Scenes from around Derryguiha (past and present)

Brendan Frawley pictured with two of his greyhounds.


Greyhound News from Derryguiha

The Frawley family of Derryguiha has been long associated with greyhounds. As a child my earliest memories were to see members of the Frawley family walk greyhounds on the byways of Derryguiha. Much of their association with such animals is attributed to Patricia Coote-Frawley who arrived at Derryguiha in 1964. She hails from a renowned family; the Cootes of Darragh, who have become synonymous with greyhound breeding/training. Patricia’s father the late Paddy Coote was the main person responsible for introducing greyhounds to the family.  Familiar names in Clare Coursing throughout recent decades include Tony Coote, Paddy Coote Jnr, and Patricia Frawley (nee Coote).

Particia together with her brothers continued in greyhound partnership and had many successful ooutings.

The Frawleys have had many wins in both track and coursing events over the years, in  1980 ‘Rogers Spell’ made a name for himself by being first over the line and winning the cup at Lixnaw, Co. Kerry and he later went on to beat the ‘Dog of the Year’ at Liscannor.

It is worthy of mention that the parents of this greyhound were ‘Rapid Roger’ and ‘Break the Spell’.    1984 holds many memories for the Frawley family for it was in that year that ‘Rogers Image’ won five cups in one coursing season, trained by Rory Ryan of limerick he went on to be awarded ‘Dog of the Year’.  More recently ‘Rogers Wish’ has had many great wins at Limerick Track recording a time of less than 29 seconds in 525 yards. This dog was trained by Donncha Frawley and traces its origin to Leitrim, Kilmihil, the pup was bred and reared by Angela Coolins. ‘Tip Toe Lil’ mother of ‘Rogers Wish’ was owned by Mick Collins.

Brendan Frawley has had avid interest in greyhounds over the decades and is a  regular figure  walking his greyhound on the New Line and attached roads in the early morning and evening time. He recalls many of his greyhound names one he includes is ‘Century Lad ’a brother to the latter mentioned ‘Rogers Wish’ Brendan informs me of a very good win by ‘Century Lad’ at the Galway Track. He was eventually sold in England for a substantial figure. Now in Brendan’s capable hands is ‘Fairhill’ who looks promising and if records are anything to go by Brendan holds a future winner.

Many dogs reared at Derryguiha by the Frawley family have been purchased  by Michael Coote, Tisbury, Wiltshire, England; Michael is a brother to Tony, Paddy and Patricia.

From a Kilrush –Killimer Coursing Programme dated Thursday November 29th 1956 one can quickly reflect on the old currency and its value. Admission 2 Shillings and 6 Pennies or  a Car and Driver 3 Shillings. The present day i.e. 2003 Admission to a coursing fixture equals 10 Euro.

The Ringfort at Derryguiha is situated on the lands of Martin J. Moloney. Ringforts are very numerous throughout the parish and these are the ancient sites where our ancestors lived. In fact they are the earliest proof available to us that people existed in the parish from the late Stone Age onwards. Ringforts were a man-made enclosed circular area where people lived and housed their farm animals.

Ringfort at Derryguiha. Pre-Christian Dwelling

The horse and cart in this picture was recently restored by Paul Markham. This picture is a reconstruction of returning from the 'Creamery'. The local Kilmurry McMahon Creamery was officially opened in July 1932 and ceased to operate in 1986. This picture scene was a typical rural scene throughout Ireland in past decades.

Returning from the Creamery.

This is a picture of a neat cottage at Derryguiha. This occupied building is a typical house of the nineteenth century containing the traditional fireplace and whitewashed walls. The tranquil setting is again a glimpse Ireland's past.

Neat Cottage at Derryguiha.

Derryguiha or Derrygeeha Lough was once a fair -sized lake reverting to marsh, in fact according to the 1855 Griffith Valuation Books it is entered as having an area of 10A-2R-16P. It is estimated that this lake will eventually become land as is obvious from the photograph. The lake is bordered in the south by the townland of Bohyodaun and can be easily viewed from the Kildysart road. Derryguiha lake is a natural habitat for wild duck and is often visited by shooting parties. Swans are also viewed on this lake. Reflecting back to 1933 my father John Markham remembers severe weather conditions "there was six weeks of black frost, the lake had a thick sheet of ice covering it, I and a number of brave local boys cycled on the lake on a number of occasions".

Derryguiha residents Mike and Tess pose for camera at Susies Cross on their return bus trip from the Clare capital Ennis. Michael now 89 years old can be described as hale and hearty. He has been a keen gardener, turf cutter and harness maker. Teresa is quite capable of a verse and a tune on the tin whistle.
(Michael was called to his eternal reward in early 2004) May he rest in peace.



That Mrs. Eileen O’Gorman of Derryguiha aged 94 years had a brother killed in action on July 1st 1918 with the Royal Munster Fusiliers in World War 1. Private John Ryan is buried in France.

‘He whom this scroll commemorates was numbered among those who, at the call of King and Country, left all that was dear to them, endured hardness, faced danger, and finally passed out of sight of men by the path of duty and self-sacrifice, giving up their own lives

Sadly, Mrs Eileen O'Gorman passed away on May 24th 2005. Eternal rest grant to her O Lord. May she rest in peace Amen.



Derryguiha House, now an out-office is situated in the townland of Derryguiha, parish of Coolmeen. It was once the homestead of the Lennane family and had a large adjoining estate bordering the townlands of Bohyodaun, Coolmeen, Prospect and the Cloon River. The demesne contained mature trees, turbary, lough, gardens, limekiln, orchard, two drive ways and a number of thatched cottages. The dairy to the left of the house supplied two firkins of butter weekly to the Labasheeda Butter Market. Adjacent to the dairy stood the piggery. Two workers; a parlour girl and a farm boy were employed full time. Other members of the Lennane family resided at Derrynalicka House, Kilmurry Cottage, Moyroe House and Bridgepark House. The final member of the Lennane family to reside at Derryguiha House was Michael he died on January 14th 1932.


Mary and John Markham pictured in recent years admiring the globular clustered hydrangea shrubs. This year 2006 Mary and John celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary (March 5th 2006- March 5th 1946)

Corn Stacks On Stilts (hand cut limestone)

The above stilts at Derryguiha probably date back to the C19th and are located just 20 metres from the family home. The hand cut limestone is of great importance and is a credit to the tradesmen of that era. The corn was placed on the stilts to prevent rats and mice getting at the harvest collection.
In the Iron Age, farmers had porridge made from wheat, barley and oats. The cereals were ground with a quernstone; this was a hand-mill for grinding corn. As late as the nineteenth century we find that the quernstone was still being used. There is a quernstone at the Markham homestead Derryguiha, the 1847 inscription would have been chiseled by Patrick Markham my great great grandfather.