All Content Copyright emyvale.net
Barney McGonnell. In the early 30’s the Parish Priest of Donagh, County Monaghan, was Fr. Meenan and he lived in the townland of Coolcolid, outside Glaslough. Then a new Parochial House was built in Drumbanagher. The contractors were Callans from Blayney, and the new Parish Priest, Fr. Ward, was the first to move in. This is the house now occupied by the present Parish Priest, Fr. Sean Clerkin. It is a fine brick house and has undergone some renovations and modernisations over the past few years. This information came from Barney McGonnell and he should know as he was paid a pound per week as a worker on the site while the house was being built. Family. Barney was born in the home house in Drumbanagher, on the site where his son, Sean, now has his dwelling and just yards away from the site on which the new Parochial House would be built. His father was Frank and his mother Margaret, nee Soraghan, from Carrickroe. Of the family of ten only three survive. With Barney there is Tessie (McArdle, Monaghan); and Nan (O’Connor, Scotland). The other seven have passed to their eternal reward. Margaret junior died at the age of seven and the other members were: Patrick, Frank, John, Kathleen, Mary and Josie. School Pals. As a young boy Barney attended Cloncaw National School, also known as St. Mary’s, Glennan, which is just beside Donagh Parish Church at Glennan. The master was Mr. O’Hanlon and his assistant was Mrs. Lavery. School was tough in those days and things were not helped when you consider 70 pupils packed into such a small building. In comparison to today’s, school conditions were primitive. Some of those at the s school at that time were: John Joe, Arthur and Hugh Simpson; Fr. Willie McKenna, now Fr. Willie in England; his brother Michael McKenna, now living at Corracrin; Kathleen McKenna; Mick Kelly until he moved to the Model School in Monaghan. Mick became the well-known and loved teacher, Master Kelly, RIP. Conditions outside the classroom were not much better than inside in that there was nowhere for organised games, so lunchtimes were spent running about and jumping drains. Altar Boy. At School Master O’Hanlon taught Barney the Latin responses necessary for serving Mass and he became an Altar Boy, a service he gave until he was seventeen year old and one that he is very proud of. Gardener. After leaving school Barney got a job as a labourer with Callans at the new Parochial House. One of his main jobs was filling the barrels with water. When Fr. Ward moved in, Barney was retained as gardener and handyman. There were extensive grounds to be landscaped and kept and Fr. Ward had two cows, which Barney had to care for and milk. The Housekeeper was Mary Daly from Donegal and she had a great interest in flowers and she looked after the flowerbeds. Postman. While George Wilson was Postmaster in Glaslough, Barney became a Postman, working from the Post Office there. He delivered letters and parcels to house from Mullaghloughan to Middletown, or whichever area he was sent to. Terry O’Reilly, Dan McQuillan, Bob Hearst and Packie Kennedy were postmen in Glaslough during his time. Turfcutter. Then for forty years Barney was employed by Monaghan County Council. At first he was working in the Core Bog and then White Island Bog in Leslie’s Demense. Teams of workers were cutting and saving turf, which was then transported into Monaghan, where most of it was used to fire the boilers at St. Davnet’s Hospital. In the off-season they built the turf in ricks for safe-keeping until they were wanted. Tar Sprayer. Barney was then switched to work on the tar sprayer, which meant that he could be working in any part of the county from Knockatallon/Clones to Blayney or Moybridge to Carrickmacross – wherever tarring was needed he went. He cycled in to the Council Yard each morning and checked in at 8.00am. Quitting time varied and there were days when it was 12 midnight before he got home. At other times he might have to be in to the yard at 5.00am to tend to the boilers by adding coal to the fires and boiling the tar. On wet days and other times during the year he had to work in Glenmore Quarry. The work was never too difficult but the quarry could be a very dusty place to work on a breezy day. Sometimes, when the Council was building walls, he might be asked to go there to help out – for example the wall on the left hand side as you approach the entrance to St. Davnets from the Emyvale direction. Workmen, During his time with the Council he worked with many men from the North Monaghan area. Terry Connolly was his foreman and later Terry’s son, Packie, was in charge. Packie Connolly was a man of great personality and character and well known in many circles before his death some years ago. Barney also worked with John Treanor, from Glennan, and many more too numerous to mention but there was always a good spirit among the workers. On wet days along the roads men would seek shelter under a good tree. Lunch was always eaten in the open air and in those days there were no Shelter Huts as they have today. Footballer. For leisure time activity Barney loved gardening and reading and a bit of farming. He played soccer with ‘The Glennan Slashers’ and he remembers Bobby Hodge, a shopboy in Glennan, as a great player. However, even though he never played much, his greatest love was Gaelic football and he would travel any length to see a good game. He was in Mullingar in 1938 when Monaghan played Galway, a game at which the great Michael O’Heihir made his debut as a Gaelic commentator. Since then he has missed very few county games and is a great supporter of the Emyvale club but also follows the fortunes of the Scotstown club. Card Player. In Mid-life he began playing cards and enjoyed many good nights at the game of 45. His usual group at table consisted of Packie Hughes, Enda McKenna, Pat Hesnan, Seamus Harvey, Johnny Skinnader and two close friends who passed away very recently – Sonny Treanor and Jimmy McKenna. Their deaths caused a deep sadness and an emptiness hard to fill. Married Man. In his younger days Barney went to dances in the Old Parochial Hall and other places including Caledon. His close pal was Frank Murphy from Pullis and they attended many a hooley together. A Mr. Sherman Ross was the estate agent for the Leslie family and he lived in the Hunting Lodge, inside the Castle Gates., where the Equestrian Centre and the Hunting Lodge are now situated. A young girl called Katie Cahill, from Kilnaleck, Ballinagh, County Cavan, came to work there and soon she and Barney became acquainted and after six years they were married in 1941. The Ceremony was in Glennan and the celebrant of the Nuptial Mass was Fr. Fitzpatrick, who was conducting a Mission in the parish. At first the married couple rented a house in Derrygasson from Mary McMahon and then they moved to Glaslough village. Shortly afterwards they moved to Mullaghloughan, to the house and small farm which had belonged to Ann McBennett and it is here that they have made their home and raised their family, which consisted of: Rita (Keeny, England); Jim (Dublin); Brian (Glaslough); Sean (Drumbannagher); Eileen (O’Mahoney, Gorey); Nora (Cregan, Dublin); Patsy (Mullaghloughan). They have twenty four grandchildren. Retirement. Now that he has retired does he sit around with his feet up? Not at all –‘ you keep going as long as you can’ – that’s Barney’s motto and it is great to see him in good health to enjoy his time and his work and we wish himself and Katie many more years of health to enjoy life. By Peadar McMahon and published in the Dungannon Observer. All Content is copyright @emyvale.net
All Content Copyright emyvale.net
Barney McGonnell. In the early 30’s the Parish Priest of Donagh, County Monaghan, was Fr. Meenan and he lived in the townland of Coolcolid, outside Glaslough. Then a new Parochial House was built in Drumbanagher. The contractors were Callans from Blayney, and the new Parish Priest, Fr. Ward, was the first to move in. This is the house now occupied by the present Parish Priest, Fr. Sean Clerkin. It is a fine brick house and has undergone some renovations and modernisations over the past few years. This information came from Barney McGonnell and he should know as he was paid a pound per week as a worker on the site while the house was being built. Family. Barney was born in the home house in Drumbanagher, on the site where his son, Sean, now has his dwelling and just yards away from the site on which the new Parochial House would be built. His father was Frank and his mother Margaret, nee Soraghan, from Carrickroe. Of the family of ten only three survive. With Barney there is Tessie (McArdle, Monaghan); and Nan (O’Connor, Scotland). The other seven have passed to their eternal reward. Margaret junior died at the age of seven and the other members were: Patrick, Frank, John, Kathleen, Mary and Josie. School Pals. As a young boy Barney attended Cloncaw National School, also known as St. Mary’s, Glennan, which is just beside Donagh Parish Church at Glennan. The master was Mr. O’Hanlon and his assistant was Mrs. Lavery. School was tough in those days and things were not helped when you consider 70 pupils packed into such a small building. In comparison to today’s, school conditions were primitive. Some of those at the s school at that time were: John Joe, Arthur and Hugh Simpson; Fr. Willie McKenna, now Fr. Willie in England; his brother Michael McKenna, now living at Corracrin; Kathleen McKenna; Mick Kelly until he moved to the Model School in Monaghan. Mick became the well-known and loved teacher, Master Kelly, RIP. Conditions outside the classroom were not much better than inside in that there was nowhere for organised games, so lunchtimes were spent running about and jumping drains. Altar Boy. At School Master O’Hanlon taught Barney the Latin responses necessary for serving Mass and he became an Altar Boy, a service he gave until he was seventeen year old and one that he is very proud of. Gardener. After leaving school Barney got a job as a labourer with Callans at the new Parochial House. One of his main jobs was filling the barrels with water. When Fr. Ward moved in, Barney was retained as gardener and handyman. There were extensive grounds to be landscaped and kept and Fr. Ward had two cows, which Barney had to care for and milk. The Housekeeper was Mary Daly from Donegal and she had a great interest in flowers and she looked after the flowerbeds. Postman. While George Wilson was Postmaster in Glaslough, Barney became a Postman, working from the Post Office there. He delivered letters and parcels to house from Mullaghloughan to Middletown, or whichever area he was sent to. Terry O’Reilly, Dan McQuillan, Bob Hearst and Packie Kennedy were postmen in Glaslough during his time. Turfcutter. Then for forty years Barney was employed by Monaghan County Council. At first he was working in the Core Bog and then White Island Bog in Leslie’s Demense. Teams of workers were cutting and saving turf, which was then transported into Monaghan, where most of it was used to fire the boilers at St. Davnet’s Hospital. In the off-season they built the turf in ricks for safe- keeping until they were wanted. Tar Sprayer. Barney was then switched to work on the tar sprayer, which meant that he could be working in any part of the county from Knockatallon/Clones to Blayney or Moybridge to Carrickmacross – wherever tarring was needed he went. He cycled in to the Council Yard each morning and checked in at 8.00am. Quitting time varied and there were days when it was 12 midnight before he got home. At other times he might have to be in to the yard at 5.00am to tend to the boilers by adding coal to the fires and boiling the tar. On wet days and other times during the year he had to work in Glenmore Quarry. The work was never too difficult but the quarry could be a very dusty place to work on a breezy day. Sometimes, when the Council was building walls, he might be asked to go there to help out – for example the wall on the left hand side as you approach the entrance to St. Davnets from the Emyvale direction. Workmen, During his time with the Council he worked with many men from the North Monaghan area. Terry Connolly was his foreman and later Terry’s son, Packie, was in charge. Packie Connolly was a man of great personality and character and well known in many circles before his death some years ago. Barney also worked with John Treanor, from Glennan, and many more too numerous to mention but there was always a good spirit among the workers. On wet days along the roads men would seek shelter under a good tree. Lunch was always eaten in the open air and in those days there were no Shelter Huts as they have today. Footballer. For leisure time activity Barney loved gardening and reading and a bit of farming. He played soccer with ‘The Glennan Slashers’ and he remembers Bobby Hodge, a shopboy in Glennan, as a great player. However, even though he never played much, his greatest love was Gaelic football and he would travel any length to see a good game. He was in Mullingar in 1938 when Monaghan played Galway, a game at which the great Michael O’Heihir made his debut as a Gaelic commentator. Since then he has missed very few county games and is a great supporter of the Emyvale club but also follows the fortunes of the Scotstown club. Card Player. In Mid-life he began playing cards and enjoyed many good nights at the game of 45. His usual group at table consisted of Packie Hughes, Enda McKenna, Pat Hesnan, Seamus Harvey, Johnny Skinnader and two close friends who passed away very recently – Sonny Treanor and Jimmy McKenna. Their deaths caused a deep sadness and an emptiness hard to fill. Married Man. In his younger days Barney went to dances in the Old Parochial Hall and other places including Caledon. His close pal was Frank Murphy from Pullis and they attended many a hooley together. A Mr. Sherman Ross was the estate agent for the Leslie family and he lived in the Hunting Lodge, inside the Castle Gates., where the Equestrian Centre and the Hunting Lodge are now situated. A young girl called Katie Cahill, from Kilnaleck, Ballinagh, County Cavan, came to work there and soon she and Barney became acquainted and after six years they were married in 1941. The Ceremony was in Glennan and the celebrant of the Nuptial Mass was Fr. Fitzpatrick, who was conducting a Mission in the parish. At first the married couple rented a house in Derrygasson from Mary McMahon and then they moved to Glaslough village. Shortly afterwards they moved to Mullaghloughan, to the house and small farm which had belonged to Ann McBennett and it is here that they have made their home and raised their family, which consisted of: Rita (Keeny, England); Jim (Dublin); Brian (Glaslough); Sean (Drumbannagher); Eileen (O’Mahoney, Gorey); Nora (Cregan, Dublin); Patsy (Mullaghloughan). They have twenty four grandchildren. Retirement. Now that he has retired does he sit around with his feet up? Not at all –‘ you keep going as long as you can’ – that’s Barney’s motto and it is great to see him in good health to enjoy his time and his work and we wish himself and Katie many more years of health to enjoy life. By Peadar McMahon and published in the Dungannon Observer. All Content is copyright @emyvale.net