Search billions of records on



Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Clonmore (Laois)


Somerton Sacred Heart Hall

(Previously published in ''The Parish of KILLESHIN, Graiguecullen'. by P.MacSuibhne. 1972.)

by P.MacSuibhne. 1972.

The Chapel and the Church.

The chapel field at *Clonmore, now McDonald's, is opposite Mrs. Reams' house. There is an iron fence at the roadside. It was a mud-wall chapel;' no ruins were left. Sammy Waters had that field for years and did not plough it. Holy Cross Church was re-constructed in 1896 in Fr. Dan Byrne's time. It was re-roofed and a new floor put in. The old floor may have been of flags. The present bell, at that time new, was erected. Cooper, the landlord, gave the site and 270 also. He tried to make Ballickmoyler a second North. He brought 273 Presbyterians and Church of Ireland members there. The Taylors, Shirley's and Killse's are from that time.

Old Schools.

The old school shown on the cover was built in 1825. The preceding school was at Clonmore. The "schoolhouse gate" was right beside John McDonald, Jim's house on the same side. Another school was at the house in Springhill now owned by McAughs. St Comgan's school was blessed and opened Killeshin Sunday 8 May 1949. The Maher Memorial School in Graiguecullen for boys and girls was opened in 1875. It was on the corner of Fr. Maher Street and the Numbers. About twenty yards from it was an older school. Old people recall that bare feet and hunger were common enough in the old schools. Fr. H Cullen got a special room built at the school where he supplied cocoa and bread from Rafferty's near the Steps.

Somerton Sacred Heart Hall. (opposite Barrow Mills on the Leighlin Road , Graiguecullen)

Fr. Dan Byrne was the first P.P. to live in Somerton. The Wallaces lived there before that. The Sacred Heart Hall was there in 1798. Thomas Ham came there from Cornwall to manage the brewery which gave 65,000 gals, of whiskey per year. The two Miss Wallaces brought Elizabeth Ham up the town to see the sights; the first sight was Sir Edward Crosbie's head over the jail. The brewery closed down about 1900. The Doyles were in the Sacred Heart Hall till 1924. The Numbers, Chapel Street and Granby Row were the first houses built by local authority.

Four Fairs were held each year, 6 January, 18 February, 1 April, 6 October opposite the Steps where Fr. James Maher P.P. lived and died, now Flemings.

How the Mall got its name:

The O'Rourkes, Fenders and Dowlings sheltered the priest in penal times. These excellent families are there still. In the middle of the last century the Mall was an alehouse owned by Hickeys and the O'Rourkes who lived near the place used to gather there in the evening time. A social evening often ended in a lively discussion which sometimes was carried to the open space in front of the house. On one occasion a wicked person, probably from outside the parish exaggerated what was merely a wordy argument and called it a fight saying that Malakoff was nothing to it. The name Mall in this way stuck to the house.

*Note: Clonmore is located about a mile South East of Killeshin

The information contained in these pages is provided solely for the purpose of sharing with others researching their ancestors in Ireland.
2001 Ireland Genealogy Projects, IGP TM By Pre-emptive Copyright - All rights reserved