Directory of Castleisland

Michael O’Donohoe created his own nineteenth century directory of Castleisland to form an image of the town in commercial and residential context.1


His 27-pg handwritten directory, which covers the period 1846 to 1917, was formed from existing sources including Slater’s, Guy’s, Kelly’s and Macdonald’s Irish Directory and Gazetteer of 1917.


Michael arranged the information alphabetically by surname, Ahern to Wren, and included occupation, address and years in which names occurred in the directories.2


The result is an intimate glimpse of the inhabitants of nineteenth century Castleisland and a highly useful genealogical tool for those with a particular interest in the town.


Slater’s – one of the many nineteenth century directories consulted by Michael O’Donohoe


History at a glance


A glance through the directory reveals that in 1846, the year in which Eusebius Chute was recorded as resident gentry at Tullig, Daniel Callaghan numbered among many nail makers in the town.


In 1870, Thomas Brosnan was the Church of Ireland teacher at the Market House and John Roche of Sandville was coroner.  Rev O’Connell was in residence at the Chapel House and some years later his namesake, Patrick O’Connell, was daily carrier to Tralee.


J Connaughton was RIC Sergeant at Ballahantouragh in 1886, P Cassidy was in the same role at Knocknagoshel in 1893, while R Barrett was based at Scartaglen.


Military history: funeral of RIC and Corkman, Major Philip Armstrong Holmes, killed in an ambush at Castleisland in 1921


In the same year (1893), Sydney Carroll was recorded as a National Bank accountant, Mrs Margaret Bonguelimi was running the Chute Arms Hotel and Mrs F O’Brien was head teacher at Clounclough.


It is certain that children of the district would have known Miss Minnie O’Connor, a toy dealer, just as adults would have been familiar with Miss Hannah Edgeworth, the postmistress.


Jeremiah Long was a tailor at Pound Lane 1881-86 at which time James Lyons was rent collector, a job also carried on by Maurice Quinlan.  A less popular individual might have been John McDonnell, a process server.


Sylvester Horgan was farming at Bawnaskehy in 1886 as was Miss Lombard at Glansharoon; in this year Thomas Burke was weigh-master.


Farming remains a large part of community life in Castleisland


Judges and Station Masters


At the New Line, Daniel and Peter Riordan had a threshing machine, the same place where Kate O’Sullivan was a leather-seller.  Over in Gortatlea, Patrick Carty was station master the same year in which (1881), George Raymond Esq, QC, was resident at Kilmurry.


In 1894, Jeremiah Coffey was running the Commercial Hotel on Main Street, John McGuinness was running a private school and Timothy Murphy was pound keeper.  In this year too, John Poyntz Rice, MD, had the additional address of Edinburgh.


View the Castleisland Directory here, where you can learn that in 1917, if you had the money, you could purchase a cycle at D A Jones Cycle and Motor Agency and J D O’Leary was the place to go for hide skin.


D Hussey’s bar in 2013: In 1856, Catherine Hussey was running a pub in Castleisland


1 IE MOD/21/21.1.  Pages are numbered 1-28, the first page numbered 1-2. The names recorded in the index correspond with IE MOD/55, which appears to be a more comprehensive index of the town, and also IE MOD/14.5-14.7 where the information has been illustrated in charts.
2 The directories consulted are Slater's Directory 1846, 1856, 1870, 1881 and 1894; Guy's Postal Directory of Munster 1886 and 1893; Kelly's Directory 1905 and MacDonald's Irish Directory and Gazetteer 1917.  Other items in this series include descriptions of the town of Castleisland from a number of directories and a handwritten list of directories including Cork & Munster Trade Directory and Seward’s. Also photocopies from entries relevant to Castleisland and its environs from A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis (1837).