Places of Worship – Tullyrusk

Tullyrusk – ancient church and burial ground

The ancient church and burial ground is situated in the townland of Tullyrusk. The 1830’s Ordnance survey map marks the place as a “ruin” and “graveyard”.

The site lies in the middle of a field close to the intersection of what is now called Fort Road and Leathemstown Road. The older maps show access via a lane situated off the Leathemstown Road.

The graveyard is still in use today and is interdenominational. It is difficult to locate. There are no signs indicating its location to the visitor. There are distinctive yew trees, often associated with places of rest, to be seen from the road. Access to the graveyard is across a field. There are still those with memories of funerals where the coffin was carried by horse and cart to this graveyard.

There are commanding views of the countryside, Lough Neagh and beyond from the graveyard. The Mourne Mountains , Ram’s Island and County Tyrone are all visible to the naked eye. Francis Joseph Bigger, M.R.I.A, (1863-1926) describes the scene as he found it in the early 20th century, in his own inimitable way.

Tullyrusk Views

Tullyrusk Views

View from Tullyrusk Graveyard with<br />Mourne Mountains in background

View from Tullyrusk Graveyard with
Mourne Mountains in background

On my last visit to the graveyard in September 2007 I found the outside of the graveyard, beyond the ditches, ringed with nettles. Stones were visible in the ditch surrounding the graveyard. On closer examination of some of the stones it was obvious they had once been part of a built structure, probably the church that once stood on this site. There are steps leading up to double iron gates. A notice hung on the iron gates reads “Please keep these gates closed. Thank-you.” The graveyard is still in use. A burial had taken place there recently.

Tullyrusk Graveyard Stones

Tullyrusk Graveyard Stones

Tullyrusk Graveyard Stones

Tullyrusk Graveyard Stones

Tullyrusk Graveyard showing entrance gates

Tullyrusk Graveyard showing entrance gates

I have not transcribed all the text from the headstones in the graveyard. The headstones record interments dating to the 18th century. The following surnames appear on the headstones. I have included some brief details of a few of them. The dates in brackets indicate the earliest inscription date on the headstone.

Adams, Ballynacoy (1874)
Adams, Hillhead (1890)

“Here lyeth the body of Bryan Clofse of Derryaughe, farmer who departed this life June 4th 1794 aged 79 years. Requiscat in Pace.”

Bryan Clofse Grave

Bryan Clofse Grave

“Here lyeth the body of Andrew Close who died May 24th 1758 aged 75 years also the body of Ann Close who depd. this life July 14 1767 aged 73 years.”
Close (1793)
Commerford (1911)
Conway, Belfast (1869)
Coshnahan (1761)
Dornan family, Stoneyford
Hood (1868)
Jordan, Leathemstown
Jordan, Quakerfield
Lavery, Holywood
Magee, Ballymacward (1841)
Magee, Belfast (1873)
James Magee, Lambs Moss
James Magee, Ballydonaghy (1887)
Patrick Magee who died 29th June 1798 aged 52 years and his wife Jane who died in 1817

“Sacred to the memory of William Magee late of Belfast who departed this life the 29th November 1823 aged 65 years. This stone was created as a small tribute of respect to one of the best husbands by his afflicted widow.”

William Magee Grave

William Magee Grave

James Matchet died 13th December 1816 aged 72 years and his wife Elizabeth who died 30th November 1825 aged 71 years.
“Here lyeth the remains of Margaret Matchet who departed this life on the 13th August 1806 aged 27 years, also the remains of John Matchet who departed this life the 22nd day of May 1776 aged ? Years.”
McCartney, Killultagh (1884)
“Erected by Abygill McLarnon in memory of her parents James McClean died December 29th 1879 aged 88 years, Margaret McClean died March 1, 1891 aged 78 years. Brothers: James McClean died Dec 1 1866 aged 13 years. Adam McClean died Dec 1 1866 aged 11 years. Johnathon McClean died Jan 25 1916 aged 78 years. Sisters : Deborah Hamilton died Sept 19 1872 aged 33 years, Margaret McClean died Jan 28 1902 aged 58 years. Jane McClean died Dec 26 1916 aged ? 68 years. Nephews Adam McClean died Oct 8 1915 aged 46 years. Henry McClean died May 22 1915 aged 30 years at Waterfall, Sydney, N.S.W. Australia.”
McConnell, Rock
McGarry (1862)
McGarrity, Budore
McGee, James (1817)
McLarnon (1887), Budore
McLornan, Bohill (1861)
McLornan, Tullyrusk (1785)
McLennan (1841)
Mulholland (1871)
Orr (1905)
John Phillips, Magheragall, who died in 1870 aged 65 years and his wife Mary who died in 1884 and other members of their family
Phillips, Derriaghy
James Rice from Bow Street, Lisburn who died 1885 and family

In the following extract from Rev. J. O’Laverty, he refers to the grave of William Close and he refers to the inscription on the headstone. When I examined the headstone it now reads:

William Close
in memory of his son
Rev. William Close Parish Priest
of Newtownards
who departed this life on the 5th
November, 1868 aged 40 years.
May his soul rest in peace.

William Close Grave

William Close Grave

There is a slight variation in the detail and date of death as recorded by Rev. J. O’Laverty. Perhaps someone at a later stage changed the headstone details.

Tullyrusk Ancient Church

Extract from “Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland – Parishes of County Antrim VII 1832 – 1838”.
Thanks to The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast for permission to use this extract.

Tullyrusk Ancient Church

The runs of Tullyrusk ancient church of Ireland and burial ground is situated on a handsome eminence in the townland of Tullyrusk and contiguous to a leading road from Castle Robbin to Antrim. Of this ancient church, which was situated nearly east and west, nothing at present remains but the ground or foundation walls, which are grown over with earth and grass. As near as can be judged from the present dilapidated state of the walls, the church stood 61 by 19 feet in the inside, walls of rough whinstone and grouted lime, and 3 feet in thickness. The interior is now occupied by graves. The graveyard is enclosed by a quickset fence and an iron gate to the entrance, which stands on the south side, and several stone stairs ascending the gate.

The following are amongst the names and surnames on headstones in the graveyard: Andrew, Bernard, Bryan, Daniel, Eneias, Felix, Patrick, John, James, Robert, Roger, Thomas, William, Ann, Eleanor, Elizabeth, Letitia, Molly, Mary, Margaret, Hannah.

Surnames: Boyes, Close, McGee, McLernon, McLornan, Tolan, Matchet, Medowel, Hammill, Hovron, Potts, Kennedy, Weatherup, Waters.

1724 is the earliest date legible on any headstone and 88 years the greatest age. At the heads of graves are several rude headstones without any inscription on them, and the majority of graves without any headstones whatever. Few bury here at present but Roman Catholics. The Irish cry accompanied the funerals of the latter class of people to this graveyard up to 1817.

A large portion of the church walls remained up to 1800, when they were taken down to build a schoolhouse in its neighbourhood. The altar, which is said to be of stonework, was discovered in sinking graves in the interior at some former period. It stood at the east gable.

The church is said to have been destroyed by Cromwell, but of its founder or to what saint’s name it was dedicated there is no local account, save that it was founded under the direction of St. Patrick. It is said to have been a chapel of ease attached to Shankill, Belfast, and also that the 4 townlands of Tullyrusk, to wit Tullyrusk, Budore, Dundrod and Knockcairn, constituted a small parish for its support.

Headstone Transcriptions

The following is an extract taken from “Memorials of the Dead Ireland Vol IX 1913 – 1916”.

Tullyrusk graveyard (From Mr. W.F. Reynolds.)

“This small graveyard lies about eight miles from Belfast, and, perhaps, four miles north-west from Dunmurry, at the back of Collin Mountain. It is surrounded by fields, the approach to it being through a farm-yard. The gravestones are almost all upright and in fair condition, but, owing to the exposed position of the place, are much blackened, and difficulty is experienced in reading their inscriptions. Many graves have no stones.”

Here lyeth the body of Alexander Witherup who departed this life February 16th 1780 aged 60 years.

Elizabeth Waters departed this life January the 15th, 1720, aged 63 years.

Erected by Letitia Kennedy in memory of her father, James Matchet, who departed this life Decemr 13th, 1816 aged 72 years. Also her mother, Elizabeth Matchet who departed this life Novmr 30, 1825, aged 71 years.

Here lieth ye body of Thomas Havron who died, on the 10th of November 1800, aged 63 years. Also his daughter, Mary Havron, who died, on the 14th of Agut 1801, aged 38 years.

Sacred to the memory of William Magee, late of Belfast who departed this life the 29th November, 1823, aged 65 years. This stone is erected as a small tribute of respect to one of the best Husbands by his afflicted widow.

I.H.S. Here lieth the remains of Patrick Magee who departed this life, 29th June, 1798, aged 52 years. Allso his wife Jane Magee, who departed this life, April 14th, 1817, aged 70.

Erected by John Gordon, of New York, U.S. in memory of his father John Gordon, of Ballymacward, who departed this life, on the 10th of November, 1824 aged 57 years.

I.H.S. Here lieth the remains of James Dawson who departed this life, 17th December, 1835, aged 50 years. Also his daughter Eliza, who departed this life, 10th May, 1854, aged 26 years. Also his wife, Sarah, who departed this life, 14th July, 1859, aged 74 years. William Dawson departed this life, 16th October, 1887, aged 65 years.

Erected. I.H.S. by Charles Hilland, of Belfast, to the memory of his daughter, Ellenor Hilland, who departed this life, the 10th June, 1839, aged 10 years. Also Elizabeth Hilland who departed this life, the 8th April, 1844, aged 2 years. Also Ellenor Hilland who departed this life the 10th Novr, 1841, aged 2 years. Also the above names Charles Hilland, who departed this life, the 19th Feby, 1852, aged 56 years. Lamented by all who knew him. Also his daughter, Isabella Hilland, who departed this life, the 10th July, 1854, aged 7 years. Also his daughter, Jane Hilland, who departed this life, the 8th Novr, 1858, aged 21 years.

I.H.S. Erected by John McLarnon, Snr, of Tulleyrusk in memory of Felix Magee; died 24th June 1827, aged 88 years.

Here lieth the body of Andrew Close who died, May 24th 1758, aged 75 years. Also the body of Ann Close who departed this life, July 14th, 1767, aged 75 years.

Here lieth the body of Bryan Close, of Deiryaughey, farmer, who departed this life, June 4th, 1794, aged 79 years. Requiescat in Pace.

I.H.S. Here lieth the body of Henery Davey, of Dundroad, who departed this life, January 18th, 1800, aged 71 years. All———lieth the remains of Henry Davey, of Knockarin, who departed this life, December 10th, 1810, aged 25 years. Who lived beloved & died lamented.

Here lyeth the remains of Margaret Matchet who departed this life, on the 13th of August 1806, aged 27 years. Also the remains of John Matchet, who departed this life, the 20th day of May, 1776, aged 54 years.

Here lieth the body of James Magee who departed this life, 23rd Decr, 1817, aged 41 years.

Memento Mori. I.H.S. Erected by John Tolan in memory of his father, Enias Tolan, who departed this life, on the 5th day of May 1820, aged 59 years. And also his wife, Fanny Tolan, who departed this life, February the 10th 1846, aged 92 years.

I.H.S. Erected by William Toland in memory of his father Hugh Toland, who died, 12th August, 1824, aged 54 years. Also his mother, Jane Toland who died, 8th June, 1856, aged 92 years. Also his brother James Toland, who died 7th April, 1844, aged 23 years. Also William Toland who died, 24th Sept, 1884, aged 76 years.

I.H.S. Memento Mori.
Erected by Daniel McLernon, of Leathemstown, to the memory of his Grandmother, Hannah McLernon, of Tullyrusk, who departed this life, on the 6th May, 1781, aged 53 years. Also her son, Bernard McLernon, who departed this life, on the 23rd of October, 1791, aged 20 years. Likewise his father, Daniel McLernon, of Leathemstown, who departed this life, on the 10th of June, 1828, aged 60 years.

Erected to the memory of Alice Magee of Ballymacward who departed this life, on the 20th January, 1814, aged 64 years. Requiescant in pace.

I.H.S. Erected to the memory of John Magee, of Ballymacward, who departed this life, 9th October, 1848, aged 73 years. Requiescat in pace.

I.H.S. Erected by Sarah Magee, of Ballymacward, to the memory of her husband, Patrick Magee, who departed this life 25th June 1850, aged 34 years. Requiescat in pace.

(The above three Magee stones adjoin each other)

I.H.S. Erected by Roger Close to the memory of his father, Roger Close, who departed this life, July the 26th 1793, aged 65 years. Also Molly Close, wife to the undernamed who departed this life the 26th August 1801 (or 1807) aged 69 years. And by Wm. Davey in memory of his mother, Nellie Davey, & of his aunt, Jane Kennedy, also of his uncle the above named Roger Close. R.I.P.

Erected in memory of James Alexander who died 11th May 1844, aged 80 years.

(All above inscriptions were copied from upright stones)

The following extract is from a book titled “Memorials of the Dead” printed in the early 20th century.

The church of Tullyrusk stood in the town land of that name, being distant from Glenavy about three miles. There is an extensive and well-enclosed churchyard in which the Protestant dissenters and Roman Catholics chiefly bury.

Note – Mr Ewart says no part of this church now remains except the foundation. It was 62 feet long and 18 feet wide.

Extract from Diocese of Down & Connor Ancient and Modern Volume 2 by Rev. J. O’Laverty P.P.M.R.I.A.
Published by M.H. Gill & Son, Dublin.

The Parish of Derraghy includes the whole of the civil parishes of Tullyrusk, Derraghy, the parts of the civil parishes of Lambeg, and Drumbeg, which are in the county of Antrim, and a part of the civil parish of Shankhill; but the boundaries towards Belfast and towards Templepatrick are very uncertain.

Te entire parish of Tullyrusk, with its various chapels belonged, in the reign of Henry VIII, and perhaps from a very remote period, to Shankhill Church, in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas “Ecclesia de Talarusk” is valued at 40s. The ruins of the old church, surrounded by its graveyard, occupy the summit of a hill, which rises gently from the surrounding swampy ground. It obtained from this circumstance its name Tulach-Ruisce – “The hill of the moor.” The foundations of the church measure 63 by 19 feet. The cemetery is a favourite place of interment with many of the old families of the neighbourhood; in it repose the remains of the William Close (see Parish of Newtownards); on his gravestone is inscribed –

To the Memory of
The Rev. William Close, P.P.,
Who died October 10th, 1868.

A portion of a small stone cross still remains in the graveyard, and the old “holy well” situated some distance to the north of the graveyard, is said to supply the best water in the vicinity.

Extract from “Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland – Parishes of County Antrim VII 1832 – 1838”

Thanks to The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast for permission to use this extract.

In modern times this parish is commonly known by the name of Tullyrousk or Tullyrusk, as pronounced. In Archdall’s Monasticon Hibernicum, St Patrick is reported to have founded a church in Tulach and Father Colgan states that it is now called Tulach-ruisc, which no doubt is the present parish of Tullyrousk. Tullagh-riasg, “the moory hill”: see Statistical account by Revd E. Cupples.

It was anciently situated in the territory of Killultagh in the south or upper Claneboy and county Down, and now belongs to the manor of Killultagh, barony of Upper Massereene and county of Antrim.

It is one of the united parishes of Glenavy, Camlin and Tullyrusk, in the diocese of Connor, province of Armagh, the reputed patron being the Marquis of Hertford, to whom the rectorial tithes belong. “Tullyrusk is called a grange in the registry of Connor and a chapelry in the terrier and regal visitation book. It was probably either a bishop’s mensal of a chapelry dependent on some of the great monastries. In 1604 the curate paid 2s in synodals and in the year 1622 10s in procurations.”

“There is neither church or chapel in the parish. An old graveyard points out the site of the ruins of an ancient church said to have been founded by St Patrick, the foundation walls of which are now scarcely perceptible. As far as they can be traced, its length appears to have been 66 feet, its breadth 26 feet. The style or quality of the architecture cannot now be distinguished.”

Old Tullyrusk

The following article first appeared in the “Ulster Guardian” 22nd July, 1916.

The spelling of place names appear as in the original publication.

OLD TULLYRUSK by Francis Joseph Bigger, M.R.I.A.

It takes a special purpose or a long day, most likely both, to visit Tulach ruisce, the hill of the moor, but the visit is well repaid when the height of its seven hundred feet is surmounted, the distance from Belfast is not great, scare seven miles due west, but that would take eagle wings to overtop the high dome of Divis, our dominant hill rising 1,567 feet above the sea and 450 above Ben Madighan or Cavehill. Divis (Dubh ais) is the Black mountain, the name usually applied to the smaller height lying to the South, so prominent from the Lagan Valley. Then there is another Black Mountain lying to the east of Divis, and it too overtops Cavehill by 150 feet. All the Divis mountains are in Shankill parish, but just where Shankill parish joins Tullyrusk parish, on its eastern limit, stands another spur named Armstrong’s hill. The Armstrong’s clan, the O’Laverys, whose name was so Anglicised in the penal times though both uses are still met occasionally.

At the plantation of the old stock was driven from the fat lands of the Lagan slopes, from the old churches at Drumbeg, the Bell Tower at Drumbo, the old home of the Brown friars at Lambeg as well as from the new town of Lisburn, built at the foot of the old fort of the gamesters, and the miles of oak wood in Ballinderry; they were harried to the bare lands on the high slopes of Divis and the glens of Altigarron, Tournagrough and Tornaroy and the green heights of the Bouchaill. Here the old earthen forts are still scattered with a plenteous hand, sure signs of a nomadic people given to cattle pasture and the raising of flocks and herds.

The name of Armstrong has an honour that will last as long as Armstrong’s hill raise its brow between Belfast and old Tullyrusk. He was one of Henry Monro’s men and was out with him in ’98, and like his general was taken, condemned and sent to his hanging. His poor distracted wife and lamenting children were admitted to see him to try and shake his honour and save his life. With tears he told the weeping partner of his home: “My life is only one and God will look after you and the children. I will never inform on my fellow countrymen who took part in the rising out. If I did you would not be a widows and many children fatherless, so do not tempt me, machree. People may brand me as a rebel, but no one will ever dare to say I was a traitor.” And so the head of this faithful patriot was spiked beside that of Henry Monro on the Market House of Lisburn. I have been told that his body was buried in Tullyrusk, the last of the old burial places left to the ancient stock, but I could find no trace of his grave there. Perhaps this article may be read by someone who knows the exact spot, and then the neglect may be remedied.

The old churchyard crowns a natural eminence, doubtless on an older earth work, of which traces can yet be seen, and the ruins of the old house of prayer are still enfolded by the graves of the descendants of those who raised its massive walls and knelt before its simple altar. The tombs of the Closes, the Magees and the MacLorinans are marked by many slabs whose mossy faces catch the first rays of the rising sun above Divis top, but there is one that faces the full glory of the western sunset across the bosom of Lough Neagh and the verdure of Ram’s Island and that stands over the grave of William Close.

The caoine, or Irish cry, was last heard wailing around the crumbling walls of Tullyrusk and over the broken cross, lingering around the Holy Well, just one hundred years from now, and there are some who say it can still be heard in the night wind after the burial of one of the old clans.

Standing beside the old church, with the embankments and ruins of a great stronghold lying close to the north, what a fine sight lies before one facing the setting sun. The crew, long known as Craebh-tulcha, is in the middle distance, with its Ulster coronation memories and its records of King Brian Boru and his Munstermen, receiving and giving presents from and to the men of Cinel-Eoghain and Cinel Connaill.

Old place names ful of ancient lore surround the Crew (Craeb-tulca), the hill of the spreading tree. We know that sacred trees were usual at coronation sites, and it was a grave offence to destroy or mutilate them.

We have Derrycillultagh, the oak wood in the men of Ulster’s forest; Legatariff, the bull’s hollow; Lurganteniel, the place of assembly; Aghanlis, the fort field; Aghacarnain, the field of the little carn or burial place; and Temple-cormac. We can only conjecture who Cormac was just as we must do regarding Maeve in the name of Ballypitmave.

Dozens of names as old and full of meaning lie in sight of Tullyrusk, all worth spending some time over and elucidating, which can only be safely done after visiting the places and applying some knowledge of the old tongue.

The Crew is also a dominant central site, though not so high as Tullyrusk, but the lands around it have stronger verdure and a richer depth than the breezier height of the old church yard. There is no doubt that these high places were used in the old days by a proud and heroic race, able and capable of raising wide earth ramparts for rites and pastimes as well as protection and shelter for warrior, hearth and cattle, and for homes where the women folk could dwell in comparative safety, where children could be nestled and youth trained. Beyond the Crew, a little smoke rises from the street of Glenavy, and beyond it lie the wooded point of Gartree, with the fringes of Sandy bay; Lady Bay (further south) just over the reeds and rushes of Portmore, and the flat osier and apple meadows of Feemore and the Tuney and the pleasant lands and useful boats of the Fitz-geralds; for there is a well established branch of this famous Leinster clan along the lough shore, vieing with the O’Mulhollams in number and skill. Inis- daircairgren, as Ram’s Island was once named, fill the bay with high branching trees and heavy shade that the sun’s rays cannot pass through. Out beyond the Island lies the wide expanse of Lough Neagh reaching to the High Cross of Ardbo; fit guardian of the woods and passes of Tir-Eoghan, and a continuous benediction on the fisher-folk; with the Towers of Volunteer Dungannon as easily discernable to the eye as the memory of the great Earl Hugh Hill wrote of this scene many years ago in his poem on the emigrants forced to leave their own land.

Lough Neagh, they used at close of day
Along thy silent strand,
To watch the sun set far away,
O’er old Tir-Eoghan’s land;
The fading light, how like the flight
Of hope from Install –
From holy hill so green and bright,
From haunted wood and vale.

And often were their children told
Of Lough Neagh’s silent strand,
And of the sunset, spread like gold,
On old Tir-Eoghan’s land.

A sunset seem from Tullyrusk across the hills of Tir-Eoghan is a sight never to be forgotten. Crimson views with purple around the flaming centre with light far to north and far to south ever contracting as the day departs. The lake lies like a golden mirror now streaked crimson and again glowing with purple and slashed with gold. Sometimes fanciful lands appear, tall stemmed trees and yellow headlands with rushing torrents and deep wooded glens ever changing with the sun’s glow and finally disappearing just as mysteriously as they came into view. So real appears the mirage, so positive the features, that even imagination pales before the delusion of the eye. The old races from the heights of Tullyrusk were we are sure deeply affected by such scenes, and those of the newer race can be equally so when they allow themselves to live closer to nature and be more influenced by her eternal beauty than the contracting influences of every-day life usually provide for.

It is an old road that passes the hill from Dundrod to Tullyrusk- to the north it ran to Antrim, to the south, passing Leathemstown, it swings around the slopes of Mullaghglass to Castle Robin into sight of the gantries and factory chimneys of Belfast.

It is not a very long day’s walk to Tullyrusk and back (of course there are easier ways of locomotion). Let the younger readers try it and they will have no regrets when they arrive back tired in the evening. A knapsack fairly provisioned is all that is required to complete a pleasant outing and perhaps a book, though close continuous physical observation is more advisable than literature on such a journey.

Extract from Betsy Gray; Or Hearts of Down

A Tale of Ninety – Eight
By W. G. Lyttle

A United Irishman, who gave his name as Crabbe, was the first person hanged for treason in Lisburn. He suffered death on a lamppost at the corner of Castle Street, Lisburn, and right opposite the Market-house. The charge against him was that of having a pistol in his pocket and a green cockade hidden in his hat. Some reports went to say that he had been a clergyman, but no direct proof of the fact was ever brought forward, nor did a single secret connected with his history transpire, from that day to the present. He was taken prisoner in one of the bye-lanes in Lisburn, and in three hours afterwards he was tried, convicted and executed. A very fine looking man, named Armstrong, was at the same time taken into custody. Several letters were found sewn up in the inner lining of his waistcoat, and the contents of these communications showed that he must be engaged in the proceedings of the Insurgents. As in all other cases, the members of the military court were very easily satisfied respecting a prisoner’s guilt and promptitude in trying persons being very popular, their deliberations were short, and conclusions were rapidly arrived at. Norbury himself, bloodthirsty as he was, never delighted more in the destruction of human life than the members of the court-martial at Lisburn.

Armstrong was sentenced to die, but in the hope of exacting more information from the condemned man, he was told by persons in authority that if he gave full information of all he knew respecting the Insurgent leaders his life would be spared, and a large reward bestowed upon him. To strengthen this proposal, or rather to give greater force to the temptation, his wife was sent to him, and the poor woman, in the frenzy of her affection, flung herself on her knees before her husband, beseeching him to accept the terms. Terrible was the struggle of the poor fellow under this trying appeal; but after a moment’s thought, his firmness, which had partly forsaken him, returned to him with renewed strength, and no influence could be brought to induce him to give any information likely to inculpate his comrades. “My life,” he said, “is only one, and God will watch over my widow and children. Were I to become informer, torrents of blood would be shed, numbers of wives would be made widows, and hundreds of children left fatherless. In after days many persons may brand me as a rebel, but no one will dare to say that I was a traitor.” No matter what opinion may be held as to the righteousness of the cause which Armstrong suffered; every honourable minded man will, however, admit that in this instance he displayed dignity sufficient to throw a halo round his memory, and that under all the circumstances his death was that of a hero. Armstrong came from Tully rush (Tullyrusk), where he now lies buried.

Whole volumes might be filled with romantic incidents both as regards deed of mercy and doings of darkness.

A Stoneyford Centenarian — Mrs Catherine Quinn

The following extract is from The Lisburn Herald, Saturday, September 30 1916.


Quinn – September 28th 1916, at her son’s residence, Drumankelly, Stoneyford, Lisburn, Catherine in her 102nd year, widow of the late James Quinn – R.I.P. The remains of my beloved mother will be removed from above address for interment in the family burying-ground, Tullyrusk, on Saturday afternoon at 12 o’clock. Friends will please accept this intimation. James Quinn.

A Stoneyford Centenarian
Born in Waterloo Year

Mrs. Catherine Quinn, of Drumankelly, Stoneyford, Lisburn who died on Thursday morning, had reached her hundred and second year, having been born in May 1815. In full possession of her faculties she maintained good health till the last, there being no signs of acute illness until Sunday. She had a remarkably good memory, and was full of stories of the bygone days, recollecting amongst other incidents, going into Lisburn to see the first train to run between Belfast and Lisburn. Her husband died some 18 years ago, but there are surviving three sons and daughter. Mrs Jack Beattie, Bachelor’s Walk, is a grand daughter.

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