Monday, 5 September 2016

Rambles in Athea, Cork and Castleisland

More from Athea

My three girls posed for me looking at the blacksmith at work.

Nicky A. Leonard posted the following recently on Facebook.

The Blacksmith's Epitaph
"My Sledge and Hammer lie in rust
My Bellows too have lost their gust
My fires extinct, my Forge decayed

And in the dust my Rasp is laid
My coal is spent, my irons gone
My nails are driven, my work is done."

We went to Cnoc na Sí, left all our worries with Cróga at the worry tree and remembered again the story of the giant and his unfortunate mother.

 Sad to see that even in this lovely place, vandals have done their worst and destroyed the bug hotel.

"The recent vandalism in the fairy mountain, down by the hall, is to be
deplored. Athea Tidy Town’s committee have worked extremely hard over
the past few years to make Athea a better place in which to live for
all, including children who take a great interest in the fairy
mountain. That some mindless young people see fit to undo  the good
work is beyond comprehension. Apparently the culprits are known to the
committee who do not want to bring the Gardaí into it at this stage .
If not, it is time for their parents to take action and ensure their
offspring have an appreciation of the damage they are doing to the
whole community. If this is not nipped in the bud who knows where it
will stop. It has to be noted, however, that the people who carry out
this type of vandalism are a small minority and the vast majority of
our youngsters are very well behaved and a credit to their teachers
and parents. Maybe they should bring their influence to bear on those
who, by their anti-social behaviour are giving them all a bad name."

Domhnall de Barra :Athea Notes;

It was feeding time for Athea's family of ducks.

This uninhabited house was decorated for the Euros and left thus for the Olympics.

We finished off our day with a visit to the very warm and welcoming home of my friends, Jim and Liz Dunn. Here the work of the artist, the craftsman, the engineer or the baker is appreciated. Stories are valued and everyone, including children, is encouraged to learn and explore. We are so blessed in our locality that the fickle finger of Fate pointed these lovely talented and generous people in our direction.

Jim got down on the floor with the girls to introduce them to an old clockwork toy, a treasured marvel of engineering, a huge novelty to a generation raised with technology.


Thank You

Last week I returned to Cork for my final check up. This is to say thank you to all the people who showed so much concern for me and a special thank you to the doctor who treated me and saw me back to full health.

Because he is not allowed to advertise I can't publish his name but I took a selfie.


A Hidden Corner of Castleisland

I happened upon this disused church last week in Castleisland. It is located behind the main street in a lane that is used as a pedestrian short cut by local people.

The graves were a mixture of tombs and regular graves and dated back centuries.

It seems that records of some of the burial places are not recorded or else they had a lawn cemetery before these became popular elsewhere.

A trawl the internet found this following interesting post about the oldest tomb:

An East Kerry Pastor
By T.M. Donovan

For about the past thirty years there was an historical puzzle to be solved with regard to one of the oldest tombs in the ancient graveyard of St. Stephen's in Castleisland. Even learned priests could not solve the riddle of the tomb. This ancient tomb belongs to Mr. Richard E. Shanahan, of Castleisland, the present-day representative of the once powerful Shanahan clan of East Kerry. Above the entrance to this tomb, over the sculptured head of an angel guarding it, there is a Latin inscription with, apparently on a casual glance, the date, 1067 - a date that takes us back to Gaelic Ireland before the Norman Conquest. It is this very-far-back date that caused all the trouble to our antiquarians; for it was hardly credible to think that this old tomb held itself above ground for eight and a half centuries! But there it was at a casual glance - 1067.

The Problem Solved
It was the late Rev. Thomas Heffernan who, will visiting his brother, Mr. Michael Heffernan, N.T., Castleisland, that first solved this mystery of the Shanahan tomb. Father Heffernan and a Castleisland friend thoroughly cleaned off the fungoid growths on the slab bearing the Latin inscription and found the following ---
"Ecce Nunc in Pulvere Dormiant
Job 7.21"
"Behold now I sleep in Dust."

Darby Shanahan of Knockahip and Glounsharoon and his brother Edmond of Castleisland the present owner's father, must have been grand-nephews of the first recorded Parish Priest of Castleisland since the Elizabethan proscription of the Catholic Church in Munster. The Diocesan Records do not even contain the name of this mid-eighteenth-century pastor of East Kerry. Fr. Maurice Fitzgerald, who was appointed Parish Priest in 1781, is the first recorded P.P. of Castle-island, after a long blank in these records.

So for East Kerrymen this discovery of the burial place of their oldest Parish Priest is unusually interesting and instructive.
When I was writing the chapters on the past parish priests of Castleisland in my "History of East Kerry," I had only the mural records in the Parish Church to rely on; and these parish records only carried us back to the days of that grand old Sagart of the Diocese of Kerry, Fr. Maurice Fitzgerald, who became pastor in 1781. I did not know of Darby Shanahan who, early 200 years ago, preceded Father Maurice as Parish priest. As Fr. Maurice Fitzgerald presided over the parish for the long period of 49 years, and as he was ordained in 1774, we may assume that Father Darby Shanahan was in charge of his then extensive parish for 20 or 30 years, which would carry us back to near the middle of [missing]
[missing] was given to Edmond Shanahan. As Archdeacon O'Leary was called "Father Darby" by his parishioners, we see that in our list of Castleisland parish priests we have now two Father Darbys.

This Edmond Shanahan, a near relatives of Fr. Darby Shanahan's, must have been a bachelor; for when dying he left annuities to all the Shanahan families of East Kerry, or least to five of them - to the Shanahans of Castleisland, Shanavalla, Knockahip, Kilcusnin and Crocknareagha.

The Thatched Chapel
Very probably it was this Father Darby Shanahan who built the "Thatched Chapel" in Castleisland - the first since old St. Stephen's Church was confiscated by Queen Elizabeth's.  Undertakers towards the end of the sixteenth century. Before this thatched chapel made its appearance, the hunted priests of the Penal Days said Mass in the "Glounanaffrins" or Mass Rocks of East Kerry at Gortglass, Foyle ..hilip, and Gloun [missing]
[missing] worshipping in a splendid Parish Church with its massive arches of marble, its pillars of polished granite, its beautiful stainglass windows, its magnificent high altar, and its tower and spire point to heaven; while the remnant of the descendents of these alien lords less than a score, are worship-ping without ostentation in a decaying building.
Father Darby's Tomb
The old tomb of Fr. Darby Shanahan's, although not built, as we have seen, in the 11th century, is one of the oldest tombs in the St. Stephen's graveyard. Close beside this old tomb the remains of the late Rev. John Donovan, S.J.M.A., the defender of the Gospel of St. John against the attacks of our modern pagan rationalists, lies buried in his grandmother's grave. This grand-mother of the learned Jesuit Father, Mary Shanahan, was a neice of Fr; Darby Shanahan. Had Father Donovan known that his remains would lie so near his 18th century kinsman, it would please him to think of his burial so near the tomb of [missing] Parish Priest [missing]
[missing] in the [missing] nearly worn [missing] which then became a perfect figure 1. The O became a naught and the B a 6; so at one glance one had the date 1067. The 21 was so worn down that it looked like quota-tion marks.
Father Heffernan opened the Bible at Job. Chapter , and in verse 21 he found the translation of the Lation quotation on the tomb - ". . . now I shall sleep in the dust, and thou shall seek me in the morning, but I shall not be."

This wall around the burial ground, was constructed in a way which discourages idlers and sitters on walls.

1 comment:

  1. Another wonderful post. The Shanahan item reminded me that I had come across this account when researching the meaning of 'Knockahip-Knockakip.' Archdeacon O'Leary was the Rev. Jeremiah O'Leary- the name Darby, (and Diarmuid), being derivatives of ‘Jeremiah.’ Interestingly, I also came across the following record of a donation made by a Shanahan to Rev. Jeremiah (Darby) O'Leary P.P. Castle Island, in 1844, (Recorded in ‘Charitable donations and bequests (Ireland). Return to an order of the Honourable the House of Commons, dated 18 March 1844;--for, returns made into the Office of the Commissioners of Charitable Donat..., 1844’): "John Shanahan, Knockakip : £2 to the Rev. Jeremiah O'Leary, parish priest, Castle Island."