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Sometimes she represents an owl, a cat and very often a bat

There is a special spot in New Quay. It has derived its name from the vast number of enormous rocks which are still to be seen near the shore. The following story is told about this special spot :-
Once upon a time the devil came into Clare. He had nearly all the people of Clare under his control, but the people of New Quay resolved he would never enter. The devil came along one morning holding his little son by the hand. The people of New Quay were well prepaired (sic) for him, so the fight started. They flung stones at one another, but luckily enough the devils little son wasn’t able to fire the stones far enough, and the stones and flags were all in the same spot. This special spot has the honour of being called Flaggy Shore.

Tradition tells us that once upon a time St Bridget was going to church. As she was near Bellharbour, the thunder rolled and the lightning flashed, and the rain poured. St Bridget prayed to God for some shelter and that very moment a huge tree sprang up by the power of God. Bridget prayed that any poor person who would go that way would have shelter. This bush is now called Sceach Brighid.

It is said the banshee is one of the fallen angels who died without being baptised, and is therefore sent to this world to get penance and forgiveness. It is said there is a special room in Skeretts house and the door was never opened, the banshee is supposed to live in this room. It is said the banshee makes it her headquarters and always lived there when she was not occupied screeching around other dwellings as her calling requires. She always sleeps in the room and no one ever dared to disturb her. The floor is supposed to be covered all over a foot high with the dried leaves which blow in from the tress (sic) through the little round openings which represent windows. Sometimes she represents an owl a cat and very often a bat flying through the window in the twilight. She always cries most dismally before the death of a Kerins, Skerrett, Traynor, Mac or O.
Collected by Caitlín Ní Fhathaigh, age 14, Ballyvaughan N.S. from Michael Wall, age 86

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0615, Page 245//
National Folklore Collection, UCD

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Ballyvaughan – 1853

Sangamo Journal/Illinois State Journal 22nd April, 1853

Burren Hills Photo: EO'D
Burren Hills
Photo: EO’D


The last American mail brought the sum of £500 pounds to the little village of Ballyvaughan, which is situated in the County Clare on the opposite side of the bay of Galway.   We have heard that this large sum has been sent home for the purposes of emigration, so that the neighborhood of Ballyvaughan is likely to contribute its full contingent to the host of emigrants which are daily rushing towards the English ports.  A few mornings past, the terminus at Eyre square was crowded with the relatives of the emigrants, bidding them farewell on their departure for America. In the language of a person present, when describing the numbers – it was like a fair . The strength and hope of Ireland are so rapidly passing away that sufficient hands will not remain to till the soil .

Galway Paper.

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Burren walls – 1921

Albury Banner and Wodonga Express 16th September, 1921 p.35 (abridged)

Photo: EO’D

Crown forces, finding the road to Ballyvaughan obstructed by walls built across the road, commandeered shopkeepers, artisans and labourers at Kinvara to remove the stones. At the Ballyvaughan side men were forced to remove similar obstacles at Muckinish and Bellharbour.

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Kinvara – 1926

Irish Independent 21 September,1926 p8

Kinvara Cottage
Photo: Cresswell Archives


Gardai carrying out searches following the robbery of the Galway – Ballyvaughan mail car found in a house at Cahermore, Gort, two Mills Bombs, a large quantity of gelignite, a shotgune, sword, pike, and 40 rounds of rifle ammunition.

In raids in Kinvara district revolvers, gelignite and revolver ammunition were discovered. Two men were arrested in connection with the find.

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Ballyvaughan – 1920

Irish Independent 22nd September, 1920 p5.

Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare Photo: Velela Wikimedia Commons
Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare
Photo: Velela
Wikimedia Commons

A report reached Ennis that the police barracks at Ballyvaughan was attacked.  Military went from Ennis to the assistance of the garrison.  All wires in the district were cut.  A Republican flag floating from the roof of the Town Hall was removed by military and another which was replaced there was also removed.


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W.S.O’Brien – Corcomroe – 1857

Connaught Telegraph 14th October, 1857 p.3 (abridged)

Effigy King Conor O Brien, Corcomroe Abbey Photo: Andreas F. Borchert Wikimedia Commons
Effigy King Conor O Brien, Corcomroe Abbey
Photo: Andreas F. Borchert
Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, W.S.O’Brien Esq., arrived in Ballyvaughan from St. Catherine’s and drove on to see the ruins of the Abbey of Corcomroe in which lies a stone figure of one Connor O’Brien,  a monk in the monastery about 600 years ago.  After Mr. O’Brien returned in the evening, he proceeded to Lisonaid. A number of people lighted tar barrels and the unusual accompaniment was presented of a canoe or currough on fire to welcome him to his native county. Mr. O’Brien came out, and having briefly thanked the people for their reception of him the crowd dispersed and returned homewards, cheering so lustily that the distant sounds might be heard through the valley of Gleneraga, and even to the old Castle of Glenenagh.
Munster news.

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Ballyvaughan Regatta – 1874

Tuam Herald 26th September, 1874 p.2

Ballyvaughan Harbour Photo: Bob Jones Wikimedia Commons
Ballyvaughan Harbour
Photo: Bob Jones
Wikimedia Commons

The Ballyvaughan Regatta came off on Wednesday, at the village of Ballyvaughan, situate in the county Clare, and about eight miles from Galway across the bay. It was conducted under the patronage of the members of Parliament for Clare and the local gentry. The weather was most propitious, the day being exceedingly fine, and, by the way, was complained of by the ladies as being oppressive.
The number of spectators was very large, and not alone were the lovers of aquatics in Clare afforded an opportunity of enjoying themselves, but so also were the people of Galway, as the splendid little vessel, the Citie of the Tribes, gave an excursion trip from Galway at eleven O’clock, by permission of the directors, thus affording as enjoyable a day’s amusement as could be wished for, and one of the best your correspondent has enjoyed for some time. The sports consisted of seven races and were exceedingly contested and most creditably conducted.

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Storm – 1861

Freeman’s Journal 8th August, 1861 p4kinvara oil
Monday evening the poor Claddagh fishermen went out in great numbers, hoping to profit by the myriads of herrings that swarm our bay. It was blowing moderately at the time from the N.W., but a few hours later it blew a regular gale from the westward, scattering the hookers in all directions, obliging them to run, some for Kinvara, and others for Ballyvaughan and Newquay. With difficulty they reached those places of shelter, and we regret to learn that many of the poor people lost their nets and fishing gear in the storm. They mostly returned today and loud are the lamentations of many a poor family in the Claddagh for the loss of the instruments of their labours.

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A sensational incident – 1911

Connacht Tribune 15th July, 1911 p.4 (abridged)

Photo: EO'D
Photo: EO’D

On Friday morning of last week, about 4.30 a.m., the mail car from Kinvara to Ballyvaughan was held up at Curranroo, Co. Clare, by an armed man, who sprang from behind a wall and, pointing a revolver at the driver, shouted, “Hands up,” and took possession of the horse and car.
The first intimation the driver got that anything was wrong was when he espied a wall built across the road a few hundred yards from Curranroo in the Newquay direction on top of a hill near the house of James McNerney. He was in the act of dismounting in order to remove the obstruction when a man, wearing a mask, with a slouch hat on one side of his head and a “speck” cap on the other, who had, evidently concealed himself in a sandpit for some time previously where he had an uninterrupted view of the Kinvara road and of the mail car approaching, sprang out on the road and presented a revolver heavily mounted, and obviously of an American type, and commanded the driver to walk towards Kinvara until the junction at Corker Hill – the boundary of Clare and Galway – was reached.  He drove off with the car and horse and made by the new line in the direction of Corofin.

The driver retraced his steps when he saw he was out of danger and reported the matter to the police at Newquay. The police immediately set out on bicycles and some of the letters were found scattered a few miles away at Funshin, and the other three bags were found near Cappamore, Kinvara.

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Kinvara Horse and Cattle Fair – 1909

Connacht Tribune 13th November, 1909 p.7

Photo; BO'D
Photo; BO’D

The above well-known horse and cattle fair will be held in accordance with custom on Wednesday, November 17th, 1909 (being the first Wednesday after 11th November).  The fair, which has been such a very decided success since it was first started some years ago, has grown from very small dimensions to be one of the most noted held in the locality. It supplies a much-felt want to the farmers in the district, as well as to the multitude of people along by Carron and Ballyvaughan, who have no horse-fair nearer than Athenry or Loughrea.

The prices obtained at last year’s fair for colts and foals, as well as for good-class working horses was far in excess of prices obtained at any of the other local fairs. In the cattle department over 500 calves were disposed of last year at very remunerative prices. As Kinvara is the centre of a horse-breeding district, people from a distance would do well to patronise it. Already promises of support have been received from all quarters, and the supply of horses, foals and cattle at this year’s fair promises to be a record one.