A Sunday Hunt

From the overnight rain the by road was wet
As by the cottage of Con C the hunting party met
All of them locals for a Sunday of fun
In rain coats and second hand clothes not expecting any sun

On a Sunday morning in September in the Fall of the year
The sound of the wind in the trees rather pleasant to hear
Across the face of Clara low fogs of rain did crawl
On a typical enough morning for the early Fall

The brothers Con, Jerry and Michael O’ Connor were there
In anticipation a chase of a fox or a course of a hare
Young tall and sturdily built Michael Murphy of Shannaknock with browny his cattle dog
Arrived for the hunt via a shortcut through the bog

[read more …] “A Sunday Hunt”

John Twomey The Poet Of Ivale

When i was a boy he was in his physical prime
But this is going back many decades in time
With words he was one who did have a way
And many of his poems and songs are living today

Beyond the green borders of the Duhallow countryside
John Twomey The Poet Of Ivale was known far and wide
In song and verse Duhallow and it’s people by him glorified
To know of a poet of his stature to many was a sense of pride
[read more …] “John Twomey The Poet Of Ivale”

John Joe Daly

In Millstreet in Duhallow when i was a young boy
John Joe Daly told the stories of Ireland’s tears and joy
He told stories of the black and tans and civil war and of Tubrid Well
He was an old pipe smoking bloke with yarns in galore for to tell

He told of how Paddy McCarthy a warrior rebel of renown
Died on a bleak night in November in Millview Lane in Millstreet Town
Out numbered by the black and tans he died under gunfire
Stories of such acts of bravery others to take up arms does inspire
[read more …] “John Joe Daly”

Clara The Old Hill

Clara the old hill that ever looks down
On Duhallow and Sliabh Luachra and Millstreet Town
Inspired long deceased writers over decades of time
To idolize it in their stories and rhyme

Long before the first people to Hibernia came
Clara the old hill was without a name
Bracken and heather on it’s face did grow
Just like the Clara today that we know

In the prime of Summer in sunny July
When larks over Clara do sing in the sky
People climb the old hill whortleberries to eat
The tiny blue berries to the taste buds a treat
[read more …] “Clara The Old Hill”

Summer In Lisnaboy

Good memories live in me as a source of joy
Of the happy times i spend in green Lisnaboy
On Summer school holidays in the farm of aunt Mary and uncle Dan
Going back some six decades in time quite a span

In the sunlit meadows of a sunlit day
In July and August i helped them with the hay
With the sweet scents of Nature wafting in the breeze
And the young birds chirping on the bushes and trees
[read more …] “Summer In Lisnaboy”

I Loved Claraghatlea Then

The Winters were cold and windy and wet
And the fields often gray with frost something i remember yet
And cattle in the farmyard sheds often bellowing for silage or hay
In the place i was raised in from here far away

But i loved Claraghatlea then and i always will
That green old Town-land in view of Clara Hill
Where i would be a stranger to many today
But love of place until death with me will stay
[read more …] “I Loved Claraghatlea Then”

A January Night In Millstreet Town

Children walking home in a light drizzle in Millstreet an evening this January. Photo Aleksandra Cashman

Few cars on the quiet street do pass up and down
On a cold Winter night in old Millstreet Town
The pub doors are locked not a human in sight
On what is a typical January weekday night

On one of the moonlit trees in the Town Park nearby
The silence is pierced by a barn owl’s shrill cry
In the depths of Winter and Spring nowhere near
For it and it’s kind a hungry time of year

In the moonlit sky quite a beautiful sight
Myriads and myriads of stars twinkling bright
The cold chill of frost in the freshening breeze
In weather temperatures below zero degrees

[read more …] “A January Night In Millstreet Town”

It Hardly Matters To Me Now

It hardly matters to me now if i was dunce of the primary school
Far north of the coastal countryside by Warrnambool
Or if in my life’s twilight years i cannot boast of a uni degree
Since time it does seem it has caught up on me

Since the years have left me wrinkled looking, bare headed and gray
And clearly i have known of a far better day
And though i am not one who has known of life’s success
I am not going into old age in a state of unhappiness

Though some things in life we would rather forget
No point in growing older with feelings of regret
Of mistakes we made and opportunities lost
Some of our lessons in life come to us at a cost
[read more …] “It Hardly Matters To Me Now”

Millstreet Did Not Go To The World Out There

Millstreet did not go to the World out there so the World out there came to Millstreet
In the Duhallow Town today people of many different nationalities you will meet
People of many cultures and creeds of Countries Worldwide and of skin colors black, white and brown
Live in view of old Clara Hill in and near to Millstreet Town

Millstreet did not go to the World out there it was a monocultural place
But change to it came from afar in latter years at a quick pace
And change for the better one might say as it brought with it people of the World out there
And change happening in view of Clara Hill as has been happening everywhere

[read more …] “Millstreet Did Not Go To The World Out There”

It Has Been A While Since I Walked By Finnow

It has been a while since i walked by Finnow
And in a rushy field heard the soft lowing of a cow
After sundown in the twilight of the day
In the prime of the Spring on an evening in May

It has been a while near the Town of Millstreet
That i walked in the field where the waterways meet
And heard dark brown water bird dipper with breast white as snow
Singing his scratchy song where the river rapids did flow

[read more …] “It Has Been A While Since I Walked By Finnow”

A Stranger In Ballydaly

Since from there I have been quite a long time away
I would be a stranger to many in Ballydaly today
By the Boggeragh Ranges far inland from Hibernia’s shore
In the Parish of Millstreet on the road to Rathmore

At the end of the Autumn with Winter quite near
It is cool and wet in Ballydaly in November of the year
Clara, Gortavehy and Caherbarnagh half cloaked in the gray fogs of rain
And brown storm water flowing in every roadside and field drain

The people of Ballydaly as I recall have a charm of their own
Where today I would be a stranger to many where I once was well known
But this is going back some three decades ago
And time as we know becomes everyone’s foe

[read more …] “A Stranger In Ballydaly”

I Left Duhallow, but Duhallow Followed

I left Duhallow but Duhallow followed
And the Boggeragh hills are never far away
In Finnow pools the trout for flies are jumping
And I see the cross on Clara every day.

The stream from the mountain lake of Gortavehy
Down through the bracken splashes on it’s way
Joined by small rills it swells into a river
Before it reach the flat fields of Liscreagh.

Of the fields of Claraghatlea North where I came from
I once said were a memory in decay
But of them I’ve found a new mental picture
Resplendent in their wildflowers of the May.

I left Duhallow but Duhallow followed
And the green fields and the woodlands I still see
I drive up the high hill through Cullen village
And take the road that leads to Knocknagree. [read more …] “I Left Duhallow, but Duhallow Followed”

The Blackthorn Hare

A-Fox-Chasing-A-Rabbit2On a cold and wild December morn
In a field down under old Blackthorn
In a rushy patch the brown hare slept
As through the field a dog fox crept.

The big red fox’s cunning mate
A vixen waited by the gate
There by the gate she quietly lay
She knew the hare would come this way.

Upwind the fox was drawing near
He did not wish the hare to hear
For him it was a hungry night
And badly did he need a bite.

But the hare awoke and pricked one ear
He sensed danger was somewhere near
Then bolted from his cushy seat
This hare would not be easy meat.

Out of the rushes he did race
The angry fox was quick to chase
He ran the field up to the gate
Where the hidden vixen lay in wait. [read more …] “The Blackthorn Hare”

March By The Finnow

RobbirtreeOn a budding birch tree the male robin on song
Near where old Finnow river goes babbling along
Though the wind from the high country by Clara Hill
Does blow with a touch of a wintry chill
In mid March in the earlier days of the Spring
When the early nesting birds are commencing to sing
The swallows not yet back on their breeding ground
And the chill of the Winter it is still around
And the old Finnow River in flood waters of brown
Babbles through the fields and bogs by Millstreet Town
Though in shady places by ditch and hedgerow
The wildflowers of Nature in the blustery winds blow
Where Finnow from the high country the Cails does meet
Just west of the Duhallow Town of Millstreet.

[read more …] “March By The Finnow”

Happy Childhood Memories

Happy childhood memories the best memories of all
And my younger years in Millstreet I will always recall
On evenings in Summer up to the mid Fall
In the Townpark at the West End we played gaelic football
My friends of my youth where might they be today
Like me have the years left them balder and gray
Though some of them in the home Parish did stay
In life one might say we just went our own way
Since those days so many years have come and gone
And time does not wait it just ticks on and on
Many of the friends of my youth I may not see again
Though good memories of them with me does remain
And in fancy I chase the football up and down
With my happy young friends in the Park of the Town.
[read more …] “Happy Childhood Memories”

By The Mountain Of Clara Today

The cattle in the farmyard sheds bellowing for silage or hay
It is cold and wet by the Mountain of Clara today
The weather temperature a chilly minus three degrees
And the cold wind is soughing in bare deciduous trees

In the old rushy fields west of Millstreet Town
Every waterway bank high in flood waters of brown
Where grass growth is dormant not any wildflowers
And nothing does grow in cold January showers
[read more …] “By The Mountain Of Clara Today”

Tadghy Duggan

Tadghy Duggan of Millstreet was one of the first if not the first in Duhallow to sell the first make of Hotpoint washing machine
To the housewives of the nineteen fifties this was the best thing that they ever had seen
In his truck he brought machines to homes for to give a washing display
And it was known that he sold quite a few washing machines every day

Tadghy Duggan the first i knew of in Duhallow when not many in Ireland
Could speak in French and the words of different languages did understand
For the most part self educated he was one of a brilliant mind
And it could be truly said of him that he was one of a rare kind

Since he was one in thinking who did seem well ahead of his time
And it did seem a pity that he did leave Millstreet when he was in his life’s prime
For to travel and try out his luck in the big World out there
And what was a huge loss to Duhallow was surely a gain to elsewhere [read more …] “Tadghy Duggan”

Since The Last Time I Saw Clara

On the last time i saw Clara it wore a hat of snow
And Finnow bank high in the rushy fields with a loud babble did flow
On towards the great Blackwater on that bleak December day
And the hungry cattle in the farmyard sheds were bellowing for silage or hay
As i boarded the bus for Rosslare in the Square of Millstreet Town
From the gray sky of early evening the rain was drizzling down
I was just one of the many in Duhallow back then not rare
Who took the migrant ferry for Fishguard at the harbor of Rosslare
Unlike the migratory swallow i did not return in Spring
Though often in my [read more …] “Since The Last Time I Saw Clara”

The Young Rose Of Old Lisnaboy

Good memories remain to her a source of joy
Of when she was the young Rose of old Lisnaboy
When her shoulder length dark hair had a glossy sheen
Some of the bigger World out there since then she has seen

A young beauty of eyes blue as a ripened sloe
But going back in time this now seems long ago
With dark hair dyes nowadays she cloaks her gray
And she use anti aging creams to smooth hand neck and face wrinkles away

Far from Duhallow a mother, grandmother and to an aging man an aging wife
One can say she has seen her better days in life
She left green Duhallow when in her life’s prime
And this is going back many Seasons in time
[read more …] “The Young Rose Of Old Lisnaboy”

Of My Time On Mushera

The memories with me are all that does remain
I will never fell pine trees by Mushera again
In all sorts of weather wind, sun, frost and rain
With brown rain water flowing in every drain

Across the high country the cold winds did blow
And old Mushera was often in his hat of snow
Late Winter in Mushera can be a cold and wet time of year
The wind soughing in the pine trees in fancy i hear
[read more …] “Of My Time On Mushera”

St Mary’s Cemetery By Cashman’s Hill

2011 St.Mary's Graveyard 02St Mary’s Cemetery by Cashman’s Hill
So quiet in the gray of the dawn in the slight morning chill
Where many of the deceased of Millstreet Town and Parish in their final rest lay
The mentors and parents as well as family members of the Millstreet people of today

They lived as an integral part of their community and in Duhallow were well liked and well known
And they like us all did have ways of their own
Some of their descendants live in Millstreet today
Whilst others from there are living far away
[read more …] “St Mary’s Cemetery By Cashman’s Hill”

On Clara In July

The little mottled brown skylark of human kind shy
Up to the cloud World does sing as he fly
A musical speck in the blue and gray sky
Above Clara mountain in summery July

When the whortleberries the tiny blue fruits of the heather are ripe for to eat
From Nature to the taste buds such a tasty treat
From the slopes of Clara on a clear day on the higher ground
The scenery breathtaking for many kilometers around

[read more …] “On Clara In July”

The Blue Dog Bar

Beyond Millstreet Town it’s fame did travel far
The licensed premises owned by Catherine Duggan known as The Blue Dog Bar
Long deceased Millstreet’s most beautiful woman when in her life’s prime
Though this is going back many decades in time

Catherine a young widow with a large young family to raise
Was a woman who never did cease to amaze
Her children all quite successful became known far and wide
Far beyond the borders of Duhallow’s green countryside
[read more …] “The Blue Dog Bar”

May In Annagloor

With such wonderful memories how could anyone feel poor
Of the nesting songbirds singing in the groves of Annagloor
And the hawthorns looking resplendent in their white blossoms of the May
And the old fields in their wildflowers green and beautiful today
And the dark brown birds of the waterways of breast as white as snow
The dipper he is singing where the babbling Cails does flow
Where i first grew to love Nature years ago as a young boy
And today learning of her ways is a thing i do enjoy [read more …] “May In Annagloor”

Memories Of Mick Connie O

An old time story teller from decades ago
He was quite a character Mick Connie O
One who had lived through two World wars and had fought the black and tan
And in his younger years quite a well traveled man

As he spun a good yarn or told a good joke
He puffed on his pipe and blew out some smoke
Coolikerane’s greatest story teller when i was a boy
Good memories of him remain as a source of joy [read more …] “Memories Of Mick Connie O”

Memories Of Lisnaboy

Memories of my early lessons in Nature’s ways to me remain a source of joy
I loved the old rushy fields of Lisnaboy
When wildflowers were on the ditch of the bohreen
And the countryside was looking healthy and green

The Boggeragh Ranges a beautiful sight
Clara, Gortavehy, Kippagh and Caherbarnagh in the evening sunlight
Displayed a calm and a natural charm of their own
Such beautiful memories a joy to have known
[read more …] “Memories Of Lisnaboy”

Tommy O’Connor Did Dream

1989 - Tommy O'Connor in the Middle (with Jason O'Sullivan and Donal Twomey)Of greatness for Millstreet Tommy O Connor did dream
That they would be the first club in Duhallow to have a senior hurling team
And against the best clubs in Cork County with success compete
And win the Senior County Championship trophy for the green and gold of Millstreet

An under age hurling tournament held yearly in Millstreet Town park in honor of the name
Of the man who was passionate about the hurling game
A love of hurling a great game played with speed and skill
In the youngsters of Millstreet he tried to instil

[read more …] “Tommy O’Connor Did Dream”

John Twomey Of Laharn

2014 - John Twomey of LaharnI have heard through the grapevine that he is doing okay
John Twomey of Laharn for the Aubane Gaelic Football Club he used to play
When he was a younger man in his life’s prime
Before the Aubane Club fell victim to the passing of time

John Twomey the fellow who does laugh at life
I hear he has school going children and a wife
To support on his farm in the shadows of Mushera above Millstreet Town
Where the undulating road to Kilcorney does wind up and down [read more …] “John Twomey Of Laharn”

Connie Kelleher

Connie Kelleher for Millstreet Played Gaelic Football
And of his great games in the green and gold jersey many to recall
Loved by the Millstreet fans and a true gentleman
Though sadly of years of life he did not have a long span

It was with great pride he wore the green and gold
Today were he living he would be growing old
The Reaper of Lives did claim his life when young
But surely his praises deserve to be sung [read more …] “Connie Kelleher”

Dan Gould

I remember Dan Gould as an ageing man
He was then in the twilight of his lifetime span
He lived near Millstreet Town up the Cloghoula way
The passing of time had left him looking gray

He was a great road bowler in his life’s prime
One of the best in Cork and Ireland going way back in time
Till the biological clock did become his foe
He lived his last day many Seasons ago

[read more …] “Dan Gould”