmers in the area decided to become shareholders and Loran Creamery was born and built in 1928. In the early years it was run by in conjunction with a creamery near Roscrea (at the present Citeaux Hall site) until 1939 and formal amalgamation was completed with Centenary Co-Op in July 1941. It was a great asset to the community over the years. Willie Buckley was Manager until he was succeeded by Andy Maher. Pat Hartigan worked there all his life as did his son Tim. It was demolished in1997 as there was no need for small creameries anymore with farmers having milk collected at the farm. The store is still opened today for farm supplies and it is run by Centenary Thurles Co-Op.
Shanakill Tug-O-War marked “W”
It seemed only natural that there should be a Tug-o-War team in Shanakill as all the neighbouring Townlands & Parishes had one. In 1941 a number of people came together with the idea in mind. They were Gerry Maher Gortnaskehy, Jos Maher Shanakill, Andy Maher Reed, & Bob Lee Buggaun. The meeting took place at the Creamery. Training took place in Buggaun in Ryan’s field beside the Loran Creamery and up to 250 spectators came to see them train from all the neighbouring parishes. The first pull was in the Carnival in Templemore and the members of the team were Phil Quinn Skehana, Tom & Tim Hartigan Cullahill, Jim Grey Killavinouge, Rody Bohan Graffin, Mick, Willie, & Phil Joyce Buggaun, Martin Fitzpatrick Graffin, Tommy Ryan Shanakill, Pake Hennessy, and Paddy Whelan Ballysorrell. Bob Lee was coach and Jack Hanlon sometimes filled this role.
Such was the support that a second team was introduced and sometimes a third, they included Johnny Maher the Cross, (Red) Mick Maher Shanakill, Christy Peterson, Johnny Clarke, Sean Murphy, Dinny Maher, Johnny & Jimmy Murphy, Packe Hennessy, Tim Marnell, and Bill Fitzpatrick Dareens. Transport was usually by bicycle but sometimes they got Crony Hogan who had a hackney car to drive them. In November 1940 Shanakill Tug of War team held a dance in the Town Hall Templemore. The advertisement described it as “The dance you have all been waiting for” Music by Billy O’Neill. In 1941 they held one in the Abbey Hall Roscrea, Music by Billy Cummins and his radio dance band. In 1942 Shanakill became a force to be reckoned with. They entered in the Show in Nenagh and recorded a resounding win over Camlin in the Final.
The nearby crossroads and the creamery yard were very popular meeting places in times past. Skittles and Pitch & Toss were played there for many years before far away hills looked greener and cars became popular. Local people gathered here up to the 1980’s.
Sheep Dipping Tub marked “X” (52.861804, -7.771309)
The ‘Sheep Tub’ now almost completely forgotten, was constructed in Tim Maher’s field in the early 1950’s. It was financed by the local sheep farmers from contributions collected and built by Tom Greed Building Contractor, who also built the New School in Couraguneen soon afterwards. The principals behind the project were William Buckley, Gortnagoona, who was also the manager of Loran Creamery and Tim Maher, Dromard on whose land it was sited. It was in regular use up to the 1970’s until the Co. Council began the mobile sheep dipping service at the instigation of the Dept. of Agriciulture. It has also been privately used occasionally since then.
Dromard Bridge marked “Y” (52.863371, -7.772071)
This is the point at which there are three boundaries: Diocesan Boundary, both civil and R.C. between Cashel and Killaloe; Parish Boundary between Clonmore/Killavinoge and Bourney; Boundary between the four townlands of Dromard, Shanakill, Gortnaskehy and Gortderryboy.
As this is the last stop on our tour we finish with a look back some 250 years into history at a man who had a pronounced effect on the whole area through which we have travelled today.
Sir Martin Noell
We have heard mention of a certain Sir Martin Noell several times today. By 1670, (after his death) the records of the Down Survey show that he owned land in 153 townlands in Co. Antrim; in 3 townlands in Co. Laois (Queen’s County) and in 24 townlands in Co. Tipperary. This man was not a farmer at all as might be expected, but one of the most prominent merchants in London. He was also, it can safely be said, a man without morals, ethics or conscience, making money by whatever means possible, including as a slave trader to the West Indies. Noell bought thousands of Prisoners of War from Cromwell and received a license to trade in Montserrat in December 1650. Is it possible that the same Sir Martin Noell was responsible for Irish people ending up as slaves in Montserrat, where black people even to the present day speak with Irish accents, have Irish surnames and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? At one point he contracted to transport 1200 men from Knockfergus, Ireland and Portpatrick, Scotland to Jamaica @ £5-10s per head. The taking of a few acres of land in Ireland and dispossessing the local Chieftans was insignificant in the overall operations of this evil man. He was born in 1614 and died in 1665 leaving 5 sons and two daughters who carried on the family business.
Bournea Co Tipperary