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Togher History Society - Meet The Team!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Research Findings Meeting - 17th September 2016

Following on from the Future Projects Debate of 16th July , the Togher History Society met up at the Community Centre on 17th September 2016 to share their research findings. In attendance were Kathleen O'Keeffe , Dan O'Riordan , Ted O'Riordan with Billy O'Brien hosting the meeting. Fergal Dennehy dropped in later on and thanks are due to him for organizing the room. Although all findings are so far at an early draft stage , there was much to consider and debate. Sport and sporting organizations in Togher were very much to the fore , covering both field and track events. Bowling too reared its head given its long association with Togher. Sport of the hunting variety in the shape of the Togher Harriers came up for mention.

A tantalizing glimpse of Togher's recent historical past

Mary O'Riordan submitted her notes to the meeting for their perusal complete with archive photos. The handwritten text included much information about various associations and residents groups down through the years. The History Society look forward to the finished article.

Mary O'Riordan's submission 
showing herself in 1984 ( right of door )

Billy O'Brien talked the meeting through the minefield of many diverse Directories which pertained to Togher from the 19th Century to the mid 20th Century with mention made of more recent street directories from the 1970s. Also in the mix were an obituary to a Major Sarsfield of Doughcloyne who died in the first World War but was buried in Britain. Censuses too were given room for thought with the ongoing concern of an early release of Ireland's first Census as an Independent nation which is officially due out circa 2027.

Ted O'Riordan and Kathleen O'Keeffe

Dan O'Riordan and Ted O'Riordan

Kathleen O'Keeffe loaned her expertise to all of the findings presented to the meeting with her encyclopedic knowledge of Togher. Kathleen is directly responsible not only for compiling many of Togher's iconic photographs but also for personally taking many of them!

 Billy O'Brien at Togher Community Centre

Fergal Dennehy and Kathleen O'Keeffe

The meeting adjourned after a hour and a half with many excitedly awaiting the future meeting with the descendants of Joe Murphy in October which promises to be a very worthwhile affair. In the interim , it is hoped that Dan and Ted O'Riordan can undertake a step by step route tour of a famous bowling score in Togher which includes many exotic descriptive nicknames such as Barking Dogs and Tigers Point.

Monday, September 5, 2016

19th Field Research Trip - 13th August 2016 - Lehenaghmore Park , Matthews Hill and Clashduv Park

On Saturday 13th August 2016 the Togher History Society took to the roads once more to visit places of interest. The primary location earmarked for a showcase was the newest Soccer Pitch to grace Togher , the former " Green Patch " - Lehenaghmore Park. Located high up in the hillside above the flatlands of Togher , the team set off on foot from Togher Cross , passing Brook Avenue and Palmbury Estate ; Westgate Business Park and Ashbrook Heights ; Chestnut Drive ; pausing only once along the journey which was relentless in its elevation. Appropriately enough , the brief respite was by The Laurels , a farmstead just below the junction of Lehenaghmore Hill and Matthews Hill. The team were not content to rest on their own laurels and pushed on for the final leg to the entrance of Lehenaghmore Park.

Start of Field Trip from Togher Cross

 The Laurels , Lehenaghmore Hill , Togher

 Looking back at West & East Avenue 
from across the road near The Laurels

Memorial to Bowling Player erected at junction
of Lehenaghmore Hill and Matthews Hill

Looking back at the junction 
of Lehenaghmore Hill and Matthews Hill

Signpost to Lehenaghmore Park

The entrance to the new Lehenaghmore Park now sports one of the many Welcome To Togher signs dotted around the district in strategic locations. The first sight to greet the weary travelers were two notices displaying opening times. Just ahead was an impromptu gravel car park which it is thought will be tarmacadam-ed in the near future , funds permitting. Unfortunately the group was too late to witness an actual game between City Bounds and Cathedral Credit with the teams heading off the pitch towards the dressing rooms. A chance presented itself to view the 2 pitches in their entirety and the surrounding walkway with its exercise machinery painted in bright yellow. The far pitch also has a railing which it is presumed is a makeshift stand for fans. It also affords a fantastic view of the dug outs and the split level layout of the playing fields.

A welcome rest at the top of the hill

Arrival at the old Green Patch of Lehenaghmore

Notices just inside the gates of Lehenaghmore Park

Gravel Car Park area before soccer pitches

Overview of 2 soccer pitches with Groundskeeper

View of second pitch with concrete dugouts

 Railing above far pitch and walkway

Exercise machinery above soccer pitches

Video overview of Lehenaghmore Park , Togher taken by Eamonn Pearse

The group departed the newest addition to Togher's sporting legacy and headed back down towards Matthews Hill. Along the way the group photographed the beautiful metal namesigns of the various  Estates they passed , including Laurel Brook , Matthew Hill and Brook Lane. It was refreshing to still be able to view relics of the 19th Century which included a workman's Cottage just before Manor Park and the original Lehenagh Beg railway bridge which once crossed the Cork Bandon line. The group then stopped by the Glenmore River which flows under Pouladuff Cross for a video shoot ( see below )of its stunning scenery. From there a brief rest on Pouladuff bridge which spans both the Tramore River and the South Ring Road before turning onto Tramore Road to check out Togher's newest addition to its housing stock , the private development of Sheridan Park which is well underway.

 Laurel Brook , Matthew Hill , Togher

Matthew Hill , Togher

 Brook Lane ( before Manor Park )

Old 19th Century Cottage before Railway Bridge

Manor Park , Matthew Hill , Togher

Looking back at Lehenagh Beg Railway Bridge

Video of Glenmore River at its terminus at Pouladuff Cross taken by Billy O'Brien

 Eamonn Pearse viewing Togher
 from Pouladuff Bridge

 View of Liberty Stream/Tramore River 
from Pouladuff Bridge

Close up of second pipe flowing into Tramore River

 Sheridan Park - The new kid on the block

The group then set off up Togher Road to rendezvous with fellow Togher History Society member Dan O'Riordan at Clashduv Park. However a trip down memory lane was first deemed essential as the team traversed the site of the old N.B.A, flats and walked down the original concrete steps which once ran alongside them. From there a quick visit to Devils Rock to inspect some mysterious holes in the natural structure. It is not known whether they are organic or old drill holes perhaps made by pneumatic machinery in an attempt to break the rock. Next a flyby of the Deanrock footbridge to search for any sign of the original benchmark inscribed on the wall of the bridge by the Ordinance Survey in the 19th Century which was demolished in the early 1970s to be replaced by a safety fence. Although one mark presented itself , it is more probable that the benchmark was perhaps located further up on the now gone wall. The opportunity presented itself to shoot a test video of the stream with its famous metal pipes for viewers around the world to see for themselves once more. From there the team met up with Dan O'Riordan who accompanied them around the Park , pointing out various items of interest. One childhood memory revolved around the clubhouse located next to the Tennis Grounds. Dan told how as youngsters he and his friends would scale the wall and using their fingers in the window grill hoist themselves up onto the flat roof. Dan informed the group of a noticeable dip in the playing field which betrays its boggy past. By now the field trip was drawing to a close after walking over 13 thousand steps! However , the team reminded each other about their respective research projects which have since blossomed to fruition. The parting of the ways ensued with the next meeting firmly on everybody's minds.

 Natural fissures at Devils Rock ...

... Or drill holes to demolish it in the 1960's?

Remnant of original stone wall on Deanrock 
Footbridge which once bore an O.S. benchmark

 Gated fence to right of Deanrock Footbridge

 Gated fence to left of Deanrock Footbridge

Council yard before Deanrock Footbridge

Scene at Deanrock Footbridge , Glasheen River , Togher
( Test video by Billy O'Brien )

 Tennis grounds at Clashduv Park

 Old club house showing grilled windows

 Playing field showing natural dip of boggy ground

 Dan O'Riordan and Eamonn Pearse

 Beautiful treescape near exit of Clashduv Park

Parting of the ways before the next meeting

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Future Projects - Togher History Society - 16th July 2016

On Saturday afternoon 16th July 2016 at 3 O'Clock , the Togher History Society met at the Togher Community Centre to discuss projects to be undertaken in the near future. This was also the first time in two years that several members had been in attendance together. The purpose of the gathering was to assign specific tasks which would appeal to members personal interests and to this end ideas were bandied back and forth. It was immediately apparent that even though the Society maintained a strong presence on social media that the human face to face experience was invaluable.

Meeting point for the Future Projects debate

The History Society opened matters by reaffirming their mandate and mission statement whereby all members are part of a completely independent organization with absolutely no ties or links to any other body and receive no government funding  - the result being that it allowed them to be truly neutral with their only goal being that of preserving and archiving the local history of the Togher district. Whilst the Society has been contacted periodically for information of an historical nature , particularly that of boundary disputes , it will provide historical fact when called on but fully reserves the right to excuse itself from disputes of a Political nature or any other form thereof.

James O'Brien , Mary O'Riordan , Ted O'Riordan 
& Billy O'Brien

Billy O'Brien deemed the meeting to be open and soon the conversation became lively with many tales of a nostalgic air permeating the room. Ideas were swapped back and forth in abundance and plans were drawn up before the end of the meeting to set a deadline for submissions of projects once these had been allocated and agreed upon. This it was felt would set an incentive and spur members on in their quest with a timeline for completion of subjects provisionally set for the end of September regardless of the amount of material gathered.

Dan O'Riordan ( standing right background )

James O'Brien , Ted O'Riordan and Dan O'Riordan were tasked with the sporting portfolio. This would include any and all sports of a current and historic nature , including but not limited to : G.A.A. , Soccer , Road Bowling and Athletics. Additionally Dan O'Riordan would take on the informal interviewing of local residents which he felt would garner much invaluable historical data.

James O'Brien & Ted O'Riordan 
contemplating Togher's sporting past

Mary O'Riordan was assigned the project of researching and documenting the various Community Associations and Residents Groups down through the years. In addition she was also to undertake the identification of the famous Togher Farm photo which hangs proudly in the Credit Union. Allied to this was the extra work of researching the Togher Pipe Band.
Billy O'Brien was given the work of researching all relevant Censuses and Directories which bore a connection to Togher down through the ages.
Eamonn Pearse was given the work of researching local characters and being the Society's eye on the ground.

The team exiting the Community Centre 
after a fantastic meeting

Several members not in attendance on the day and by virtue of their individual talents were tasked as follows :
Pat O'Rourke - History of Pirate Radio in Togher.
Kathleen O'Keeffe/Paul O'Keeffe - matters of local lore and archaeology.
It was also deemed important that members could co-ordinate with each other and share information during their research cycle.

It's not the name that's important 
but the place it holds in ones heart

Before conclusion of events at the Community Centre , plans were set in motion for a Field Research trip for the month of August. It is hoped whichever venue is decided on that it will incorporate the majority of the Society for the first time in 3 years. Full blog post of the future trip will be published online and members projects will find their own way into articles to be drawn up by the various teams in collaboration with each other.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

18th Field Research Trip - 25th June 2016

The Togher History Society embarked on their 18th Field Trip to date since their inception 3 years earlier. The Land of the Underground Streams came beckoning once more. And Billy O'Brien and Eamonn Pearse answered the clarion call with relish. One fact that presented itself on this and previous occasions was that Togher never fails to thrill and delight both the casual traveler and the local historian. And Saturday 25th June 2016 proved to be no exception in this regard.

First view of Liberty Stream 
at bottom of Fernwood Close

Stream as it emerges through concrete pipe 
at bottom of Fernwood Close

First port of call was a visit to a section of the Liberty Stream not studied before which flows past Fernwood. The approach to the stream at the bottom of Fernwood Close was completely screened off by trees and foliage but access could be gained to take a closer look at the course of the waterway as it emerged from a concrete pipe on its way to Southern Fruit where it again disappears inside a pipe to emerge triumphant at Togher Cross.

Right of bridge showing pipe and grill

Well worn trackway along embankment

The team journeyed down to the right of the bridge which acts as a route into the Estate and moved on down by a dirt track to physically walk along its shores as far as the old Cork Bandon railway embankment.The sights which greeted the team were peaceful and tranquil. The stream winds its way in an almost serpentine manner as far back as the giant tunnel which ferries the water underneath the site of the original railway bridge now sadly gone.

Eamonn Pearse navigating stream 
with fields of Philippine House to the right

Vista of the haunting beauty of the Liberty Stream

Twisting and winding route in reverse

Here the scale of the embankment manifests itself quite clearly with a plunge pool at the mouth of the culvert being in excess of four feet. The team retraced their steps back to the start of their investigation whilst photographing the beautiful scenery before pausing by a storm grill in situ at the site of the bridge culvert.

First sight of culvert pipe at end of bend

Close up view through culvert pipe 
to opposite side of embankment

Photo depicting height of embankment

Photo showing scale of plunge pool

Return journey along shallow flow

Memorizing scenery at every turn

Final leg of stream through interlocked trees

Storm grill and pipe at journey's end

While in the vicinity , it was decided to have a rear look at the new structures which have now replaced the former Feirm Bawn house. Although named in honour of the now erased iconic building , it was felt that it should have been spared the wrecking ball. That segment of the field trip concluded with a walk through the old orchard grounds of the original farmland which at one time would have extended down as far as the Liberty Stream. This serene location is home to many beautiful trees including a weeping willow which somehow set the tone for the emotions expressed by the group.

Feirm Bawn in its 21st century guise

Original farmland of Feirm Bawn

Next port of call was a quick walk up Lehenaghmore Hill to witness one of several new road signs erected over the past few weeks by the Tidy Towns committee to name-check Togher. Sited just by the former Southern Fruit warehouse , it makes a welcome addition to the street signage and furniture gradually and quite rightfully imposing itself on the area. The group departed but not before something extraordinary was noticed by Eamonn Pearse. To the right of the remaining section of the original Lehenaghmore House boundary wall is what appears to be a remnant of a concrete platform which would have supported a water pump.

Billy O'Brien by new road sign 
outside Southern Fruit on Lehenaghmore Hill

New road sign leading to Togher Cross

Old water pump platform outside entrance 
to Palmbury Estate ( former Lehenaghmore House )

The group next made its way along the main Togher Road to take in a passing glimpse of Ardan Mhuire - a house with a long association with Togher history. Next up was a long overdue stroll along Mannings Lane aka Barrs Lane ( Deanrock Cottages ). Here a photo opportunity presented itself in the form of Harley Wood Estate and the tasteful way in which the developers built the adjacent wall around an old strand of timber rather than the usual practice of felling.

 Ardan Mhuire house near Togher Cross
 just before Greenwood Estate

Harley Wood Estate former Caravan Park

 History is shown respect by developers

Of course the main attraction on this ancient entrance to the old Quarry in Deanrock was the famous St. FinBarrs G.A.A. Club grounds. Unfortunately access to the playing fields was closed off but the team took a photographic record of their brief stay.

 Barrs Public House with signage

 Panoramic view of playing fields

 The Gallant Auld Blues

Entrance gates to playing grounds.

The team next made its way up the former Hangdog Road of old , the now Tramore Road ( Togher ). Along the way , they paused at the Post Office , which originally was sited on the bend of Togher Road where the Dental Clinic is now situated. Reference was made to the beautifully crafted bollards embossed with the Cork coat of arms which peppered the footpaths. A momentary stop at Woodlawn and then onto the site of Togher's newest kid on the block , the Sheridan Park.

 Embossed Cork coat of arms on metal bollards

New site of Post Office on Tramore Road

Woodlawn Estate off Tramore Road

It was decided on a whim to pay an historic call to Scoil Stiofain Naofa which is now an Adult education facility. Despite being inside the Boundaries of Ballyphehane , it held in the recent past an extremely strong connection with Togher , with the bulk of its students emanating from that region. Luck was on the side of the group as they found the rear gate on Tramore Road to be open. A quick walk through the grounds followed with a fortuitous opportunity to gain access to the front hallway entrance of the actual school. However , the corridor was cordoned off which prevented any further investigation of the premises. A return visit is much anticipated in the near future to capture more memories. However , the group were excited to discover that the old Gym Building was open and stepped back in time to take a few images for posterity. Thus ended that particular field trip , which for the first time incorporated an area outside of Togher's borders.

 Entrance off Connolly Park to Secondary School

 Infamous " Gas Chamber " at front of School

 Serene entrance to School Gym Hall

 Interior showing marked exercise surface

 Exit showing Janitors old office and shower room

 Side view of classrooms now looking dated

View of new designation of Secondary School