PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS
THE PARISH OF GLENAVY.
FATHER M'VEIGH lived about the middle of the seventeenth
century. He was born in Killead, and died Parish Priest of
Duneane, about the year 1768. He was probably connected with
some of the Catholic families of that name that are still
numerous in the parish.
FATHER JOHN M`LOGAN was born in Portmore. He is already
mentioned amongst the Parish Priests of Glenavy. The
tradition is that, owing to the troublesome times in which
he lived, he dwelt with his relatives, and ministered to the
spiritual wants of the people. He was buried in the ancient
cemetery of Laloo.
FATHER RICHARD M'LOGAN, a nephew of the aforementioned,
was born in 1802 ; entered the Logic Class in the College of
Maynooth in 1830 ; was ordained by Dr. Murray in 1833 ; was
Curate in Downpatrick and Randalstown ; was appointed Parish
Priest of Saintfield in September 1837 ; rebuilt
Carrickmannon Church, and erected Parochial House at
Saintfield ; died, at the age of 43, from the effects of a
severe wetting that he received in the discharge of his
duty, and was interred in the cemetery of Laloo.
FATHER SAMUEL YOUNG was born in Killead in 1802 ; entered
Rhetoric Class in Maynooth on 25th August, 1826.; was
ordained by Dr. Crolly, in Belfast, in 183o ; was appointed
Curate of Larne, and afterwards Parish Priest of Glenarm in
July, 1834 ; Parish Priest of Aghagallon in November, 184o ;
Parish Priest of Duneane in August, 1847. He died on 23rd
January, 1862, and was buried in front of Cargin Church.
FATHER JAMES YOUNG was nephew of Father Samuel. Young;
was born in Killead ; studied in St. Malachy's College ;
entered Class of Humanity in Maynooth on 15th January, 1862
; was ordained at Pentecost, 1866 ; was shortly afterwards
appointed Curate of Ballymacarrett, from which he was sent
to be Curate of Whitehouse ; from Whitehouse he was
transferred to be Curate of St. Peter's, and whilst
ministering to the victims of the smallpox in that district,
he caught the infection himself, and died on 25th January,
1872. He lies in Milltown Cemetery, beside Father Lenihan, a
native of Waterford, who also fell a victim to the smallpox
whilst ministering to the people of St. Peter's.
FATHER JOHN MACAREAVY was born in the townland of
Ballyginniff on 4th March, 1842 ; studied for two years in
St. Malachy's College ; entered the Humanity Class in
Maynooth on 15th November, 1860 ; was ordained, with Father
Peter Magorrian. by Dr. Dorrian. in St. Peter's, on 11
November; 1866 was appointed Curate the Drumaroad, and
Ballykinlar. His robust constitution caused him to neglect
all care of his health ; he would often sit for hours in the
confessional after long walks, in wet clothes, and often
without having broken his fast The result was that he took
hemorrhage on 1st April, 1867, and had to return to his
native parish, where he died, 8th October, 1868, aged 26. He
is buried in front of Aldergrove Chapel.
FATHER JOHN D. CLENAGHAN, O.M.I., a nephew of the
aforementioned, was born at Fairview, Upper Ballinderry, on
24th August, 1877 ; entered St. Malachy's College in
September, 1894 ; joined the Oblates of Mary Immaculate,
August, 1898 ; obtained degree of Doctor of Philosophy in
the Gregorian University, Rome ; was ordained, in Rome, on
Easter Saturday, 1904; appointed first to the Juniorate of
the Oblates, Belcamp Hall, Raheny next to Leith, whence he
was appointed to his present mission, Holy Cross, Liverpool.
FATHER JAMES P. CLENAGHAN, B.A., B.D, was born on 28th
May, 1879 entered St. Malachy's College in September, 1894 ;
entered the Class of First Year's Theology in Maynooth in
September, 1900 ; was ordained by Archbishop Walsh, in
Maynooth, on 19th June,. 1904 ; was appointed to St.
Malachy's College in September of the same year.
FATHER PATRICK J. BLACK, B.A., C.C., was born at
Crookedstone, in Killead, on 21st June, 1885 ; entered St.
Malachy's College in October, 1899 ; entered Second Year's
Philosophy in Maynooth in September, 1905 ; was ordained on
June 19th, 1910. After having accepted a temporary mission
in the Diocese of Kilmore for a year, he was recalled and
appointed, on September 2nd, 1911, to his present Curacy of
FATHER GEORGE P. CLENAGHAN, B.A., C.C., was born on the
10th February, 1889; entered St. Malachy's College in
September, 1900; entered Class of First Theology in Maynooth
in September, 1909; was ordained in Maynooth College on 22nd
June, 1913 ; was appointed shortly afterwards to his present
Curacy of Glenravel.
BROTHER HUGH CORMICAN, O.M.I., was born at Gortnagallon
on the 28th July, 1852 ; joined Oblates of Mary Immaculate
in October, 1873 was appointed to St. Kevin's Reformatory,
Glencree, on 28th January, 1875, where he continues to
inspire religion, patriotism, and self-respect into the boys
that come under his care.
Many of the daughters of Glenavy and Aldergrove have
followed the promptings of Divine Grace, and consecrated
themselves to God in the religious life. They heard the
voice of the Master whispering, as it were, in their ear "
Hearken, O daughter, and see and incline thine ear ; and
forget thy people and thy father's house ; and the King
shall greatly desire thy beauty ; for He is the Lord thy
God, and Him they shall adore." They have left all things to
follow Him, some by a life of teaching, that they might lead
other souls unto justice others by a life of charity, that
they might bring solace to the poor and afflicted others by
a life of contemplation, that they might daily commune with
God and implore His mercy for sinners. We leave them in the
seclusion of their hidden life, wherein they imitate the
Virgin of Nazareth.
" Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, O Lord ; they
shall praise Thee for ever and ever."
EDWARD MacCREANOR, J.P.
AMONGST the men of Glenavy who rose to eminence during
the last century, no one secured a higher place in the
esteem of his fellow-parishioners than the late Edward
MacCreanor, J.P. Born of an old Catholic family in the
parish, he was a grown-up boy before the National System of
Education came into being. He must have received, however, a
good elementary education at home, for we find him carrying
off the highest prizes and distinctions whilst he was a
student of St. Malachy's College. This College had been
opened on the Feast of St. Malachy, 1833, by Dr. Crolly,
then Bishop of Down and Connor. Dr. Denvir, who was its
President from that date until he became Bishop, in 1835,
was regarded in his day as one of the most distinguished
scientists in Ireland. It was under Dr. Denvir that Edward
MacCreanor studied, and amongst his fellow-students was one
destined to become Parish Priest of Glenavy, afterwards the
Very Rev. George Pye. Some time after leaving St. Malachy's
(Old Ballad to the air of " The Banks o' Doon.")
Glenavy dear, my native soil,
Where I have spent my early days,
Though distant from you many a mile,
I'm still inclined to sing your praise.
Your fine green hills and meadows broad,
Your walks and groves and streamlets clear,
Where many a pleasant hour I play'd,
Unknown to cares, Glenavy dear !
In Ballymote, that friendly spot,
My eyes did first behold the light ;
Imagination paints the cot
Where I partook of pure delight.
'Twas from yon hill I went to school,
To Ingram's Mount, or very near,
And never yet did dream at all
To part with you, Glenavy dear
'Twas there my principles were formed,
''Twas there I learned to use the quill :
To write and cypher there I learned,
And these, thank God ! befriend me still.
Some hundred times on Sunday morn,
Our Reverend Prelate there to hear,
With heart elate and free from harm,
I passed through thee, Glenavy dear !
The silver lake below the town,
Where boats do scud before the gale,
Where fish in plenty do abound,
With speckled trout and curling eel ;
At sweet sixteen I've often been
Along your fine, delightful shore
Reflecting on those early scenes
Reminds me of Glenavy dear !
But twenty years have nearly run
Since I those groves and glens surveyed ;
My comrades are dispersed and gone,
And of my friends great numbers dead.
My father and my mother now
In death's embrace do moulder there,
Which soon may be my fortune too
So fare you well, Glenavy dear.
BY FRANCIS JOSEPH BIGGER, M.R.I.A.
Oh ! 'tis pretty to be in Ballinderry,
'Tis pretty to be in Aghalee ;
But prettier far in little Ram's Island,
Trysting under the ivy tree.
Ochone Ochone !
It's often I've roamed in little Ram's Island
Side by side wi' Philemy Hyland ;
And oft he'd court me, and I'd be coy,
Though at heart I loved him,
my handsome boy.
"I'm going," he said, " from Ballinderry,
"Out and across the stormy sea ;
" Then if in your heart you love me, Mary,
"Open your arms at last to me,"
I opened my arms-ah ! well he knew me ;
I opened my arms and took him to me ;
And there, in the gloom of the groaning mast,
We kissed our first and we kissed our last.
It was pretty to be in Ballinderry,
But now it's as sad as sad can be ;
For the ship that sailed wi' Philemy Hyland
Is sunk forever beneath the sea.
Ochone Ochone !
And it's oh ! that I were the weepin' willow,
And wander alone by the lonesome billow,
And cry to him over the cruel sea,
"Oh, Philemy Hyland, come back to me !"
- (Old Ballad, sung to one of the very oldest Gaelic airs
Every girl who can sing should know this.)
ONLY a few fragments of the old Irish social life which
prevailed in and about Bonnie Portmore remain to tell us
what the district was like before the English planters came
on the scene, There is, however, sufficient to make us long
for more, and if these are not now obtainable we can
construct a word picture of some of it. The whole Parish of
Ballinderry was a great oak wood - long glades of stout Irish
oaks ran in every direction - some few still remain, but the
most of them have fallen before the axeman in the eighteenth
century, after the Conways had obtained English grants of
these fair and fertile lands of the O'Neills in Killultagh.
The O'Neill castle and stronghold was at Portmore, where
Conway afterwards erected a great house on the ruins of the
site of the old Ulster chieftain's residence. Here for
centuries the O'Neills held sway, living in peace and amity,
strengthening their people in industry, piety, and culture,
and building up their nation on strong national lines. What
a lordly site it was, surrounded by orchards and corn lands,
cattle meadows, and wide stretches for the rearing of
horses, with the oak woods extending on every side ! The
Lake of Portmore and its surrounding marshes afforded ample
and continual haunts for innumerable wild fowl of every
description. Osiers were especially cultivated by the
ancient Irish for the many useful articles required in their
ordinary everyday life. It must have been an earthly
paradise for such a clan as the O'Neills and their people,
who were devoted to a pastoral life and the pleasures of the
chase. Covetous eyes were cast upon it by the English
planters, who never wearied in their un-scrupulous efforts
until the old race was ousted from their lands, which were
given to the stranger. The Conways built a new house on the
site of the O'Neill castle, and it too has passed away as if
it had never existed, as have the Conways and all belonging
to them, and the broad acres are now vested in the occupying
tillers of the soil. There is perhaps no part of Ireland
where even at the present day there is so much old oak
furniture and building as in Ballinderry and Glenavy. Every
house can show at least something, so we may be sure the
O'Neill halls were constructed of it and furnished with it.
The roof and fittings of the old church at Portmore, erected
in the O'Neills' time, were of the stoutest oak, bearing
removal by Bishop Jeremy Taylor to the new church erected by
him in 1666, when the old Catholic church of the O'Neills
was left roofless and in ruins by the planters, who carried
off the oak beams and joists with them for their new
Thousands of tons of oak were shipped across the water, many
an English roof beam was made from it, many a " British
Heart of Oak" was constructed from the Ballinderry forests.
Not only were such beautiful buildings as Hillsborough
Protestant Church entirely fitted with it, but endless
articles of furniture were made from it, many elaborately
carved and massively built, now highly valued and much cared
for and esteemed. Just as the old O'Neill stronghold at
Portmore was confiscated, so were the lands and home at
Ballyginniff of Sir Neal O'Neill of Kilelagh. Only a
fragment of a fireplace remains to this day, but it is said
he raised 500 horsemen in broad Killead to fight for Ireland
at the Boyne, and there he was wounded, dying at Waterford,
where his tomb can still be seen, with the Red Right Hand
upon it, in the old Franciscan Friary of the Holy Ghost. His
lands were also confiscated and planted with strangers.
The tramp of Neal O'Neill's horsemen can still be heard. On
a frosty night or when the mist rises over the lowlands, you
can hear their measured tread at Brittas, or by Dungonnell,
or through the woods of Gartree, or past the Waterfoot. It
rises near at hand, and then fades away into the distance,
and in fear and dread you nudge your friend beside you and
say, " Sir Neal O'Neill is afoot to-night with the boys of
Killead behind him."
Portmore Church is built on an old circular fort surrounded
by marshes, affording safety and protection, just as the
Round Tower and churches, the latter now gone, were built on
Ram's Island for similar reasons. There must have been a
strong religious settlement around these shores in the old
times, as we can judge by some of the names still
surviving - Our Lady's Bay, St. Columcille's Point, Holy
Island, Ballymacmary-and there was a large population proved
by the almost continual ring of earth forts along the banks
of Lough Neagh, which were purely safe places of residence
for a people engaged in rearing and protecting cattle and
the harvests of the land. When the rich lands and forests
were confiscated, the older race of the older faith was
driven to the Lough shores and the bogs, where they have
spread and flourished and prospered, even beyond the
planters on their old orchards and fat lands, and have
carried on the best traditions of the faith and nationality
of the Gael, preserving the old industries of fishing and
basket-making and orchard planting.
There were old religious houses in the Granges of Umgall and
Carmavey, and many small churches - one in every district.
The writer would feel deeply grateful to any reader for the
old .Gaelic names of places around Lough Neagh, now
apparently lost, especially such places as Ram's Island and
the three isles of Feevagh, Scaudy, and Coney. There is a
great deal of history in old place-names.
The following old ballad relates to an attempt to drain
Portmore by Arthur Dobbs, an agent for Lord Hertford, prior
to 1740. Of course, the attempt failed. There was then a
great deerpark of 2,000 acres between Portmore and Lough
Neagh, and Gawley's Gate was one of the entrances. This park
was stocked with many varieties of deer and game, and was
intersected by canals, which are still to be seen.
Bonnie Portmore, you shine where you stand;
The more I think on you, the more I think long.
If I had you now as I had you before,
All the lords in Europe could not purchase Portmore.
There are no lords in Europe such rights can afford
As the Tunnie, Ram's Island, and Bonnie Portmore
There are two lakes, also, for fishing again,
And the Deerpark, for hunting the head of all game.
Bonnie Portmore, I'm sorry to see
Such a woeful downfall on your ornament tree ;
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 looking on ;
They sailed round the Deerpark and round Feemore,
And came back to the landing at Bonnie Portmore.
Squire Dobbs was ingenious : he framed a wind-mill
To drain the lough dry, but the lough is there still ;
His wind-mill 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.
'Twould have been a great pity to have drawn it dry,
For, Bonnie Portmore, you need no supply ;
'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 dam,
To drain the wee lough into arable land ;
There was ninety-five acres, I dare say, and more
Destroyed from the Tunnie along to Portmore.
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--
What she threw off all day crept under at night.
Then why, Ram's Island, should you still lament ?
Or why should you yield to their saucy intent ?
These two lakes united in friendship are bound
It's the opinion of many they went underground.
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 not prevail,
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 Portmore.
In the Tunnie Island there be a great fall,
And thro' Brankin's Park a stone-and-lime wall ;
And thro' Derryola an open highway,
Before Bonnie Portmore goes all to decay.
Bonnie Portmore, you're fairly undone !
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 thrash.
The birds of the forest, they now cry and weep,
Saying, Where will we harbour, or where will we sleep ?
Since Portmore's fine buildings are gone to decay,
And George's fair island it is cut away.
Now. Bonnie Portmore, fare you well, fare you well !
Of your far-famed beauty I ever shall tell ;
When my last day shall come, I'll lie by your shore,
And sweet will my dreams be in Bonnie Portmore.
BY J. J. O'SHEA, " CATHOLIC WORLD," NEW YORK.
MRS. M. T. PENDER, née Margaret O'Doherty, daughter of the
late Daniel O'Doherty, of Ballytweedy, in the Parish of
Killead, and of Mrs. O'Doherty, née Margaret White, belongs
to an old and gifted Killead family.
The future authoress developed a talent for literature at a
remarkably early age. This talent was hereditary for several
generations : her mother, a woman of high intellectuality,
was a sweet and graceful poetess ; her maternal grandfather,
William White, of Ballyrobin, was a brilliant and facile
poet, with a keen turn for satire, which he was not slow to
exercise on any who provoked its shafts ; while her
great-grandmother, still on the maternal side, Margaret
Beattie, of Crooked Stone, after whom our authoress is
named, claimed kindred with James Beattie, the Scotch poet,
and all that lady's contemporary kinsmen possessed the
This Margaret Beattie, of Crooked Stone, married Matthew
White, of Whitestown and Ballyseulty, in Killead, whose
brother settled at Red Hall, and became the ancestor of the
late Field-Marshal Sir George White, V.C., G.C.M.G., G.C.B.,
Mrs. M. T. Pender's first love was poetry ; under the
influence of her mother, she was brought up in a literary
atmosphere, and imbued especially with a love of poetry.
When a very young child she could recite numerous selections
from the poets ; at seven years old she composed her first
poem - a simple little rhyme, inspired by the sight of a tiny
blue-bonnet hopping through the bare twigs of a thorn bush
on a grey February day. It began thus---
Little bird, with bonnet blue,
This wintry day I welcome you.
This showed that the child-poet at that very early age had a
wonderful command of language and a quite correct ear for
rhyme and rhythm.
For some years Mrs. Pender found literary expression in
verse only. Her poems, chiefly of a strongly national and
patriotic cast, were published by all the national Press :
T. D. Sullivan's Nation, the Dublin Weekly
Freeman, United Ireland, &c.
One of those that appeared in United Ireland, " Myles
Joyce," had the unique honour of being quoted in the House
of Commons as an example of the hard usuage meted out by
Irish writers to the then Coercion-Viceroy, who, by the way,
was eventually hammered into the form of a good Home Ruler.
The Belfast News-Letter," while praising the high poetic and
dramatic power of this poem, which was printed anonymously,
thought that the " man " who wrote it should have been sent
to jail, having no idea that the " man " was a very quiet
little lady living almost at the editor's door.
Throughout all Mrs. Pender's works, whether poetry or
fiction, the predominating motive power was a proud
patriotism, a burning love of country seeking constant
expression in work for that country's glory and good, and
with no thought for the golden harvest which her genius
might have reaped if she had devoted it to the literature
and ideals of a more favoured land.
One of Mrs. Pender's early poems was written for a £10 Prize
Competition in United Ireland. The subject was "
Ireland," and attracted thousands of competitors. The first
prize was adjudged to Dr. Kane, of Belfast, the second to
Mrs. M. T. Pender, and the third to Miss Katherine Tynan.
Mrs. Pender's first story was written for a £50 Prize
Competition in the Dublin Weekly Freeman. It was a
three-column short story, founded on an episode in '98. Here
again there were thousands of competitors, and to Mrs.
Vender's story - her first essay in the realm of fiction - the
prize was awarded.
From that date her first love, poetry, was pushed into the
background ; for her pen has since been chiefly and
constantly employed in weaving those brilliant and stirring
stories - especially her Historical Romances - which have
charmed Irish men and women all over the world, and which - by
glorifying the then neglected heroes of our ancient land and
rescuing from oblivion her country's grand and proud old
story, shedding upon it the golden glow and glamour of
romance, the vivifying fire of patriotic love, and the
resistless charm and power of an unequalled genius - has, it
is often said, made more good Irishmen than all the other
influences of her time put together.
This for our authoress is praise enow, and the only reward
she has ever valued.
One of Mrs. Vender's most admired novels is " The Green
Cockade." Another powerful and brilliant Historical Romance,
" The Last of the Irish Chiefs," soon to appear in the
Melbourne Advocate, has for its hero Sir Cahir O'Doherty,
Lord of Innishowen, from whom her father's family claim to
A NUTSHELL BIOGRAM
CASSIE TERESA O'HARA.
BY HER FRIEND - MAUREEN O'SHEA.
CASSIE TERESA O'HARA first saw the light at Rosebank,
Killead, Co. Antrim ; and here, midst its sloping banks,
singing streams, and silent stars, her bright and vivid
imagination was first fanned to flame.
Her mother, a very pious and highly cultured woman herself,
bestowed every care on the education and training of her
clever child. She was sent to the best schools in Ireland,
England, and on the Continent, and in one and all
distinguished herself as much by her piety as she did by her
Possessing great charm of person, and endowed with rare
gifts of mind, that depended more on an extraordinary memory
and vivid imagination than on mere book learning, it was
little wonder that she developed into one of the sweetest
singers of her time.
And if to these you add brilliant powers of conversation and
a keen wit that struck swift as a ray of light at the
unfortunate opponent who had the temerity to cross swords
with her, an innate love for music and painting, in both of
which she excelled, you have at once one of the most
versatile and delightful companions it was ever my lot to
Young, beautiful, and accomplished, one would think that
this radiant flower would draw the world to its feet ; but,
alas ! He whose love is above all others laid His cross on
the lovely stem, and bent and swayed it with its winds of
woes and storms of tears only to draw it nearer to the goal
He in His wisdom had marked out for her.
She was afflicted with an incurable disease, and here her
sublime faith shone out. Never despairing, always bright and
cheerful, she vowed her life to His service. Prayed on,
hoped on, never doubting that that prayer would be heard,
she at last had her reward, and was completely cured. Then,
in loving gratitude, the wish of her life, her heart's
desire - to become a Carmelite - was accomplished, and she
entered the Carmelite Convent at Darlington, where she spent
her time in holy contemplation, until attacked with
bronchitis, which proved fatal. She died the death of a
There, where she laid all her gifts at the feet of the Great
White Throne, was she laid to rest ; and at the foot of that
Throne I trust one day to meet her.
Her first literary work was " A Tale for First
Communicants," written, at the age of thirteen, on an
incident in her own life. This little book is an ideal one
for children, and it seems a pity that, as far as I know,
there is only one available, copy of it in existence.
But by far the best of her religious poems is " St. Teresa."
At the tercentenary of St. Teresa, the University of
Salamanca offered for open competition a prize of
twenty-five guineas for the best poem on the Saint's life.
Almost every country in Europe competed for this prize,
which was given, along with a very handsome medal and
parchment, to the subject of my sketch.
Most of her religious poems were published in the " Irish
Monthly," and a great number found their way into the
leading Catholic publications of the time. Her patriotic
poems - for Cassie was as warm in her patriotism as she was in
her love for our holy religion - has the ring of the true Gael
; and during the time of the Land League agitation she
published a series of fine poems under the title of " Lyrics
of the League." The best of these were - " A Prisoned Leader,"
"Our Leader in the Land," " Erin's Lament," " Kilmainham."
This period also furnished her with ample material for her
endless shafts of wit and humour. One of these, " The Great
Sixteen," a skit on the Ulster Tory members," in which she
lampooned the " Kick the Crown into the Boyne" crowd, was
much enjoyed, and, if I mistake not, a copy was sent to each
of " the warriors."
"The Guard of '86" was written on the Irish Party, and in it
she pays a glowing tribute to the late Mr. Gladstone. Many
of her sentimental poems were fitted to rank with the finest
in the language, and I regret that space does not permit me
here to give one or two examples ; but, considering the
object for which this little sketch is written, I cannot do
better than quote the lines she wrote about the spot she
loved so well, " St. Mary's of the Grove."
ST. MARY'S OF THE GROVE.
I've knelt in fair Italian shrines,
'Mid flowers and light and song :
Sweet song that thrill'd like naught
Of earth, the pillar'd aisles among ;
'Mid grand old Gothic piles where art
Was grace and pow'r untold,
Where marble seemed to shroud a soul,
And canvas leaped and glowed ;
In sunny sanctuaries of the South,
By mount and stream afar,
Before the bright Madonna shrines
Of ever loved Navarre ;
From Florence with her domes of gold,
And Strasburg's wondrous fane,
From fair Loretto by the Sea to France's Madeline--
In all I've knelt and pray'd and mused
On the storied long ago,
On the deathless, hopeful Faith that
Shaped the stone and bade the jewels glow ;
Yet still to the old church of home
My thoughts would ever rove,
The first, the last, the best beloved----
St. Mary's of the Grove.
A lowly church with whitewashed walls,
A wreathéd Celtic cross,
A streamlet lurking in the glade,
A girdling bank of moss ;
A group of stately alder trees,
Whispering solemn things
To the music of the lakeward breeze ;
The touch of summer wings
Chanting their endless requiems
O'er fruit and flow'r and shed,
Waving their shadow arabesques
Over the quiet dead.
O quiet dead ! O listless dead
That reck not sob nor song,
Calmly ye rest while others speed on
With the fevered throng ;
Calmly ye rest, no sight nor sound
May pierce the churchyard sod ;
No pulse of mind nor mem'ry stir
The spirit hushed in God ;
Amid the old, familiar glade,
The well-known skies aboie,
Sleep on in hope and peace beside
St. Mary's of the Grove.
A lowly aisle by dome undeck'd
By jewels' gleam or gold,
An altar humble as the home in
Nazareth's vale of old
A sanctuary hushed in mellow shade,
And redolent of prayer,
As if the golden censer's breath
Were ever floating there,
As if a hidden harp had caught
Our soggarth's burning words,
And waked them in their trancéd calm
From low, mysterious chords ;
A throne of wreathéd bloom where smiles
Our Lady of the Grove -
Madonna of our lispéd prayer,
Our life-long trust and love.
O, mother, bless thy children here
With gift and grace untold !
And bless the faithful shepherd heart
That watches o'er thy fold.
That fair, eternal guerdon crown
That deathless deeds may prove
That faith so sweetly taught in thee
St. Mary's of the Grove.
SIR NEAL O'NEILL.
IN the floor of the Choir of the ancient Friary of the Holy
Ghost in Waterford there is an old stone slab, time-worn and
weather-beaten, bearing an inscription which can scarcely
fail to be of interest to Ulstermen generally, and to the
people of Glenavy and Aldergrove in particular. It reads : "
Here lyes the body of S. Neale O'Neill, Baronet of
Killelag(h), in the County of Antrim, who dyed ye 8 of July,
in the year 1690, at the age of 32 years and 6 months. He
married the second daughter of Lord Viscount Molyneaux of
Sefto(n), in Lancashire, in England. - Reguiescant in Pace."
We naturally wonder who exactly he was, how he was connected
with Killelagh, and how it is that he was buried so far
away. Without giving a long account of his ancestry, perhaps
it might be useful to say at least this much :- Sir Neal
O'Neill, whose ashes lie under this old slab, was grandson
of Neal O'Neill, of Killelagh, who was grandson of Hugh
O'Neill, brother of Brian Mac Felim O'Neill. This Brian, the
greatest chieftain, perhaps that his family ever produced,
was one of the richest and most powerful of the Ulster
princes of his time. He was chief of the Clannaboy O'Neills
in the latter part of the 16th century, universally loved by
his friends and feared by his enemies. On one occasion, when
he was on friendly terms with Essex, he invited the latter
to a feast in Belfast. They spent three days together
pleasantly and cheerfully. At the end of that time, the Earl
treacherously seized Brian, his wife, and his brother. In
Brian's own presence he put to the sword men, women, youths,
and maidens of his people to the number of 115. Brian, his
wife, and brother were sent to Dublin, and there executed.
The Four Masters speak of him as " the lord of the race of
Aodh Boy, the head and senior of the race of Eoghan, son of
Niall of the Nine Hostages, chief of all the Gaels, a few
excepted." It is from this Brian that the late Viscount
O'Neill, of Shane's Castle, was descended.
But to return - Sir Neal's grandfather, who was also called
Neal, obtained, as his share of what was left of his
family's territory, the district of Killelagh, and, his
brother Hugh got Kilmackevett. This elder Neal was married
to Annie Mac Donnell, the daughter of the first Earl of
Antrim - and it might be interesting to note that, as events
turned out, this marriage was instrumental in saving even Killelagh for him. And this is how it happened :
- When Hugh
O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, fled from Ireland he left his
young son, Con, behind him with his foster-parents. Sir Toby
Caulfield, however, managed to obtain possession of the boy,
and kept him confined in Charlemont Castle. To have him
liberated a plot was set afoot among the Irish chieftains,
but the Government had tidings of the matter conveyed to
them by spies, together with a list of the Irish gentlemen
implicated. Foremost among them was Neal O'Neill. As
Chichester had long desired to have Killelagh to add to his
already large total of plundered estates, this gave him a
chance altogether unexpected. But he was unable to take
advantage of it, because O'Neill's father-in-law, the Earl
of Antrim, was a favourite with the King, and Chichester's
cringing fear was sufficiently strong to overcome the
promptings of avarice. Neal's eldest son was only three
years old when Neal died, and the King commanded that he
should he given in wardship to some fit person, who should
be a Protestant. Young Henry - for so the boy was called - was
given in wardship to his kinsman, Sir Henry O'Neill, of
Shane's Castle. The boy grew up, succeeded to his father's
estates, and was a created a baronet. His eldest son was
Neal - the Sir Neal O'Neill whom the slab commemorates. He was
born in 1658. His boyhood was spent on the shores of Lough
Neagh, in and around the townland of Ballyginniff, where an
old ruin, beside the Milltown, still marks the spot of his
ancestral castle. In 1687 Sir Neal received his commission
as captain in King James' army, shortly before the
Williamite war. Two years afterwards he was sent with a body
of dragoons from Dublin to protect King James' interests in
Antrim and Down. Both here and at the siege of Derry, at
which he was present, he and his men distinguished
themselves for valour. After the relief of Derry, Sir Neal
went back to Dublin, and accompanied King James on the final
campaign which proved so disastrous for their interests.
James advanced as far as Dundalk against William, and here
some skirmishing took place between the vanguards of the
rival armies. James fell back on Ardee, and one of the
leaders covering his retreat was Sir Neal. 'While they were
here encamped a report got abroad that Schomberg, with a
body of soldiers, was about to set out to take possession of
the West on behalf of William, and one of the officers
appointed by James to act under Patrick Sarsfield in
intercepting him was Sir Neal. The bravery and valour he had
shown up till then was only surpassed by his heroism on the
day of the Battle of the Boyne. The evening before the
battle he had been sent with his dragoons to defend the old
ford of Ros-na-ree, which, to be adequately guarded, would
have required several regiments. Sir Neal and his men made a
gallant resistance, but the passage was forced by the
overwhelming masses of the Williamites. He fell back, and
succeeded in preventing them from taking Duleek, the capture
of which would have meant King James' retreat to Dublin
being cut off. James himself in his memoirs speaks in high
terms of Sir Neal's bravery on that occasion. After the
retreat he followed his royal master to Waterford, intending
to share his exile. And here he died. He had received a
severe wound in the thigh in the defence of Ros-na-ree, and
only survived a week. The citizens of Waterford buried him
with all the respect due to a trusty officer of the King,
and the stone which they placed over his remains, though it
bears the traces of time and weather, is a silent witness to
his loyalty and devotion, reminding one of such another slab
over another prince of the same name and race, whose loyalty
and devotion to God and country drove him far from his
Sir Neal's estates were confiscated after the Williamite
wars, and thus passed into a stranger's hands.
Concerning Hugh Mergach O'Neill, who obtained Kilmackevett,
he seems to have been a spendthrift, and before he died he
had alienated practically all his estates, the greater part
of which fell into the hands of Sir Hercules Langford.
THE following interesting account of the Churches in the
Parish is found in Monsignor O'Laverty's History of the
Diocese of Down and Connor: - During times of persecution,
Mass was celebrated at the site of the present Church of
Glenavy, which is in the townland of Ballymacricket, and at
a high bank in the townland of Ardmore, which overhangs
Lough Neagh. The Catholics erected, about the period of the
Restoration, a Mass House at Ardmore, the walls of which
form part of the dwelling-house of Mr. Thomson ; they
afterwards erected a Chapel at the Mass Station in
Ballymacricket. On Palm Sundays, and at other times when the
priest could not conveniently celebrate two Masses, it was
customary to celebrate Mass at a place called "The Gulf," on
the bank of Lough Neagh, below Crumlin, which was nearly
central for the two congregations ; this custom was given up
on account of disturbance caused by Orange mobs. The Chapel
of Ballymacricket, or Glenavy, was burned in 1796 by the
Wreckers, after which Mass was celebrated at the ruins,
until another Chapel was built by Father Crangle in 1802. A
new Church, dedicated under the invocation of St. Joseph,
was erected on the site of the old Chapel by Father Pye. It
was consecrated by Dr. Dorrian, September 13th, 1868, and
the sermon on the occasion was preached by Dr. M'Cabe,
Bishop of Ardagh. The Church is built of black stone,
relieved by the light colour of the cut stone round the
windows and doors. There is an arched ceiling, but the
principal timbers of the roof are exposed. A small
bell-tower, surmounted by a spire, rises from the
south-western angle of the nave, in which is placed a bell,
manufactured by Mr. Sheridan, Dublin, weighing ten cwt. The
altar window is traceried, the western gable is pierced by
five lancets of varying lengths, and the side walls by
single lancets. A small gallery for the choir occupies the
western end of the Church. The building was from designs,
and under the superintendence, of Mr. John O'Neill,
architect, of the firm of O'Neill & Byrne. On the opposite
side of the road, a commodious and beautiful Parochial House
was erected by Father Pye on a farm of eleven acres.
After the Catholics ceased using the Mass House in the
townland of Ardmore, they assembled for Mass at a
store-house in Ballyginniff. Father Crangle built a small
Chapel at Aldergrove (townland of Ballyquillan), which was
enlarged and altered into the present Church, erected by
Father MacMullan in 1824. It was dedicated under the
invocation of St. James. That good priest is interred in
front of the altar ; and in front of the Church the Rev.
John M'Areavy is interred. There is preserved in Aldergrove
Church a holy-water stoup from the old Church of
Templepatrick ; it was presented to the Rev. James MacMullan,