12 August 2009

Newpark, The Commons, Ballingary, Co. Tipperary

Newpark, The Commons, Co. Tipperary
Photographs and information provided by M.Maher, August 09
This 'old ' ball alley preceeded the one in The Commons village proper. It is understand that this alley was never built as an alley per se, but was adapted from the site of an old creamery. It consisted only of the 2 walls that are still there today. It attracted large crowds of players during the 1920's, 30's ,'40's and '50's before being replaced by the newer building further down the village. Probably the best known player of this era was a guy called 'Boggan' Healy who was also widely known as a great wit, many of whose wittisms are fondly recalled locally even today 60 or so years after his death.

A unique feature of this building was the square 'hole 'in the side wall (in central picture above) just beneath the protruding pipe. This was where the pennies were kept as wagers on the various games.

The alley is located just north of The Commons village on 'Palatine Street', so called after the Palatine area in Germany from where Protestant refugees fled religious persecution in the 1700's and firstly settled in Co.Limerick and secondly came to this part of Tipperary as tenants to the Barker Ponsoby estate in nearby Kilcooley Abbey. Many decendants of these families continue to reside in the area today. Believe it or not German was still spoken in this part of Tipperary as late as the early 1900's.

The large farmhouse in the background belongs to one of these families, the Switzers, one of whose number founded the famous Switzers store on Grafton St, Dublin in the 1800's, now Brown Thomas.


Anonymous said...

The lands on which this alley was built were previously owned by my family - no I am not a Switzer! The details given regarding this alley coincide with stories I was told. My late father, who was very fond of the locality, often spoke of the late "Boggan" Healy whose remains are buried in the cemetery, beside the Catholic Church, at Ballingarry which was recently extended.

Anonymous said...

Boggan Healy was my Grandfather and i also have heard some fantastic stories and tales from my mother the late Johanna...

Anonymous said...

I would really love to know more about the site that this handball alley was built on. I have heard in the past that it is on the site of Cleere's creamery.I am trying to establish which Cleere it belonged to.
Can anyone help me? I am trying to piece together some family history and I would be eternally grateful if someone could help.

Anonymous said...

My father Nicholas Cleere was born in The Commons
and I believe Cleeres creamery was on the site of this handball alley. I would really love to know if anyone has any info.about this site when it was a creamery
Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

unfortunately all the guys wi the great stories bout boggan healy have nw passd away there selves,skinner james tobin(grandad) his brother dickie,john and molly cleere..they wer all characters too,spent plenty summers in my youth there and was fond memorys..RIP to all..

Unknown said...

does, anybody, have any photos of my granddad boggon. I would loved to have met him and my grandmother kate, god rest them. my mother use tell me stories about him. I used ask her what did he do with his medals or cups from games he won ? anyway am proud to be boggans grandson ive also give one of my sons his nick name thanks to all who or have heard of him [ james noonan grandson ]

Mike Cleere said...

Hello Anonymous. Found this site by accident. Your Grandmother Kate was my grandaunt. That makes us 2nd cousins.
We lived in the house next to theirs. Boggan Used to take me with him when he went to the coal mine for a load of culm. that is a long time ago and my memories fade but I do have some stories that you would enjoy.

Nicola said...

This was my grate grandad miss my grandparents alot

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