On this page, over the coming years, we intend to give an account of the history of Myross and the village of Union Hall. Local history is often based on the research of one individual in certain institutions and libraries or the oral accounts of individuals whose views may be coloured or cannot be verified because others who may have opposite views have passed on or prefer to remain silent. The accounts which we will give in this website are as presented to us but we welcome comments from any person who may like to add to them or disagree with them.
In our opening piece, we will deal with an overall view of the parish as well as providing the addresses of websites for those interested in tracing their family trees.
Union Hall in the Parish of Myross, once known as the “Garden of Carbery”, is situated on famed Glandore Harbour.  Myross is a peninsula bounded to the east by Glandore Harbour, on the south by the Atlantic and to the west by Castlehaven Harbour. Steeped in history, there is plenty of evidence of the existence of early civilization in the area. In the townland of Carrigillihy are the remains of one of the oldest known Bronze Age Forts, and scattered around the parish are the remains of many Stone Age Forts or Fairy Forts which were formerly the homes of our ancestors between 500BC and 600AD.
Still to be seen are the ruins of two O’Donovan castles - Castle Eyre/Ivor built in 1251 in the townland of Listarkin - and Raheen Castle built  circa 1584 around the same time that the O’ Donovan’s built Castledonovan in Drimoleauge.

Churches and Burial Grounds
The Patron saint of this ancient parish is Brigid, and in the townland of Ardra is a well to her memory.  Legend has it that the well was originally situated on Rabbit Island but when a pilgrim returning to the mainland was drowned, the well was supposed to have moved from the island to the mainland overnight. Both the school and the R.C. church are named after Brigid and there are also legends associating her with Loch Cluichir.
Off the coast on Low Island are the remains of an early burial ground which probably existed pre 1615 when the present graveyard and church in Myross came into existence.
Prior to the Myross church, we know that there was a church at Rinneen which may have continued to be in existence up to the time the church in Stookeen was built. Stooken was closed when the present R.C. church was built circa 1827. The present Church of Ireland church was built in 1827, and before this the Anglican Community worshipped at the “Teampall Bán” in the townland of Ardagh.  Both of these have burial grounds attached. There was also a Methodist church in the parish which was in existence and use up to the late 1950’s.

Union Hall Village
We know very little as to when the village of Union Hall itself came into existence. Some say it existed pre 1800, and was at that stage known as Trá an Bhróin in commemoration of a battle which took place there in a previous century.  Some would contend that it grew up around the “Big House” which was built by William Somerville Limrick at the end of the eighteenth century, and called The “Hall” and later Unionhall to commemorate the passing of the Act of Union in 1801. Along with building the “Big House”, houses were built on the lane for both the gardener and the butler. As early as 1828 the Fuller Family had opened their first shop opposite the present Post Office, and records tell us that a Con Collins was granted a licence to sell alcohol on his premises in the square in the house belonging to the late Mrs Shanahan. This remained a public house until the early sixties. Griffiths valuation which was carried out in 1844 in the south indicates that most of the village was in existence at that period. In an article in the Skibbereen Eagle of Saturday July 7th 1866 it states “ On the opposite side of the harbour of Glandore stands the equally beautiful and  picturesque village of Union Hall surrounded by with handsome villas and elegant demesnes”.
Myross is in the Barony East Carbery (western division) and when the Poor Law Unions were set up in  1832 it became part of the  Skibbereen PLU. When the Poor Law Union was divided up into dispensaries in 1851 Myross became a dispensary area, and it was the doctor in charge of this area who registered births, deaths and marriages for the surrounding area which included Glandore and Leap. It is also worth noting that the Civil Parish of Myross is exactly the same as the Roman Catholic parish of Myross, which is not the case with many local Catholic parishes.
We also know from records of the existence of a courthouse at Ardagh Hill as far back as 1832. Because the field across the road from it was used for impounded animals, it became known as Páirc a’ Phóna,  and this is why the new housing estate in the field is known as “Páirc a’ Phóna”
The R.I.C. was in existence from 1822 to 1922 and it would appear that shortly after its founding an R.I.C. barracks was opened in Union Hall. Up to 80% of the force was made up of Catholics, and we read of a Constable John Lordan carrying out a survey on behalf of Dublin Castle in 1846.
All the above facts lead us to believe that although Myross / Union Hall was on the verge of the Atlantic it became an important administrative centre for justice in the early 18th century.


Our hopes for this section is to help preserve your memories of Union Hall by getting in touch so that we can start documenting them for future generations. We hope, that in documenting this information, it will be a source of great inspiration to future generations. Alternatively, it could be a small project for younger members of the family to obtain these special memories. They could sit down and have a cuppa with parents, elderly relatives, neighbours and friends, and start asking a few questions. They could either write them down or record them, whatever is easier. Starting with some easy questions first might relax them for example; what was it like growing up, did they have favourite songs, games as a child, what special memories do they have of their parents etc. They might tell you them in small segments over time. If they have old photos, great! “When an elder dies, it is as if an entire library has burned to the ground” – African saying


Genealogy Research The wish of everybody researching their ancestry is that hidden somewhere in the old homestead is an account of the family in bygone days. For some that becomes a reality but for most it never happens. So that your descendants will have access to such a resource in a hundred years time, before you enter in any of the websites underneath write down everything you know about yourself, your family, extended family, the neighbourhood and the times in which we live, and you will have left a very valuable resource which you should share with many people.

www.westcorkgenealogy.com The above site gives us the R.C. parish records up to 1880 for the parish of Myross and others in the Dioceses of Cork and Ross.
This site gives us access to the index of births, marriages and deaths from 1864 for R.C. and from 1845 for the Church of Ireland.

· Click on Europe · Click on Ireland · Click on Ireland Civil Registrations Index 1864 – 1958 · When filling in details, “Place” refers to Poor Law Union which might be Skibbereen for many but could be Cork for some, Bantry for others, Clonakilty for others and so on, depending on where the person was born, married or died. · Having accessed your information, copies of certificates may be had for research puposes from: General Register Office, Government Offices, Convent Road, Roscommon.

Your application must state the page and volume of the particular record you are seeking as well as any other details that you are aware o. Enclose €4 per cert. Information on the parishes of Castlehaven and Myross can be obtained from www.skibbheritage.com. The dates on these records vary parish to parish but start around 1825.

If you know of other useful sites, please let us know


Ardra: Árd Ráth (high fort).
Ballincolla: Bail an Chala (place of the ferry). The ferry used to run from this place to the Glandore side.
Bawnlaban: Badún Leathan (broad enclosure). The O’Donovans used to live here.
Cooldurragha: Cúil Dorcha (dark nook).
Maulycorrane: Dr John O’Donovan says it is Meal Uí Chorráin (O’Curran’s Hill).
Reen: Rinn (headland).
Raheen: Raithin (little fort). Here is the ruined castle of O’Donovans built by Donnell O’Donovan, chieftain of Clanchill, (1584-1639).
Ballinatona: Baile na Tóna (place of the bottom). Skahanagh: Sceachánach (place of the white thorn). Listarkin: Lios Torcáin (place of the little wild boar). In this townland is the ruin of Castle Eyre. Cahergal: Caithir Gheal (white stone fort). Cappagh: Ceapach (a plot of land laid out for tillage; a decayed wood; a hamlet occupied by relatives). Clontaff: Cluain a Chatha (meadow of the battle). The village of Union Hall is partly in Clontaff, partly in Listarkin, partly in Keelbeg and partly in Ballincolla. Its old name is Bréan Trágh (rotten strand). Carrigillihy: Probably Carraig Oillighthe (hidden rock). Cooscroneen: Cuas Crónín (Cronin’s Cave). Ardagh: Árdach (height). Brade: Sometimes written ‘Bra’ in old grants. We find a mountain in Scotland called Bráid Alban; we find in Ireland Braid, Co Antrim, prominately connected with St Patrick. The root word is Brágha (brághad), the throat or neck applied to a gorge or pass. The big bridge crossing from the southern end of Myross Wood to the Glandore side is called Poll Gorm (Blue Hole) Bridge. It was formerly called Droichead a Chláir (the Plank Bridge). The above information was kindly written by James Burke B.L. for Echoes of the Past, Perspectives of Union Hall/Myross through the years. A beautiful account of the place names of Myross can be found here.