My parents lived in a small stone house between Flannery’s Farm in Carrigeen and Egan’s House. This little house is still standing although it has not been occupied for up to fifty years. When we left it a man called Mick Howard, his wife and daughter lived for a while there, then a family called Barrett’s were the last to live in it. Dan, Nora and Jim were in it and the rest of my family was born here.
My late father worked at Roches (now Drennans) for fifty years. I know all the fields around this area very well. I knew the Manning brothers, Danks and Joe. Joe had one eye covered as a result of an accident. It happened when they were shooting rabbits years ago. It appears Danks shot a rabbit and Joe was at the other side of the ditch. Danks said I got him and Joe said you got me too and that was why he had the shade on the eye.
I remember the thatched house at Flannery’s Farm in Carrigeen. This was a great dancing house years ago. The Brislane family lived there. The father and mother, with Morgan, Jerry and Kathleen being the three children. There was an earthen flood in the thatched house. The dancing would sometimes be done in the storehouse because it had a cement floor. Morgan and Jerry were accordion players. There were four working at Roches in these times.
Between servant boys and servant girls, there were lots of people around this area. Each farmer would have a few employed.
I knew the Kavanagh families well. They lived in Ballyvaheen in earlier years. They later moved to Coolmore. I remember when John Kavanagh died; the funeral came up this road. There were two black horses pulling the hearse. He was buried in Kilgriffin cemetery.
My brother Jim had four dairy cows. He supplied the milk to Churchtown creamery. There were also pigs reared here. I worked at Pat Carroll’s farm for a number of years. It is now owned by Brendan Cantillon. I milked the cows there. I remember the names of the fields, Parc na Gloch, the Hill Field, the Windbrush, the Big Inch, the Sun Dial, and the Passage Field. This was a great area for the Cuckoo and the corncrake. It was also lovely to listen to the grasshopper on a sunny bank making his sound. I have clear memo-ries seeing my father doing the farm work with the horse. By-gones tell their own story. I still have the old bellows and I think of the old black kittle and a dark kitchen smelling of freshly baked bread. There was the bastible and the tick of the old clock in years past.
My mother kept hens here long ago. She also had a terrier dog. She had the cock and he fought with the dog. This went on for a while until the dog killed the cock for a finish. The cocks were very cross in those days. They would fight until they drew blood.
The development of Churchtown is very welcome. The one house that strikes me is Boonies. It is lovely to see the windows and the doors repaired. To me this is the Churchtown that I loved.