Townlands of Fairymount & Tibohine

  Vivian M. Timon

Vivian Timon

The townlands of Ireland, of which there are currently more than 6,1098, were for the most part initially named in the Irish language of the time. The name usually referred to the characteristics of the locality (e.g., the Church), the land or the landscape, e.g., Lios Dubh – meaning the Black (Bog) Fort.  This language in itself changed down through the ages, from old Irish (Neolithic) to medieval Irish to modern Irish. However, the biggest change to our placenames came about through the Anglicisation of the Placenames by the British Ordnance Survey in the 1800’s. This process involved assigning an English Name to the townland based on a loose phonetic translation of the Irish name to English. Many of these translations completely missed the original meaning of the name, e.g., Bog Choill translated as Buckill, bears no resemblance to the original Gaelic meaning which is of course Soft Wood. A map of the townlands in Fairymount/Tibohine is shown in Figure 1. I will now attempt to outline the townlands of Fairymount and Tibohine in their original (Irish) and current forms, drawing heavily from Logainm.ie, Duchas.ie. The Irish Gazette, and other relevant websites: many of the townland names come from that well known topographer, John O Donovan.  As I was born and grew up in Lios Drum Neill and Tibohine lies to the North of Lios Drum Neill I will begin with the Half-parish of Tibohine.

Townlands of Tibohine

CARTRON BEG, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK

CARTRON BEG. The most northerly townland in Tibohine is Cartron Beg; it’s very close to Lough Gara, but it is a very small townland: it is 47.63 hectares. The townland name ‘Cartron’ is rather strange. I can’t find it in any dictionary. The local name for this townland is Cortoon Beag. It probably got its name as follows:   

 Cartron Beg (Common Local Name =  Cortoon Beag)

Cortún Beag

Possibly from the old Irish; Corr  = Round Hill and Tóin (Tón) = Bottom

Beag = Small

Cortún Beag possibly means Small Round Hill Bottom.

       

RATRA, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK

RATRA. The next townland as we go west is Ratra, well known as the townland where Dr. Douglas Hyde, our first President, grew up and learned his Irish. It is also a small townland, measuring 135.87 hectares.  Dr. Hyde, better known in Irish circles as “An Craoibhín Aoibhínn”, was very influential in Ireland in the 19th century through to 1949 when he died. Apart from his very considerable contribution to Irish poetry and prose, he was very instrumental in establishing Conradh na Gaeilge and perhaps what is least well known is his success in having St. Patrick’s Day established as a National Bank Holiday in 1903. His house was known as “Ratra House” and it had a fine orchid which I raided as a small boy from time to time.   

Ratra

Ráth an tSratha

Ráth = Ringfort

Srath = Holm Oak, River meadow, Valley bottom.

Ratra means “Ringfort of the Valley Bottom”.

BALLINPHUILL, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK

BALLINPHUILL. Its area is 195.43 hectares. There is an interesting story told by Edward Timon and published by Pádraic Ó Tiomáin in Duchas.ie. It tells of a fierce battle between two local Chieftains (most likely overland) that was taking place in Tibohine when St. Patrick was on his way to Mayo. As the story goes, the two Chieftains called off the fighting on seeing St. Patrick, but the field was covered with blood at that stage. The townland became known as “Baile na Fola” ever since.

There is also another story in The Schools Collection published by Duchas.ie, as told by Mrs Mc Garry. It describes a townland about three miles from Ballagadereen called Ballinfull which means the village of the blood.
During the time of the Tuatha De Danann there was a fierce battle there. From the amount of blood that was shed this village got its name. It is also said that it was in the time of the Danes that the battle was fought; the latter is highly unlikely as there is no evidence that the Danes ever traveled this far west.

Ballinphuill, (Common local name Ballinafull)   

Baile na Fola, meaning Townland of the blood.  

O’Donovan named it Baile an Phoill meaning ‘Townland of the Hole’.  

Ballinphuill most likely means “Townland of the Blood”.

CLASHCARRAGH, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK

CLASHCARRAGH. It is a very small stony townland measuring 36.95 hectares. It borders Cartron Beg to the north, Ratra (where Doughlas Hyde got much of his Irish) to the west, Slieveroe, and Tulagharee to the east. At one stage it was widely cultivated and consequently the word ‘furrow’ is foremost in the name of the townland. It should also be noted that the word stone also appears in the title.  

Clashcarragh

Clais Carrach

Clais = Trench/Furrow

Carrach = Stony/Barren

Clashcarragh means “The Stony Furrow”.

GLEBE EAST, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK.

GLEBE EAST. It is a particularly small townland measuring 13.95 hectares. It borders Portahard to the east, Rathkeery to the west, and Turlaghree to the north. At one stage there was an excellent house there called ‘Glebe House’, with remnants of a fort close to the house.

 Glebe East

An Gléib Thoir

Gléib = Piece of land

Thoir = In the East

An Gléib Thoir means “Land in the East”.

RATHKEERY, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK

RATHKERRY is a relatively small townland measuring 134.20 hectares. It borders seven townlands, viz., Glebe East, Portaghard and Turlagharee to the east, Clooggarnagh and Tibohine to the south, Teevnacreeva to the west, and Ratra to the north.  

Rathkeery

Ráth Chiara

Ráth  = Fort

Chiara = Keary

Ráth Chiara = Keary’s fort.

CARROWGARVE, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK

CARROWGARVE It is a reasonably large townland measuring 215.99 hectares. It borders a lot of townlands, Ballinphuill to the north, Cappagh, Lissian, and Lung to the west, Lissacurkia and Tibohine to the east, and Lissergool to the south. The name implies that the land is rough. Stories in Duchas.ie refer to fairies, buried treasure, and pots of gold.

 Carrowgarve

An Cheathrú Gharbh    

Ceathrú = Quarter

Garbh = Rough

Cheathrú Gharbh means “Rough Quarter”.

TEEVNACREEVA, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK.

TEEVNACREEVA. It is a small townland. It is credited with an ambush in 1921, but in fact, the ambush took place in the townland of Tibohine (Lavin, 1950). It is bordered by Ballinphuill to the west, Keelbanada to the north, Rathkeery, and Ratra to the east, and Tibohine to the south.

 Teevnacreeva

Taobh na Craoibhe

Taobh = Side (of hill)

Craoibhe (gen) = Of the Branch/Bush.

Taobh na Craoibhe means “Hillside of the Bush”.       

 TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK, Co. ROSCOMMON.

TIBOHINE. Tibohine albeit onetime a large parish is now a half-parish. It is also a small townland; as a townland, it measures 122.85 hectares. The townland borders Ballinphuill, Teevnacreeva, and Carrowgarve to the west, Cloggarnach and Rathkeery to the east, and Lissacurkia to the south. It has a lot of history as told by Edward Timon (Duchas.ie) not only that it takes its name from St. Baoithin, but it still has the ruins of a monastery which at one stage had more than 600 monks residing there. The old graveyard became full during the Famine when some corpses were buried without any coffins or headstones other than a stone marker to mark the burial site. Sadly, the monastery building is now a ruin as much of the stone material was used as road metal. Edward Timon’s story tells of the monks working the fields, sowing oats, and other crops, simply to feed the many monks in the monastery.  There are several articles in the ‘Tibohine Schools Collection’ as published by Duchas.ie. One of them is very lengthy and in Irish. It was written by the School Principal, Una Ní Thiomáin. Others are interesting in that they describe ‘hedge schools’ that operated within the parish.  

 Tibohine

Tigh Baoithín

Tigh = House

Baoithín = St. Baethín

Tigh Baoithin means “Baethin’s House”.

LISSACURKIA, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK.

LISSACURKIA is a relatively small townland measuring 155.12 hectares. It borders Carrowgarve to the west, Cloggarnagh to the east, Cloonfad to the south, and Tibohine to the north. It has relatively good land and that explains why the monks grew oats in that townland. There is an interesting article in the ‘Tibohine Schools Collection’ which indicates that children as young as 4 or 5 years of age had to work on Famine Relief projects (The Carrowgarve Line) for as little as 2 pence per day.

 Lissacurkia

Lios a Choirce     

Lios – Fort

Coirce = Oats

Lios a Choirce means “Fort of the Oats”.

CLOGGARNAGH, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK

CLOGGARNAGH is also a small townland, measuring 164.71 hectares. It is very stony as the name suggests. It borders Cloonfad and Lissacurkia to the west, Lisduff to the south, Portaghard, Rathkeery, and Tibohine to the north, and Rahelly to the east. There are a number of interesting articles in the ‘Tibohine Schools Collection’ which tell of the lives of traveling people. Another story tells how the village got its name from a belfry that belonged to a big house that was situated in the centre of the village long ago. On the other hand, the name might suggest rocky land.

Cloggarnagh

Clogarnach

Clogarnach = Round Rocky Hill

Clogarnach means “Round Rocky Hill”.

LISSERGOOL, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK,

LISSERGOOL is a comparatively large townland comprising 274.64 hectares. It has a large turlough on its northside which was a challenge to slide across during very frosty winters. It borders Cappagh to the north, Lissian, Cortún Mór, and Aghalustia to the west, and Buckill, Carrowgarve, and Cloonfad to the east. It has a fairy fort in Padraic Timon’s land and it was considered very dangerous to enter that fort lest you disturb the fairies. There are a lot of stories in the ‘Don School Collection’ as published by Duchas.ie. They mostly concern superstitions, hidden treasures, or fairies.

 Lissergool

Lios ar gCúl

Lios = Fort

Cúl = Back

Lios ar gCúl means “Fort at the Back”.

CLOONFAD, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK

CLOONFAD is a comparatively large townland measuring 258.43 hectares; however, much of it is bogland. It borders Buckill, Carrowgarve, and Lissergool to the west, Cloggarnach and Lissduff to the east, Lissdrumneil to the south, and Lissacurkia to the north. There are several stories in the ‘Fairymount School Collection’ as published by Duchas.ie. Perhaps the most interesting article tells of field names that were once used, viz., Cruchán Ruadh, Garrdha isteach, Shreagh, Móin dubh, Leas coillteach, Learragan, Poillínráin, Poill a Coillteach, Bogeen, Garrdha Eibhlín, Gob a Mhadaidh, Gáirdín Dubh, Garrdha Breach, Lán, Garra Seamus, Lios, Garrdha Owen, Clais Mhóir, Paith-na- Ha, Garrdha Mór, Garrdha Éamon. Pairc Amháinín, Eascaigh, Garrdha Boguens, Rideogues, Ripléarach, Duireógues, Poll Biteálach, The Corrach agus Poilín cham.

 Cloonfad

Cluain Fhada

Cluain = a plain between two woods

Fhada = Long

Cluain Fhada Means “A long plain between two woods”.

CARTRONMORE, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK

CARTRONMORE is known locally as Cortoonmore. It is a small townland measuring 158.93 hectares. Yet it looms large in the minds of a lot of people as its National School (The Don) has shaped the lives of many of its students, both in Ireland and abroad. Its borders on Aghacurreen and Aghalustia to the west, Buckill, and Lissergool to the east, and Moyne to the south. There are several stories of interest in the ‘Don Schools Collection’ as published by Duchas.ie. Perhaps the most interesting stories were written by the School Principal, Pádraigh Ó Tiomáin, three stories are of particular interest, viz., “The Fairy Steeds of Aughurine”, “Famine Times in Tibohine” and “A History of Tibohine”. 

Cartronmore

An Cartún Mór

Possibly from the old Irish; Corr  = Round Hill and Tóin (Tón) = Bottom 

Mór = Big

An Cartún Mór means “The big Round Hill Bottom”.

AGHACURREEN, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK.

AGHACURREEN is the Irish name for Aughurine. There is a lovely story published in Duchas.ie by Pádraic Ó Tiomáin titled “The Fairy Steeds of Aughurine”. It describes how a Fairy Stallion fathered beautiful horses that were the envy of all horse breeders. However, the young sons of the family got too greedy and the fairies drowned all the beautiful horses such that the farmer was left with nothing. Other stories refer to hidden treasures which of course were never found. The townland is relatively big measuring 308.76 hectares. It borders on Aghalustia to the north, Aghadrestan, and Rooskey to the west, and Cartronmore and Moyne to the east.

 Aghacurreen = Aughurine

Achadh an Choirrín

Achadh = Field

Choirrín = Chorrín = Rounded

Achadh an Choirrin means “The Round Field”.

MOYNE, TIBOHINE, FRENCHPARK

MOYNE is a comparatively small townland, but it had a Post Office at one time. It extends to 295.10 hectares and boundaries Aghacurreen, Aghaderry, and Aghadrestan to the west, Barnacawley and Buckill to the east, Cortoon More to the north, and Loughlinn Demesne to the south. It is said that St. Patrick established a monastery there when he visited Fairymount but there is little evidence of the ruins at this stage. However, there was a practice of burying unbaptised babies there in a place called ‘Mhaighean Iontach’. 

 Moyne

An Mhaighean                                                                                          

Maighean = A Place

An Mhaighean means “The Place”.

  

Townlands of Fairymount

LISDUFF, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

LISDUFF is a small townland measuring 120.40 hectares. It contains a lot of bog as the name suggests. It borders Cloggarnach on its north side, Cloonfad and Lisdrumneill on its west side, Leitrim and Rahelly on its east side, and Grallagh on its south side. There are lots of stories about Lisduff in the ‘Fairymount Schools Collection’ as published by Duchas.ie. They largely concern fairies, strange beliefs and superstitions, and of course leprechauns.

 Lisduff

Lios Dubh

Lios = Fort

Dubh = Black

Lios Dubh means “The Black Fort”.                                                                                                

BUCKILL, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA

BUCKILL is a comparatively large townland extending to 336.06 hectares. It is a very good example of the errors of phonetic translation from Irish to English. Translating the Irish name Bog Choill to Buckill is downright stupid. The townland borders Barnacawley and Curreentorpan to the south, Cartoonmore and Moyne to the west, Cloonfad, Lisdrumneill, and Mullaghnashee to the east, and Lissergool to the north. There are a number of stories published in the ‘Don School Collection’ as published by Duchas.ie, relating to ‘old cures’, ‘fairy stories’, superstitions, and poverty that caused a lot of people in the townland to emigrate.

 Buckill

Bogchoill

Bog = Soft

Choill = Wood

Bogchoill means “Soft Wood”.

LISDRUMNEIL, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

LISDRUMNEIL is a small townland measuring 132.90 hectares. Yet it holds lots of memories for me as I grew up there. I have particular memories of Callaghans, our nearest neighbour just over the road. It was a favourite rambling house, and the regular storyteller (Seanachí) was Martin Foley. He usually told ghost stories and the hair would literally stand on your head. One night he told a very frightening ghost story at the end of which Paddy Callaghan remarked “Sure the ghosts going nowadays are not a patch on the ghosts out long ago”. That was the end of Martin Foley as a storyteller in Callaghans! Lisdrumneill straddles Fairymount hill on top of which there is a carán that has been identified by the Ordnance Survey as a very old Celtic burial ground. This carán is on a straight line between Rathcroghan and Croke Patrick which the Fir Bolg (The High Mountain Celts) used as a pilgrimage walk from Rathcroghan to Croke Patrick some 4000 years ago. Croke Patrick was then known as Cruacháin Áigle (Meaning the Pillar or Rock of Cruacháin) as this was long before St. Patrick set foot on Irish soil. These Celts worshiped bid stones as their God and indeed there is still a remarkably large stone on top of Fairymount Hill. Lisdrumneill is bordered by Buckhill to the west, Grallagh and Lisduff to the east, Mullachnashee to the south, and Cloonfad to the north.   

Lisdrumneil

Lios Drom Néill

Lios = Fort

Drom = Ridge

Néill = Niall

Lios Drom Néill means “Fort of Niall’s Ridge”.

GRALLAGH, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

GRALLAGH is another small townland measuring 158.91 hectares. It also has many memories for me as ‘Beirne’s shop’ and family played a large part in my growing up. I still clearly remember the rifle shooting competitions and the many games of Ludo and Drafts in the Beirne home. There are stories about Grallagh in the ‘Fairymount Schools Collection’ as published by Duchas.ie. largely dealing with fairies and Leprechauns. The townland borders on Cloonfinglas to the south, Leitrim to the east, Lisdrumneill and Mullaghnashee to the west, and Lisduff to the north.  

Grallagh

An Ghreallagh

Ghreallagh = Clay loam

An Ghreallagh means “The Clay Loam”.

 LEITRIM, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

LEITRIM is a relatively large townland; much of it is free draining limestone land but it also has its share of poor land. There are several stories about Leitrim in the ‘Fairymount Schools Collection’ as published in Duchas.ie. They are mostly concerned about fairies, but one story stands out in that it is very much a story with a particular moral to it. The moral is that you should always be aware of what you wish for. Leitrim is bordered by Arraghan and Falmore to the east, Grallagh and Cloonfinglas to the west, Lisduff, Mullen, and Rahelly to the north, and Lugakerran to the south.

Leitrim

Liatroim     

Liath = Grey

Droim = Ridge.

Liatroim means “The Grey Ridge”.

BARNACAWLEY, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

BARNACAWLEY is better known locally as Barnahalla. There are two stories about Barnahalla in the ‘Fairymount Schools Collection’, as published by Duchas.ie, Both stories refer to people staying in bed for years on end without getting up!! Barnahalla is a small townland measuring 136.31 hectares. It borders on Buckill to the north, Loughlinn Demense to the south, Curreentorpan to the east, and Moyne to the west.

Barnacawley

Bearna Chála

Bearna = Gap

Cála = Little callow       

Bearna Chála means “The Gap in the little callow”.

CURREENTORPAN, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

CURREENTORPAN is a small townland measuring 140.64 hectares. There is just one story in the ‘Fairymount Schools Collection as published by Duchas.ie. It refers to the small size of the holdings and the need of many families to emigrate to Britain or the United States. Curreentorpan borders Barnacawley and Loughlinn Demense to the west, Buckill to the north, Clerragh to the south and Eden and Mullaghnashee to the east.  

Curreentorpan

Curraoin Torpáin                    

Curraoin = Little moor

Torpán = Small hill

Curraoin Torpáin means “The little moor of the small hill”.

MULLAGHNASHEE, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

MULLAGHNASHEE is better known as Fairymount. There is some controversy as to the origin/meaning of its name. As Fairymount it clearly is Mullagh Na Síodh in Irish, meaning ‘Summit of the Fairies’. But Mullach Na Sídhe means an entirely different thing translating as the ‘Summit of the Wind’. There are lot of stories about Mullaghnashee in the ‘Fairymount School Collection’ as published by Duchas.ie. Strangely none of them address the controversy as to the origin of the townland’s name or its history. The most interesting history of Mullaghnashee is to be found in an article published by Patrick Timon in the Roscommon Archaeological & Historical Journal, Vol 1, 1986. It states that in 437, St. Patrick visited Fairymount. The traveling entourage included St. Patrick’s niece Lallocc and Bishop Cathach. Lallocc was brought by St. Patrick and Bishop Cathach to Ard Senila or Ard Sean Lios, (the then ancient names of Fairymount) via Cloonalis where they founded a church and left Deacon Caoimhin in charge (he gave his name to Castlerea parish, viz., Kilkeevan). In Fairymount, in a place called ‘Maighean Iontach’, about a mile west of the old fort on top of Ard Sen Lios, Patrick founded a church to which Lallocc gave her name, Cill Lallocc. A name which down the years has been very badly pronounced and the spot is now known as Cill i Hooley. There are no ruins of the church, but it was known as sacred ground and was used as a burial place for unbaptised infants until a short time ago. The townland is not very big, measuring 170.70 hectares. It borders Buckill and Curreentorpan to the west, Cloonfinglas, Grallagh, and Stonepark to the east, Eden and Parkeel to the south, and Lissdrumneil to the north.      

Mullaghnashee

Mullagh na Síodh or Mullagh na Sidhe; very old name ‘Ard Sen Lios’.

Mullagh = Summit

Síodh = Fairies              Sidhe = Blast of Wind

Mullagh na Síodh means “Hill of the Fairies” or “Summit of the Wind”.                                                                                                                               

CLOONFINGLAS, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA,

CLOONFINGLAS is a reasonably sized townland measuring 336.11 hectares. It has few articles in the ‘Fairymount Schools Collection’ as published in Duchas.ie. However, it borders on a lot of townlands. To the east are Tully and Lugakeeran. To the west is Grallagh, Mullaghneshee, Parkeel, and Stonepark, to the north is Leitrim and to the south is Cloonsheever.

Cloonfinglas

Cluain Fionnghlaisse

Cluain = a meadow between two woods

Fionnglas = White green        

Cluain Fionnghlaisse means “A White/Green meadow between two woods”.

EDEN, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

EDEN. It’s not the Garden of Eden but it is a small townland in the parish of Fairymount. There is a short article in the ‘Schools Collection’ which suggests that there were three sub-townlands in Eden, viz., Sraith Baile, An Ublaid, and Eden itself. This might suggest that flax was grown in the townland at some stage. The townland measures 170.98 hectares. It borders Clerragh and Currantorpan to the west, Cloonsheever and Kilgarve to the south, Parkeel to the east, and Mullaghnashee to the north.

Eden

An tÉadan

Éadan = Forehead or Brow of hill    

An tÉadan means “Brow of the Hill”.

PARKEEL, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

PARKEEL is quite a small townland measuring 109.99 hectares. There is an article in the ‘Schools Collection’ as published by Duchas.ie which suggests that the townland was divided into four sub-townlands, viz., Pairc an Crainn, Seán Mellan, Crócan France, and Pairc Aoil. Aoil can mean lime. Hence, it’s difficult to reconcile the latter name with Pairc Chaol as suggested by O Donovan. The townland borders on Stonepark and Cloonfinglas to the east, Eden to the west, Mullaghnashee to the north, and Cloonsheever to the south.

Parkeel

An Pháirc Chaol           

Páirc = Field

Caol = Narrow

An Páirc Chaol means “The narrow field”.

STONEPARK, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA,

STONEPARK is a particularly small townland measuring a mere 43.04 hectares. It borders Mullaghnashee to the north, Parkeel to the south, and Cloonfinglas to the east. I didn’t find any articles in the ‘Schools Collection’ on this townland. Clearly, there were a lot of stones in the ground as the name suggests.

Stonepark

Páirc na gCloch

Páirc = Field

Cloch = Stone

Páirc na gCloch means “The Field of the Stones”.

CLERRAGH, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

CLERRAGH is also a small townland measuring 105.53 hectares. Oddly enough for such a small townland, it borders on a lot of townlands. It borders Ballyglass East, Druminagh and Loughlinn Demense to the west, Eden to the east, Kilgarve to the south, and Currantorpan to the north. Obviously, from its name, the land is very stony.

Clerragh

Clerragh

Cloithreach          Stony land  

Cloithreach means “Stony Land”.

CLOONSHEEVER, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA

CLOONSHEEVER is a relatively large townland measuring 364.44 hectares. However, the land is largely bog. There is quite an informative article in the ‘Fairymount Schools Collection’ as published by Duchas.ie on the ‘Moving Bog’ event that occurred in this townland in 1905. This event got National and International attention when the bog moved across the road destroying several houses as it moved. It was December 1905 just before Christmas. The ‘Moving Bog’ event happened on a market day in Castlerea and many people were prevented from going to town on account of the masses of bogland and water that blocked the roadway. The townland borders on eight townlands, viz., Brackloon and Tully to the east, Eden, Kilgarve and Parkeel to the west, Lissananny and Cloonbard to the south, and Cloonfinglas to the south.

Cloonsheever

Cluain Síobhair            

Cluain = Meadow

Síobhair = Fairies         

Cluain Síobhair means “Meadow of the Fairies”.

KILGARVE, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

KILGARVE is a medium-size townland measuring 288.83 hectares. It borders on six townlands, viz., Ballyglass, Clerragh, and Cloonard to the east and Cloonsheever, Eden, and Lissananny to the west. There are not any articles in the ‘Fairymount Schools Collection’ as published by Duchas.ie. Clearly, the name suggests that the land is not great.

Kilgarve

An Choill Gharbh

Coill = Wood

Garbh – Rough

An Choill Gharbh means “The Rough Wood”.

 LISSANANNY, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

LISSANANNY is a relatively small townland measuring 221.66 hectares. It is largely marsh or bogland. It borders Cloonarragh, Cloonard, and Kilgarve to the west and Cloonbard and Cloonsheever to the east. Its Irish name (Lios an Eanaigh) well captures the type of land in this townland.

 Lissananny

Lios an Eanaigh  Fort of the Marsh         

Lios = Fort

Eanach = Marsh

Lios an Eanaigh means “The Fort of the Marsh”.

CLOONARRAGH, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

CLOONARRAGH is a small townland measuring 200.97 hectares, but it borders on seven other townlands. It borders on Ballindrumlea to the south, Cloonard, Cloonree, and Tawnyrover to the west, Lissananny to the north, and Cloonbard and Moor to the east. I find it hard to visualise a Charioteer (Arach as described by O Donovan) featuring in this townland.  

Cloonarragh

Cluain Arach                

Cluain = Meadow

Arach = Charioteer

Cluain Arach means “Meadow of the Charioteer”.

FALMORE, FAIRYMOUNT, CASTLEREA.

FALMORE is a large townland but it is mostly bog. It shares the fame of ‘The Moving Bog’ with the townland of Cloonsheever as told in the ‘Fairymount Schools Collection’ published by Duchas.ie. My only memory of Falmore was as a place to cut turf with very few houses. I have no idea where the name “Field of the Pigeries” comes from!!

Falmore (Corr Na Mucklagh = Field of the Piggeries)  

An Fál Mór

Fál = Field

Mór = Big                     

An Fál Mór means “The big field”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

 

 

Achoimriú gearr de mo réim i An Foras Talúntais agus san Eagraíocht na Náisiún Aontaithe. 

Vivian Timon

Rugadh mé i Ros Comáin sa bhliain 1937; fuair mé oideachas i gColáiste Náithí Naomha (An t-ardteastas onóracha, 1955) agus in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Baile Átha Cliath, B. Agr. Sc. (Céim céad onóracha), 1959.       Sa     bhliain dheireanach san Ollscoil, labhair Dr. Tom Walshe (Stiúrthóir, An Foras Talúntais) do na mic léinn.  An chéad chuimhne a bhí agam ná gur beart fuinnimh a bhí ann. Acht go gearr ina dhiaidh sin fuair mé amach gur duine an-éirimiúil aba é. B’fhéidir, nach bhfuil a fhios ag na daoine óga i Teagasc gur bunadh Teagasc ar An Foras Talúntais, ar ACOT (An Chomhairle Contae, tráth) agus ar na Coláistí Talmhaíochta a bhí curtha í gcrích ag An Roinn Talmhaíochta.

De thoradh mo chéim agus agallamh a leanas, bronnadh An Foras Talúntais scoláireacht orm (An chéad scoláireacht a bronnadh An Foras Talúntais) agus ghlac mé é chun ard céim a bhaint amach in Géineolaíocht agus Staitistic in Ollscoil Durham. Bhí an stipinn sa chéad bhliain an-bheag (seacht bpunt sa tseachtain) acht ar an dea-uair bhí an stipinn ardaithe sa bhliain 2 agus 3. Chaith mé trí bliana an-torthúla ag Kings College, Newcastle upon Tyne, faoi mhaoirseacht Professor Mc Gregor Cooper. Chuir mé m’obair thrialach i ngníomh ag Cockle Park agus bronnadh an chéim, Ph D, orm, i Mí na Nollag, 1962, bunaithe ar an téis : “The measurement and inheritance  of lamb carcass quality”. Ina dhiaidh sin d’fhoilsigh mé trí pháipéir eolaíochta, bunaithe ar m’obair téis,  sa British Journal of Animal Production.  

 

Fuair mé post i An Foras Talúntais, mí Eanáir 1963, mar Ghéineolaíocht Caorach, ar thuarastal £950 in aghaidh na bliana. Roimhe sin, dhiúltaigh mé post mar Phríomhoide-Géineolaíocht le Comhlacht Síolrú na Muc i Sasana le tuarastal £3,000 in aghaidh na bliana; bhí gluaisteán agus teach taobh amuigh de Londain domsa freisin. Ní raibh aiféala orm riamh agus an post sin a dhiúltú. Bhí sé an-chorraitheach ag obair i An Foras Talúntais ag an am sin mar bhí an chuid is mó den fhoireann óg agus fíor dhíograiseach. Chuir Dr. Walshe aguisín leis an corraitheach sin agus ní raibh aon ghanntanas airgid i gcoir scéimeanna taighde eolaíochta a bhí leagtha amach go cruinn. Ar dtús, bhí an Institiúid roinnte  i gcúig ranna, mar seo a leanas: An Roinn Ainmhí le Ceanncheathrú i Dunsinea, An Roinn Planda le Ceanncheathrú i Oakpark, An Roinn Ithreach le Ceanncheathrú i Johnstown, An Roinn Eacnamaíochta Thuathúil le Ceanncheathrú i Sandymount Avenue agus An Roinn Ghairneoireachta le Ceanncheathrú i Kinsealy.

 

I gceann tamaill bhig, chuir mé clár síolrú caorach i gcrích. Is éard a bhí ann ná, (i) Rogha mhór thrialach caorach (1000 caora), (ii) Meastóireacht de phór caorach mar aithreacha i ndéanamh uan maith, (iii) Meastóireacht de chaoirigh chros-síolraithe agus (iv) Cruthú tréad caorach torthúlacht mhór bunaithe ar chéannacht de chaoirigh eisceachtúil (4 ó níos mó uan in aghaidh gach caora) ar fheirmeacha. D’iompórtálamar Finnish Landrace caoirigh freisin mar bhunú géineolaíocht de chineál torthúlachta. Seo é tús den phór nua (Belclare) a thug Dr Hanrahan chun cinn go rathúil ina dhiaidh sin. Go teagmhasach, an chéad uair a chuala mé an leagan cainte, “genetic engineering”, as béal Dr. Walshe a tháinig sé. I rith cuairt Comhairle An Foras Talúntais go dtí Creagh, Ionad Taighde Caora, bhí mé ag iarracht chun cuir in úll don Chomhairle an loighic faoin gcruthú tréad caorach torthúlacht mhór agus an nua-iompórtáil Finnish Landrace, nuair a labhairt Dr. Walshe, agus dúirt sé, “It’s a question of engineering, isn’t it – engineering the genes into other breeds”. Ní raibh a fhios agam ag an am sin go mbeadh an téarma ‘genetic engineering’ coitianta i gcomhrá géineolaíochta na blianta ina dhiaidh sin. Ní raibh ganntanas focail ar  Doc Walshe riabh. Labhair sé chomh tapa sin ní raibh na focail in ann teacht as a bhéal acht leann sé ar aghaidh ar aon nós ag úsáid go rialta an leagan cainte “What you may call it”.   

 

Chomh maith le tabhairt faoi clár taighde fairsing, bá é pribhléid mhór  bheith ag obair i An Foras Talúntais. Spreagadh an Stiúrthóir, Dr. Walshe, go gníomhach dul i gcúrsaí faoi leith fad agus nach mbaininn sé do chlár thaighde. Bhí sé an sámh ag an am sin do chlú a dhéanamh in Éirinn mar de ghnáth tugadh cuireadh do fhoireann An Foras Talúntais a bheith páirteach de chláir Raidió agus Telefís, ailt a scríobh don Farmers Journal agus léachtaí a thabhairt do chruinnithe feirmeoireachta. Thugadh RTE cuireadh dom ocht  gclár a scríobh agus a léiriú ar ghiniúint caorach sa chlár  Telefís Feirme (Rinne mé an chuid is mó den obair ar na deireadh sheachtaine). Bronnadh duais Eorpach ar dhá chláir agus craoladh BBC trí chláir sa a gClár Talmhaíochta. Mhúin mé freisin cúrsa géineolaíocht i gColáiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath, agus cúrsa ar Thalmhaíocht do mhic léinn in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Ghníomh mé mar scrúdaitheoir seachtrach do mhic léinn in Eolaíocht Talmhaíochta in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Baile Átha Cliath, ar feadh trí bhliain.                                                                                                                                           

Duine an pearsanta aba Doc Walshe agus thug sé tacaíocht mhór do gach duine a bhí ag obair i An Foras Talúntais cibé foireann feirm, foireann teicneoir, foireann chléiriúil ó fhoireann taighde. Mhisnigh sé foireann taighde sabóideach saoire a thógáil mar oiriúnach. Chait mé bliain an torthúil san Ollscoil North Carolina State sa bhliain 1967/68 agus as sin d’fhoilsigh mé trí pháipéir eolaíochta i ‘The Journal of Genetics’ agus ‘The Journal of Theoretical and Applied Genetics’; tairgeadh post dom mar Ollamh cúnta san Ollscoil freisin. Go gearr ina dhiaidh sin, tháinig mé ar ais go dtí An Foras Talúntais agus fuair mé amach go raibh mo phost ardaithe go Principal Research Officer. Ag an am sin ní raibh a  fhios ar bith agam go dtugadh post dom mar Stiúrthóir Cúnta de An Foras Talúntais agus Ardstiúrthóir, Ionad Taighde An Iarthair, bunaithe le gairid, i gceann tamaill bhig

 

Mar Stiúrthóir Cúnta buailimid le céile go rialta mar Stiúrthóireacht Ceannais. Mar Ardstiúrthóir, Ionad Taighde An Iarthair, bhí mé freagrach as  ceithre Stáisiún Taighde, Creagh, Glenamoy, Ballinamore agus Maam in éineacht le Feirmeacha Tástála ag Blindwell agus Drumboylan. Bhí sé soiléir gan mhoill go raibh cuid de na gníomhaíochtaí as dáta agus mar sin dúnaimid Glenamoy, Maam agus Drumboylan agus cuirimid Ionad Taighde Nua ar bun  i Belclare. I mbeagán ama, tharraing an tIonad Nua aird faoi leith idirnáisiúnta agus tháinig na millte feirmeoirí go dtí an tIonad ar Open Days. B’fhéidir nach bhfuil fios ag duine ar bith gurbh fhuair Dr. Ian Wilmut, an eolaí a ghiniúint láimhsiú géineolaíocht na caorach, Dolly, a oiliúint i Belclare, nó gur d’úsáid eolaí Francach fuil as caora speisialta (13 ova in one cycle) i Belclare chun eolas níos fearr a bhaint amach ar géineolaíocht síolrú i neacha daonna. Mar Stiúrthóir Cúnta, An Foras Talúntais, d’oibrigh mé ar a lán Bord Stiúrthóirí (NCEA agus Min Fhéir Teo, mar shampla) agus thóg mé páirteach i a lán staidéir náisiúnta (mar shampla, Thomond College agus Ollscoil Luimnigh).   

 

Sa bhliain 1985, tugadh cuireadh dom post a thógáil sa Roinnt Ainmhí i FAO – An Eagraíocht Bia agus Talmhaíochta na Náisiúin Aontaithe. Ar dtús, ghlac mé an post ar feadh bliain amháin agus thóg mé cead neamhláithreachta ó An Foras Talúntais. Acht tar ais sin tugadh cuireadh dom post buan a thógáil mar Cheann Scata Giniúint Ainmhí i FAO. Ghlac mé an post sin agus thóg mé scor luath ó An Foras Talúntais. Ba é dúshlán an Scata seo ná feabhas a dhéanamh sa Ghiniúint Ainmhí trasna na dtíortha forbarthacha. Dúshlán corraitheach a bá é agus bhí a lán taistil idirnáisiúnta trasna na cúig ilchríoch. Bhí an obair an luach mar bhí a lán teagmhála againn le Córais Taighde Talmhaíochta Náisiúnta agus gníomhairí mar The World Bank, IFAD agus The World Food Program.  

 

Sa bhliain 1992, tugadh cuireadh dom post a thógáil i TAC – The Technical Advisory Committee to The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research a bhí laistigh cúrsa FAO freisin. Ag an am sin, bhí a hocht déag Ionad Taighde Idirnáisiúnta trasna an domhnáin. Ba é mo chúram cuidiú le luacháil na cláir taighde agus comhairle a thabhairt faoi straitéis taighde agus cáinaisnéis roinnte. Uair amháin eile, bhí a lán taisteal idirnáisiúnta sa phost seo. Sa bhliain 1996, tugadh cuireadh dom cuidiú leis an Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta maidir le polasaí taighde agus scríbhneoireacht páipéir staide maidir le tosaíocht taighde. Is é teideal an post nua a bronnadh orm ná Comhairle Sinsir (Eolaíocht agus Teicneolaíocht). An chéad tasc a rinne mé ná páipéar staide a scríobh ar an ábhar “Innealtóireacht Ghéiniteach”, léirithe le Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta ag Comhchomhairle Náisiún Aontaithe i Stócólm, An tSualainn. Ba é an chéad uair a thug An Náisiún Aontaithe tacaíocht don Innealtóireacht Ghéiniteach mar uirlis riachtanach i gcóir dul chun cinn de tháirgeadh bia na ndomhan forbarthach.

 

Sa mhí na Samhna, 1999, chuaigh mé ar scoir mar sna Náisiúin Aontaithe bhí ar gach duine dul ar scoir ag an aois seasca a dó. Gan mhoill ina dhiaidh sin, tháinig mé ar ais go hÉirinn agus cheannaigh mé teach i gCathair Loistreáin, Co. Na Gaillimhe, in aice leis an láithreán ar a raibh Ionad Taighde Baile an Chláir, ar feadh 25 bliana. Ar dtús, rinne mé comhairle le FAO acht bhí sé mar i gcéanna nuair a bhí mé ag obair ansin agus níor thaitin sé liom arís. Nuair nár dtaitin an taighde sin dom thosaigh mé taighde a dhéanadh ar Chraobh Ghinealaigh Ó Tiomáin. Anois tá mé tagtha do dheireadh m’fhiosracht maidir le craobh ghinealaigh mar tá taighde an teallaigh déanta agam siar go 1700 trasna deic giniúintí agus níos mó ná 1400 duine. I parallel le m’obair ar an gcraobh ghinealaigh chuaigh mé ar ais ar an Ollscoil (Ollscoil na Gaillimhe) chun feabhas a chuir ar mo chuid Gaeilge, go háirithe mo Ghaeilge scríofa. Bhain mé amach Dioplóma Onóracha i nGaeilge agus chuir mé feabhas mór ar mo Ghaeilge scríofa. Anois tá suíomh agam ar an idirlinn (Timon.ie) agus comhlánaigh sé Craobh Ghinealaigh Ó Tiomáin ( ar líne freisin ar shuímh MyHeritage.com). Faoi láthair, tá níos mó ná fiche ailt foilsithe agam ar an suíomh sin agus tá deic ailt i nGaeilge. Chomh maith le sin, imríonn galf cúpla uair sa tseachtain agus de ghnáth, bíonn súil agam le mo mhadra, Bruce (Labradar dubh), gach lá.                                                           

 

Short resume of my career in the Agricultural Institute and the United Nations

An Foras Talúntais – The Agricultural Institute

 Vivian M. Timon

 

Vivian Timon

Born in Roscommon in 1937, I was educated at St. Nathy’s College (Honours Leaving Certificate 1955) and University College Dublin (B. Agr. Sc. 1st Class Honours, 1959). In our final year we were addressed by Dr Tom Walshe, recently appointed Director of An Foras Talúntais which had just been established a year earlier. My first memory of Dr Walshe was that he was a bundle of energy. I was later to find out that he was a highly intelligent man. Perhaps the younger staff in Teagasc don’t realise that Teagasc came into being as a merger of An Foras Talúntais, ACOT (formerly The County Committees of Agriculture) and The Agricultural Schools as operated by The Department of Agriculture.

Based on my final year results and a subsequent interview I was offered a post-graduate scholarship from An Foras Talúntais (The first Agricultural Institute Scholarship) which I accepted and which facilitated me to study Genetics and Statistics at the University of Durham. The stipend in the first year was £7 per week!! Fortunately, it was increased substantially in years 2 and 3. I spent three very productive years at Kings College, Newcastle upon Tyne, under the supervision of Professor Mc Gregor Cooper. I undertook my experimental work at Cockle Park and was awarded a PhD degree in December 1962,  based on a thesis “The measurement and inheritance of lamb carcass quality”. I subsequently published three papers on my thesis work in The British Journal of Animal Production.

I joined An Foras Talúntais in January 1963 as Sheep Research Officer on a salary of £950 per annum; I had earlier turned down a position as chief Geneticist with an English Pig Breeding Company with a salary of £3,000 pa. in addition to a car and house outside London. I never regretted that decision. Working with An Foras Talúntais was exciting at that time as all the staff were young and very enthusiastic. Doc. Walshe added to that excitement and there was no shortage of funds for well thought out research proposals. Initially, the Institute was divided into five Divisions, viz., The Animal Production Division with headquarters at Dunsinea, The Plant Production Division with headquarters at Oakpark, The Soils Division with headquarters at Johnstown Castle, The Rural Economy Division with headquarters at Sandymount Avenue and The Horticultural Division with headquarters at Kinsealy.

I quickly got a Sheep Breeding programme up and running.  It consisted of a large (1000 ewes) sheep selection experiment, An Evaluation of Sheep breeds as sires for fat lamb production, An Evaluation of Crossbred ewes, plus the establishment of a High Fertility Flock based on collecting exceptional high performing ewes (4 or more lambs per ewe) on farms. We also imported Finnish Landrace sheep as a source of fertility genes. This was the beginning of the new Belclare breed which Dr Hanrahan so successfully developed later. Incidentally, it was the first time I heard the term ‘genetic engineering’ and it came from none other than Doc Walshe. On the occasion of a Council visit to the Creagh Sheep Research Station, I was trying to explain the logic behind the High Fertility Flock and our recent importation of Finnish Landrace sheep as a means of achieving greater prolificacy in our national flock. The Doc interrupted me and said, “It’s a question of engineering, isn’t it – engineering the genes into other breeds”. Little did I know that the term ‘genetic engineering’ would become commonplace in genetic conversations years later. Nor was Doc. Walshe ever short of a word – he spoke so fast that all the words couldn’t come out of his mouth but he carried on regardless using the expression “what you may call it” regularly in his speech.

 In addition to undertaking an extensive research programme, working in the Institute was a great privilege. The Director actively encouraged staff to engage in extra-curricular activities so long as it did not interfere with our research programmes. It was easy at that time to become a household name across Ireland as Institute staff were regularly invited to speak at Farmers meetings, to participate in Radio discussion programmes and to contribute articles to the Farmers Journal. I was invited by RTE to script and present a series of eight programmes on Sheep Production in the Telefís Ferme series (most of the work was undertaken at weekends): two of the programmes won European Awards for RTE and three of them were screened by the BBC to show to British sheep farmers. I also taught a course on Genetics at Trinity College, Dublin and later taught a course on Agriculture to science students at University College, Galway. I also acted as External Examiner to final year Agricultural Science students for a three-year period.

Doc Walshe was very much a people person and was supportive of AFT staff in every sense of the word (farm staff, technician, clerical and research staff). He encouraged staff to take sabbatical leave as appropriate. I spent a very productive year at North Carolina State University in 1967/8 which resulted in three research papers in the Journal of Genetics and the Journal of Theoretical & Applied Genetics as well as being offered a post as Assistant Professor. Shortly after I returned from North Carolina I was informed that I was being promoted to Principal Research Officer. Little did I know that a short time later I would be appointed as Assistant Director of An Foras Talúntais, with responsibility for the recently established Western Research Centre.

As Assistant Directors we met regularly as a group in what was termed The Central Directorate. As Head of the Western Research Centre initially I had responsibility for four Research Stations, viz., Creagh, Glenamoy, Ballinamore, and Maam, together with Field Stations at Blindwell and Drumboylan. It soon became clear that some of the activities had passed their ‘sell by’ date so we closed Glenamoy, Maam and Drumboylan and initiated a new Research Centre at Belclare. Very quickly the new Centre attracted international attention and Open Days attracted farmers in their thousands. Perhaps it’s not widely known that Dr. Ian Wilmut, the principal scientist in the genetic cloning of the sheep Dolly, honed his ovulation and ova manipulation skills at Belclare or that the blood from an exceptional High Fertility ewe (13 ova in one cycle) played a major part in understanding the genetics of ovulation in humans by French scientists. As Assistant Director of An Foras Talúntais I served on many State Boards (NCEA and Min Fhéir Teo, for example) and participated in several national studies (e.g., Thomond College and The University of Limerick). 

 

In 1985, I was offered a post in the Livestock Division in FAO – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Initially, I accepted the post on a twelve-month basis and took leave of absence from An Foras Talúntais. However, I was then offered a post as Head of The Livestock Production Systems Group in FAO which I accepted and took early retirement from An Foras Talúntais. This post and the Group which I headed up was tasked with the responsibility of advancing animal production research across the developing world. It was an exciting challenge and involved a lot of international travel across all five continents. The work was also rewarding involving close contacts with National Agricultural Research Systems as well as agencies such as The World Bank, IFAD and The World Food Programme.

 

In 1992, I was offered a post in TAC – The Technical Advisory Committee to The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research which was also within the orbit of FAO. At this point, there were 18 International Research Centres. My responsibility was to assist in the evaluation of their research programmes and to advise on research strategies and budget allocations. Again, this involved a lot of international travel. In 1996, I was invited to assist the Director-General in research policy and in the writing of position papers on Research. My new post carried the title,  Senior Advisor (Science & Technology) and my first task was to prepare a Position Paper on Genetic Engineering to be delivered as a Plenary paper by the Director-General at a UN Conference in Stockholm, Sweden. The paper marked a position where for the first time the UN supported genetic engineering as an essential tool in advancing food production across the developing world.

 

In November 1999, I retired from FAO as I had reached the mandated retirement age. Soon afterwards I returned to Ireland and set up home in Co. Galway, close to the site where The Belclare Research Station stood for its 25-year lease.  Initially, I undertook consultancies for FAO essentially on the same theme as I had done in later years. However, I did not find this to satisfy my research interest, so I began to research The Timon Family Tree. I now have come to the end of my curiosity in this regard having researched the family over 10 generations (back to the 1700s) and established a Family Tree with over 1400 entrants. In parallel with my Family Tree endeavours, I went back to University (NUIG) to study Irish. I graduated with an Honours Diploma in Irish but more importantly, I considerably improved my competency in writing Irish – something I had dreamed of for much of my life. I now have a website (Timon.ie) which compliments The Timon Family Tree (also on-line on the MyHeritage website) and which at present has more than 20 publications (posts) of which 10 are in Irish. Apart from these activities I still play golf a couple of times a week and I have a daily walk with my dog Bruce – a black Labrador.             

Portráid de Pádhraic Ó Callagháin

Vivian Timon

Portráid de Pádhraic Ó Callagháin

 Lá breá brothallach a bhí ann agus mé ina sheasamh ag an gcrosbhóthar i Liosdruimnéil. Bhí an ghrian ag taitneamh os mo chionn agus ní raibh scamall ar bith sa spéir. Meán lae a bhí ann agus bhí mé an ann clog an aingil a chloisteáil go lag ciúin ón Ardeaglais í mBeallach A Dóirín. Tháinig mé abhaile as Coláiste Naomh Naithí ar mo laethanta saoire shamhraidh an tráthnóna roimhe sin. 

Bhreatnaigh mé suas i dtreo cnoc Mullach Na Sí agus ansin ina shuí ar an gcorrán bhí mé an ann a fhigiúr a fheiceáil – Pádhraic Ó Callagháin ag caitheamh a phíopa. Chuaigh Pádraic trasna an chnoic gach lá ag tréad beithe ar feirm bheag a fuair sé óna n-uncail , Tomás Casserley. Mar de ghnáth, ba é mo dhúchas ná léim ar mo rothar agus dul chuige chun comhrá a dhéanamh. Duine speisialta aba Pádhraic agus d’imir sé páirt mhór sna saolta de mo dheartháir, Brendan agus mé féin nuair a d’fhásamar suas i Liosdruimnéil.

 

Rugadh Pádraic Ó Callagháin sa bhliain 1898. Bhí sé ceann den an cead daltaí a bhuaileadh isteach sa scoil nua Náisiúnta i Mullach Na Sí sa bhliain 1906. Bhí sé aitheanta mar dhalta an éirimiúil sa scoil de réir mo sheanathair, Master Timon. Ag an am sin, bhreathnaigh na múinteoirí ó scoil An Donn na daltaí  i scoil Mullach na Sí.

 

Bhí Pádraic ina chónaí lena dheirfiúr, Margaret (Siss) , i dteach beag ceann tuí siar an bóthar ónár teach. Bhí feirm bheag acu ar chúl an tí agus portach ar an deireadh. Bhí feirm bheag eile acu ar chúl an chnoic a bhfuair siad óna n-uncail. Bhí a ndoras oscailte i gcónaí agus fáilte isteach. Is liom féin agus mo dheartháir Brendan an stól  beag cois tine acht amháin sa gheimhreadh ar oíche Satharn nuair a bheadh Martín Foley ag spaisteoireacht agus é ag gabháil an stól.

 

Ag taibhseoireacht a bhí Martin Foley gach oíche agus chuir sé eagla an domhain orainn. Tá cuimhne shoiléir agam ar na n-oicheanta a thógfadh sé an ghruaig de mo cheann agus mé ag éisteacht faoi uafás do. Sílim go bhfuair mé mo chead léargas do mheabhair Pádraic Ó Callagháin nuair a dúirt sé le Martin Foley tar éis scéal an scanradh maidir le taibhsí “Sure the ghosts going nowadays aren’t a patch on the ghosts in those days”. Ní raibh aon fhreagra ó Martin.

 

Fear an éirimiúil agus oilte ar ghnóthaí beatha aba Pádraic Ó Callagháin. Bhí clú agus cáil aige mar shiúinéir, mar thógálaí, agus mar thuíodóir – scil neamhchoitianta faoi láthair acht beagán. Bhí cumas dúchasach aige maidir le líníocht agus mar a cuirim síos níos déanaí fíor ealaíontóir aba é. Tá an cead cuimhne de a scileanna siúinéireachta atá agam bainte leis an ngrá óige a bhí ag mo dheartháir d’ainmhithe – grá d’ainmhithe a bhí soiléir tríd a shaol. Bhí searrach beag donn ag asal Ó Callagháin agus d’áitigh Brendan a thuismitheoirí an searrach a chéannacht cibé ní raibh aon talamh acu. Thug an searrach sin a lán díomas agus áthas do mo dheartháir agus faoi dheireadh bhí an searrach páirteach den teallach. An dúshlán is gaire dúinn ná cairt a dhéanadh don asal óg agus an duine is fearr chun cairt a dhéanadh ná Pádraic Ó Callagháin.

 

Ní raibh a lán uirlisí siúinéireachta ag Pádraic acht tá cuimhne ghéar agam ag feiceáil air ag gearradh agus ag plána na sáfacha, na spócaí agus i ndeireadh na dála rinne sé ceithre bhosca ar an taobh den chárta; bhí iontas an domhain orm. Nuair a bhí muid ag féachaint air agus an píopa ina bhéal aige an chuid is mó den am, bhí smacht ár m’intinn aige agus é ag meileadh a cheird. . Faoi dheireadh thiar thall tháinig an lá nuair a mheasc sé an phéint dhearg agus gorm agus bhí an cárta péinteáilte. An lá ina dhiaidh sin chuir Brendan trealamh as Neddy agus bhí ár gcead turas ar siúil – go Ballach A Dóirín, slán mar a n-insítear é agus Brendan an srian a choinneáil.

 

Acht mar sin féin, thaispeáin na cuairteanna do theach Tom Casserly, an áit a bhí an chairt a dhéanamh aige, taobh éagsúil do Phádraic Ó Callagháin; taobh ealaíonta. Bhí an teach mar is gnáth san am sin agus cistin mhór i lár an tí ina raibh teallach agus simléar sa láir agus dhá bhallaí istigh – bhí clúdach mór d’aol ar na ballaí sin tar éis blianta d’aoldath i gcomhair na Nollag. Ag úsáid acht cloch ghéar agus an luaith as an tine, eitseáil Pádraic líníocht trasna na mballaí istigh agus an simléar a thaispeáin an geata agus spuaic an tséipéil i Mullach Na Sí ar an bhfráma simléir agus ar gach aon taobh an cruinniú d’fhir a sheasadh amuigh ar an bhóthair roimh an Aifreann. Gan amhras, bhí an líníocht sin cosúil le hobair Picasso. Blianta ina dhiaidh, nuair a chuala mé gur thit an teach isteach bhí brón mór orm nár thóg mé pictiúr de a oilteacht ealaíonta (magnum opus).

 

Acht is iomaí bua a rugadh le Pádraic Ó Callagháin; bhí a fhios ag cách go raibh sé gasta agus go raibh tuiscint mhaith ar an ngreann aige. Bhí intinn ghéar aige freisin go mór mhór maidir le míniú focal. Nuair a bhí mé i mo mhac léinn bhí de phribhléid agam a bheith ina sui ar an gchorrán leis agus mé ag éisteach leis na ceisteanna go domhain corraitheach a tharraing sé anuas. Bhí ceann amháin faoi leith bainte leis an smaoineamh go raibh an Dia neartmhar ar fad is ar fad.

Ar thaobh dheis den charrán bhí cloch an mór. Dúradh san fhinscéal gur chaith fathach i Sligeach an chloch sin ó Shligeach go Mullach Na Sí; tá cúig mharcanna ar an chloch a dhéanadh íomhá de lámh an fathach.  Ag insint dom an scéal seo, dúirt Pádraic; cinnte bheadh Dia an ann an chloch sin a caitheadh ar ais go Sligeach lena laidhricín agus é a dhéanadh an oiread sin mór nach mbeadh an fathach an ann é a caitheadh ar ais go Mullach Na Sí. Bhí sé socair ciúin ar feadh nóiméad agus ansin chuir sé an cheist “ An mbeadh Dia an ann an chloch a dhéanadh an oiread sin mór nach mbeadh sé an ann é a caitheadh ar ais go Sligeach?”. Ag tógáil puth ar a phíopa agus le gáire beag searbh dúirt sé “Go ndéanadh Dia trócaire orainn, ní cóir dúinn beith ag caint mar sin.”

 

Comhrá eile a bhí againn a bhfuil soiléir i mo cheann agus a bhfuil goinbhlasta inniu ná haithris teicneolaíochta – níor úsáid sé an abairt sin. Léigh sé sa Roscommon Herald go dúirt eolaí i Meiriceá go mbeadh daoine an ann lá amháin duine a fheiceáil agus a chloisteáil ag an am cheana cé go mbeadh míle eadrainn – videophone communication mar a deirtear inniu. Ag an am sin ní raibh leictreachas i Mullach Na Sí, ná habair teilifís. An t-aon aithris teicneolaíocht sa pharóiste ná sean guthán san Oifig an Phoist. Acht bhí sé ar eolas dúinn go raibh teilifís in áiteanna i Meiriceá. Nach aisteach an rud é sin arsa Pádraic agus ansin chuir sé an cheist “ Cén uair a bheidh siad an ann feiceáil, labhairt agus lámh a chroitheadh ag an am chéanna le duine i Meiriceá?. An t-aon loighic a bhí aige ná más mar sin é go bhfuil eolaí an ann úim a chuireadh ar radharc agus fuaim – cén fáth nach bheidís an ann úim a chuir ar mothú. Ba é seo fáscadh soiléir go raibh intinn Phádraic ait agus duine ann féin aba é. Uair amháin eile agus gáire beag searbh ar a n-aghaidh dúirt sé “ Cuirtear  i Ballinsloe (ospidéal meabhairghalar) muid, má chloistear muid ag caint mar sin”. I gcomhráite eile a bhí agam, thaispeáin Pádraic eolas buntúsach de geoiméadracht agus triantánacht cibé ní raibh aon foirmiúil nó neamhfhoirmiúil nochtadh i matamaitic.  

 

Acht an cuimhne is mó sa pharóiste maidir le Pádraic Ó Callagháin is é a ghasta agus an tuiscint don ghreann a bhí aige. Tá na scéalta thart ar a gasta líonmhar agus greannmhar; mar sin bheadh sé an ann ailt speisialta  a scríob ar a ghasta. Déanfaidh mé cur síos ar beagán a bhfuil cuimhne ghrinn orthu. Tá cuimhne agam beith ina sheasamh os comhar an séipéal Domhnach amháin ag éisteacht le na fir ag caint agus ag caitheadh tobac roimh dul isteach chuig an Aifreann – rud a rinne siad gach Domhnach. Nuair a chuaigh bean áirithe as an bparóiste isteach sa séipéal dúirt fear éigin sa ghrúpa “ A Dia, tá sí ag caitheadh a lán púdar inniu” . Níl an ceart agat a dúirt Pádraic; “B’fhéidir go raibh sí ag díbirt luch sa mhála plúir roimh theacht amach”.

 

Ar chúis eile sa shamhradh nuair a bhí Pádraic ag siúl go dtí Lavin’s pub d’fhiafraigh comharsa ar “Do you think they have any rakes (meaning hay rakes) in Lavin’s to which Paddy retorted; “Well if they don’t it won’t be long till there is one in it”- clearly, a reference to himself. Ar ócáid eile, nuair a d’fhiafraigh strainséir ar Pádraic – “Will this road take me to Loughlinn”? Paddy replied “ Well I’ve lived on this road for the past 40 years and it’s never taken me to Loughlinn; good luck if it takes you”.  

 

I gcomhthéacs eile, bhí Pádraic an ann a bheith freasaitheach dúchasach. Mar shampla, lá amháin, bhí sé ag tiomáint Neddy, an t-asal, taobh thall dár teach nuair a bheannaigh  mo mháthair é leis an abairt “ Tráthnóna maith daoibh” An freagra as Pádraic ná an t-asal a bhualadh agus dúirt sé don asal “ Cén fáth nach labhraínn tú do dheirfiúr”.

 

Tá a lán scéalta eile maidir le Pádraic Ó Callagháin nach bhfuil cur síos air. An t-aon rud atá le rá agam ná gur ba é pribhléid mhór dom Pádraic Ó Callagháin a aithint.                                 

Ar chúis eile sa shamhradh nuair a bhí Pádraic ag siúl go dtí Lavin’s pub d’fhiafraigh comharsa ar “Do you think they have any rakes (meaning hay rakes) in Lavin’s to which Paddy retorted; “Well if they don’t it won’t be long till there is one in it”- clearly, a reference to himself. Ar ócáid eile, nuair a d’fhiafraigh strainséir ar Pádraic – “Will this road take me to Loughlinn”? Paddy replied “ Well I’ve lived on this road for the past 40 years and it’s never taken me to Loughlinn; good luck if it takes you”.  

 

I gcomhthéacs eile, bhí Pádraic an ann a bheith freasaitheach dúchasach. Mar shampla, lá amháin, bhí sé ag tiomáint Neddy, an t-asal, taobh thall dár teach nuair a bheannaigh  mo mháthair é leis an abairt “ Tráthnóna maith daoibh” An freagra as Pádraic ná an t-asal a bhualadh agus dúirt sé don asal “ Cén fáth nach labhraínn tú do dheirfiúr”.

 

Tá a lán scéalta eile maidir le Pádraic Ó Callagháin nach bhfuil cur síos air. An t-aon rud atá le rá agam ná gur ba é pribhléid mhór dom Pádraic Ó Callagháin a aithint.                                 

 

                    

 

 

 

                    

 

 

 

       

                        

                                                  

       

                        

                                                  

 

       

                        

                                                  

Gnéithe den Bhéaloideas i mo cheantar dúchais

VIVÍAN Ó TIOMÁIN

Vivian Timon

San am atá anois ann in Éirinn dá gcasfá ar dhuine éigin  ar an tsráid, de réir dealraimh bheadh sé ag caint  faoi fhorbairt eacnamaíochta nó gnéithe eile atá bainteach leis an Tíogar Ceilteach. Cheapfá uaidh nach bhfuil rudaí eile tábhachtach maidir lenár dtír; mar shampla, ár dteanga dhúchais, ár mbéaloideas agus ár nÉireannachas féin. Is dócha go bhfuil sé imithe as ár  gcuimhne an ráiteas speisialta a dúirt Thomas Davis na blianta ó shin – “ Tír gan teanga, tír gan dúchas”. Is é  mo thuairim sa lá atá inniu ann go gcaithfimid an ráiteas sin a shíneadh níos faide mar seo a leanas:

 “Tír gan teanga, tír gan dúchas”

Tír gan dúchas, tír gan anam,

Tír gan anam, tír gan béaloideas,

 Tír gan béaloideas, tír gan stair, tír gan todhchaí.

 Tá sé soiléir go bhfuil suim mhór agam sa bhéaloideas. Ar an gcéad dul síos, ba bhreá liom a mhíniú cad is béaloideas ann. De ghnáth, deirtear gurb ionann an béaloideas agus eolas, tuiscint, nósanna nó scileanna traidisiúnta a théann ó dhuine go duine, ó phobal go pobal, ó chine go cine nó ó ghlúin go glúin trí phróiseas insinte béil nó trí aithris. Ba dhuine críonna a bheadh in ann bunús a chur le tús an bhéaloidis ach is cinnte go bhfuil síol an bhéaloidis curtha nuair a théann sé ó dhuine amháin go duine eile gan cabhair scríbhinní ná cló lena scaipeadh (1).

 Glactar leis de ghnáth gurb iad tréithe an bhéaloidis na tréithe seo a leanas; (i) De bhéal a scaiptear an chuid is mó agus is fearr de; (ii) Ní bhíonn ainm údair á lua leis; (iii) Bíonn sé ag síorathrú a bheag nó a mhór; (iv) Maireann sé ar bhéal nó in aigne duine; (v) Is rud feidhmiúil é a fhreastalaíonn ar riachtanas éigin de chuid an phobail a chaomhnaíonn é. (vi) Is minic a bhíonn sé taobh amuigh de na rialacháin, de leagan oifigiúil den stair nó den chreideamh.

 

Feidhmíonn an béaloideas chun tairbhe an phobail mar seo a leanas:

Feidhm Fhuascailteach: Mar shampla – Tugann an scéalaíocht, an ceol, an rince agus na hamhráin fuascailt don phobal ó thuirse agus ó dheacrachtaí an tsaoil.

Feidhm Dhlisteanaithe: Déanann an béaloideas dlisteanú ar thuiscint agus ar nósanna an phobail; tuigtear go bhfuil ciall leis an leagan amach atá ag daoine ar an saol agus go bhfuil bunús láidir lena  gcuid tuairimí agus lena n-iompar.

Feidhm Oiliúna:  Tá feidhm theagaisc agus oiliúna go mór chun tosaigh sa bhéaloideas mar atá le tuiscint ón bhfocal féin. Insítear scéalta eiseamláireacha chun an pobal a chur ar an eolas faoin gcaoi ar cheart dóibh iad féin a iompar.

Feidhm Aontais: Cothaíonn an béaloideas aontas sa phobal agus is cúnamh é le smacht sóisialta a chur i bhfeidhm; mothaíonn daoine ceangal leo siúd a chleachtann na nósanna céanna.

 

Is féidir an béaloideas a rangú idir: (i) An Ealaín Bhéil ( Béaloideas agus Litríocht, Scéalaíocht, Amhránaíocht, Filíocht bhéil, Seanfhocail agus Rabhlóga, srl.); (ii) Nósanna agus Tuiscintí Traidisiúnta (Deasghnátha aistrithe, Féilte na bliana, Leigheas traidisiúnta, srl.) agus, (iii) Ceirdeanna traidisiúnta (Gaibhneacht, Caoladóireacht, Gréasaíocht, srl.).

 Mar a dúirt mé cheana, tá suim áirithe agam i mbéaloideas, go mór mór i mbéaloideas atá bainteach le traidisiún na scéalaíochta, le cora cainte/seanfhocail agus le filíocht bhéil.  Mar sin chuir mé taighde ar bun i mo cheantar dúchais i Ros Comáin. Ar dtús rinne mé taighde ar an Idirlíon maidir le heolas faoi bhailiú Béaloidis na tíre, Cartlann Bhéaloideas Éireann, le fáil ag <http://www.ucd.ie/irishfolklore/>. Léigh mé ansin gurb é an rud atá i mBailiúchán na Scol: 1,128 imleabhar ceangailte, chomh maith le thart ar 40,000 bunchóipleabhair scoile i mboscaí uimhrithe; tá níos mó ná leath milliún alt sa bhailiúchán ar fad.   Léigh mé freisin go raibh cóipeanna de na bunchóipleabhair  i leabharlanna an chontae. Mar sin thug mé cuairt ar Leabharlann Co. Ros Comáin, i mBealach a Dóirín agus i Ros Comáin.  Ar dtús rinne mé taighde ar m’áit dhúchais agus  déanaim cur síos uirthi mar seo a leanas.

 M’áit dhúchais: Rugadh agus tógadh mé i Liosdruimnéil, Mullach na Sí. Tá go leor cuimhní agam ar m’óige faoin bparóiste, cuimhní taitneamhach an chuid is mó acu.   Is paróiste suimiúil é, Mullach na Sí, ina bhfuil cnoc ard suite i lár machaire mór móinteach.  Tá corrán ar bharr an chnoic agus sin é an pointe is airde sa chontae. Tá sé níos mó ná seacht gcéad troigh os cionn na mara. Ar lá geal d’fhéadfaí na cúig chontae de chúige Chonnacht a fheiceáil ó bharr an chnoic, agus cuid de chúige Laighean freisin.

Áit álainn, gleoite í Mullach na Sí cé go mbeadh sí iargúlta agus scoite trí shúile daoine a chónaíonn sa chathair. Áit stairiúil í freisin. Ard Sean Lios an sean ainm a bhí uirthi(2). De réir suirbhéireachta seandálaíochta déanta ag Oifig na nOibreacha Poiblí le gairid tá láithreán sean dún ar bharr an chnoic    – fianaise go raibh comhsheilbh Cheilteach ina gcónaí ann timpeall 1000 bliain RC (3). Maidir le cuntais stairiúla, tá sé scríofa sna hAnnála gur thug Naomh Pádraig cúirt ar an áit  sa bhliain 437, in éineacht lena neacht, Lallocc agus an t-easpag Cathach agus gur chuir siad mainistir ar bun i mbaile darbh ainm Maighean Iontach, míle siar ó bharr an chnoic (2). Níl fothrach ná mainistreach le feiceáil anois ann ach go dtí le gairid breathnaigh muintir na háite ar an áit mar áit bheannaithe.   

 Cé go bhfuil Mullach na Sí go hálainn agus stairiúil tá an talamh an-gharbh, an chré an-trom agus is deacair é a léasú.  Bhí na feirmeacha an-bheag freisin agus mar sin ní raibh mórán saibhreas sa cheantar nuair a bhí mé ag fás aníos. Dá bhrí sin chuaigh a lán daoine thar lear go mór mór go Sasana. Ní raibh fágtha ann ach na seandaoine agus faoi láthair tá a lán tithe ina bhfothracha sna bailte a bhí bríomhar agus dubh le daoine nuair a bhí mé óg. Tá an spraoi agus an gáire a bhí ann tráth imithe.

 An rud is measa agus is brónaí atá caillte ná an oiliúint agus gnásanna na ndaoine sa cheantar. Daoine gníomhacha, athléimnigh, éirimiúil agus cairdiúla ab ea iad. Bhí suim mhór acu i ngach rud Éireannach  – ceol, scéalta agus dánta. Tá cuimhne shoiléir agam ar an gceol agus rince sna tithe agus sa samhradh ag an gcrosbhóthar. Tá cuimhne ghéar agam freisin ar an teach streachlánach – na seanfhir ag taibhseoireacht – ag bualadh leis an diabhal ag an gcrosbhóthar agus é reiligíneach mar chos capaill.   Do bíodh faitíos an domhain orm ag éisteacht leo.

 Buíochas le Dubhghlas De hÍde (An Craoíbhin Aoibhinn) níl an t-iomlán caillte. Rugadh Dubhghlas De hÍde i dTeach Longfoirt, An Caisleán Riabhach (17 Eanáir, 1860) agus tógadh é i Ratra, baile beag i dTí Baethin. Bhíodh an Ghaeilge á labhairt go coitianta sa cheantar ag an am agus níorbh fhada go raibh an Craoibhín óg cumasach sa teanga. É  fós ina ógánach, bhailigh sé a lán scéalta agus dánta ó na seandaoine. Buíochas leis, tá cuid de na scéalta agus na dánta sin foilsithe aige. Tá cuimhne speisialta agam ar phíosa filíochta bhéil a fuair sé ó sheanbhean i mbaile beag i ngar do theach mo sheanathar. Píosa filíochta dílis í mar seo a leanas: 

 Dúirt bean liom go ndúirt bean léi,

Go ndúirt bean eile gur inis bean dí,

 Go bhfaca sí bean ag bun na sceithe,

Ach bean nár bhean ach sí bhean í.

Bhailigh m’athair, mo sheanathair agus mo shean-aintín roinnt scéalta ó na sean daoine freisin, agus d’fhág siad ag Coimisiún Béaloidis na hÉireann iad.

Béaloideas mo cheantar dúchais

Thug mé cuairt ar na leabharlanna poiblí i Ros Comáin agus i mBealach a Dóirín agus fuair mé a lán píosaí  béaloidis; scéalta grinn, scéalta grá, scéalta tubaisteacha agus síscéalta. Bhí siad go léir scríofa i mBéarla ach ceann amháin a scríobh mo shean-aintín. Fuair mé scéalta scríofa ag m’athair agus mo sheanathair sa Bhéarla cé go raibh Gaeilge ar a dtoil acu; chuir sé sin iontas mór orm! Ón scríbhneoireacht a fuair mé rinne mé fótacóipeanna de chúig phíosa dhéag, agus ansin rinne mé spléachadh (scan) orthu agus tá siad go léir ceangailte in Iarscríbhinn 1.

An Aimsir: Tá cúpla scéal bainteach leis an aimsir agus tá sean aithris iontach agus greannmhar i scéal a thug seanfhear i Lissergool (Thomas Regan) do m’athair (4), mar seo a leanas:

 “Ná creid Fionn agus ná creid Fiach

 agus ná creid briathra mná,

Más moch mall d’éireodh an ghrian,

Is mar is toil le Dia a bheidh an lá.”

The Fairy Steeds of Aughurine (5). Seo scéal an-suimiúil; stail sióige atá  i gceist nuair a thagann láracha shearraigh as “Poillín a Bhric” gan stail ar bith sa cheantar. Ach ní go maith a d’éirigh leis an bhfeirmeoir nuair a rinne sé iarracht an stail shíogach a fhostú.

 Na Féilte: Tá scéalta ann atá bainteach leis na Féilte (6); Lá Fhéile Bríde atá ar an gcéad lá d’Fheabhra. Déantar Cros Bhríde in onóir do Bhríd an oíche roimhe(7).

 Lá Fhéile Sin Seáin atá ar an 24ú lá de Mheitheamh ach an ócáid is fearr ag an am sin ná Oíche na dtinte Cnámh; bhíodh an-spórt ag an tine chnámh, na daoine óga ag súgradh agus na daoine fásta ag damhsa ag an gcrosbhóthar. Oíche Shamhna – ócáid eile a bhfuil cuimhne shoiléir agam uirthi. Bhíodh púcaí agus taibhsí amuigh an oíche sin agus briseadh cabáiste sna gairdíní faoi scáth na hoíche.

 Leigheasanna traidisiúnta agus piseoga: Sa bhailiúchán i Ros Comáin, fuair mé alt ó sheanfhear darb ainm John Bruen (8), atá bainteach le leigheasanna áitiúla; cúig  leigheas déag d’easláinte agus galar de gach sórt ó neascóidí go féitheacha borrtha. Sa bhailiúchán céanna bhí dhá leathanach de phiseoga a úsáideadh sa cheantar sna tríochaidí (9); tá cuid acu bainteach le him baile agus an mí-ádh a bhíodh ar dhaoine nuair a bhí siad ag iarraidh an bainne a bhriseadh. Tá liosta de sheanfhocail (10) sa bhailiúchán freisin, cuid acu i nGaeilge, agus tá leigheas aisteach ann i gcóir tinneas cinn.

Tigh Bhaethin agus An Gorta Mór: Tá scéalta iontacha agus an-stairiúla sa bhailiúchán, ceann lámhscríofa le hÚna Ní Thiomáin (11) agus  scéal eile inste ag Edward Timon do m’athair Padraic Ó Tiomáin i 1918. Cuireann na  scéalta seo in iúl  dúinn stair an cheantair agus na páirteanna  a d’imir Naomh Pádraig agus Naomh Baethin sa pharóiste na blianta fada ó shin. An scéal is coscrach a bhailigh mé ná “Famine Times” inste ag Luke Callaghan (80 bliain) do Phádraic Ó Tiomáin i 1921. Is scéal é faoin nGorta Mór agus cuireann an scéalaí in iúl dúinn an fhulaingt uafásach a chrá ar na daoine bochta i rith an ghorta, go mór mór in 1847; tugadh “mi-ádh agus anró” ar na daoine sa bhliain sin. Tá véarsa beag ag tús an scéil sin a chuireann in iúl dúinn  spleáchríoch na ndaoine ar phrátaí nó fataí mar a deirtear sa scéal.

Fataí san oíche,

Fataí san ló,

Agus má éiríonn meán oíche,

Fataí gheobhainn.

Ach faraor géar, ní raibh sin le rá acu faoin mbliain Dhubh 47. Bhí an fhulaingt agus liosta na marbh chomh huafásach sin nach raibh fonn ar na daoine labhairt faoin tragóid le fada an lá as sin amach.

Cuntas gearr é seo ar mo chéad iarrachtaí eolas a fháil faoi bhéaloideas i mo cheantar dúchais. Ach tá i bhfad níos mó taighde le déanamh agam. Tá súil agam go bhfaighidh mé a thuilleadh treorach agus cúnaimh a bhaineann  leis an ábhar ó na hionaid sa cheantar, mar shampla,  Comhdháil an Craoibhín, The Douglas Hyde Interpretative Centre, Portahard, Tibohine,  The Lough Gara Historical Society and The Roscommon Archaeological and Historical Society.    

 Tagartha
  1. Lámhleabhar, O G. Lámhleabhar an Mhic Léinn : An Chéad Bhliain, Samhradh,  2005. Deireadh Seachtaine 2; Leacht 1. An Béaloideas (l. 361).
  2. Timon, Patrick, 1986. Extracts from lecture given on Tibohine to the Lough Gara Historical Society by Patrick Timon in 1969. Journal of the Roscommon Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol, 1. 1986.
  3. Conlon, Tomas, 2003. Celtic Site discovered in Fairymount. Roscommon Herald, 2003.
  4. Regan, Thomas. 1938. Story told by Thomas Regan (80 years) to Patrick Timon, The Don School. I mBáiliúchán na Scol, An Donn. 1938.
  5. Gallagher, Pat. 1938. The Fairy Steeds of Aughurine. Story told by Pat Gallagher (75 years), Aughacurreen, May, 1938. I mBáiliúchán na Scol, An Donn. 1938.
  6. Ó Máille, Tomás. An Béal Beo. Caibidil 3: Na Féilte.
  7. 1938. St. Bridget’s Cross. Short story from the Don School, I mBáiliúchán na Scol, An Donn. 1938.
  8. Bruen, Ellie. 1938. Local Cures. List of 15 ‘Local Cures’, from the Don School. I mBáiliúchán na Scol, An Donn. 1938.
  9. 1937. “Pisreoga from 1937” – “More Pisreoga from 1937”. Two contributions on Piseoga from the Don School; I mBáiliúchán na Scol, An Donn. 1938.
  10. 1937. “Old Sayings” and Marriage Customs”. Contributions from The Don School. I mBáiliúchán na Scol, An Donn. 1938.
  11. Thiomáin, Úna Ni. 1903. Thig-Baethin (Tibohine). Aiste (Lámh-scriofa) ar Naomh Baethin agus an paróiste Tigh-Bhaethin. I mBáiliúchán na Scol, An Donn. 1938.
  12. Ó Tiomáin, Pádraic. 1918. Story told about the history of Tibohine Parish by Edward Timon (95 years). I mBáiliúchán na Scol, An Donn. 1938.
  13. Ó Tiomáin, Pádraic. 1921. “Famine Times” Story told by Luke Callaghan (80 years) on “Famine Times” in Tibohine Parish. I mBáiliúchán na Scol, An Donn. 1938.

Iarscríbhinn 1

Liosta de Scéalta i mBailiúchán “ Scoil An Don”

  • Weather Forecasting
  • Famine Times
  • Tibohine
  • Tigh Baethin
  • Fairy steeds of Aughurine
  • Local Cures
  • Piseoga
  • More Piseoga
  • Brigid’s Cross
  • Hidden Treasure
  • Old Crafts

Portráid de Theaghlach Ó Tiomáin (Leagan gearr)

Vivian Ó Tiomáin

 

Vivian Timon

Tá fianaise scríofa go raibh an teaghlach, Ó Tiomáin, lonnaithe i dTí Baethin i 1700 (Elphin Diocesan Survey, 1749); ar an taobh eile, tá fianaise láidir scéalta go raibh an teaghlach ina gcónaí sa pharóiste, Tí Baethin, chomh fada siar leis an mbliain 500 (Edward Timon, 1918). De bhrí go bhfuil an sloinne, Ó Tiomáin, focal ón gCeiltis ní hé sin is é a rá go bhfuil an teaghlach Ó Tiomáin Ceilteach; ach b’fhéidir go bhfuil sé fíor.  Is é spéis áirithe go dtógann aistriú an fhocail Ó Tiomáin i mbéarla an míniú céanna is atá i a lán teangacha Eorpacha.  An míniú atá air ná tiomáinim, stiúraim, nó fear stiúrach.

 

Tá an míniú ceanna ar an sloinne Ó Tiomáin sa bhFraincís (Timonier), Spáinnis (Timonel), Catalan (Timoner), Galician (Timoneiro), Portaingéilis (Timoneiro), Iodáilis (Timoniere), agus Gréigis (Τιμων); i dteangacha éigin eile in  Oirthear na hEorpa (Slóvacach,  An Ungáir agus An Albáin) agus teangacha An Bhailt tá fréamh an fhocail ‘ fear stiúrach’ Timon, sa leagan béarla. Tá an sloinne Ó Tiomáin coitianta sa Fhrainc, An Spáinn, An Iodáil (Tuaisceartach) agus an-choitianta ar fad i bpáirteanna den Ghréig, An Bhulgáir, An Romháin agus An Ungáir agus freisin i nGleann na Réine i ndeisceart na Gearmáine agus An Ostair. Is fiú a thabhairt faoi deara go bhfuil na tíortha seo scaipthe ar chúrsa an imirce cheilteach trasna na hEorpa i rith tréimhse Le Téne (500 – 700 BC), tar éis a bheith faoi líon mór daoine le linn tréimhse Hallstatt. Nuair a scaradh na Ceiltigh trasna na hEorpa chuir siad fúthu in a lán tíortha trasna na Mór-roinne agus chuir siad ar bun cultúr ceilteach éagsúla sa  Fhrainc agus sa Spáinn i dtosach bliana an chéad aois. Scaradh dreamanna éagsúla go dtí An Bhreatain Mhór agus Éire faoi dhéin na tréimhse deiridh a imirce. Tháinig a lán Ceiltigh go hÉirinn as An Spáinn. 

 Tá sé suimiúil a thabhairt faoi deara gurb é béasa agus bealaí na gCeilteach sloinne a thabhairt ar theaghlaigh a raibh baint leis an obair a rinne siad. Mar sin de, scairteadh teaghlaigh nó líon tí a d’oibrigh mar fhir stiúrtha nó tiománaí an sloinne Timon. Ag an am sin, roimh aireagán an chompáis, chaitheadh  fir stiúrtha nó tiománaí a bheith éirimiúil agus eolach mar chaitheadh siad stiúradh agus teorainn a leagadh amach ag úsáid a gcuid eolais ar eolaíocht na réaltaí agus leagan amach coibhneasta na gealaí agus na réaltaí:  ‘stellar positioning’ mar a deirtear a theastaigh scileanna áirithe uathu. Mar sin de, teaghlaigh ar a dtugadh an sloinne Ó Tiomáin chaithfidís a bheith fíor-éirimiúil amach is amach. 

 Tá sé dealraitheach san iomlán go bhfuil bunús ceiltigh ag an sloinne Ó Tiomáin agus gur éirigh an sloinne Ó Tiomáin as an nós ceiltigh sin; féach ar Ó Tiomáin litrithe san aibítir Oghamchraobh san alt “A Portrait of the Timon Family”. An comhthoradh den téis seo ná nach bhfuil aon ghaol fola idir  mórán teaghlaigh ar ab ainm Ó Tiomáin, i mórthír na Eoropa, sa Bhreatain Mhór, nó in Éirinn.        

 An Sloinne Teaghlaigh Ó Tiomáin in Éirinn 

Tá sé scríofa sa seachtú agus ochtú déag aois go raibh Tiomáiní ina gcónaí i lár Ulaidh (Contae Fhear Manach agus An Cabhán), i lár Laighean (Cill Mhantáin, Cill Dara agus Ceatharlach) agus Connachtach; ní raibh an sloinne neamhchoitianta i Maigh Eo, Sligeach agus Ros Comáin. Tá sé suimiúil a thabhairt faoi deara gur tháinig na Ceiltigh go hÉirinn ag teacht isteach tríd inbhear na Sionainne. B’fhéidir nach é comhtharlú go bhfuil baile agus baile mór i gContae An Chláir agus Contae na Gaillimhe ina bhfuil an sloinne Ó Tiomáin iontu; mar shampla, Ennistimon agus Drumaghtimon i gContae An Chláir agus Áth-Tiomáin i gContae na Gaillimhe.

   

An Teaghlach Ó Tiomáin i dTi Baethin

Maidir le bunús an teallaigh Ó Tiomáin i dTi Baethin tá fianaise imthoisceach agus scéalta go raibh an teaghlach sa pharóiste chomh fada siar go dtí an cúigiú haois; comhtharlaíonn é le teacht Naomh Pádraic san áit agus mainistir a chuir ar bun. De réir dealramh fuair Ti Baethin a ainm ón mainistir sin agus bhí an chéad easpag, darb ainm Baethin, mac de Lallocc, a bhí ina deirfiúr le Naomh Pádraic. Is é ainm Tibohine comhchiallach galldaithe den sean-bhaile gaelach darb ainm Tigh Baethin. Tá alt forleathan ar stair na háite agus cuairt Naomh Pádraic ann scríofa ag Eamonn Ó Tiomáin (1918). Tá scéal na háite a bplé go mion san alt sin go bhfuil gach aon dealramh go fuair sé an t-eolas óna thuismitheoirí – ó ghlúin go glúin mar a deirtear. Mar sin de, b’fhéidir go bhfuil an teaghlach Ó Tiomáin i dTi Baethin ón gcúigiú haois. Cuireann an réaltacht gur oibrigh Tiomáiní an talamh cois na mainistreach agus a fothracha,  faisnéis eile go raibh an teaghlach i dTi Baethin le fada an lá.

 An Sloinne Ceilteach Ó Tiomáin san aibítir Oghamchraobh.

      

D’fhorbair na Ceiltigh an chéad aibítir Ogham- chraobh sa chéad aois. Bheadh an sloinne Ó Tiomáin scríofa mar péinteáilte ar an gclé. Léadh focail in Ogham ó bhun go barr. Bhí Ogham an chéad aibítir scríofa in Éirinn, ó thús scríofa ar chlocha chun céannacht a chuir ar áiteanna a raibh taoisigh nó daoine aithnidiúil curtha i dtalamh. Is beag téacs má tá ceann ar bith fágtha anois.

Maidir leis an teallach Ó Tiomáin i dTi Baethin tá fianaise scéalta gur bhunadh an teallach sa Spáinn agus gur Ceiltigh aba iad; tá an tuairisc seo bunaithe ar scéalta síneadh anuas taobh istigh den teallach; ó ghlúin go glúin mar a deirtear. Sa chomhthéacs seo, is gá a thugadh faoi deara go raibh dhá phríomh-imircí Ceiltigh go hÉirinn, ceann amháin roimh agus i rith tréimhse an Hallstatt, agus ceann eile i rith na gcead aoiseanna den míle bliain (Chadwick, 1971). Tá sé bunaithe freisin gur tháinig na Ceiltigh go hÉirinn thar an fharraige agus gur bhain siad Éire amach tríd inbhear an tSionainn. B’fhéidir nach bhfuil sé comhtharlú go bhfuil baile agus baile mór i gContae An Chláir agus Contae na Gaillimhe ina bhfuil an t-ainm Ó Tiomáin inti; mar shampla, Inis Tiomáin agus Dromagh Tiomáin i gContae An Chláir agus Áth-Tiomáin i gContae na Gaillimhe. B’fhéidir gur thugadh leithscéal faoin mórán Ceiltigh i gCúige Connacht, go mór mór i dtosach. Is rud é a thuiscint gur chuaigh a lán Ceiltigh go Sasana agus go bhfuil an t-ainm Ó Tiomáin coitianta go hiomlán san an Bhreatain Mhór, pé go litrítear an t-ainm Tymon. B’fhéidir gur tháinig cuid Ceiltigh go hÉirinn as na imircí seo freisin.

 Timon Of Athens – A Sceptic!

Faoi láthair, níl an sloinne Ó Tiomáin neamhchoitianta trasna na hEorpa,  sa Meiriceá agus an Astraláise. I dtosach an 20ú haois an sloinne a inimircigh don na Stáit Aontaithe is mó coitianta ná Ó Tiomáin. Tháinig a lán acu as Éirinn, An Ghearmáin agus an Eoraip Theas. B’fhéidir an fear is iomráiteach a d’iompair an sloinne Ó Tiomáin ná ‘Timon of Athens’. Gréagach aba é. Bhuanaigh Shakespeare é san an dráma ‘Timon of Athens’ nuair a thug sé cuntas air mar Uasal Ataenach a bheith in anchaoi agus a tháinig chun bheith aonaránach nó b’fhéidir míchaidreamhach. Dáiríre, de réir cuntais stairiúla bhí meas mór ar Timon of Athens mar fhealsamh Gréagach agus lena mhúinteoir Pyrro chuir sé ar bun The Sceptics Academy of Philosophy sa Ataen. Rugadh é i Phlius sa bhliain 320 RC agus uaireanta cuirtear síos do mar ‘Timon of Phlius’.

 Mar Sceipteach cheistigh Timon of Athens creideamh Sócraitéas agus Plato a bhí bunaithe ar theoiric déaduchtaithe (Russel, 2004). Is é bunbhrí an argóint gur cheistigh sé go géar a dhéanadh amach an coincheap Dia agus Diagacht. Chruthaigh Timon go gcaithfidh creideamh a bheith bunaithe ar mhíorúilt a tógadh faoi deara – pointe atá glacadh ag eolaí inniu. Dá réir sin, chruthaigh sé gur an t-aon chaoi a mhaireachtáil an fealsamh  go suaimhneach ná crochadh as breithiúnas agus neamhshuim ar de réir dealraimh.

 B’fhéidir nach bhfuil é seo bainte le ginealach an teaghlaigh Ó Tiomáin; déanaim tagairt de sa chomhthéacs nach bhfuil an creideamh céanna ann agus chomh láidir ag an gclann Ó Tiomáin inniu agus a bhí fadó.

 Cinnte, ba é Caitliceach an córas creidimh a bhí ag an teaghlach Ó Tiomáin i dTigh Baethin ón 18ú haois go dtí inniu. Go deimhin, bhí roinnt den teaghlach gníomhachtaithe san Eaglais Chaitliceach mar shagairt nó mná rialta nó ina theannta sin mar ghníomhaithe neamheaglaiseach sa pharóiste.

Go mífhortúnach, is beag cuntais tuairisciúil ar an teaghlach acht The Elphin Diocesan Survey (1749), The Applotments Survey (1825 – 1834) agus The Griffiths Land Evaluation Survey (1850’s). Deimhníonn na trí shuirbhéireacht gur feirmeoirí tionónta aba iad agus gur le Lord De Freyne an talamh tart timpeall Tigh Baethin. Cé go raibh an chuid is mo de na feirmeacha an bheag, taispeánann  an tsuirbhéireacht, The Applotments Survey, go raibh feirm Ó Tiomáin an fheirm is láidre sa pharóiste. Ní hé sin a rá go raibh na táinte acu.

An Teaghlach Ó Tiomáin sna Laethanta Peannaideach

Chónaigh an chéad aois de theaghlach Ó Tiomáin a bhí curtha i gcuntais sna laethanta peannaideach, an tréimhse ó 1695 nuair a bhí na dlíthe tugtha isteach ar dtús go dtí 1782 nuair a bhí dlí achtú  chun tús a chuir ar aisghairm na dlíthe. Bhí an t-am seo an dheachair le teaghlaigh caitliceach in Éirinn mar bhí a gcearta giorraithe go dona. Ar an gcéad dul síos, ní raibh cead acu a reiligiún caitliceach a fhoghrú nó a cleachtadh nó múineadh nó freastal ar scoil chaitliceach.

 Ní raibh cead acu, ach an oiread, úinéireacht a thabhairt amach ar mhaoin phearsanta nó ar chapall de luach níos mó ná cúig phunt. Ach an oiread, ní raibh cead acu iarratas a chur isteach ar phost oifigiúil murar mhionnaigh siad go raibh Caitliceachas bréagach. Tá sé soiléir go mbeadh sé an dheachair do Micheál Ó Tiomáin, fiú amháin a cheartú a ligeadh uaidh acht ag an am céanna airgead a thabhairt don Teampall Protastúnach. An t-aon chuspóir de Elphin Diocesan Survey (1749) ná ainmneacha de na feirmeoirí is láidre sa pharóiste a aithint agus as sin síntiús bliantúil a thabhairt don Teampall Protastúnach.

  An saol i dTigh Baethin sna 18ú agus 19ú hAoiseanna 

Coinníollacha Sláinte agus Beatha

Bhí tithe cónaithe de na feirmeoirí tionónta an bheag agus gortach san 18ú agus 19ú haoiseanna (Young 1776/77/78), go mór mór nuair a chur tú san áireamh na teaghlaigh mhóra a bhí coiteann san am sin. Bhí trí sheomraí ar an mhórchuid sna tithe beaga nó bothán puiteach (mar a dhéan Young cuir síos orthu) agus bhí fuinneoga beaga oscailte iontu agus ceann tuí. Ní dhearna siad brionglóid  ar uisce sconna nó ar leithris sa teach fiú amháin iad a bheith acu. Fuair siad a n-uisce as tobar poiblí a úsáideadh gach comharsan sa pharóiste. Ní raibh aon seirbhísí sláinte; rinneadh iarracht galar a stiúradh nó a srianadh ag úsáid luibheanna áitiúil agus leigheasanna a síneadh anuas ó ghlúin go glúin. Tá sé soiléir as na cuntais mhortlaíochta nach raibh mórán éifeacht as na leigheasanna sin. Taispeánann cuntais mhortlaíochta breithe go bhfuair 10% – 15% leanaí bás sna 18ú agus 19ú haoiseanna.  Is léir gur fhulaing an teaghlach Ó Tiomáin a lán scalladh croí ag an am sin.   

Rinneadh cócaireacht ar an tine sa chistin; Ba é móin an bunábhar tine. Bhí an tine sa chistin an príomh foinse de theas freisin. Mar sin ba choitianta é go raibh leaba sa choirnéal cois tine; ‘priste’ an t-ainm a bhí ar. De réir na trí thuairiscí thuasluaite agus an Daonáireamh 1901 tá sé soiléir go raibh dhá nó trí thithe beaga ag na teallaigh Ó Tiomáin sa bhaile Tigh Baethin.

Feirmeoireacht  –  An t-aon fhoinse bia.

Bhí feirmeoireacht an bhunúsach san am sin, go háirithe in Iarthar na hÉireann; bhí gach uile rud déanta leis na lámha. Mar bharr ar a mbuaireamh, tugadh athrú ar na  dlíthe a bhí bainte le tiarna talún agus a thionónta agus mar sin de bhí níos mó neamhchinnteacht agus deacracht í feirmeoireacht (Feehen 2003). Dá réir sin, chaithfeadh na teallaigh Ó Tiomáin i dTigh Baethin a bheith ag obair go crua simplí i leith maireachtáil. De réir gach dealraimh, bheadh toradh na talún an t-aon bhia a bhí acu; mar shampla, leite de choirce, bainne, prátaí agus cabáiste agus uaireanta feoil (bagún nó mairteoil) ar laethanta speisialta. Aon airgead a shábhálfaidís, ó stoc nó coirce le díol tar éis an fhómhair, úsáideadh chun an cíos a íoc agus éadaigh agus gléas tí a chéannacht (bheadh tae, siúcra agus plúr in airde ar an liosta seo).

An córas feirmeoireachta a thugadh i gcrích ná stoc (beithígh, caora, agus b’fhéidir muc nó dhó) a thógáil agus prátaí agus coirce a cur saothrú. Ag deireadh an 20ú haois bhí cabáiste agus tornapa i ngnáth-úsáid; bhí gairdín beag ag cuid de na daoine i gcoir glasraí agus b’fhéidir cranna úll. San gnáth-feirm ( 10 acraí nó níos lú) d’fhásfadh cúig acraí prátaí agus 2 -3 acraí coirce. Bhí coirce an tábhachtach mar bharr dhúbailte mar in éineacht  le coirce mar bhia (leite choirce agus arán coirce) bhí an cochán an tábhachtach i dtuíodóireacht na tithe. Rinneadh obair curaíochta ar fad lena lámha; bhí an spád (nó an lái), an shluasaid, an pice, an speal, an crúca agus an súiste na huirlisí is tábhachtach san feirm ag an am sin. Tá sé soiléir go mbeadh roinnt mhór den líon tí ag obair ar an bhfeirm; samhlaíonn an obair atá bainte le 5 acraí de phrátaí

Bheadh an mhóin a bhaint agus a shábháil an tábhachtach gach bliain. Is mór a chur i gcuimhneamh go raibh  an uile chócaireacht déanta ar an tine mhóna. I dtreo deireadh an 19ú haois bhí capaill agus asail ag tarraingt cairteacha, céachtaí, cliatha fuirste agus innill bainte ar na feirmeacha. Ar laethanta speisialta, cuir i gcás ag bualadh an coirce, ag tugadh abhaile an mhóin nó ag tugadh an féar sa chlos, chruinnigh na comharsana le chéile chun cuidiú fear an tí; meitheal an t-ainm a cuirtear air.

 An bia de réir cineáil ar na laethanta seo ná leite mar bhricfeasta agus ‘Col Ceannann’ nó ‘Calaidh’ mar dhinnéar agus prátaí arís sa tráthnóna le bláthach. Bhí an áit chomh sonrach as a prátaí de réir mar a dúirt na spailpíní as Maigh Eo agus iad ar a bhealach soir ag lorg obair:

Fataí san oíche,

Fataí sa lá,

Agus má éiríonn meán oíche,

Fataí do gheobhainn.

   

Ar dtús agus ar fud na staire is é Tigh Baethin an t-ainm ar an bparóiste atá ar eolas anois mar Mhullach na Sí (Timon, 1971). Bhí an teaghlach ÓTiomáin ina chónaí i dTigh Baethin ar dtús acht sa 19ú agus 20ú haoiseanna d’aistrigh cuid den teaghlach go Lios ar Cúl (Patrick Timon 1864 – 1949) agus Liosdrumneil (Patrick Timon 1902 – 1977). Taispeánann an Applotments survey aon Tiomáin i Rathkeary ins na 1820’s agus  Moyne sna 1840’s; tá sé cinnte go raibh gaol idir na Tiomáiní seo agus na Tiomáiní i dTigh Baethin. Bhí agus tá Tiomáiní i Liosdrumneil a bhunadh i Tigh Baethin de réir gach dealraimh. Ag an am seo tá Tiomáiní ina chónaí sa bailte Tigh Baethin, Liosdrumneil agus Grallagh.

 Beatha Sóisialta

Bhí beatha sóisialta an ghortach sa tráth úd. Bhí an teach streachlánach an chruinniú sóisialta sa bhaile beag. Gan amhras, beadh seanchaí  i ngach baile beag agus beadh scéalaíocht faoi thaibhse, an diabhal, síoga  agus an bhean sí an coiteann sa chruinniú sin. Rinneadh ollghairdeas do na scéalta a bhí níos strainséartha agus creathnach. Mar sin féin, bíodh scéalta faoi bhéaloideas agus stair áitiúil agus náisiúnta an thábhachtach sa chruinniú seo mar fhoinse eolais do na daoine óga sa pharóiste. Beadh ceol traidisiúnta gaelach agus damhsa gaelach i láthair sa chruinniú seo  a bhí ar eolas mar dhamhsaí teach sa tuath; sa samhradh bhí na damhsaí lasmuigh ag an gcrosbhóthar. Bhí fios ag muintir na háite ar dhaoine áirithe sa pharóiste a bhí scileanna acu maidir le ceol agus amhránaíocht; bhí meas mór ag na daoine ar amhráin bailéad agus amhránaíocht sna seisiúin seo. Bhí dul ar Aifreann gach Domhnaigh an thábhachtach maidir lena dhualgas caitliceach acht bhí sé cúis chun imoibriú sóisialta a dhéanadh lena comharsana. Thairg na haontaí áitiúla deis thábhachtach chun imoibriú sóisialta  a dhéanadh freisin.  

 Oideachas

Bhí deiseanna oideachais in Éirinn tuaithe san 18ú agus 19ú haoiseanna gann. An chéad uair a tugadh oideachas scoil náisiúnta ar bun ná i 1831 tar éis An Bhoird Coimisinéara a bhunadh. Ar dtús, leagadh amach plean a raibh neamh-shainchreidmheach  acht níor cuireadh i gcrích é go dtí 1860, nó mar sin. Roimh na deireanach 1800’i  ba é scoil cois claí an t-aon ábhar oideachais in Éirinn agus d’íoc na tuismitheoirí múinteoir i ngach baile. Fuair na scoileanna seo a n-ainmneacha, scoil cois claí, mar de ghnáth múin an múinteoir a dhaltaí faoin gclaí nó i scáthlán folamh sa bhaile. Bhí na príomhábhair múinte ná léamh, scríbhneoireacht, uimhríocht agus teagasc Críostaí. Bhí na ceachtanna seo múinte trí Ghaeilge – an teanga labhartha ag na daoine ag an am sin. Cibé ar bith, mhúin a lán teaghlaigh a leanaí sa teach (ó ghlúin go glúin mar a deirtear) agus chuir siad ina luí orthu grá ar fhoghlaim agus gach rud Gaelach maidir le stair áitiúla agus náisiúnta agus ár dteanga. Ina theannta leis an teanga Ghaeilge, mhúin cuid de na teaghlaigh aon béarla a bhí acu i gcásanna a raibh sé soiléir go gcaithfeadh cuid den teaghlach dul thar lear i gcomhair obair a fháil. Tá sé soiléir gur chuir na teaghlaigh Ó Tiomáin i d’Tigh Baethin  a lán béim ar oideachas, go mór mór tar éis an ghorta mhór sna blianta 1850’i agus 1860’i.  Tá sé soiléir freisin go raibh siad eolach ar stair áitiúla mar is léir i gcuimhní Eamon Ó Tiomáin (1836 – 1924) atá foilsithe ag Údarás Béaloideas na hÉireann (1937). 

 An Teaghlach Ó Tiomáin i rith An Ghorta Mór

Go mífhortúnach, ní raibh mé an ann eolas áirithe a fháil ar chinniúint na teaghlaigh Ó Tiomáin tríd an ngorta mór (1846/1847). Ar an lámh eile, tá eolas soiléir ó chuntais daonáireamh go rinne an Gorta Mór scrios mór ar an bparóiste. Laghdaigh an pobal Tigh Baethin ó 3016 go dtí 2122 duine idir 1841 agus 1851 – ísliú de 29.64%. Mar i gcéanna, thit uimhir na dteaghlach ó 522 go 379  –  ísliú de 27.39. Gan amhras, chuaigh cuid de thar lear acht cailleadh an chuid is mó den ocras.

Rinne duine as an bparóiste, Luke Callaghan, cuimhne ghrinn ar an nGorta Mór i Tigh Baethin agus d’fhoilsigh Pádraic Ó Tiomáin an scéal in Údarás Béaloideas na hÉireann (1937). Sa bhailiú céanna tá scéal beag a scríobh R Ní Ghadhra nuair a bhí sí ar scoil i  Tigh Baethin; scéal a chuala sí óna sean-máthair. Cuireann an scéal seo in eolas dúinn an pháirt  a rinne Seán Ó Tiomáin tríd an nGorta Mór ag cur na daoine bochta i dtalamh. 

 Scéal a scríob R. Ní Gadhra i Bailiúcháin na Scoile agus a bhí foilsithe ag Údarás Béaloideas na hÉireann (1937).  

 

“During the famine years there was awful poverty in this part of the country. The people were dying out of face. Then the other people who were any-way middling used to bury them in Tibohine graveyard and when you got up in the morning you would never wonder a bit if you saw a few dead people outside the door after the night.

 They had no way of ways of carriage only a wheel barrow. Someone would get a wheelbarrow and wheel them to the next door and the man in that house to the next door and so on until the corpse would reach a house in Tibohine named Timons. John Timon used to bring them straight to the graveyard and bury them. It used to be dark at night and he hadn’t light but the light of the moon, and when there wasn’t any moon he had the light of a rush.”

 R Ní Gadhra.

 

  Am Léanmhar – Eisimirce

 Am an léanmhar aba é ar ndóigh. Ón scéal thuas tá sé soiléir go raibh an teaghlach Ó Tiomáin an ann bia a chuir ar an tábla ar aon nós. Go díreach, is dócha gur chaill siad a bprátaí ar fad cosúil lena comharsana acht is dócha go raibh cuid coirce acu (bhféidir 5 acraí) agus in éineacht leis na ainmhí a bhí acu bhí a ndóthain bia acu. Cinnte, mhair triúr deartháireacha (Séan, Mícheál agus Eamonn) agus bhí siad ina chónaí i dTigh Baethin beagnach ar an 20ú haois. Molann daonáireamh Briotanach gur chuaigh beirt dheartháireacha go Sasana agus chuir siad suas i Derbyshire.  B’fhéidir gur chuaigh a lán Tiomáiní eile thar lear sa 19ú haois go dtí Meiriceá no go dtí An Bhreatain Mhór acht níl aon eolas againn fúthu. Tá eolas againn faoi na Tiomáiní a rugadh i dTigh Baethin tar éis 1830 mar tá na cuntais  i Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann, Baile Átha Cliath. 

 Is dócha freisin gur bogadh cuid de na Tiomáiní i dTigh Baethin suas go Liosdrumneil mar pháirt den Famine Relief Programme. Taispeánann The Griffith’s Land Evaluation records go raibh cúig Theaghlach Ó Tiomáin i Liosdrumneil sa bliain dheireanach 1850i acht ní raibh aon teaghlach Ó Tiomáin sa bhaile i 1820i. I gceann de na Famine Relief Programmes dáileadh roinnt bheag talamh agus tugadh ceart do thionóntaí as Tigh Baethin móin a bhaint i bportach Liosdrumneil. Dá bhrí sin, tá gach aon chúis a chreideamh go bhfuil cuid gaol idir na Tiomáini i Liosdrumneil agus na Tiomáiní i dTigh Baethin; go mór mór an teaghlach de Mícheál Ó Tiomáin. Tá ceart fós ag an teaghlach Ó Tiomáin i dTigh Baethin móin a bhaint sa phortach i Liosdrumneil. Ar an lámh eile, tá fianaise gur tháinig an dara teaghlach Ó Tiomáin (Frank Timon’s) as Maigh Eo ag an am céanna.    

 Polaitiócht agus An teaghlach Ó Tiomáin

Níl beagán fianaise gur casadh an teaghlach Ó Tiomáin go díreach le polaitíocht san 18ú nó sa 19ú haoiseanna. Go deimhin, bhí fáscadh polaitiúil agus cultúr bainte de na daoine chomh mór sin, agus go mór mór sna laethanta peannaideach, nár fáisceadh a mhothú polaitiúil nó cráifeach cor ar bith. Ar an lámh eile, bhí sé tuigthe go soiléir go raibh an teaghlach gaelach i ndearcadh agus an teanga agus thuig siad leis na Fíníneachas agus Conradh na Talún. Acht mar i gcéanna le go leor teaghlaigh in Éirinn ag an am sin chuaigh cuid Tiomáiní san RIC agus an DMP agus chuaigh Tiomáiní éigin thar lear agus d’oibrigh siad san Constáblacht Bhriotanach.

 Bhí sé sin sothuigthe mar ní raibh mórán obair le fáil in Éirinn ag an am sin. Acht tar éis an Éirí Amach Dé Domhnaigh Cásca athraigh a lán den teaghlach i dtreo Poblachtachais.

Go mór mór m’athair, Pádraic Ó Tiomáin (1902 – 1977); tháinig sé chun bheith ball den IRA  nuair a bhí sé ina mac léin ag foghlaim ábhar dochtúra. Taispeánann an scéal seo a leanann, mar a dúirt Nora Timon (1916 – 2007) liom,  an chaoi a ndearna dílseacht teaghlaigh ionracas le dílseacht pholaitiúil.

Ar thaobh amháin, chuir athair Nora, (John Timon), isteach sa RIC 1 1888 agus d’oibrigh sé i dTiobraid Árann, i nGaillimh agus Maigh Eo, áit ar cuireadh chun cinn é i 1912. Ar an taobh eile, thóg m’athair ball den IRA sa bhliain 1919.                        

 

 

Diaspóra 18ú agus 19ú hAoiseanna

 Tá  sé cinnte gur chuaigh a lán Tiomáiní as Tigh Baethin thar lear san 18ú agus 19ú haoiseanna. Bhí deichniúir nó cúig pháistí déag i ngach teaghlach agus bhí easpa oibre chomh donna sin gurb imirce an t-aon slí amach don chuid is mó de na daoine óga. Tá sé an dheachair cuntais áirithe a fháil ar na himircí seo acht tá sé tuigthe go soiléir ag comhaltaí an teaghlaigh gur chuaigh a lán comhaltaí thar lear go Sasana nó Meiriceá. Ag breithniú ar 19ú haois daonáireamh  sa An Bhreatain Mhór nó Meiriceá,  tá sé soiléir gur chuaigh a lán Tiomáiní as Ros Comáin thar lear acht níl eolas sna cuntais maidir leis an bparóiste inar rugadh siad. Acht tá léire ann gur tháinig cuid acu as Tigh Baethin nuair a léamh tú na hainmneacha Críostúil a úsáidtear; ainmneacha mar Michael, Edward, John agus Patrick ar na buachaillí agus Catherine, Margaret, Mary agus Winifred mar ainmneacha ar na cailíní. Tá sé réasúnta teacht ar an tuairim gur bunadh teaghlaigh mar seo as Tigh Baethin, agus go mbeadh gaol leis na Tiomáini i Tigh Baethin. Acht ag an am seo níl aon chinnteacht  ann agus mar sin níor chuir mé iad sa Chrann Teaghlaigh Ó Tiomáin. B’fhéidir nuair a fheabhsófar inneall cuardaigh beidh muid an ann na teaghlaigh seo a ionannaithe.             

Ar an lámh eile, is féidir ginealach a chine siar go Tigh Baethin leis a lán teaghlaigh sa Bhreatain Mór agus Meiriceá  agus mar sin de a lán tíortha trasna an domhain. Tá níos mó ná dhá mhíle daoine ar Ghéaga Ginealaigh Ó Tiomáin faoi láthair; tá gaol fola ag an gcuid dóibh leis na Tiomáiní i dTigh Baethin. Is cuma conas a thaisteal siad bhí turas deachair acu ó Tigh Baethin go Meiriceá nó go dtí An Bhreatain Mhór ar a laghad. Is tábhachtach a gcuimhneamh gur an t-aon mhodh taistil a bhí acu ná taisteal poiblí a tharraingeodh cóiste capaill. De ghnáth thóg an taisteal trí nó ceithre lá go Baile Átha Cliath. Tar éis sin  chuaigh díreach go An Bhreatain Mhór nó Meiriceá agus thóg an taisteal sin trí nó ceithre seachtaine. Ní ionadh nach dtiocfadh siad ar ais; an chuid is mó acu.

 Cuntais Achomair de Theaghlaigh Ó Tiomáin

sé soiléir ó mo thaighde gur teaghlach an tugtha chun cruinne, teaghlach inniúil agus daoine dlúsúil aba na Tiomáiní. Níl sé socair a saolta a léiriú trasna ceithre aois agus ní mó ná sin níl a fhios agam na deacra a bhí acu tríd a saolta ná bhfuil fios agam ar a ngníomhartha nó a dteipeanna. Acht mhair siad troime na péindlíthe agus scrios an gorta mór agus naoi n-aoiseanna ina dhiaidh sin tá siad ag feirmeoireacht sa Tigh Baethin; éacht tábhachtach ann féin. Acht níl sé sin an iomláin. Inniu tá teaghlaigh Ó Tiomáin rathúil trasna na hÉireann, sa Bhreatain mhór, sa mhórthír an Eoraip, i Meiriceá agus san Astraláise a bhfuil ginealach a chine acu siar go Tigh Baethin.                                   

  Go príomhúil, is cosúil go raibh an teaghlach Ó Tiomáin sláintiúil san iomlán trí na haoiseanna. Theip mé fianaise a fháil go raibh aon tograch ginealaigh do thinneas nó éagruth sa teaghlach. Dhealródh an scéal freisin go raibh na fír tréan, láidir agus dea-dhéanta agus tríd is tríd dathúil. Chuir Nora Ní Thiomáin ( 1916 – 2007) síos ar na fír Ó Tiomáiní mar seo a leanas: “Bhí siad ard, tréan, dathúil, bíogúil agus beagán tugtha don deoch cuid acu”.  Níl mé an ann a rá gur cuidiú mo thaighde leis an méid a dúirt sí; gan amhras, bhí fadhbanna dí ag beagán acu agus sin é. Acht tá sé fíor gur cailleadh an oiread sin daoine óga Ó Tiomáiní san 18ú agus 19ú haoiseanna trasna na hÉireann agus sa An Bhreatain Mhór. Níl agam acht beith ag ceapadh gur tuberculosis an phríomhchúis do na básanna roimh am; bhí tuberculosis forleathan trasna na hÉireann agus An Bhreatain Mhór ag an am sin. Gan amhras, cosúil leis an chuid is mó de teaghlaigh eile bhí a ndóthain bróndrámaí acu – oil a fhágadh san almóir.                             

Maidir le deis oibre agus na gairmeacha léannta tá sé soiléir go bhfuil cuntas an teaghlaigh Ó Tiomáin go maith. I dtosach, feirmeoirí aba iad agus tá cuid den teaghlach ag feirmeoireacht i Ros Comáin fós. Acht ba mhór dóibh  béim a chuir ar oideachas, go mór mór tar éis an ghortha mór. Chuaigh a lán Tiomáiní (buachaillí agus cailíní) go coláiste oiliúna chun céim a bhaint amach mar mhúinteoirí. Ba ríthábhachtach leo ceird na scríbhneoireachta mar is soiléir as na sínithe sna cuntais daonáireamh 1901. Lean an bhéim  ar oideachas sna haoiseanna níos faide anonn sna teaghlaigh Ó Tiomáin i Meiriceá, An Bhreatain Mhór agus Éire.

Tríd an 20ú haois gabhadh baill den teaghlach Ó Tiomáin i ngach ceird atá ann; oideachas, eolaíocht, leigheas, innealtóireacht, gnó, airgeadas, lónadóireacht, sábháilteacht, na meáin agus na healaíona. Bhain go leor acu buaic na hardréime sna proifisiúin a toghadh siad. Cuireadh cuid acu gnóthaí rathúil ar bun trasna na mblianta. Níl an treoshuíomh teaghlaigh i dtreo sagartacht agus ord beannaithe a bhí starraiceach sa 20ú haois chomh sonrach is a bhí. B’fhéidir go bhfuil an sceipteachas Timon of Athens a athnochtadh aníos!!

                              

 

 

 

 

 

An Gorta Mór i Tí Baethin

Vivian Ó Tiomáin

Vivian Timon

Rinne an Gorta Mór scrios uafásach ar pharóiste Tí Baethin. Bhí na feirmeacha beag –idir 2.5 go dtí 10 n-acra ar an meán agus an chuid is mó de faoi phrátaí; sna feirmeacha is mó bheadh 2.5 acraí faoi choirce. De ghnáth bhí an coirce a bhualadh go moch sa gheimhreadh agus díolta roimh ‘Lá Gála’ chun an cíos a íoc don tiarna talún. Go dtí sin, ba é an práta príomh bia na ndaoine sa pharóiste seo chomh maith le timpeall dhá mhála de mhin choirce. Bhí an áit chomh sonrach as a prátaí de réir mar a dúirt na spailpíní as Maigh Eo agus iad ar a mbealach soir ag lorg obair:

 

Fataí san oíche,

Fataí sa lá,

Agus má éiríonn meán oíche,

Fataí do gheobhainn.

 

Bhí an béile déanta as cuid den choirce a bhí sábháilte tar éis an chuid coda is mó   díolta. Acht bhí an chuid is mó den bhéile bruite – timpeall dhá chupán nó aon naigín (ba é an naigín an t-aon soitheach i gcistin na ndaoine bochta ag an am sin) i bpota mór uisce.

Praiseach fhíor thanaí ab a é. Caitheadh na prátaí bruite ar an mbord agus shuíodh an líon tí ag an mbord chun an béile a ithe. Cuireadh an phraiseach i mbáisíní láidir adhmad agus thum gach duine sop sa phraiseach (dea-bhlasta) chun é a smearadh ar phrátaí a bhí an craiceann  bainte daoibh.

Ar laethanta speisialta, mar shampla, nuair a bhíodar ag baint an coirce nó na laethanta nuair a bhí siad ag cur an choirce isteach san iothlainn agus na comharsana á gcuidiú í grúpaí, darb ainm meitheal, is é leite a tugadh dóibh mar bhricfeasta agus ‘Col Ceannann’ nó ‘Calaidh’ mar dhinnéar agus prátaí arís  sa tráthnóna le bláthach.

 Nuair a chuaigh an feirmeoir agus a teaghlach go dtí an gort, chun na prátaí a bhaint, d’fhan siad sa ghort an lá ar fad agus nuair a bhí gá acu dinnéar a ithe las siad tine agus cuireadh síos an ‘pristéal’ chun na prátaí a róstadh.               

Nuair a tháinig an dúchan i ‘mallaithe 47’ chuaigh na feirmeoirí amach sa Mheitheamh agus chonaic siad na gais prátaí chomh dubh le gual. Cheap siad ar dtús gur sioc a ba chúis leis.  Sa bhliain sin ní raibh siad ró dhona mar bhí prátaí acu acht bhí siad an-bheag – ‘póiríní’ a bhí ann agus rangaigh siad sa mhéid ó ubh puiléid go tomhas airne. Bhí coirce an mhaith sa pharóiste seo acht bhí an chuid is fearr díolta san fhómhar mar bhí an praghas tarraingteach.  Níor choinnigh siad mórán ach an síol  i gcomhair an earraigh.

 

Mar sin féin, níor cailleadh morán sa bhliain sin mar d’ith na daoine bochta a lán cearc, gabhar, laonna óg, agus éanlaithe fiáine anois is arís. Ba é coir uafásach éanlaithe fiáine a mharú mar bhí gníomhaire an tiarna talún i ngach ceantair. 

 

Acht thug ’47 tuilleadh mí-ádh agus anró. Is ansin a thit na daoine bochta in umar na haimléise. Bhí na póiríní curtha sa talamh, cuid acu curtha mar shíol a chroitheadh cé go raibh na póiríní ró beag a chur mar is de ghnáth i ndromanna leis an ‘suibhín’. Bhí toradh maith ar na gais prátaí  ar dtús acht tar éis tamaill i mí Meitheamh tháinig an dúchan ar ais acht amháin i dtalamh bán nach raibh saothraithe le fada an lá. 

 

Sa bhliain sin rinneadh scrios mór ar na daoine. An beagán i ngach baile a raibh tréan agus na daoine a raibh ór i gcnap acu (ór a choinneáil i dtaisce  acu i gcóir dáil a iníon) roinn siad le comharsana níos lú ámharach go dtí gur tháinig an fiabhras agus é a leathadh. Bhí an fiabhras leitheadach tar éis na Nollag agus bhí a lán teaghlach glanta amach sna bailte beaga i dTí Baethin. Bhí gach rud ite, ainmhí de gach cineál, laonna, caoirigh, gabhair agus asail agus bhí foghail déanta ar thréad cóngarach freisin ag na daoine bochta a bhí in anchaoi.    

 

Cabhraigh na feirmeoirí toiciúla sa pharóiste, mar shampla na Gallaghóirí as Aghacurín agus feirmeoirí eile, a gcomharsana acht ní raibh cead ag na daoine bochta dul isteach sa teach ar eagla go dtógfaidh siad an fiabhras leo. Bhruith siad pota ollmhór leite agus ansin dhoirt siad an leite i dtrachanna mór i bhfad ón teach. Chruinnigh na daoine bochta le chéile agus bhí cuid acu ag fáil bháis cheana féin chun an leite a thabhairt abhaile dá bhean chéile agus páistí a bhí stiúgtha leis an ocras.

 

Uaireanta, d’ith duine mífhortúnach ró mór agus mharaigh an bia é. Bhuail scread na mbaintreach nua agus na leanaí dílleachta tríd an cheantar ar oíche sheaca agus iad ag coinne abhaile a nathair le bia. Itheadh ainmhí marbh uaireanta san am sin, mar shampla asail marbh, gabhair marbh, agus ainmhí eile.

 

Dúradh  gur thug máithreacha éigin fheoil leanbh marbh do na páistí eile sa teallach, ag ligean orthu go bhfuair a nathair í as teach mór éigin. Dhiúltaigh an scéalaí ainmneacha na ndaoine sin a chur an muid ar eolas dúinn; Chroith sé a cheann agus dúirt sé “Táid uileag  san uaigh anois agus fág marbh iad”.      

Is i rith an ghorta móir a líonadh an reilig i dTí Baethin. Ní raibh lá sa tseachtain nach raibh 30 nó 40 adhlactha sa reilig, cuid acu san oíche. Nuair a fuair duine bás ag an am sin, de ghnáth cuireadh an corp i scriúta nó i mála sean agus nuair a bhí sé dorcha tugadh an corp don chomharsa béal dorais. Bhuaileadh cnag ar an doras agus d’fhág siad an corp ar an dtalamh agus d’imigh siad. Fuair na daoine sa teach sin cúpla comharsan agus d’fhág siad an corp os coir a comharsan béal dorais agus mar sin de go dtí an teach deireanach i ngar don reilig. Chuala na daoine sa teach deireanach  an cnag ar an doras. Bhí fios acu cad a bhí ar siúl; Chuir siad glaoch ar a gcomharsana agus ar aghaidh leo go dtí an reilig.

Tógadh lánta, spáda, sluaistí agus coinnle feaga agus rómhair siad uaigh d’íobartach eile de ‘John Bulls Kindness’.  Choinnigh na glaonna seo daoine a bhí cónaithe i ngar don reilig gan codladh oíche i ndiaidh oíche mar bhí siad ag cuireadh corp i dtalamh tríd an oíche.

Ní raibh sé neamhchoitianta bean a fheiceáil ag dul tríd an mbaile, Tí Baethin, agus cliabh ar a droim agus beirt leanbh marbh sa chliabh aici agus í ag dul go dtí an reilig. Nuair a bhí sí críochnaithe ag cur na leanaí sa talamh bhain sí neantóga agus líon sí an cliabh leo chun iad a bhruith sa bhaile agus a ocras a bogadh. Ró mhinic bhí sí faighte ar thaobh an bhóthair agus sú glas na neantóg ar a bhéal. Níl aon bhaile sa  pharóiste nach bhfuil fothracha tí le fheiceáil. Dá n-iarrfaí orthu  “Cé` hiad a chónaigh sa teach sin” An freagra a gheobhaidh tú. “Beannacht Dé orthu, thóg an Gorta Mór iad acht chuaigh cuid acu thar lear ar longa nach raibh sábháilte”. Níor labhair na sean daoine madair le teaghlaigh a bhí scriosta amach is amach le hocras agus eisimirce. An freagra coitianta ná “Níl aon daoine leis an ainm sin sa pharóiste anois”.  

 

Aistrithe ón leagan Béarla le Vivian Ó Tiomáin.        

 

 

Famine Times in Tibohine

Patrick Timon

Patrick Timon, my father, on retirement from Fairymount NS.

The famine wrought terrible havoc in the parish of Tibohine. The farmers if they could be called that name had very small holdings – from 2.5 to 10 acres on an average and the ‘greater part of this was under potatoes and 2.5 acres under oats. The oats were usually threshed early in winter or harvest and sold to help pay the rent to the landlord on ‘Gale Day’.

 

Up to that the chief food of the people in this parish was potatoes with about two sacks of oaten meal. The place was so noted for the eating of potatoes, that the ‘spailpíns’ who came from Mayo with their ‘laidhes’ on their shoulders and who rested for a day or two in the parish on their way east in search of work used to say;      

Fataí san oíche,

Fataí san ló,

Agus dá n-éirionn meadhin oíche,

Fataí do geobfainn.

The meal that was made from the part of the corn kept after the rest was sold was used for oat bread which was not too frequently used. The greater part of the meal was boiled – about 2 cupfuls or one noggin (noggins being the only vessel in use – no delph in this parish in the poorer houses) in a big pot of water. This was a very thin gruel when boiled. The potatoes when boiled were thrown out on a big table and the family sat into the meal. The gruel was put in big wooden basins and each member had a straw which was dipped into the gruel (well salted) and then the straw was rubbed on the peeled potato.

On days of special importance such as reaping the corn with hooks or gathering it into stacks when the neighbours gathered in a ‘meitheal’ to help, they were treated to porridge for breakfast and ‘Col Ceannan’ or ‘Calaidh’ as it was called for dinner with potatoes again with buttermilk in the evening.

When the farmer and his family went to dig the potatoes they remained in the field the whole day and when dinner was needed they lit a fire and put down a ‘pristéal’ or ‘cast’ and eat the roasted potatoes.

When the blight came in ‘cursed 46’ the ‘farmers’ went out in June to see their fields of stalks burned black. They thought of course that it was frost. That year they were not too bad, as the potatoes when dug and carefully picked up, varied in size from a ‘pullets’ egg to the size of a sloe. This parish had good corn but the best of it was sold in harvest at a very tempting price. They kept very little but the seed for spring and the small and black oats. Even with this and the ‘póiríns’ and the wholesale killing of fowl, goats, young calves and the occasional snaring of wild birds, there were not so many deaths from starvation. It was a terrible crime to kill or snare a hare or game bird of any kind as the landlord had a game-keeper in every town-land.

’47 however brought us more “miádh and anró”. Is ansin a thit na daoine bochta in umar na h-aimléise (as my informant put it in his sound Gaelic blas).  The póiríns were sown – some broadcast like oats as they were too small to sow in the ordinary way in ridges with the ‘suibin’., There were nice crops of potato stalks but they ‘got burned’ again in June except for odd patches that a few fortunate people had in ‘spadán’ – lea land that had not been tilled for a good many years. 

 

This year the people were to suffer. The few in each townland that were ‘teann’ and ‘deiseamhail’ and that had the ‘cíanóg’ in the ‘trinsil’ (gold stored up and the trinsil was the little measure used by the well-off farmers for measuring the gold to be given to a daughter as her spré or fortune on marriage) shared with the less fortunate neighbours until fever began to set in and spread. This became very prevalent after Christmas and wiped out whole families in town-lands. Everything that could be found was eaten. Animals of all kinds, calves, sheep, goats, and donkeys were killed and eaten while they lasted and raids were frequently made on neighbouring herds and fowl while they lasted.

The well-off farmers in the parish – the Gallaghers of Aughacurín – and others who kept a good store of oatmeal and had cattle and means helped the neighbours. They could not allow them into the house lest they bring the fever. They boiled huge pots of porridge which were then poured into stone troughs a good distance from their home. The dying and starving neighbours flocked, with vessels to take home some to starving wives and children. Often the unfortunate father’s greed overcame in such a way that he ate a big forgan (big meal) himself and in his starving condition the food killed him. The cries of the newly made widow and orphans used to ring through the town-land on clear frosty nights expecting the father home with something. Even the dead animals were used as food – dead donkeys, goats, etc.

It was even supposed that mothers gave the flesh of one of her dead children to the remaining ones to eat and pre­tended that the father got it in some ‘Big House’. I tried to get the names of these families from the story teller but he shook his head and said “Táid uilig san uaigh anois agus fág marbh iad”.

It was during the famine times that Tibohine (Tigh Baethin) graveyard was so fully filled up. There was not a day in the week but were 30 or 40 burials and even in the night. It was a common practice when a person died in a house that a rough coffin, and sometimes only a shroud was wrapped around the corpse. At nightfall, the corpse was taken to the next door. Those who took it left it down outside and rapped at the door. They then disappeared. The people of that house got a few neighbours and proceeded to the next house and so on until the corpse was conveyed to the house nearest the churchyard.

The occupants of this house heard a rap at the door. They under­stood and got up out of bed, called the neighbours who proceeded to the graveyard with the ‘laidhes’ and shovels and resin candles and dug a grave for another victim of ‘John Bull’s kindness’. These night calls often kept the men who lived in Tibohine up night after night digging graves and burying the dead.

It was nothing uncommon to see women passing through the town-land of Tibohine, day after day with one or perhaps two dead children in a ‘cliabh’ on her back going to the graveyard. When she had to bury them she plucked young nettles that grew in the shade of St. Baethin’s old church and filled her ‘cliabh’ to bring home to boil to ease her own pangs of hunger on the way. Too often she was found on the roadside with the green juice of the nettles on her lips.

 

There is not a town-land in the parish that remains or foundations of houses are not to be seen. Ask the ques­tion “who lived here” and the reply is “God rest the dead the famine took them and some went on the ships with rotten bottoms”. The old people do not like to mention the names of those who were completely swept away by hunger and emigration. The usual reply is “There are no people by that name now in this parish”.

Pádraic O Tiomáin

An Scoil Donn.                                 

 

Story told by Luke Callaghan, Tibohine, (Dec’ 1921), aged 80 years.

 

 

 

Na hEacha sióga as Aughacurín

Vivian Ó Tiomáin

Vivian Ó Tiomáin

Sa bhaile beag darb ainm Aughacurín, Bealach A Dóirín, bhí lochán nó loch an bheag darb ainm ‘Poillín a Bhric’. Dúradh go raibh sé ceangailte le habhainn faoi thalamh atá ag gabháil ó thuaidh go ‘Tobar Lissian’, ceithre míle nó mar sin ó Aughacurín.

Is le feirmeoir darb ainm Ó Gallaghóir an talamh ina bhfuil an lochán seo.  Deirtear gur lochán an mhaith é le haghaidh breac agus éisc eile fiú amháin níl sé níos mó ná tríocha slat ar leithead.

Roinnt blianta ó shin, bhí láir an deas ag seanathair Ó Gallaghóir. De ghnáth, bhíodh sí ar féarach í dtalamh in aice an locháin. Bhí an talamh an-féarach in aice leis an lochán. Geimhreadh amháin, bhí iontas air mar bhí an láir shearraigh agus níor thug sé í go dtí an stail agus bhí sé cinnte nach raibh aon stail i ngar dí. I dtosach an earraigh bhí searrach deas ag an láir. Bhí an feirmeoir í gcruachás ar fad. An bhliain ina dhiaidh sin, bhí searrach eile ag an láir agus bhí an feirmeoir i gcruachás mór uair amháin eile.

Bhí cosúlacht mhaith ag an gcéad searrach agus bhí cuma air go raibh braon den fhuil mhór inti. Sa tríú bliain bhí searrach eile ag an láir. Bhí an feirmeoir í gcruachás níos mó ag an am seo agus labhair sé le seanduine a bhí i ngar dó.

Ní raibh iontas ar bith ar an seanduine. “Ná bíodh buairt ort” arsa an seanduine; “bíodh bródúil mar i gceann tamaill beidh an capall is fearr sa tír agat”. Nach bhfuil a fhios agat go n-éiríonn na capaill síoga as ‘Poillín a Bhric’ gach oíche ag lorg féarach. Níor chuala Ó Gallaghóir an scéal sin cheana acht anois chreid sé gur fíor é mar bhí na searraigh aige ansin le feiceáil.

Chuir an seanduine fainic ar Ó Gallaghóir gan cur  isteach ar na capaill síoga nó bheadh sé brónach. Fear óg ab ea Ó Gallaghóir ag an am sin agus bhí dúil mhór aige agus ag a deartháireacha i gcapaill agus bhí siad ábalta capall allta a smachtú i gceann tamaill bhig. D’inis sé an scéal faoi na heacha síoga dá a dheartháireacha. Shocraigh siad go ndéanfaidís faire na hoíche ag uainíocht ar a chéile, an t-earrach ina dhiaidh sin.

Oíche amháin, bhí duine den na deartháireacha ag faire san airdeall. Ar uair an mheán oíche chuala sé capall ag seitreach i ngar do ‘Poillín a Bhric’. Bhí fhíos aige go raibh an láir agus na searraigh ar féarach céad slat nó níos mó ón áit a raibh sé ina sheasamh. Thug an láir agus na searraigh freagra don tseitreach a chuala siad.

Choinnigh an fear óg súil ghéar ar an lochán agus chonaic sé each dubh fíor álainn le fionnadh lonrach ar féarach in aice an lócháin agus bhí an láir agus na searraigh ag dul ina threo. Go díreach ina dhiaidh sin, ghlaoigh sé ar a dheartháireacha, chuir siad téada le chéile agus thosaigh siad ag rith go dtí an lochán chun an t-each agus an lochán a choinneáil óna chéile.

 

Cheap siad go mbeadh siad ábalta an t-each a thógáil. Tar éis tamaill, tháinig an t-each i dtreo an locháin, agus ag an am céanna nuair a d’iarr siad greim a fháil air, léim sé os a gcionn agus rinne sé seitreach fhiáin. Léim sé isteach sa lochán agus snámh sé go dtí an lár. Lean sé ag seitreach go dtí gur tháinig na trí shearraigh faoi a dhéin do agus a chosa in airde leo. Tumadh sa lochán iad agus an láir ina ndiaidh. D’imigh siad as radharc sula raibh fios ag na buachaillí cad a bhí ag tarlú.   

 

Bhí siad an brónach agus céasta. An lá arna mhárach d’inis Ó Gallaghóir an scéal don seanduine. “Nach ndúirt mé leat gan cuir isteach ar na capaill sin agus go mbeadh saibhreas an tsaoil agat astu” arsa an seanduine. Tóg do dhiallait agus do shrian anois agus imigh síos go ‘Lissian Well’. “Tá gach seans go n-éireoidh leat do láir a fháil acht ní fheicfidh tú na searraigh arís go deo”.  Rinne Ó Gallaghóir mar a dúirt an seanduine agus fuair sé an láir ar féarach ar bhruach na habhann in aice ‘Lissian Well’. Ní raibh rian ar bith ar na searraigh agus as sin amach ní fhaca duine ar bith an t-each álainn i ‘Poillín a Bhric’.

 

Aistrithe le Vivian Ó Tiomáin ón leagan béarla.            

 

 

 

Fairy Steeds of Aughurine

Patrick Timon

 

Patrick Timon, my father, on retirement from Fairymount NS.

In the townland of Aughacurín, Ballaghaderreen, there is a pool or a very small lake called ‘Poillín a Bhric’. It is supposed to be connected by an underground river that runs north to ‘Lissian Well’, about four miles away.

A farmer named Gallagher owns the land on which this pool is. It is a very good place for trout, perch, and pike although it is not more than 30 yards in diameter.

Some years ago Gallagher’s grandfather had a very fine mare. She used to graze on the lands around the pool. One winter, he was very surprised to notice that she was carrying a foal as he did not take her to any stud and he knew full well that there was no stud within a good distance of his place. Early in spring, his mare had a beautiful foal. He was terribly puzzled.

Next year again the mare had a foal and he was still more and more puz­zled. The first foal was promising to be a very fine young mare and seemed to have the breed of a thoroughbred hunter. The third year his mare had still another foal. He thought so much over the mystery of the thing that he told an old man who lived nearby.

The old man was not surprised. He told Gallagher not to worry but to be proud that he would soon have a big number of the finest horses in the country. ‘Do you not know?’ said he, that the fairy horses come up out of ‘Poillín a Bhric’ at night and graze around the place’. Gallagher had not heard that but he began to think that it was true, otherwise, he could not account for the foals. The old man warned Gallagher not to interfere with them or that he would be sorry.

Gallagher however, was a young man at the time and he and his brothers were very fond of horses and could tame the wildest colt in a short time. He told his brothers about the fairy steeds. They decided that they would watch on turns during the nights the following spring.

One night one of the brothers was watching. At about mid-night, he heard a horse neighing near ‘Poillín a Bhric’. He knew that the mare and foals were grazing a hundred yards or more away. The mare and foals neighed in reply. The young man watched closely until he saw the most beautiful steed with shining coat grazing near the pool and the mare and the foals moved towards him. He immediately called his brothers and equipped themselves with ropes, they started for the pool to get between the steed and it.

 

The boys then thought that they would capture the steed. After a time the steed came towards the pool and as they tried to catch him with their ropes he jumped over their heads at the same time neighing wildly. He jumped into the pool and swam into the centre. He kept neighing until the three foals came galloping madly towards him. They plunged into the pool and the mare after them. All disappeared before the boys could think of what was happening.

Great was their sorrow and grief. Next day, Gallagher told the old man the story. ‘Did I not tell you not to interfere with them and those horses would make you the richest man of your name’, said the old neighbour. “Take your saddle and bridle now and go down to ‘Lissian Well’ and you will likely find your mare but your foals you will never see”. Gallagher did so and when he reached ‘Lissian Well’ there was his mare feeding on the bank of the river into which the well flows. There was no trace of the foals and never since has any of the steeds appeared out of ‘Poillín a Bhric.

Told by Pat Gallagher 75 Years, Aughacurín, Ballaghaderreen.

May 1938

 

 

Stair de Thigh Baethin

Vivian Ó Tiomáin

 

Vivian Timon

Is é Tigh Baethin ceann den pharóiste is sine in Éirinn. Tá sé i dtuaisceart Ros Comáin idir Dún Gar agus Bealach A Doirín. Faoi láthair, is paróiste beag é acht sa seanreacht bhí sé níos mó ag síneadh ó Mhainistir na Buaile go Caisleán Riabhach ar thaobh amháin agus ó Dhún Gar go Baile na hAbhann, i gContae Mhaigh Éo, ar an taobh eile. 

Fuair Tigh Baethin a ainm ón mainistir tógtha ag Easpag Baethin ar a thuras ó Chruacha (seacht míle taobh thoir de Thigh Baethin) go Maigh Éo.  Bhí aistear Naomh Pádraic agus a chomrádaí tríd gleann Tigh Baethin. Ar a mbealach siar tríd an ngleann chonaic siad coimhlint fhuilteach idir beirt thaoisigh a bhí ag troid mar is gnáth faoina tréada. Bhí an pháirc ina raibh an troid ar siúil dearg le fuil agus bhí a lán daoine marbh nó ag fáil bháis ar an dtalamh.  Go dtí an lá atá inniu ann, an t-ainm a chuir na sean daoine ar an mbaile sin ná Gort na Fola (Gortnafulla), agus bíonn faitíos ar gach aon duine ag gabháil thart dóibh ar eagla go d’fheicfidís  taibhsí ag troid, mar a deirtear. Taobh thoir den pháirc sin tá an baile darb ainm Baile na Fola, an áit ar thosaigh an troid. 

Sheas Naomh Pádraic agus a chomrádaí ag féachaint ar an marú uafásach ar feadh tamaill beag. Ansin d’ardaigh sé a bhachall agus thosaigh siad ag guí. Nuair a chonaic na taoisigh na strainséirí agus na héadaí aisteach a bhí orthu, chuir siad deireadh leis an troid agus chuaigh siad ina dtreo. Chaill siad a ndúil i dtroid agus díoltas nuair a labhair Naomh Pádraic leo go breá bog. Tar éis tamaill bhí siad ina seasadh le chéile go ciúin socair ag éisteacht leis an bhfear anaithnid a choinnigh draíocht iasachta orthu.   

Nuair a bhí an ghrian ag dul faoi, thug an taoiseach áitiúil cuireadh do Naomh Pádraic agus a chomrádaí a dhún a úsáid mar áit chónaithe le linn a gcuairt sa cheantar. Lios Adhain (The Fort of the Fire) an t-ainm ar an dún sin mar dúradh gur las Naomh Pádraic tine ann mar a rinne sé ag Baile Shláine.  D’fhan Naomh Pádraic sa cheantar ar feadh tamaill agus d’éirigh leis Críostaí a dhéanamh de na taoisigh agus a lán daoine eile sa pharóiste. Mar ba dual dó mhúin sé dream beag ar leith agus oirníodh ina sagairt iad ina dhiaidh sin. Chuir an taoiseach i ndúil do Naomh Pádraic an méid dúiche ar a raibh sé i gceannas agus as sin amach tógadh Baethin i gceannas spioradálta ar an dúiche céana; choisric Naomh Pádraic Baethin mar easpag ina dhiaidh sin.

 

D’fhan cuid de na compánaigh rómhánach sa pharóiste a bhí ag taistil le Naomh Pádraic nuair a d’imigh sé níos faide siar. Dúradh gur óna Rómánaigh sin a bhfuair Baethin agus a chuiditheoirí an mheabhraíocht teach cloch a thógáil. Roimhe sin, bhí a dtithe déanta as adhmad agus tógtha ar bharr na ndúnta; tá na fothraigh líonmhar fós. Tá a n-ainmneacha ar na bailte beaga sa pharóiste, mar shampla, Lios ar gcúl, Lios a Coirce agus Lios Dubh.  

 

Bhí an teach a thógadh Baethin  i ngar do Ghort na Fola, stáitse an chatha; tá fothrach an tí sin i reilig Tigh Baethin. An t-aon pháirt atá ina sheasamh anois ná cuid den bhalla mór agus páirt den bhinn. Dar le seandaoine an pharóiste bíodh na taobh ballaí níos faide agus bhí na boghtaí faoi thalamh folamh agus de ghnáth ar laethanta sochraide rinne daoine cuairt ar na boghtaí sin.

 

De réir an scéalaí bhí a lán manach ag Baethin agus bhí siad ina gcónaí i mbotháin bheaga  in aice na mainistreach. Thaispeáin sé don scríbhneoir na háiteanna i bpáirceanna i ngar don mhainistir a nochtadh teallaigh na mbothán in ar chónaigh na manaigh. Dúirt sé go raibh na botháin i  ngar dá chéile agus gur shín siad i líne díreach ar an dtalamh níos mo ná 500 slat. Nocht na feirmeoirí na teallaigh seo nuair a rómhair siad domhain chun an chré a fháil agus é a dó mar leasú, seasca nó seachtú bliain ó shin.  

 

Go dtí daichead bliain ó shin an t-aon leasú a bhí ag na feirmeoirí ná cré dóite; Cuireadh fóidíní lasta ar an dtalamh agus ansin cuireadh daba créafóige nó dairteanna créafóige ar na fóidíní. Ansin scaipeadh an luaith ar bharr an talamh. I rith obair curadóireachta fuair feirmeoir Crois ór a bhain le hEaspag éigin fadó. Tugadh go hEaspag Ail Finn é.  

 

Bhí an talamh ar an taobh theas den mhainistir agus na botháin manach an mhaith agus bhí úinéireacht an talaimh sin ag Baethin agus an mhainistir. Shaothraigh na manaigh an talamh sin agus bhí lios acu féin; Lios a Coirce. Dúirt an scéalaí liom an chaoi a mhairfeadh na manaigh ná gur mheil siad a ngráinne go plúr ag úsáid brónna.  Fuair na feirmeoirí na brónna sin  i ngach áit thart timpeall  botháin na manach. Dúirt sé gur chuala sé na scéalta sin cois tine nuair a bhí sé óg. Go deimhin níor léigh sé aon leabhar faoi na rudaí sin. Dúirt sé freisin gur fear cliste aba Naomh Pádraic mar d’fhág sé easpag i ngach áit ina raibh taoiseach chun éad a sheachaint idir eatarthu.

 

Lean mainistir Baethin mar theach pobail sa pharóiste go dtí an seachtú haois déag nuair a dódh é. Dúradh gur ba é na Ffrenchs a dhóigh é; tá a dteach (Teach Mór) i ngar do Thigh Baethin. Dúirt an scéalaí gur tháinig na Ffrenchs le Cromwell agus saighdiúirí aba iad. Shocraigh siad síos i Ros Comáin agus ghabh siad Caisleán Uí Gadhra. D’athraigh siad ainm Dhún Gadhra go Frenchpark.

Nuair a dódh an mhainistir thóg muintir na háite teach pobail nua ar thalamh leis O Connor Don sa bhaile arb ainm Carragarriffe. Foirgneamh beag aba é agus lean sé acht glún amháin. Níl fágtha anois acht carnán clocha i gcoirnéal na páirce. Tuigim gur úsáideadh na clocha sin ar na bóithre áitiúla. Ní raibh a fhios ag an scéalaí an fáth gur tógadh an séipéal nua i ngar d’ fhothracha na mainistreach acht b’fhéidir gur áit níos oiriúnú é.  

 

Chomh fada siar leis an ochtú haois déag tógadh teach pobail nua i bpáirc O Connors in aice le láithreán an tsean séipéil. Ba theach fada ceann tuí é agus lean sé mar theach pobail an pharóiste go dtí nócha bliain ó shin nuair a tógadh séipéal nua ar eastát De Freyne i ngar d’fhothracha an sean mainistir. Úsáideadh an sean teach pobail mar an cead Scoil Náisiúnta i d’Tigh Baethin go dtí 1914.                                

    

Tá an reilig thart ar fhothracha na mainistreach fíor shean. Úsáideadh cuid acu mar áit adhlacadh do na manaigh a bhí ann i rith saol Naomh Baethin acht tar éis sin úsáideadh an reilig mar áit adhlacadh sa pharóiste. Rinneadh uaigheanna taobh istigh de na fothracha agus na boghtaí faoi thalamh. Tá an reilig lán anois agus anchaoi air.        

      

History of Tibohine

 

Patrick Timon

Patrick Timon, my father, on retirement from Fairymount NS.

Tibohine is according to accounts of old people one of the oldest parishes in Ireland. It is in North West Roscommon and lies between Frenchpark and Ballaghaderreen. It is rather a small parish now but some years ago it stretched from Boyle to Castlerea and in the other direction from the east side of Ballinagare to Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo.

About 20 years ago I got the following history of Tibohine from an old man, then about 95 years of age. According to his stories, which other old men also told at the time, Tibohine had got its name from a house or monastery built by a bishop Baethin (Hence Tigh Baethin -Tibohine) on his journey from Cruacha (seven miles east of Tibohine). St. Patrick and his companions journey were through the valley of Tibohine. On their way, they were held up by the terrible sight of a bloody conflict between two chieftains who were having one of their customary fights over their herds. The field where this fight took place was strewn with dead and dying people and was red with blood. To this day it is called, by local people, Gortnafulla (Gort na Fola) and is a place dreaded by young and old at night lest they might see the ‘Taibhsi ag troid mar a deirtear’. To the east of the field is a townland called Baile na Fola where the battle or fight was started.

According to the story, St. Patrick and his followers stood for a short time and viewed the awful slaughter. St. Patrick raised his staff and prayed and after a little time was seen by the leaders of the combatants. On seeing the strangers standing near with their quaint garb (as it appeared to the Irish) the battle stopped and the leaders approached the strangers.

The leaders and their fighting men seemed to lose their great desire for blood and revenge when St. Patrick gently but firmly spoke to them of the great slaughter. In his customary quiet and diplomatic manner, St. Patrick spoke and the chiefs and their followers who a short time before were killing each other, stood side by side in silence and listened to­ the unknown man who held them under a spell.

As the sun began to go down, the chieftain invited St. Patrick and his followers to partake of his hospitality and assigned to them one of the forts as a dwelling place dur­ing their stay in the district. This fort is still called Lios Adain or the Fort of the Fire as St. Patrick is supposed to have lit a fire there as he did at Slane.

St. Patrick remained for some time in the district and was very successful in his converting chiefs and people. As he was accustomed to doing he instructed a chosen few and these were afterward to be the priests. The chief pointed out the extent of the territory ruled by him and that was now to be spiritually ruled by one of the chief’s sons, Baethin, who was consecrated Bishop by St. Patrick some time afterward. Some of St. Patrick’s Roman companions remained there for some time after St. Patrick moved further west and it is supposed that they gave Baethin and his friends the idea of building a stone house.

Before this, all their dwellings were of wood on the tops of the forts the remains of which are still very numerous. Their names are given to townlands:- Lios an gCul, Lios a Coirce, Liosain, Lios Dubh etc. all in the parish.

The house that this Baethin built was situated was a short distance from the scene of the battle in Gort na Fola and the remains of it are still to be seen in the Tibohine graveyard. Nothing now stands except a portion of the side walls and part of one gable. According to my informant, he remembered when the side walls were much longer and when the vaults underground were empty and often visited by people attending funerals.

 

His story goes, that Baethin had his church there and his dwelling house and that he had quite a large number of monks living with him. He pointed out to me in his own fields and others that run to the graveyard wall where he had over 70 years before that dug up the hearths of the one-time huts of the students who came to Baethin’s monastery. He said they were quite close to each other and stretched for about 500 yards across in a straight line. These were met when the farmers were tilling the land and dug deep to get up the soil which they used to burn to improve crops about 60 and 70 years ago.

Up to about 40 years ago the only manure that farmers had for their crops was got by putting down fóidfíní as they called them in their tillage fields and putting the stiff clods of dartanna créafóige on top to be burned. The ashes were then scattered on the surface).

During the tillage operations, one farmer found a gold cross which belonged to a bishop. This was over 100 years ago and it was, I understand, given to the then Bishop of Elphin.

The land to the south of Baethin’s House and the ‘Scholars Huts’ belonged to Baethin and was very good, rich land. The scholars tilled and had a fort for their own, Lios a’Coirce. He described how they lived and ground their corn into flour with their querns which were found in great numbers in and around the site of the huts. The old man’s account of the students’ lives and ways of living seemed very correct and he told me he heard all the stories by the fireside in his young days. He certainly never read any books in his time. He also remarked that St. Patrick was a very clever man and to avoid jealousy among the chiefs that he always left a bishop of the place over each particular high chiefs clans.

Baethin’s house continued to be the Church of the place down to the 17th Century when it was destroyed by fire by the Ffrenchs, ancestors of the present Lord de Freyne whose ‘Big House’ is about 1.5 miles away and who after­wards became landlords of the property on which ;: ‘Baethin’s House’ was built. These Ffrenchs, he informed me, were soldiers who came over with Cromwell and made their way to Co. Roscommon where they seized the Castle of the Irish Chief O’Gara, Loch Ui Gahra is the name of a lake in the district Lough Gara and Frenchpark became the name of the old Irish spot called Dim Gadhra and is to this day.

When the church was burned down, that is Baethin’s House, the church was again built about 700 yards away on O’Connor Don’s property in the townland of Carragarriffe. This was a small building and lasted for about one generation. Nothing of the church remains now. He pointed out a heap of stones in the corner of a field, which he said was all that remained. These have since, I understand, gone to the making of roads. He did not know why this church came to be changed back again to within forty yards of the original Tigh Baethin and church but apparently it was a more convenient place. Early in the nineteenth century or probably the end of the eighteenth a church was erected in O’ Connor’s property almost beside the original church. This was a long thatched building and continued as a church until about 90 years ago when the present Tibohine R.C. Church was built again on the De Freyne Estate almost side by side with Tigh Baethin.

The thatched building that had before that time been a church was then used as the first National School in Tibohine and continued as a national school till 1914.

The graveyard around the old monastery is very old. Part of it had been used as a burial place for the monks since Baethin’s time and when it became a general burial place it served the country for miles around and even before the walls of the old Tigh Baethin were pulled down graves were made inside the building and the underground chambers used as the place became congested. The grave­yard is still in use but is very overcrowded and badly kept.

Written by Padraic O’Tiomoin An Scoil Donn Bealach a’Doirin

Told by Ed. Timon

Age 95, Tibohine, Frenchpark.

Christmas 1918

 

 

 

Bunús an Shloinne Ó Tiomáin

 

Vivian Ó Tiomáin

Vivian Timon

Tá sé an deacair a bheith cinnte maidir le bunús nó ciall a bhaineann leis an sloinne Ó Tiomáin ná aon ainm teaghlaigh eile ach an oiread. Tairgeann staraithe teaghlaigh agus daoine araltach a lán moltaí faoi bhunús a thabhairt le hainmneacha ach tá an chuid is mó dóibh gan bhrí agus comhsheasmhacht; go deimhin níl aon fhianaise loighciúil nó creidiúint maidir leis na dearbhuithe a rinne siad mar gheall ar bhunús an sloinne Ó Tiomáin.

 

Tá fianaise scríofa go raibh an teaghlach, Ó Tiomáin, lonnaithe i dTí Baethin i 1700 (Elphin Diocesan Survey, 1749); ar an taobh eile, tá fianaise láidir scéalta go raibh an teaghlach ina gcónaí sa pharóiste, Tí Baethin, chomh fada siar leis an mbliain 500 (Edward Timon, 1918). De bhrí go bhfuil an sloinne, Ó Tiomáin, focal ón gCeiltis ní hé sin is é a rá go bhfuil an teaghlach Ó Tiomáin Ceilteach; ach b’fhéidir go bhfuil sé fíor.  Is é spéis áirithe go dtógann aistriú an fhocail Ó Tiomáin i mbéarla an míniú céanna is atá i a lán teangacha Eorpacha.  An míniú atá air ná tiomáinim, stiúraim, nó fear stiúrach.

 

Tá an míniú ceanna ar an sloinne Ó Tiomáin sa bhFraincís (Timonier), Spáinnis (Timonel), Catalan (Timoner), Galician (Timoneiro), Portaingéilis (Timoneiro), Iodáilis (Timoniere), agus Gréigis (Τιμων); i dteangacha éigin eile in  Oirthear na hEorpa (Slóvacach,  An Ungáir agus An Albáin) agus teangacha An Bhailt tá fréamh an fhocail ‘ fear stiúrach’ Timon, sa leagan béarla. Tá an sloinne Ó Tiomáin coitianta sa Fhrainc, An Spáinn, An Iodáil (Tuaisceartach) agus an-choitianta ar fad i bpáirteanna den Ghréig, An Bhulgáir, An Romháin agus An Ungáir agus freisin i nGleann na Réine i ndeisceart na Gearmáine agus An Ostair. Is fiú a thabhairt faoi deara go bhfuil na tíortha seo scaipthe ar chúrsa an imirce cheilteach trasna na hEorpa i rith tréimhse Le Téne (500 – 700 BC), tar éis a bheith faoi líon mór daoine le linn tréimhse Hallstatt. Nuair a scaradh na Ceiltigh trasna na hEorpa chuir siad fúthu in a lán tíortha trasna na Mór-roinne agus chuir siad ar bun cultúr ceilteach éagsúla sa  Fhrainc agus sa Spáinn i dtosach bliana an chéad aois. Scaradh dreamanna éagsúla go dtí An Bhreatain Mhór agus Éire faoi dhéin na tréimhse deiridh a imirce. Tháinig a lán Ceiltigh go hÉirinn as An Spáinn.  

 

Tá sé suimiúil a thabhairt faoi deara gurb é béasa agus bealaí na gCeilteach sloinne a thabhairt ar theaghlaigh a raibh baint leis an obair a rinne siad. Mar sin de, scairteadh teaghlaigh nó líon tí a d’oibrigh mar fhir stiúrtha nó tiománaí an sloinne Timon. Ag an am sin, roimh aireagán an chompáis, chaitheadh  fir stiúrtha nó tiománaí a bheith éirimiúil agus eolach mar chaitheadh siad stiúradh agus teorainn a leagadh amach ag úsáid a gcuid eolais ar eolaíocht na realtaí agus leagan amach coibhneasta na gealaí agus na réaltaí:  ‘stellar positioning’ mar a deirtear a theastaigh scileanna áirithe uathu. Mar sin de, teaghlaigh ar a dtugadh an sloinne Ó Tiomáin chaithfidís a bheith fíor-éirimiúil amach is amach.  

 

Tá sé dealraitheach san iomlán go bhfuil bunús ceiltigh ag an sloinne Ó Tiomáin agus gur éirigh an sloinne Ó Tiomáin as an nós ceiltigh sin; féach ar Ó Tiomáin litrithe san aibítir Oghamchraobh san alt “A Portrait of the Timon Family”. An comhthoradh den téis seo ná nach bhfuil aon ghaol fola idir  mórán teaghlaigh ar ab ainm Ó Tiomáin, i mórthír na Eoropa, sa Bhreatain Mhór, nó in Éirinn.         

An Sloinne Teaghlaigh Ó Tiomáin in Éirinn 

Tá sé scríofa sa seachtú agus ochtú déag aois go raibh Tiomáiní ina gcónaí i lár Ulaidh (Contae Fhear Manach agus An Cabhán), i lár Laighean (Cill Mhantáin, Cill Dara agus Ceatharlach) agus Connachtach; ní raibh an sloinne neamhchoitianta i Maigh Eo, Sligeach agus Ros Comáin. Tá sé suimiúil a thabhairt faoi deara gur tháinig na Ceiltigh go hÉirinn ag teacht isteach tríd inbhear na Sionainne. B’fhéidir nach é comhtharlú go bhfuil baile agus baile mór i gContae An Chláir agus Contae na Gaillimhe ina bhfuil an sloinne Ó Tiomáin iontu; mar shampla, Ennistimon agus Drumaghtimon i gContae An Chláir agus Áth-Tiomáin i gContae na Gaillimhe.

         

An Teaghlach Ó Tiomáin i dTi Baethin

Maidir le bunús an teallaigh Ó Tiomáin i dTi Baethin tá fianaise imthoisceach agus scéalta go raibh an teaghlach sa pharóiste chomh fada siar go dtí an cúigiú haois; comhtharlaíonn é le teacht Naomh Pádraic san áit agus mainistir a chuir ar bun. De réir dealramh fuair Ti Baethin a ainm ón mainistir sin agus bhí an chéad easpag, darb ainm Baethin, mac de Lallocc, a bhí ina deirfiúr le Naomh Pádraic. Is é ainm Tibohine comhchiallach galldaithe den seanbhaile gaelach darb ainm Tigh Baethin. Tá alt forleathan ar stair na háite agus cuairt Naomh Pádraic ann scríofa ag Eamonn Ó Tiomáin (1918). Tá scéal na háite a bplé go mion san alt sin go bhfuil gach aon dealramh go fuair sé an t-eolas óna thuismitheoirí – ó ghlúin go glúin mar a deirtear. Mar sin de, b’fhéidir go bhfuil an teaghlach Ó Tiomáin i dTi Baethin ón gcúigiú haois. Cuireann an réaltacht gur oibrigh Tiomáiní an talamh cois na mainistreach agus a fothracha,  faisnéis eile go raibh an teaghlach i dTi Baethin le fada an lá.              

                 

 

Lá le Pádraig

Pádraig Ó Tiomáin

Patrick Timon, my father, on retirement from Fairymount NS.

Lá mór, sa bhaile agus i gcéin, is ea Lá ‘le Pádraig. Lá Saoire Náisiúnach na hÉireann. Deirtear gach bliain go mbíonn gach comóradh, idir mórshiúlta agus taispeáint, níos mó, níos fearr agus níos taibhsí ná aon bhliain roimhe.

Ré na léirsithe agus na siúlta móra atá ann inniu agus tá mé ag ceapadh gur beag an tionchar a bhíonn ag cuid acu ar na cúiseanna a spreagann iad. Ach níorbh amhlaidh do mhórshiúil a bhí i mBaile Átha Cliath sa bhliain 1903. Ba stairiúil an mórshiúl é. Rinne sé Lá Saoire Náisiúnach de Lá le Pádraig don chéad uair.

Ba é Conradh na Gaeilge a bhí i mbun a eagraithe. Ar ndóigh bhíodh siúlta móra agus paráidí ag an gConradh ar an 17ú lá de Mhárta roimhe sin ach ní bhíodh an lá ina lá saoire agus beag aird ná bean a bhíodh ag formhór mhuintir na cathrach orthu ach oiread. “Lá na Gaeilge” a thugtaí ar an lá gach bliain.

Sa bhliain 1903 a bhí an chéad mhórshiúil gur fiú mórshiúl a thabhairt air. Chruthaigh a thoradh é sin. Roimhe sin ní bhíodh aon rud ag dealú Lá ‘le Pádraig ó laethanta eile na bliana ach seirbhísí na hEaglaise ar maidin. Sa bhliain sin chinn Conradh na Gaeilge lá saoire a dhéanamh den lá. Rinne gach ball de Chonradh na Gaeilge cion fir. Chuadar thart ina ndreamanna ar fud na cathrach roimh ré ag seanmóireacht agus a rá go gcaithfeadh na tábhairní a bheith dúnta an lá sin chun go mbeadh lá saoire ag a lucht oibre agus gan ócáid mheisce a thabhairt do dhaoine. D’achainigh siad na siopadóirí a siopaí a dhúnadh ar an 17ú lá de Mhárta freisin.

Bhí fógraí ar fud na cathrach ag iarraidh ar na daoine, “Ná déanaigí obair,

ná déanaigí siopadóireacht, ná déanaigí ól Lá ‘le Pádraig”. Ní raibh aon súil go n-éireodh chomh maith leis an gConradh. Ach d’éirigh. Dúnadh an chuid is mó de na siopaí go mór mór na tithe óil.

Tháinig “Lá na Gaeilge” agus an mhórshiúil. Tharla gur Conradh na Gaeilge a d’eagraigh é bhí baill an Chonartha ar thús cadhnaíochta sa siúl. Ina cheannaire orthu agus ag siúl cúpla slat amuigh rompu bhí Uachtarán an Chonartha , Roscomáineach, darb ainm Dubhglas de hIde (Uachtarán na hÉireann 1939-1945). Bhí fear óg ar dhuine de na marascail an lá stairiúil sin. Pádraig Mac Piarais an t-ainm a bhí air. (Seachtain roimhe sin a thóg an Dochtúir de hIde an Piarsach mar Eagarthóir ar an “gClaidheamh Solais”).

Bhí bratacha á n-iompar in airde ag na dreamanna éagsúla a bhí páirteach sa pharáid ag comhairliú do lucht féachaint ar na cosáin: “Labhair Gaeilge”, “Gan teanga gan tír”, “Ceannaigh earraí Gaelacha”, etc. Dúradh go raibh an oireadh daoine amuigh ar an lá sin is a bhí lá sochraide Parnell.

Dúirt na páipéir nuachta an lá dár gcionn gur mhair an siúl mór uair is cúig nóiméad déag ag dul thar Oifig an Phoist – na daoine ag siúl go mear agus cúigear le chéile gualainn le gualainn i ngach líne acu. Ar aghaidh leo tríd an chathair agus nuair a shroicheadar Páirc Gabhann (Smithfield) bhí cruinniú gearr. D’admhaigh na nuachtáin nach bhfacthas cruinniú chomh mór leis i mBaile átha Cliath riamh roimhe. Triúr a labhair – An Craoibhín ar an gcead duine acu. Ina theannta sin labhair Ristéard Hazleton ón gCarraig Dhubh agus Tomás Ó Domhnaill, Feisire (an t-aon M.P.) den Irish Party ag an gcomóradh an lá sin. Loic Seán Réamonn agus Liam Ó Briain!! Níor fhéad siad bheith ann, mar dhea?

Ní gá dom a rá gur i nGaeilge a labhair An Craoibhín. Tabharfaidh mé sleachta as na hóráidí. “Déanfaidh an lá seo dhá rud; cuirfidh sé scanradh ar ár naimhde agus tabharfaidh sé misneach d’ár gcairde. A thrí nó a cheathair de bhlianta ó shin bhí ár gcairde gann agus ár naimhde iomadúil, ach inniu , buíochas le Dia, tá ár gcairde iomadúil…….Nílimid ag troid le duine ar bith ach leis na daoine atá ag troid linn, agus dar mo láimh, tá mé a’ ceapadh, tar éis an lae inniu, nach mbeidh mórán acu sin le fáil ….”.                   

“Cé hiad atá ag tabhairt onóra mar ba chóir do Naomh Pádraig agus ag iarraidh lá saoire a dhéanamh don lá seo….?”

“Cé hiad atá ag iarraidh gach rud a dhéantar in Éirinn a cheannach……?”

“Cé hiad atá ag troid in aghaidh an iomarca óil…..?”

“Cé hiad atá ag iarraidh ár dteanga féin a fhoghlaim agus a labhairt?”

“Cé hiad atá ag cur amach leabhair nua Gaeilge in aghaidh gach seachtaine ….. ag tabhairt litríochta agus stair do mhuintir na hÉireann…..?”

“Agus an t-aon fhreagra ar gach uile cheist: Sibhse, a lucht éisteachta; sibhse na Gaeilgeoirí. Leanaigí don obair. Tá sibh ag Tógáil Náisiúin. Ná ligigí na huirlisí as bhur lámha agus Bail Ó Dhia ar an obair.” Bualadh bos ar feadh 15 nóiméad.

Labhair an Feisire, Tomás Ó Domhnaill, i nGaeilge freisin. Dúirt sé gur léir go raibh Éire ag dúiseacht, go raibh dóchas agus misneach nua i gcroíthe na ndaoine. I mBéarla a labhair Risteárd Hazleton. Dúirt sé gur thaispeáin muintir na cathrach agus muintir na tíre go léir a bhí i láthair ar an lá sin go rabhadar ceangailte leis an rún daingean a rinneadar – teanga na hÉireann a shábháil. Dúirt sé, freisin, go raibh Lá Saoire Náisiúnta déanta de Lá le Pádraig an lá sin.

B’fhíor do. Tamaillín ina dhiaidh sin cuireadh dlí tríd an bParlaimint i Westminister ag déanamh Saoire Ginearálta de Lá Fhéile Pádraig agus cuireadh sreangscéal chuig an Dochtúir de hIde ó Londain lena chur in iúl do.            

  

Foilsithe ag Pádraig Ó Tiomáin, sa Irish Press, faoi Mhárta 17, 1973.

 

 

Cén fáth ar chuiread Conrad na Gaeilge ar bun?

Pádraic Ó Tiomáin

Patrick Timon, my father, on retirement from Fairymount NS.

Is iomaí duine in Éirinn inniu nach gcreidfeadh gurbh í an Ghaeilge gnáth-teanga Ceithre Mhilliún duine sa tír seo céad agus fiche bliain ó shin. Ach ba í. Agus is deacair, freisin, a chreidiúint gur fhoghlaim agus gur labhair breis agus trí mhilliún Éireannach Béarla idir na blianta 1861 agus 1891. Bhí an teanga ag fáil bháis chomh mear idir na blianta sin nach raibh, de réir Census sa bhliain 1891, thar mhilliún a leabhair a dteanga dhúchais.

Cén chaoi ar tharla an mhíorúilt sin? Caithfear dul siar go dtí 1825 nuair a chuir Coimisinéirí Oideachais in Éirinn cuntas agus tuairisc uathu ar staid an Bhéarla sa tír. Chuaigh dream i Sasana i mbun oibre. Bhí an t-teaspag Whately ina measc. Gineadh “Arrachtach” sa bhliain sin, 1825 agus rugadh sa bhliain 1831, é. An “Scoil Náisiúnta” a baisteadh mar ainm air. Chuaigh an “tanchúisne” i mbun oibre gan moil dá laghad.

Concas úr

Cén cuspóir a bhí ag an “scoil náisiúnta? An t-aon chuspóir amháin – an Teanga Ghaeilge a mharú, an Tír a Shasanú, agus daoine neamhliteartha a dhéanamh de mhuintir na hÉireann. Na tiarnaí talún a chuir na botháin ar tugadh scoileanna orthu ar fhail do na “múinteoirí”. Bhí na tiarnaí  ina “bainisteoirí” scol agus d’fhostaigh siad lucht oibre na scol. Céard faoi na múinteoirí? Níor mhúinteoirí iad de réir bunbhrí an fhocail. Seanshaighdiúirí a bhí i gcuid acu, “scríbhneoirí sál” as na tithe móra, searbhóntaí as tithe tiarnaí talún agus daoine den sóirt sin. Ní raibh léann ar bith ag cuid mhaith acu agus, ‘mirabile dictu’, ní raibh léamh ná scríobh ag cuid. Má bhí Béarla, fiú Béarla briste acu, bhíodar cáilithe.

Céard a bhí á mhúineadh sna scoileanna? Ar an gcéad dul síos bhí an teanga Ghaeilge toirmiscthe iontu. Rinne na Coimisinéirí Oideachais dheimhin de mar soláthair siad “bataí scóir” agus gobáin do gach scoil. Chaith páistí bochta, nár chuala fiú focal Béarla riamh, an lá ag aithris is ag athrá ranna Béarla gan ciall ná brí. Seo ceann acu:

I thank the goodness and the grace,

Which on my birth have smiled,

And made me in these Christian days,

A happy English child. (“Whately)

Agus seo sliocht as ceacht léitheoireachta:

On the east of Ireland where the Queen lives is England.

Many people who live in Ireland were born in England

And we speak the same language and are called one nation.

Ag Dia amháin atá a fhios cén chaoi ar choinnigh formhór mhuintir na tuaithe, corp agus anam le chéile roimh 1879 agus le linn Chogadh na Talún. Is iontach an rud é nár ardaigh duine ar bith méar in aghaidh an Oireachtais an uair seo ach an t-aon duine amháin, an tArd-Easpag Mac Eil. Ghoill an mi-ádh seo go mór air agus rinne sé cion fir gan amhras. D’Ionsaigh sé Bille Oideachais Stanley go fíochmhar agus rinneadh mionathrú air. Fuarthas cead roinnt Gaeilge a labhairt sna “scoileanna”. Thug sagairt an Easpaig Mhóir a seanmóirí i nGaeilge, ach faraor géar, fuair an Dochtúir Mac Eil bás sa bhliain 1885 agus níor tháinig aon Ghael Mór ina dhiaidh lena dhea-obair a choinneáil ar siúil go dtí 1891.

Níor chualathas mórán faoi labhairt na Gaeilge nó faoin dochar a bhí á dhéanamh ag na scoileanna don teanga. Déarfar gur cuireadh an chuimse cumann Gaelach ar bun sa naoú aois déag. Cuireadh, ar ndóigh, ach Cumann Acadúil a bhí i ngach ceann acu agus rinne siad sárobair do scoláirí Gaeilge. Chuireadar cuid mhaith leabhar amach. D’fhoilsiodar litríocht Ghaeilge, cuid mhaith aistriúchán ón tsean-Gaeilge.Ba deacair scoláirí chomh léannta leo a fhail in aon tír eile le na linn. Faic ní dhearnadar ar sa labhairt na Gaeilge. 

Gael  Óg

Caithfimid dul siar go Nua-Eabhrac áit a raibh Gael óg, an Dochtúir Dubhglas  de hIde, ar cuairt. Ar mhaithe le labhairt na Gaeilge a chuaigh sé siar mar is léir ón léacht a thug sé uaidh. Seo mar a tuairiscíodh é ar an nuachtán úd “An Gaeilge na hAlban American” den dáta Meitheamh 27, 1891 agus é clóbhuailte i nGaeilge. “Anois a dhaoine uaisle, más mian líbh an Ghaeilge a choinneáil beo in bhur measc , níl aon slí ná aon mhodh eile lena dhéanamh ach amháin í do labhairt i gcónaí – i gcónaí a deirim, – eadraibh féin. Leanaigí mo shampla, impím oraibh. Tá mé faoi gheis mar a dúirt siad sa tsean-Ghaeilge, tá mé faoi gheis agus faoi mhóid gan aon fhocal Béarla a labhairt choíche ná go deo ach amháin an uair nach dtuigfear mé i nGaeilge…..deirim libhse agus deirim arís agus arís é nach bhfuil aon chaoi eile leis an teanga a choinneal bheo ach amháin í a labhairt…….Más mian leis na hEireannaigh seasamh le chéile mar aon Náisiún agus aon chine caithfidh said sean-chluichí, sean-nóis agus sean-cheol a dtíre féin a chleachtadh. Agus cé an áit a bhfaighidh sibh sreang níos laídre nó ceangail níos buaine ná sean-teanga na hÉireann………..D’fhéadfainn mórán eile a rá ach creidim go dtuigeann sibh an chúis anois chomh maith liom féin. Mura raibh ach aon fhocal eile le rá agam ba é- Labhraigi Gaeilge le chéile , – é.”

SOISCÉAL

Ba shoiscéal nua an soiscéal sin gan amhras ach chualathas arís agus arís eile é sa bhaile in Éirinn ina dhiaidh sin. Bhí an Dochtúir de hIde ina Uachtarán ar an gCumann Liteartha Náisiúnta i mBaile Átha Cliath in 1892. Thug sé óráid uaidh ag céad chruinniú na bliana ar Shamhain 25, 1892. Bhí idir céad agus céad go leith bail i láthair. Chuir de hIde gáir chatha amach nár cuireadh amach riamh roimhe ag na Feisirí, ag Éirinn Óig ná ag na Fininí. Ba é an rosc catha ná  go gcaithfeadh siad Sasanschas a scríos in Éirinn, sé sin go gcaithfeadh siad  sin Éire a  dhi-Shacsanú agus go gcaithfeadh siad sin a dhéanadh tríd an teanga, tríd an gceol, trí na cluichí náisiúnta ach go mór mór trí labhairt na teanga. Bhí daoine ag éisteacht leis a raibh an Ghaeilge acu ón gcliabhán agus ní labhraidís í agus ní raibh sí ag a gclanna. Cuireadh ag smaoineamh iad. Dúirt sé go dtáinig an t-am ‘nár cheart dul go dtí na daoine féin mar bhí anam na hÉireann ina slua mór daoine , na daoine nach raibh iontu de réir Dean Swift ach “lucht gearrtha adhmaid agus lucht tarraingthe uisce”. Ar na daoine sin a bhí an obair mhór – teanga a bhreith ó bhás. Ba mhithid a thuiscint nach bhféadfaí rud fónta a dhéanamh in Éirinn agus ag déanamh aithris ar na Sasanaigh ag an am céanna. Ní fhéadann siad a bheith ina nGaeil agus ina seoníní.

Thug an óráid sin ábhar machnaimh do chuid mhaith daoine a chuala é agus a léigh é. I dtús na bliana 1893 chuaigh an Dochtúir de hIde, agus Yeats in éineacht leis, go cathair Chorcaí, áit ar lean sé ar a shoiscéal. Dúirt sé freisin, go raibh níos mó déanta ag Cumann na Lúthchleas i gcúig bliana ná rinne na cainteoirí i gcúrsa trí fichid bhlain. Ní gá dom a rá nach raibh an nuachtán Sasanach in Éirinn – The Irish Times- ró-cinéalta sa cuntas i dtaobh chaint de hIde. Seo píosa a scríobhadar:  “Tá aon rud amháin ann, a bhfuilimid cinnte faoi, is é sin nach bhfuil aon tír sa domhan a mbeadh misneach ag duine ábalta leath-mhúinte a leithéid chaint a thabhairt uaidh, ná lucht éisteachta d’fháil do ligfeadh orthu go raibh siad sásta léi.

Lean an Dochtúir de hIde air ag treabhadh leis in 1893 ach d’iompaigh an taobh dearg den fhód in uachtar ag cruinniú eile den Chumann Liteartha Náisiúnta. “Tá a fhios ag an saol gur fear a rinne beart de réir a bhriathair i gcónaí é agus tharla nach raibh Gaeilge ag mórán a bhí ag an gcruinniú áirithe seo labhair sé i mBéarla faoi na “Scoileanna Náisiúnta”. Seo cuid den léacht:

“I saw bright eyed, intelligent children, second in intelligence I should think to none in Europe with all the traditional traits of a people cultured for 1500 years. Children endowed with a vocabulary (Irish) in everyday use of about 3000 words, enter “National Schools”, come out at the end (of a few years) with all their vivacity gone, their intelligence sapped, the splendid command of their native language lost forever, with a couple of hundred English words, badly pronounced and barbarously employed substituted for it and this they in turn will transmit to their children, while everything that they knew – story, lay, poem, song, aphorism, proverb and the unique stock in trade of an Irish speaker’s mind – gone forever and replaced by nothing. I repeat – gone forever. I am haunted by the look of fear, failure and despair on these children’s faces as they rhymed Whateley’s …….

Bhí an treabhadh agus an fuirseadh déanta agus an ithir réidh don síol nuair a shiúil dornán d’fhir isteach i seomra Mhártain Uí Cheallaigh ag a 9, Sráid Uí Chonaill, Íochtarach, i mBaile Átha Cliath agus an dáta – an lá deireadh den tSamhradh, 1893. Sílim nach bréag a rá gur dtáinig toradh do-inste as an gcruinniú beag sin. Tháinig (tá súil agam) sábháil na Gaeilge agus ina theannta sin saoirse, beagnach iomlán, sna Sé Contaetha Fichead. B’sin mar ar cuireadh Conradh na Gaeilge ar bun.

Foilsithe ag Pádraig Ó Tiomáin, sa Irish Press, ar 16 Lúnasa 1973 .                              

Methodology

 

Background

In 2006, I visited Nora Timon, then in her 90th year, and was instantly fascinated by her interest in and knowledge on the Timon family in Tibohine. Her enthusiasm, clarity of memory and the stories she recalled challenged me there and then to commence the task of researching and building the ‘Timon Family Tree’. Now three years later and with a considerable amount of research on the genealogy of the Timon family initiated, I consider it timely to publish a 1st. draft of the Tree. I dedicate this draft to Nora Timon, as the matriarch of the ‘Timon Family Tree’.

The Starting Point

As can be seen in the statement on ‘Information Sources’ that follows, the starting point was the 1749 Elphin Diocesian Census initiated by Church of Ireland Bishop Edward Synge. This is the first documented record found thus far on the Timon family in Tibohine. The name listed in the census was M. Timon, presumably Michael Timon, as the Christain name Michael features regularly across several generations. He is listed in the family tree as Michael (Elphin) Timon albeit he had no habitable connection with Elphin. Based on Nora Timon’s recollections that all the earlier Timon generations had very large families and that they consistently used the same Christian names (Michael, Patrick, John, Edward, Thomas, Martin and James) in each generation, I have listed these names with approximate dates of birth in the first, second and third generations, basically in an attempt to search records of Timon family members across the many genealogical databases that exist on the Internet. This has already proven useful in a number of cases and new databases (e.g., US and UK Census records) are being uploaded on the Internet regularly; so it’s an ongoing process.

Family Branches

Information from the 3rd generation onwards is record specific. There were six brothers in this post famine generation, three of whom settled and reared families in Tibohine. Arising from these three families, there are now three distinct albeit related branches within the Timon Family Tree, which I have termed as follows: The ‘Michael Timon Branch’, The ‘John Timon Branch’ and The ‘Edward Timon Branch’. To facilitate ease of identification of relatives across the generations, two versions of a ‘Descendant’s Report’ have been prepared, viz.,

1. Family-Branch based Descendants Report

1. Trans-Generational Descendants Report.

The Family-Branch based report groups the descendants of Michael, John and Edward Timon in separate family lines across the nine generations; the

Information Sources

The earliest authentTrans-Generational Report simply lists all Timon relatives in each branch across all generations. A fourth branch, descendants of James Timon (Athlone) is currently being researched.

icated records of the Timon family in Tibohine, Co. Roscommon date back to the Elphin Diocesian Census, initiated in 1749 by Edward Synge, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Elphin. It is understood that Bishop Synge wished to know the proportion of Protestants to “Papists” (a name he used to refer to Catholics) with a particular interest in the collection of church dues.

In any event, it recorded two Timon “Papists” in the town land of Tibohine, an M. Timon (a labourer – farmer) married with three children and a T. Timon (a labourer – farmer) without any children. There were two other Timon families in the parish (then known as the Parish of Tibohine), one in Rathkeery (two children) and one in Currenturpane (one child); quite possibly, these families were interrelated. There was only one other Timon record for the entire County of Roscommon and that was a John Timon (Cotier), Eastersnow, Ardcarn, Boyle. The Timon Family Tree is based on the presumption that M. Timon referred to Michael Timon – a male Christian name that features regularly across successive generations.

The next definitive record located was found in the Church of Ireland Applotments Survey carried out in the 1820’s, again with the purpose of assessing Church dues; these records are available in the National Library, Dublin. This survey showed two Timons in the parish, a Patrick Timon, farmer, in the townland of Tibohine (presumably a grandson of Michael Timon) and a T. Timon (Cotier) in the townland of Leitrim.

Tibohine Parish Church records (Birth and Marriage entries, albeit incomplete and very difficult to read) from the 1830’s to 1860’s are available in the National Library, Dublin and were searched. The Griffith’s Land Survey, undertaken in the 1850’s was also consulted, as was the 1901 and 1911 National Census Records. The most important contemporary information sources were the Fairymount/Tibohine Church Baptism records and the National Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, available on a county basis from 1864 onwards.

Internet Searches

The next stage in the development of the ‘Timon Family Tree’ involved the initiation of searches of the now numerous genealogical databases on the Internet; currently, there are billions of records on the Internet in a range of databases that include census records, birth, marriage and death registrations, immigration records and many other documents and record sources. To access these it was necessary to select an appropriate Family Tree software package and to establish a Timon Family Tree Website. Three different software packages were and still are being used, viz., “Family Tree Legends”, “ Family Tree Maker” and “MyHeritage Family Tree Builder”. Each has it’s own particular characteristics but the most important advantage in using the different packages and their associated Internet Genealogy Search Engines is the spread of global records (USA, British, Canadian, Australian etc.) that can be researched. I have located quite a considerable number of Timon relations through these Internet searches.

Current Status

The ‘Timon Family Tree’ currently extends to over 1300 persons spread over more than ten generations. The tree is accessible on three websites, viz.,MyHeritage.com, Ancestry.co.uk, Genesreunited.co.uk. If you wish to access the tree on any of these sites please contact me by e-mail (viviantimon@eircom.net) and I will arrange access. Please know that it is inevitable that there are errors and omissions on the tree. Consequently, additions and corrections to the tree will be very much appreciated.

The next challenge is to add photographs, videos and other material that will add life to the family tree. I also plan to make and upload on the tree an Introductory Timon FamilyTree DVD. Please let me know of any photographs or other material that you have that I could use; I can scan them and return the original material to you by return post. 

The Timon Family Name

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It is difficult to be definitive as to the origin or meaning of the Timon Family name or any family name for that matter. Family historians and heraldists provide a range of suggested origins that on scrutiny lack consistency and indeed any logical credible evidence of the asserted origins of the name.

Often, it is asserted that the name Timon and its variant spellings (Tymon, Tyman) are modern anglicised synonyms of the Connaught name Timmons. That the name Timon in Ireland has been anglicised from the Gaelic name Ó Tiomáin is not in question and its different spellings (Timon, Tymon, Tyman) in various Church and Governmental records and publications probably reflect the imprecision and variability of a phonetic translation the Gaelic name ‘Ó Tiomáin’ into English. However, there is little convincing evidence that the name Timon is in any way a derivative of Timmons or Timony; rather Timmons and Timoney may well have been anglicised plural forms of the name ‘Ó Tiomáin’. The Gaelic ‘Ó Tiomáin’ name denotes descendent of Tiomáin.

It is of interest to note that translation into English of the Gaelic word ‘Tiomáin’ has the same meaning in a number of languages. It means to ‘drive’ or ‘steer’. It has similar meaning in the French, Spanish, Italian and Greek languages; possibly in some East European languages also. Indeed the family name Timon is quite common in France and Northern Italy and particularly common in parts of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Southern Germany. It is also worth noting that these countries straddle the route of the Celtic migration across Europe following the Le Téne period (500 – 900 BC) and that Celts reached Northern France (Brittany) and Ireland in the final stages of their migration.

It is also interesting to note that it was a Celtic custom to assign names to families relating to the work they did. Consequently, families assigned the role of ‘steersman’ or ‘driver’ would be called Timon. It is quite plausible, therefore, that the name Timon has a Celtic origin and the meaning of the Gaelic name “Tiomáin” was based on Celtic custom.

The Timon Family Name in Ireland.

Seventeenth and eighteenth century records make reference to the name Timon in mid Ulster (Fermanagh, Cavan), mid Leinster (Wicklow, Kildare and Carlow) and Connaught; the name was not uncommon in Mayo, Sligo and Roscommon. It has been suggested that the Timon family name followed the movement of St. Patrick’s christianising entourage (oxen drawn carriages and carts) across Ireland, passing through Tibohine in Roscommon in 437 AD and ending up in Mayo where it is said he spent much of his time.[i] St. Patrick’s travels across the then open countryside of Ireland would not have been possible without the protection of various chieftain-led clans along the way, one of whom is said to have been the O’ Rourkes of Breffny. It has been further suggested that the family names of the drivers of their oxen drawn carriages were called ‘Tiomáin’, following Celtic tradition, and that some of these families settled at particular points along the route.

The Timon Family in Tibohine.

As to the origins of the Timon Family in Tibohine there is anecdotal and circumstantial evidence that the family has been in the parish since the 5th century; coinciding with the arrival of St. Patrick’s in the area and his setting up a monastery there. In fact, the name Tibohine owes its name to that monastery and its first bishop whose name was Baethin. Baethin was a son of St. Patrick’s sister, Lallocc. The name Tibohine is an anglicised synonym of the Gaelic place name Tígh Baethin[ii]. A quite comprehensive narrative on the history of the parish and St. Patrick’s visit there, as recalled by Edward Timon, with detail that most likely would only be known to direct descendents of the family (Ó ghlúin go glúin tradition) would suggest that the Timon family has been in Tibohine since the 5th. Century[iii]. The reality that the family farmed the lands around the church and the ruin of the old monastery adds further credence to this claim.

Coat of Arms: The Timon Coat of Arms shown above has been issued and commercialised by Historic Families Limited, Clonskeagh, Dublin. Their interpretation of the coat of arms is as follows. “On a black field, traditionally the heraldic colour of Wisdom and Constancy, and between four white plates (representing Communion plates and denoting Christian faith, Charity and Generosity), is a white chevron representing the roof-tree of a house and denoting Protection. Upon the chevron is a pellet, representing a cannon ball, which was often borne by one who had braved a siege of war.” This statement makes interesting albeit comical reading but its validity and authenticity as relating to the Timon family name is very questionable. Firstly, the origin and existence of the Timon family name predates the Anglo Norman practice of developing Family Coat of Arms and there is no evidence that the indigenous Irish people ever embraced this practice as many Anglo Irish families found it prudent to do in post Cromwellan Ireland.


[i] Timon, Patrick, 1986. Extracts from talk on Tibohine given to Lough Gara Historical Society, 1969. The Roscommon Archaeological and Historical Journal, Volume 1, 1986.

[ii] Ní Thiomáin, Úna, 1905. Tigh – Baethin (Tibohine). Dissertation written by the author in part fulfilment of the National Teacher Training programme. Roscommon County Library.

[iii]Ó Tiomáin, Pádraic, 1937. The Tibohine Parish – Story told to the author by Edward Timon, Christmas 1918. Published in the Irish Folklore Collection 1937, University College, Dublin.

Portrait of the Timon Family

Portrait of the Timon Family
Vivian M. Timon
 

This Portrait of the Timon Family is but a first draft and will be revised and updated as I receive suggestions and inputs from members of the family. Firstly, I would welcome comments as to the scope and content of the Portrait. Further, it’s very clear that all sections of the document are short on detail simply because I don’t have adequate information; this is particularly true of the John and Edward Timon families. Consequently, I look forward to all contributions that will make the Portrait more interesting and informative. When the draft is finalized I plan to post it on the Timon Family Tree websites (Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.com), such that it can be accessed and read by all interested parties.

 

Introduction
Vivian Timon

There is documented evidence that the Timon Family were living in Tibohine in 1700 (Elphin Diocesan Survey, 1749); on the other hand, there is strong anecdotal evidence that the family may have lived in the parish of Tibohine perhaps as far back as the fifth century (Edward Timon, 1918).Tibohine Drone Video Whereas the family name, Ó Tiomáin/Timon, most likely has a Celtic origin, this does not necessarily establish that the Timon family is of Celtic origin; perhaps it is. Of particular interest is the fact that the translation into English of the Gaelic word ‘Tiomáin’ has the same meaning in a number of European languages. It means to ‘drive’ to ‘steer’ or ‘be at the helm’ (helmsman).

The name Timon has a similar meaning in French (Timonier), Spanish (Timonel), Catalan (Timoner), Galician (Timoneiro), Portuguese (Timoneiro), Italian (Timoniere) and Greek (Τιμων); in some other European (Slovakia, Hungary, Albania) and Baltic languages the root of the word ‘helmsman’ when translated into English, is Timon. The family name, Timon, is quite common in France, Spain (Celto-Iberian region) and Northern Italy and particularly common in parts of Greece*, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary and also in the Rhine valley of Southern Germany and Austria. It is worth noting that these countries straddle the route of the Celtic migration across Europe during the Le Téne period (500 – 700 BC), following the over-population of their settlements in Bohemia during the Hallstatt period. As the Celts spread across Europe they settled in several countries across the continent and established distinct Celtic cultures in France and Spain in the early centuries of the first millennium; different groupings spread to Britain and Ireland towards the final stages of their migration.

It is also interesting to note that it was a Celtic custom to assign names to families relating to the work they did. Consequently, families assigned the role of ‘helmsman’, ‘steersman’ or ‘driver’ would be assigned the family name ‘Timon’. As helmsman or steersman, at a period in time before the compass was invented (first developed in the 12 century), these people would have had to navigate and determine direction using their knowledge of astrology and the relative positions of the moon and stars; stellar positioning as it was called would have required particular skills. Consequently, families assigned the name Timon would necessarily be required to have considerable intelligence. It is quite plausible therefore that the name Timon has a Celtic origin and the meaning of the Gaelic name “Tiomáin” evolved from this Celtic custom; see Ó TIOMÁIN spelled in the Celtic Ogham alphabet on the next page. The corollary of this thesis is that there are not necessarily any genetic relationships between the many families that bear the surname ‘Timon’, be they in mainland Europe, Britain or indeed in Ireland.

The Timon name as written in Ogham

The Celtic name    Ó  Tiomáin in the Ogham alphabet is written as shown above    

The Ogham alphabet was developed by the Celts in the first century AD. The name Ó Tiomáin (Timon) would have been written as depicted in the illustration on the left. Words in Ogham were read from the bottom upwards. Ogham was the first written alphabet of Ireland, originally inscribed on stones to mark the burial of individuals, usually well-known individuals such as chieftains of clans or heads of households. There are few if any records of written scripts or texts.

As regards the Timon family in Tibohine, there is anecdotal evidence that the Celtic origin of the family and family name may have originated in Spain; this is based on stories handed down within the family over the generations. In this context, it should be noted that there were two main Celtic migrations to Ireland, one prior to and during the Hallstatt period, and a second in the early centuries of the first Christian millennium (Chadwick, 1971). It has also been established that Celtic migrations to Ireland were sea-based and that some of the Celts accessed Ireland along the west coast through the Shannon estuary. The location of the towns, Ennistimon and Attymon, in the Shannon river basin is not without significance in this regard. It might also explain the occurrence of Timon families in Connaught, particularly in earlier times. It should also be understood that the Celts emigrated from the Continent to England where the Timon name (often spelled Tymon) is not uncommon; quite possibly some Celts may have come to Ireland from these migrations also.

Timon of Athens – A Sceptic!

At present, the Timon name is not uncommon right across Europe, in the Americas and Astral-Asia. In the early part of the 20th century, one of the most common surnames of immigrants to the United States was ‘Timon’. Many of these came from Ireland, Germany and South Eastern Europe. Perhaps, the most notable bearer of the name Timon was the Greek – ‘Timon of Athens’. Shakespeare immortalised him in the play of that name and depicted him as an Athenian nobleman who fell on hard times and became a recluse if not a misanthropist. In reality, historical records show that Timon was a highly respected Greek philosopher who together with his teacher and mentor Pyrro founded the Sceptics Academy of Philosophy in Athens. He was born in Phlius circa 320 BC and is sometimes referred to as Timon of Phlius.

As a Sceptic, Timon questioned Socrates and Plato’s belief systems based on deduction theory (Russell, 2004). In essence, he questioned their deductive arguments leading to the concept of God and Divinity; Timon argued that belief systems should be solely based on observable phenomena – a point of view that is widely shared by scientists today. He argued that the philosopher can achieve peace of mind only by suspension of judgment, and indifference to externals. This may have little direct relevance to the genealogy of the Timon family. I simply mention it in the context of speculation on the belief systems currently held by members of the Timon clan.

Certainly, the belief system of the Timon family in Tibohine from the 18th Century to the present day was and is predominantly Roman Catholic; indeed, as you will see later several members of the Timon family were actively involved in the Church as priests or nuns in addition to being active in the congregation as lay participants. Unfortunately, there are few descriptive records of the Timon family in Tibohine in the 18th and 19th centuries other than the Elphin Diocesan Survey (1749), the Applotments Survey (1825 – 1834) and the Griffiths Land Evaluation Survey (1850’s). All three surveys confirm that they were tenant farmers of lands owned by the French’s and later the De Freyne estate. Whereas most tenant farms within the De Freyne estate were small in acreage, the lands farmed by the Timon family in Tibohine were comparatively large; the Applotments Survey in the early 1800’s shows a valuation which placed the Timon farm as the largest in the townland of Tibohine. That, certainly, does not mean that they were well of.

The Timon Family in the Penal Times.

The first recorded generations of the Timon family in Tibohine would have lived through the Penal days, the period from 1695 when the Penal laws were first introduced up to 1782 when legislation was enacted to commence the repeal of these laws. These were very difficult times for Catholic families in Ireland as their rights were seriously curtailed. Primarily, they were not allowed to declare or practice their Catholic religion, to teach in or attend a Catholic school or to own property of any value or a horse worth more than £5. Nor, could they apply for any job or official post unless they swore an oath pertaining to the falsity of the Catholic Church. Quite clearly, it must have been a very difficult time for Michael (Elphin) Timon and his family, not only to have to accept the denial of his rights as an Irish citizen and Catholic but also to have to contribute some money to the Protestant Church; the specific purpose of the Elphin Diocesan Survey was to list those tenant farmers the size of whose farm was adjudged such that they should make an annual contribution to the Church of Ireland.

Life in Tibohine in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Health and Living conditions.

Housing conditions of tenant farmers in North Roscommon in the 18th and 19th centuries were quite meager (Young, 1776/77/78) particularly in the context of the large families that were common in those days; the houses, or mud cabins as Young described them, had at most three rooms with small open windows and were thatch-roofed. Running water or indoor toilet facilities were not even dreamed of. Water was drawn from a ‘spring well’ which would be shared by all the neighbours in the village. Health services were non- existent; people sought to control or contain diseases through a range of local ‘cures’ or ‘procedures’ handed down from generation to generation usually involving the use of local herbs and a lot of superstitious beliefs. That these cures had little or no effects can be seen from mortality and life expectancy rates which were very different from today. Peri-natal and young child mortality rates were staggeringly high; 10% to 15% was quite common in the 18th and 19th centuries. Clearly, the Timon families in those times would have suffered much heartache.

Cooking was carried out on an open fire in the kitchen; turf was the main fuel. The fire in the kitchen was also the main source of heating in the house. For that reason, it was quite common to have a bed in an alcove off the kitchen, known as a ‘priste’ – a Gaelic word. From the three aforementioned surveys and the 1901 Census records, it appears that the Timon families in the townland of Tibohine (see Map on following page) had two houses and in the late 1800’s three small family houses side by side.

Farming the land – the only source of food.

Farming in the west of Ireland was very rudimentary in those days based essentially on manual labour. In addition, a series of changes in the Land Acts relating to Landlord/Tenant relations made for uncertainty and difficult farming conditions (Feehan, 2003). Consequently, the Timon families in Tibohine at that time would have had to work very hard simply to subsist. Most likely, they would have produced most of their own food which would have consisted predominantly of oaten meal porridge, milk, potatoes and cabbage and very occasionally meat (bacon or beef) on special occasions. Any money that they earned to pay their rent or to purchase clothes and household items (tea and sugar and flour would be high on this list) would have to come from the sale of livestock and oats after the harvest.

The farming system would entail livestock rearing (cattle, sheep and perhaps one or two pigs) and the growing of oats and potatoes; turnips and cabbage became popular towards the end of the 20th century; some families would have small cultivated gardens for vegetables and perhaps apple trees. The average small farm (10 acres or less) would grow about 5 acres of potatoes and 2- 3 acres of oats. Oats would have been an important dual-purpose crop in that in addition to the use of oats as a food (oaten meal porridge, gruel and oaten bread) the straw was essential for thatching their houses. All of the tillage work would have been carried out by manual labour; the spade, shovel, fork, scythe, hook and flail being their principal tools. Quite obviously, several members of the family would necessarily work on the land; just imagine the work in digging 5 acres of ridges (lazy beds) for the potato crop!

The cutting and saving of turf would also be a very important annual job; it should be remembered that all cooking in those times would have been carried out on an open turf fire. Towards the end of the 19th century horse or donkey drawn carts, ploughs, harrows and mowing machines would have gradually come into use. On days of special importance, such as threshing the corn, bringing home the turf, or bringing in the hay, neighbours would gather together to help in what was known as ‘meitheals’. The typical food offered on these occasions was oaten meal porridge for breakfast, Col Ceannan or Calaidh for dinner with potatoes and buttermilk as the evening meal. The area was so noted for the eating of potatoes that some workers from Mayo (spailpíns) passing through the parish in search of work, and who might stop off in Tibohine for a few days rest, were known to say:

“Fataí san oidhche, Fataí so ló, Agus dá n-éiríonn meadhin oíche, Fataí do geobfainn”.

The Townlands Of Tibohine Parish in the 18th to the 20th Century.

Initially and throughout history, Tibohine was the name of the parish now known as Fairymount (Timon 1971). The Timon family predominantly lived in the townland of Tibohine. But over the 19th and 20th centuries some members of the family moved through marriage or work to live in Lissergool (Patrick Timon, 1864 – 1949) and Liosdrumneil (Patrick Timon, 1902 – 1977). The Applotments Survey shows a Timon in Rathkerry in the 1820’s and in Moyne in the 1840’s; most likely these were related to the Timons in the townland of Tibohine. There were and still are Timons in Liosdrumneil that most likely originated in Tibohine; this possibility is discussed later. Currently, there are Timons living in the townlands of Tibohine, Liosdrumneil and Grallagh.

Social Life

Social life would have been very limited as measured by today’s standards. The ‘rambling house’ would be the main social event in the village. No doubt, each village would have established storytellers (seanchaí) and the telling of ghost stories and stories about the banshee and fairies would be a regular feature; the more outlandish and hair-raising stories would get most acclaim. However, recollections of local and national folklore and historical events would be a feature of these gatherings also; indeed an important learning opportunity for the younger members of the village. Traditional Irish music and dancing would also feature in what was known as ‘country house dances’ or outdoors in the summertime as ‘crossroads dancing’. Particular families in the village known for their skills in music would be central to these Irish music sessions. Ballad songs and singing was also a common feature of these occasions. Weekly attendance at Mass was not only an important religious event but also an occasion for social interaction. The local fairs where livestock was bought and sold were also a major part of the social scene in those days.

Education

Educational opportunities in rural Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries were very limited. Government supported National school education in Ireland was first introduced in 1831 following the establishment of a Board of Commissioners to launch and direct a non-denominational national education system across the country; however, this only became a reality in much of Ireland and particularly in the West of Ireland from 1860 onwards. Prior to the late 1800’s, Hedge Schools organized and paid for locally by interested parents were the only source of out-of-home education. They were thus named as they involved the teacher gathering children in small groups in a shed or indeed under a hedge in the village to teach them some rudimentary knowledge of reading, writing, arithmetic and catechism. These lessons were conducted in Irish – the spoken language of the people at that time. However, many families also took it upon themselves to educate their children within the home (ó Ghlún go glún) and to instill in them a love of learning and knowledge of local and national history and language. In addition to the Gaelic language, families would share with their children whatever knowledge they had of English, particularly in the context that several members of the family might be forced to emigrate. The Timon families in Tibohine appear to have placed strong emphasis on education particularly in the post-famine period, 1850’s – 1860’s. It is also clear that they were quite knowledgeable about local history as is evident in Edward Timon’s (1836 – 1924) recollections, published by the Irish Folklore Commission (1937).

The Timon Family during the Famine.

R Ní Gadhra’s story about the famine times in Ireland

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any specific information on the fate of the Timon families in Tibohine during the famine (1846/1847). On the other hand, there is very clear information from official Census records that the famine had devastating effects on the parish as a whole; the population of Tibohine fell from 3016 to 2122 persons between 1841 and 1851 – a drop of 29.64%. Likewise in the same period, the number of homesteads fell from 522 to 379 – a loss of 27.39%. Certainly, some of these managed to emigrate but the majority would have perished and died. Some vivid and heart rendering recollections of the famine by parishioner, Luke Callaghan, as told to Padraic Ó Tiomáin, have been published by The Irish Folklore Commission (1937). In that same Folklore collection, there is a short story by R. Ni Gadhra, who lived just over the road from Timon’s house in Tibohine that not only describes the stark horror of the famine but it also makes reference to John Timon’s role in burying the dead in Tibohine graveyard during the famine. The verbatim story reads as follows:

A Harrowing Time – Emigration

It must have been an extremely harrowing time. From this story, it does appear that the Timon family in Tibohine were at least able to feed themselves. Yes, they would have lost the entire potato crop but most likely they also grew a reasonable acreage of oats (possibly up to 5 acres) and together with the slaughter of livestock they would have adequate food to survive. Certainly, three brothers (John, Michael and Edward), sons of John Timon and Margaret Maxwell, did survive and lived on in Tibohine well into the 1900’s. British Census data would suggest that two other brothers may have emigrated to England and settled in Derbyshire. Perhaps many more members of the Timon family emigrated in the 19th century. Tibohine birth and marriage records, housed in the micro-film Archives in the National Library of Ireland, Dublin, list a number of Timons in Tibohine that I have not as yet been able to trace further. Most likely, many of these Timons may have emigrated to England or to the United States.

There is also a likelihood that some members of the Timon family in Tibohine may have moved up to Liosdrumneil as part of a Famine Relief Programme. The Griffith’s Land Valuation records show five Timon families in Liosdrumneil in the late 1850’s whereas there are no records of Timon families in that village in the 1820’s Applotments Survey. It appears that one of the Famine Relief Programmes involved the allocation of a small portion of land and turf cutting rights in the Liosdrumneil bog to tenants from Tibohine. Consequently, there is a strong possibility that some of the Tibohine Timons moved up to Liosdrumneil as part of that programme and that one of the Timon families still living in Liosdrumneil (Michael Timon’s family) is related to the Tibohine Timons. The Timon family in Tibohine still has turf cutting rights in the Liosdrumneil bog. Coincidentally, there is evidence that the second Timon family (Frank Timon’s) still living in Liosdrumneil may have come from Mayo at around the same time.

Politics and the Timon Family in Tibohine

There is little evidence that the Timon family in Tibohine openly engaged in politics in the 18th or 19th century. Indeed, political and cultural expression was so curtailed, particularly during the Penal days, such that small tenant farmers perforce did not openly express their political or indeed their religious feelings to any great extent. On the other hand, it was well understood within the family that they were strongly Gaelic in outlook and language and sympathised with the Fenians and the Land League as these movements emerged. However, as in many families across Ireland a ‘crisis of loyalty’ struck at the heart of the family as the Republican movement gathered pace at the beginning of the 20th century. On the one hand, a number of members of the Timon family had joined the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) in the late 1880’s and others had immigrated to England and joined the British constabulary. This was very understandable as job opportunities for young men in Ireland were very limited at that time.

Equally understandable, other members of the Timon family developed Republican sympathies following the Easter Rising of 1916. My father, Patrick Timon (1902 – 1977) became an active member of the IRA as a student in University College Dublin. The following story as told to me by Nora Timon (1916 – 2007) shows how family loyalty can and did compliment and indeed transcend political loyalty. On the one hand, Nora’s father John Timon (1868 – 1933) joined the RIC in 1888 and served in Tipperary, Galway and Mayo where he was appointed Sergeant in 1912. My father joined the IRA in 1919.

18th and 19th Century Timon Diaspora

In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was inevitable that many members of the Timon families in Tibohine were forced to emigrate. Family size normally ranged from 10 to 15 children and there was such an absence of work locally that emigration was inevitable. Thus far, it has been very difficult to find specific records of these migrations in the 18th and early 19th centuries. On the other hand, it was widely understood within the family that several members did emigrate to England and the US. Perusal of 19th century British and US Census records and in addition US emigration and military enrolment records, as available on the Internet, show several Timon families that originated in Roscommon; unfortunately, the records are not parish-of-birth specific and consequently, it is not possible at this stage to definitely determine if these families originated in Tibohine. That some of them most likely did can be gleaned from the popularity of Christian names that are common to the Tibohine families, viz., Michael, Edward, John and Patrick as boys names and Catherine, Margaret, Mary and Winifred as girls names. Where these male and female names coincide within a Timon family that originated in Roscommon, it is not unreasonable to suspect that the family may have originated in Tibohine. There are Timon families in the US (New York, Boston, California, etc.,) and in a number of counties in middle England that fit into this category; for example, families with an Irish father named Patrick, Michael or John, born in Roscommon but lacking in further information to establish their place of birth. As search engine databases are further updated eventually it may be possible to establish Tibohine parish specific links to these families. It should also be borne in mind that the name may be spelled Tymon, particularly in England as this English spelling was considered to be more phonetically precise.

20th Century Timon Diaspora

On the other hand, there are several families in Britain and the US and indeed in several countries across the globe where it has been possible to definitely trace their ancestors back to Tibohine. The Timon Family Tree currently has more than 700 entries most of which are traceable back to Tibohine as direct relations or as relations through marriage. In any event, all of those Timons who emigrated had to undertake a very long and hazardous journey from Tibohine to reach their final destination. This was true right up to the mid-20th century as public transport was very rudimentary and limited in those days. Dublin, Cork, Sligo and Galway to a lesser degree were the main emigration ports. The journey would begin by getting on a horse drawn coach that traveled along the ‘Coach Road’, which incidentally passed through Tibohine, en route to Athlone and later Dublin. There were coach stops in Ballaghaderreen to the west of Tibohine and Ballinagare to the east. Travel times to Dublin would take 2 to 3 days with a change of horses at specified intervals. The subsequent sea journeys particularly the journeys to America on sailing ships were no doubt extremely hazardous. It’s little wonder that many of those emigrants never attempted a return journey.

Overview of the Timon Family

It is quite clear from my research that by and large, the Timon Family has been and still is a very focused, competent and hard working group of people. Attempting to trace their lives over four centuries has not been easy nor do I pretend to fully comprehend the difficulties that they faced nor am I fully informed on their achievements or failures. That they survived the harshness of the Penal days and the ravages of the Famine and that nine generations later the Timon family still farms the lands in Tibohine is a significant achievement in itself. But it doesn’t end there. There are today successful Timon families across Ireland, in England, in mainland Europe, in the United States and in Austral-Asia that trace their ancestry back to Tibohine.

Primarily, the Timons seem to be and have been quite a healthy family. I have failed to find any evidence of a genetic disposition to diseases or ill health. It also would appear that as individuals they were strong, of relatively big physique and by and large good looking people. Nora (1916 – 2007) Timon, my initial source of information on the family, described the Timon men as follows – “They were tall, strong, good looking, full of life but a bit prone to the drink, some of them”. I can’t say that my research bears this out fully; certainly, there is evidence that a few members of the Timon family have had problems with drink. It is also true that in the 1830’s – 1940’s a number of individuals in different branches of the family died at an early age – in their twenties – thirties; both in Ireland and England. I can only presume that tuberculosis, a disease quite widespread across Ireland and England at that time, may have been the cause of these premature deaths. No doubt, like most other families they had their share of misfortunate and tragedies – skeletons that remain in the cupboard.

As to competency in work and the main professions it would appear that the Timon family record is quite favourable. Primarily, they were and still are good farmers. To have eked out a worthwhile living in very difficult times on what may be described as less than good land in North Roscommon is, in itself, not a bad achievement. That they highly valued education is quite evident from their orientation towards the teaching profession particularly in the decades immediately following the famine. The importance they attached to good handwriting is particularly noticeable in the very elegant signatures of the three brothers, John, Michael and Edward, on the 1901 Census forms. This emphasis on education continued in subsequent generations be it in the Timon families in Ireland, England or the US. Across the 20th century, members the Timon family have and continue to embrace practically all the main professions; education, science, medicine, engineering, business, finance, catering, security, the media and even the arts. Many have reached or neared the pinnacle of their chosen careers and quite a few have successfully established their own businesses over the years. The family orientation towards the priesthood and religious orders, quite prominent in the 20th century is not so noticeable today. Perhaps the skepticism of Timon of Athens is re-emerging!

Timon Family Tree
Branches of the Timon Family
The John Timon Branch

The Michael Timon Branch

The Edward Timon Branch

As of this point in time, three branches of the Timon Family have been definitively identified on birth registration records going back to the 1820’s. There is most likely a fourth branch, based on a James Timon who moved to and married in Athlone; as yet this branch has not been added to the Family Tree pending further research. In the following pages the descendants of John (1829 – 1905) Timon, Michael (1833 – 1901) Timon and Edward (1836 – 1924) Timon, over three generations are listed and described. Information on their descendants in subsequent generations is presented on the Timon Family Tree as available on the MyHeritage.com and Ancestry.com websites.

Branches of the Timon Family.

Three Branches.

Genealogical Research to date has definitively established that there are at least three branches of the Timon family within which the current generation can trace their origins back nine generations to Tibohine. I have termed them – The John Timon Branch, the Michael Timon Branch and the Edward Timon Branch. John, Michael and Edward Timon were three of six brothers born in the 1820’s – 1830’ to John Timon and Margaret Maxwell. Their birth records are listed in the Tibohine Parish Birth, Marriage and Death Records as housed in the National Library of Ireland, Kildare St., Dublin. Family recollections suggest that there were three other brothers in this family and a number of sisters. It has not been possible to attempt to trace the girls in this or indeed other later generations in the absence of specific information on the names of their married spouses or career choices (e.g., nuns or teachers).

A Fourth Branch?

There is very strong evidence that there is a fourth branch of the Timon family which I term the ‘Athlone Timons. I have made contact with members of this branch currently living in Dublin and there is a general consensus that the Athlone Timons most likely originated in Tibohine. However, in the absence of a definitive ‘origin of birth’ records linking the families I have been reluctant to include them on the family tree. However, there are three independent pieces of information that strongly suggest that the Athlone Timons are relatives. Firstly, Nora Timon (1916 – 2007) was quite definite that there were Timon relatives in Athlone, that they had a small shop and that she regularly got Christmas cards from them at an earlier part of her life. Secondly, Riain Timon (1941 to date) has clear memories of his father Kevin Timon (1905 – 1990) telling him that they had relatives in Athlone and that they had a small shop. Finally, I have clear memories of my father, Patrick Timon (1902 – 1977) regularly saying, as we passed a small shop in Athlone with the name Timon over the door, “They are distant relations of ours”. After much research, I found a marriage record of a James Timon (born 1802 or thereabouts) who married a Mary Johnston in Athlone on 15 August 1841. His age as stated in the record is consistent with his birth in Tibohine. The Athlone Timons have been able to trace their ancestry to a James Timon. I’m awaiting their further research on this matter.

The John Timon Branch.

Descendents of John Timon

First Generation

John (1829 – 1905) Timon, a son of John Timon and Margaret Maxwell, was born in 1829; see John Timon’s 4 Generation Descendent Chart overleaf. John Timon married Winifred Cooney on 3 February, 1853. He died 28 August 1905 and is buried in the old Tibohine cemetery. He had at least four sons and two daughters; unfortunately, the pages in the Tibohine Baptism Registry for the years 1859 to 1864 have been removed from the book and hence there may have been children born in that time frame that I have not yet identified. Quite clearly, John Timon, like his brothers, Michael and Edward, encouraged his children’s education and helped them to seek work other than farming in Tibohine – a widely held and very understandable post – famine attitude in Ireland in that period.

John (1829 – 1905) Timon’s eldest son, Patrick Timon, born on 20 January 1856, emigrated to the US and lived in Chicago. As of yet, it has not been possible to trace this family any further.

John (1829 – 1905) Timon’s son, Michael Timon was born in 1858; he joined the RIC on 6 January 1881 and served for a very short time, retiring on pension on 16 July 1884. Nora Timon told me that he married a Ms. Conroy and lived in Dublin. I have not been able to find any further information on him, thus far.

John (1829 – 1905) Timon’s son Edward Timon was born on 21 May 1864. He

Mary Thomasine O’Neil

joined the DMP, married Mary Thomasine O’Neil in 1899 and they had five children, Gertrude, Winifred, Kevin, Brendan and Maureen. He retired as Divisional Chief Inspector, DMP. He died in 1911 and is buried in Glasnevin cemetery.

John (1829 – 1905) Timon’s daughter, Nora Timon was a ‘seamstress’ and lived in Tibohine for much of her life. She eventually moved to Navan in Co. Meath to live with her sister, Katie Timon who had a shop in Navan. They were later joined by their sister, Winifred (Nina) Timon who had lived and worked in England for much of her life. It is presumed all three died in Navan.

John Timon

John (1829 – 1905) Timon’s youngest son, John Timon, born in 1868, joined the RIC on 11 May, 1888. He served in Tipperary, Galway and Mayo, and retired as Sergeant, on 23 May 1920.

Sarah Muldoon

He married Sarah Muldoon in 1902; they had 10 children. He died on 23 April 1933 and was buried in Tibohine cemetery. Several of this family, mostly born in Co. Mayo, emigrated.

Edward (1864 – 1911) Timon’s daughter, Gertrude Timon, was born on 14

Gertrude Timon

August 1900. She married Peter Egan from Loughrea, Co. Galway. Edward’s daughter, Winifred Una Timon, died at a very young age in 1904.

Edward (1864 – 1911) Timon’s son Kevin Timon (1905 – 1990)

Kevin Timon

was born on 9 April 1905. He initially worked in the New York Stock Exchange during the depression. He returned to Ireland and married Kathleen Mary Moran in 1937. They had three children, Orla, Riain and Uillioc Timon – their marriages and descendants are listed in the Timon Family Tree. Kevin died 1 November 1990; his wife, Kathleen Mary, died 7 May 1988.

Kathleen Mary Moran Timon
Fr. Brendan Timon

Edward (1864 – 1911) Timon’s son Brendan Timon (1907 – 2009), became a missionary priest and spent much of his life in Africa and the US. He died 1 January 2000 and is buried in Kimmage Cemetery, Dublin.

Edward (1864 – 1911) Timon’s daughter, Maureen Timon was born on 7 November 1908. She married Seymour Davis in 1938 and died in 1966.

Jack Timon

John (1868 – 1933) Timon’s first son, John (Jack) Timon, was born on 24 October 1904. He emigrated to New York and died of heart attack in 1935.

John (1868 – 1933) Timon’s second son, Michael Joseph (Brod)

Michael (Brod) Timon

Timon, born on 3 January 1906, also emigrated to New York where he married Josephine Courtney (from Cork). They had two children, Doris Timon and Irene Timon, both living in New York at present.

Irene Timon
Doris Timon

 

Doris Timon married John Mc Mahon; they have six children, viz., Deborah, Dorian, Ellen, John, Dermot and Jennifer. Further genealogical records on these persons and their families are posted on the Timon Family Tree websites.

John Mc Mahon

John (1868 – 1933) Timon’s daughter, Mary Gertrude (Una) was born on 23 April 1907 and died in 1988.

John (1868 – 1933) Timon’s sons, Gerard and Edward Timon, both died at a young age in 1919 and 1935 respectively;

John (1868 – 1933) Timon’s son Patrick Timon was born on 13 October 1913. He emigrated to England and died in 1942 during the war.

John (1868 – 1933) Timon’s daughter Sarah Kate (Kitty) Timon was born on 17 November 1910; she emigrated to the US and died in New York in 1982.

John (1868 – 1933) Timon’s daughter, Margaret Mary (Rita)Timon, was born on 7 February, 1912. She married Paddy O’Hanlon and had three children, Barry, Sean and Mary Patricia O’Hanlon.

Mary Romstedt

–subsequent details of their marriages and descendants are listed in the Timon Family Tree. Rita died in 1989.

John (1868 – 1933) Timon’s daughter, Nora Timon, was born on 24 May 1916.

Nora Timon
Dan Finlay

She married Dan Finlay on 9 August 1951; Dan Finlay had served in the Irish Guards during World War 11. Later he worked in the Irish Sugar Company. They had two daughters, Geraldine

and Mary Finlay – records of their marriages and descendants are listed in the Timon Family Tree. Nora Timon

Geraldine Timon Finlay

Finlay died on 8 March 2007.

John (1868 – 1933) Timon’s youngest daughter Anne Timon, was born on 25 March 1918. She worked in Dublin as a hairdresser with her sister Nora throughout her life. She died on 2 September 2003.

The Michael Timon Branch
The Michael Timon Branch
First Generation

Michael (1833 – 1901)Timon, a son of John Timon and Margaret Maxwell, was born on 27 July 1833. He married Maria Mc Dermott on 24 February 1859. They had at least nine children two of whom (Michael 1st and Winifred 1st) died in the first two years of life and a third (Mary) died at the age of 12 years. As in the case of his brother, John, there are no records of births for the first four years of their marriage as the Baptismal records are not available for those years. He died on 2 April 1901 and his wife, Maria, died on 25 March 1904; both are buried in the old Tibohine cemetery.

Like his brother, John, he clearly attached great importance to the education of his children. As a result, four of his children, Patrick, Michael, Catherine and Winifred became National School teachers – no mean feat for a small farmer in those days! All four began teacher training through the School Monitor programme – an Apprentice Teacher Training system offered to bright students that involved ‘in school’ training and study assignments for a period of up to seven years (Timon, 2004).

Michael (1833 – 1901) Timon’s eldest son, Patrick Timon, was born on 29

Patrick Timon 1930’s

January 1864. He served his Teacher Training Apprenticeship programme in the old school in Tibohine and was appointed National School teacher in Killala, Co. Mayo where he served for 10 years and was appointed Principal in 1882. He entered the newly established St. Patrick’s Teacher Training College, in Drumcondra, Dublin in 1888 as its first student and graduated with a National School Teacher Diploma in July 1889. He was appointed to the old Don National School in Cortoon in September 1889 and became Principal of the newly built Don National School when it first opened in 1904. He clearly loved trees and was responsible for the planting of a wide range of trees and shrubs around the new school. They are beautiful mature trees today, a testament to his memory, and I’m proud to say that I have been able to grow ‘offspring trees’ from chestnuts collected in the schoolyard. He retired in 1928 and died 11 September 1949. He is buried in Kilcolman Cemetery, Ballagaderreen.

Briget Gallagher

He married Bridget Gallagher from Lissargool in 1891 and in the process inherited 18 acres of land which presumably was her dowry. He set up what might be described as a ‘model farm’ in those days. It included a small nicely laid out orchard, a set of neatly arranged farm buildings including a trap house. He traveled to school each day in a horse and trap. Patrick and Bridget had seven children, viz., Eva, Austin, Ethel, Ambrose, Patrick, James and Dermot Timon.

Michael (1833 – 1901) Timon’s first daughter, Mary Timon, born on 24 June 1866, died of ‘dropsy’ at the age of twelve. His second daughter, Margaret Timon, born on 10 June 1868, became a nun and entered the Poor Clare’s Convent in Hampshire, England. This was a strictly enclosed Order and other than writing an annual letter home to her sister, Winifred, little is known of her; she died in the convent in Hampshire.

The Michael Timon Branch

Michael (1833 – 1901) Timon’s second son, Edward Timon, was born on 29 May 1873. He remained at home on the farm, never married and died in 1924 at the relatively young age of 51 years.

Michael (1833 – 1901) Timon’s daughter, Catherine Timon, born on 4 July 1875,

Catherine Timon Greally

trained as a National School Teacher, initially as a Monitor in Tibohine National School, in the then National School Teacher Apprenticeship Programme. She completed her Monitress examinations in 1894 and was admitted to Carysfort Teacher Training College in 1895 where she completed the National School Teacher Diploma in 1897. She was appointed as a teacher in Tibohine National School for Girls on 1 January 1900. She moved to Kilkenny on marrying Michael Greally. They had three children, viz., Horace, James and Joseph Greally. Catherine Timon-Greally died on 1 August, 1945 and is buried in Kilkenny.

Michael Timon

Michael (1833 – 1901) Timon’s eldest son, Michael Timon was born on 2 July 1878. Like his brother Patrick and sisters Catherine and Winifred, he initially trained as a National School Teacher within the National Teacher Apprenticeship Scheme, commencing his assignment as a Monitor in Tibohine National School on 1 July 1891. He entered St. Patrick’s Training College, Drumcondra, Dublin, in September 1896 and qualified as a National School Teacher in July 1898. He took up a post as teacher in Multifarnham National School.

Mary Barry Timon

He married Mary Barry on 17 February 1917. In addition to teaching Michael Timon and his wife ran a small shop in Multifarnham.

Fr. Vincent Timon

They had five children, four of whom entered the Church, viz., Vincent (Fr. Vincent was born in 1920),

Sister Columba (Maeve Timon)

Maeve (Sr. Columba was born in 1922),

Fr. Ambrose Timon

Ambrose (Fr. Ambrose was born in 1926), Michael

Fr. Michael Timon

(Fr. Michael was born in 1928);

Una Timon O Connor

their daughter, Una Timon, was born on 6 September 1926.

Miss Winifred Timon on retirement as NT Tibohine NS

Michael (1833 – 1901) Timon’s youngest daughter, Winifred (Una) Timon, was born on 19 September 1881. Following in the footsteps of her three elder siblings, she also became a teacher. She initially served as a Monitoress in the Don National School, Cortoon, (alongside her older brother, Patrick) from 1896 to 1903, at which time she entered Carysfort Teacher Training College. She qualified as a teacher in 1905 and commenced work in the Don Girl’s School on 1 July 1905. She was awarded the National School Teaching Diploma on 11 February 1908. She later transferred to Tibohine National School for Girls in 1910 as Principal and she continued to work as a teacher in Tibohine NS up to retirement in 1947. She was a fluent Irish speaker and had a keen interest in Irish folklore. In this context, she had frequent contact with Douglas Hyde who collected many Irish Folklore stories in the Tibohine area. Winifred (Una) Timon died on 12 February 1960.

Subsequent Generations

Patrick Timon (1864 – 1949), like his father Michael, and uncles John and Edward, placed great emphasis on the education of his children, three of whom attended Medical School in University College, Dublin.

Ethel Timon Ingham

However, Ethel was the only one to finish her studies and qualified as a doctor in 1927. Eva became ill with pneumonia (and perhaps TB which was prevalent in those days) and died in her first year in University. Her brother, Patrick, got involved in Republican politics in his first year in University (1920) and joined the IRA; he later entered St. Patrick’s Teacher Training College in 1926 and became a National School teacher.

Patrick (1864 – 1949) Timon’s oldest daughter, Marie Agnes (Eva) Timon, was born on 1 May 1893. Apparently, she was a very good-looking and talented girl, was admitted to Medical School in University College Dublin but tragically died (Pneumonia/tuberculosis) in 1913, whilst on holidays during her 1st year in University.

Austin Timon

Patrick (1864 – 1949) Timon’s oldest son, James Austin Timon, was born on 6 April 1894. His father decided that he should remain at home to farm; to this end, he spent some time in Agricultural College. He became a recognised judge of livestock, particularly horses and cattle. He married Margaret Feeney and they had three children, viz.,

Eva Timon on Graduation

Eva Maria, Leo and Ambrose Bernard. Ambrose died when he was five years old. Leo never married and died aged 40. Austin was tragically killed in a road accident on 23 August 1963 at age 69.

Austin (1894 – 1963) Timon’s daughter, Eva Timon, was born on 24 April 1928. She went to live with her aunt, Ethel in London when she was 7 years old. She was educated in England, studied Psychology at London University and worked as an Educational Psychologist in Surrey. She married Dermot Molony in 1960. They had one son, Neil, born in 1964. Records on Neil Molony and his family are entered on the Timon Family Tree.

Ethel Timon circa 1940

Patrick (1864 – 1949) Timon’s youngest daughter, Ethel Timon, was born on 1 May 1896. She married Charles Ingham from Blackrock, Co. Dublin – a fellow medical student in Trinity College Dublin in the 1920’s. They both worked as medical doctors in London.

Charles Ingham, Chancellor, London University

Charles Ingham became Chancellor of the University of London and apart from his academic achievements he was a recognised sportsman having won the Irish Lawn Tennis championship in his student days in Dublin. They didn’t have any children. Ethel died on 24 August 1984. They were both buried in Esher, Surrey, London.

Patrick (1964 – 1949) Timon’s sons, Michael Ambrose (1896 – 1924), Edward James (1904 – 1923) and Dermot Francis (1908 – 1913) all died at a young age. All three are said to have died from pneumonia but as tuberculosis was prevalent in Ireland at that time it may well have been a factor. It has also been suggested that James Timon’s death was caused by injuries he sustained as a member of the IRA in Dublin (where his brother, Patrick, was also active a member) and that he contracted pneumonia when he returned home to recuperate.

My Father, Patrick Timon on retirement from The Don NS>

Patrick (1964 – 1949) Timon’s son, Patrick A. Timon, was born on 18 April 1902. On completion of the Leaving Certificate in St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen, he enrolled as a first-year medical student at University College, Dublin in 1919. On entering college he became involved in politics which was strongly influenced by the growth in Republicanism at that time. He joined the IRA and basically very little is known of his whereabouts (on the run) for the following four years. On 18th January 1925, he entered the Patrician College, Mountrath, Co. Laois, to prepare for the entrance examination to St. Patrick’s Teacher Training College, Drumcondra, Dublin. He entered St. Patrick’s College in September 1926 and qualified as a National School Teacher the following year. His first teaching post was in Carraroe National School, in the Commemara Gaeltacht, where he developed a deep love for the Irish language which he retained throughout his life. He was a fluent Irish speaker and always wore a ‘fáinne’ which he was awarded in 1926, as a student in St. Patrick’s College. He was appointed Principal of the Don National School in 1928 on the retirement of his father. He taught at the Don School from 1928 until 1960 at which time he transferred to Fairymount National School as Principal.

May Sherlock as a young teacher in Fairymount

He married Mary (May) Sherlock in the Pro-Cathedral, Dublin on 23 April 1935. She was a teacher in Fairymount National School, having qualified in Craiglockhart Teacher Training College, Scotland in 1931. They lived in Fairymount and apart from their activities as teachers they were very much involved in Parish affairs and in particular in local drama and in the Lough Gara Historical Society. May Timon was an accomplished pianist and played the church organ in Fairymount church for more than 50 years. Patrick Timon’s chief interests apart from the Irish language were history and Irish folklore; he made several contributions to the Irish Folklore Commission collections and published a number of articles on local history. He was a lifelong supporter of Eamon De Valera and the Fianna Fail party. He also had much contact with President Douglas Hyde in reference to the collection of Irish Folklore stories in the Tibohine area. In this context, he published a triad of articles (in Irish) in the Irish Press shortly after Douglas Hyde’s death. Patrick Timon had two children, Brendan and Vivian Timon (myself). He died on 15 March 1977 (see the tribute in Roscommon Herald overleaf); his wife May Timon died on 7 September 1993. They are both buried in Fairymount Cemetery.

Brendan Timon in the 80’s

Patrick Timon’s (1902 – 1977) oldest son, Brendan Timon, was born on 5 March 1936. He attended St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen from 1949 to 1955; studying for exams never interested him. On inheriting the Timon farm in Tibohine in 1960 he became a fulltime farmer – based on a love of animals which he had acquired as a child. Like his uncle Austin, he became quite expert in judging livestock and spent much of his life as a livestock trader to compliment his farming activities.

He married Maria Helena (Mel) Beirne in 1962. They had four children, viz., Maria, Padraic, Frances and Sean. Records of their families are listed on the Timon family Tree. Brendan Timon died on 30 December 2003 and is buried in the new Tibohine Cemetery.

Patrick Timon’s Death Notice in Roscommon Herald
Vivian Timon

Patrick (1902 – 1977) Timon’s, second son, Vivian Timon was born on 11 November 1937. Details of my family and their families are listed on the Timon Family Tree.

Horace Greally

Catherine (1875 – 1945) Timon-Greally’s son, Horace

Greally, was born on 18 September 1905. He married Frances Sheridan. They had one daughter, Clare Greally born on 9 May 1957.

Clare Greally
Fr. Hubert Greally

Catherine (1875 – 1945) Timon-Greally’s second son, James Greally was born on 3 November 1907. He became a Franciscan priest (known as Fr. Hubert) and spent much of his life on the Missions. He died on 29 March 1993 in Cork. His brother, Joseph Greally, born on 5 June 1909, died in 1912 at three years of age.

Una Timon O Connor

Michael (1878 – ) Timon’s daughter, Una Timon, was born on 6 September 1926. She studied Nursing and married David O’ Connor.

Mary Frances (Terry) O Connor

They lived in Dublin and had three children, viz., Marie Frances (Terry),

David O Connor Jnr

David and Ciaran. Una Timon O’Connor died on 25 October 1995. Genealogical records on the subsequent members of this family are to be found on the Timon Family Tree.

The Edward Timon Branch.
Descendants of Edward Timon and Maria Beirne
First Generation
Edward Timon

Edward (1836 – 1924) Timon, a son of John Timon and Margaret Maxwell was born on 27 October 1836. He married Maria Beirne from Banada in 1868. They had twelve children, two of whom were twins (Maria Catherine and Winifred) that died within three weeks of birth. Edward was known to be a very good storyteller and he had a wide knowledge of Irish history and folklore. He was a member of the Tibohine Branch of the United Irish League. There is a very interesting story on the history of Tibohine as related by Edward to his grand-nephew Patrick Timon (1902 – 1977), published by the Irish Folklore Commission, 1937.

Maria Beirne Timon

Both Edward and Maria lived to old age; Maria Beirne Timon died on 6 January 1924 and Edward Timon died eleven months later on 21 December 1924. Amazingly, he had a headstone erected for his wife in that intervening period. They were both buried in Tibohine cemetery. In common with his brothers Michael and John, Edward encouraged his children to value education and to seek work other than farming.

Edward (1836 – 1924) Timon’s eldest son, John Timon, was born on 25 December 1869. He emigrated to England and joined the British Constabulary in Manchester. As he was being recruited his name was spelled Tymon and both he and his family retained that spelling thereafter. He married Ms. Ellis in 1894. They had two children, Mary (May) Tymon and Edward Tymon. His wife died shortly after the birth of Edward. John never remarried and died in 1938.

Edward (1836 – 1924) Timon’s second son, Michael Timon was born on 24 June 1871. He also emigrated to Britain and followed his brother’s footsteps and joined the British Constabulary. The spelling of his name and his subsequent family was also changed to Tymon. He married Mary Cunningham in 1900. They had 8 children, viz., Edward, Francis, Kathleen Mary, Leo Michael, Winifred, Valentine, Thomas and Leonard Tymon. He died in 1943.

Edward (1836 – 1924) Timon’s son, Edward Timon, was born on 27 March 1882. He also emigrated to England and worked in hotels all across the midland counties. He never married. He died in Salford, Lancashire.

Edward (1836 – 1924) Timon’s son, Martin Timon, remained on the home farm in Tibohine. He married Margaret Kilkenny. They had four children, viz., Maria Helena (Mel), Kathleen, Thomas Joseph and Margaret Ita Timon. Martin Timon died on 23 September 1953. His wife, Margaret Kilkenny Timon died on 18 March, 1973.

Patrick Timon NY

Edward (1836 – 1924) Timon’s son, Patrick Timon, was born on 6 November, 1886. He emigrated to the USA, traveling first to England to his brothers John and Michael, and then traveled from Manchester to the United States. He married Margaret Conlon in New York on 10 January 1917. They had four children, viz., Margaret Mary (Peggy), Patrick Joseph, Thomas Kevin and Edward Timon. Edward died in 1920 when just two years old. Unfortunately, his wife died on 6 November 1932, at the young age of 44, leaving Patrick to rear their children on his own. This was just prior to the Great Depression when like so many others in the US at that time he lost his job. Clearly, it must have been a very harrowing time for him and his young family. However, he succeeded in rearing his children very successfully. He died in August 1951. Patrick Timon and his wife Margaret are both buried in Statin Island Cemetery, New York.

Edward (1836 – 1924) Timon’s son, Thomas Timon, was born on 9 October 1888. Firstly, he emigrated to England and in 1915 traveled from Manchester to New York. He was best man at the wedding of his brother Patrick in 1917. He returned to England and later to Tibohine where he worked as an Insurance Agent. He died prematurely at age 34 on 8 August, 1922. He is buried in the old Tibohine cemetery.

Edward (1836 – 1924) Timon’s youngest daughter, Mary Kate Timon, was born on 12 April 1892. She married Michael Maxwell from Callow, Frenchpark. They had four children, viz., Mary Josephine, Nora Bernadette, Teresa Margaret and Edward Kevin Maxwell. Mary Josephine died on 28 October 1937, aged 12 years. Michael Maxwell died on 13 June 1967; his wife, Mary Kate, died on 14 November, 1970.

Subsequent Generations

John (1869 – 1938) Tymon Timon’s son Edward Tymon/Timon grew up and lived intermittently between Manchester and Tibohine and never settled down permanently in either place; consequently, he was known as ‘The Hiker’. He was by all accounts a very likable man but never took life seriously and hence never settled anywhere. He died in Roscommon County Hospital on 11 September 1972.

John (1869 – 1938) Tymon Timon’s daughter Mary Tymon was born in 1895 and died in 1957. She married John Connor in June 1920. They had five children, viz., Kitty, John, Mary, Nora and Margaret.

Mary (1895 – 1957) Tymon Connor’s eldest daughter Kitty Connor was born in 1921. At ninety years of age, she is currently living in a nursing home in Stockport.

Mary (1895 – 1957) Tymon Connor’s oldest son, John (Jack) Connor, was born in 1923. He was a prisoner of war in Germany in World War 11. He never married and died in 2008.

Mary (1895 – 1957) Tymon Connor’s daughter, Mary Connor, was born in 1924. She married Douglas Jardine in 1952. They had three children, viz., Bernadette, Michael and Maureen Jardine. Genealogical records of the living members of their families are on the Timon Family Tree.

Mary (1895 – 1957) Tymon Connor’s daughter, Nora Connor was born in 1927. She married Denis O’ Neill in 1958. They had three children, viz., Gerard, Pauline and Collette Ann O’ Neil. Genealogical records of the living members of their families are on the Timon Family Tree.

Mary (1895 – 1957) Tymon Connor’s daughter, Margaret Connor was born in 1929. She didn’t marry. She died in 1983.

Michael (1871 – 1943) Tymon Timon’s oldest son Edward Tymon, was born in 1901 in Chorlton, Manchester. He never married. He contracted TB in his early thirties and died in Manchester Sanatorium on 6 May 1937. A will probated in June 1937 shows that he left £253.14.11 to his parents – a not inconsiderable sum in those days.

Michael (1871 – 1943) Tymon Timon’s second born son, Francis Tymon, was born on 11 March 1904. He studied journalism and became a stereo-typist; he initially worked with the News Chronicle and following its closure he worked with the News of the World for 21 years. He then moved to Blackpool where he worked as Chief Stereo-typist for the Blackpool Gazette. On retirement, he worked as a Volunteer Lifeboat Keeper on Blackpool harbour for twenty years. In recognition of his service to the Blackpool Lifeboat Service, he was honoured with a Civic burial following his death in 1980. He married Elsie Sutton in November 1931. They had three children, Mary, Patricia and Catherine Tymon.

Francis (1904 – 1980)Tymon’s daughter, Mary Tymon, was born in 1933. She married Mr Helsby. They had two children, Margaret and Michael Helsby.

Patricia Timon Telfor

Francis (1904 – 1980) Tymon’s daughter, Patricia Tymon, was born in 1935. She married David Verity in 1957. They had three children, viz., Antony, Cristina and Peter Verity. Later she married Fredrick Telfor. They had one son, James Telfor. Genealogical details of these children and their families can be found on the Timon Family Tree.

Francis (1904 – 1980) Tymon’s daughter, Catherine Tymon, was born 1939. She married Peter Hogg in 1960. They had four children, viz., Mark, Susan, Paul Francis and John Robert Hogg. Catherine Tymon Hogg died on 1 August 2008. Genealogical details of these children and their families can be found on the Timon Family Tree.

Michael (1871 – 1943) Tymon Timon’s daughter, Kathleen Tymon, was born in 1905. She married John Barnett in 1933.

Michael (1871 – 1943) Tymon Timon’s son, Leo Michael, was born on 27 June 1907. He didn’t marry and died in 1982.

Michael (1871 – 1943) Tymon Timon’s daughter, Winifred Tymon, was born in 1909. She married Michael Bollard in 1948.

Michael (1871 – 1943) Tymon Timon’s son, Valentine Tymon, was born in 1910.

Anthony Tymon Timon

He married Mary Hart in 1935. He was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War 11. They had one son, Anthony Tymon, born in 1942. Antony Tymon married

Clare Timon Tymon

Clare Mc Hugh in 1967. He worked with British Airways as Head Chef.

Michael (1871 – 1943) Tymon Timon’s son, Thomas Tymon, was born in 1912. He didn’t marry and died in1991.

Michael (1871 – 1943) Tymon Timon’s son, Leonard Tymon, was born in 1919. He never married and died in 1990.

Martin (1884 – 1953)Timon’s oldest daughter, Mel Timon, married Michael Beirne. They had seven children, viz., Marian, Dolores, Louise, Michael, Evelyn, John, and Donal Beirne. Mel Timon Beirne died in 2010. Genealogical details of their children and their families can be found on the Timon Family Tree.

Martin (1884 – 1953)Timon’s second daughter, Kathleen Timon, was born on 27 September 1926. She married Thomas Joseph Beirne in 1955. They had four children, viz., Cyril, Basil, Adrian and Declan Beirne. Kathleen Timon Beirne died on 4 September 1996. Thomas Joseph Beirne died on 10 August 2002. They are both buried in the new Tibohine graveyard. Genealogical details of their children and their families can be found on the Timon Family Tree.

Martin (1884 – 1953) Timon’s son, Thomas Joseph Timon, was born on 25 March 1928. He married Margaret Mulrennan and moved to live in Brenamore, Loughlinn, Co. Roscommon. They had four children, viz., Thomas, Michael, Brendan and Liam Timon. Thomas Joseph Timon died on 1 June 1990. Genealogical details of their children and their families can be found on the Timon Family Tree.

Martin (1884 – 1953)Timon’s youngest daughter, Margaret Ita, was born on 10 January 1931. She died on 14 January 2010. She is buried in the old Tibohine graveyard.

Peggy Timon

Patrick (1886 – 1951) Timon’s daughter, Margaret Mary (Peggy) Timon was born on 21 April 1919, in New York, USA. She initially trained as a secretary and worked for Prentiss Hall Publishing Company. Later, attending night school, she graduated with a BA in Education from Fordham University and later still received an MA from Wagner College, Statin Island. She then worked as a teacher in Elementary School on Statin Island for more than thirty years. On retirement she did voluntary work at St. Vincent’s Hospital on Statin Island. She also travelled a lot and regularly visited Ireland. She died on 3 August 2008.

Patrick (1886 – 1951) Timon’s son, Patrick Joseph Timon was born in New York on 13 April 1921. He graduated from St. Peter’s High School and shortly afterward joined the US Army and saw duty in England, France, Belgium and Germany. On disbandment, he worked as a technical supervisor for the Getty Oil Refinery, Delaware. He married Rita Leonard (born 13 September 1925) in June 1949. They had one daughter, Noreen Timon, born on 20 December, 1950. Genealogical details of this family can be found on the Timon Family Tree.

Tom Kevin Timon

Patrick (1886 – 1951) Timon’s son, Thomas Kevin Timon, was born in New York on 4 November 1924. He graduated from St. Peter’s High School and shortly afterward joined the US Navy, serving from 1943 to 1946. On leaving the navy he went back to college and graduated from Manhattan College, NYC, in 1949. He worked in HR in the American Cyanamid Company for more than 35 years before retirement. He worked for a further six years with a retired Cyanimid colleague of his before finally calling it a day a few short years ago. He currently does voluntary work at Stamford Hospital. Tom Timon meeting Roscommon Cousins at The Timon Get-Together 2009

Sister Bernadette (Maxwell

Mary Kate (1892 – 1970) Timon- Maxwell’s daughter, Nora Bernadette Maxwell was born on 2 February 1927 in Callow, Frenchpark. She joined the convent in Loughlinn, run by the Franciscan Missionary of Mary. As Sister Bernadette, she has served the order throughout Europe and Asia, including Ceylon and Pakistan. She is currently based in Limerick.

Mary Kate (1884 – 1953) Timon- Maxwell’s daughter,

Teresa Maxwell Egan

Teresa Margaret (Tess) Maxwell was born on 3 December 1928 in Callow, Frenchpark. She married Vincent Egan from Kilconly, Co. Galway and lived in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. They had five children, viz., Margaret Mary, Michael James, John Joseph, Kevin Vincent and Liam Patrick Egan. Genealogical details of their children and their families can be found on the Timon Family Tree.

Mary Kate (1884 – 1953) Timon- Maxwell’s son, Edward Kevin Maxwell, was born on 31 May, 1930 in Callow, Frenchpark. He exchanged farms through a Land Commission settlement and moved to live in Rathcroghan, Co. Roscommon. He married Nancy Higgins. He died on 20 January 1986. They had one son, Michael Maxwell born in 1968. Further genealogical details of this family can be found on the Timon Family Tree.

References

Callaghan, Luke, 1921. Famine Times. Recollections as told by Luke Callaghan to Pádraic Ó Tiomáin, December 1921 and published in the Schools Collection of the Irish Folklore Commission, 1937.

Chadwick, Nora, 1971. The Celts. First published by Penguin Books, 1971. Reproduced by The Folio Society, London, 1997.

Feehan, John, 2003. Farming in Ireland: History, Heritage and Environment. Faculty of Agriculture, University College, Dublin, 2003.

Lavin, Thomas, 1957. The ambush at Teevnacreeva. The Roscommon Herald Centenary Edition, 1957.

Russell, Bertrand, 1946. History of Western Philosophy. First published in 1946, republished by the Folio Society, London, 2004.

Timon, Edward, 1918. Tibohine Parish as related to Pádraic Ó Tiomáin and published in the Schools Collection of the Irish Folklore Commission, 1937.

Timon, Patrick, 1986. Tibohine – A paper presented to the Lough Gara Historical Society, 1969, and later published in the Roscommon Archaeological and Historical Society Journal, Vol. 1, 1986.

Timon, Vivian, 2004. Education and the struggle to survive: A desire to learn – A desire to teach. The Don National School Centenary Publication, 2004. The Print Shop, Balaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon.

Young, Arthur, 1892. A Tour of Ireland with general observations on the present state of the Kingdom made in the years 1776, 1777 and 1778. George Bell & Sons, London, 1892.

Registers & Surveys

Fairymount Baptismal Register (1864 to date). The Parochial House, Fairymount, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon.

Tibohine Baptismal and Marriage Register (1833 – 1859). The National Library of Ireland, Kildare St., Dublin.

Roscommon Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, HSE, Lansboro Rd., Roscommon.

Applotments Survey, 1825 – 1834. National Library of Ireland, Kildare St., Dublin.

Elphin Diocesan Survey, 1749. Published on the Leitrim – Roscommon website. www.Leitrim-Roscommon.com.

Griffith’s Land Valuation Survey, 1850’s. Published on the Leitrim – Roscommon website. www.Leitrim-Roscommon.com.


* Not to mention – ‘Timon of Athens’, The philosopher – ‘Timon of Phlius’ or ‘Deacon Timon’ – one of the seven ‘Deacons of the Church’.

History of Fairymount/Tibohine

Tibohine

Extracts from talk given to the Lough Gara Historical Society by Patrick Timon, NT. Fairymount, 1969. 

Patrick Timon on retirenent

(Later published in the Roscommon Archaeological and Historical Society Journal, Vol. 1, 1986.)

Tibohine, Ti Baethin in Airteach, also known as Tir Eanna or Tir Enda, comprised the present parishes of Tibohine, Frenchpark and Loughlinn. It had 15 ancient ‘baile’ or ‘sen cleithi’ from which it can be inferred it was half a ‘Triocha Cead’ or’ Barony’ or’ Hundred’. It was referred to frequently by Tireachan as Tir Eanna in Airteach.

On the east, it was separated from’ Magh Ai’ of Cruchan by a sruill from the Castlerea area down through Belach na gCarr (Ballinagare) to meet the Brideog River with which and Lough Technet* it was bounded on the north. Abha na Luinge flowed along most of its west side to almost Bun Suicin in Co. Mayo. The Suck on the South separated it from Cill Caoimhin (Castlerea) parish.

Who was this Enda of Airteach?

He was son of the famous King Niall Mor and a brother of Laeghaire. Enda with his brother, Fiach, rudely opposed St. Patrick at Uisneach 433, and when Patrick pronounced a course on Uisneach and Fiach, Enda listened to Patrick and was baptised. In sorrow, he made atonement and offered to Patrick for the church – “ a Ridge in every Nine” in all his territory, as a dowry with his infant son, Cormac, whom he placed as foster son with Patrick’s sister Darerca**. King Laoire confirmed this grant of territory to Patrick. It comprised 15’ sen cleithi’ in Airteach, Connacht, in which Laoire had previously installed Enda as ruler. There was at the time a literary as well as a civil fosterage in Ireland.

This Cormac was reared and educated by Patrick’s nephews (sons of Darerca) to wit: Bishop Donal of Aileach Airtigh (now Castlemore, Ballaghaderreen), Bishop Coimid of Cluain San Mhaoil (Frenchpark) and Bishop De Bonne (Davone in Kilnamanagh, Frenchpark – Boyle road).

Incidentally, this Cormac Mac Enna Mac Neill was Patrick’s successor in Armagh. In accordance with the “servitude of the church” (Book of Armagh) as the land of Airteach really belonged by spiritual descent to Cormac the four churches in Airteach had to send a cow each to Cormac and his successors until it was remitted by Nuda, Abbot of Armagh, in 801 A.D.

In 437 Lallocc, daughter of Darerca, niece of St. Patrick and foster sister of Cormac was brought by Patrick and Bishop Cathach to Ard Senila, ancient name of Fairymount. They came 5 miles north from Ard Lice (near Cloonalis where they founded a church and left Deacon Caoimhin who gave his name to Castlerea parish (Kilkeevan). In Fairymount on the side of Maighean Iontach, a mile west of the old fort on top of Ard Sen Lios, Patrick founded a church to which Lallocc her name, Cill Lallocc, a name which down the years has been very badly pronounced and the spot is now known as Cill i Hooley. There are no ruins of the church, but it was known as sacred ground and was used as a burial place for unbaptised infants until a short time ago.

According to Dr. Hanley, Patrick founded another church nearby for Bishop Cethech of whom there is no mention again in Fairymount. He is found with Patrick and Cethech’s brother, Sichill, in Oran where a Basilica was built.

The site of the old Don Lios in Fairymount is the present Carn Cloch on the summit of Fairymount hill. It commands a great view over Airteach and to Cruachan. The name Ard Sean Lios and Maighean Iontach have disappeared in the last 30 years. The name Mullach an Si has been adopted and there are two meanings given for its origin by old people. Mullach na Sidhi – the mount of the whirlwinds (586 ft.) and Fairymount – the hill of the fairies supposed to be given to it by ancient pagans who saw Lallocc and her holy virgins in the distance near Ard Sean Lios. There remains no other name as a saint other than St. Lalocc in the Fairymount area.

Patrick did not travel from Fairymount to the Tibohine end of Airteach from Fairymount. Instead he went on to Oran. Why? We must remember he travelled by Carbad (chariot) and there was no ramhad from here to Tibohine.

According to Cormac’s Glossary there were 5 classes of roads in Erin.

1. Sed, Semita Unius Animalia.

2. Lamh Rod – a Bridle road

3. Tuath Rod – a people’s path from fort to fort.

4. Bothar – a road for flocks.

5. Ramhad – a road so wide that the chariot of a king or a Bishop could pass by each other without touching.

Instead we find that Patrick came to the present place called Tibohine from Moylurg. He was proceeding north through Hugh Loirg when his horses were stolen from his camp or Eas na Erc. He came to his friends in Airteach for fresh horses and to the present place called Baethin. Here he founded a church which later came to be known as Domus Baethini – Ti Baethin, which gave its name to the parish. Local tradition held that Baothin was with him but Tireachan in the Book of Armagh states that Baethin, grandson of Enda of Airteach, inherited (spiritual) this church a century later. In the Tripartite Baethin is given as a contemporary of St. Nathy and St. Attracta of Breedouge.

Baethin of Airteach apparently extended this church and the number of cealla covered several acres in hill in Tibohine overlooking Domus Baethin. It flourished from the 6th to early 18th century and was described in the Book of Lecan and the Annals. In “An ait be mho Cliu in Airteach ba e Ti Beatha e” – The most famous place in Airteach, Ti Baethin. The civil rulers were Clann Diarmaid Gall of Enda.

There was not to be found a ceard in Erin that was not to be found in Ti Tibohine. It is frequently mentioned in the Book of Lecan, Book of Armagh and the Annals.

1225. An entry states “Giolla an Coimhdere Mac Giolla Coraig, uasal, sagart agus pearson, d’eag.”

A few years later, a similar entry – “ Mac Giolla Eanaig, Tigh Baethin d’eag.” In 1230 Aodh Muineach O’ Concubhar and his brother plundered (slad) Ti Baethin and its cealla and carried away considerable quantities of gold. silver and leather goods (Book of Armagh).

Ti Baethin recovered from these raids and several others from Ulster.

It was not until the Cromwellian soldiers, who had settled in the area – The Frenches, later De Freynes, arrived that Domus Baetheni suffered its final destruction. They invaded Airteach after much bloodshed and spent nine days carrying away the total contents to Dun Gar camps.

They burned Ti Baethin and took possession of many of the fifteen sean Cleithi of Airteach. Over these we find them as landlords in the following century.

The manaigh fled with many articles, which they buried in bogs and even in Lough Technet. There was an old saying in Tibohine: “Ta sadhbhreass sa loch nach eisc.”

One article stolen, a silver chalice, was given by the De Freynes years later, to the Minister of the Protestant Church in Portahard. It was inscribed Ecclesia Airtigh 1707. It is still there I presume. In like manner these De Freynes with Davises and Cornwalls burned and plundered churches in Cloonshanville, Kilnamanagh, Kilrodain and Kilrain.

After Catholic Emancipation the old unit of Airteach Enda was no more. Churches were built in Frenchpark, Tibohine (in O Connor Don’s property) and Loughlynn. One of the De Freynes married a Catholic in early 19th century and gave a patch of land for the present church in Tibohine which previously had temporary accommodation in Carragharriffe and Teevnacreeva in O’Connor’s property.

The roofless walls of Ti Baethin remained for nearly a century when the County Council took over the graveyards. They pulled down the walls and used the stones for road material. We are told that old men with tears in their eyes begged the engineer not to take away Baethin’s house. He laughed and said he would leave some. He did. It remains, a small portion covered with ivy in Tibohine cemetery.

During the Famine the parish suffered very badly. Scores had been driven west from the good lands “the Machaire” and they died in their hundreds. The grounds around the old monastery, where Baethin and his monks were buried, were used to bury the unfortunate victims at night as well as by day and were completely filled up.

There was a stone over a door in the monastery with the inscription Domus Baetheni and a worn date. It is supposed to be in the old fothrach that remains.

What an inglorious end to a church founded by Baethin, one of St. Patrick’s 300 bishops. The present parish is not one-third of the ancient parish of Tibohine – Tir Enda Airteach. Here are now two new churches, one in Tibohine and one in Fairymount and the parish is now frequently called Fairymount parish as the present parish priest lives there since the end of the last century.

Mention of Tibohine would not be complete without a special mention of Dr. Douglas Hyde, President of Ireland, 1938 – 1945. Tigh Baethin is the “Gleann in ar togadh e”, Rath Trae.

Old Place names:

Mt. Sen Lios, Maighean Iontach.

Fothrach in Tibohine cemetery.

Some Leasa – Lios ar gcul, Lios s’choirce, Lios adhaim.

Kill Ui, Cill Lallocc.

Education and The Struggle to Survive

Dr. Vivian M. Timon

“Ní h’iad na fir mhóra a bhaineann an fómhar”

Evolution of National School Education

Ireland in the nineteenth century and indeed in the early part of the twentieth century was an extremely poor country. The West of Ireland, as described in Young’s Tour of Ireland, was exceptionally poor. The people of North Roscommon and in particular the families in the Parish of Fairymount (historically, the Parish of Tibohine), and in the villages adjacent to The Don National School, had very few resources. They were forced to eek out a subsistence living on very small farms and on land that was very limited in its capacity to grow crops; the nature of the soil (very wet heavy clay and peaty soils) and high rainfall limited these farms to the rearing of young cattle and growing a few ridges of potatoes, cabbage, swede turnips and onions. Most households raised hens (for eggs) and chickens and some fed a pig or two on the household waste. Potatoes were the staple diet of most families at this time. This was very painfully evident when in the years, 1845 – 47, the potato blight wrought a major famine across Ireland and in particular on the people of Connaught. More than one million people died and as many more took to the emigrant ships. National Population Census data show that the population of the Fairymount/Tibohine parish fell by more that 30 % in the years 1841 to 1851. Painful memories of 24 hour (night and day) burials of the dead in the old cemetery in Tibohine have been compiled and are recorded in the records of the Irish Folklore Commission. Little wonder that the ‘banshee’ would feature strongly in the old Irish stories and poems that Douglas Hyde collected in this area some years later, such as:

Dúirt bean liom go ndhúirt bean léi,

Go ndhúirt bean eile gur inis bean dí,

Go bhfaca sí bean ag bun na sceithe,

Agus bean nár bean acht sí bhean í.

As families struggled with ever-present poverty and the still vivid memories of the famine, aggravated by political domination and neglect, they began to realise that education was their only passport to survival – albeit a survival that was to entail the hardships and uncertainties of emigration for many of them. They were a very resourceful people meeting adversity and hardship with resilience and courage. Memories of the Penal Days when they were deprived of rights to property, education and political representation were also still vivid in their minds. To their great credit, an inherent appreciation and respect for knowledge and learning (an old Celtic tradition, kept alive through the Hedge Schools because of and despite political repression), quickly resurfaced once the Government and the Churches finally began to agree and implement a National Education Policy over the middle decades of the nineteenth century.

Building Schools

It was against this background that the old Don National School was first established in 1866. Some very considerable progress followed Government First Secretary, Edward G. Stanley’s establishment in 1831 of a Board of Commissioners to launch and direct a non-denominational national education system across Ireland. However, it took more than five decades of debate and confrontation between the Catholic and Protestant Churches and the Establishment to agree a ‘modus operandum’ in which to advance and manage the National School System. Certainly, significant progress was made in the school building programme. In 1836, with a population of almost eight million people, Ireland had only 1,300 schools, whereas fifty years later with a population of less than five million, there were 8,034 schools. The number of pupils attending Primary Schools rose from 475,559 in 1841 to 636,777 in 1901, albeit the population had almost halved.

However, many of the schools built in that period were of very poor quality. Records of schools such as the old Don National School in the 1870 – 80’s testify to this. For the most part, these schools were mud-walled, earthen-floored and thatched-roofed cabins. Little wonder that an Inspector, visiting the old Don School some years later, reported that the building was in such a very bad state, being cold, wet and damp and the children so cold and miserable that he sent them home. The initial building grants from the Board were very small and funding from Local Councils very irregular or non-existent. Some schools were vested in trust under the patronage of the local landlord: for example, the Don National Schools in Cortoon and in Cloonboniffe were built under the patronage of Charles Owen, The O’Conor Don, whose family home was at Cloonalis, outside Castlerea. However, the levels of financial support were very small. Funds for maintenance, usually administrated by the local Parish Priest, were paltry or non-existent and often the teachers had to repair and maintain the schools themselves. The pupils and their families had to supply the school with turf – a tradition that lasted in the area right up to the 1960’s. No doubt, the families around Cortoon felt much relief in 1904 when the old Don School was replaced with the present much more substantial stone and concrete building.

Teachers – Teacher Training

When the National School initiative was launched in 1831 there was a serious shortage of trained teachers. As with the school development programme, a prolonged confrontation developed between the Board of Governors and the main Churches as to the ethos and nature (denominational or secular) of teacher training. Initially, the Board initiated a three month (some years later to be extended to a two year course at Marlborough Street, Dublin) teacher training programme, mainly in the use of school books – the philosophy underlying this training programme was that teachers would be trained in communication and pedagogic skills but would not necessarily be knowledgeable themselves in the subjects they taught. “Teach what we instruct you to teach” was the order of the day.

The Teacher Training Ethos

Quite clearly, this teacher-training ethos was at total odds with the Irish tradition of teaching in earlier times and in the hedge schools, when teachers, often self taught, were competent in mathematics, engineering, languages (including Latin and Greek), philosophy and politics, such that Goldsmith would write: – “ And still they gazed and still the wonder grew that one small head could carry all he knew”. However, it was a deliberate policy on the part of the Government as it was feared that, in the aftermath of Catholic emancipation, well educated teachers might pose a threat to the establishment as leaders in their community. Certainly, records show that a number of teachers were taken to task by the Schools Inspectorate when and where they stepped outside the establishment line.

As the debate and disagreements on teacher training between the Churches and the Establishment continued and as the shortage of trained teachers became more acute two further teacher-training initiatives were launched. The Board decided to establish a ‘model’ school in each county as a teacher training centre and to introduce a system of “paid monitors”- a teacher support and training system that perhaps is best described in modern day terms as a ‘teacher-training apprenticeship programme’. The ‘Paid Monitor System’ is credited to an Englishman, Mr Lancaster, who promoted the system as a means of increasing the teaching capacity of fully trained teachers. After some years when the Board faced financial and political difficulties in establishing a sufficient number of ‘model’ schools across the country, the practice of training teachers ‘in-situ’ in the National Schools evolved. The Monitor system seems to have developed as follows:

The role of Monitors

Bright pupils in their 7th/8th year in school were identified and introduced to the system. For the first few years their main role was to assist the trained teacher such that he or she could teach a class of at least sixty pupils. The unique role of the Monitor was to stand in the corner of the classroom, behind a semicircle of brass studs around which the pupils would stand, and he or she would read and repeatedly read a particular lesson (e.g., mathematics tables) until the pupils could recite them by rote. Recently removed, those brass markings on the floor in the corner of the Master’s room in the Don School, bore testimony to this practice. Monitors were required to continue their ‘apprenticeship’ for four or more years during which time they sat examinations set and adjudicated on by the Schools Inspectorate and incrementally take on more demanding teaching assignments. They also attended specifically relevant short-term training courses as and when available. In this apprenticeship process, the ambitious and successful Monitor would graduate to Assistant Teacher and ultimately to Teacher, and indeed Principal Teacher. Later when formal Teacher Training Schools were established (Saint Patrick’s Training College, for boys and Carysfort College, for girls) in 1883, many of these monitor-trained teachers underwent a further two-year Teacher Diploma training so as to be recognised as fully qualified National School teachers at the turn of the century.

The Townlands Of Fairymount/Tibohine Parish

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Attendance at ‘The Don National School’

In general, the families in the townlands of Carrowgarife, Lissergool, Cloonfad (some families), Cortoon (Cartron More), Buckhill, Aghacurreen, Moyne, and Barnacawley (some families) sent their children to The Don National School.

The National School Teacher – Role and Reward

As the door of the new Don National School was officially opened in 1904 – an impressive building (the current school) for its time – it might have been presumed that the role and functions of the National School Teacher were well defined. However, this was far from the truth. On the one hand, the teaching syllabus and the consequent training-learning demands on the teacher were changing almost yearly while the status and remuneration of teachers remained at a very low ebb. The only consistent feature throughout the evolution of a relevant syllabus for national school education in the nineteenth century was the primacy of the “Three R’s”, viz., Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, underpinned by a strong emphasis on English. It should be noted that the teaching of Irish was, for several decades, forbidden and when later and reluctantly accepted, particularly in the twelve Western counties, it was given little status by the Board and its Inspectorate. In 1900, its use was permitted as a medium of teaching English and later it was grudgingly allowed as an ‘extra’ subject’.

In an ever-changing curriculum, a range of subjects was foisted on the teachers and pupils alike, almost, it would seem at the whim of the Board and the Inspectorate. These included at an early stage, the Theory of Agriculture (later to be replaced by Nature Studies in 1907 and by Rural Science and Horticulture in 1912), Woodwork, Drawing, Singing, Drill and Physical Education for Boys, and Cookery, Laundry and Domestic Economy for Girls. Strangely, history and geography were only introduced into the curriculum in 1909. It took some seventeen years after the new Don National School was opened before the Government recognized in 1921 the Irish National Teachers Organization’s (INTO) concerns at the “overloading” of the National School Curriculum.

The Government’s scant regard for the role of the National School Teacher was also evident in the salaries that they received. In the early development of the National School programme, teachers were paid a very paltry sum from the Board on the understanding that the pupils’ families would supplement the teacher’s income with a fee. This resulted in many teachers having to find other work simply to survive. In 1872, an ill thought-out system of “payment by results” was introduced by Sir Patrick Keenan on the recommendations of the ‘Powis Commission’ but this was dropped some years later. By 1900, as the new Don School was being built, teacher salary scales for men were as little as £56 per annum at the entry grade increasing to £139 at the top of the scale; women teachers received considerably less. However, the role of the National School teacher began to change significantly following the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. Salary remuneration may not have improved as teachers would have wished, but the role of the teacher in the community did change. The National School Teacher now became accepted as a respected and valuable member of the community and usually was willing to provide help and support to the people, as and wherever they could. The age-old Gaelic tradition of the teacher, with a love of learning and knowledge and a desire (vocation) to teach, was soon to re-emerge. This desire was further embellished by a new set of aspirations and hope that characterised the Ireland of the Irish Free State, post 1922.

The Don School and The Timon Family.

The Don National School strikes at the heart and soul of many families in the townlands of Cortoonmore, Lissergool, Cloonfad, Aghacurreen, Buckhill, Moyne and Barnacawley. Perhaps, none more so than the Timon family from Tibohine and Lissergool that has been involved in national school teaching for the best part of two centuries, and in particular with the Don National School from the very beginning. In the aftermath of the famine, a particular interest in learning and teaching became apparent in the family of Michael Timon and Mary Mc Dermott in Tibohine. Four of their children born in the 1860’s and 70’s became teachers, a remarkable achievement for a family that had to survive on 13 acres of land. The oldest son, Patrick (born in 1863), initially trained as a Monitor in Tibohine National School (1878) and later taught in Killala, Co. Mayo where he later became School Principal. In 1888, he entered the newly opened – Saint Patrick’s Training College, Dublin, as its first student on the Roll Book. On completing the 2-year Teacher Diploma, he was appointed as Principal Teacher in the Don School on the 1st November 1889. His younger brother, Michael, followed in his footsteps some seven years later and after completing his Teaching Diploma, moved to Westmeath, as Principal of Multifarnham National School.

Two of Patrick Timon’s sisters also trained as National School teachers. Winifred, who taught in The Don School initially as a Monitor and Assistant teacher, later returned as a fully qualified teacher to the new Don Girls School in 1905. Her older sister Catherine also trained and taught in Tibohine Girls School and shortly after completing her Teaching Diploma at Carysfort College in 1900, moved to teach in Kilkenny. However, the Timon link with the Don School does not end there. Patrick Timon, as the new Principal teacher in the Don School, married Margaret Gallagher from Lissergool – the Gallagher’s were also a family with strong interest in education. Margaret’s father Patrick studied engineering at Durham University in England and at this time worked as a Surveyor with The Ordinance Survey Office of Ireland. Her brother, Patrick Thomas Gallagher, initially taught as a Monitor (1893) and Assistant Teacher in the Don School and later, after completing the 2-year Teacher Diploma course in Saint Patrick’s College, Dublin, in 1898, he taught as Principal of the Christian Brothers School, Westland Row, Dublin, until he retired in the 1950’s.

The next Timon to teach in the Don National School was my father, Pádhraig Ó Tiomáin (later to become known as Master Timon), son of the then Master Patrick Timon and Margaret Gallagher. He graduated as a National School Teacher in Saint Patrick’s College, Dublin in 1927. He taught in Carraroe National School, Connemara, Galway, for two years. On the retirement of his father, he was appointed Principal of The Don National School in 1929, a position he held until he transferred to become Principal of Fairymount National School, some thirty three years later. The Timon link with the Don School thickens even deeper at this stage. In his early years as Principal of The Don National School, Pádhraig Ó Tiomáin worked alongside Mrs Anne Sherlock (nee Dillon) who was the then principal teacher of The Don Girls School. On marrying her daughter, May Sherlock (my mother), a former pupil of The Don School, and now a recently trained National School Teacher in Fairymount, a further Timon was added to the National School Teaching profession. Nor was I to know that when I briefly taught (three weeks) as a substitute teacher in The Don National School many years later in 1954, I would be the ninth member of the Timon family to savour the pleasure and rewards of teaching in the Don School.

But I have many other pleasant memories of the Don school when as a student of Saint Nathy’s College, with longer holidays that the national schools, I would visit the school to meet up with my father. The quiet interest-to-learn atmosphere in the school and gentleness of the pupils stick out in my mind to this day. I feel very honoured and happy that I had that brief exposure to and experience of the Don School – an experience of a calm and relaxed school where teacher and pupil were working together. When I visited the school recently, I just knew it hadn’t changed. I just know that my grand father and my father would be so happy and so proud of the school to day as it celebrates its 100th Anniversary. It is a signal tribute to the families of the area and especially to the current Principal of The Don School, the School Management and the Teachers.

Comhghairdeas agus gach dea-mhian don Scoil – An Donn.

References

Atkinson, Norman, 1969. Irish Education – A History of Educational Institutions. Allen Figis & Co. Dublin, 1969.

Dowling, Patrick, J. 1971. A History of Irish Education – A Study of Conflicting Loyalties. The Mercier Press. Cork. 1971.

Durcan, Thomas, J. 1972. History of Irish Education from 1800 – With special reference to Manual Instruction. Dragon Books, North Wales. 1972.

McElligott, T, J. 1996. Education in Ireland. Institute of Public Administration, Dublin, 1966.

O’ Buachalla, Seamus.1988. Education Policy in Twentieth Century Ireland. Wolfhound Press.1988.

Young, Arthur, (1790). A tour of Ireland with General Observations on the Present State of that Kingdom made in the Years 1776, 1777 and 1778. Edited with introduction and notes by Arthur Wollaston Hutton, George Bell and Sons, London, 1892.