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16 October 2014
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Michelle Nugent has sent YPAM photographs and some background history on Carrickmore


Dear YPAM,

I would like to submit two photos of Carrrickmore for the section on Tyrone.

The first photo ( on the left below ) is of Bernish Glen, said to be the hiding place of highwayman Shane 'Bearnach' O'Donnell. He is said to be the inspiration for the raparee in "The Mountains of Pomeroy" and WF Marshall penned the following poem about the Glen.

BERNISH GLEN (W.F. Marshall)

The sun’s red rim

Is hidden soon,

The low clouds dim

The rising moon.

Shy badgers hide

Still in their den,

But rabbits glide

Through Bernish Glen.

The twilight blurs

Pool and morass,

No wind- breath stirs

The withered grass.

Across the Gap

There’s light to see

A lone crow flap

To Athenree.

Here all is still,

But from the vale

Steals up the hill

A farm-hand’s hail,

A faint far clink

Of can and tin

Where lanterns wink

Down in Cloghfin.

Wee folk, they say,

Skipped to and fro

Up Bernish way

Long years ago.

But fairy ring

And elf-shot cow

And pixie king

Are fool-talk now.

The greybeards rave

Of highwaymen,

And of a cave

In Bernish Glen,

Of ghosts that wail

Before the dawn,

-But that’s a tale

Of years long gone.

Yet if you were

In grey moonlight

Alone up there,

Perhaps you might

Just change your mind

Like many men

And look behind

In Bernish Glen.


Bernish Glen also hosted the annual Blaeberry Sunday festivities. This always occurred on the third Sunday of August. The young and agile men of the parish got a chance to impress everyone by participating in 3 events, running, jumping and lifting the stone. The children spent their time picking (and eating!) the plentiful blaeberries watched by the women and older generations.

The photo on the right is of the archway into the graveyard at St Colmcilles Church and it is said to be all that remains of the monastery which once stood on the site.


Picture of Tommy Shields in tropical kit taken in the Red Sea just before war was declared in 1939
Bernish Glen
Bernish Glen
Picture of Tommy Shields in tropical kit taken in the Red Sea just before war was declared in 1939
the graveyard at St Colmcilles Church
the graveyard at St Colmcilles Church


I hope you like these photos and hope that some other people from Carrickmore will submit some of the old photos that they have hidden away.

Best Wishes,

Michelle Nugent


Your Responses:

Catherine Goss - Mar '08

I am also trying to research my family tree and find more information about my great grandfather and his family. He was Joseph Rafferty and was born in Carrickmore around 1875. His father was also called Joseph and was a farmer but unfortunately I have no further information about his mother or any siblings.

My great grandfather joined the Royal Marines Light Infantry in Glasgow in 1895, fought in the China War 1900 and then transfered to the Royal Navy - he was based in Plymouth, Devon.

Don't suppose anyone can help? Perhaps you have a mysterious great uncle Joseph who went off to sea! Appreciate its not much to go on!

Does the church at Carrickmore still hold old births, marriage and death records?

Many thanks


Joe Nugent - Mar '07
My brother has recently returned from Tyrone where he has been trying to trace our family roots. His search has taken him to Carrickmore where we believe the family originated from. My great great grandfather was James Nugent who married Bridget Whelan and we think that they settled in Carrickmore.Our branch of the family now reside in Scotland and we would be very interested in any useful information if any is available !!

Michelle Nugent - Feb '07
Hi Mary, I am proud of the countryside I grew up in and if there are any pictures in particular you would like to see, dont hesitate to let me know and I will submit them to this site. One of my teachers at The Dean was John Keenan, maybe he is a membe of your family?

Noreen Mc Kniff (nee, Mc Donagh) - Jan '07

Mary Whitaker - Aug '06
I hope that others follow your lead. My mother's grandparents and aunts and uncles are buried in the graveyard at St Colmcilles (Keenans of Ard Barren). I have visited from England a few time.
I would love to see some old photos of the area.

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