The Forge

The Forge

There isn’t any chestnut tree spreading over the ‘smithy’ at the end of our village, as in that poem we learned at school; but ivy, clawing its way over the walls and on to the roof, and a swath of brambles spreading across the two small shuttered windows. And children on their way home from school do not look in at the open door; for not only do they now pass swiftly by in the luxury of bus and car, the sparks do not fly off the anvil anymore, as the forge now lies derelict and obsolete, having long ceased to be of use, the blacksmith’s craft made redundant by the onset of high-powered farming and automation, and no work-horses in need of shoeing…

Nobis Ministerium Reconciliationis: Archbishop Michael Courtney

Archbishop Courtney on the occasion of his consecration at Nenagh

The 2003 edition of ‘Anach Cuain’ described the 24 July centenary celebrations of the Church of St Brendan by the Lake at Annaghdown. The centrepeice was the visit of Most Rev. Michael Courtney, Titular Archbishop of Eanach Dúin and Apostolic Nuncio in Burundi who made the occasion a glittering event in the history of the Christian community of Annaghdown.
A deep bond instantaneously established itself between Archbishop Courtney and the people of his titular see, such was the personality and the manifest goodness of the man. His striking address will never be forgotten by those who were priveleged to be present to hear it. He himself felt so much at home that he expressed a firm intention to return in July 2004 to meet the people again and to accompany some of them on the annual Cruach Phádraig pilgrimage.

Video: Thatching in Cloonboo, with Marika Leen

Video: Thatching in Cloonboo, with Marika Leen

Evelyn Stevens talks to Dutch thatcher Marika Leen about the art of thatching and how she came to learn the trade. Filmed in Cloonboo, Annaghdown, Co. Galway in summer 2020, at the thatched cottage of Pete Smith and Evelyn Stevens. An initiative of the Annaghdown Heritage Society. Labhraíonn Evelyn Stevens leis an tuídóir Ollainnis, Marika Leen, faoi chéird na tuíodóireachta agus an bealach a d’fhoghlaim sí an céird. Taifeadta i gCluain Bú, Eanach Dhúin, Co. na Gaillimhe, i samhradh 2020, ag teach ceann tuí Pete Smith agus Evelyn Stevens. Tionscnamh de chuid Cumann Oidhreachta Eanach Dhúin.

Máirtín Moylan, 1898-1923

Máirtín Moylan, 1898-1923

Máirtín Moylan was born on the 10th of November 1898 to Thomas and Honor Moylan, (née Burke from Ardgaineen) of Farmerstown. His father died in January 1899 leaving his mother to rear the family by herself. Could it be from here, looking at his mother’s strong will and determination that Máirtín found the resilience to see his cause through to the end in his later life? Honor may have needed time to get herself on her feet after her husband’s death, and on the 31st of March 1901, Máirtín is to be found in the census records listed in the house of his grandparents, Michael and Ellen Burke (née Boyle from Carrowbrowne) of Ardgaineen. How long he remained with his grandparents is not known but sending children to live with relatives was not an uncommon practice at the time to help with rearing the family. He was not to remain in Ardgaineen indefinitely and in time returned to his beloved Farmerstown.

A Tale of the Mill House

A Tale of the Mill House

They used to dine upstairs at the Mill House, in a large room facing the road, with a cabinet in the corner which contained the finest bone china and polished silverware. There was a mahogany table in the centre of the room, and the lady of the house would often rap its surface with her knuckles and emphasise it was solid mahogany and proceed to give an account of the local doctor offering twenty pounds when he had occasion to visit the house. if they were prepared to sell it. However, even though twenty pounds was a substantial sum of money in the early part of the century, on no account would the table be sold, for at the time, corn mills throughout the country were flourishing and the owners were financially secure, so there was neither the need nor the desire to part with such a magnificent piece of woodwork.

Visit to Old Irish Home: Kavanaghs of Gortroe, 1908

Visit to Old Irish Home: Kavanaghs of Gortroe, 1908

Omaha Daily Bee, August 1908: More than fifty-eight years after they left their old home in Ireland, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Cavanagh, 5056 North Twenty-fourth street, will visit it again. They will leave about August 31 on the long journey to the scenes of their childhood. “I don’t expect we’ll see a soul we know,” said Mr. Cavanagh. “All of them are gone by this time, though it’s quite possible I’ll run across some of the boys I used to play with about the quay and wharfs of old Galway, for the people over there are not great to leave their homes and where they are born they generally stay like a tree rooted in the ground. “Of course, the city will be changed. There’ll be tram cars and electric lights and all kinds of modern improvements that we knew naught about when my wife and I left there in the ’50s. And there’ll be steam cars runnning all over the dear old isle and steamships spouting smoke in the harbor where I knew naught but sailing vessels.

The Coen Family

July 2018 marked the coming together of the Coen family of Anbally for the first time in many years, when the descendants of John Coen and Sarah Spelman gathered at Cloonacauneen Castle. John Coen was born in Anbally in March 1838 to Edward Coen and Mary Glynn. In 1876, he married Sarah Spelman of Cahernahoon, who was born in 1850 to John Spelman and Catherine Fahy (Twomileditch). Their family were as follows.