Select Maloney Miscellany

Here are some Maloney stories and accounts over the years:

Molony Names

Molony or Moloney is O'Maoldhomhnaigh in Irish, denoting a descendant of a servant of the Church.  It is seldom if ever found with the original prefix "O" although the name is 100 percent Gaelic.

Molony is a Dalcassian sept belonging to Kiltannon near Tulla in East Clare where they are very numerous today.  It is also found in equal numbers in the adjoining counties of Limerick and Tipperary.  However, some families in northern Tipperary now called Molony are not
O'Maoldhomhnaigh but O'Maolfhachtna, which occasionally has been anglicized to Maloughney and MacLoughney. 

Kiltannon House

The Molonys managed to hold onto Kiltannon House in the 1690's by a fortunate clause in the Treaty of Limerick which exempted serving officers within the city walls.  In 1828, James Molony of Kiltannon was a deputy lieutenant and high sheriff for county Clare.  In 1878 it was estimated that the lands comprising the Kiltannon Estate numbered 10,000 acres with a rateable valuation of 2,500.  It was then owned by Major William Mills Molony.  His son Colonel William Malony was the last of seven generations to own this estate.

Kiltannon House was an attractive, pale brick three-storey mansion with stone facing which overlooked rolling parklands of mature trees of both native and imported variety.  The house was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1920.  With it went several unique family mementos, including a marble table and an inlaid set of playing cards.  This classic heirloom was said to have been given to Bishop John O'Molony by Louis XIV in atonement for having once lost his temper when playing and tearing up his card.

Father Thomas Molony's Testimony on the Effects of the Potato Famine

It was against a background of public concern and Government inaction that Father Molony was called before Poulett Scrope's Select Committee at Westminster in 1850. 

He told the Committee that many of those evicted in the famine years were previously holders of small farms of 10-20 acres for whom the failure of the potato crop forced their default on rent payments, leading to eviction.  But many were also evicted despite having paid up all the rent due.  Many more were forced to level their own homes in order to be eligible for relief under the poor law.

The stoppage of outdoor famine relief has produced the worst food crisis since the famine began.  He himself had been appealing from the altar for parishioners to "keep their neighbors alive" until such time as relief were restored.  With supplies of cabbages, turnips, and other alternative foods already exhausted, "the people's sufferings were extreme."

A Molony Eviction in Clare

This article appeared in the Clare Journal of June 1899:

"One of the hardest cases of evictions which has taken place in West Clare for some time past was that of Michael Molony and his family on the Annally estate at Ballina near Labasheeda.  Owing to the losses of cattle and other reverses, Mr. Molony, one of the hardest working farmers in the whole countryside, fell into arrears of rent.  After his cattle and other effects were seized from him in satisfaction for the landlord's high rent claim, the final step of dispossessing him was being resorted to.

Much sympathy is felt for Mr. Molony.  His friends and fellow tenants in the parishes of Killofin, Kildysart, and Kilfiddane have promised to stand by him until a settlement is made.  A number of other tenants on the estate are under notice of eviction.  To show practical sympathy with them steps are being taken to hold a monster meeting at Kildysart."

Maloneys on Bonaventure Island

As William Maloney had fought adainst the Americans in their war of Independence, he was eligible for grants as a United Empire Loyalist.  He applied for land, shipbuilding rights, and a tavern license and was told that he was eligible as long as he signed the Test Oath.  In this oath, one swore to repudiate the papacy, the mass, and something about the Blessed Virgin, William - according to his descendants - told them to stick it and ended up with a land grant only.

This land on Bonaventure island remained in the family until 1971 when the Quebec Government expropriated it as a bird sanctuary and the last descendant, Sidney Maloney, moved to Coin du Banc - leaving the largest gannet colony in the New World to the gannets.

Moloneys To Newfoundland

The following were the Maloneys recorded as coming to Newfoundland during the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century:

  • Walter Molony (from Waterford), in Little Placentia (now Argentia) in 1732
  • Andrew Molony, in Trinity in 1772
  • Andrew Maloney, in St. John's in 1782
  • James Molony (from Tipperary), married in St. John's in 1808
  • Elizabeth Malowny, in Harbor Grace in 1812
  • and Thomas Molony, in Witless Bay in 1847.  

Moloneys from Limerick in Australia

The year 2003 marked the 150th year anniversary of the arrival of the Moloney family from Knocklong in Limerick, Thomas and Ellen Moloney and their five children, to Sydney.  Their descendants duly celebrated.

John Rafferty, one of these descendants, wrote of their early times in Australia.

"The family spent some years searching for a place to settle but eventually decided on the area of Bumble nrear Moree NSW, a small town on the northwest plains some 400 miles from Sydney.  To get there they had to cross the mountains of the great dividing range, presumably on foot and wagon train with all their personal belongings.  On arrival, however, they found some of the best sheep and cattle grazing lands in the world.  And the town of Moree was being developed.

In 1861, Mr. Moloney paid 40 for the land on which he built The Limerick Hotel and became the postmaster.  The mail-coach route developed considerably after 1871 and the hotel flourished."

Many Moloneys still remain in the area.

The Seed and Three Generations of Maloneys

The play opens with Rose Maloney, an Australian journalist travelling to England to meet her Irish grandfather for the first time.  Rose is accompanied on the journey by her father Danny, a ten pound Pom and a subsequent Vietnam conscript.  When they reach the poor Nottingham terrace house of Granda' Brian, an IRA soldier in his younger days, it is to gradually uncover the most common of family secrets - that memories in fact bear no resemblance whatsoever to the facts.  

From the initial intimate reunion, the play opens itself up over and over again until a silent family battle becomes a national story about finding new life amongst the rubble of old wars.


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