Corluddy Castle

Corluddy, or the round hill of the mine, is situated on a hill overlooking the river Suir. It has a fine castle which is also on a hill. This castle was built during the Norman period. Grant, the landlord, of Glengrant, lived there. At one time, it was owned by a man named Jackson. This Jackson was a very wicked man, especially to the villagers. He used to take their cattle and sell them.

This day, one of the villagers was waiting for him, they had a row, and from the blow of the stick, Jackson died. Nobody ever lived in the castle after that, so it went to decay - roofless and decayed and ruined. At one time, it was stated that money was buried near the castle. Two men from Wexford came to search for it. At dusk, they came into the house of Mr. Madden for the loan of a pike and shovel, then asked him to go with them searching, but he, fearing that he might be murdered, said he would not go. Next morning, Mr. Madden found his implement out side the door and a fistful of sovereigns on the windowsill. This castle itself is a fine building and it seems a pity to see people tearing down the walls to get stones. The mortar of this building is supposed to have been mixed with blood. There is a secret tunnel going from it to Grannagh passing under the road. At one time, the castle was attacked and part of it was blown off by cannonball. This was built up again and can easily be seen.

The stairs is made of stone and is still sound. The roof was supposed to have been made of thatch. Corluddy was only an outside fortress of Grannagh Castle and the occupants could escape from one castle to the other through the tunnel. This castle should be well looked after if we want to preserve our places of interest.

By Shay Nolan

CUSANNA

(Place of the sloe bushes)

Cusanna, or "the little paths" is a tiny village. There is nothing of much importance to report on it. Superstitious people relate that the fairies have lios there and come out at moonlight to kick football in a certain field, which strange to state, is all paths.

 

FAMOUS MEN OF CARRIGEEN

BOB O'KEEFFE

Bob O'Keeffe was born in Glengrant, Mooncoin, near the banks of the river Suir in 1880. From an early age, he was interested in sport, especially hurling. While doing his teacher training in the De la Salle College, Waterford, he won trophies of all sorts, some of them are still in good condition in his old homestead. When he graduated, he was appointed to Dunboyne, Co. Meath.

Bob had never played for his county, but in 1908, as Meath had not played in the Railway Shield Championship, Bob was included in the Leinster side as a member of the Mooncoin Club to play Tipperary and they won by 0-14 to 2-5.

Bob O'Keeffe never did play for Kilkenny. He subsequently took up a teaching post in Borris-in-Ossory, Co. Laois, and though then in the veteran stages, played a major part in helping win their only Senior All-Ireland title in 1915, as he played in that game.He then became a prominent figure in the GA.A. Councils and was President of the Association from 1935 - 1938. He was Secretary of the Leinster Council up to the time of his death. While he was in Dunboyne, Co. Meath, he twice won the Long Puck Championship of Ireland. He developed neuritis in his sixties and died in 1949. He is survived by four daughters and two sons.

After his death, the G.A.A. decided to donate a trophy in his memory - the Bob O'Keeffe Memorial Cup. It was to be given to the winners of the Leinster Final each year. The trophy is a massive affair, standing three feet, eight inches, weighing 564 ounces and has a capacity of six gallons. The hurler depicted on the top of the cup is barefooted, which is significant in view of the fact that the late Bob O'Keeffe originally played in that manner.

"ONE OF THE GREATS" RETIRES

EDDIE DOYLE

Eddie Doyle of Luffany, had an unsurpassed run at the top, in Club and Inter-County hurling for over twenty years. He opened there in 1919 helping Mooncoin win a S.H.C. Although he had retired in 1935, he returned to play a significant role in the 1936 Final win. On the Inter-County scene, he had a brilliant game against Cork in the 1926 All-Ireland, and again against the same oppisition in the 1931 All-Ireland series. The following year, 1932, he won his first All-Ireland medal against Clare and then captained a successful Kilkenny defence against Limerick in 1933, as well as the National League. In 1934, he captained a successful Kilkenny tour of the U.S.A. Inter-Provincial - he played four times for Leinster v. Munster. Sliabh Ruadh wrote of Eddie's game - "He was never a picker". He rarely raised or stopped a ball. He believed in the "direct method" and struck true and straight at the oncoming leather. For this very trait alone, he was the idol of all old followers of the game. Although small in stature, Eddie Doyle had a wonderful reserve of energy, resilience and stamina.

Pádraig Ó Puirséal

 

Pádraig Puirséal was born in Carrigeen the son of the local Schoolteachers Richard and Stasia Purcell, (formerly Stasia Doyle from Portnahully) Purcell both of whom taught at Carrigeen School.

Pádraig had an intense interest in an commitment to Gaelic games and Gaelic traditions. He was Ireland's best known Gaelic Games correspondent from the 1950s to the late 1970s when he was with the Irish Press and his reports on all the big matches carried more weight than any other at this time. This work culminated in the publishing of his work "The GAA IN ITS TIME" in 1982. This was the history of the GAA from its foundation in 1884 up to the time of his death in 1979, but it also included a Chapter on HURLING from the earliest times. Due to his untimely death this work was actually put together for publication by Pádraig's sister Mary Purcell, herself a profile writer and a former National President of the Camogie Association of Ireland.

Pádraig also wrote four novels all generally based on country life as he experienced it growing up in Carrigeen, a life then dominated by the River Suir and fishing, hurling, farming and neat whitewashed thatched houses in clustered villages. His best known novel is 
"Hanrahan's Daughter" which according to the Historian Jack Burtchell best evokes the personality of this part of the County Kilkenny and from which he quotes as follows

"For the honor of the old parish, for the name of th ehurling blood, for the whitewashed walls of little villages by the river, beneath the hills, Clonmore to Carrigeen Doornane to Aglish, Moonveen to Luffany, Clogga to Kncknanure, for the memory never forgotten of many a hard won triumph, for the bitterness of dark defeat,for the glory evergreen of a half score of All Irelands, for the name and the fame of the victory to be brought home to the quiet houses by the calm river, for the proud smile , the prowess of the menfolk would bring to the lips of gentle women who kept the fire burning at home in the far villages and glens."

 

His other novels were :

"Fiddlers Green"

"The Quiet Man"

"A Keeper of Swans".

These were published in the 1940s

He wrote a beautiful article in the Kilkenny Magazine called:

"A Boyhood by The Suir". describing his youth and here again the River Suir , Fishing and Boatmen play a major part.

For the piece that epitomises Purcell's love for his native place and the influence which Carrigeen had on his life is that, which he included as his "Authors note" in his "Hanrahan's Daughter and which I feel certain will strike a chord with many an exile from this part of the country and I quote as follows:

"I was born and bred by the Suirside and because I am lonely for that vale of plenty, I have written here of that same Suirside of its loves and loyalties of its faults and a little maybe of its follies. I have so written because my heart is hungry for those green hills and glens. I have written because I find myself thinking long of those quiet folk who were born, who live and love, who die, who sleep of their last resting place between the Walsh Mountains and the gentle river. I have written because when I look from my window into the flush of the morning, I see not the wilderness of the grey slate and the red brick that is Rathmines, but instead sharp etched on the scroll of memory I see the silver Suir roll on by the rich pastures of Mooncoin. They asked Cardinal Logue in his old age what was the most memorable sight he had seen in all his years and in his travels. The old man leaned on stick and answered " The Orchards of Armagh". Ah but his eminence never saw the apple orchards of Emil and Clonmore sloping down in their glory at the May time to the ample bosom of the winding river. He never saw the Comeraghs tempered with steel at the dawning near Sliabh an mBan. Never on some spring day the wind flowing like wine through the valleys did he see the crested white horses come lunging up Suir water. But I have seen all these things and God help me I cannot forget. May God inn his mercy guard the Suirside and grant that we the exiles be yet spared to walk again in peace and happiness in sunshine or in shower."

Incidentally the name he gave his house in Dublin was "Carrigeen".

This article is by

Joe Sullivan

Ashgrove Mooncoin. Oct 1997.

 

"Drug Walsh"

of

Mooncoin

  • Come all you young fellows to my my story give ear,
  • I tell of a stalwart, 'mong hurlers a peer
  • Whose name is still cherished wherever they join
  • By sportsman and trueman - "Drug" Walsh from Mooncoin.
  • When Cusack and Davin set a nation aflame
  • With a fervour and pride in its own native game
  • A youth from the Suirside plucked a shapely caman
  • Saying "Ill strike for my sireland, fair Erin go Brath".
  • Full many an evening 'mid shouts loud and gay.
  • The sliotar sped swiftly in sportive affray.
  • O'er green sod and cross road, a dark youth to the fore
  • Whose prowess and skill -hurling's garlands foretold.
  • Seven times in All-Irelands with victory crowned
  • A record whose equal has yet to be found-
  • Four gallant ate numbered, Rochford, Walton,Dick Doyle,
  • And that youth from the Suirside, "Drug" Walsh from Mooncoin.
  • With eagle-eyed vision and speed of a deer,
  • No matter how hectic, in combat- no fear
  • His wristwork - an artist's, Kilkenny's own Doyen
  • Reigned the Prince among hurlers, "Drug" Walsh from Mooncoin.