Nano Danaher and Pat Danaher
I am having difficulty fitting in some of the photographs !
Patrick Danaher got married to Nora 'Nano' Dillon when he was only 16 years of age. She was at least 7 years older than him. They say he came home from school on a Friday and was told to forget about his school books as he was getting married the following week. It appears that the reason for getting married so young was to do with taking on the Woodcliffe farm. Seemingly at such a young age he could only own or lease land if he was married. His uncle Philip Danaher from Glenagore is said to have helped out with the purchase. Although he was reputed to have had a bad heart he lived into his 90's. He is supposed to have been told by Dr Agnes Nolan when he was in his 30's that he should go home and take it easy on account of his heart. He took her words literally and never did a tap of work for the rest of his life except to give orders to everybody.
Patrick Danaher acquired his farm in 1876 when he would have been only 16 years of age The land was owned by the Taylor family from Cromwellian times and there is a record of ownership by Taylor's in 1739. In 1852 all the Taylor land was put up for sale through the Encumbered Estates Court. This Court was used to sell bankrupt estates.
The Taylor family were recorded as being in possession of the lands in 1739 (see: landedestates.ie ) It appears that Richard Taylor, son of the previous owner, succeeded in buying the estate in 1852 and keeping the Taylor's in possession. While the Danaher's must have bought lot no 2 above sometime later around 1876, no doubt staving off bankruptcy for the Taylor's for the time being. However the Taylor's were back in the Encumbered Estates Court again in 1884 when the remainder of their land, 177 acres, was sold.
Details published at the time included a map of Lot 2 which was subsequently acquired by the Danaher's.
Particulars of the tenants leases are very interesting :
i)Denis Cregan occupied the largest portion of Lot 2 comprising of 113 acres on a lease of two lives but he was forbidden to plough the Hill division on penalty of additional rent of £5 per acre.
ii) Patrick O'Connor who held only 4 acres also on a lease of two lives had the right of Hawking, Fishing and Fowling at a rent of £1 10s per acre but there was also a covenant against Setting, Letting or Alienating under penalty of £10 per acre.
iii) Richard and John Taylor also occupied 24 acres between them. I would assume they were sons of the Landlord and lived in the residence subsequently acquired by the Danaher's. This Richard Taylor seems to have been able to raise the funds to buy the estate in 1852.
iv) all other leases were from year to year.
Leases of two lives were quite common at the time. The tenant would usually include himself as the first life and another family member who would be expected to live for a long time or who would be expected to take over the lease.
This is the Danaher's of Woodcliffe family tree :
Pat Danaher's son Mat Danaher emigrated to America and arrived in Ellis Island on 18th September 1910.
He sailed on a ship called the 'Caledonia' from Londonderry ( Derry ) in Northern Ireland.
While in America he joined the US Army. Later when he came home for a holiday he met his wife and decided to stay at home to take over the family farm. He had a lucky escape from being killed by the Black and Tans in the 1920's. See Sean Finn below.
Sean Finn was a local man from Rathkeale who was Commander of the West Limerick Brigade of the IRA during the Irish Civil war. He was shot dead by Crown forces while leading an operation at Woodcliffe, Ballyhahill on the 30th of March 1921 at the age of 22. He was billeted at Danaher's with some of his comrades the night before and was shot dead by the Black and Tans while fleeing from the house in the townland of Ballyroe ( see farm map above, Ballyroe is north of Woodcliffe towards Loughill ). A member of the Black and Tans was also killed in the incident.
Shortly afterwards the Black and Tans returned to Woodcliffe seeking reprisals and fired a large volley of shots at the house and the bullet holes can still be seen today. They lined up The Danaher family against the gable end of the house and threatened to shoot Matt Danaher until he told them that he was an American citizen, having served with the US Army during his time in America. This must have had the desired effect as their lives were spared.
There is a long poem or song written about the shooting of Sean Finn which can be found at :
(Air: 'Who Fears to Speak of '98).
One evening fair in Easter Week
Of nineteen twenty-one,
On Knockpatrick's famed and holy peak
The sun declining shone:
The blackbirds sang; their music rang,
Where Owvaun's waters flow,
And the thrush's strains made live the plains
Of peaceful Ballyroe.
Brigade CommandantSean Finn was born in Lower Main St., Rathkeale, in Oct. 1899.
Attended Rathkeale National School under the late Mr. John Hayes, N.T. From his earliest years
Sean was imbued with a deep love of Faith and Country. In 1914 he formed
a Companyof Fianna Eireann and was its leader until 1917
when he joined the Volunteers. In 1917 he became Battn. Vice-Commandant and later
the same year became Battn. Commander. An active memberof the G.A.A.
he was Captain of the local Football team and a playing member of the
Senior Hurling team. When the West Limerick Brigade was formed he
was the unanimous selection as Brigade Commandant, He took part in many
engagements against the enemy, notably in the most formidable barrack
attack of the War of Independence,that of Kilmallock. Of noble character,
he was a great favourite with all who knew him, He fell fighting a gallant
rear guard action with a few comrades near the White River in the Parish
of Ballyhahill on 30th March 1921. A noble Celtic Cross over his grave was
unveiled by the Countess Markiveicz in 1924.
Great photograph taken in 1962 outside Tom and Peg Stacks pub "The Top of the Town" in Charleville.
Jack Meade, Tom Stack, Peg Stack, Anna Smithwick, Rene Shaughnessy,
Kevin O'Shaughnessy, Owen O'Shaughnessy, Nora Stack, Mort Stack, Tom Stack, Ann O'Shaughnessy
If there is more information that can go into this page about the family please let me know. If anybody from the Woodcliffe side would like to write something please email it to me for inclusion.