Home History A Brief History of Bansha

A Brief History of Bansha

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The names Bansha and Kilmoyler do not appear in ancient records but instead this area was divided into different ecclesiastical administrations. The modern parish of Bansha & Kilmoyler comprises the whole of the two Civil Parishes of Templeneiry and Clonbullogue, and also parts of the four parishes of Killardry, Relickmurry & Athassel, Kilshane and Cordangan. The Papal Taxation records of 1291 record Templeneiry and Clonbullogue as Nachrich and Clonhalke, Archbishop O’Hedian (1437) names them as Naryt and Clonbolygg. Bansha village is thought to be an ancient settlement and its main geographical features and landed gentry of the surrounding area were vividly described by Samuel Lewis in his Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, published in 1837. Historically, it was a small compact village comprising two streets and two lanes – Main Street and Barrack Street with adjacent Banner’s Lane (named after the Rev. Benjamin Holford Banner, the Church of Ireland rector of the Parish of Templeneiry) and Cooke’s Lane which was a small enclave off Main Street, named after a member of the Cooke Family of Cordangan Manor, who lived here.

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The Station Road from Bansha Bridge (over the River Ara) to Bansha railway station had a strategic importance for about a century as it was the commercial artery connecting the village to both the station and the creamery which was the centre of activity each morning as trains arrived on one side of the road and busy creamery activity on the other side gave a vibrancy that has now been lost with the closure of both. The village expanded towards the end of the 20th century when the “Galtee View” residential area was developed in the Glebe close to the old Village Mill.

Further expansion took place in the early 21st century when “Master Horgan’s Field” adjacent to the northern boundary of the old graveyard was developed as a modern residential quarter. In earlier decades, the site was owned by Mr. Peter Horgan, a native of Kilmichael, County Cork, a place which won fame as the site of the famous ambush of the same name which took place there during the War of Independence, a fact of which the old master was very proud. Mr.Horgan was the long-time Principal of Bansha Boys National School in succession to Masters Pat Leahy and David Dee and also managed his own public house in Barrack Street. He also grew his own sallies on the river bank within the confines of his long-walk garden, now sadly no more. These sallies made an occasional appearance in class and were an effective deterrent to wayward pupils. Nonthelass, he was a much loved character, reminiscent of Oliver Goldsmith’s “Village Schoolmaster”. The only buildings on the site prior to development were the village telephone exchange erected in the 1960s and the “Farmers Hall”, a wooden building of fragile construction, which was erected in the mid 20th century by the young farmers association in the parish which was a precursor of Macra na Feirme. It was used for dancing, variety shows, “pongo” and on Sunday afternoons up to about 1962, as a rendezvous by locals who wished to tune into the commentary of major hurling and football matches relayed from Croke Park on Radio Eireann. The building endured until the 1960s when because of dilapidation, it was eventually closed, after which the Parochial Hall became the sole entertainment centre for the village and surrounding area.

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