Second Edition

New Second Edition available now!

It is pleasing to be able to say that demand has led to the necessity to produce a second edition of this book long before anticipated. To all the people who have purchased it I say a sincere thank you and hope you got some pleasure out of it. I appreciate it lacked an index which I am aware has been a source of inconvenience, to those of you engaging in research in particular. This new edition contains a comprehensive index, and for the benefit of original purchasers, an index is now available here and may be accessed free/downloaded/printed off &c. Regrettably increased costs, in particular hefty increases in the price of package postage, has made price increases unavoidable. Thank you again for your support

Jan 2021 - Second Edition - Available now!

New Print Run Available!

After five sold out print runs since 2015, we collected the first print run of the second edition from the printers in January 2021. If you have been waiting to get your order in, many thanks for your patience!

"Ballycroy and Beyond" is the self-published work of Patrick Mullarkey, a native of Claggan, Ballycroy. This 600 page book is a must read book for anyone with connections to Ballycroy, or an interest in the rich history of Ballycroy, Achill, Erris and Tieranaur.

"Ballycroy and Beyond" is available to buy. For direct payment and shipping options (eg revolut), please contact the author.

If you wish to have your copy signed or to have a dedication included please include details.

Prices include postage and packaging:

Ireland: €40
Great Britain: €50
United States & elsewhere: €60


"Ballycroy and Beyond" is also available from


U.S. based customers can order from


With chapter summaries
Chapter 1: The Clives and the Birchs.
History of Clive and Birch families; Coming of brothers Archer and George Clive, and Thomas Jacob and Henry William Birch to Ballycroy in early 1850’s; displacement of tenants and development of Rock House estate and Homefarm. The life and times of the Clives brothers, their marriage, families, highs and lows &c; their tenants, their workers, their visitors; interspersed with photographs from the time.
Chapter 2: Stephen Prince.
The first Clive Land Agent/Homefarm Manager; his contribution to the success of the venture; the integration of his children in local life, their marriage etc.; the death of his first wife and second marriage. His legacy – the ‘striping’.
Chapter 3: James Jolly.
The successor to Prince; his origin, marriage, appointment to the Clives, his children; significant events from his stewardship, including his involvement in the important Doran/Moran law case, tenant ejectment proceedings and his role in the 1921 Breaking in to the Farm by disgruntled tenants, in relation to which the letters of Kitty Clive (the grand-daughter of George) to her mother give an eye-witness account; the course of the Jolly family after Ballycroy; with photographs from the time
Chapter 4: Ballycroy in the Ireland of the 19th Century.
An account of what life was like in Ballycroy and the Ireland of the time; population; housing; the O’Donel proprietorship; a typical dwelling (often described as a cabin); the “booleys” &c.
Chapter 5: Religious Disharmony.
Tithe accessment for Ballycroy including payees and amounts for Dooriel; resistance to collection; arrival of Rev. Edward Nangle in Achill, establishment of colony at Dugort with effect on Ballycroy including “take-over” of Inisbiggle and new church at Castlehill. Virulent opposition of Archbishop McHale and Achill priests; unsavoury events, including riot for control of coffin at funeral of child; list of 185 converts between 1844 and 1846; accounts of visitors Ashworth, Otway, Nicholson and the Halls. Re-conversion of Inisbiggle; with photographs from the time.
Chapter 6: Distress in Ballycroy.
Various accounts of distress from hunger, disease and poverty in Ballycroy and elsewhere in Erris, and Achill; the tragedy of the famine; variations (largely major reductions) in population by townland in Ballycroy between the 1841 and 1851 Census returns; account of Asenath Nicholson; Ashworth’s disturbing description of a burial in Fahy cemetery in 1850; conflict in 1880 relief committee; James Hack Tuite and Free Emigration; The Cleary family; a report on distress in Gortbrack, Tallagh, Doona and Aughness in 1886.
Chapter 7: Protecting the Virtue of Catherine Cafferky.
She was one of a number of girls “in service” at the dwelling of landlord Thomas Billington at Roy, Doohoma in the early 1860’s. Although there were no complaints there were substantial indications in the community that his brother Benjamin was “having his way” with some of the girls. The local priest was so concerned that he had her brother take Catherine away and back home to Ballycroy. But her employer sued her for Breach of Contract. Catherine became famous, although she herself seems to have contributed little to her new celebrity status. A case of read on.............
Chapter 8: Two Memorable School Days.
The story of two boys, Patrick Cafferkey and Michael Conway, scholars at Drumslide school, assaulted by their teacher James Sweeney, the attitude of the reverend managers, the inaction of the commissioners of the Board of Education who saw injustice but appeared powerless to effectively intervene.
Chapter 9: School fetes and Tenant parties.
The Clives entertained their tenants and the children attending the two schools on their estates to parties at the Rock House, sometimes separately and sometimes jointly, each autumn; extracts from press reports of the 1870’s, including a group photograph taken on 23rd September 1870.
Chapter 10: Conflict resolution.
When neighbours fell-out they often took to the courts to resolve their problems; press reports, often humorous, sometimes brutally offensive, from the Petty Sessions Courts at Ballycroy, Achill and Newport; extracts from the evidence given by police, by witnesses and by defendants often amazing and amusing.
Chapter 11: Murder at Roger’s Hole.
An account of the burning of Mrs. Little’s Icehouse at Aughness and her unsuccessful claim for compensation; the shooting dead on the Logduff river of poacher Martin Cleary and the wounding of his cousin Anthony Cleary; the subsequent Trial of bailiffs Robert Malley and Alexander Smithwick; the unsuccessful attempt on the life of witness John Oram at Clagganmountain and the disassociation of the tenants of the Grant Estate from it – all in the year 1869.
Chapter 12: Other Visitors.
Extracts from the writings of other visitors to Ballycroy, including Samuel Lewis (1838), Arthur Young (1776), Charles Cesar Otway (1799), John Hervey Ashworth (1850), William Hamilton Maxwell (1832).
Chapter 13: Ballycroy Athletic Sports.
An account of sporting events, with lists of winners and prizes, usually promoted by the Clive landlords in their time, in Ballycroy over the years, and in Mulranny in 1883.
Chapter 14: Birth and progression of the National Schools.
The origin and development of the National education system; Church opposition; its foundation and development in Ballycroy; specific details in relation to Drumgallagh and Shranamonragh schools; closure of Tallagh school; opposition of parish priest and controversial circumstances surrounding establishment of Drumslide school; continuing difficulties with teachers, particularly in relation to Drumslide school.
Chapter 15: The Letters of Olive Freer.
A child’s-eye-view, by one not of them, of life on Inisbiggle island in the first decade of the 20th century.
Chapter 16: The Land, The League, The Law.
The lands of Ballycroy; early habitation; the Normans arrival; the rise, and demise, of the O’Donel landlords; evictions; the Land League; the “Gurteen three”; the original Order to Arrest Michael Davitt; the murder of Burke and Cavendish; Land League Rallies (2) in Ballycroy and Becker’s account of the Rally at Tieranaur; the “Leave measure with Undertaker” Notice posed on the chapel door in Ballycroy and arrests; the murder of Thomas Barrett at Doolough after returning from the fair at Bangor; letters exchanged between Edward J Corrigan and General Clive; evictions; sale of estate of Capt. Percy Clive (grandson of Archer); breaking in at Lettra Farm by Tallagh tenants; death of Constable Doogue.
Chapter 17: The Tailor with no Ansty.
Michael McManamon of Ballycroy; Kitty Campbell, having convinced her father of her desire for a new outfit, he hired tailor McManamon to come to their house to make her a “bloomer costume”. The terms, in addition to the fee, included bed and board, a daily glass of “grog” and “the run of the house”. Everybody, including it seems the pig and a cock, slept in the same room, all in their birthday suits. Michael got up during the night – it may have been that he didn’t have a clear understanding of what “the run of the house” meant – at any rate he got back into the wrong bed. The courthouse in Achill was not able to hold all that wanted to witness the sequel.
Chapter 18: Tieranaur’s Darkest Hour.
The murder of landlord James Hunter; events that preceded it, the shooting, and its aftermath, including the Inquest, intimidation of witnesses and effect; police investigation and reports, arrests, Court proceedings and discharge of suspects, behaviour of local clergy, the silence, the police tax, references in National Archives records, the fate of the widow and two children and, in some detail, the paths taken by their lives post Tieranaur.
Chapter 19: Ballycroy and the Spanish Armada.
The arrival of The Rata in Tullaghan Bay; a summary of the Armada story, in particular the extraordinary circumstances of the survival of Captain De Cellular. The fate of the 15 men put ashore at Fahy. The abandonment and scuttling of the ship after it ran aground. The march to The Mullet peninsula and escape on board The Dueguesa and eventual catastrophe off the Antrim coast. The role of Richard Bingham and the massacre of the Spanish prisoners at Galway.
Chapter 20: The Clagganmountain Shooting.
30th September 1879; attempt to murder Land Agent Sydney Smith and the shooting dead of one of the gunmen, Thomas Howard, by his son of same name, three others escaping; press reports gave reason as quadrupling of rent on farm of John J Daly at Fahy on Archer Clive estate subject to ejectment proceedings 3 months before; special meeting of Land League at Newport month later, Michael Davitt disassociating League from it; two suspects, James Cooney, Doona (with traces of blackening still on face) and Daly’s son Thomas arrested and remanded to prison. Three local men, Hugh Doran, James Doran and Anthony Leneghan identified gun recovered at scene as property of accused Daly, but at preliminary hearing at Ballycroy Court each claimed he “had made a mistake”. Both accused discharged to comment from Bench “nothing more terrible than perjury committed”. Had repercussions at Parnell Commission hearings in London more that 10 years later.

A selection of images from the book:

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Western People

“Ballycroy and Beyond will have a huge impact on the people who populate the North-West corner of Mayo. It is a treasure trove of social history for those with an interest in the happenings of Ballycroy, Erris, Achill and Mulranny.” (full article)

Penelope Clive

(author and widow of John, descendent of the original landlords and developers of the Rock House and Home Farm)

“Paddy Mullarkey has produced a fascinating book which captures the essence of Ballycroy and Co. Mayo in the 19th century - all much loved by several generations of the Clive family.”


Paddy was interviewed on Tommy Marren's show on Midwest Radio 96.1FM on 11 Sept 2015. Listen here:

Launch Event

Ballycroy National Park Visitor Centre

Saturday, September 12th 2015 at 7pm

We had a fantastically well supported launch event in the National Park Visitor Centre. A huge thanks to all who attended and helped to make the occasion such a success.

Here some of images from the night: (Courtesy TullyLens)


And the speeches...

We did not anticipate the level of interest and support, so sincere apologies to all who were unable to get a copy of the book on the night. See here for current availability.

Special thanks to Pat Gallagher for sharing his inspiring thoughts and insights regarding the book.

The Launch Event received some very generous comments in the Western People

Contact The Author:

Feel free to drop me an email at: