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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Rossmore c.1935

Queens County

Rossmore - Turf Cutters

Source: 'The Parish of KILLESHIN, Graiguecullen'. 1972. by P. MacSuibhne.

Turf cutting at Rossmore c1935.
Cutting the first sod.
Left -Right: Pat Kelly, Rossmore. Michael Whelan, Ardenteggle, Fr. T Burbage, P.P. Michael Dooley, Rossmore, Liam Bolton, Killogue, Padraig MacGamhna centre, Fr. E.I. Campion, C.C., Alban O'Kelly, Organiser.
Turf Cutting at Rossmore c1935.
The four gentlemen standing in a group off to the left are: Michael Malone, Fr. P. MacSuibhne, Dr. Lane, M.O., Ballickmoyler and Fr. E.I. Campion, C.C.

Rossmore 1967

Rossmore 1967

Rossmore 1967

Above photos taken by William Muldowney c.1967

Parish Personalities

Rossmore Turf Cutters

During the Economic War the government sent organisers all over the country to set up Turf Co-operative Committees. Alban O’Kelly from the West of Ireland came to Carlow area. He waited on Fr. Campion C.C. who called a meeting of the turf-cutters of Rossmore. A branch was formed with Liam Bolton as secretary. A turf-cutting competition which was held on Easter Monday 1935 at Rossmore Bog was a great success. Ten or twelve competed for the best turf-cutter. First prize £5. Second, a pound of tobacco. Third, a slane. Jack Lowry, Clongrennan was first, Michael Farrell, Rossmore second, Joe Toole, Rossmore third. Three Jim Dunnes in three generations were highly commended. The organiser and Tom O’Toole of the Sallies, Rathdangan were the judges of the competition. In the evening there was a tug-o-war between the Rossmore turf-cutters and the Clogrennan lime-burners. The latter won.

The photo above shows Fr. Campion C.C. with Dr. Lane M.O., Ballickmoyler. Michael Malone of Rossmore with the beard was photographed by the Nationalist at the time and referred to as “The man with the sharp eye.” In his lifetime he seems to have collected a great deal of wisdom, for Fr. Campion who greatly esteemed him called him” The Wiseacre.” Fr. Mac Suibhne is shown trying to gather a little of the wisdom from him. Michael and many others were before their time in the beard fashion. The others include Joe Toole and Jack Lowry with their helpers as well as the three Jim Dunnes. The other photo shows Padraig MacGamhna cutting the first sod, Fr. Burbage P.P., Fr. Campion CC. and others including the organiser Alban O’Kelly. Alban retired from Bord na Mona in October 1961. He died in March 1971. R.1.P. Tom O’Toole is a brother of Seamus in whose memory the Rathdangan Hall is named. Seamus was killed in cogadh na gcarad, the civil war. R.I.P.

A hand drawn map of part of the Lands of Rossmore surveyed by order of the Revd Edwd Kenny January 1808., from the Earl of Bandon Estate Papers.

Source: Carlow library and cork-city-library website

History of peat use in Ireland

In Ireland peatlands are a characteristic part of the landscape and over the years have been used for a variety of purposes. Peatland mammals, birds and wild berries would have provided a source of food for the Stone Age people who arrived in Ireland 6,000 years ago. The Stone Age people also brought livestock to Ireland and would probably have utilised peatlands for grazing, a practice that continues today on upland bogs. In Ireland the first written records of peat being used as a source of fuel date back to the 7th century but evidence suggests that peat was being used before then. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries a number of alternative uses for peat were developed including the manufacture of wrapping paper and postcards from peat fibre.

In general the lower layers of peatlands yielded peat which was used for fuel. The upper layers, of raised bogs in particular, were used to produce peat moss which had a number of uses.



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