"Battle of the Big Cross" commemoration in Clonakilty 19th June 2018
The 220th anniversary of the "Battle of the Big Cross” – the only engagement in the whole of Munster between the United Irishmen and Crown Forces in 1798, will be remembered this evening in Clonakilty in an historical, non-political commemoration at 8pm at Asna Square in the town centre.
Local voluntary organisation Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage invites people to attend the event, which it organises annually to remember this important event in local history.
"The Battle of the Big Cross" took place just north of Shannonvale Village, about 4kms from Clonakilty town, on 19th June 1798, when a group of approx. 300 local United Irishmen ambushed a crowd of approx. 100 Crown Force as they marched from Clonakilty to Bandon on what was then the main road between the two towns.
The Irish were defeated and around 100 lost their lives with less than a dozen casualties on the English side.
During the 20-minute commemoration, the Mayor of Clonakilty will lay a wreath at the monument to the local United Irish leader Tadhg Ó Donnabháin Asna who was one of the first United Irishman to be killed in the Battle of the Big Cross.
All are invited and welcome to attend this evenings commemorative event.
Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage AGM
The Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage AGM was held recently at O’ Donovan’s Hotel in which a busy year of activities was reviewed, a new committee elected and plans for the coming 8-10 months discussed.
Tim Feen, Cathaoirleach, in his welcoming address stated that the 2017-2018 season had been a “great year of walks, talks and outings”, as he paid tribute to all who volunteer their time and energy to organise and run the activities within the organisation.
Fachtna McCarthy, “Recording Secretary” read out a comprehensive report of last years AGM and a few items were discussed under “matters arising”.
There were reports from members of the various sub-committees, as follows: Marian O’ Leary, (Lectures and Fieldtrips); John Loughnan, (Town Walks/Commemorations); Clíodhna O’ Leary, (Journal/Old Kilgarriffe Graveyard); Tomás Tuipéar, (Town Council History Book/Mayoral Council committee).
In all cases it was clear the dedication and commitment of the sub-committee leaders and their colleagues, which makes their activities so successful.
Fachtna McCarthy then presented the Treasurers report and again the detail was excellent and showed a healthy bottom line.
Outgoing PRO Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin revealed his satisfaction that the local print and broadcast media are very receptive to publishing and broadcasting news and notices of Dúchas events, and he thanked them all by name. “The Southern Star”, C103FM, "The West Cork People", "Ardfield Rathbarry Community Newsletter" and the "County" ("Irish Examiner" weekly supplement) were mentioned in particular for their support. John Greene of C103FM has also recorded a number of “Where the road takes me” programmes in the last six months which are directly related to Dúchas lectures, as has the "Atlantic Internet Radio Station". He also encouraged people to “like” the Facebook and Twitter pages and thanked Marian O’ Leary who organised posters.
Diarmuid Kingston chaired the election of officers in his own inimitable way which resulted as follows: Cathaoirleach: Tim Feen; Leas Cathaoirleach: Carmel Flahavan; “Recording Secretary” and Treasurer: Fachtna McCarthy; Asst. Treasurer: John Hayes; PRO: Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, Asst. PRO: Marian O’ Leary.
Second Clonakilty Historical Journal launched
PHOTO: Seen at the launch of the Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage “Clonakilty Historical and Archaeological Journal Volume 2" at the Parish Centre before Christmas were:
Back: Tim Feen, (Cathaoirleach Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage); Tony McCarthy, (contributor); Mayor John Loughnan; Tomás Tuipéar, Michael O’ Mahony and Dr. Bernadette McCarthy, (all contributors).
Front: Sam Kingston, Diarmuid Kingston and Áine Ní Chonnaill (all contributors); Michael Galvin, (who launched the journal); Clíodhna O’ Leary, (Editor) and Marian O’ Leary, (contributor). (Photo: Anthony Brennan).
Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage “Clonakilty Historical and Archaeological Journal Volume 2" was launched at the Clonakilty Parish Centre before Christmas and sales are going well in local bookshops and other outlets.
With over 300 pages and 15 articles on diverse local historical and archaeological topics – including two by authors in the United States, this journal is a must for all locals and a great companion to Volume 1 published two years ago.
Kilmurry local historian and author Michael Galvin launched the journal on the night.
Tim Feen, Cathaoirleach Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage welcomed the crowd of around 60 people in attendance, complimenting the journals editor Clíodhna O’ Leary and her editorial board who’ve been working on the project since the publication of the inaugural journal of 2015. It is a very busy and efficient sub-committee of Dúchas.
Mayor John Loughnan, (founding chair of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage), paid tribute to all involved in bringing the book to publication before Christmas, and referred to many of the articles contained in it. He encouraged everyone to purchase and promote it.
Clíodhna Ó Leary, editor thanked all her fellow authors who have contributed excellently written and well-researched articles as well as the editorial board and the outlets that are selling the journal.
Michael O’ Mahony, on behalf of the Editorial Board (and an author himself), outlined the process from writing an article to it’s eventual appearance in the journal, referencing, etc.
Special guest Michael Galvin officially launched the publication referring in detail to many of the 15 articles contained in the journal. He praised the quality of the writing and the excellent research – backed up by referencing, in all of them. It was quite clear that all contributors have a real passion for history and research and in many cases their articles were the culmination of years of research and investigation. He commended the journal to all who are interested in history both local and with a local slant.
The formalities concluded with Tim Feen thanking everyone and encouraging people to purchase the book, which at €10 in most local bookshops, newsagents, etc. is great value.
The following local outlets currently has it in stock- Coughlan’s Bookshop; Kerr's Bookshop; Clonakilty Bookshop; Meade’s Newsagent; Scally's Supervalu; The Golden Pheasant, Courtmacsherry and Barryroe Co-Op. It will be available in bookshops in the wider West Cork area over the coming couple of weeks.
Dúchas Members Trip to the Beara Peninsula
Twenty-five members of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage had a very interesting weekend trip to the Beara Peninsula on Sept 30/Oct 1 2017. The trip started with a visit to Thornhill Cilleenach, a large children’s graveyard, unusual in that it had one inscribed grave marker. Moving closer to Castletownbere, we visited the humble cottage in which William Martin Murphy was born, the politician and businessman who is now infamously remembered for the 1913 Lockout of the Dublin trade unionists, led by James Larkin. While having lunch in MacCarthy’s bar we gained an insight into the incredible story of Dr Aidan MacCarthy and the Japanese sword. Dunboy Castle, the seat of Donal Cam O’Sullivan Bere, and Puxley Mansion followed, then on to Dzogchen Beara, Dursey Sound and Allihies Mountain Mine.
On Sunday morning, a guided town walk of Castletownbere was followed by a visit to Dereenattagart stone circle, then on to the ruins of the old rectory where Canon James Goodman compiled his vast musical collection while a curate in the 1860s, a visit to the imposing Ballycrovane Ogham stone, the tallest known Ogham stone, Kilcatherine Church with its medieval cross and curious stone head, and not forgetting the Hag of Beara on our travels before stopping at the peaceful Kilmackillogue Harbour for a welcome meal in Harringtons. Our journey home was through the beautiful Healy Pass, with views down over Glenlough Lake as the sun was setting.
Our thanks to Fachtna O’Donovan, of Castletownbere, our guide for the weekend, who gave us a truly wonderful history of this beautiful and historic peninsula and to William Casey for his informative and sensitive talk on the cilleen. Also thanks to Rachael Cronin for organising a superb weekend and to our intrepid bus driver, Teddy Lowney, for braving the many narrow and windy roads of the remoter parts of the peninsula.
View photographs of the day courtesy of Anthony Brennan & William Casey GALLERY
List of winners of the Heritage Week Treasure Hunt:
Cian O'Sullivan, Ovens
Daire Murray, Waterford
Stella McKane, Carmarthen, Wales
Rohan Neat, Cambridge, UK
Yasemin Yikilmaz, Ballincollig
Michael Collins, Woodfield
Caolan O'Driscoll, Dunmanway
Nuria Gomez Cardoso, Midleton
Annie McCarthy, Clonakilty
Niamh O'Gorman, Kinsale
Louis Barrett-Slater, UK
With thanks to all our sponsors:
Geraldine Cullinane, Clonakilty Bookshop
Trish Kerr, Kerr's Bookshop
Laurence Coughlan, Coughlan's Bookshop
West Cork Model Railway Village
Michael Collins House
Good positive feedback from many participators, with both children and accompanying adults enjoying the opportunity to discover the history of Clonakilty.
A large crowd, including many people who have had associations with Lisselan Estate over the last 70 - 80 years, attended the Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on “C. O. Stanley of Lisselan Estate” at the Clonakilty Parish Centre last week. For most of an hour, Dúchas member and local historian Fachtna McCarthy enthralled the audience with the life story of Mr. Stanley (born Charles Orr Stanley in April 1899).
Fachtna traced his interesting and fascinating life from childhood growing up in Cappoquin, Waterford where his family had a hardware store, to his death in 1989 and burial at Kilmalooda Church of Ireland cemetery a couple of miles from Lisselan Estate, which he had purchased in 1930.
He emigrated to England at a young age, served towards the end of WW1, and then developed his business interests and was very influential particularly during World War 2. He had a fascination with radio and the developing invention called television, and for over thirty years he was head of PYE - at the time one of Britain's foremost electronic companies. Mr. Stanley led a campaign to set up independent television in Britain, thus breaking the monopoly enjoyed by the B.B.C. and he also championed the establishment of local radio. He was awarded both CBE and an OBE during the Second World War and an honorary doctorate from Trinity College.
In Ireland, he was the head of Sunbeam Wolsey, Cork's largest employer for many years and also established, among many other businesses, Unidare, one of Ireland's largest industries in the 1960s. He was named “Businessman of the Year” 1960 in Britain after his successful challenge to break the monopoly enjoyed by telephone manufacturers. And while he was engaged in business at such a level in England, he spent as much time as he could at Lisselan.
Fachtna stated that Seán Lemass was one of the regular visitors to Lisselan as he was trying to industrialise and modernise Ireland in the late 1950's and '60's.
It wasn't always smooth sailing however and the family lost control of PYE in the late 1960's and he got into financial difficulties. The developing Japanese electronics industry and importing of their cheaper appliances to Britain took their toll on PYE in a short time. He decided to put half of the 900 acres of the estate up for sale but this was dogged in controversy when the then Catholic Bishop of Cork, Dr. Con Lucey made a controversial public statement on the matter at a Confirmation Sermon in Timoleague.
At Lisselan Estate, he was highly respected by his workers, their families and the wider community. He provided transport for children living on the estate to schools and also supported them financially to get into third level colleges and universities.
He was married three times, had a life-long interest in rowing and was a strong swimmer, often swimming for miles off Rosscarbery and Clonakilty.
He was also generous to charities and trusts he set up are still administered by his grandsons.
In the interesting question and answer section after Fachtna's lecture, a number of former workers relayed their happy experiences of working on the estate. They and others before them had spent long numbers of years working there and one man stated that at one stage there were 27 men employed full-time on Lisselan Estate.
CO Stanley died in 1989 and was buried in Kilmalooda Cemetery and had been pre-deceased by his son John. Following his passing, the Lisselan Estate was put up for sale, and 28 years later is again on the market by the present owners.