There wasn’t a seat on the train metaphorically speaking at the recent Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage illustrated lecture on the West Cork Railway system which was delivered by Maurice McCarthy at the Parish Centre.
In his hour-long talk using 150 slides (operated by Gerard Butler), Maurice took the enchanted audience on a trip from Albert Quay Station, along the main line to Bantry and all the lines off it, stopping at every station. Given that the system closed down in 1961, the slides were from various decades before that.
The trains began running in 1849, when the first section, from Ballinhassig to Bandon, was opened. By 1893, it ran from Albert Quay in Cork City to Skibbereen, with extensions to Kinsale, Clonakilty, Courtmacsherry, Bantry and Baltimore.
The Clonakilty line included a short siding to Shannonvale Mill, which used a wagon along the track pulled by a horse called Paddy.
There were some wonderful photos of city crowds arriving at Courtmacsherry for the Sunday excursions and wagons of beet at Timoleague loaded ready to head to Cork and onto Mallow.
During the lecture, Maurice interspersed the serious history talk with funny stories of events and individuals and there was also some audience participation when people saw relatives on the screen in front of them. Also in the audience were people who had close associations with the railway system who brought along some memorabilia.
Cathaoirleach of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage, Tim Feen and Marian O’ Leary who organised the lecture thanked Maurice for an excellent lecture.
Mary Jane Irwin’s New York great-grandson in Clon
PHOTO: Williams Rossa Cole, great-grandson and his cousin Eileen Quill, great-grand-daughter of Mary Jane Irwin and Jeremiah O’ Donovan Rossa, (seated), meeting members of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage Michael O’ Mahony, Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, John Loughnan, Tim Feen and Anthony Brennan at the former Irwin family home, “Strand House”, Clonakilty recently as part of Mr. Coles upcoming film on Mary Jane.
As part of his upcoming film on his great-grandmother, Mary Jane Irwin (Mrs. O’ Donovan Rossa), from Clonakilty, Williams Rossa Cole from New York paid a visit recently to record some footage for the film.
In a series of engagements, partly organised by members of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage, Mr. Cole and his cameraman visited Rossmore Theatre where they recorded some scenes from last August's centenary event marking Mary Jane’s passing in 1916.
Michael O’ Mahony and Nora Scannell who were the two “players” were interviewed as was Maria Young, scriptwriter who also wrote last years play “Rossa”.
It was then onto the West Cork Regional Museum in Clonakilty where they met Michael O’ Connell, curator, who showed them the Rossa and Mary Jane Irwin display and spoke of the history of the couple and the Irwin family.
They then visited the Michael Collins House Museum at Emmet Square, where they met Eileen Quill originally from New York but now living in Youghal, who is a great-granddaughter of Mary Jane and Rossa, and Jamie Murphy, manager.
Eileen pointed out items she had donated to the Rossa/Fenian room in the house when it opened last April - including a bracelet presented to Mary Jane while on a speaking tour in America in the 1860’s.
The day’s filming concluded with a visit to “Strand House” – where the Irwin family lived in the 1860’s and afterwards. There, they met the Dúchas Officers who organised last August’s Mary Jane Irwin centenary commemoration, which was held in "Strand House" itself.
Further information and photos on https://www.facebook.com/DuchasClon/posts/1110111985774850
Williams Cole was also in Ireland for the Cork Film Festival that weekend, where his film, “Rebel Rossa” was screened on Sunday. He recently put out a public appeal for people to support the Mary Jane film project on his website http://www.rossafilm.com/mary-jane-odonovan-rossa-project/ which is where people may donate if they wish
Large crowd attend “Battle of Jutland” talk in Clonakilty
A capacity crowd attended the recent very interesting lecture on the World War 1 “Battle of Jutland” at the Parish Centre, Clonakilty which was organised as part of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage's winter/spring lecture series.
Tim Feen, Cathaoirleach of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage welcomed all to the lecture and introduced Tony McCarthy who delivered a very professional lecture with the aid of plenty slides. During his hour-long talk, Tony placed a particular emphasis on locals from the Barryroe and Clonakilty areas who were part of the British Navy on the day of the what is seen as the greatest maritime battle ever. Some of these men lost their lives during the six hour conflict.
Clonakilty Mayoral Council honours local heroes
PHOTO: Front row: At the recent Clonakilty Mayoral Council Reception organised to honour local heroes were Honourees:
Front: Richard Forristal; Kate Kirby; Shane Enright, (representing his mother Karen McDermott who was unavoidably absent); Mayor Anthony McDermott; Ciara Ryan and Mícheál O’ Regan.
Back: Dr. Jason van der Velde; Mayoral Council members John Loughnan; Colette Twomey and Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin; Christopher O’ Sullivan, representing Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce, (sponsor) and Sinéad Crowley.
(Photo: Anthony Brennan).
Clonakilty Mayor Anthony McDermott and his colleagues on the Clonakilty Mayoral Council honoured seven locals for their voluntary work, fundraising, sporting achievements and journalistic professionalism at a pleasant Mayoral Reception held at O’ Donovan’s Hotel Friday evening 14th October last.
Some photographs of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage events for Heritage Week 2016 can now be viewed in Gallery. These include some photographs of the Children's Treasure Hunt.
During recent Heritage Week, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage group organised a number of events. Among them was a children’s historical treasure hunt around the town. There was a large entry and over ten prizes awarded. Amongst them were family passes to the Michael Collins House. Seen here are winners Nora Dineen (7) from Barryroe and Maeve O’ Sullivan, (10) from Kilbree, Clonakilty with from left: Rachael Cronin and Marian O’ Leary, Dúchas Heritage Week co-ordinators and Jamie Murphy, general manager of the Michael Collins House Museum.
(Other prizes were three family passes donated by West Cork Model Railway, and book tokens from Kerrs, Coughlan's and the Clonakilty Bookshops).
The recent Heritage Week programme organised by Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage was attended by large crowds at all the events - all of which were free of charge. Throughout the week, local children participated in a Historical Treasure Hunt around the town in association with the Michael Collins House Museum.
Thanks was expressed to the speakers at the other Heritage Week walks and talks who gave their time free including Seán de Barra on the Seven Heads walk, several speakers at Kilkerranmore Old Cemetery and nearby Mass Rock - Tim Feen, (Cathaoirleach Dúchas); Frank Harte; Michael Collins; Fergus Hurley; William Casey; Mary O' Connor; Ann Marie O' Keeffe; Paula Hurley; Dan O' Leary; Fachtna McCarthy and Rachael Cronin and Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin who led the Clonakilty town walk during Heritage Week!
Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage also expressed thanks to the all the many people who attended and supported the events and landowners who allowed them onto their properties in some instances.