BailieboroughCounty Cavan

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Rakeevan Farmhouse home of the Donnellys from 1916.
Rakeevan Farmhouse home of the Donnellys from 1916.

The Griffiths Valuation Map of 1955 shows this house and farm buildings located on farm 12 in the Townland of Rakeevan a mile or so east of Bailieborough, County Cavan on the Bailieborough to Loughanleagh road. The farm track to the house is on the north side of the road immediately above the the first farm, number 4, of the Townland of Greaghnadarragh. It is still standing today, although delapidated internally, and can be seen from the road.

It was purchased from the landlord Young (minors) in the 1890's by my great grandfather Patrick Donnelly and his wife Mary Clarke, known as the Porras and rented out until after their deaths in 1901 and 1911 respectively. It was left to my grandfather James, Porra, Donnelly, born 1875, who had emigrated to South Africa where he was employed as policeman in the Transvaal Police Force. He returned in 1916 with his wife Mary Kozant and their daughters and farmed it until his death in January 1942. The photo shows James standing to the right hand side in front of the house with my brother Freddie, born to his daughter Patricia Donnelly, standing in the front doorway. The photo was taken in 1941 and the following year James was killed when he slipped and fell from the house roof while trying to repair a slate. My grandmother Mary, mother Patricia and my two young brothers were in the kitchen at the time and ran out to find him laying dead on the ground.

In December of the same year Patricia while still staying with her mother had an accident in a pony and trap, was thrown to the lane and after being taken back to the farmhouse gave birth to a son who only lived for a short while. The baby was buried at the foot of his grandfather's grave in the Peter Donnelly's family plot in Teevurcher Cemetery.

After Patricia left and Mary was left on her own she moved to her daughter Sheila's home across the road in Ballinamony farm. She could see her old Rakeevan home from the farm. It was lived on and the farm tended by her grandson Anthony Tully but now stands empty.

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