Saturday, April 6, 2024

Tales from the Henhouse

Mr. Denis Kelly a.k.a. Foxy Din

Between 1950 and 1969 , Mr. Denis Kelly was Headmaster of Togher National School. Up to 1961 , it also catered for girls before becoming a boys only school when the new purpose built girls school was constructed further down the road. Denis was affectionately known as " Foxy Din "  to the pupils and the schoolhouse he presided over gained the name of the " Henhouse ". The following memories are from that time period and represent the good , the bad and the ugly as told by the children who attended there.

Confirmation 1970
Last class of old National School

Anonymous: One bizarre incident occurred in the 1950s which revolved around a child having been chastised by a teacher. Fast forward a day later and a posse of men on horseback arrived at the school brandishing shotguns. The teachers quickly locked the doors before the men opened fire delivering several shots aimed at the door before retreating back over the old railway bridge and off into the sunset!

Ann Sisk: " I lived around the corner from the school , but was always last in ( not late ). One day in a hurry I ran off to school and realised I had forgotten to put on my knickers. I was about 6 years old. I was in the horrors and told the teacher. She was shocked , ( this was late 1950's ) and told me to stand out in the back ( this was a space between the two class rooms ). I was a small thing with all these eyes on me , so I ran home. My Mother was very protective of me being the only girl at the time. She put on my underwear and actually marched me down to the school. She called the teacher out so as not to upset the girls. I don't know what was said , but when Mum had gone , the teacher got my sack and turned it upside down. She took my beloved scrap book which was full from relations , told me to pick up my stuff and I wasn't going to see that book again! I didn't tell Mum as I felt I was a very bad girl.  But I cried inside when the girls were playing with theirs. I know this sounds silly , but as I got older I looked in secondhand bookshops for it..... "

Jim Hegarty: " I used to get away with murder. Flor Dullea knew my Father had been in the I.R.A. The Class of 1961 - ( see photo below ) remember when Russia were going to arm Cuba and HM Foxy Din had the map of the world on the wall and pointing out to us where the Russian ships were and how America were blockading their way . Close to WW3 until Russia turned around. President Kennedy never blinked. "

Kathleen Roche : " I used to make a cup of coffee for the Teacher. I would walk slowly back to the classroom making sure not to spill any. I was so desperate to please her. "

Michael Plaice: " Went there from 1963-1971. Flor Dullea was head but had his sister Miss Dullea for junior and senior infants, then Ted Sullivan from 1st to 6th. We were in the new school I think just for a month or two before we finished in the summer of ‘71. Remember the coal fire in the room on the right, prefab round the back, small yard at the front. Remember Ted Sullivan got shingles one summer and came back in September with a beard. It was the first time I’d ever seen a man with a beard. "

CJ Forde: " I went there in 1970/71 then to the new school…Remember the coal fire and 6th class used to look after it and bring the tea pot around to the teachers …Think I was in the classroom on the right hand side. Remember Flor Dullea there and Ted Sullivan. "

Marian Bird: " I went to the pre fabs behind the centre in 1970/1971 remember trying to climb out the window cause I wanted to go home. My friend Geraldine McCarthy we started together. "

Wblj O'Sullivan : " We got a house transfer (remember those ads in the echo where both parties agreed irrelevant to the city council in city Hall) in 1970 from Bantry Park Road in the Northside to Black Water Grove in the NBA houses. Think our teacher was Mrs Cotter in that old school. Happy days before moving to New school Togher B.N.S. "

Dez Papazian : " I started my first 2 years of school there before moving to the new primary school. I remember the lady lighting the fire in the classroom in the morning. "

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Frank Busteed - Kilmurriheen , Togher

This article uncovers the incredible story of Frank Busteed who fought in the War of Independence. A Togher man by birth his life was full of exceptional service to his country ( in which his name is linked to a famous ambush and an armored rolls royce known as the Moon Car ) but also marked by great sadness and tragedy.

Frank Busteed (1898-1974) 
Vice-Commandant, 6th Battalion, 1st Cork Brigade

Frank Busteed was born on 23rd September 1898 in the Townland of Kilmurriheen , Togher. His father Samuel Busteed ( whose own father John Busteed originally from Riverstick had married into the Bateman family/farm in Kilmurriheen circa mid 1860s thereby laying the foundations for the Busteed link with the Townland sadly dying only 20 years later ) was baptized Church of Ireland Protestant and from a strong Unionist background ( but later became Catholic ) while his mother Norah Condon Maher was Catholic and staunchly Nationalist. Their marriage had caused great scandal on both sides of the family , particularly with Samuel's mother Margaret ( She had converted to Catholicism along with most of her family and even went as far as learning Irish despite retaining a strong Unionist tradition. * Her son William refused to convert and emigrated to Australia with £300 given him by her ) who was the matriarchal head of the family farm in Togher. However events improved and Norah was welcomed into the family. 


Busteed property left above Peggy's Cross Roads

Tithe applotments map 1847 shows Plots 4 & 6
as in the hands of the Bateman family
into which John Busteed married

Site of old Busteed farmhouse

Census 1901 Busteeds
Kilmurriheen , Togher

Census 1911 Busteeds
Kilmurriheen , Togher

Tragedy befell her however when in 1901 her husband Samuel died and she had also lost her child Timothy. She moved to Muskerry Terrace , Blarney ( where she worked in the local Blarney Woolen Mills ) with Frank and her other son Daniel , while her two eldest boys John aged 7 ( a.k.a. Jack  ) and William aged 5 ( a.k.a. Bill ) continued to live on the farm in Kilmurriheen under the care of their Grandmother. Frank would continue to spend summer holidays in Togher and developed a close relationship with his Grandmother. Likewise the boys would regularly visit their mother in Blarney.

Census 1901 Blarney
Frank , Mother & Daniel

Census 1911 Blarney
Frank , Mother & Daniel

Muskerry Tce , in the Townland of Monacnapa , Blarney

Muskerry Tce , Blarney

Frank's Grandmother Margaret as previously mentioned ran the farm in Togher with the help of 3 servants , John Curtin , Timothy Murphy and John Sullivan. Margaret was aged 60 in 1901 and along with her 2 young Grandchildren shared the house with her own children , Thomas aged 30 , Eliza aged 32 and Barbara aged 34 who undoubtedly assisted in the rearing of Jack and Bill. By 1911 , Thomas had moved away from home and Eliza aged 50 continued to live at the family home while Margaret's  other daughter Barbara now aged 40 and married to Edward Harrington also resided at the family home.

Frank aged 7 with friends at Blarney Castle circa 1905

Frank ( on right ) with Flying Column circa 1920

Frank attended his local National School in Blarney ( his one regret was never learning Irish which was not on the curriculum in those days ) and joined Fianna Eireann in 1910 ( He later recalled hearing an address in Cork City by Countess Markievicz in 1913. ) and the Irish Volunteers in 1917 , the same year his Grandmother Margaret died at the age of 76. The first person he met was Tomas McCurtain who took him under his wing. Meanwhile his two eldest brothers Jack and Bill had joined the British Army and fought in World War I. They continued to serve in the British Army upon returning to Ireland.

Frank with I.R.A. contemporaries 1921

The catalyst for Franks eventual complete involvement in the War of Independence occurred in 1917 when a visiting Irish-American priest hoisted a Tricolour atop Blarney Castle! This alerted the authorities in no time and soon the local R.I.C. arrived to arrest the priest. Frank who happened to be nearby fired a shot at the Police who promptly ran off. Frank and the priest made their departure but now he was known to the Authorities and under constant surveillance. 

Site of Dripsey Ambush at Godfrey's Cross

He went on to become Captain of Blarney Volunteer Company which eventually became part of the 6th Battallion , Cork No.1 Brigade under the command of Sean O'Hegarty. He would serve five months in Cork Gaol for carrying a weapon and collecting without a permit. He was heavily involved with the I.R.A. from 1919 on and this resulted in his mother's home being raided regularly. He served as a judge in the Republican Courts from 1920-1923. He was Vice Commandant of the 6th Battalion in 1920 ( with Jackie O'Leary of Rylane being his Commanding Officer )and Commandant of the attached Flying Column. Frank was involved in the burning of Blarney R.I.C. Barracks as well as others. In 1920 his mother's home was once more raided by 120 R.I.C. and Auxies. His brother Jack ( British Army ) had forewarned him and he escaped capture. His brother Daniel , whom he had grown up with in Blarney died of Spanish Flu. He had moved to Kilmurriheen in Togher where it was thought the country air would aid his recovery but sadly this was not to be. Frank's other brother Bill ( stationed with the British Army in Ballincollig since 1918 ) sometimes gave him guns and ammunition ; he would leave the British Army following the Truce. Frank saw action in the infamous Dripsey Ambush on 28th January 1921 in which he was overall commander. In Franks own words , it was a " debacle "! The British Crown Forces had been warned of the impending attack and members of the Manchester Regiment surprised the ambush party. Heavily outnumbered , it was decided to abort and the majority fled to the hills while some remained behind but due to superior numbers against them were forced to surrender. It subsequently transpired that the a local Loyalist woman Maria Lindsey had warned the British of the impending ambush and she was captured by the I.R.A. along with her driver James Clarke. She was to be used as barter for the release of the I.R.A. prisoners but the Authorities would not bargain and executed their prisoners. As a result she was shot as a spy along with her driver under the orders of Frank. Their bodies were buried in a bog near Rylane.

Maria Lindsay

The following night , Frank's mother's house was raided by Auxiliaries , R.I.C. and British Army. Four British officers interrogated her , ransacked her house and threw her belongings out into the street.  It is alleged she was also thrown down the stairs. She was left for dead and a local discovered her almost unconscious body on the street the next morning. By then her son Jack had arrived where his mother whispered for Frank. Sadly she died of heart failure and Frank had to attend her funeral in the family plot in Ballinaboy in disguise. ** Today the church is roofless and the graveyard is defunct. ** Witnesses later told Frank they had seen two British officers leaving the house laughing. Frank was summoned to Dublin by Micheal Collins to brief him on the tragic events. As an act of retaliation Frank Busteed ( along with others throughout the City  on 28th February 1921 ) set out at night with another young volunteer from the City holding a torch to shine on any soldier they encountered. The first couple they came to , the Volunteer shone his torch , and there was the Volunteer's sister with a soldier - that saved that soldier! The next soldier was not so lucky , the Volunteers hand holding the torch was shaking and he could not hold the beam steady on the soldier - Busteed had to shoot the soldier 4 times. They moved on , found another soldier and girl , and the soldier was shot. By now the other soldiers in the lane had started to run - Busteed pursued them , firing as he went. He says he wounded two of them, but that those men reached the barracks.

Major Geoffrey Lee Compton-Smith
( Portrait by Sir John Lavery -
Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane )

Major Godfrey Lee Compton Smith in 1919 was commander of the British Army base at Ballyvonane, near Buttevant, but he was also an intelligence officer. He had served in France during World War I with his regiment the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and had fought at the Battle of Arras for which he received the Distinguished Service Order medal for gallantry. He had previously tried I.R.A. Volunteers for their involvement in an ambush for which he gave 6 months imprisonment. However other Officers who sat on Courts Martial doled out death penalties and at the time several Volunteers were awaiting their fate at the hands of the British Authorities. It was felt if a British Army Officer were held hostage that the sentences might be commuted. So a plan was put in place by Frank Busteed to capture Major Compton Smith as he stepped off a train in Blarney. Rumour had it that he was having an affair with a nurse. He was eventually brought to a farm in Donoughmore owned by Jack and Mary Moynihan. He was kept in a shed during the day under heavy guard and brought into the house at night to eat and stay by the fireside. One night they even had a singsong, and Compton-Smith joined in with a rebel song! He wrote several letters to family and a final one to his senior Officer in which he stated that he doesn't condemn the IRA but actually calls them idealists " who are doing what they earnestly believe to be right ". Eleven days later and following reports of I.R.A. executions , Compton Smiths fate was sealed. Frank Busteed ordered his immediate execution. He was lead to an already dug out grave and given one last cigarette. He boldly announced that when he dropped the cigarette , this was the signal to open fire. It wouldn't be until 1926 that his body was finally handed over to British Authorities who carried his coffin back to Spike Island. His body was then taken to Carlisle Fort, near Whitegate, where it was buried with full military honours. The inscription on a bronze wreath which was put in place by his Daughter in August 1927 read " With Love , From Anne " It would appear that his wife may have known of his affair and stayed away. It is incredible to think that he had sympathy for his captors and for their cause at large. He had displayed great bravery at the time of his death even handing his watch over to his executioners. A sad tale but one which was of its time.

Moynihan house today at Barrahaurin, Donoughmore

Daughter Anne at grave August 1927

The Truce came into effect on July 1921 and Frank promptly broke it when he learned of his Mother's attackers whereabouts. His brother Bill had specifically rejoined the British Army to gain intelligence on his mothers attackers which he passed on to Frank. Four British Army officers in plain clothes left Ballincollig Barracks and were duly captured by Frank and later executed.

The " Moon Car "
so called because it was only used at night!

The " Moon Car " with mounted Lewis Guns

The Civil War began on the 26th June 1922 and Frank Busteed was made Commandant of the Sixth Battalion, Cork No.1 Brigade fighting on the Anti-Treaty side. He saw combat in many skirmishes and had held out against Free State soldiers in PassageWest , Rochestown and Douglas during the Battle for Cork in August 1922. In March 1923 , he had a narrow escape when he and 2 of his compatriots Felix O'Doherty and Dan Horgan were ambushed by Free State troops near Donoughmore. They were arrested but Frank bolted off into the woods with bullets flying all around him. Ironically , Dan would later join him in New York and become his business partner. However , eventually the Civil War came to an end and Frank along with many others continued to fight on. An historical incident occurred in 1924 when he and others pulled up in the famous " moon car " , a silver ghost Rolls Royce in Cobh which had been used by Cork No.1 Brigade and fitted out with armored plating and two Lewis guns and fired on a British ship which had just docked. This was a retaliation against the " Treaty Ports ". Frank and his comrades now had a price on their heads totaling £10,000! The car at the time sped away and was not discovered until recently where it has now been refurbished and reconditioned and displayed in the National Museum. It is valued at over €2,000,000!

£10,000 Reward Poster

Later in 1924 , the I.R.A. managed to get Frank out of Ireland and he ended up in Canada where he slept rough for some weeks before making his way on foot south to the United States where he was picked up by an I.R.A. car and traveled to Massachusetts to stay with his Aunt Mary , his mother Nora's sister. He later moved on to New York where he worked for an Italian ice-cutter. He quickly mastered the trade and set up his own company. It soon became highly profitable and expanded from Manhattan in to Queens where they crossed swords with the local Mafia. One worker refused to cross into Queens as he had been told he would be shot. It is rumored Frank dealt with the matter himself!

Frank's children
Fr. Frank , Ann & Noreen

Wedding Day 1926

Frank with family & friends
Long Island 1930

In 1925 , he met his future wife Anne Marren , an English woman from Lancashire. They married in 1926 and had three children , Frank jnr., Ann jnr. and Noreen. During his tenure in the United States , Frank along with many other former Comrades attended the annual ball of the Cork IRA Reserves held in New York in 1931. However in 1932 , Frank wished to return to Ireland. They left New York in 1933 and stayed firstly in Liverpool to be with Ann's family where the couple had a fourth child , Maureen. In 1934 , they finally returned to Cork where Frank got a job in an insurance company. He also became involved in local politics. In 1936 , he and his wife Anne were invited guests of the Lord Mayor , Sean French , for the reopening of the City Hall. He attended the 15th Anniversary of the Dripsey Ambush in 1938. He and his wife would go on to have three more children , Patricia Barbara , Kathleen and Nuala who sadly passed away as an infant in 1940. In 1938 , Frank along with his " Moon Car " comrades attended the handing back of the Treaty Ports.

Invitation to opening of City Hall 1936

Irish National Army 1941 - 1946

Volunteer Medals
( Frank would also have received
the Emergency Medal )

Frank Busteed with Tom Barry

In 1941 , Frank was commissioned into the National Army as a Lieutenant. He served throughout the Emergency until he retired in 1946. In 1953 , he became Manager of the Labour Exchange in Passage West until his eventual retirement in 1963 at the age of 65. He passed away in 1974 while his Wife Anne died in 1975. A life filled with great adventure and undeniable courage , bravery and service to his Nation. While a man of Blarney his roots lay in Togher and his name joins the Pantheon of heroes and heroines of the district with his name being forever part of Kilmurriheen and one of its most famous sons.

Frank & Anne 1964


 Brian O'Donoghue

Frank Busteed’s grandson, Brian O’Donoghue, who holds a BA in History from UCC, has written his biography, published in 2022 as part of the Decade of Centenaries special edition of the Journal of the Blarney Historical Society , from which much of the detail in this article is derived. Additional research undertaken by Togher Historical Association.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Flashback to 1960s Lehenaghmore in Togher

The following photographs were submitted by Breeda Mitchell. They capture several scenes from Togher taken up Lehenaghmore Hill in the early 1960s. These never before seen images enable the viewer to see a Togher in all its glory before the modern developments of the mid 1960s. Life would soon change forever. But for now it is possible to share a glimpse of a very different Togher.

Unknown youths
 Mr. Crowley ( front )

L-R: Richie Crowley , Bernie Healy , 
Kathleen Crowley and Denis O'Leary (R.I.P )

L-R Back:  Mary Hayes ,Marie Roche ,Teresa Hayes
Front- Eileen Crowley , Marian O'Brien and Kathleen Roche

The 3 photographs shown above were taken outside the Crowley house not far from the home of Kathleen Roche. This was one of 2 sets of houses on this stretch of road. The houses thankfully are still in existence today.

Top L - R: Timmy Ahern , Mary Brosnan , Tim Joe Walsh
Middle L - R: Michael O'Donovan , Angela Crowley
Bottom L - R: Gobnait Walsh , Rosie Roche , Kathleen Rea

 Eugene Harrington R.I.P 2014
( formally of Ballygarvan )

L - R: Kathleen Crowley , Mary Crowley, 
Mary Healy & Gobnait Walsh(Crowley )

Front L - R: Irene Forde , Breeda Mitchell (Healy) 
Mary Crowley , Eileen Crowley  
 Anne O Brien  , Gobnait Crowley 
Back L - R: Ted Rea , Richie Crowley?,  Mary Healy

John Kevin Sexton ( on right )
with friends

John Kevin Sexton , Tiger Ahern with friends
Photo taken in Bandon

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Garrane Darragh House

Gateway leading onto Garrane Darragh

Garrane Darragh townland has had human habitation
going back well over a thousand years as evidenced by a large enclosure/burial mound ( still extant though heavily overgrown ) and a ring fort ( long gone ) . But this article will focus on the principal residence which bears its name - Garrane Darragh House.

 Garrane Darragh house 2015

Garranne Darragh townland has had a big house associated with it since at least the 1750s ( quite possibly even earlier ) and it is shown on the Taylor & Skinner maps of Ireland published in 1777. These were the road maps of their time and the first recorded attempt at making out in a crude form the various notable locations near the roads. Garrane Darragh house ( like most Big Houses of their time simply named after the Townland they were in ) today is boarded up and in a dilapidated condition. Its name in English is quite literally Grove of Oaks , though it is sometimes referred to simply as Garrane.

Griffiths Valuation 1852
1a/1b - entirety of Townland
Landlord - Wm Howe Hennis

The map above shows Griffiths Valuation of 1852 dividing the land into two parts , 1a and 1b , the division being taken up by the Cork Bandon railway line whch rented the land it passed through. Wm. Howe Hennis ( father of Francis Hennis ) , resident in England when land was first purchased was noted as the Landlord.

Garrane Darragh farmland 1987
( later Eagle Valley estate )
coutesy of Eamonn Pearse

Garrane Darragh house & outbuildings

 Garrane Darragh house 2015

It was for many centuries the one and only main residence of the Townland having three entrances off the main roads which bound it. The primary main entrance sported a gate lodge located south of the Glasheen River ( present day Woodhaven ) which was reached by the aptly named Garrane Lane which connected back to Bishopstown Road.


Red line showing Garrane Lane
which lead to old Lodge and onto house
Site of old lodge at bridge in Woodhaven

The second entrance was reached by traveling off Doughcloyne Hill through the lands of the Sarsfields. Photograph below shows modern day remnant of entrance located between Industrial Estate left of Sarsfield Road junction.

Entrance off Doughcloyne Hill
( between Industrial Unit & Houses )
to Garrane Darragh house

The third entrance was located near an old mill race off the turnpike on Bandon Road with a gatehouse which may also have doubled as a lodge of sorts see more here which is still in situ today though much run down and derelict. Evidence of an old bridge over the Glasheen River can still be seen though heavily overgrown. Today the entrance is to the left of the Garage off the Bandon Road.

Entrance off Bandon Road to old gatehouse

Gatehouse off Bandon Road
to Garrane Darragh house


Garrane Darragh house - A virtual tour

Entrance off South Ring Road

 Bog to right of Entrance
Billy O'Brien pointing to front of House

Interior showing living room
Interior showing kitchen
Downstairs room


Upstairs landing

Landing window
Bedroom with fireplace
Second bedroom with fireplace

Rear of house

Gate leading to Cork Bandon railway line
Original railway sleepers adapted as fences

More railway sleepers adapted as fences

Video around grounds of Garrane Darragh house
Between 1847 and 1864 Griffiths Valuations listed for the first time the actual value of properties in a given townland. It also listed the landowners , many of whom held the land in fee for many decades. It is also interesting to note that the Cork Bandon railway company rented the land their line ran through on an annual basis. In time the land would see another railway line cut though it , the Cork Macroom Direct Railway Company. Perhaps as a consequence of this encumbrance , the land changed hands several times.

Principal Owners

Mr. Carey Esq.

It has been the seat of many different families down through the years. The Taylor & Skinner 1777 map informs us that a Mr. Carey lived there. Little to nothing is known of him or his family.

Taylor & Skinner Road Map 1777

Peter Lee

In 1823 , the Tithe Applotment Books show a Peter Lee as owner/occupier of Garrane Darragh. So it would seem in the absence of any other documentation that he purchased the land from Mr. Carey Esq. or his descendants thereof.

Tithe Applotment book 1823 Page 01

Tithe Applotment book 1823 Page 02

Francis Hennis

It is quite likely that the Hennis' bought the land from the previous Lee owners shortly after 1823. This is proven by his inclusion in a newspaper of a prize awarded for breeding heifers ( see below ) in the 1830s. Francis Hennis married Jane Lloyd from Waterfall circa 1842. Sadly in 1843 the birth of their first child , a daughter , ended in tragedy , with the girl dying at birth. The following year , 1844 , saw the birth of a boy , who survived. Francis' father , William Howe Hennis had been killed in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Francis himself would go on to be appointed High Constable of the Barony of Cork in 1849. The couple would sell up in 1857 , possibly due to the Cork Bandon railway line running through their property since 1849 and the impending Cork Macroom railway line which was due to commence construction a few short years later circa 1863. Both lines would have bisected his lands and was most probably seen as a hindrance to the effective running of a farm.

Francis Hennis 1830s
Evidence of farm used for breeding heifers

Hennis marriage cert showing
incorrect spelling of Townland circa 1842
Francis Hennis - Griffiths Valuation 1847

Sale of farm & livestock 1857

Joseph McMullen

It again goes up for sale in 1895 by the McMullen family ( Church of Ireland ) who it can be deduced were the buyers back in 1857. So their tenure would have been 28 years. It would appear that Joseph McMullen's marriage to Maria Emma Pratt of Ballincollig was childless. They kept a servant , Annie Herlihy to run the house. Records show that the McMullens ,  in tandem with the Sarsfields , were instrumental in draining the lands they owned ( in 1890 ) with the help of the Glasheen River. This event marked the erection of the famous Ramparts at Deanrock. However by 1895 , they were set to quit Garrane Darragh and retired to Ovens , outside of Ballincollig.


J.W. McMullen
Marriage Cert 1887

Glasheen River drainage scheme 1890 


Selling up of business premises in Cork City

Sale of house 1895
* Bishopstown is the District Electoral Division
with Garrane Darragh being part of Togher

Michael Barratt

The 1901 and 1911 Censuses show Michael Barratt , Victualler as owner/occupier with live in Butchers and Apprentices. It would appear that the Barratts bought the land from the McMullens in 1895. Livestock kept on the land would have provided the raw materials for their trade. However , despite a level crossing on the lower Macroom line , it would seem like previous owners that the imposition of two railway lines through the farm made the prospect of once more selling on the land the only viable option.

Michael Barratt & Family
1901 Census

Michael Barratt & Family
1911 Census


It looks likely that by the 1950s , the Barratts had sold their interest to T.O'Leary of Munster Meats. T.O'Leary would possibly have farmed it up to the early 1980/90s. A poison notice appears in the local paper by O'Leary alongside one from the S.M.A. in 1960 to protect livestock from dogs etc. It is possible that they sold up circa 1990s/2000s and the grounds were leased out as a garden centre. The house is apparently in the hands of NAMA since circa 2010. It should be noted that all land south of the old Bandon railway line was uninhabited and had for a long time been the farming grounds of the Barrett's. Today , the land south of the old track is in the hands of the Sweetnam's.


Poison notice 1960s
* note: B'stown is old D.E.D.

**Since the 1990s the majority of the land has been taken over by Eagle Valley estate and the building now referred to locally as the Haunted House.**


Past Residents

** It must be remembered that all residents shown in the following Censuses would have worked for the Barratts and rented either the gatehouse off Bandon Road or the Lodge off Garrane Lane or perhaps lived in one of the outbuildings on site. **


The 1901 Census shows a James Collins , Butcher with his wife Mary and baby Katherine as resident in the townland.

James Collins & Family
1901 Census

Cornelius Ryan , farm laborer also resided there with his wife Norah and baby Mary.

Cornelius Ryan & Family
1901 Census


The 1911 Census differs in that it shows new families on site ; A young couple , John ( listed as a farm servant  ) and Hannah O'Driscoll with baby John J. So it is highly likely they lived in one of the cottages shown on the map.

John O'Driscoll & Family
1911 Census

Thomas Brien and his family are also listed with he being shown as a farm servant. His 3 children in common with others from the area would have attended Togher National School.

Thomas Brien & Family
1911 Census

** Until the 1926 Irish Census is made available , this article contains some speculation as to actual years of occupation by certain owners after the 1930s. **
Remnants of old dry stone wall
Present day Eagle Valley
Part of original entrance from Doughcloyne Hill

The above photo shows the remnants of an old dry stone wall which once sported a benchmark and lined the entire route from Doughcloyne right up to the Big House. Sadly the benchmark is long gone with the almost entire destruction of the wall. However traces of it can be found hidden in ditches and undergrowth along the road. As mentioned previously the Grove of Oaks still holds much of its past hidden in plain sight including a possible burial mound. Sadly an old Ring Fort was erased in the late 19th Century.


Eamonn Pearse
P. O'Donovan
W.A. Hill ( Research )