Sometime before she passed away the well loved former Matron of St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sr. Dominic, gave me an envelope of papers which included a few photographs, a newspaper cutting and some notes. Amongst those notes was an unsigned typewritten poem, ‘The Little Wayside Chapel in a Green Old Irish Lane’ which I recognised as a poem by Rev. J.J. Malone, the Dunbrin-born Catholic clergyman who spent his adult life ministering in Australia.
The poem was included in Fr. Malone’s book of poetry, ‘Wild Briar and Wattle Blossom’ published in Melbourne in 1914. Included in that collection also were two other poems with echoes of his childhood in Dunbrin, ‘The Old Whitewashed Schoolhouse of Shanganamore’ and ‘By the Banks of the Barrow’.
More interesting for me however was the manuscript of a ballad entitled ‘The Bullock’s Revenge’, the writer of which had written after the title ‘By John J. Malone, Dunbrin, Athy’ and dated the manuscript ‘20th of November ‘87’. Was this I wonder the handwriting of J.J. Malone himself who had a number of books published while he was in Australia. Born in 1863 and ordained 26 years later J.J. Malone was just two years away from ordination when ‘The Bullock’s Revenge’ was written out on the sheet of paper now in front of me and dated just a few months before the Pope condemned the Plan of Campaign and Boycotting as practiced by the Irish Land League. I am not at all satisfied that the manuscript is in Fr. Malone’s own hand as his name was James Joseph and so was unlikely to sign any document ‘John J’. However, I am reasonably satisfied that he wrote ‘The Bullock’s Revenge’ which records the misfortune that befell Larry Curtis when he was attacked by bullocks on the Misses Malones lands. Does anyone know anything of the Misses Malones or Larry Curtis, all of whom feature in the ballad?
In the meantime the photographs in the envelope given to me by Sr. Dominic, of which there were three, two of which are reproduced here, are of interest because they show a house, a garden and a well known curate of this parish, all now no more. The house, or more correctly the cottage, was the thatched residence of the local curate and was located at Woodstock Street, approximately where the Malone Place houses are to be found. Incidentally, Malone Place is named after Edward Malone, a local I.R.A. leader during the War of Independence who was a nephew of Reverend J.J. Malone. Fr. Kinnane is the curate in the photograph and he is shown standing in his garden which was a particularly famous feature of the cottage. I believe that Fr. Kinnane served in St. Michael’s Parish in the 1930s and perhaps later. No doubt he will be remembered by many of his former parishioners.
The other photograph comes from a national newspaper cutting dated 13th January 1969 and shows a man I well recall as a regular in the C.Y.M.S. when it was in Stanhope Street and later still when it was located in the former Social Club premises in St. John’s Lane. Martin Hayden was 82 years old, according to the details given in the newspaper. He died three years later on 13th January 1972 and is buried in Old St. Michael’s Cemetery with his brother Patrick who died 18 years previously. I would like to hear from anyone who remembers Martin and indeed his neighbours who lived in Meeting Lane.