Genealogy of a Country Family
Chapter 7: The Evictions.
Laura and her parents visited a fourth cousin, Eamon Moloney who lives in Knocklong. Eamon told the story of the related Moloney family eviction from the Kilfrush Estate adjacent to Knocklong. Eamon said that Aida Moloney, who was born in 1894, often repeated the story as the cruel and ruthless manner of the eviction had inflamed the older generations.
In 1861, Joseph Gubbins Esq. was the landlord of Kilfrush Estate and in 1863 became High Sheriff of County Limerick. Dan Moloney was a tenant farmer like his father, Richard before him on the Kilfrush Estate. Their farm of forty-five acres was on the opposite side of the road to Bridge House closer to Knocklong. The tenant farmers on the Estate had received notice that their rent would be greatly increased. This was regarded as a "rack-rent". The farmers unitedly adopted a policy of non-payment of rent in an attempt to force the landlord to reduce it.
The landlord went to court and obtained eviction orders. The eviction orders were served on the tenant farmers to vacate their farms and homes on the estate.
The tenant farmers refused to leave. The landlord together with the eviction force which comprised of; the sheriff, bailiffs and "emergency-men" who were labourers hired to demolish the houses and police with the military for protection arrived at the home of Dan Moloney. Dan with his family has barricaded themselves inside and refused to leave. The Sheriff demanded possession formally. When this was refused the emergency-men erected the battering ram and used it to breach the front wall of the house. The family were forcefully removed. The bailiffs then took possession of the contents and the house was rendered uninhabitable by the emergency-men.
The other tenant farmers were similarly evicted. Farm workers from Cullen and Lattin, were brought in to farm the Estate and were regarded as "grabbers" and ostracised by the locals.
The only surviving record of Dan Moloney and his family's existence are their baptismal records and Griffith's Valuation. The fate of his descendants is not known.
Joseph Gubbins (1829-1895) of Kilfrush, brother, John Russell Gubbins (1838-1906) of Bruree House and Estate - 760 acres - was a famous horse owner and breeder. Two of his horses won the English Derby, Galteemore in 1897 and Ardpatrick in 1902.
It is said that Eamon de Valera ex. President of Ireland was his illegitimate son. There was a strong resemblance between the two, a pronounced nose, square chin and general facial features. Catherine Coll a local servant girl was Eamon's mother, who immigrated to New York when she became pregnant.
In 1886 John Gubbins was confronted by Fr. Eugene Sheehy P.P. of Bruree, a militant nationalist, who was acting for tenants being threatened with eviction by John Gubbins. The outcome of the confrontation was that as Gubbins refused to reach a compromise regarding the threatened evictions, the farmers of the district refused his fox-hunt entry onto their land. John Gubbins went on to have three families evicted, in what became known as the Garroose Evictions. He sold his hunt horses the following year.
The story is told that one day when John Gubbins was out riding he came across women washing clothes in a river. John said to one of the women that she should wash her self, as she was filthy. The woman retorted that no amount of soap and water would wash off the dirt that was on him.
Fr. Eugene Sheehy was a relative of the beheaded Fr Nicholas Sheehy, their common ancestors came from Dromcolliher. Eamon de Valera as a boy served Mass for Fr. Eugene Sheehy and in later life acknowledged how he admired Fr. Sheehy's knowledge of history and ability to preach and was influenced by him. Eamon de Valera wrote " He taught me patriotism".
In October 1970 Richard Nixon then president of the USA stayed at Kilfrush when John A.Mulcahy, an Irish-American millionaire, owned it. This was during the Vietnam War, when peace talks in Paris were conducted by Dr. Henry Kissenger and others for the United States. They briefed Nixon at Kilfrush under tight security. World-wide media attention was focused on what Nixon would say at a promised press conference after the briefing, as the Vietnam War was the main world news of the day. The people of the USA were divided over their military involvement, and there was much protesting against it.
Chapter 8: The King's Horse Race
Daniel Moloney 1864-1916 ( Grand son of John Moloney & Moll Russell ) who farmed and bred racehorses at Bridge House entered Kirkbloom one of his racehorses, in the Farmers Royal Cup race at the Leopardstown Royal Meeting , Dublin, on the 10th of July 1911. The race was a flat race, run over two miles, for horses that were the property of bona fide farmers in Ireland, farming at least fifty acres of land.
Daniel hadn't planned on going to the race as he felt it unlikely the horse would run well. On the morning of the race a neighbour persuaded Daniel to accompany him to the races. Daniel went along in his every day clothes and a straw hat, which he was wearing. To everyone's surprise the horse won. Kirkbloom won by a head at odds of ten to one, and was ridden by Mr. J.C. Kelly. King George V presented Daniel with the Cup. The Viceroy admonished Daniel on his inappropriate state of dress. King George V had succeeded his father Edward V11 the previous year. The horse meeting was in honour of his coronation.
Daniel now had reason to celebrate as this was the biggest win of his career. The celebrations started at Kingsbridge Station (now Heuston Station), Dublin where Daniel caught the return train to Knocklong. The Cup which is sizeable was filled with drink and Daniel's party celebrated. When the steam train stopped in Portlarlington for fuel and water everyone on the train including the driver went to the pub for a round of drink and to refill the cup.
There were scenes of jubilation on their arrival at Knocklong after winning one of the biggest events in the Irish racing calendar. Daniel was overwhelmed by the crowd who turned out to welcome Kirkbloom and himself back to Knocklong. He thanked the crowd for the tremendous reception. The crowd cheered and applauded. For the following week the Cup was taken around to every pub and house in Knocklong for celebration. Well-wishers called to Bridge House wanting to see and touch Kirkbloom and hold the cup and shared a celebratory drink or two.
Kirkbloom was sold a few years later as a stallion for £1,500. Daniel would say, how he remembered the day, as he lost twenty pounds to the bookies.
9: War of Independence
The Hostage Pilot
During the War of Independence 1919-21 an English military aeroplane developed engine trouble and made an emergency landing in a field at Ballinanima one mile north-east of Kilfinane, not far from Knocklong.
The pilot was taken hostage and the plane was burned out. An ultimatum was issued to the people of Kilfinane that if the pilot wasn't released the town would be bombed and homes would be burned. A squadron of aeroplanes flew over the town and dropped bombs. The explosions were heard miles away, but it transpired that only smoke bombs were used and there was no material damage.
At one stage the pilot was held in Bridge House, Knocklong, after his released the Fermoy Auxiliaries (British Police) took him to the various houses in the district to see if he recognised any. The Auxiliaries were known to have routinely tortured and murdered citizens, who they had taken into custody for questioning. In Bridge House the pilot studied the racing trophies including the King George V's Cup on the sideboard, in the dining room, which he admired during his capture. Luckily for the Moloneys of Bridge House the pilot answered "No" when asked if he had been held in the house.
The pilot G.O.MacKay F.O., R.A.F. wrote this note after his release to his commander "I have been treated with every possible consideration and respect and have no complaint whatever; in fact, I feel gratitude in the way that they have done everything in their power to make me comfortable. The inhabitants, who were forced to house me by the I.R.A., made me very comfortable and I do not consider that they could be held responsible".
The propeller of the plane, which was a Bristol Fighter two-seater, is now in the National Museum, Dublin.
Tipperary Town - Moloneys
The Soloheadbeg ambush outside Tipperary town by the Volunteers, who killed two policemen who were escorting explosives in transit to Solohead quarry, was the start of the War of Independence 1919-21, which resulted in Ireland gaining independence from Britain. The ambush was typical of the guerrilla warfare adopted by the IRA during the war. The seized explosives were used to make home-made bombs.
From Jan.1919 to Dec.1920 Martial Law was enforced in South Tipperary. Entry to Tipperary town was restricted. Markets, fairs, processions and public meetings were prohibited.
The British Military Barracks in Tipperary town, built in 1874 could with it's adjacent camp at Scalaheen accommodate two and a half thousand soldiers.
Grace Bruton nee McGrath said that in 1920 as a child of seven, when visiting her grandmother Moloney in Nelson Place, Tipperary town, she was hidden under the kitchen table when the Auxiliaries and the Black and Tans broke through the house chasing an IRA "flying column" who were detected in the lane beside the house. An IRA flying column was a mobile unit specially trained to ambush British forces.
The Black and Tans to avenge IRA terrorism went round under the cover of darkness and pushed lighted papers under the back doors of Irish houses in an attempt to burn the houses. The Black and Tans were undisciplined auxiliary policemen who terrorised the civilians and committed arson and murder. They were ex-soldiers and sailor recruits to the Royal Irish Constabulary (R.I.C.) with a reputation for drunkenness and brutality.
A sheet of metal was fixed to the inside and bottom of the back-door to Arravale House outside the town by the Moloneys to safeguard against their home been burned down by the Black and Tans. A number of business premises and homes were burned by the Black and Tans in the town.
The IRA raided the British military camp at Scalaheen on the night of the fourth of November in 1921 and stole thirty-six rifles and two guns. Their getaway car was across the fields at Moloney's of Arravale. It was IRA policy to arm themselves through raids and attacks on police barracks and army depots.
Civil War 1922-3
The War of Independence finished with the Anglo-Irish Treaty, when the British agreed to hand back 26 counties. The majority of the Irish accepted this and an Irish Government was set up. A split occurred in the IRA, between those in favour and against the Treaty, which led to the Civil War 1922-3 in which 927 were killed.
Those against the treaty (Anti-Treaty) wanting the 32 counties, took control of Tipperary town and moved into the Military Barracks after the British withdrawal.
A battle ensued in the town, which the Anti-Treaty forces lost. They burned down the Military Barracks along with the Creamery and the Gas Works prior to their withdrawal.
The Irish Civil War ended when Eamon de Valera ordered his Anti-Treaty forces to stop fighting. He resolved to pursue his aims by political means and formed Fianna Fail in 1926.
Chapter 10: The Siege of Knocklong.
The Siege of Knocklong, in the third century was a confrontation between the King of Munster and the King of Tara, Cormac mac Airt (227-66AD) whose fort was at the Hill of Tara in County Meath.
The King of Munster was Fiachu Muillethan. Before Fiachu was born, a Druid told his mother that if he were born on a certain day he would become a most powerful King. His mother went into labour a day early. To prevent giving birth early his mother sat astride a rock in the middle of the Suir river at Knockgraffon, near Cahir in County Tipperary. This worked but the top of Fiachu's head was flattened from contact with the rock. The English translation of Muillethan is " broad crown or flat head".
The Moote of Knockgraffon, which is a truncated conical shaped hill, was the crowning place and seat of the Kings of Munster prior to the Rock of Cashel.
Cormac mac Airt, according to legend was orphaned at birth and was raised by a pack of wolves.
Druids who were pagan priests were employed by both Kings for their powers to foretell the future and work black magic.
Cormac invaded Munster with his army, to conquer the country. He set up camp on the Hill of Knocklong. Fiachu set up his camp on a hill nearby. Cormac instructed his druid to exercise his pagan powers to dry up Fiachu's army's drinking water supply, which he did.
Fiachu summoned his druid who performed a pagan ritual and clean water erupted from the ground and flowed through Fiachu's camp. His army's thirst was satisfied.
Cormac on learning this departed to make his way back to the Hill of Tara. Fiachu pursued him and at Ossory in County Kilkenny, Cormac surrendered to Fiachu.
Fiachu returned to the Moote of Knockgraffon victorious, to a hero's reception.
The English translation of Knocklong is "Hill of the Camp" as Cormac mac Airt set up camp there with his army. The Hill and surrounding land has been in the Moloney family for at least five generations.
St. Patrick in the 5th century is said to have converted the King of Munster, Aenghus, to Christianity after the king put the powers of a Druid and Patrick's to a test. The Druid made it snow heavily and the ground was blanketed with snow. It was a summer's day. The king challenged Patrick to better this. Patrick called on his Christian god who made the sun shine and melt the snow. This spelt the end for Druids in Ireland.
During the King's baptism at the Rock of Cashel, St. Patrick accidentally stuck his cozier through the Kings foot. After the ceremony St. Patrick looked down, saw what he had done and asked the king why he hadn't complained. The king replied that he thought it was part of the ceremony.
It was in Cashel, where St. Patrick first used the shamrock to explain the mystery of the Blessed Trinity.
Lough Gur, which is five miles north of Knocklong, is a lake ringed with a remarkable variety of prehistoric remains: dolmens, stone circle, pillars stones, chamber stones cairns and ruined castles. These Stone Age remains are 4000-years-old, making them older than the pyramids in Egypt.
The entrances to Tir na nOg (the Land of Youth) is said to be in a cave on the hill of Rockadoon beside the lake. One of the legends about Tir na nOg is the story of Oisin a warrior who was out hunting one day when he met Niamh, a beautiful woman with red hair riding a white horse. She tells him that she loves him and wants him to accompany her to Tir na nOg. He goes with her and after 300 years of complete happiness, never ageing or been sick, decided out of curiosity to pay a visit home. Niamh warns him not to dismount from his horse or he would find himself old, withered, and blind.
On his return he comes on two men, in Glenasmole County Wicklow, trying to lift a stone into a wagon, they ask for his help, he leans over to give a hand. The strap of his saddle breaks and he falls to the ground and is immediately transformed into the very aged man Niamh predicted. His horse returns to Tir na nOg leaving him to die.
Chapter 11: American Branch - Discovery.
By Betty Walsh, New Hampshire, USA.
Betty Walsh of New Hampshire in the USA decided to come to Ireland on holidays and to further family research that had been started in 1974 by her cousin Fr. Robert Maloney. The only tangible record with Ireland was an old family bible that listed her great great great grandfather with his wife and offspring. There was a reference to Ballinvreena and the village of Hospital.
After reading Fr. Robert's findings, Betty contacted the Limerick Regional Archives to determine exactly where her ancestors lived with the aim of visiting the old homestead if it still existed. Baptismal and land records indicated that Richard and Bridget (Walsh) Moloney ( Brother of John Moloney who married Moll Russell ) lived in Ballincarroona and not Ballinvreena as the bible stated.
Correspondence from the parish priest of a neighbouring parish to Knocklong, stated that people often use the two townlands interchangeably.
In 1997, Betty and her husband, Joe, visited Knocklong and met two residents of Knocklong. When asked if they could direct them to Ballincarroona, they offered to take them to a home once owned by a Moloney family. That home turned out to be Bridge House. The residents put Betty in touch with local descendants of the families including David Moloney of Tipperary. David forwarded a copy of the family tree chart he was working on. The Christian names, dates and locations appeared to be very similar to Betty's Moloney ancestors. It is believed that her ancestor, Richard Moloney, was a brother to John Moloney (1775-1826) and Thomas Moloney (d. 1858). Baptismal records from Hospital indicate that sponsors of Richard's children were from Thomas' and John's families.
The oldest son of Richard and Bridget was Daniel Moloney born in 1804, according to the family bible and died in 1872. He married Mary Quinlan 1817-1875 of the village called Hospital in county Limerick around 1848. It is believed that they came to America around that time. When they arrived in America, the spelling of the last name became "Maloney". This was not uncommon since the person entering their name most likely spelled it the way he or she thought it sounded. They settled in Lawrence, Massachusetts where the city was under construction. Records indicate that Daniel worked at the Washington Mills, one of several large woollen mills in Lawrence. His wife was a dressmaker.
Their son, John Thomas Maloney, 1853-1920, was born in Lawrence and at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, John Thomas had the distinction of being the first person to volunteer his services from the city of Lawrence in the state of Massachusetts. The war which the Americans won, marked the emergence of the United States as a world power. .
So the Irish-American trail led from the vicinity of Bridge House in Ballincarroona, Knocklong, County Limerick, Ireland, to the City of Lawrence in the State of Massachusetts, USA.
When Betty and Joe Walsh visited her Moloney distant cousins in Ballincarroona in May 2000, the circle was complete. They returned to America with a great sense of satisfaction after establishing links with and meeting Irish cousins.
Encouraged by her success in tracing her Moloney ancestors through her mother side of the family, Betty commissioned research on her father's ancestors, the Corcorans. She was in for a pleasant surprise as it turned out that the family name was Corkery and they lives in Glenlary, only two miles from Knocklong. Her great, great, grandfather, Timothy Corcoran, married in 1856 and had five children born in Ireland between 1856 and 1866. In August 1866, the Corkery family emigrated to America where their name became Corcoran. The family settled within a few streets of the Moloneys in Lawrence.
So the Irish-American trail led from the vicinity of Bridge House in Ballincarroona, Knocklong, County Limerick, Ireland, to the City of Lawrence in the State of Massachusetts, USA.
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