Ballygar

Aughrane Castle

In the mid-nineteenth century Denis Kelly used the stones from the ruins of the monastic settlement to renovate his castle. Aughrane was originally built in the fourteenth century. It was also the home of the famous author Charles O’Kelly.
The O’Kellys belonged to an ancient Irish family who became anglicised.
During the Elizabethan wars, like so many other clans, they divided into two, the Queens O’Kellys and the rebel O’Kellys. An O’Kelly from Aughrim marched with O’Donnell to Kinsale, while the head of the family who lived at Castlekelly served as a captain of foot under the Earl of Clanricarde against the disaffected Irish. The last of the family was D.H.O’Kelly, he died in 1877.
The castle was burnt during the “Troubles”, when a troop of British cavalry had been sent over from Mount-Talbot and used the place for storing hay and forage.
In Killeroran cemetery, situated between the rivers Shiven and Suck he commemorated his wives by building a round tower on which there is the following inscription:
“Sacred to the memory of the two wives of D.H.O’Kelly. Both English women, they set themselves to the duties of their Irish house, and lived beloved by high and low and died universally lamented”.
Denis Kelly is buried in a vault in the same cemetery:
“He was a chieftain of the branch of the O’Kelly’s of Screen and candidate for the Kingship of Hymany. He was an earnest Christian and a kind friend”.

Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore. (1829-1892)
He was the son of a monumental mason and emigrated to America in 1848. He was
“Father of the American Concert Band” and the greatest bandmaster of the 19th. Century. He formed bands in Boston and in Salem. He composed many famous works such as; “Seeing Nellie home”, “When Johnny Comes marching Home” and the music of “John Brown’s Body”.
Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore organised a series of giant concerts which featured orchestras with a thousand players and choruses running to several thousands. For his greatest effort, the World’s Peace Jubilee of 1872, he had a special building erected in Boston, Massachusetts, to accommodate a hundred thousand people. The monster orchestra for whom he had Johann Strauss as a guest conductor included: regiments of artillery firing guns, special chimes of bells, the band of the Coldstream Guards, the band of the Kaiser Franz Regiment from Berlin and the Boston Fire Brigade. The Boston Fire Brigade “played” a hundred anvils for the Anvil Chorus from “Ill Trovatore”. He died at the age of sixty-two in St.Louis.

The Moving Bog
Thunderous rumblings echoed from Kilmore to the moors of Mount Mary. Prophets could have predicted the obvious- the end of the world was near at hand. In fact their doom was less spectacular- A Bog Slide. A patch of bog became flooded and moved from the nearby slopes towards Kilmore.
The year was 1909 and the first uneasy sounds were heard on a wet afternoon early in January. The noise was the signal of the slide which began that night and advanced at the rate of seven miles per hour. Thirteen houses lay in its path. As it approached the first house the occupants ran to warn their neighbours, all escaped except one woman, a Mrs. McDonnell who was deaf and lived alone. Trying to escape she trapped herself and was found dead on a chair, drowned.
Thirteen families were left homeless; their cattle lay dead in their sheds. The families found refuge in Castlekelly. Relief money was sent from the U.S.A. and Rome. This money helped some families who settled in houses now part of the village of Cloonlyon. Forty years later some farmers, while cutting the bog, found cooking utensils and delph, testament of the tragedy of the “Moving Bog” in 1909.