Waterford history

Ballyduff Upper Railway Station Staff

Ballyduff Upper Railway Station Staff

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

On 17th May 1860 the Great Southern and Western Railway opened a 17 mile railway to Fermoy from Mallow at a cost of £109,000 or costing £6,411 per mile. [Bill Power, Fermoy on the Blackwater (Mitchelstown, 2009), page 194] In 1865 two railway companies were formed to connect Fermoy with Waterford city. The Waterford, Lismore and Fermoy Railway proposed to connect Waterford to Dungarvan and Fermoy to Lismore. The other company, the Clonmel, Lismore and Dungarvan Railway was to bridge the gap between Lismore and Dungarvan with a connecting line to Clonmel from Dungarvan. None of the two companies succeeded in attracting enough investment money. Late in the 1860s the Duke of Devonshire decided to build his own railway line between Fermoy and Lismore. In June 1869 The Fermoy and Lismore Railway Act was passed. On 26th July 1872 the Duke of Devonshire made the first private railway journey on the line from Fermoy to Lismore and it was officially opened for business on 1st October 1872. The local landlord, Basil Orpin, who was a solicitor acting for the Duke of Devonshire, got the station at Ballyduff erected on his land and near his own house. In 1878 the Waterford, Dungarvan and Lismore Railway built the line to connect Lismore to Waterford and so establish the through line from Mallow to Waterford. Ballyduff had the lowest goods traffic on the network before and after 1878 so that its most important facility was as a double track station which allowed trains to pass each other on what was otherwise a single track line. Every train had to stop at Ballyduff to receive a token which would allow them to proceed into the next section of railway track. Although processing a signal box to regulate traffic Ballyduff appears to have had no full time signalman employed. Instead the station master or one of the porters worked the signal box. In a report on railway rationalisation in 1950 C.I.E. proposed closing the Mallow to Waterford railway but the powers that be said no. In 1966 C.I.E. tried again to close the line and were successful. On 25th March 1967 the last passenger train stopped at Ballyduff and the line from Mallow to Waterford was closed. Demolition of the railway began almost immediately from Mallow towards Dungarvan. The fixture and fittings at Ballyduff station were removed and the station building was sold.

Ballyduff station 1961, photographer unknown, care of Waterford County Museum

James Jones, station master = in 1881 James Jones was station master at Ballyduff. [Slater’s Commercial Directory of Ireland, 1881, Munster, page 139] In 1886 James Jones was station master at Ballyduff [Guy’s Postal Directory, 1886] In 1901 a person called James Jones was station master at Milltown, County Kerry. He was 58 years old and was born in County Kerry. By 1901 James Jones was a widower. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1901] On 24th December 1903 James Jones, station master, died at Cork leaving effects worth £332 1s 9d. Administration of his estate was granted to Annie Maguire, widow. [Source = National Archives of Ireland, Calendar of Wills and Administrations 1858-1920]

Thomas O’Keeffe, station master = in 1893 Thomas O’Keeffe was the station master at Ballyduff [Guy’s Postal Directory, 1893, County Waterford, page 34] In 1901 a person called Thomas O’Keeffe (aged 34) was a railway goods agent at Tipperary town. He was born in County Cork and was married to Maria O’Keeffe (aged 34), born in County Waterford. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

Denis A. O’Regan, station master = in 1901 Denis O’Regan (aged 36) lived in the station house at Ballyduff in Marshtown townland. Denis was born in Lismore, County Waterford. He declared on the census form that he could read and write as well as speak Irish and English. His wife, Mary E. O’Regan (aged 38) came from Kilcalf, near Tallow, Co. Waterford and her maiden name was Mary Connors. She could also read and write and speak both languages. They had a daughter, Mary Agnes (aged 4), and two sons, Maurice Joseph (2) and John Benedict (1). There was one visitor in the house on census night; Ellen Cunningham (aged 14). The station house had five rooms and five outbuildings, a shed and four store houses. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1901] In 1911 Denis O’Regan was station master at Ballyhooly railway station. He was then 48 years old. His wife of 15 years, Mary Regan was aged 40. By 1911 they had seven children of whom six were alive. Mary (aged 14) and Maurice (aged 13) were both born in County Waterford while their other children, John (aged 11), Hannah (aged 10), Denis (aged 8) and Bridget (aged 5) were born in County Cork. All the family were Roman Catholics. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1911]

Peter Carroll, station master = in 1911 Peter Carroll was the station master at Ballyduff and lived in the station house in the townland of Marshtown. Peter was 36 years old and was born in County Limerick. He could read and write and was a Roman Catholic. He was married to Anastasia Carroll (aged 35) for nine years and they had two children of whom one was living in 1911, Margaret (aged 4). Anastasia was born in County Limerick while Margaret was born in County Kildare. The station house had only one room for the family to live in and three outbuildings, a piggery, a fowl house and a store. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1911] In 1901 Peter Carroll was living in house number 3 in Power’s Court townland near Newbridge, County Kildare. He was unmarried and worked as a railway porter. Living with him was his brother, Denis Carroll (aged 24) who also worked as a railway porter and their uncle, Michael Carroll (aged 41), a farm labourer. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

Christy Cusack, station master = by 1918 Christy Cusack was the station master at Ballyduff. In that year his young son, Dermot Cusack, was photographed standing on the station platform. in 1920 Christy Cusack was photographed at Ballyduff station in his railway uniform standing behind a bench upon which Jack O’Neill (in railway uniform) and Ned Higgins were sitting on. In 1924 Christy Cusack was photographed standing on the platform in suit, hat and dicky bow with a group of other Ballyduff waiting for the train to take them to the senior football county final. The game was played by Ballyduff against Rathgormuck and Ballyduff were victorious. Dermot Cusack was photographed in 1928 at Ballyduff in his confirmation suit suggesting that his father was still station master at Ballyduff. [Paddy John Feeney & Maurice Geary (eds.), Ballyduff Pictorial Past, volume one (Ballyduff, n.d.), pages 8, 11, 15, 18] It is not know where Christy Cusack came from or where he went after Ballyduff.

Hugh Collins, railway porter = in 1901 and 1911 Hugh Collins worked as a railway porter. In 1911 Hugh Collins lived in house number 3 in Ballyduff Upper townland. Hugh was then 40 years old and was born in County Waterford (in the 1901 census he was 28 years old). He could read and write as well as being able to speak Irish and English. He was married to Margaret Collins (aged 35) for six years. Margaret could also speak Irish and English along with reading and writing. She was born in County Cork. The couple had two children, John Joseph (aged 5) and Mary Catherine. Living in the house was Hugh’s father, John Collins (aged 78), a farm labourer born in County Waterford. In the 1901 census John Collins was described as a road contractor. John’s wife had died pre 1901 and his married daughter, Jane, did the house keeping. John Collins could read and write as well as speak Irish and English. The house had three rooms and four outbuildings, a stable, a piggery, a fowl house and a shed. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1901 and 1911]

John Corcoran, railway porter = in 1901 John Corcoran lived in house number two in Cloonbeg townland. John was aged 32 years and was born in County Cork. He could read and write and was married to Nora Corcoran (aged 27). Nora was born in County Waterford and could read and write. The couple had two sons, James (aged 2) and Thomas (aged 1). The house had three rooms and three outbuildings. The family rented the house from Basil Orpin. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

Edward A. Coleman, railway milesman = in 1901 Edward Coleman (aged 26) lived in house number three in Glenagurteen townland. Edward was born in County Waterford as was his father and could read and write. In 1901 Edward was unmarried and lived with his father, Edmond Coleman (aged 74, farm labourer) and mother. Mary Coleman (aged 67, born county Cork). The house had three rooms and one outbuilding, a fowl house. The Coleman family rented the house from Hanora Maher [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

Richard Barry, railway labourer = in 1911 Richard Barry lived in house number four in Ballinaroone East townland. He was 22 years old and was born in County Waterford. Richard was unmarried and lived with his widower father, John Barry (aged 70), an agricultural labourer. Richard could read and write while his father could only read. The house had two rooms and three outbuildings, a piggery, a fowl house and a shed. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1911] In the 1901 census Richard’s mother, Anne (aged 46) was alive. She could only write and was described as deaf yet could speak Irish and English. Richard had a brother, William (aged 20) and two sisters, Mary (14) and Anne (aged 9). [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

Jeremiah Keane, railway labourer = in 1911 Jeremiah Keane lived in house number one in Glenagurteen townland. He described himself as a labourer for the Great Southern and Western Railway. Jeremiah was 45 years old and was born in County Cork. He could read and write and was a Roman Catholic. Jeremiah was married for seven years to Minnie Keane (aged 30) and they had five children, Annie (13), John (7), Lizzie (5), Michael (2) and Maggie (3 months). Minnie Keane was born in County Waterford. The house had two rooms and two outbuildings, a piggery and a fowl house. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1911]

William O’Keeffe, railway labourer = in 1911 William O’Keefe lived in house number four in Ballyduff Lower townland. He was then aged 42 years old and was married to Mary O’Keeffe (aged 33) for nine years. They had five children, Bridget (7), Mary (6), William (5), Maurice (3) and Michael (2). Also living with the family was a boarder, Kate Whelan (aged 14). William O’Keeffe could read and write as could his wife while she could speak Irish and English. The house had two rooms and two outbuildings, a piggery and a fowl house. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1911] In 1901 William O’Keeffe lived with his widowed mother, Bridget (aged 72) and gave his aged as 27 and his employment as workman on the railway line. William O’Keeffe said he could speak Irish and English. They then lived in house number three in Glenbeg townland. The house was owned by Thomas Barry of Glenbeg house. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

Peter Ryan, railway labourer = in 1911 Peter Ryan lived in hose number three in Ballydorgan townland. He was 34 years old and unmarried. Peter was born in County Cork and could read and write. He lived with his parents, Peter (70) and Mary (64). Peter Ryan senior was an army pensioner and was born in County Tipperary. Peter could read and write but his wife didn’t have either skill. She was born in County Cork and was married for 36 years with only one child, Peter Ryan junior. The house had four rooms and three outbuildings, a piggery, a fowl house and a shed. It was owned by the Fermoy Rural District Council. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1911] In 1901 Peter Ryan junior lived in house number 13 in Waterpark townland where he worked as an agricultural labourer. Also in the house were his parents, Peter Ryan senior (aged 50) and Mary Ryan (aged 49). Mary couldn’t read yet could speak Irish and English. The house had two rooms and three outbuildings. The family rented the house from William Brien. [Source = National archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

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