Culture Night 2017

Give us a RECITATION !

Culture Night has become a feature of the year all around Europe. Events are free, people ramble around from venue to venue and all sorts of activities form part of the evening’s activities.

Youghal Celebrates History is offering  a pleasant nostalgic evening called “Give us a RECITATION!”. We have invited people to name their favourite recitations and we have people ready to recite them – old recitations and new, well known and not so well known. In the past everybody had a song or a recitation. This will be a night of recitations.

Suggestions for the Recitations

Dangerous Dan McGrew,

the Cremation of Sam Magee,

The Harpy,


The Green Eyed Idol north of Katmandu.

Micheál Mór,

The Four Farrellys,

Wee Hughie,

The Old Woman of the Roads,

The Village Schoolmaster,

The Night Before Christmas,

I wish I’d looked after me Teeth,

Young Albert and the Lion

You get the idea, I hope, everybody had a favourite recitation – If you have one, let us know . If you would recite it all the better!!!!!

Culture Night is FRIDAY 22nd of September. Youghal Celebrates History will be in Tyne’s Castle from 7.30 onwards. There are lots of other events planned for the night – Cork County Council will have a brochure advertising the events. Don’t miss it!!!!

Our friends in Community Radio Youghal, in the Little Theatre Group of Youghal are willing to help out. Join us !




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The Trial and Execution of James Cotter.

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This was probably the most controversial trial in 18th century Ireland – Sir James Cotter accused of the rape of a Quaker woman he had spent the night with (after sharing a few bottles of wine). Twice the jury found it was not a case they could sentence a man to death for. Twice the judge ordered them to review their decision. Cotter was hanged in 1720 but there is a lot more to the story than that!

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Our first publication !

On March 22nd 2017 Youghal Celebrates History will launch the first publication – to be called Youghal Celebrates 1916 , edited by committee member Kieran Groeger.

Four papers were presented on September 16th. These were called the “Degrees of Separation” talks , exploring links between Youghal and events in Dublin in 1916, and World War One -and there were some amazing links –  a young James Connolly was posted to Youghal as a soldier in the King’s Liverpool Regiment, the gunboat Helga was used in Dublin and again in Youghal, Major Jack Arbuthnot did a series of sketches of Roger Casement when he was in the Tower of London ….and so on.

There were several concerts, parades, a pageant, a play, flag flying ceremonies etc. Comhaltas Youghal arranged a phenomenal week of celebrations – a Tostal no less!

This little booklet celebrates  the way we celebrated 1916.  If you would like a copy please click on the link below.

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Two new books on Youghal

Available in all good bookshops. But if you can’t get them in your local bookshop …buy them here. It is safe and uses Shopify as the sales method.

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Youghal in 1916

What was Youghal like in 1916 –  Guys Postal Directory gives us an insight into a bustling town, lots of shops,  a thriving little ferry over to Ferrypoint, a steamer going upriver to Cappoquin, a busy railway line, an army garrison which needed to be fed, entertained, a rifle range at Claycastle for the visiting troops of soldiers on firing practice, a whole range of clubs, societies, activities . The Main Street must have seen a huge amount of activity.

With the permission of Cork County Library, the portion of Guys’ Postal Directory for County Cork which deals with Youghal is included here so you can see for yourself what it was like.

If a name interests you – check out the 1911 census – available free on line – so you can see not only the name of the owner but also the family, details about the kind of house they lived in, their religion, their education, whether or not they spoke Irish, the kind of work they did etc.

Click  on the link below to view the Guys Directory for Youghal in 1916


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Field Trip

Each year we have a field trip as part of the conference. It is usually on the Sunday morning and is arranged to allow visitors time to get back home in Sunday.Field Trip 3002 3003 3004 3005 3006 3007 3008 3010 3011 3012 3013 3014 3015 3016 3017 3018 3019 3020 3021 3022 3024 3025 3026

Field Trip 2007

Field Trip 2007

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The Sinking of the Lusitania

Battle of Jutland

This is the memorial in Thyborøn, Jutland, Denmark to the Battle of Jutland – probably the greatest ever sea battle in the history of world. 25 ships were destroyed in one day and just under 9,000 men died when two incredibly powerful navies faced off. Each stone represents one of the ships lost and the little figures in white, represent those who died. It is a project in the making. It is hoped one day to fill the dune with the full number of little white figures, just under 9,000.

The battle took place over 24 hours – between May 31st and June 1st. 250 ships and over 100,00 men faced off and for 24 hours kept up a barrage of big guns, torpedoes, small fire.

The museum , called the Sea War Museum of Jutland, is the town of Thyborøn. The nearest airport is Billund ( home of Lego among other things), hopes to add more Irish stories of the Lusitania. If you can help with stories, titles of books you could recommend please  let us know. If you have photos you might share them with us. The map below gives you an idea of where Jutland is  (just in case!). There is another museum a few kilometres away dedicated to other shipwrecks because the coast of Jutland has proved to be a graveyard for hundreds and hundreds of ships over the centuries.

Map of Jutland

Map of Jutland

The nearby museum contains much of what was salvaged form the wrecks of the ships, plus paintings and photographs of the battle.

From an Irish point of view, the U2 submarine which sank the Lusitania is there – parts of it -the conning tower, some memorabilia, the periscope, the little flag created as a memento of the sinking of the Lusitania and some newspaper accounts from the time. The submarine was beached on the shores of Jutland some time later and parts were salvaged.

The crew of the U2

This is the crew of the U2.

Souvenir pennant

A pennant was made to commemorate each “hit”.


Conning Tower of the U2

This is the conning tower of the U2. There are other conning towers also. One os the E50, a British submarine which survived a crash, underwater, with a German submarine. The E50 survived only to hit a mine shortly afterwards. The conning tower of the E 50 weighs 11 tons!

The Battle of Jutland


Torpedoes were huge!









Kaiser William addressing the officers before the Battle of Jutland

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-07-58-11The awful panic when a ship begins to sink.






The E 20 being lashed by the stormy seas, unable to budge. slowly breaking apart.


Rudimentary medical conditions on board a ship, Notice the little funnel clamped over the mouth of the patient,stuffed with a piece of cloth onto which would be put some form of ether, chloroform to keep the patient asleep.


Some of the paintings of the battle scene.





One of the 25 memorial stones to those ships and men lost in the battle. HMS Invincible went down with a loss of 1026 lives.

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Slater’s Directory

Slater’s offered a directory of trades, gentry, clergy all over Ireland . This is the Youghal section. There is a great deal of information in each directory. Just click on the word Youghal below to download the file.


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Elections in 19th Century Youghal

The Cork Historical and Archaeological Society has indexed journals going back since the very first edition.  The  Index is available on line, and can be searched. Type in “Youghal”and you will be astonished at how many articles there are!  Many of the articles can be downloaded as PDFs. Just click on the link if you want to download the article.      youghal-poll

The article refers to the elections of 1835 and 1837 – a fascinating resource for anyone searching for roots before the Famine – it lists the voters, their occupation, their address.

Youghal Elections


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Freemasons in Youghal

The Masonic Lodge in Youghal is still in operation – from the outside it looks completely ordinary, just a symbol on the door to indicate what might be inside. For those who want to search for masonic links, the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland has membershio registers from 1733 to 1923 available on line.

For Youghal here are a few extracts from the years 1900 – 1933 –

Youghal Freemasons

Youghal Freemasons 2

Youghal Freemasons 3


Youghal Freemasons 4




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Munster 1893

In Trinity College, Dublin there is a Guy’s Directory for Munster in 1893 .  Guy’s Directories are available for many years in most county libraries – including Cork. The 1893 edition in Trinity can be bought or downloaded and lists all professions and addresses , town by town.

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Youghal Medieval Fair Day 2008

An annual Medieval Day takes place during Heritage Week in August …. this is a little video from one of them.

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This is from Phil Irwin and concerns an episode during the Famine :

On Friday last, D. Geran, Esq., Coroner, held an Inquest at Youghal, on the body of a boy seven years old named Wm. Miller. The corpse was taken by the Police while exposed for sale. The following jury were summoned upon the occasion. William Walsh, Thomas Dee, John Forde, John Annour, Leonard Parker, Thomas Treacy, Patrick Brien, Edward Kelly, William Cunningham, Thomas O’Neill, Edward Condon, and Thomas Garivan.
Mr. John D. Ronayne being sworn, deposed as follows. I am an Apothecary in the town of Youghal ; was in my own shop about one o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday, the 27th inst., a man, now in Court, whose name I don’t know, came into my shop, and asked me did I want to buy a corpse ? I asked was it a man or a woman ? He first said it was a man, and then that it was a boy. I asked the age, and he said seven or eight years old ; asked was the boy coffined and buried ? and he said he was ; asked where the boy was from ? he said from the West, asked was he his own child ? he replied not ; at this moment I was called into my house, and on my return back to the shop the man was gone. In the interim, I saw a Policeman passing bye ; I called him, mentioned the circumstance, and desrcibed the man who was in my shop. In about ten minutes after the Policeman returned with the prisoner, and asked me was that the man that offered to sell the body ? and I said it was. In about three hours afterwards, on the same day, I saw the body of a boy about seven years old in the Police Barracks, Youghal. I never knew anything of the kind to have occurred in Youghal before, nor even knew of the sale of bodies there.
Mochael Mangan, Sub-Constable, sworn.—I was passing the town of Youghal at midday on the 27th inst., another Sub-Constable gave prisoner in charge to me ; observed a woman, now in Court, standing close by—she had on her back a basket and her cloak over it ; asked what was in the basket ; she said “nothing ;” removed the cloak, and took a little straw out of the mouth of the basket ; and there found, doubled together, the dead body of a boy, about seven years old ; the man and woman were arrested, and brought back to the Barrack ; did not know them ; while under way to the Barrack the male prisoner wanted to state something to me ; cautioned him not to do so, as I would bring it in evidence against him ; on coming into the barracks ; took the basket, with the corpse in it, off the woman’s back ; the male prisoner began to state a second time why he brought the child for sale ; was cautioned against doing so, but perservered. He stated that the child was sickly some time before he died ; that it was want that compelled him (prisoner) and his wife to offer for sale the dead body ; admitted the child did not belong to himself ; that he was an illegitimate child, belonging to a sister-in-law of his ; and he reared the child for the last six years, and that his mother went to England.
Richard Ronanyne, Esq., M.D., sworn—On Monday last was called on to make an examination on the body of a male child, apparently between 7 and 8 years of age—went to the Police Barrack at Youghal, was pointed out the body, doubled up in a basket, and covered with straw ; there were no marks of violence on the body ; on opening it I found the contents of the chest and abdomen perfectly healthy, but there was not a particle of food in the stomach or intestines, nor a particle of adipose or fatty matter ; from all these circumstances, together with the extremely emaciated appearance of the child, is of the opinion he died from hunger.
The Coroner asked was there any more witnesses, and none appearing, Thomas Miller, the person charged, asked permission to say a few words. The Coroner cautioned him against saying anything that would criminate himself.
Miller, a poor emaciated looking-man, who was in custody of the police, then came forward and stated —I lived with Mr. Gaggan, of Greenland for the last ten years ; and since the potatoes failed I got 8d. per day, and that was not able to support my family, being six in number. When the public works commenced Mr. Gaggin [sic] knocked off all his men but two. I went then to the public works, earned about five shillings a week, and that would not give my family a meal a day when things got dear. I had to break off from work from want of food ; I went to beg for food among the neighbours, and sent my wife to be taken, in my place for a couple of days at the works —she was refused. I went back to the works again on the following Monday, and was without food from Monday morning till the following Thursday on the works ; I used to take a drink of spring water sometimes and faint every night with weakness, and then turn into bed, not having light or fire, and I left the work on Friday to go a second time a begging. I went to Ballymacoda, to the relief committee, the gentlemen were coming out, I saw there Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Egar, the rector of the parish. Mr. Fitzgerald asked me why I was not at work ? I said I was not able, Mr. Egar looked at me, and said “I was not able to work from starvation.” Mr. Egar rode on, and told me to follow after ; I followed, till he came to a house where he sold bread at half price, at Ballymacoda ; he told me to rap at the door ; the woman came out, and Mr. Egar ordered me 2s. worth of bread ; I got it and went home. Having so much bread to share among my children on Friday, I went to the works on Saturday. I was paid my wages on the following Wednesday, 4s., and of this I had to pay 3s. 6d. to Pat Griffin, of Ring, who passed his word for meal for me the week before. I had only 6d. left going home, and took with me the worth of it in bread. I shared the bread among my children, and God knows how little of it I left myself ; the day following I saw the children had nothing, till my wife went when the tide was out to cut Doolamaun (sea weed) off the rocks ; she brought it home, boiled it, put a little salt on it, and on this we were living for days before the child, William Miller, died. I went to work again, on last Tuesday morning and on returning in the evening the child was dead. This statement I am ready to make on oath ; and if you doubt me, ask the Rev. Mr. Egar of Lisquinlan, or Mr. Fitzgerald of Ballykennely, and with the exception of the charge now against me, nothing was ever laid before to my charge.
The prisoner’s wife, a wretched care worn looking woman, with an infant at her breast—said—The reason I was selling the child was from want, and I would do anything to keep the life in my children and in myself ; and this I shall publicly say, however I may be punished by law. A couple of days before the child died, I went to my master’s son, John Gaggin of Greenland, for a few turnips to eat ; he said the last of them were in the [illegible] for the horses ; I went then and stole a few [illegible] of boiled turnips for the children ; Mr. Gaggin saw me, and told me never to do it again. I was not able to sweep the house from weakness, and would eat the cat through hunger.
The Coroner addressed the jury, and told them that exposing for sale a dead body was an indictable offence that would come before another tribunal. It was for the jury to enquire how, and in what manner, the boy Wm. Miller, came by his death. The principle evidence was that of the Doctor, and upon his testimony the jury should return their verdict.
The jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict—Death by starvation.
Same day, inquests were held on the bodies of Margaret and Patrick Croneen, mother and son, who died at the Windmill, near Youghal. It appeared on evidence that the parties lived for days upon turnips, and latterly on the putrid remains of a pig, that died on the premises of a neighbouring farmer, and for days before death they had nothing to eat.
The Jury at once returned their verdict, finding that Margaret and Patrick Croneen died from starvation.

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1916 – 2016 Degrees of Separation

In the year 2016 there will be worldwide celebrations, commemorations of the year 1916 which marked a turning point in Ireland’s attempt to become an independent state. In particular the Rising in Dublin will be commemorated . In addition there will also be events to remember all those who fought in World War One – and especially those who died in 1916.

Youghal Celebrates History will be holding a special event called Youghal 1916 , Degrees of Separation which will tell the story of three men and a boat , connected someway with Youghal, connected someway with 1916.

Major Jack Arbutnott of Myrtle Grove,Youghal was a Major in the Scots Guards. He met Roger Casement when he was in the Tower of London awaiting trial. He was a regular sketcher and made a sketch of Casement in the Tower. He also contacted Casement’s family and told them where Casement was imprisoned. Maybe one of them remembered another famous prisoner in the Tower – Sir Walter Raleigh – who is also connected with Myrtle Grove. Journalist Patrick Cockburn tells the story of his grand father Major Jack Arbuthnott and the portraits he made of Casement in the Tower.

A very young Scottish boy joined the British Army under an assumed name – he was too young to enlist under his own name. He was posted to Cork, Cobh and Youghal.Times were tough in Youghal in 1882 . A vicious land war and a refusal to pay rents to landlords who would not negotiate led to widespread evictions. The young soldier eventually deserted. His name ? James Connolly … who would later play a major role in the 1916 Rising in Dublin. Author and Historian Felix Larkin will describe the tense atmosphere in Youghal in 1882.

A young Irishman joined the Royal Munster Fusileers full of enthusiasm to fight in World War One but they considered him, at 16 to be too young. He transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment which had no difficulty sending him to the Front Line.  HE was killed in the Battle of the Somme and his father got a telegram …. Kieran Groeger tells the story of young Eric Colpoys Hodges. His father was Rector in Saint Mary’s Collegiate Church. Reverend Hodges got thetelegram to say his son had been killed in the Battle of the Somme. It was not clear which of the two sons had been killed. It was, in fact, Eric Hodges and his story will be told.

During the Irish Civil War which followed the events of 1916, a schooner called the Isabella visited Youghal. Some of the crew came ashore and heard a cry “Halt”. Shortly afterwards a shot rang out and the Captain’s young son was dead. Dymphna Quill will tell this story along with some amazing details on how she came upon the story.

These stories will be told on September 16th, in Youghal at the Walter Raleigh Hotel.  If you are interested in attending, let us know. The event is free, yes FREE thanks to generous sponsorship from Cork County Council. We have a venue booked.  TheWalter Raleigh Hotel .  Tickets will be issued on a first come first served basis.

Youghal 1916 Degrees of Separation – you are invited !
Eventbrite - Degrees of Separation

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Checking Griffith’s Valuation ( 1851 – 1853)

Griffiths Valuation was an attempt to give a rateable valuation for every property in Ireland , the precise location of the property and the name (s) of those considered liable to pay.

Noel Farrell has produced a lovely little book,  in 2001,  which gives a print out of the section on Youghal – it is called ” Youghal  Family Roots”. There is a copy in the Tourist Office, and another copy in the Library. If interested, you can also purchase a copy directly from Noel Farrell himself. You can also directly access the Griffiths Valuation free of charge on the internet .

The sections shown here are for the North Main Street – as you can see each house is numbered –  you then go to the printed page sections and check the number for that house and you can see the owner/ occupier and also the neighbours. Neighbours are very important as some may still have relatives or memories of other neighbours.

You cannot rely on present day house numbers –  get your bearings from other side streets – in this case number one is across from the Gaol Steps ( near the Clock Gate). Numbers were changes regularly so this map, combined with the text gives us a better idea of who was where.  Updates to this section are posted on our Facebook page. Make sure you subscribe!cgs501 cgs502 cgs503 cgs504 cgs505 cgs506 cgs507 cgs508

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