Fáilte Romhat

  Clonakilty Post Office

Post Office in a Church

CLONAKILTY has many proud boasts. In the realm of athletics and games, her record is high. Her early history was a stormy one as the Irish, naturally, resisted a "planter" town in their midst, but gradually the planters were assimilated and to-day the Irish and the descendants of the original settlers live side by side in peace and harmony.

There is, however, one exception. The Presbyterians, a prosperous body of landowners in the sixties and seventies of the last century, have vanished, leaving no trace except their well-built, graceful church, which, to-day, houses the Post Office.

The original Presbyterians came to the district as land-stewards for the landlords and in course of years became owners of substantial farms. Law of Ballinascarthy; Irwin (Grancore); Ronaldson (The Miles); Shiels and Jeffreys, are names still remembered by the not-so-old of the town and district.

Clonakilty, as a Presbyterian congregation, was organised by the Presbytery of Cork in November 1859, and previous to that was a mission station attached to Bandon. The Church - now used as Post Office - was erected in 1861. The first Minister was Dr. Dill, who died in 1862. His successor was Rev. Dr. Croskery, who in addition to his clerical duties, was a contributor to several leading magazines of the time, including Frazer's Magazine, and The London Quarterly Review. He later became Professor in Magee College, Derry.

The Manse, now occupied by Mrs. Woods, was built during the ministry of Rev. W. Reid. According to Guy's Directory (1875-76), the Presbyterians of the town and district numbered 26 with Rev. Robert Cowan as Minister. The last Minister was appointed in 1896, and in 1924 the Church, without a congregation, was taken over by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs as a Post Office.

It is an interesting question: Why a prosperous congregation vanished leaving no trace

C. OR. [C. ORourke N.T.]

Clonakilty District Past & Present  - A Tourist guide to the area -[158 pages, forward dated 1959] The guide was published by the Southern Star Ltd for the Clonakilty C.Y.M.S.

My thank to Henry McFadden for providing this information