The O’Sheas of Rossard


Not long after Patrick Corkery and his new bride settled into their house and farm in Maulagowna, looking over at the spectacular view afforded them by the Gleninchaquin waterfall, they found they could also see when looking across the valley, the house of their new in-laws.  Patrick Corkery and Thomas O’Shea had  married two sisters from near Lauragh, and set up home across the valley from each other.

Corkery had his farm direct from Lord Landsdowne; O’Shea rented his holding from one John O’Sullivan, the local Cearharnach or middleman. The O’Sheas lived here for a number of years, and several of their children were born here.  Sometime just before the turn of the century, perhaps about 1895, this family were evicted from their holding, and the building was knocked down.

In the intervening one hundred years, no one has lived or farmed the small holding, with the result that the bracken has grown high enough to cover not only the walls of the small field system that surrounds the house, but also the pile of rubble that once housed a family.  Now that the bracken is being cleared away, one can see the exact layout of the fields as they used to be.

No one knows exactly why the family was evicted or is quite sure where the family went to.  Some say they went to Dromoughty, others say they went to Glenrastel. We don’t come across them again until 1937, when Harry Bewick brought her two small daughters to live on a farm in Killaha, and to take care of the two orphan children, Lucy and Michael, whose Grandmother had died recently.  These two children were the grandchildren of Thomas O’Shea mentioned above.

Very little factual information on this family has come to light so far, but we will continue with our investigations.  Michael left Kenmare about 1942, went to live with an aunt in the UK.  Today two of his children have returned to Kenmare where they both operate successful businesses.  According to them, their father never discussed the past, or what had happened to his family, so they know very little.