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16 October 2014
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The Legend of Squire O'Hara

As a kid growing up in a nearby estate which shall remain nameless suffice to say I do have many good memories of it.

ML 1030

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The Legend of Squire O'Hara

This article is reproduced from an email sent to us by Mark Telford.

Headless Horseman

As a kid growing up in a nearby estate which shall remain nameless suffice to say I do have many good memories of it. Crebilly and its surrounding area was always of great fascination to myself and the acquaintences I found myself with. Many adventures were had in and around the area known as the white gates, as much legend as is Squire O'Hara............

The story as I know it has quite a few more subtleties to it than what these pupils have written.

I remember being about 11 and doing a bit of research on The O'Haras famous five style. So between what I researched, heard off eager pensioners and a little bit of adlibing this is the way I see it. Rumour has it that well I'll tell you that after the rest of course!!!

Sometime in the earlier centuries Squire O'Hara was probably one of the wealthiest landowners in Borough and had extensive contacts thru out Ireland and the U.S.A. and had been called off for some important business abroad being the nobleman that he was he was married (possibly!!!) in his early twenties to a most beautiful maiden..............

Unbeknownest to Squire O'Hara his beloved was having an affair with his most trusted friend so when ever a chance arose the two lovers would be together, returning from abroad earlier than expected O'Hara was in jubilant mood and couldn't wait to see his love after his absence.

It was a dark stormy night when Squire came to his home at Crebilly, on entering the mansion he was greeted as usual by his butler but was aware that his attention was trying to be diverted he raced upstairs and his trusted friend and wife in embrace he fell to his knees he couldn't believe what he was seeing. He arose in a rage and cursed them both to hell and he would have his vengance in this life or the next.

Squire tore out of the mansion in blinded fury enraged by his lying mind, he stradled his horse and took off down the lane. As he drew nearer he did notice that the gates were closed but no matter his horse was more than able to jump it but as he rose the horse over the gates its two front legs caught the top of the spikes on the gate and he tumbled backward off the horse and was horrifically decapitated by the spikes.................

Spooky graveyard

A few days later he was buried in the graveyard at Ballymarlow in a full fitting column with a carved likeness of him atop, but that night there was a fierce storm and a bolt of lightning cut off the head from the column.

A few months later in the mansion there was gossip of strange goings on around the land of O'Hara butlers were terrified to spend any time on the property and of course everything had been left to his love the estate all their wealth but as time went on she became more paranoid but did eventually bore a son to her lover and a short time after there was a vicious fire in the mansion and they all fled from it vowing never to set foot in it again.

Rumour has it that the wealth buried in the basement of his stately castle is still their waiting to be rediscovered only thing is no one remembers the location of where the mansion was built but every hallow'een he stalks the land of the white gate estate searching for the people that betrayed him!!

And yes I always believed Ballymena had a very high level of storytelling. I now reside in Kilkenny where I propagate our best kept myth, anyway excuse the spelling and grammar......can't be good at everything!

Yours Mark

Can you shed any more light on this story?

Jim Kelso believes that the column of the Squire's monument wasn't sheared off by a bolt of lightning in a storm, but was in fact made that way .... click on More on Ballymena's Squire O'Hara .

You can add your thoughts directly to the site, it's a very quick and simple process.

If you'd prefer you can send an email to :-

Click here to return to "Ballymena's Headless Horseman"

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