Select Driscoll/O'Driscoll Miscellany

Here are some Driscoll/O'Driscoll stories and accounts over the years:

The Origin of the O'Driscolls

According to one legend, Lugh Ith was the leader of an expedition of Celts who arrived in the Baltimore area seeking to escape Roman domination.   He was given the name Hy Drisceoil or O hEidersceol which comes from the Irish Eidersceol meaning "go-between" or "bearer of news."

The first mention of a name resembling Driscoll occurs in the Annals of Inisfallen wherein the death of Conchobar Ua hEtersceoil in 1103 is reported.  He was king of Corca Loegde.

The O'Driscolls and Their Fishing Rights

In 1609, an inquisition was held in the town of Rosscarbery which examined the extent of the O'Driscoll holdings and the income that they had brought in.

According to the records of the inquisition, every ship and bark that came into the harbor of Baltimore paid the chief lord O'Driscoll Mor four pence sterling to anchor there.  If the ships came to fish, then the lord was also paid nineteen shillings and two pence, in addition to a berrel of flour, a barrel of salt, a hogshead of beer, and a dish of fish three times every week on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from every boat.  If the boats dried their fish in any part of the O'Driscoll country, they also had to pay thirteen shillings for the rock.  If the boats fished between Fastnet and the Stagges, but only stayed for three nights, two shillings and eight pence were to be paid to the lord, in addition to fish three times every week as above, and eight shillings and six pence if they dried their fish on a rock. 

In addition, if any fishing boat were to sell fish in Baltimore or its environs, O'Driscoll Mor was to receive six shillings and eight pence for every hundredth white fish and every barrel of herrings or pilchards sold.

Peerless Jim Driscoll's Funeral

By any reckoning, it was the biggest funeral that Wales had ever seen. 

On February 3 1925, an estimated 100,000 people lined the streets of Cardiff in respectful silence as the cortege slowly wound its way from St. Paul's Catholic Church in the Newtown district of the city to Cathays cemetery.  Following the obsequies, the solemn funeral procession moved onto North Road where the coffin, draped in the Union Jack, was transferred from the bearers' shoulders to a gun carriage.  The band of the 2nd Battalion moved to the head of the procession - now over a mile long - playing the funeral march, while soldiers of the regiment carried their rifles reversed in honor of a dead comrade. 

Children from Nazareth House, the city's Catholic orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity, carried striking floral wreaths in honor of their staunchest supporter and patron, while a number of former Welsh boxing champions and representatives of local government and the military were also in attendance. 

At the conclusion of a brief graveside service in the gathering dusk, the Last Post was sounded.  "Peerless" Jim Driscoll, champion boxer and winner of a coveted Lonsdale Belt, philanthropist and people's champion, feted son of Cardiff's "Little Ireland," was dead.

Colonel Daniel Patrick Driscoll

There is some doubt as to where he was actually born.  It is generally thought that he was born in Burma. However, his Indian naval records indicate that he was born in Limerick, Ireland.  He sailed from India to East London in South Africa in 1899 where he joined the British in the Boer War.  Driscoll's Scouts were formed in March 1901.  The Australian author A.J. Hales published a novel-style book called Driscoll King of Scouts, a slightly exaggerated view of his exploits during the war but no doubt with elements of historical fact in it.

He returned to the UK in 1902 with a letter of introduction to Roger Pocock and became one of the prime movers behind the Legion of Frontiersmen.  A picture of him, entitled "The Old Warhorse," was published in Vanity Fair in 1911.  After the war he sailed on the Durham Castle for Kenya where he became a soldier settler, purchasing a coffee farm and subsequently becoming a District Commissioner.  

The O'Driscolls in Ireland

Within Ireland the O'Driscolls do not stray far away from SW Cork.  In the index to Griffith's Valuation there are 1,321 O'Driscolls and variants.  Of these, 85 percent were in County Cork.  Matheson's surname analysis based on 1890 births yields 91 percent.  Further, Matheson's report shows that of the 121 Driscoll births that year, only one was outside the province of Munster.  A similar analysis of the 2000 electoral rolls for the Republic of Ireland leads to the conclusion that even today 53 percent of the O'Driscolls are in Cork.   

The Corner House in Baltimore

Bernadette O'Driscoll welcomes you to the Corner House, a friendly family-run guest house right in the heart of Baltimore.  Enjoying a commanding view of the harbor, the Corner House is within easy reach of everything in the village and only 50 meters from the seafront.

We offer B+B accommodation in comfortable en suite rooms with a full Irish breakfast.  Dinner is also available by prior arrangement.

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