A Millstreet Miscellany (8)

A new publication from Aubane Historical Society will in the shops this week. Entitled ‘A Millstreet Miscellany (8)’, it’s the latest in the Millstreet Miscellany series that give a unique insight into Millstreet of the past. Below are an overview of the main articles in this edition:

Between the ditches, running on forgotten roads in Ireland
This is a first-hand account of running the Butter Road by Bertie Hart who did the deed in two stages in September and October this year. Bertie hopes that his achievement will encourage other runners to take up the challenger of running this unique route.

Millstreet childhood memories
This article is based on the first chapter of “My Dream from Ireland to America” which is an autobiography of Dr. Sheila O’Sullivan Becker. Sheila comes from Claraghatlea and this is a memoir of her childhood days before she went to England and later America where, among many other things, she became a clinical psychologist and lives there today as a very active octogenarian.

The 1921 Millstreet Train Ambush
This article is reprinted from the “Journal of the Irish Railway Record Society” June 2011 by Oliver Doyle. Oliver is a former Operations Schemes Development Manager for Irish Rail and this is a detailed account of the ambush

Dr. Mary Leader’s Book Launch in Boherbue on Saturday at 8.15 p.m.

The official launch by Eileen Linehan of IRD Duhallow of Dr. Mary Joyce Leader’s new Children’s Book “The Waiting Room Christmas Tree” (“Crann Nollag an Seomra Feithimh”) will take place in the Library of Boherbue Comprehensive School at 8.15 p.m. on this Saturday, 1st December 2012.   MC for the very special occasion is Frank O’Sullivan.   A night of music, dance, old Irish carols, mince pies and mulled wine!  (S.R.)

Book Reading by Celine Kiernan

Author Celine Kiernan who writes fantasy novels for young adults will be doing a reading in Millstreet Library this Wednesday at 1.15pm. She is best known for The Moorehawke Trilogy. Set in an alternate renaissance Europe, the trilogy combines fantasy elements with an exploration of political, humanitarian and philosophical themes. [read more …] “Book Reading by Celine Kiernan”

In the Corkman: 23rd August 2012

Sheila Carver’s new social and entertainments website

The Corkman Newspaper is out every Thursday in all the local newsagents, and contains much more than just the online version.

New Book: The Bard – Seán Riobaird O Súilleabháin

The Aubane Historical Society will be launching their latest book entitled “The Bard – Seán Riobaird O Súilleabháin” in the library on Saturday 18th August at 8pm. The Bard was a myhtical figure in Millstreet’s history and this is the first account of his life. It’s a great story, and is written by his great grandson Barry Keane. Tea and biscuits will be served in the GAA club afterwards.

From the back cover: John Robert O Sullivan made Millstreet famous during the Land War. His fight with the landlords and land agents led to intense repression in Millstreet between 1881 and 1891. At one stage the small town of Millstreet had more than 80 armed police to enforce the law. This book tells the story of his life, the main events of [read more …] “New Book: The Bard – Seán Riobaird O Súilleabháin”

In the Corkman – 19th July 2012

Duhallow U-21 ‘A’ Hurling Championship: Millstreet 0-12 Kanturk 0-11 – Millstreet hold nerve in tight finish

Looking forward to the inaugural Millstreet Country Park Summer Gathering

U21 County Championship: Millstreet 1-6 Bantry Blues 4-14, Match Report

Large turnout for the Humphrey Kelleher Cup

Barry chronicles The Bard’s Land War adventures

New book on a local Land War legend

Grow It Yourself garden visit

Dromtarriffe / Kilcorney News

The Corkman Newspaper is out every Thursday in all the local newsagents, and contains much more than just the online version.

Book: Fly Traps & Other Inventions

Fly Flaps & Other Inventions, (ISBN 978-1477488195) is a self published book by Bill O’Riordan that includes descriptions and explanations for some 200 ideas, concepts and patentable inventions he has had over the years, and he believes that some of them could be viable opportunities for anyone who reads the book. None of the ideas have any patent protection, and he’s publishing them now because he believes someone will be inspired by them and use them.

He is giving them away in the hope that someone, somewhere might be able to take them further than he can, and bring one or two of them to market. Ultimately it’s hoped that some of the ideas in the book could boost employment rates in Ireland or indeed anywhere in the world.

The book Fly Flaps & Other Inventions is loosely based on notes he’s made over the years as the ideas occurred to him.  The reason he’s publishing them now is simply to bring them out from his “shed” and set them free; “to see what happens.” He says.

Bill O’Riordan, originally from Millstreet in Co. Cork, Ireland says; “I’ve probably spent way too much time in my “man-shed” trying to develop these products or ideas, without ever completing a patentable prototype, or a design plan, as I tend to jump to the next idea too quickly, and its [read more …] “Book: Fly Traps & Other Inventions”

A Millstreet Miscellany (7)

The latest publication from Aubane Historical Society is ‘A Millstreet Miscellany (7)’ which is another collection of original items on Millstreet. It contains:

  • reports on why Queen Victoria did not stop to say hello on her visit to Killarney,
  • on a big tenant-rights meeting in Millstreet in 1858,
  • an incident at March Fair 1778,
  • an extract from the Geological Survey of Ireland,
  • cartoons of the Millstreet writer George Egerton,
  • the career of Fr. Patrick Fitzpatrick PP,
  • a review of a book on the War over the ‘Trety,’
  • reports of more visitors to the town, and
  • a correspondence with Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture.

It is available from Wordsworth at €10.

A Millstreet Miscellany (6)

The latest publication from Aubane is ‘A Millstreet Miscellany (6)’ and contains a variety of items, including a detailed account of the notorious Millstreet Bank Robbery of 1919, an item on King Mahon’s Rock near Mushera, Genealogical maps, a report of a talk on the ‘Treaty’ and the ‘Civil war’, more accounts from visitors to the area, George Egerton on her time in Dooneen and how she was inspired to begin her writing career there and an item on the location of the cottage where she lived. An ideal Xmas gift from Millstreet for €10 Euro and available from Wordsworth’s in the Square.

[read more …] “A Millstreet Miscellany (6)”

A Millstreet Love Story

The latest from the Aubane Historical Society is unusual in that it is a love story set in Millstreet and written in 1905 by one of the best known writers of the day, George Egerton. It is called “The Marriage of Mary Ascension.”

Egerton was in fact a woman, Mary Dunne, who had lived in a cottage named ‘Ardrath’ near Millstreet for some time (1892-1894), and the story is based on her experiences here. It is an unsparing account of the town and some people in it.

It is interesting in a number of ways. Among other things she suggests that the town had a previous Gaelic name that meant “the little town in the lap of the hills.”

It is currently available from Wordsworth in the Square and other outlets for €5.
[read more …] “A Millstreet Love Story”

Gerard O’Keeffe’s Book Launch in Killarney on Wednesday

Pictured at the launch of Gerard's book "Oscar Wilde - Primarily Prison Conditions and Later Life" in Killarney on Wednesday, 28th September 2011 - From left: Paul O'Donoghue, Solicitor; Gerard O'Keeffe, Author and Michael O'Shea of Killarney Book Shop. A reception followed later at Foley's Restaurant in Killarney.

Karen O’Connor’s “Between the Lines” Being Launched in Tralee Tomorrow

Irish Poets :: Karen O'Connor

Gifted Poet, Karen O’Connor, formerly of Station Road, Millstreet we hope to meet tomorrow at 6.00 p.m. in Siamsa Tíre Theatre & Arts Centre, Town Park, Tralee when her book “Between the Lines” will be officially launched by the Mayor of Tralee, Gillian Wharton Slattery.   This is just one of the many very uplifting comments on Karen’s first publication “Fingerprints” (2005):

“I think I’ll never forget reading “FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas)” for the first time. It was such a delight to discover a voice powered by a spirit of passionate celebration while at the same time confronting dark, difficult emotions, situations and ideas. This is a brilliant, humane, memorable book.”

Dr. Brendan Kennelly

Lots more information on Karen’s impressive achievements on her website http://www.karenoconnor.co.uk/ .   We hope to upload a special feature on the launch in days to come.  (S.R.)

Ann Lane on Tubridy

Yesterday morning, Ryan Tubridy was joined in studio by Ann Lane (formerly of Ballinatona), author of ‘By The Way: A Selection of Public Art in Ireland’. Ann travelled 16,000 miles around the country on her trusty Honda 75 motorbike to catalogue 760 sculpture pieces along the highways and byeways of Ireland.

She also talks about her time (28 yrs) as personal secretary for Mary Robinson, on how she developed her interest, travelled the country, and many stories about the sculptures. See below to listen to the interview: [read more …] “Ann Lane on Tubridy”

Launch of Fr. James McSweeney’s New Book

Fr. James McSweeney pictured at the official Book Launch of his magnificent new book “A Year to Remember”  in Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig with Family & Friends on Tuesday, 23rd Nov. 2010.    More images of the hugely successful event in a few days time. (Seán)

Also, Fr. James’ photo made the front page of yesterday’s Evening Echo newspaper. photo below: [read more …] “Launch of Fr. James McSweeney’s New Book”

Liz Lyons – Books

A love for books like the Famous Five, BFG and Fantastic Mr Fox set Cork author Liz Lyons on a road that has seen her write two hugely successful novels. From Kilcorney in North Cork but exiled to Ardcath on the Meath/Dublin border, Liz always had an interest in reading and books, she didn’t discriminate and would read “anything I could get my hands on”. Naturally it was at English that she excelled at the Community School in Millstreet.

This led her to study English and History at Trinity College in Dublin (TCD), but it would be a while before she tried her hand at writing.

“I initially thought that I might end up teaching,” she recalled. “But I soon found out that I didn’t have the temperament for teaching, I just don’t have the patience.” When Liz graduated from TCD it was into book selling she went and found herself staying at it for ten years. “It was ideal for me. I was near books all the time, I was like a kid in a sweet shop and everyday I was getting more treats. [read more …] “Liz Lyons – Books”

Presentations at Millstreet Library

The culmination of the wonderfully successful "Summer Reading Challenge" which took place throughout Summer 2010 at Millstreet Library, was marked this Saturday evening with the presentation of Certificates to the many young participants. Pictured here are some of the enthusiastic readers receiving their personalised Certificates from Librarian, Breda O'Leary who coordinated the excellent scheme and by Kathleen Moynihan (Raheen, Rathmore), Storyteller supreme and Book Club Facilitator. Appetising refreshments were provided for everyone to mark the celebratory occasion. A Book Club is organised on a Saturday throughout the year on a monthly basis. Lots of updates on Millstreet Library happenings on http://twitter.com/corkcolibrary (Seán)

Author Tom in Millstreet

Meeting with author Tom Grainger (on right) at the Wallis Arms  Hotel today.   Tom’s excellent book “A War Baby – Rags to Riches” (See Tom’s splendid website  www.tomgraingerbooks.com ) is now in its second edition and will soon be available at “Wordsworth” Bookshop, The Square, Millstreet.   Tom has many wonderful connections [read more …] “Author Tom in Millstreet”

Haunted Cork

Hello there
I’m currently writing ‘Haunted Cork’, to be published by The History Press Ireland early next year. To date I have collected 72 stories from all over the county, but I am still on the lookout for more! However, I appear to have a lack of stories from in and around Millstreet, and as an online central hub for the town, was curious whether you have anything on file or personally know and stories concerning myths, legends and ghosts concerning Millstreet?
All the best and many thanks for your time

From legends to hauntings to poltergeist, have a look at some of the other stories on the Paranormal Database, but if you have a story of your own, send it to Darren.

A War Baby – Rags to Riches

This is a story about a baby who was born in to poverty in a back street area of Birmingham, just before the outbreak of World War II.

He suffered with ill health during the early part of his life and had little education leaving school at age of fifteen.

But with the help and determination of his mother, whose unceasing belief in him, drove him onwards and upwards and a chance meeting with an Irish colleen from Millstreet, County Cork who brought with her the luck of the Irish.

Tom Grainger was recently featured here on millstreet.ie raising money for the Baby Jacob Fund selling pieces of wood-turning art in SuperValu. His website is tomgraingerbooks.com and the books cam be purchased there. Tom himself says that the books feature many Millstreet people.

Book: Sráid an ṁuilinn – A History of its people, by its people, for its people

Sráid an ṁuilinn [Millstreet, County Cork, Ireland] A History of its people by its people for its people. Part 1. Arranged and published by Timothy Broker, Millstreet, Co. Cork., no date, c.1930s.

Millstreet museum currently has a copy of this publication, as do some private residences locally, and there is a copy in the National Library of Ireland

Timothy Broker is a pseudonym, as it was actually written by Fr. William Ferris, a curate in Millstreet in the 1930s, who had a previous publication blocked by the Bishop of Kerry, so he used the pseudonym to get around this. He devoted himself to recording oral history and folklore in danger of going to the grave; as he put it, “Each time the east wind blows, it takes an old seanachaí with it”.


Fr William Ferris

Fr. William Ferris was in Millstreet Parish from 1934-1935.

Apparently it was compiled from information gathered at Station Masses, It is a comprehensive list of the antiquities of the area.  [2: Origin and Development of the Parish of Millstreet]

The book was published in 1937 (reprinted 1972 and 1982).

He is not to be confused with Fr. Owen McFineen Ferris who was Parish Priest of Drishane around 1700, and whose church was the old one in Ballydaly, about 250m south of Croohig’s cross. [2]

Read more on Fr. William Ferris in this other article: Fr Ferris Parish Histories (2018)


The book was reviewed in 1837 by the Cork Historical and Archaelogical Society. See the review here:


Sráid an Mhuilinn. A History of its People, by its People, for its People. Part I. Arranged and published by Timothy Broker, Millstreet, Co. Cork. Price 2s. net.

This booklet (of 56 pages) is, perhaps, a sign of the times. Its compilation is a sign that one man is interested in the history of his locality ; its publication is an indication of the author’s optimistic outlook that many others are sufficiently interested to be readers of the information he has brought together. We sincerely hope Mr. Broker’s optimism is justified and we wish the booklet every success. The sub-title is misleading. The booklet is not a “history ” of the parish ; it is, what is much more valuable, a survey of the archaeological remains in it : fulachta fiadh, megaliths, standing stones, holy wells, forts and souterrains, as well as some other finds and miscellaneous monuments. A book of this kind must not be judged by the same standards as one by a recognised authority on history or archaeology. Its faults are obvious, but it is, nevertheless, a very useful compilation and of value not only to those who live in the Millstreet area but also to those caring for Irish archaeology, wherever they live. The specialist will find in it some items of interest, e.g., the note on the finding of a bronze axe in a fulacht fiadh at Baile na Tona (p.11). It is further of considerable value to have as it were a statistical summary of all the remains of antiquity in a particular area, especially since so many of the remains are not so outstanding as to be noticed in archaeological literature generally and belong to the less ” respectable ” side of archaeology. The townland names are given in Irish. This is excellent, but, when unaccompanied by the Ordnance Survey Map form, leads to one inconvenience. The official map spelling of the name may be quite at variance with local pronunciation and philological accuracy, but it is the only one which the worker unacquainted with the district can use in order to find the name in the townland census or on the map. We therefore feel that the official names might have been inserted either in brackets under the Irish forms or as an addendum. Booklets of this kind are frequent in France. The author may be the local teacher, abbe or local official, and they vary much in excellence, but almost all are of use because they are local in their treatment. It is to be hoped that we shall have more of such work in Ireland. We conclude this review by a quotation from a passage (refreshing, whether we agree with it or not) in Mr. Broker’s Foreword : ” I like parish history. It is the best antidote for, as it is the antithesis of the daily newspaper, the latter focusing all space on one small point of time and making, in my opinion, for ignorance and savagery, and the former focusing all time on one small point of space and making for knowledge and civilisation.”

“Magic Moments” Book Launch

On Wednesday,  14th July 2010 (Bastille Day),  supreme photographer Gerard O’Meara’s fascinating book of enormously interesting photographs of the 1960s, ’70s and 80s relating mainly to the Mallow area, will be launched after 8.00 p.m. at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow. In a splendid foreword to Gerard’s book, the renowned Declan Hassett writes: “There is an innate sense of decency about Gerard O’Meara. He brings to life, and to his chosen profession, photography, that natural awareness of the importance of those with whom he comes in contact in his work as a “recorder of local history” through the camera lens.” The superb book is available in Mallow at Philip’s Bookshop, Katie’s and Monument House. We wish Gerard every success with this highly significant publication – guaranteed to be in huge demand and a best seller.

Gerard O'Meara, Photographer, Mallow with "Magic Moments"

Handbook for Travellers in Ireland 1866

Below are extracts from the “Handbook for Travellers in Ireland (with Maps) 1866” which refer to the Millstreet area.

Note: the spelling is not great because a computer was used to scan it and copy to text, but the information of the time is interesting.
… the only practicable coal being in Clare, where there are thin beds of culm, from which, however, one colliery-owner clears his 4000?. a year. This exception is in the barony pf Duhallow, in the neighbourhood of Kanturk and Millstreet. Here are six veins of anthracite coal, three of which, known as the Bulk-vein, Rock- vein, and Sweet-vein, are of tolerable thickness and have been pretty extensively
worked. ” The coals of the Munster field lie in a series of troughs, the hills usually striking from E. to W., and the strata dipping on either side, N. and S., at considerable angles, often perpendicular.” — Kane,
The coal rocks in Clare are of an estimated thickness of 3350 ft., and consist of limestone band …

[read more …] “Handbook for Travellers in Ireland 1866”

A Millstreet Miscellany (3)

Aubane:Where In The World Is It?The Aubane Historical Society have released a new publication. The third in a series of collections of historical items which contain some very interesting historical items on Millstreet’s past. It is dedicated to Sean Radley in recognition of his services to Millstreet, and is currently available in local shops.

The official launch of the publication will take place in mid-February in the Aubane Community Centre (details to follow).

Amongst a number of publications that have been made available to the public, the two earlier publications in the series can be read on the Aubane Historical Society website. These are:

A Millstreet Miscellany and, A Millstreet Miscellany (2)

Ministerial Visit to Aubane Commuity Centre to Launch 2 Publications

Aubane 1975 – 2008

On Tuesday 26th August 2008 the Aubane Social Club & Aubane Historical Society was very privileged to have Batt O’Keeffe Minister for Education visit Aubane Community Centre for a very historical event. The Minister was welcomed by Jack Lane Aubane Historical Society and John F. Kelleher Secretary of the Aubane Social Club. He was then introduced personally to each of Aubane Social Club Committee Members. It is the Ministers third visit to Aubane as his first visit was in April 2005, then he came for Jack Lane’s last Launch in May 2007 and now his present visit. The proceedings got under way by the President of the Aubane Historical Society Jack Lane who welcomed everyone as there was huge attendance. IRD Duhallow was represented by its Vice Chairperson Jack Roche. Apologies were sent by Michael Creed TD, Eily Buckley, Fr Gerard O’Leary, Canon Declan O’Connor, Maura Walsh IRD Duhallow, John Sheehan, , Michael Moynihan TD and Don Crowley V Chairman of IRD whom were unable to attend the function. Two publications

Books were launched on the night. The first book is written by Mr. Dan Cronin from Shrone entitled Around the Cork Kerry Border, recalling the Rambling House. In this book Dan presents in collection of stories and historical Sketches from his native shrone and surrounding areas. It is a tribute to the people of his area, their knowledge, culture and resilience in face of many difficulties. They are stories and experiences that impressed and entertained him, and many others and they give a real glimpse into bygone age by someone who lived in it and became one of its narrators. Unfortunately Mr Dan Cronin was unable to attend the launch but his wife Margaret Cronin deputized on his behalf. The second book was written by Ballydaly native Fr Sean Tucker entitled the origins development of the Parish of Millstreet. In this publication Fr Sean Tucker traces the history of Millstreet Parish across nearly a thousand years. It is the first such record of the parish. It is based on detailed analyses of church records using primary resources and is the result of years of original research by Fr Sean Tucker – truly a labour of love. On the platform was Batt O’Keeffe Minister for Education, President of the Aubane Historical Society Jack Lane and Fr Sean Tucker.

Jack Lane in his opening speech said that it was very symbolic to have a launch in Aubane this week as it is National Heritage Week and these two books are a great contribution.

He also said that the Millstreet Area is steeped in local history and urged that the present generation should read and learn about all about the happenings of long ago. He said this history should be thought to second level students at school. Fr Tucker then spoke, he first said that we have a lot of wonderful local heritage even in the Millstreet area. Fr Tucker in his address said he went for a drive the other day around the circuit of Clara which is about 15km. On this route there are many historical sites such as the Old Workhouse at Millstreet Hospital, the old Georgian house at Mountleader and Kilmeedy Castle. Fr Tucker went to college in Waterford and the first Minister he met was Sean Moylan who was the Minister for Education at that era. He paid tributes to Sean Radley Curator of Millstreet Museum on his publication Picture Millstreet, Fr James Mc Sweeney on his recent publication A year in Reflections and Canon Michael Mannings writings on the history of the Stain glass windows of St Patrick’s Church Millstreet. Fr Tucker was truly delighted to have Cullen native and a Minister to launch his publication.

Minister Batt O’Keeffe then made his speech. Batt said it was a hounour and a great pleasure to come to Aubane to celebrate the publications of two great authors who enjoy writing. He praised the Aubane Social Club as it is a club which thrives in a small community by the hard work the club members put in. The Minister then said it was great to see Fr James as he is now the new chaplain in Colaiste Cholim Ballincollig which is just down the road from where the Minister resides, Tom Meaney who was previously a Minister of State and whom he always looked up to. From the Ministers reading of the books he found the two books were written in a picturesque language, interesting and very educational. He said that his 26 year old daughter asked him to give her the two books also to read as after a few pages she too found them interesting to read. He also thanked the two authors for an outstanding contribution to local history and also praised the Aubane Historical Society highly. From his reading of Dan Cronins Book he said it brought back many old memories to him such as the Stations in the local area, the whitewashing of the house, threshing days, the pig and the making of the puddings. He said Dan portrayed these happenings of long ago very well.

In Fr Sean Tuckers book he found that the spirit of hope was very evident. He then declared the two publications officially launched. Jack Lane in his final speech said he could n’t have asked for better launch and praised the Minister. Jack Lane thanked all those who helped in the organising of the launch. Jack Lane then presented the Minister with a hand painted slate which was specially commissioned by Artist Kate O’Keeffe from Ballydesmond.

Tea and Refreshments were served afterwards. Entertainment was then provided by local singers, among them was the very popular Annmarie O’Riordan. Local Musican James Buckley played the Concertina. MC was myself John Kelleher

Article written by

John Kelleher


Aubane Social Club

27th August 2008