Admiring the fields of rapeseed in Castlemagner in April 2024.

Edel Quinn

They are very proud of Venerable Edel Quinn in Castlemagner. They have built a shrine in the church to this holy woman. She was a Legion of Mary missionary to Africa, where she worked bringing the message of Christianity to Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. She died in Nairobi in 1944 and she is buried in the missionaries Cemetery there. She was selfless, and well meaning and she is commemorated in Kanturk and Castlemagner.

May is the Month of Mary

Ballyduff Grotto  ( Image and text from the Facebook page Anyone from Ballyduff…)

The Ballyduff branch of Macra Na Ferme set about the task of erecting a Marrian Grotto in 1954. A site offered by farmer Frank Hammil was accepted which resulted in the “Wayside shrine” been in Rahela. As regards work on the Grotta itself, the labour was voluntary. Paddy and Johnny Costello, Clashmealcon supplied trailers of gravel from a Quarry in Clounlougher. Thomas Sheehy designed the Grotto and ordered the Statue from Dublin. The statue arrived in a box to Lixnaw railway station and delivered by lorry to Ballyduff. Those who worked regularly at the building were Jack Joy and John O Connor Clounlougher, Den Joe Galvin Drumartin, Jimmy Supple Hearthill, and John Dunne Glounerdalive.  The plastering was done by Michael Regan from bishopscourt, the ironwork by Mike O Carroll of Lacca. and the Electricals by Pat Joe Burns of Ardcullen, and the finishing work by Mikie Brassil, Rahela and Jack Enright Kilmore. The Grotto was blessed by Fr. Courtney and assisted by Fr. B Hayes on Sunday 3rd July 1955.


I was reminded of Patrick Kavanagh’s poem as I followed the saga of Thade Kelly’s Hen.

I have lived in important places, times

When great events were decided, who owned

That half a rood of rock, a no-man’s land

Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.

I heard the Duffys shouting “Damn your soul!”

And old McCabe stripped to the waist, seen

Step the plot defying blue cast-steel –

“Here is the march along these iron stones.”

That was the year of the Munich bother. Which

Was more important? I inclined

To lose my faith in Ballyrush and Gortin

Till Homer’s ghost came whispering to my mind.

He said: I made the Iliad from such

A local row. Gods make their own importance.

One from the Archives

From The Knocnagoshel Phoenix 2007

A Fact

Fairs were held in Ireland during May. The main business of a fair was the buying and selling of livestock. Unfortunately, faction fighting became a feature of fairs too. Fights at the Donnybrook Fair became so commonplace that the word Donnybrook entered the language as a word for a mass brawl.