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Dunmanway - Cork - Convent Schools

B/W photo

Dunmanway (Irish: Dúnmaonmhuí) is a small town in the southwest of Ireland. It is the geographical centre of the region known as West Cork. It is probably best known as the birthplace of Sam Maguire, an Irish Protestant republican, for whom the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Trophy is named.


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Photo Details

  • County: Cork
  • Town: Dunmanway
  • Scene: Convent Schools
  • Date: 1910 (estimate)


  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
  • Colour images can be printed in black& white if preferred.
  • Read about Dunmanway below


Dunmanway (Irish: Dúnmaonmhuí) is a small town in the southwest of Ireland. It is the geographical centre of the region known as West Cork.

It is probably best known as the birthplace of Sam Maguire, an Irish Protestant republican, for whom the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Trophy is named.

There is disagreement over the meaning and origin of the town's name. Various sources list its meaning as 'the castle of the yellow river,' 'the castle on the little plain,' 'the fort of the gables (or pinnacles),' and 'the fort of the yellow women.'


19th century references date the founding of Dunmanway to the late 17th century, when the English crown settled a colony there to provide a resting place for troops marching between Bandon and Bantry. By 1700, about thirty families lived in the town.

Sir Richard Cox, Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1703–1707, was the town's most important early patron. Cox obtained a grant from King William III to hold market days and fairs in the town and strongly encouraged the development of the local flax industry. To that end, Cox imported artisans from Ulster to teach the required skills. He sponsored numerous incentives for local residents involved in making linen, including rent-free housing for top producers, bonuses for efficient laborers, rewards for schoolgirls who showed strong loom skills, and production contests with generous prizes. In 1735, the town consisted of forty houses and two to three hundred people. By 1747, the linen industry was well-established and Cox's personal census recorded 557people. Two years later, it rose to 807.

Free-market economic policies in England led to the removal of protective duties on linen in 1827. In 1837, Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland recorded a population of2,738. It also recorded the town's changing economic fortunes:

The manufacture of linen continued to flourish for some years, but at present there are very few looms at work. A porter and ale brewery, established in 1831, produces 2,600barrels annually; there are also two tanyards and two boulting-mills, the latter capable of grinding annually 15,000bags of flour, and there are two or three smaller mills in the vicinity. Since 1810 a considerable trade in corn has been carried on.

West Cork was hit hard by the Great Famine. In the early 1850s, following the migrations and evictions which characterized the famine's upheavals, more than seventy percent of Dunmanway residents did not own any land.

On November 28, 1921, during the Anglo-Irish War (1919–1921), seventeen British Auxiliary Division troops were killed by the Irish Republican Army at the Kilmichael Ambush (near Dunmanway). The subsequent sacking and burning of the city of Cork by the occuping British forces is thought to be linked to the Kilmichael Ambush. On December 15, 1920, an Auxiliary named Harte shot dead the local priest, Father Magnier and a local boy, Tadhg Crowley in an apparently random incident. There were numerous other actions in and around Dunmanway during the war (see Chronology of the Irish War of Independence). In addition, after a truce was declared in July 1921, the local IRA killed a number of alleged informers. Controversy rages in particular over the killing of ten men (including three residents of Dunmanway) in the spring of 1922, all of whom were Protestants (see Dunmanway Massacre). It has been argued that this amounted to a vendetta or even ethnic cleansing on the part of local IRA figures.


Just as a person living in Ireland is called Irish, or a person from County Cork is Corkonian, a person living in Dunmanway is known as a Doheny as the local Gaelic Athletic Association club is known as 'The Dohenys'.

Immigration to the town in recent years has caused a massive growth in population. The population grew 52 in the period from 2002 to 2006. The 2002 census reported that there were 1,532people living in Dunmanway and the 2006 census reported that the town has a population of2,328.


By small town standards Dunmanway has a very cosmopolitan population. Immigration to the town and surrounding areas began in the 1970s in particular from the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. Immigration from these countries is still going on, mainly in the form of people who are attracted to the relaxed pace of life which is the norm in West Cork. Into the 2000s, immigration to Dunmanway took on a greater pace as the Celtic Tiger economy began to take hold. Today in Dunmanway there are very considerable percentages of Polish, Latvians, and British. In addition to these there are small groups of Hungarians, Estonians, Germans, Dutch, and Chinese, along with individuals from many other countries.


Dunmanway is predominantly Roman Catholic with a large Protestant minority and a small Neopagan minority. There are two different Protestant denominations in the town, namely the Church of Ireland and Methodism, the former being by far the larger.

As Christianity is the religion of the vast majority of the town, Christmas and Easter are very improtant times of year in Dunmanway. Many businesses remain closed from Christmas Day for four or five days and then close again for a day or two for New Year's Day. At Easter the case is similar with many businesses closing from Good Friday to Easter Monday. The Corpus Christi procession in June is also a major event for the Catholic faithful.

Many of the British immigrants to the town lead a New Age lifestyle and adhere to various forms of Neopaganism.

Local lore

A later scion of the Cox family, Richard, heard that a preacher allied to John Wesley was due to visit the town and decided to give him a ducking in the local lake. To practice he went out in a boat but fell into the water and was drowned. The event was commemorated by the following verse:

'Tis there the lake is,
Where the duck and the drake is,
And 'tis there the crane can have his fine feed of frogs.
When night come's round it,
The spirits surround it,
For in it was drownded Sir Richard Cox.'

Transport & communications

  • Nearest airport Cork International Airport