The Castle built by Lord Conway around 1664 and of which
very little trace now remains lay in the townland of
Portmore and in Aghagallon parish. On the other side of
Lough Beg was the deer-park which as late as 1770 was stored
with deers, hares, rabbits, pheasants, etc.
About 1740 Arthur Dobbs who was Lord Conway's agent
erected a windmill to try to drain Lough Beg. Dobbs was the
uncle of Counsellor Dobbs, M.P. for Carrickfergus and later
the governor of North Carolina. The vain attempt to empty
the "wee lough" was commemorated in a characteristic ballad
of the period which is still known and sung in Glenavy even
to-day. The windmill was erected where the isthmus between
the lakes is narrowest, where the Tunny bridge now stands,
and buckets were used to throw the water over. In this way
the lake was emptied but as the ballad tells, it later
refilled either by springs or subterraneously and the scheme
Bonnie Portmore, you shine where
The more I think on you, the
more I think long.
If I had you now as I had you
All the lords in Europe
could not purchase Portmore.
There are no lords in Europe such
rights can afford
As the Tunny, Ram's Island and
There are two lakes, also, for
And the deer-park
for hunting the head of all game.
Bonny Portmore. I'm sorry to see
Such a woeful downfall on your
It stood on your shores for many
a long day,
Till the long boats of Antrim
did float it away.
When "Diana" was launched from
the dry land,
Both nobles and lords they stood
They sailed around
the deer-park and around Feemore,
And came back to the landing at
Squire Dobbs was ingenious: he
framed a windmill
To drain the lough dry, but the
lough is there still;
His windmill and engine, it all
was in vain�
The lough of
Portmore he never could drain.
Your heart would have sorrowed
for the cry of the swan,
When the water was doomed from
the lough to be drawn;
They gathered together and went
off in flocks,
And have taken
abode in Magilligan's rocks.
'T would have been a great pity
to have drawn it dry,
For Bonnie Portmore, you need no
'Tis a harbour for
shipping, the bogs doth endure,
A pleasure for strangers, and
food for the poor.
Dobbs cut a canal from under the
To drain the wee lough into
ninety-five acres, I daresay and
Destroyed from the Tunny along
The first who lived in it was
Carter. I'm sure;
The next was
Sir Thomas, and wonderful more,
They were Christians, I know, but
still they got worse,
And their bones they lie rotting
now in the old church.
The canal it did tremble when
the flood it came down,
And when the wind blew the mill
it went round;
When the wind it did blow the
mill she went right�
threw off all day crept under at
Then why, Ram's Island, should
you still lament?
Or why should you yield to their
These two lakes united in
friendship are bound;
It's the opinion of many they
The labouring men, they wrought
by the yard,
They wrought by the
day, when the work it grew hard;
And when the men thought their
wages were won,
They were farther in debt than
when they begun.
When Dobbs' intention it would
They gathered more
workmen and cut through the soil
And when he had done, and could
do no more.
He then bid farewell to Bonnie
In the Tunny Island there'll be
a great fall,
Brankins' Park a stone and lime
And through Derryola an open
Before Bonnie Portmore
goes all to decay.
Bonnie Portmore, you're fairly
Where once your fine
buildings�their equal was none;
With your ivory tables and
windows of ash,
Where lords used
to dine, but where people now
The birds of the forest, they now
cry and weep,
Saying where will
we harbour, and where will we sleep?
Since Portmore's fine buildings
are gone to decay
And George's fair Island it is
Now Bonnie Portmore, fare you
well, fare you well!
Of your far famed beauty I ever
When my last days
shall come. I'll lie by your shore,
And sweet will my dreams be in
A neat lodge for Conway was built on the park, and later
this was owned by Mr. Jebb and Mr. Mairs. In 1771 the
landlord paid a visit to Lisburn and being pleased with
improvements there he allowed tenants both there and in his
estate to have leases "filled for three lives renewable for
ever at sixpence per foot." In this way much of the park was
cleared, but the rest. forming a peninsula with the lough
was enclosed by a wall. This was called the Hogg, or Little
Deer-park and parts of the wall are still visible. This park
too was cultivated and leased to tenants from about 1804.
Thomas Johnston was a Park-keeper here. His son, J. Moore
Johnston, was the author of a book called "Heterogenea or
Medley" published in 1803 which contains many anecdotes
about the area. William Smyth of Laurel-Lodge in Ballinderry
was agent to the Marquis of Hertford and related some very
unusual facts about the famous oak trees of the Hogg park.
Here grew a huge oak, called the Royal Oak. It was 42 feet
in circumference. Its principal arm was sold for the axis of
a mill, and the other branches built a vessel of 50 tons�the
Royal Oak. The bark was sold for 40 guineas, trunk at 1/6
per foot, and the whole tree produced �121-10-0. The ground
in which it grew was stiff clay and on a windy Saturday in
1742 it blew down. It was said to be 1.400 years old and is
mentioned in Evelyn's. Silva.
Near it was another huge tree�the Broad Oak. Its trunk
was 16 ft. high and 12 ft. in circumference. It was however
hollow as the trunk was chipped by a turf spade, and having
absorbed a lot of moisture, it rotted and fell and was found
to be of little value. During the summer of 1763 the timber
of the Deer-park, oak, alder, ash and birch was sold for
"ready money" on every Monday and Wednesday. On the
Thursdays and Saturdays the timber of the Portmore stables,
all old oak, was sold.
In certain parts of Co. Antrim. cultivated oases which
were created out of bogs were called "islands." In this area
we have Nanney's Island, Brankin's Island, Holy Island,
George's Island, Derryola Island and Tunny Island mentioned
on the survey map of 1933, but some of these names have
REV. BERNARD O'DORAN
In O'Laverty's history of the parish of Cushendall, it is
told that a young priest named Bernard O'Doran was appointed
there in 1771. In 1773 he was suspended and though he
appealed against this sentence and promised to do penance,
he apostasised. The records of the County of Antrim,
preserved in the Office of the Secretary of the Grand Jury
show that O'Doran as a "Conformist Priest," received �40 per
annum from 1778 until 1800. Finn's Leinster Journal (Arch.
Hib. vol. XVII) has this entry: "2 Feby 1774: On Sunday (30)
last, the Rev. Bernard O'Doran late priest of the parish of
Laid and Ardclinis, in the diocese of Connor, renounced the
Popish communion and embraced the Protestant religion before
the Rev. William Preston in the parish of Belfast." An entry
in the Freeman's Journal shows that in July 1774, "John
Karr, Templepatrick, read his recantation . . . . and
embraced the Protestant religion before the Rev. Bernard
O'Doran in the parish church of Dunigmore."
The only reason for mentioning this sad story is that he was
appointed Vicar of Killead by the Earl of Massareene in 1801
and so was a resident in the parish for around 14 years, and
a continual and scandalous reminder to the Catholics of the
area of human weakness. Monsignor O'Laverty is almost
certainly incorrect in stating that O'Doran was born in
Lower Mourne. There is a local tradition that he was a
native of Ballinderry, or perhaps from near Trummery which
borders on Aghagallon parish. Among the names of the
subscribers to Crawford's "History of Ireland" (published
1783) there appears `Rev. Bernard Doran, Trummery.' Between
his departure from Cushendall and his appointment to Killead
he was probably living with relatives around his native
place. The fact that he is buried at Laloo and not at
Killead would further confirm the place of his origin.
Another tradition has it that the lady who called herself
his wife was a Miss Hunter of Antrim, "a lady of means."
Some years ago the large tombstone towards the west wall of
the old church of Laloo fell and was cracked. It now lies
against the ruined gable, and reads "Sacred to the memory of
the Revd. Bernard O'Doran late Vicar of Killead who departed
this life on the 16th October 1815. This stone is erected as
a small tribute of affection by his son James Doran, also
Susanna relict of the above, aged 81 years, obiit 2nd Feby
1837; also James Doran, son of the above, late Captain in
the 59th Regt. Aged 51 years. Obiit 17 Jany, 1842."
Laloo graveyard is one of the most peaceful places in
Ireland. On a spring day it echoes with bird song and smells
of primrose and white-thorn. I never stand by O'Doran's
grave but I recall the old Irish verses:
Fill, fill, a r�n 6,
Fill, a r�n �, is n� himigh uaim
Fill orm, a chuisle is a st�r.
Agus chifidh t� an ghl�r m� fhilleann t�.
(Come back, come back, my dear one Come back, my dear one
And don't go from me.
Come back to me, my pulse, my treasure, And the glory will
be yours on returning).
Fr. McLogan was succeeded in Glenavy by Fr. James Killen, a
native of Cluntagh, Tyrella. He was ordained by Dr.
MacCartan at Seaforde about 1761 and became P.P. of Kilmore
in 1768. He was appointed to Lower Ards in 1780 and to
Glenavy in 1783. He resigned this parish about 1786 and died
13 years later in Kilmore, being buried at Bright. After he
left Glenavy, Fr. O'Hanlon was there for about a year, but
whether as P.P. or administrator we cannot tell.
Prior to his journey to America, Wolfe Tone paid a visit to
Belfast, staying there almost a month. His autobiography
records, "Another day we had the tent of the first regiment
pitched in the Deer-park, and a company of 30 of us,
including the family of Simms, Neilsons, McCrackens, and my
own, dined and spent the day together deliciously. But the
most agreeable of our lives, was an excursion we made with
the Simmses, Neilson, and Russell, to Ram's Island. a
beautiful and romantic spot in Lough Neagh. Nothing can be
imagined more delightful, and we agreed, in whatever quarter
we might find ourselves, respectively, to commemorate the
anniversary of that day, the 11th of June." The year was
On the morning of Thursday, 7 June 1798, Henry Joy McCracken
marched on the town of Antrim from Roughfort. Among the
contingents which joined them on the way were those from
Killead and Crumlin. The Killead men were led by Big William
Camp-bell who was killed in the attack on Antrim, and when
James Hope and his "Spartan band" left Antrim to join their
leader at the rallying point on Donegore Hill, among the
numbers were men from Killead. A reward of �50 was ordered
for the apprehension of John Montgomery, the brother of the
famous Dr. Henry Montgomery who later fought Cooke in the
split in the Presbyterian church. John was a member of the
Co. Committee of the United Irishmen, and his other brother,
William, also fought at Antrim. Their father's home,
Boltnaconnell House, Killead, was looted and burned by the
Among the men of Co. Antrim who suffered death following
court-martial arising out of the '98 rebellion were James
Dickey and George Dickson of Crumlin. After the battle
Dickey hid "on the run" in a house on Crumlin Rd., Belfast,
which was in ruins. About 60 or 70 years ago the walls were
still standing and known as McEwan's Walls. This is where he
was betrayed and arrested. Among Canon McEvoy's notes I find
the following interesting item: "James Dickey, rebel general
of United Irishmen, was an attorney and lived in Crumlin.
His shroud was made in the corner house in the main street
and the street leading to Antrim�as you come from the
Lough�by his fiancee. There is a field now in possession of
Rev. Mr. Canning still known as Dickey's field. Dickey was
tried and hanged in Belfast in June 1798."
During the dark days of the early eighteenth century Mass
was also celebrated on a hill in Ballymacrickett where, just
as in the Largy there was a good view. Sometime around the
1760's probably, this too was elevated into a "Mass-house."
It stood there until 1798 when seven or eight locals who
called themselves "The Wreckers" lived up to their name.
There seems to have been an organised plan of destruction as
around the same time the old churches or "Mass-houses" of
the Rock, Derryaghy, Aghagallon and Ballinderry were also
The poverty of the priests and people during the nineteenth
century is almost impossible to believe in our more affluent
days. Fr. Crangle was Parish Priest at the time of "the
wrecking." and he is the first of the priests of the parish
who emerges from the records as a person of flesh and blood,
and not just as a name on a tombstone. He was a native of
Sheepland in Dunsford and was ordained at home before going
abroad, as was the custom, and studied at the College of
Vadastus in Douai getting the degree of B. Philos. at the
University there. In 1783 he returned to Ireland and worked
in Belfast, and on May 25. 1787, came to Glenavy. He had a
brother who lived at Darachrean�indeed this is still known
as "Crangle's Hill"�and the priest lodged with his brother.
On Aug. 20, 1802. he got 13 guineas compensation for the
damage caused to the church, and Fr. Devlin of Derryaghy got
12 guineas. It was Fr. Crangle who re-erected the church at
Chapel Hill. Ballymacrickett, which is described as "a neat
modern building measuring 60 feet by 30 feet." It was used
until the erection of the present building. There is another
story that Fr. Crangle lived in a house which formed part of
the church, but whether this was an interim measure while
the new church was being built or not it is now impossible
to say. It is possible that he feared "the Wreckers" might
one day return. The old chapel was of stone, roofed with
thatch, and probably had an earthen floor. Fr. Crangle died
in 1813 or 1814 and was buried beside it. The position of
his grave is roughly about the position of the sacristy door
in the present building.
On Palm Sunday, and at other times when the priest could not
conveniently celebrate two Masses, it was customary to say
Mass at a place called "The Gulf," on the bank of Lough
Neagh, which was nearly central for the two congregations,
but this custom had to be stopped because of disturbance by
Orange mobs. When the Catholics ceased using the Mass-house
at Thompson's they used to assemble for Mass at a
store-house in Ballyginniff. This was a long building with
thick walls covered with ivy and surrounded by trees. Mr.
McClure who later owned this property found human bones in
the vicinity. Fr. Crangle as well as building the church in
Ballymacrickett, built a small chapel in the townland of
Ballyquillin which was later enlarged into the present
The date of the erection of this old chapel is not known.
The building in Ballymacrickett was completed by Fr. Crangle
in 1802. From the time of the "wrecking" Mass had been said
among its ruins.
(Old Ballad to
the air of "The Banks o' Doon.")
Glenavy dear, my native soil,
Where I have spent my early
Though distant from you
many a mile,
I'm still inclined to sing
Your fine green
hills and meadows broad,
Your walks and groves and
Where many a pleasant hour I
Unknown to cares, Glenavy
In Ballymote, that friendly
My eyes did first behold the
Imagination paints the cot,
Where I partook of pure
'Twos from yon hill I went
To Ingram's Mount, or very
And never yet did dream at
To part with you, Glenavy
'Twos there my principles
'Twos there I learned to use
To write and cypher there I
And these, thank God,
befriend me still,
Some hundred times on Sunday
Our Reverend Prelate there
With heart elate and free
I passed through thee,
The silver lake below the
Where boats do scud
before the gale,
Where fish in plenty do
With speckled trout and
At sweet sixteen I've often
Along your fine, delightful
Reflecting on those early
Reminds me of Glenavy dear!
But twenty years have nearly
Since I those groves and
My comrades are dispersed
And of my friends great
My father and my mother now
In death's embrace do moulder
Which soon may be my fortune
So fare you well Glenavy
The author of these verses was Hugh McWilliams, who lived at
Dillon's Hill in the townland of Ballymote. If you stand at
Hendron's Corner and face towards Glenavy village, Dillon's
Hill is on your right; the farm belongs to Mr. Hendron. The
house was among the trees at the summit of this little hill,
but now only traces of the garden remain. It is said that he
was a schoolteacher and taught where Mr. Troland now lives
in Ballymote, and that he emigrated to America. It is also
said that he was a brother of Fr. Bernard McWilliams, whose
grave is in the Protestant cemetery, Glenavy village. It is
certain that the present Church of Ireland building occupies
a site used in Catholic times. The old holy water stoup, a
basin hollowed out of black stone, is still preserved in the
cemetery. A broken slate headstone marks the grave of Fr.
McWilliams who had been ordained by Dr. Patrick McMullan and
worked for a period around 1797 in Ballymena. The headstone
. . . fossa
. . . resbiteri ossa
. emains of the Revd.
. McWilliam, who departed
. . . life, 24th January,
Captus est ne malitia mutaret
O'Laverty adds in an appendix that this inscription seems to
be an imitation of one in Durham Cathedral.
"Ingram's Mount" was at Ballycessy, on the
Glenavy side of the present entrance to Mr. Acheson's. It
was removed during the time of the Seftons and used to fill
a pond in the lawn. The school was on Sefton's land. It
would seem from the verses that Hugh McWilliams went to Mass
through Glenavy and we conclude he was going either to
Thompson's Mass-house or Ballyginniff. He had some verses
published in 1759 which makes him more or less a
contemporary of Robert Burns.
Fr. Patrick Blaney was P.P. of Glenavy from 1814 until
1819 lodging in the house of the Marshall family in
Ballyvanen between the bridge over the Crew Burn and
Colbert's corner. He became very unpopular with his
parishioners and a committee of them organised a petition
for his resignation. He did so in 1819 and later worked in
Lecale, dying on October 14, 1832, in Saul with cholera
which claimed him while he was there. His remains were
interred in the old graveyard which surrounds the Protestant
church of Dunsford.
GLENAVY AROUND 1815
In 1816 the second volume of Shaw Mason's "Survey of
Ireland" was published in Dublin. He was Secretary to the
Board of Public Records and his survey was drawn up "from
the communications of the clergy." The report on Glenavy was
written by the vicar, Rev. Edward Cupples, and it is a very
detailed one. It has been a collector's piece of course for
many years and I here give a summary of the relevant parts
of the text so that the reader may get a fair picture of
life in the area around 150 years ago.
The map shows that one of the main roads began at Gawley's
Gate�the old gate into the Deer-park, and bending left at
Glenconway, went to Crumlin. The road from Aghadolgan
cross-roads towards the Lough was made later. A good road
led from Crumlin to Langford Lodge and also to Glenavy while
another good road ran from Ballycessy up through Gobrana and
Ballydonaghy. Two roads went from Glenavy to Lisburn, one
through Tullynewbank and Ballypitmave and the other through
Ballymote and Crew. The modern roads all follow the old
roads of 1815. The one exception is the road from Glenavy to
Upper Ballinderry�the "Moira road." It is not marked on
Cupples' map, and the road to Moira from Glenavy came past
Ringsend, over Chapel Hill and on south. These roads were
nothing like our modern highways, being merely broken field
stones covered with gravel. They were traversed by coaches
and made or repaired by the county while the by-roads were
the responsibility of the "court Leet of the manor." The
main road from Crumlin to Glenavy and Lurgan had been under
the direction of a turnpike board but about the beginning of
the century the turnpike gates were removed and tolls gave
way to public subscription by the wealthy landowners.
The following list of important houses and occupants is
Goremount. Wm. Gore Esq.
Messrs. Forsythe and Co.'s Cotton Manufactory.
Ballyminimore. Messrs. Oakmans.
Ballypitmave. Mr. John Murray.
Glenconway. Stafford Whittle Esq.
Pigeontown. Messrs. McNeice, Oakman and Sloan.
Thistleborough. Stafford Whittle Esq.
Cherryvalley. John Armstrong Esq.
Gobrana. Messrs. Whitlas.
Lakefield. Robert Hyndman Esq.
Ballydonaghy. Mr. John Oakman.
Stafford Whittle who lived at Thistleborough was the local
resident magistrate, while John Armstrong of Cherryvalley
acted likewise. Whittle was captain of the local corps of
yeomanry called the Glenavy Infantry, consisting of 148 rank
and file. He had a bleach-green at Glenconway cottage as
well as a very up-to-date farm at Thistle-borough where he
introduced "a scythe for cutting grain, similar to the
common scythe but with splinters of wood fastened to the
handle and running in the same direction as the blade to lay
the heads of the grain one way." He was also one of the
first owners of a threshing machine, and in leisure hours
hunted with his own pack of harriers. Indeed when Lough
Neagh froze in January, 1814, Lieut. Col. Heyland rode his
horse from Crumlin Waterfoot to Ram's Island and there was a
drag-chase on the ice around the island with Whittle's
South of the Crumlin river the average farm was 20 acres
while north the average was 30. Whittle held over 300 acres,
Wm. Gregg of Knockcairn had 267, Mr. John Murray of
Ballypitmave 197, Mr. John Oakman of Ballydonaghy 150, Mr.
Wm. Clements of Ballydonaghy 126. Few besides these exceeded
50 acres while most others were down to 15 or 10. In the
Deerpark area it became common to make two ditches about a
perch apart with the back of one opposite the other. The
backs of each and the space between were planted with osiers
and faced with quicks. Later on these osiers were utilised
in the local handicraft of basket-making.
What about the life of the Catholics in the parish at this
time who were, almost without exception. among the people
Cupples calls "the lower classes"? Their food consisted of
potatoes, meal and milk while sometimes butter, flesh and
fish were at hand. The fuel was mostly turf, and now and
again bog-timber or coal. Their houses were usually of stone
and mortar, roofed with fir, ash or bog timber and thatched
with straw�slates were very rare. Their size was 17ft. to
24ft. by 13ft. to 15ft., about 6ft high in side walls. They
were divided into two compartments, a kitchen and a bedroom,
and the beds were mostly of chaff-filled mattress. The
furniture was simple, a couple of stools or chairs, a loom
perhaps, and a spinning-wheel, one or two metal pots, small
tables, boxes or chests, wooden bowls or dishes, small
wooden vessels, e.g., a tub, piggin, can, noggins, knives
and horn spoons. The garden seldom exceeded an English rood
and the annual rent of house and garden varied from �1-14-1�
to �2-16-10�, a few higher. Many of the cottiers were
employed yearly in labour by some of the local landowners,
and some had a house, a garden and a cow's grass in summer
season for which they paid from 4� to 6� guineas a year.
The quotation from Cupples here given sounds as if it had
been written at an exalted height and perhaps it should be
read as it was probably written�with tongue firmly in cheek.
"The lower classes are intelligent, honest and industrious,
temperate habits and orderly in conduct. They are civil and
obliging to other, respectful to their superiors but not
servile. Their manliness is due to liberal treatment and
education, and their contentment with their lot may be
inferred from their loyalty to the king, and attach-men to
"Their language is exclusively English, the Irish being
altogether unknown. It has been noted that an English colony
was introduced by Sir Fulke Conway; to this it may be
ascribed that the idiom is correct without provincialism and
the dialect unadulterated by brogue.
"Their mode of living, clothing, etc., are altogether
modern, with nothing to distinguish them from neighbours.
Few customs have remained being connected with religious
observances�yet not local customs, being found in other
parts of the island. At baptism a piece of bread and cheese
is wrapped up in the infant's clothes. If several children
are at the font, the male is presented first. On 17th March
shamrock is worn in honour of St. Patrick. Palm twigs are
worn on the Sunday before Easter. Pancakes eaten on Shrove
Tuesday; nuts and apples at Hallow-eve and a goose on
Christmas Day. Easter Monday is given to festivity, St.
Stephen's Day to the pleasures of the field; on Midsummer's
eve bonfires are lighted in unconscious observance of the
superstition of our heathen ancestors who thus did honour to
the sun." (Bonfire Hill lies just a short distance up the
road from Glenavy to Lisburn, at the angle between the
"Tullynewbank" and "Ballymote" roads.
Cupples mentions that about 20 vessels in his area "plied on
shores of Lough Neagh." There was a sloop of 10 tons burden
which carried grain to Antrim and a pleasure boat of 2� tons
which belonged to wealthy Mr. Whittle. Two boats called
"punts" of 30 cwt. each were mainly used to carry turf, and
16 small boats of 12 cwt. fished for trout, pollan, tench
and pike. There is also reference to "the most singular fish
caught in lake in Sandy Bay�the Gillaroo trout with a
stomach like a fowl's gizzard. The fishermen call it
`shell-trout' as it lives on tiny shellfish. The flesh when
boiled is pale yellow."
The village of Glenavy in the early years of the last
century was of an angular form and included the present
collection of houses at Ballycessy and part of the present
village of Glenavy. These two parts were of course separated
by the Glenavy river, one part belonging to the civil parish
of Glenavy, the other to Camlin. The village altogether had
68 houses and 309 inhabitants of which 110 were Catholics,
162 Protestants, 37 Dissenters. It was a post-town, being 74
miles from Dublin, 7 from Lisburn and 12 from Belfast. Miss
Jane Quigley was Deputy Post Mistress. The trades and
professions in the village were: Apothecary 1. Farmers 6.
Grocers 5. Shoemakers 2. Taylors (sic) 3. Miller 1. Smiths
2. Carpenter 1. Flax-dresser 1. Publicans 2. Innkeeper 1.
Mason 1. Turner 1. Weavers 3. Labourers 14.
At this time the village was in a state of decline since the
death of one Dogherty Gorman who "lived and expended a large
income in it," but there were hopes that the erection of a
cotton manufactory by Dr. Forsythe and others might revive
it again. One of the inns was kept at Glenavy at this time
by "Mr. John Feris," and was no doubt a popular spot on fair
days which were held twice a year, on 14th May and 29th
October, where the chief sales were horned cattle.
Crumlin at this period was roughly the shape it is to-day, a
long street with a smaller one leading to Antrim. In 1808
there were 89 inhabited houses. 3 uninhabited; 430
inhabitants, 123 Catholics, 127 Protestants and 180
Dissenters. In 1813 the number of inhabitants was 587, with
167 Catholics, 174 Protestants and 246 Dissenters. About the
middle of the previous century there were only two houses
there, a public-house and a smithy, but Mr. McAuley's
flour-mills and an academy run by Rev. Mr. Alexander helped
it to grow. The Deputy Post Mistress was Mrs. Sarah Campbell
and the town was held immediately under Lieut. Col. Heyland
who lived in elegant ease at Glendarragh. The trades etc. in
Crumlin were: Apothecaries 2. Bakers 2. Weavers or linen
manufacturers 13. Miller 1. Grocers 10. Mason 1. Cloth Shops
2. Smiths 3. Delft Shops 3. Milliner 1. Tanners 2. Butchers
2. Shoemakers 8. Carpenters 4, Tailors 2. Cartmaker 1. Dyer
1. Nailors 3. Flaxdresser 1. Publicans 8. Innkeeper 1.
Surveyor 1. Watchmaker 1. Painter and Glazier 1. Labourers
24. Various Dealers 7.
The inn in Crumlin described as a "new and commodious house
in a central site" was opened around this time by Mr. Arthur
Education at this stage was very backward by present
standards. Children were sent to school, where there was
one, until able to read and write when they left to follow
their parents' trade or ventured further afield. Schools
were established or temporary. The former were in houses
built for the purpose by the inhabitants; the latter were in
barns and conducted in the summer season by itinerant
teachers. Clements Fitzgerald was the parochial schoolmaster
and taught at Ballyvannon where he had 13 Catholics on his
roll of 30. Two Catholic teachers are mentioned, Bernard
Donnelly at Tullynewbane and Jas. McLoughlin at Aghadolgan.
The former had 6 Catholics on a roll of 40, the latter had
19 on a roll of 35. The quarterly salary for tuition was 3/9
spelling and reading, 5/- writing and arithmetic, but this
varied with the status of the school.
There was an academy in Crumlin known as a "classical
school" under the superintendence of Rev. N. Alexander
"assisted by ushers, well conducted." The course comprised
Greek, Latin, English, French. Maths. Astronomy, Geography,
Logic, History. Christian Morality and Evidences. Writing
and Arithmetic. Another such "classical school" was taught
in Glenavy by Mr. Daniel McAllister�16/3 a quarter for
tuition. This enabled many of those who could afford it to
send their sons to college and place them in the
professions. Most of the professions, we must add, were
still barred to Catholics, even had they been able to afford
the education at the "classical schools."
It was not until 1831 that a system of national education
was introduced by Chief Secretary Stanley.
THE PARISH 1819-1848
When Father Blaney resigned the parish in 1819 the man
appointed to succeed him was Father James McMullan. He was
born in 1780 in Ballylough, near Castlewellan, and studied
for a time under Dr. Patrick McMullan, then P.P. of Kilmegan
and later Bishop. Dr. McMullan writing to Dr. Curtis,
President of the College of the Noble Irish in Salamanca, in
a letter dated 5th May. 1797. requested him to permit James
McMullan to study there. The young McMullan was ordained in
1797 and then sent to Salamanca to complete his studies
there. On Feb. 2, 1805, he was appointed P.P. of Glenarm
from which he was appointed to Glenavy. When Fr. John Smith,
the P.P. of Kilmegan, died in July, 1829, Fr. McMullan was
appointed there, but held the post only for a few days when
he returned to Glenavy and was P.P. there until his death in
Fr. McMullan lodged in Aghadolgan with a family called
Thompson, who lived in the house now occupied by Mrs. Ellen
McCorry. John and Margaret Thompson were in the spirit
business and three of their sons, William, Patrick and
Thomas, later founded a very successful business in London
and America as tea and wine merchants. The parents were
often witnesses at marriages celebrated by Fr. McMullan, and
baptisms were administered here also. Mr. Charles McCorry of
Aghadolgan informs me that his mother was baptised there�in
what was later known as "Usher's Row." In 1868 one of the
brothers, William, presented to the Church a cope, veil and
monstrance for Benediction "in honour of God, and in memory
of subscribers deceased relatives who are interred in
Glenavy chapel yard." It would seem that Fr. Hegarty was the
first curate in Glenavy around 1821. Fr. McMullan also lived
at Aldergrove for a while. Canon McEvoy's notes say,
"probably he was ailing before he made the change." He was
responsible for building the old parochial house at Chapel
Hill�where the Heatley family now reside�and he lived there
for a time. In 1824 he enlarged and altered the old church
of Ballyquillin and dedicated it under the invocation of St.
James, preserving in its walls a holy water stoup from the
old church of Templepatrick which he had received as a
present. The name Aldergrove is, of course, not of Gaelic
origin. It dates from the coming of the railways when the
new station became Aldergrove. The airfield made the new
One of Fr. McMullan's closest friends at the time was Eneas
Kerr, a fairly wealthy bachelor who lived where John
Christie of British later lived. He owned this farm and
other land as well and housed many poor Catholics in his
outhouses. He helped a lot with the church in Ballyquillin
and often acted as witness at ceremonies. When they were
building the church there, a deputation called on the
minister (E.C.) at Killead�Rev. W. G. Macartney (1815-1858)
for a subscription. He gave them �10 and told them to clear
off, for "beggars should not be long together." Eneas Kerr
died on Monday. 20th Jan., 1834, "about half past 5 of the
clock" and was buried on Jan. 22 inside the church which he
served so well. The offering of �9-18-0 shows the extent of
the respect in which he was held, as at this time offerings
seldom exceeded �1.
In 1841 Fr. McMullan himself died and was interred in front
of the altar in Ballyquillin church, and on his tombstone is
Beneath this stone is interred the mortal remains of
the Revd. James McMullan; he was priest of this parish
and Glenavy for the period of 22 years;
he died on the 21st of February,
1841, in the 61st year of his age.
In front of this church a young priest of the parish called
Fr. John McAreavy is interred. He was born at Ballyginniff
on March 4, 1842, studied 2 years at St. Malachy's College
and entered the Humanity Class in Maynooth on 15th November,
1860. He was ordained along with Fr. Peter Magorrian in St.
Peter's, Belfast, on Nov. 1, 1866, by Dr. Dorrian and
officiated as curate in Ballykinlar for a short while. His
robust constitution made him neglect his health and it is
said that he would often sit for hours in the confessional
with wet clothes. On 1st April, 1867, he had a hemorrhage
and returned to his native parish where he died. His
Of your charity, pray
for the soul of
The Rev. John McAreavy,
aged 26, who died 2th Oct.,
The cholera which claimed the life of Fr. Blaney, who
preceded Fr. McMullan, was also rampant all over the country
at that date, 1832. The house later known as "Dr. Mussen's"
was a small hospital at the time, and was called the
Fr. Richard Hanna was Fr. McMullan's curate and acted as
administrator from the death of his pastor until 15th Sept.,
1841, when sickness caused him to retire from the mission
and live at his father's home in Kilclief where he died
after some nine months, aged 29. Between 1841 and 1843 the
parish was administered by Father Joseph Canning, a native
of Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, who had been ordained in 1841 and
sent to Glen-wry.
Fr. James Denvir, P.P., Lower Ards, was appointed the new
parish priest of Glenavy on Feb. 9, 1843. He too only
remained there for a brief period, being appointed as P.P.
of Kilkeel on Oct. 5, 1845, where he died 10 years later and
was buried in the graveyard attached to Kilclief Catholic
Church, his native place. Once again the parish became the
care of the curate, Fr. Michael McCartan, who administered
it from Fr. Denvir's removal in 1843 until 1848.
FATHER GEORGE PYE
It must have been noted that between the years 1787 and 1848
only two priests had worked with some continuity in Glenavy.
Fathers Crangle and McMullan did so for some 49 years which
leaves 12 years between the five others. The time was ripe
for some new, able and zealous man to put the parish on a
sound footing and wield the scattered parishioners into a
community. The new parish priest who was appointed had an
unusual surname�Pye, but his name became a legend and will
be forever remembered in the parish which he served for 42
George Pye was born in 1818 at the Old Course, Downpatrick,
in the house now occupied by his great-nephew, Hugh
O'Donnell and family. It is not known whether he got his
early education at Bright Protestant school or at a
hedge-school which is said to have functioned in the
vicinity of Quoniamstown in the parish of Bright at the
time. It is, however, certain that he attended a school in
Downpatrick in preparation for St. Malachy's College and
Maynooth. This was the famous classical school of Dr. James
Nelson, a Unitarian clergyman, in Downpatrick where many
clergy of the diocese including three of their most
outstanding bishops, Dr. Crolly, Dr. Denvir and Dr. Dorrian
were educated as young men.
Dr. Crally had noted the qualities of the young lad Pye and
marked him as a suitable candidate for the priesthood. From
the Downpatrick academy he moved to St. Malachy's College
where he was one of its first students�the College had been
opened in 1833, and later to Maynooth where he entered the
Logic Class on August 25, 1836. He completed the course
there before he had reached the canonical age for ordination
and was brought back to Belfast where he taught in St.
Malachy's College, being ordained in Downpatrick by Dr.
Denvir on Oct. 28, 1842.
For six years he taught in the College where his name was
held in veneration as a professor of Mathematics and
Classics. In 1843 both he and the College President, Fr.
Patrick Curoe acted as witnesses in the famous controversy
which involved the "General Home Mission of the Presbyterian
Church in Ireland" regarding false returns from the "Irish
Schools in the Glens of Antrim." This "Glens Mission" had
the unhappy effect of destroying the Irish language in that
historic region by associating it with Protestantism.
On March 16, 1848, he was promoted to the parish of Glenavy
where he lived with his assistant at Chapel Hill. His first
assistant was Fr. Patrick Ryan and his last Fr. Patrick A.
Mullan. There were seventeen others in between!
In those days following the Famine period Fr. Pye moved
among his people with a Christlike simplicity and
compassion. He was a constant caller at all homes and even
to-day Fr. Pye's "cup" from which he got a cup of tea or his
faded photograph on an old wall keeps his memory green. He
abhorred personal wealth in a priest even had it been
possible to obtain it in Glenavy then. The local tailor, Mr.
Heaney, often sewed on a patch on his trousers while he
waited in an adjoining room until they were finished and
ready. Once his housekeeper wanted money to buy something
for the house and he told her there was none. "You've money
in there," she said, indicating a press where he had been
keeping some money which had been collected for building a
hall at Chapel Hill near the stables. "That is parochial
money," he said. "We mustn't touch that." Word of this
leaked out, and the parishioners insisted that he use the
It was common practice for Fr. Pye to say Mass on Sunday at
Chapel Hill, and then walk to Aldergrove to say a second
Mass. Mass was said in various parts in the northern end of
the parish, probably monthly. In some notes left by Fr. Pye
we read; "Sept 2, 1883. A very wet day�went for first time
to new station at Mr. Berryhill's." This was up in the
Boltnaconnell district and Mass was generally said there
once a month until a year after Mr. Berryhill's death and
the farm was sold. After an interval of a year the saying of
a monthly Mass was renewed in this district at the
instigation of Dr. Henry, and this continued at Magill's of
Kilcross until the petrol restrictions during the second
world war made it impossible.
Mr. W. McCorry of the Crew told me that when he was a boy at
Killultagh school, Fr. Pye used to come to give the Catholic
boys their religious instruction. This was done at the gable
of the school in the open air, the teacher often bringing
out a chair for the aging priest. There is another
well-authenticated story that he was invited to the opening
of the new hall in Glenavy village and he agreed to be
present�provided the hall was called the Protestant Hall,
and not the Orange Hall. Whatever the truth of this, the
hall was and is known as the Protestant Hall. Fr. Pye was
very helpful to the Protestants of the parish in
form-filling and advice about the acquiring of land once the
land-reform Acts began to appear.
The crowning achievement of Fr. Pye's priesthood was the
love of God which he kept burning strongly in his people.
From a material point of view he is best remembered by the
new church which he had built at Chapel Hill and the fine
parochial house nearby. The church was on the site of the
old one erected by Father Crangle which had stood for some
60 years but was becoming increasingly inadequate. It was
dedicated under the invocation of St. Joseph and consecrated
by Dr. Dorrian on Sept. 13, 1868. The sermon on the occasion
was preached by Dr. McCabe, Bishop of Ardagh. The
sweet-toned bell which rang from the tower was manufactured
by Mr. Sheridan of Dublin and weighed 10 cwt. A small
gallery for the choir was at the western end of the church.
The building was from designs and was superintended by Mr.
John O'Neill, Architect, of the firm of O'Neill and Byrne.
The stone for the building came from a local quarry in
Ballymacrickett and worked by local men Hugh Cushnahan and
his son Patrick. These men also helped to build the
parochial house along with Wm. John Hamill. The house on a
farm of eleven acres was held at a yearly rent of 10
guineas, under a fee-farm grant dated 19th Sept., 1874, from
Sir Richard Wallace to Dr. Dorrian and Father Pye. (On May
3, 1898, the property was vested in Fr. O'Malley. P.P., by
order of the Irish Land Commission).
There is a tradition that Fr. Pye was loth to leave his old
residence and move to the more commodious residence he had
erected. While he was away for a few days, perhaps at a
retreat or on a holiday, the housekeeper had all the
furniture changed across and so the transference was made.
A strong virile sacramental life began to grow during Fr.
Pye's time. There is a record that 480 were confirmed in
Glenavy by Dr. Denvir in 1840 but episcopal visits began to
be more frequent in the next decades and in the autumn of
1861, two bishops, Dr. Denvir and his Coadjutor Dr. Dorrian
confirmed 110 in the old church. Dr. Denvir confirmed the
girls and Dr. Dorrian the boys, and it is of interest to
record that the M.C. was Fr. G. Conway, C.C., St. Patrick's,
who was Fr. Pye's successor in Glenavy. On July 22, 1865, Dr
Dorrian confirmed another 119. The old "church of the dwarf"
was beginning to feel its youthful vigour.
In 1869 the Oblate Fathers gave a Mission in Glenavy and a
large mission cross was erected in the cemetery. Some of the
dates in the Chapel Hill cemetery go back to around 1820 and
it is possible that interment took place here from a much
earlier date. The school which adjoins the cemetery bears
the date 1856. The old mission cross with its symbols of the
Passion remained there until some decades ago. In 1878 the
Passionists gave a mission in Glenavy which lasted a week,
followed by a week in Aldergrove. An indication of the
growth of the parish is the numbers of communicants at this
time, 1800 in Glenavy and 500 in Aldergrove. Again in the
spring of 1890 Fathers Butler and Hughes, two Jesuit
priests, preached a mission. About this time Fr. Pye took
very ill and many prayers were offered for his recovery. He
died "the death of a saint" on May 19, 1890, and on the
Tuesday following Solemn Requiem Mass was offered in the
church, with Dr. McAlister presiding. Fr. Pye's grave was
under the shadow of the Mission Cross in the churchyard at
Chapel Hill. The high-altar in the church also perpetuates
his memory, and records the fact that he was Vicar General
of the diocese.
GLENAVY ABOUT 1890
In 1892 Rev. Charles Watson. the Vicar of the united
parishes of Glenavy, Camlin and Tullyrusk published a
pamphlet entitled, "Glenavy: Past and Present." Like
Cupples' report from 1816 on which is largely based, it is
also a rare book and once again I give a summary of the more
relevant parts of the text to give a picture of the area
which begins to bear much resemblance to modern times.
The cotton mill which had been erected by Dr. Forsythe some
eighty years previous, had passed through many phases and
was now a "flock" mill, the property of Mr. Hugh H. Boyd
Watson. The Bleach Green at Glenconway had been started by
Mr. Stafford Whittle. After him, Mr. Dickson had it for a
time and later Mr. Dawson took it and built a flour mill
using the water from the river to supply the motor power.
During Dawson's time it was burnt and Mr. Hunter rebuilt it
and from him it passed to Mr. Kennedy. After the
establishment of Free Trade the business declined and the
great mill wheels ceased turning. At this time it was the
residence of Mr. S. S. Briggs.
Mr. James Lorimer had a corn and beetling engines at his
farm in Glenavy. Under the management of his sons Archibald
and Andrew this gave some local labour. Lorimer had another
farm in Edenturcher where he resided in Edenvale; a pretty
thatched house near a large pond on which swans often
glided. Nearby he had a sawmill and more beetling engines.
In 1890 there were two public houses, owned by Mr. George
Ferris and Mrs. Armstrong. The Post Office was under Miss
Maggie Ferris. In the village there were 4 grocers, 2
smiths, 1 miller. 3 carpenters, 1 tailor, 3 masons, 1
saddler, 14 farmers and the physician, who also acted as
Dispensary Doctor and Coroner, was Arthur Mussen, M.D.,
J.P., who lived just outside the village in what had been
the old "cholera house." He was the only magistrate residing
in the area; the other, Captain Dowglass of Gobrana, had
lived since 1888 in London. There had been a police station
in the village earlier in the century and the barracks were
where Mr. Frank Colburn lived.
Watson gives a list of some of the "big houses" and their
||Bell Grove�J. Bell.
|Elm Hill�T. J.
Weir House�J. Johnston.
Crew Mount�H. Ballance.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand at this time was Hon. John
Ballance, a son of Mr. Samuel Ballance of Ballypitmave. He
was educated at Belfast Model School and left Ireland about
30 years previous. He had become editor-in-chief of a
newspaper, and later was elected as a member of the
legislative assembly. When he became Chancellor of the
Exchequer, "Punch" remarked that, "not every country like
New Zealand which always has a Ballance in its Exchequer!"
The Goremount property at this time was owned by Mr. M.
Armstrong. The name came from an old family called Gore who
resided there Through the marriage of Capt. Henry
Alsager-Pollock to Miss Gore it passed to the Pollocks from
which it was purchased by Mr. T. Johnson-Smith, J.P., on
whose death it was sold to Mr. Armstrong.
Thistleborough. which had once been a splendid mansion and
the home of Mr. Stafford Whittle, was now almost in ruins,
and such was also the condition of Glendona which belonged
to the Charters family.
Crumlin village had, at this time, 85 inhabited houses and a
population of 344. Its prosperity always depended a lot on
the condition of the mills. Rowley Heyland had built
flour-mills at Glenoak, later the factory of the Ulster
Woollen Co. Ltd., in 1765. These were the first of their
kind erected in the north of Ireland. The government erected
extensive warehouses and encouraged the growth of wheat.
After Mr. Heyland the Messrs. Macauley and Son held Crumlin
mills and also started a flax-mill which later passed to Mr.
Christie. The mills were held by Mr. Haddock from 1856 until
1860 when James Hunter took over, but he failed in 1870. Mr.
Rhodes entered as tenant in 1872 but the premises were
burned down in 1884 and in 1886 the Ulster Woollen Co. Ltd.,
with Mr. T. Scott as Managing Director started a factory for
tweeds, serges, etc., and also dyeing, carding, spinning,
weaving and finishing.
In 1890 Rev. Arthur H. Pakenham, J.P., had his fine seat at
Langford Lodge, the grounds being open for holiday parties
during the summer. Police barracks had just before this been
built in Crumlin main street and were under the control of
Serg. McCourt. There were Petty Sessions held once a month,
on the last Monday. The local Station-master was Wm.
Beattie. the Post-mistress was Miss Campbell. There was a
fair every first Monday. and a market each Wednesday, and on
these days the Ulster Banking Co. had an office in the town.
Crumlin was the property of Rev. A. H. Pakenham and his
agent was Lieut. Col. Charles McClintock, J.P., and
sub-agent Mr. Warren. Notable houses in the area were:
Some of the fine residences at this period in the Feumore
area where the Conways had their great park are given as, W.
Fitzgerald's, Mrs. Gregory's, Mrs. MacDonald's, Mr.
Creaney's, Mr. Ed. Johnston's, W. Gregory's and Geo.
Patterson's. The railway which runs through Glenavy to
Antrim was constructed in the 1860's and opened on 13th
Fr. Michael O'Malley, P.P., 1894-1909.
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
The Catholic population of the present parish of Glenavy and
Killead. which comprises the whole of the civil parishes of
Glenavy. Camlin and Killead along with the larger part of
the civil parish of Ballinderry, was 2,500 in the year 1871.
The figures we have are as follows:
|Year 1881. Catholic population 2150.
||Year 1931. Catholic population 1700.
|Year 1891. Catholic population 1950.
||Year 1967. Catholic population 2392.
This shows that in the sixty years between 1871 and 1931 the
Catholic population decreased by about 800. the result of
emigration or transference to other areas in the province,
particularly to Belfast.
Fr. Pye's successor at Glenavy was Fr. George Conway who was
appointed on Sept. 1, 1890. He was born in Dunsford in 1827
and entered St. Malachy's College in 1845, going to the
Irish College in Paris in Sept., 1847. In October, 1852, he
was ordained by Cr. Whelan, Bishop of Bombay. in Clarendon
St. Chapel, Dublin. He had been a curate in St. Patrick's,
Belfast. and administrator in Ballymacarrett before working
as P.P. in Derriaghy and Carnlough. He was over sixty when
he moved to Glenavy and found the duties of the large parish
rather much for him. On March 12, 1894, he retired and
passed his latter years at Nazareth House, Ballynafeigh. He
and Fr. John Macaulay who had resigned Ballymacarrett and
resided nearby, were inseparable friends. Both had been in
Glenavy. Fr. Conway celebrated his Golden Jubilee in 1902
and died on Nov. 30, 1909, aged 83.
Fr. Michael O'Malley who was P.P. of Cushendun was appointed
to Glenavy on 1st June, 1894. He was born at Towerhill in
the parish of Cappamore, Limerick, in 1845 and after studies
in Thurles and Waterford was ordained by Dr. Dorrian in St.
Malachy's Church, Belfast, on the Sunday within the octave
of All Saints, 1870. After his curacies in Lisburn. St.
Peter's, Belfast, and Whitehouse he moved as P.P. to
Cushendun in 1883. Fr. O'Malley was a great favourite in
Glenavy and was widely known as a preacher and a confessor.
Indeed he was called on at times to give retreats in some
other parishes. He had to pay a sum of money each year to
his predecessor who was still living at Ballynafeigh and the
story is told that this influenced him to accept the change
to become P.P. of Randalstown. The story goes on to say that
when going away he bought a newspaper and read in Glenavy
station that old Fr. Conway had died!
Francis McBride, the next parish priest, was born in
Greenans in the parish of Culfeightrin on May 12, 1857.
After his education in St. Malachy's College and Maynooth he
was ordained in the Diocesan College Chapel by Dr. Dorrian
on February 13, 1881. He had been curate in Randalstown from
1881 until 1884 when he moved to St. Malachy's, Belfast, and
St. Peter's. On June 1, 1894. he was made P.P. of
Ballygalget and from there he was changed to Glenavy on
December 1, 1909.
It was during Fr. McBride's days in Glenavy that application
was granted by Dr. Tohill for a second curate for
Aldergrove. This meant that daily Mass was now said at two
centres in the parish and that the Blessed Sacrament was
reserved there. According to the Feumore school register the
first pupils were enrolled there on Oct. 2, 1899. This was
during Fr. O'Malley's time, and from Fr. McBride's time on,
Mass was said here on some Sundays and holidays as it was
also said at Kilcross. During these years in Glenavy parish,
the new school was built in Crumlin to take the place of the
old school in Lakefield Lane, off Crumlin Main St.
During Fr. McBride's time a new parochial house was built in
Aldergrove, and the house at Ballymacrickett was enlarged.
Mrs. McAreavey of Ballyginniff and Mr. James McLarnon of
British both offered ground for the school in Crumlin and
the former was chosen as more central. Mr. Daniel Magill of
Ballymacilhoyle offered a site for school and
parochial-house in Aldergrove but owing to a landlord's
objections ground could not be acquired. Fr. McBride also
bought a small farm adjoining the church for �575 and the
Crumlin Bazaar of October, 1914, was held to defray these
With the coming of the motor-car, improved roads began to
open up the country. The present modern highway from Glenavy
village to Upper Ballinderry is a good example. The road on
which it was built was only about a hundred years old, as it
came with the railways. Maps of Glenavy around the middle of
the last century show the main Moira road going up past
Chapel Hill as it had done since Patrician times, while the
other is just a lane leading up a field. The old world which
had changed so slowly was now becoming the one we know so
well to-day where every day brings its story of upheaval and
Father McBride died on March 20, 1923. and was succeded as
Parish Priest by Father Daniel McEvoy, who was a native of
Glenarm. Born in 1874 and ordained in St. Patrick's,
Belfast, by Dr. Henry, he had been a curate in Glenavy from
1899 until 1902 under Fr. O'Malley. These are the dull
statistics we read on headstones and obituary notices
however. During his thirty-seven years as pastor of the
Church of the Dwarf�he used to joke about the similarity in
their names�he was in every sense an exemplary priest, and a
father to all men. His memory is quite safe in the keeping
of his people, many of whom have their own anecdotes to
relate about him.
In 1928 a new baptismal font was erected by O'Neill and Co.
in memory of Bernard Armstrong. The cost, which was �100.
was paid by his family. In 1930 the first burial took place
in the new graveyard and new Stations of the Cross were
erected. while in 1937 a new Primary School was opened in
Ballymacrickett, but more about the schools later. The old
stable at Chapel Hill where horses and traps were left on
Sundays gradually outlived its usefulness, and the growing
prosperity of the people was seen in the number of cars
which took over. Building restrictions during the war
hampered any kind of material progress but since then the
Secondary Intermediate School was built near Glenavy village
and the Parochial Hall opposite the old school in
Ballymacrickett. The first sod for the hall was dug on 1st
February, 1956, and the hall was officially opened at
Easter, 1957. It was used in the previous December for a
huge bazaar which had raised about �8.500. Much of the
credit for this is due to a very energetic committee working
with Father John Sloan. the curate. The architects were
McLean and Forte, and contracted work was done by Mr. Martin
of Randalstown, Mr. McAlindon of Lurgan (electricity), Mr.
McCartney of Belfast (plumbing) and J. P. Curry (roofing).
Mr. McCann of Glenavy was general overseer and also
responsible for inside ceilings. Voluntary help from the
people of the parish made a huge contribution here.
The small grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes erected in 1953 was
the bequest of the late Mrs. Owens (nee Devlin) of
Ballynahinch. Canon McEvoy�he was elevated to the Diocesan
Chapter in 1945, and a new Mass missal was presented to him
by "some friends who attend Mass in Feymore" (Oct.,
1945)�died on 13th June, 1960, and laid to rest in the
shadow of the church he loved. There he rests with those
other priests who served, each in his own way, the people of
Father Patrick Kerr, his successor, was appointed in the
year 1960. He is a native of Glenravel, Co. Antrim, and
after his further education in St. Malachy's College,
Queen's University, Belfast, and the Irish College in Rome
was ordained in the latter in 1938. He was appointed to St.
Malachy's College, where he taught French for many years and
became President in 1950. May his life here be long, happy
EDUCATION IN THE PARISH
The majority of those who got any schooling in Ireland in
the first third of the nineteenth century got it in what are
variously called hedge schools, cabin schools or pay
schools. There were no classes as we know them, no
textbooks, only individual masters and a handful of pupils.
Cupples in 1808 reports that the quarterly salary for
tuition was 3/9 for spelling and reading, 5/- for writing
and arithmetic. In Glenavy about one person for every four
families went to school. The following details are of
|Bernard Donnelly (R.C.)
|John McQuillen (Prot.)
|Jas. McLoughlin (R.C.)
|Clem. Fitzgerald (Prot.)
|Nathaniel Whyte (Diss.)
|Thomas Holmes (Diss.)
|James Lukey (Diss.)
There was an academy or "classical school" in Crumlin for
boarders and day-pupils under Rev. N. Alexander. The course
comprised Greek, Latin. English, French, Maths, Astronomy,
Geography, Logic, History, Christian Morality and Evidences,
Writing and Arithmetic. A "classical school" was also held
in Glenavy by Mr. Daniel McAllister where tuition was 16/3
per quarter. Only the wealthier people could afford to send
their children to such places however.
In 1831 the system of national schools came into being. One
of the new principles was that there should be no
interference with the religious beliefs of the children, and
priests and ministers had access at set times to instruct
pupils. The Established Church was unwilling to accept this
and in 1838 the Church Education Society was founded to
maintain schools of the Established Church independent of
the national system. The Presbyterians followed suit and
after 1847 primary schooling increased in tempo towards
The school at Ballymacrickett has the date 1856 but it would
appear that originally this was a one storied building. This
seems obvious from a close inspection of the structure of
the interior. There is no sign of this building in the 1834
survey map and it may have been the work of Father Pye, if
not a little earlier. Perhaps Fr. McMullan, who built the
old parochial house, also built a small school. Some years
ago when Mr. Robert Heatley was working in it, he unearthed
a flagstone under the floor�an old headstone�with the name
James Stringer White, who died 1841. The school was used
until 1937 when a new school in Ballymacrickett was opened,
but in latter years it has been found necessary to use it
again. The date of opening of the other Ballymacrickett
school was October 1, 1937.
Charles Watson writing around 1890 mentioned a school at
Feumore Sands. There is some evidence that the Catholics of
the area contributed to its building, but the teacher at
this time was Mr. William Fitzgerald and the Catholics soon
had their own school, the present one in Feumore which was
opened in October, 1899.
Aldergrove school was opened on 10th October. 1876. This had
been the home of John Agnew, known as a traditional fiddler.
John Cooley who was over 90 when he died told Father White,
a native of Aldergrove, "there was a tree at the door with
white stones round it." Renovations were made to Agnew's
house during Fr. Pye's time. Previously pupils had gone to
other schools in the vicinity, particularly "Cushley's
School," an old building further up the road. John Cooley
recalled that Mr. Cushley had one arm and taught "with the
aid of a walking stick�round your neck sometimes!" Five
priests are counted among the past pupils of the old
Aldergrove school, where Fiddler Agnew lived. They are Fr.
Black, Fr. White, Fr. McKillop. Fr. Connon and Fr. Isadore,
C.P. This old school has now completely disappeared and the
fine new building was opened on 28th April, 1958.
In Crumlin a Catholic school was opened in Lakefield Lane,
off the main street. It had been the property of Mr. Henry
Gillen. Later it was removed to the corner house which also
belonged to Mr. Gillen. Originally there were 36 children in
attendance, sometime around 1880. The foundation stone of a
new Catholic school in Crumlin was blessed and laid by Fr.
McBride on 15th August, 1914, and the school was opened as
St. Joseph's on 22nd February, 1915.
St. Aidan's Secondary Intermediate School was opened on 5th
September, 1960, but the official opening and blessing took
place on 27th September. It caters for pupils from 4 schools
in Aghagallon parish (Derrynaseer, St. Joseph's of
Brankinstown, St. Mary's of Derryclone and
Tullyballydonald), 4 schools in Glenavy parish
(Ballymacrickett, St. Joseph's of Crumlin, St. James' of
Aldergrove and Feumore). It also caters for Ballymacward
school and St. Joseph's in Hannahstown parish and any
children from Glenavy parish attending Ballyelough school in
the parish of Lisburn.
PRIESTS FROM GLENAVY PARISH
He was born in Killead and died P.P. of Duneane in or about
1768. Probably he belonged to some of the Catholic families
of this name still in the parish.
FATHER JOHN McLOGAN.
(See under the Penal Times).
FATHER RICHARD McLOGAN.
He was a nephew of Father John. The family was an old and
respected one in the area of Portmore. He was born in 1802.
entered the Logic Class in Maynooth on August 25, 1830, and
was ordained by Dr. Murray in June, 1833. He was C.C. in
Downpatrick and Randalstown and was appointed P.P. of
Saintfield in September, 1837. The big storm of 6th January,
1839, destroyed the old church at Carrickmannon and he had
it re-built and re-consecrated by the end of that year. He
died at the early age of 43 from a severe wetting he got in
the course of his duties and was buried in Laloo, the old
cemetery in the parish of Aghagallon. There are bullet marks
on his tombstone which tradition ascribes to the actions of
a rather non-ecumenical age!
FATHER SAMUEL YOUNG.
He was born in Killead in 1802 and entered the Rhetoric
Class in Maynooth on August 25, 1826. He was ordained by Dr.
Crolly in Belfast in 1830. He was a curate in Larne and
later P.P. of Glenarm in July, 1834, P.P. of Aghagallon in
November, 1840, and P.P. of Duneane in August, 1847. He died
on January 23, 1862, and was buried in front of Cargin
FATHER JAMES YOUNG.
He was a nephew of Father Samuel and also came from Killead.
He studied at St. Malachy's College. entered the Humanity
Class in Maynooth on 15th January, 1862. and was ordained at
Pentecost, 1866. He was a curate in Ballymacarrett,
Whitehouse and St. Peter's, Belfast, where he fell victim to
the smallpox which was then raging and died on January, 25.
1872. He is buried in Milltown Cemetery beside Father
Lenihan. a native of Waterford, who had also died from
smallpox in St. Peter's.
FATHER JOHN McAREAVEY.
He was born in Ballyginniff on March 4. 1842. After two
years in St. Malachy's College he joined the Humanity Class
in Maynooth on 15th December, 1860, and was ordained by Dr.
Dorrian in St. Peter's on 11th November, 1866. He was a
curate in the united parishes of Clough, Drumaroad and
Ballykinlar. His robust constitution made him neglect his
health and he would often sit for hours in the confessional
in wet clothes. He suffered a hemorrhage in April, 1867, and
he had to retire to his home where he spent many hours with
the local fishermen, painting the names on their boats and
so on. He died on 8th October. 1868, at the youthful age of
26 and is buried in front of Aldergrove Church.
FATHER JOHN D. CLENAGHAN, O.M.I.
Like the previously mentioned, he too was the nephew of a
priest, Father John McAreavey. He was born at Fairview,
Upper Ballinderry, on 24th August, 1877, and entered St.
Malachy's College in September, 1894. In August, 1898, he
joined the Oblates and became a Doctor of Philosophy in the
Gregorian University, Rome, where he was ordained at Easter,
1904. He was first appointed to the Juniorate of the
Oblates, Belcamp Hall, Raheny, and later to Leith, then Holy
Cross, Liverpool. and Sicklinghall, a retreat-house for
priests near Weatherby.
FATHER JAMES P. CLENAGHAN.
A brother of the above, he was born on 28th May, 1879, and
entered St. Malachy's College in September, 1894, and later
Maynooth in September, 1900, where he was ordained by
Archbishop Walsh on 19th June, 1904. He was appointed to St.
Malachy's College in September, 1904. where he taught for
many years, becoming President in 1919. During this trying
time of the early twenties the College was often in grave
danger and Fr. Clenaghan's responsibility was heavy. In 1924
he became P.P. of Carnlough and later in 1934 he was moved
back to Belfast as P.P. of St. Malachy's Church. Dr. Mageean
appointed him a Canon and also Vicar General of the diocese.
He died on 26th November, 1940.
Fr. James was one of Glenavy's noblest sons. He contributed
valuable articles to the educational and ecclesiastical
journals and was a popular lecturer on aspects of Irish
Catholic life. He was a fluent Irish speaker and one of the
founder members of the Irish-speaking Priests' Society,
Cumann na Sagart Gaelach. One of his pupils in St. Malachy's
College. a little boy, wrote an essay in the College
magazine remembering him as "a grey-haired man who often
smiled." This was a fitting tribute. Ar dheis D�
go raibh a anam.
FATHER PATRICK J. BLACK.
Born at Crookedstone in Killead on 21st June, 1885, he
entered St. Malachy's College in October, 1899, joined the
second year Philosophy class in Maynooth in September, 1905,
and was ordained there on 19th June, 1910. He was on
temporary mission in Kilmore diocese for a year and then was
curate in Ballycastle (1911-1916), Holy Rosary (1916-1920)
and St. Patrick's (1920-1931). From 1931 to 1938 he was
Administrator in the Holy Family Parish, from where he went
as P.P. to Ballymoney and in 1945 he became P.P. of
Cushendall, where he later became a Canon of the diocese.
Blessed with an old-world charm he was a very gentlemanly
figure and was deeply mourned in the Glens when he died on
14th March, 1966.
Happily still with us are the following priests, among whom
is the third priest in that remarkable family from
Ballinderry, the Clenaghans.
|Rev. Bernard Armstrong, P.P., Ballygalget,
|Rev. Isadore Campbell, C.P., Mount
|Very Rev. George Canon Clenaghan,
P.P., Loughguile. Co. Antrim.
|Rev. Francis Connon, C.S.S.R.,
|Rev. James Connon, P.P.,
Portglenone, Co. Antrim.
|Rev. Denis Cormican,
O.M.I.. recently ordained.
|Rev. Neal Hughes.
Brother Hugh Cormican. O.M.I., was born in Gortnagallon on
July 25, 1852, and joined the Oblates in October, 1873,
where he was posted to St. Kevin's Reformatory, Glencree.
Co. Wicklow, in 1875. He was there for 52 years and is
buried at Inchicore.
PARISH PRIESTS OF GLENAVY
|Father O'Neill ?
|Father John McLogan -1783.
|Father James Killen. 1783-1786 (resigned).
|Father O'Hanlon 1786-7 (Admin.?).
|Father William Crangle 1787-1814.
|Father Patrick Blaney 1814-1819 (resigned).
|Father James McMullan 1819-1841.
|Father Joseph Canning 1841-1843 (Admin.?).
|Father James Denvir 1843-1845.
|Father George Pye 1848-1890.
|Father George Conway 1890-1894 (resigned).
|Father Michael O'Malley 1894-1909.
|Father Francis McBride 1909-1923.
|Father Daniel McAvoy 1923-1960.
|Became Canon 1945.
|Father Patrick Kerr 1960-
CURATES IN GLENAVY
It is impossible to know from the records whether some
priests on this list were curates or temporary assistants.
|Father John O'Heggarty
|Father Thomas Kearney
|Father Patrick Bradley
|Father James Killen
|Father John Redmond
|Father Richard Hanna
||1831-1841 (inc. Adm.)
|Father Michael McCartan
||1843-1848 (Adm. from 1845).
|Father Patrick Ryan
|Father Patrick Phelan
|Father John Aherne
|Father John Macaulay
|Father William Close
|Father William O'Doherty
|Father John McCann
|Father William O'Doherty
|Father John Canavan
|Father Richard Fitzsimons
|Father Thomas Jones
|Father Robert Russell
|Father Bernard MacCartan
|Father Daniel Ferris
|Father Hugh Hanvey
|Father James Greene
|Father Eugene Brady
|Father Francis Henry
|Father Patrick Mullen
|Father Patrick Darragh
|Father Hugh Heffron
|Father P. J. O'Neill
|Father James Small
|Father Hugh McGrath
|Father E. Mollumby
|Father J. J. McKinley
|Father E. Mollumby
|Father John Walsh
|Father Daniel McEvoy
|Father John Rooney
|Father Daniel Mageean
||1907 (later Bishop)
|Father Thomas MacGowan
|Father Joseph McGlave
|Father Patrick O'Kane
|Father Patrick McNamara
|Father Patrick McCartan
|Father William Walsh
|Father Michael McLaughlin
|Father Neil Convery
|Father Daniel Mullaghan
|Father Thomas Lynch
|Father Peter Kelly
|Father Andrew Scott
|Father P. J. O'Hare
|Father R. O'Connor
|Father Maurice McAleese
|Father John Sloan
|Father Daniel Crilly
|Father Brendan Mooney
CURATES IN ALDERGROVE
Father Pye lived for a while in what was then a thatched
cottage a little bit down the Diamond road from Aldergrove
corner. The present parochial house was built during Father
McLaverty's time though he resided for about six years at
|Father John A. McLaverty 1910-1917.
|Father Daniel Magennis 1919-1921.
|Father Malachy McSorley 1921-1928.
|Father Alex Connolly 1928-1933.
|Father Charles Donnelly 1933-1938.
|Father Hugh O'Neill 1938-1944.
|Father Sean McClafferty 1944-1949.
|Father Hugh O'Donnell 1949-1956.
|Father Thomas Lynch 1956-1959.
|Father Hugh O'Boyle 1959-1965.
|Father Colm Campbell 1966-
RELIGIOUS FROM THE PARISH
Elizabeth (Cassie) O'Hara (1851-1905) was born at Rosebank,
Killead. She was sent to the best schools in Ireland,
England and Europe and became a gifted singer and poetess.
She entered the Carmelite Convent at Darlington when she was
39 years old and lived an austere life of great holiness
there as Sister Teresa Elias.
Sister Mary (Fagan) was born on July 6. 1888, and joined the
Sisters of Charity. She died on February 16, 1959, at Our
Lady's Central House, Eastwood. Australia.
|Sister Magdalena (Brankin) of the Cross and Passion Sisters died in 1943.
|Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque (Gillen) died c. 1908. Sacred Heart Order.
|Sister Mary Malachy (Reid) died 2nd June, 1953, Mercy Convent. Bessbrook.
|Sister M. Gertrude (McAreavey). Order of Mercy. Sheffield.
|Sister Ethna (Connon). Good Shepherd Convent, Belfast.
|Sister Patrick (Fleeton), S.S.J.. Rochester, New York.
|Sister Clare (Falloon), Sisters of Charity. Dublin.
|Sister Denise (Avington). S.H.M., Beziers, France.
|Sister M. Berchmans (Marsden), Company of Mary, U.S.A.
|Sister M. James (McGarry), R.S.M., Oklahoma, U.S.A.
|Sister M. Xavier (McGarry). do.
|Sister M. Monica (McCartan),
|Sisters of Nazareth, Hammersmith, London.
|Sister M. Brigid (Donnelly), St. Joseph of Cluny.
|Sister M. Leonard (Morgan), Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary.