Last Friday Cindy and I flew off to Ireland in search a badly needed spring break and to seek the truth about my great grandfather Timothy Moynihan who was said to have murdered his English landlord with a pitchfork. The murder is said to have been for good cause, as the story goes one day during the famine young Timothy awoke to find his mother being beaten by the landlord for not paying rent on time. He then grabbed a pointed farm implement and impaled the dastardly landlord onto a barn door. The pitchfork story was told to me by a distant relative some time ago but over the past ten years I had no success in verifying the tale. So we headed off to western Ireland to see the sights, hit the pubs and attempt to find the impaling marks left on some old barn door. Seeing the sights and visiting the pubs posed no problem but seeking the mysterious Moynihan entailed walking through bogs, stepping over electric fences, conversing with aging men in pubs and butcher shops, and opening the creaking gates of old burial grounds.
Resting place of possible family member.
Needless to say I found out nothing about the murder but I did find that my mother’s ancestors might have resided within view of Kilcoe castle. The ancient fortress is now owned by Claus Von Bulow portrayer Jeremy Irons. The main talk of Balydehob, the nearest real town near the haunts my ancestors, is that Mr. Irons has a dreadful problem with moisture control at his ancient seaside estate. My search did lead me to the town victualler (butcher in American lingo) who may have been a distant in-law of mine. When I spoke of the murder he told me times were very bad back then and he would have done the same thing himself.
A statue of Danny Mahoney looks over the town of Ballydehob. Also known as Danno -The Irish Whip. A leading prize fighter of his day he only murdered people in the ring.
Victualler shop in Ballydehob.