Ballycarry. Co. Antrim
Once Known as "The Place Of Learning"
Ballycarry into the early years of the 1600's was a very significant irish Catholic community, with a Monastery where monks were known to have been writing books away back as far as the 9th Century, as soon the village was known as 'A Place Of Learning'. This was all changed when English and Scottish invading armies attacked the community , massacreing and scattering them in the 1600's, the church was burned down and even the resting place of the dead levelled to obliterate any sign of the Irish people.
Under the evil Penal Laws England imposed, “If a catholic kept school or taught any person, protestant or catholic, any species of literature or science, such teacher was, for the crime of teaching, punishable by law by banishment, and if he returned from banishment, he was subject to be hanged as a felon.”
One cruel invader, a John Chichester, brother of the infamous, murderous Arthur Chichester whom previous Belfast councils were very fond of naming streets afer, was beheaded by the Irish nearby to Ballycarry.
Above is the imposing grave of James Orr, better known as "The Irishman" due to his role as a United Irishman and having written a poem of that name. The ruins of the old protestant church can be seen in background, I say protestant as although Edward Brice preached in the church it never actually belonged to the Presbyterian church. The ruins of the old church stand roughly on the site of the ancient Catholic Church I mentioned earlier. Behind and to the right of Orr's grave is the grave of young William Nelson who was hanged in the village for his United Irishmen's views, and behind that is the grave of the legendy United Irishman, James Burns who it is said manned the cannon at the Battle of Antrim in the Irish Rebellion of 1798. What I think is so laughable these days is how Unionists are now trying to claim men such as James Orr "The Irishman", and William Orr and Henry Joy McCracken as not having professed their loyalty, not only to Ireland, but to the aspiration of an Irish Republic...ignorance is bliss.
Above; the old ruins of the protestant church in the cemetery would have been close to the site of the ancient Catholic Monastery which was levelled, it has been noted that .. :— “ In the year 1649, there were in Ireland 23 bishops and four archbishops. In the cathedrals there were, as usual, canons and dignitaries; the parishes had pastors, a great number of priests, and numerous convents of regulars. But after Cromwell had attained to supreme power, all were scattered. Over 300 were put to death, 1,000 more driven into exile. Four bishops were slain, the others were obliged to fly to foreign countries, except the Bishop of Kilmore, who was too feeble to be removed. In 1641, there were in Ireland 43 houses of the Dominican Order and 600 religious. Ten years after, there was not a single house in their possession, and three-fourths of the religious were dead or in exile.”
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