The following articles on Ballingeary and Inchigeela are taken from "Guys Postal Directory of Munster - 1886". This directory would have been similar to our present day "Yellow Pages".
Post office, parish of Inchigeela. The village of Ballingeary ("the place of wilderness") is situated near Gougane Barra, the source of the Lee, at a junction of the Bunsheelan river with the Lee. The district is mountainous, rocky, and of wild aspect and forms portion of Iveleary (Ibh-Laoghaire), the ancient territory of the O'Learys. Gougane Barra (signifying the gurgling head) occupies a portion of the mountain recess or hollow about a mile and a half long, almost entirely environed by tall precipitious mountains. On the lake, connected with the shore by an artificial causeway, is a small wooded island, the greater portion of which is covered by ruins of buildings, consisting of some rudely constructed cells, with portion of a chapel and oratory. St. Finbarr who founded the school or monastery around which the city of Cork sprung up, occupied this lonely isle for many years. The neighbouring mountains attain a height of 1,700 to 1,800 feet. Near Gougane, on the road to Bantry, is one of the finest and most savage defiles in the south, known as the Pass of Keimaneigh (Ceim-an-eich - the path of the deer). It is about two miles in length, lying nearly north and south, and seems to have been a mountain river from summit to base by some convulsion of nature. It is thus described by Windele: "Nothing in mountain scenery, of glen or dell or defile can well equal this gloomy Pass. The separation of the mountain ground at either side is only just sufficient to afford room for a road of moderate breadth, with a rugged channel at one side for the waters, which in the winter season, rush down from the high grounds. …….. It is with associations of spoil, adventure, and daring, - of chasing the red deer, the wolf, or the boar, with horn and hound, that this place is properly connected. At its entrance from the Gougane side the Pass is seen with best effect; there its high close cliffs are steepest, and the toppling crags assume their most picturesque forms, and resemblances of fantastic piles and ancient ruins. These receive beauty and variety from the various mosses which encrust them and the plants, which lend their mellow hues to soften and give effect to the whole" During the disturbed year of 1822, a body of Rockites established their headquarters in this defile. Numerous interesting pre-historic antiquities in neighbourhood of village, and remains of several ancient castles are scattered through the parish. See also Inchigeela.Inchigeela
Postal Address - Ballingeary, Cork.
Macroom 15 miles nearest money order and telegraph office.
Postmaster - James Scriven
Conveyances - Macroom 15 miles nearest railway station.
Poor Law - Union of Macroom; Dispensary and Registration district of Inchigeela.
Constabulary district of Macroom.
Schools National Head teacher - Jerh Twohig.
Carding and Tucking Mill Mrs Murphy, Kilmore.
Shopkeepers James Leehane, Daniel Sweeney, Jeremiah Twomey.
Trades Timothy Manning, Blacksmith.
James Leehane, Bootmaker.
Vintners John Shorten
Principal Farmers - Parish Inchigeela:
Cotter Jeremiah, Kilmore Cotter Richard, Kilmore
Creed Michael, Illauninagh Creedon Daniel, Aharas
Creedon Daniel, Rathgaskig Creedon Michael, sen. Illauninagh
Cronin Cornelius, Keamcorravooly Cronin Cornelius, Bargarriff
Cronin Cornelius, Gorteenakilla Cronin Denis, Gougane Barra
Cronin Daniel, Lyrenageeha Cronin Denis, Gorteenakilla
Cronin John, Bargarriff Cronin Patrick, Inchibeg
Dineen John, Aharas Horgan Mrs, Keamcorravooly
Leary Jeremiah, Derreenabourky Leary John, Inchinossig
Leehane Daniel, Dromanallig Leehane Daniel, Ballingeary
Lucey Cornelius, Cahir Lucey, Cornelius, Gurteenowen
Lucey Denis, Gurteenowen Lucey John, Cahir
Lucey John, Kilmore Lucey John Jun. Cahir
Lucey Richard, Cahir Moynihan Eugene, Currahy
Moynihan James, Carrig Lodge Moynihan John, Cahir
Moynihan John, Lackabaun Scriven James, Ballingeary
Shorten Benjamin, Currahy Shorten John, Ballingeary
Sullivan John, Rathgaskig Walsh Richard, Inchimore
Walsh Richard, Tooreenduff.
Sub post-office, 33 miles north west of Cork, 11 miles from Macroom, and 24 miles from Bantry. Inchigeela possesses Protestant and Catholic churches, a constabulary station, two schoolhouses, hotel, etc. The surface is mountainous, rocky and of wild aspect, but towards the east more level, and in a profitable stage of cultivation. About ten miles west of the village is the romantic "lone" lake of Gougane Barra - the source of the Lee. This lake is situated in a picturesque and sequestered spot, in a lofty chain of mountains between Cork and Kerry, the utter loneliness and stern magnificence of which it is difficult to conceive; and in whose rugged and precipitous acclivities the golden eagle is said still to breed. St. Finbarr - who founded a large school or monastery, towards the end of the sixth century, around which the city of Cork sprung up - lived for some time as a hermit in a cell on a small islet in the lake. A long series of ascetics succeeded him here, the last of whom was named O'Mahony, who lived in this lonely spot for twenty eight years and died in 1700. This small island, nearly midway in the lake, is overshadowed by venerable ash trees. It is connected with the shore by a rude artificial causeway, and the greater portion of its surface is covered by the ruins of a chapel, and a cloister containing eight cells, rudely constructed of brown stone. Close to the mountains encircling Gougane Barra is the celebrated Pass of Keimaneigh (the path of the deer), through which runs the high road between Macroom and Bantry. A mountain has been divided by some convulsion of nature : precipitous walls of rock, clothed in wild ivy, ferns and mosses, rise to a height of several hundred feet on either side of the gorge. Between the lake of Gougane and Inchigeela the Lee expands into a broad sheet of water, called Lough Allua, the eastern extremity of which is about a mile from Inchigeela. The lake (or rather series of lakes) is about four miles in length by one in breadth. All the adjacent country is called Iveleary, from the sept of the O'Learys, its ancient owners, and to whom also belonged the castles of Carrignacurra (Castle-Masters) and Dromcarra, on the Lee towards Macroom. Carrignacurra was garrisoned by Cromwell's troops, and is still in tolerable preservation, consisting of a square tower about 100 feet high. About two centuries ago this locality now almost entirely destitute of timber, was a vast forest of oak, birch, ash and yew, abounding with red and fallow deer. There are vast marshes here, clothed with heather and aquatic plants, and in their seasons, frequented by great quantities of water fowl. Attempts, hitherto abortive, have been made to drain this extensive quagmire. Formerly, some metallic cubes, yellow and shining like gold, were found in this district, and metallic ores have, from time to time, been washed out of the adjacent rocks during floods. About midway between Inchigeela and Gougane is the village of Ballingeary, with a Catholic church and National schools.
Fairs - May 31st , August 31st , December 3rd.
Postal: Mail arrives at 10.00 a.m. and leaves at 3.00 p.m.
Postmaster - Patrick Lehane.
Official: Parishes - Inchigeela, Kilmichael.
Poor Law Union - Macroom.
Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages - Dr. Timothy Crowley.
Petty Sessions District - Macroom - every second Wednesday;
Clerk - John Grainger.
Quarter Sessions District - Macroom.
Resident Magistrate - Charles O'Connell.
Sub-Inspector Constabulary - T.B. Wilson.
Constable - John Timmony.
Clergy: Rev. Jeremiah Holland, P.P. Cappanaclare,
Rev. John Lyons, R.C.C.
Rev. Patrick O'Rourke, A.M. Rector.
Medical Practitioner: Dr. Timothy Crowley.
National Schools: Eight schools in the district, with 18 teachers.
Hotel Keeper: William Brophy.
Barrett Edmond, Carrigbaun Brophy William, Inchigeela
Browne John, Castlemasters Buckley Daniel, Canananeclogh
Buckley Timothy, Carriganeelah Buckley Timothy, Gorteenadrolane
Cotter Jeremiah, Coolroe Cotter Timothy, Gortnaloughra
Cotter William, Cloughboola Cotter William, Gurtnahoughtee
Cronin Daniel, Inchinaneave