Marie McAllen: Ballyphehane

CFP00617_Marie McAllen.jpg


Marie McAllen: Ballyphehane


Life History: Ballyphehane; Market Gardens; Childhood


Marie was born and raised in Ballyphehane, before and after development of corporation housing. Her Mother’s family name was Cronin and her grandmother was Halloran who owned Halloran’s orchard where the Ballyphehane Church now stands.


26th April 2017




Cork; Ballyphehane; 1930s-2000s


Cork Folklore Project Audio Archive


Cork Folklore Project









44m 21s


Doyle Road, Turners Cross

Original Format


Bit Rate/Frequency

24bit / 48kHz


The following is a short extract from the interview transcript, copyright of the Cork Folklore Project. If you wish to access further archival material please contact CFP,

JF: So could you describe the workings of the fields and stuff around here?

MMC: All market gardening or orchards. They were all market gardening. The first house as you go down into Lower Friars Walk, there was Carney's, a Guard lived there. It was John Coughlan, owned the house, it was rented to Carney, a Guard. And then you went on, there was another house, John Barnett, a builder, was living in it. But it was a Michael Halloran who owned the house, it was rented as well. And then you hit the Hurley's, and the house we lived in Friars Walk was Tim Hurley's. It was rented. And Tim Hurley had a market garden behind our house in Friars Walk and he had four daughters. Three went away to be nuns and there was one got married. And then you went on again, and in Hillview you had three houses, one was the grandmother of the Hurley's, there was Horgans and there was another Hurley lived there, they had nine, there was nine in the family. I think they were them Hurley's. I can go right down to the Tramore Road and tell you who lived there.

JF: Do. No that'd be very interesting. It'd be good to

MMC: So you went all down then, and you had Scannels and there was more Market Gardening. And then you went on and then you had Hosford's, that was an orchard and they were Protestants. And then you went on there was a Cotter and there was a Coughlan living in the next house. That was the end of the houses then at the left hand side. It was all wall and they were all market gardening grounds you know? But then at the right hand side

LOH: Where the church is now Marie is it?

MMC: On the right hand side now, that was the left hand side. The right hand side then was Jim Barrett lived and Joe Barrett, two Barrett's. And there was an O'Connorr lived there and then you went on to William Halloran, our grandmother's brother. He was on the hill now facing Hillview.

LOH: Where the church is now? Just before you go down

MMC: No. They did not have the church at all. This is before the church.

LOH: Before the church was on that side?

MMC: It was down at the side of the church. And you had his daughter was married to a Paddy Foley. And he lived in a house below them and they were market gardeners as well. The whole lot was. And then you went onto the orchard, the Halloran's. So there was kind of a gate, a small gate, and there was a little small house which my aunt lived in, because Halloran's reared them. My grandmother had six daughters and one son. And it was her mother and father reared one of her daughters. And then you had the Halloran house and they had a daughter that never married, Katie, and she was living in the little house. And that's where the church is today.

Time Summary

0.00.00 - 0.04.01

Background information, House on Friars Walk, Doyle Road and eventually Ballyphehane. Father did not want to return to the house he built on Doyle Rd after Marie's Mother Died, instead choosing to be housed in new corporation house in Ballyphehane even though that meant paying rent.

Mother was from Middleton, Father born and raised on Friar’s walk. He went to the model School on Anglesea St. Like to hunt with dogs. Marie went to the South Presentation convent till she was eleven when she move to Guildford, England to her aunties for three month, returned to Ballyphehane but grandmother sick so Marie never returned to school.

0.04.01 - 0.06.35

Ballyphehane in her childhood. All country, spent her days out in the Well Field by the snotty bridge. Pack jam sandwiches, going swimming in the stream and a well for drinking water.

Her child hood house on Friars road was the last house on the road. After that it was all dirt road. It would have been across form where the Marian Pharmacy is now. Across the road was tory top lane (not to be confused with Tory top road). The other street (now Reendowny Place) they called ‘the lane’ but when her friend’s boyfriend the captain of the Innisfallen came looking for her one day he called it First Avenue which subsequently stuck. When her friend married the captain they got VIP treatment on the Innisfallen.

0.06.35 - 0.09.27

The Layout of Lower Friars walk. Market Gardens, all of Ballyphehane was market gardens.

First house in lower friars walk lived in By a guard by the name of Kearney, he rented from Gerry Coughlan. Next house John Barrett the builder rented from Michael Halloran. The house Marie lived in was Tim Hurley’s, he had a market garden all around the house. He had four daughters, three became Nuns. One got married. There was hill view which was three houses, one was grandmother of Hurley’s, one was Horgan’s, and the other was another Hurley which had nine of them living in it. The next family was the Scannell’s who had a market garden. Then Hosford’s a protestant family who had an orchard. Next was Cotter, the last house on left hand side was Coughlan’s.

On the Right hand side of Lwr Friars walk.

Jim Barrett and Joe Barrett, then you an O’Connor. The next was William Halloran Marie’s Grandmothers brother. His daughter was married to Paddy Foley and they lived in the house below, also market gardeners. Next was Halloran’s orchard where the church is now.

0.09.28 - 0.10.18

Halloran’s orchard. Small gate through to a small house, Marie’s aunt lived in. Halloran’s (Marie’s great Grandparents) reared her. Marie’s grandmother had six daughters and one son. Further in was the Halloran house, they had a daughter that never married called Katie and she was in another house. Nat the back of the orchard you had Crowley’s and they had an orchard too.

0.10.18 - 0.11.57

After the Halloran’s Orchard you had Riordan who was involved in the I.R.A. Marie is unsure of the exact details but remembers prisoners being released from England came looking for Riordan, Marie’s grandmother sent them to another Riordan who lived in the big house. Then sent word to the real O’Riordan to get out.

0.11.57 - 0.13.33

After his house there was a lane way to Pouladuff Road. Donovan lived there, they called him ‘Murder the Loaf’ and his son ‘slice pan’. Then the next family was Daly’s on Tramore road in a cottage and that was the end of Friars Walk going down. They Called Tramore road Tramore road, but was also known as Hangdog road. Marie’s Grandmothers brother lived where Healy’s cleaners is which was called low lands, In a big house. Marie was caught kissing her Husband Gerry (her then boyfriend) in the ‘Confessional boxes’ (concrete cubicles) by the priest, Who asked if they ‘had anything better to do?’

0.13.34 - 0.15.14

Halloran’s Orchard. Marie doesn’t remember her great grandparents having it, it was her uncle paddy who ran it. Massive orchard went all the way to Pouladuff rd., with many people employed to pick apples. After Marie’s grandmother got married first she work in the orchard, her husband was a plaster. Originally grandmother was meant to marry a farmer from Ballygarvan, but she was already going out with what would turn out to be her husband and had no intention of marrying famer her parents had matched her with. Great-grandfather told her that all she would get from him in that case is a pair of grey horses to pull her carriage on the wedding day and nothing else. Never got her dowry. So she was the poor one of the family. But it came to her later, one of the Halloran’s that lived by the park died without a will, he was never married, to sell his property every member had to sign, grandmother told not to sign but said ‘what my father never gave me I don’t want’ and she signed it.

0.15.14 - 0.17.08

The city was a million miles away to them, only went in to get shoes and they mostly came from England or hand-me-downs. England had better way of getting things even though it wasn’t too much different there.

Marie’s grandaunt was a very holy person, the night Cork city burned they left the animals from the mart loose, which led to a bull going own Friars walk with its chains hanging and rattle, Marie’s Grandaunt thought it was the devil coming out of hell.

0.17.09 - 0.22.40

There was loads of children on Friars walk, they all played down Friary gardens. The Davis’ had nine girls and for boys, the Duggan’s had ten. All big massive families all Marie’s age, all played together. Games they played: Gobs a game with stones, flick stones/pebbles in the air and catch them on back of hand, the gobs had names ska one and ska two, Marbles or glassy alleys, Picky, and skipping. Recites some skipping rhymes. Loads of rhymes like that. I the summer they would be in their bare feet. Marie thinks they had better childhood than today, better memories than looking at a phones and tablets. Marie thinks Those devices aren’t good for kids, but they need to use them for school. They would play with twine and make pattern from twisting, like the gate and baby’s cradle. Her uncle in Midleton was a tailor, he saved all the reels for her, she would put four tack in them and put thread around and keep flicking them over the tacks and you would have a big rope. Collecting scraps was also big. There would be murder over them, robbing them and everything.

0.22.41 - 0.23.00

Marie had two older brothers, Teddy died of cancer at forty three, and the other is still alive and is eighty, he thought out in C.I.T

0.23.01 - 0.00.00

Food growing up. They saw meat on Sunday, maybe a shoulder of bacon. Plenty of potatoes, vegetables and rice. They could make rice pudding some days. They would have porridge in the morning. You would have to be sick top get an egg. They would eye up the top of the fathers boiled egg and fight over it. Mother would get the bones out of the butcher on Saturday, boil them with vegetables and make a big pot of soup, which would last a few days. Back bones, her husband was never given back bones or bodice because they were country people, so when Marie married her father told her to get back bone with tail, Gerry came in from work he turned his nose up at it. He came round. Bought pigs head convinced husband to eat it, not too convinced, her father kept saying the ear is crispy. Tongue was delicious. Tripe and Drisseen, tripe cooked in milk and onions for a long time, drissenn on the other hand cooked very fast. It’s very good for your stomach. Children wouldn’t touch it.

0.25.45 - 0.27.01

Marie’s Husband, was from Ballincollaig out the country side in a cottage. He moved to Blackrock and they met in the boat club at a new year’s eve dance. Liam went to school with Marie’s husband Gerry in St. Joseph’s. Gerry’s mother wouldn’t send him to Blackrock because she would see the pupils smoking over the wall by the house and see said ‘you’re not going down there, you’ll only learn to smoke down there’ so he had to go to the mardyke all the way from Blackrock. They had to be left off early for lunch so they could get home on the 12.15 bus and back in to school after lunch at 1.30(7km each way).


0.27.01 - 0.36.25

Friars Walk cont. Tory top lane ran at the side of the where the Marian chemist is now. The ex-servicemen’s cottages were in friary gardens. At the end where the bungalows are is where the lane turned off. Johnny Crowley had a market garden there and fed pigs. Bella Dunne her mother Kitty Paul and their donkey was so hungry that it ate the door of the shed. Where Connolly road side of the park was called the field, they played there. Barbed wire divvied it from the graveyard, little bit down was McCloughan’s cottage, then Neville’s slaughter house next to another Halloran. By the front of the graveyard there was a big red brick building with toilets and a water font. All countryside, no house after that. Barrett’s on friars walk off Derrynane Rd?

Big house in playing field (tory top park) Catharine Mahoney called Catherine ‘snowballs’. And Noel ‘the goat’ and his wife’s mother nanny Callaghan they used to sit her out in a chair Marie thought she was ‘dotie’ thinking about it now she had dementia, they used light paper and put it in the chute to torment them (they called it thunder up the alley), he would come out in his long johns, and they used to call him the ‘devil out of hell’. There was a pump outside their house. House in the park was used as community centre. Then was ‘First Avenue’(now Reendowny Place) at the end of the houses you crossed a field to pouladuff, Noel Halloran lived in the first house, he was killed down in Dunlop’s, a man Meaney, Callaghan’s, Leary, Fitzgerald’s Harris’. They used to call this area the cross, friars walk with ‘first avenue’ and tory top lane being the other roads.

Mrs Harris had teeth that were always coming out, Marie’s brother told Marie that they were the father’s teeth.

Paddy the milk man , the grandmother used to make Marie get a sup for the cat off him.

CMP dairy not on tramore road at time it was a big house. And where Vita Cortex factory is was Ballyphehane House, which was used a school while Coláiste Chríost Rí on Capwell was being built. The woman who lived by there used to wash the football teams jerseys she was call Mag ‘the Whalloper’ she moved to murphy’s lane , they called her husband ‘Hollywood’ because of his immaculate dressing. All bog down there by Mercier park. Turners cross pitch was all bog. The train line ran passed it. Also the Tramore river from the ESB pitch and putt was all open but no a lot is piped over.

0.36.25 - 0.39.55

The Building of Ballyphehane. Marie’s brother worked on it. Big change, her house was taken to they could build houses. Brother was sent to Skerry’s college (civil service training) but after 2 months it was discovered that her brother was just hanging out in Fitzgerald’s park and not attending college. So he was marched to Leaders for a bib and brace sent to Ballyphehane and learnt his trade on the house facing the graveyard.

Marie was thirteen when the development started, she loved it, it modernised her life and luxuries such as Lennox’s Chipper and everything else, very positive.

On the cross they would have a huge Bonfire every year and put new potatoes in the corner of fire and all eat spuds. No traffic, only horse and carts, they used to ‘lang on’ (hang on) the back of the ‘floats’ (flatbed carts) that brought the men back from the docks.

She wouldn’t say she made friends with the new people moving in, but she was at the age where she was chasing fellas so she welcomed the new arrivals.

0.39.55 - 0.40.59

Haunted house or scary stories. . Scanlon’s house where one of them hung himself, another then was put in to the mental home on the Lee road. They had that kind of tendency in the family.

Marie used to go to graveyard where Fr Matthew’s grave was a you could see a coffin in a sarcophagus that made them run away.

0.41.00 - 0.42.50

Say’s she had a fabulous upbringing in her youth, freedom, not like now. On her school holidays they used leave the house go to the well field with their togs, no towel and stay out till five in the evening, no worries. Couldn’t do that today.

That house Marie lives in now on Doyle rd was built entirely by her father 80 years ago. All the tradesmen help each out. Marie’s daughter lives on Derrynane rd and was brought in to the neighbour’s house to be shown signatures of the tradesmen that worked on the house and Marie’s fathers was there.

0.42.51 – 0.44.21

Revised the Black and Tans story, all names of people living in house was written behind door and they’d check if it matched.


Interview Format



Cork Folklore Project , “Marie McAllen: Ballyphehane,” accessed May 29, 2023,