Bandon, County Cork

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Droichead na Bandan
—  Town  —
Oliver Plunkett Street, Bandon, West Cork - - 212040.jpg
Oliver Plunkett Street
Motto: Auxilio Dei Parva Crescunt  (Latin)
"With the help of God small things grow"[1]

Ireland location map
Red pog.svg
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 51°44′46″N 8°44′06″W / 51.746, -8.735Coordinates: 51°44′46″N 8°44′06″W / 51.746, -8.735
Country Ireland
Province Munster
County County Cork
Elevation 30 m (100 ft)
Population (2006)[2]
 • Town 5,822
 • Urban 1,721
 • Environs 4,101
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference W488551

Bandon (Irish: Droichead na Bandan) is a town in County Cork, Ireland. With a population of 5,822 as of census 2006, Bandon lies on the River Bandon between two hills. The name in Irish means "Bridge of the Bandon", a reference to the origin of the town as a crossing-point on the river. In 2004 Bandon celebrated its quatercentenary. Bandon is sometimes called the "Gateway to West Cork". Bandon's official website is .


In September 1588, at the start of the Plantation of Munster, Phane Beecher of London acquired, as Undertaker, the seignory of Castlemahon. It was in this seignory that the town of Bandon was formed in 1604 by Phane Beecher's son and heir Henry Beecher, together with other English settlers John Shipward, William Newce and John Archdeacon. The original settlers in Beecher's seignory came from various locations in England. Originally the town proper was inhabitated solely by Protestants, as a by-law had been passed stating "That no Roman Catholic be permitted to reside in the town".[8] A protective wall extended for about a mile around the town. Buildings sprang up on both sides of the river and over time a series of bridges linked both settlements. Sir John Moore, later leader of the British Army, who was killed in the Peninsular War at Corunna Spain in 1809, was governor of the town in 1798.

During the 19th century the town grew as a leading industrial centre which included brewing, tanning, distilling, corn and cotton milling. The now closed Allman's distillery produced at one point over 600,000 gallons of whisky annually.[9] The industrial revolution in the 1800s and the advent of the railways had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural ecosystem of the area. Local weaving operations could not compete with mass produced cheap imports.

Major General Arthur Ernest Percival was commander of the British garrison in Bandon in 1920-21 during the Irish War of Independence. He was subsequently the commanding officer of the British troops who surrendered Singapore to the Japanese forces in 1941. In 1945 he was invited by Douglas MacArthur to witness the surrender of Japanese forces in Tokyo in 1945 which ended the Second World War. Irish army leader Michael Collins was killed in an ambush at Béal na mBláth, about 9.6 km (6.0 mi) outside Bandon.

During the Irish War of Independence, Bandon’s Protestant population, which was largely unionist, suffered from Irish Republican Army (IRA) reprisals. Between 1911 and 1926 the non-Catholic population of Bandon dropped by 45.5%.[10]

Niall Meehan, however, writes that the killings were not "motivated by either land agitation or by sectarian considerations." Brian Murphy, citing a British document A Record of the Rebellion in Ireland in 1920-1921:[11][12] wrote that:

the truth was that, as British intelligence officers recognised in the south, the Protestants and those who that supported the [UK] Government rarely gave much information because, except by chance, they had not got it to give. An exception to this was in the Bandon area where there were many Protestant farmers who gave information. Although the Intelligence Officer of the area was exceptionally experienced and although the troops were most active it proved almost impossible to protect those brave men, many of whom were murdered while almost all the remainder suffered grave material loss.

He concludes that "the IRA killings in the Bandon area were motivated by political and not sectarian considerations. Possibly, military considerations, rather than political, would have been a more fitting way to describe the reason for the IRA response to those who informed." [13][14]

Castle Bernard, the seat of Lord Bandon was also burned during the Irish War of Independence.


  • Bandon Summer Fest is a family orientated festival run by a volunteer committee held over the August Bank Holiday weekend.[1]
  • The Bandon Music Festival takes place every June Bank Holiday weekend. In 2009 acts included Mick Flannery, Mundy, The Flaws and The Hogan Band. In 2010, Saturday night's headliners were Jack L and his band who were supported by Tupelo. Sunday night was joint headlined by both Fred and The Delerentos.

The 'Bandon Festival of Lights' took place on 1 December 2007. This event saw the illumination of the brand new state-of-the-art Christmas Lights.

Twin cityEdit

Bandon has a twin city agreement with Bandon, Oregon in the United States. That city was founded in 1873 by Lord George Bennet, a native of the Irish Bandon who named the American one after it, and who is known especially for having introduced gorse into the US ecology with some disastrous results.

Transport & communicationsEdit


Notable local figures include :

  • Graham Norton the BBC 1 chat show host lived in Bandon and attended Bandon Grammar School. His mother still resides there.
  • George Bennett was born in Bandon in 1822 and graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with degrees in Arts and Law. His history of Bandon, which was released for public sale in 1869, has been a great source of information for this article. He went to Oregon in 1873 and founded a town which he named Bandon.
  • Author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, who wrote numerous Victorian era novels, lived in Bandon until her death of typhoid fever on 24 Jan 1897.
  • Dr James Murphy was born in Bandon in 1844. He devoted a large part of his career to the study of political history and economics. In 1919 he was invited to Buckingham Palace to give a talk to leading surgeons on a new method of amputation.
  • Eugene O'Keefe (1827–1913), a brewer and businessman, emigrated to Toronto in and established the O'Keefe Brewery, which would later be bought by the Carling Brewery. O'Keefe was a philanthropist to Catholic institutions.
  • Cornelius O’Sullivan, the ‘founder of the science of bio-chemistry’, was born in Bandon in 1842 and in 1866 he was appointed assistant brewer and chemist to Bass & Co. He later became the head brewer in 1894. He died in 1907 and was buried in Ballymodan graveyard.
  • Sir George Strickland Kingston, who emigrated to Australia and became a prominent civil engineer, architect and politician, was born in Bandon in 1807.
  • Sir Richard Cox, Lord Chancellor Of Ireland was born in Bandon, 25 March 1650
  • Joseph Brennan, (1887–1963),Chairman of the Currency Commission and Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland
  • William J. Herlihy born 1818 and his son Timothy J. Herlihy born 1857, Dean of the Quartermasters of the Fall River Steamship Line.
  • Rev. James Long, an Anglican priest and orientalist who published the first English translation of the play Nil Darpan
  • Lloyd Jones (socialist), Cooperative Society activist, four times President of the Co-operative Congress, born Bandon 1811, died London 1886

Sports and Community GroupsEdit

  • Bandon Tidy Towns is a group of volunteers who meet up on Tuesday evenings at 7pm at Hartes Car Park from April until the end of the season. The group is actively seeking new volunteers to help with planting etc.
  • Bandon Rugby Football Club were the inaugural winners of the Munster Senior Rugby Cup in when they defeated Garryowen Football Club in the final in 1886.
  • Bandon AFC play at the Town Park on the Macroom Road. The club has active men's, juveniles and ladies teams. The ladies team play in the West Cork winter league and in the [Cork Ladies Soccer League][2] in the summer.
  • Bandon GAA are affiliated to the Carbery GAA division of Cork GAA.
  • Bandon Tennis Club has three courts at the Bandon Golf Club. The club has active mens, ladies and mixed teams that participate in leagues throughout the year. The children's section of the club is also vibrant with members on the Junior Irish Tennis Squad.
  • Bandon also boasts a fabulous 18-hole Golf course on the grounds of CastleBernard.


There are four secondary schools in Bandon. One of these, Bandon Grammar School, is a fee paying Church of Ireland-ethos boarding school. The other schools include Hamilton High School, St. Brogan's and the Presentation Sisters College. Bandon Grammar School and St. Brogan's are both mixed schools, Hamilton High School is a boys only school and the Presentation sisters is a girls only school.[16] Hamilton High school is now situated in a building near where the Grammar School originally was before moving across the river to its current location in the 1950's.

In Popular CultureEdit

In Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, Gilderoy Lockhart claims to have defeated the 'Bandon Banshee'.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  3. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A.. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. 
  7. ^ Mokyr, Joel (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850". The Economic History Review 37 (Issue 4): 473–488. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. 
  8. ^ Tom Barry: IRA Freedom Fighter by Meda Ryan (ISBN 85635 480 6), page 25
  9. ^ "An Amazing Past". Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  10. ^ 1926 Census of Saorstat Eireann (page 19)
  11. ^ A Record of the Rebellion in Ireland in 1920-1921, Jeudwine Papers, 72/8212, Imperial War Museum.
  12. ^ Brian P Murphy osb and Niall Meehan, Troubles in Irish History: A 10th anniversary critique of The IRA and its Enemies, Aubane Historical Society (2008), ISBN 978-1-903497-46-3 p. 47
  13. ^ name="Irish Political Review' p. 10-11"/
  14. ^ Brian P Murphy osb and Niall Meehan, Troubles in Irish History: A 10th anniversary critique of The IRA and its Enemies, Aubane Historical Society (2008), ISBN 978-1-903497-46-3 p. 45
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Bandon Parish". Retrieved 7 October 2011. 

External linksEdit

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Bandon, County Cork. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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