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Launch of Dunkerrin history book

Thursday, 9th November, 2017 9:45am
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Launch of Dunkerrin history book
Launch of Dunkerrin history book

Dunkerrin Parish History Society will launch its first journal of local history this Friday, November 10th.

'Under Crimblin Hill' is a new departure for the local history group, which was revived in 2014 after a lapse of almost 25 years. Aiming to “perpetuate the history, the folklore and the stories from the past and to stimulate an interest in researching and recording further aspects of  our history,” the journal boasts a myriad of enthralling accounts of this local community's rich heritage.

It begins with vigour as local GAA stalwart Eugene Ryan recalls Tipp's 1916 All-Ireland win over Kilkenny through the eyes of Moneygall man Jeremiah 'Darby' Collison (1889-1956).

John Browne then catalogues some “piseogs” and superstitions associated with the months of the year. He tells of one desolate area of local land that has never brought luck to those who tried to use it.

Invoking Michael Collins and James Joyce along the way, Michelle Hoolan writes about the contribution to Independence and the Civil War of Liam Hoolan (1891-1967), native of Frankfort, Dunkerrin, a man who rose to the rank of Colonel in the National Army.

Maurice and Lily O'Toole contribute a chapter on local 'Memories of the Thirties and Forties', including the experience of rationing during the Second World War.
Another revolutionary figure, PJ Doyle (1893-1964) - who fought in the 1916 Rising and later became Dispensary Doctor for the people of Shinrone and Moneygall for 44 years - is profiled by James Feighery.

Also among the contributors to 'Under Crimblin Hill' is Liam Doran, who studies the life of Rev Timothy Corcoran, SJ (1871-1943) – 'Educationalist, Historian, Dunkerrin Man'. Espousing an “extremely conservative view-point”, Fr Corcoran wrote extensively on educational matters and was an adviser to the Dáil. A “crusader” for the Irish language, he believed Gaeilge could be restored and that young children could acquire fluency.

Pat Donnelly of The Moate (1896-1987) is recalled by his son, Pat Donnelly 'Jnr'.

The journal continues with Seamus Ryan writing about the origins of Busherstown Tower between Moneygall and Dunkerrin.

The life of Victoria Cross recipient Joseph Prosser (1828-1867), a Moneygall-born military man whose career brought him to Barbados, the Crimea and China, is profiled by Joseph O'Brien.

Staying with the nineteenth century, Liam Irwin casts some interesting reflections on “neglected aspects” of Irish history in the 1800s.
Memories of growing up in Dunkerrin parish during the 1950s and '70s are shared by Michael Sutton.

Among the many historical buildings mentioned is Mandeville Cottage, the ruin of which can still be seen on the Moneygall to Cloughjordan road; Seamus Ryan has the story.  

Ballinakill Castle also features, the fascinating history of which is presented by local native Julie Doherty.

Misty McNally has contributed a chapter on Kate Shelley (1863-1912), the Dunkerrin heroine who famously prevented a railway disaster in Iowa in 1881.

Liam Doran returns with an article on the impact of the 1869 Church of Ireland Act on the parishes of Borrisfarney, Dunkerrin and Templeharry.

More priceless recollections from the 1950s and '60s are recorded by Séan Kenny and Séamus Doherty as they talk about growing potatoes in Ballinakill.

There's further hurling interest from the pen of Joe Cummins, who in 'The Sporting Fifties' notes some interesting changes in the way the game has developed since.
Another local son prominently involved in the violent birth of the Republic, Willie Carroll (1894-1924) of Dunkerrin features in a short family history by his descendant, Michael O'Carroll.

Jim Kennedy has a chapter on Montore Co-op Creamery, which opened in 1923, one of several creameries in the locality along with The Monastery, Loran, Killea, Toomevara and Cloncannon.

Another fine collection of memories of people and places is shared by Mick Toohey, aged 80, of Summerhill House.

Séan Kenny and Séamus Ryan feature again with a chapter on Paddy Kennedy (1893-1955), a Moneygall man actively involved in the Republican struggle, including the famous 'Modreeny Ambush' of 1921.

Recollections from as far back as 1936 are contributed by Paddy Conway, who talks about school days, the Second World War, hunts, fairs, folk songs and more.
A well-known local character now living in London, Katherine Nuala Heenan features in 'Under Crimblin Hill' courtesy of Mary Fogarty.

The book also includes the Very Reverend Noel Canon Carey, born in Shinrone in 1929. Ordained to the priesthood in 1953, he now resides at Barna where he continues to say daily and Sunday Mass.

John Quinlan tells a story of 'The Derry Dog', a shocking occurrence at Barna hundreds of years ago, still believed in by some locals to this day.
The collection continues with Miley Larkin sharing reminisces of his milk round; his first one was on February 23rd 1950.

In 'The Forges & Blacksmiths at the Heart of Our Community', Séamus Doherty (assisted by his daughter, Julie), discusses the centuries-old art of the smith, one still very much alive and well in this locality.

John Gleeson has written on the life and times of Jimmy (Bro Columba) Gleeson (1935-2016), the Moneygall senior hurler who was awarded for this contribution to education in Malaysia. The book concludes with pause for thought; a reflection for daily living from Brother Gleeson.

Also containing a dearth of poems and photographs documenting Dunkerrin life down through the decades, 'Under Crimblin Hill' is sure to engage widespread fascination. Dunkerrin man Michael O'Carroll, formerly of RTÉ Sport, will be special guest at the launch at Obama Plaza in Moneygall this Friday at 8pm. Priced at €10, the book will be available on the night with an opening night offer of five for €40.

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