Carradoogan, Attymass in Co. Mayo

The townland of Carradoogan lies in the north east of the parish of Attymass near the town of Ballina in County Mayo. It contains 488 acres of land, which includes a lot of bogland. There is a fort (S.49 no.90) in the village. Lough-a-coilleen which is situated in the village forms a boundary with Derreen and a stream on the north west forms a boundary with Byhalla.

The tops of the Ox Mountains overlooking Carradoogan are inhospitable, waterlogged and full of bogs. Hundreds of years ago they would have been cut for turf. The saved turf would have to transported down to the village 800 feet below. Initially this was on our fore bearers backs and later using ass and creels. To make their hard life easier they built the "Staighre" (Stairs).

The "Staighre" was a pathway in the village which ran for about two miles through the lands now owned by Padric Walsh and Mrs Durkan to the mountain top.

Great care was taken in constructing them. Flagged stones set carefully, they zigzag upward, presenting a stepped flat surface for the walker. Here and there they bridge rivulets and in places are obviously terraced to accommodate steep ground.

Folk memory recalls donkeys with their 'creels' of turf making their way down these stairs. On other occasions the stairs were the footpaths used by those going across the mountain to church at Attymass or visiting relations in one of the villages along the foot of the mountain.

From Carradoogan to Battery Park City New York In the 2002 Carradoogan was thrown into the spotlight with the news that the centrepiece chosen for the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan was an old stone-built farmhouse from the townland.

Owned by brothers Tom and Chris Slack, the simple ramshackle field-stone cottage which predates Famine times was selected to become the central feature of a £4.3 million Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City, The Slacks donated the house to the memorial project.

The derelict, part roofed cottage was dismantled by a team of experts and shipped to New York where it was painstakingly reassembled in its derelict form to help recreate the air of desolation which pervaded Ireland for many years after the Famine, which mercilessly decimated the native population through death or emigration.

However it was not to be full re-assembled in its previous form; the modern corrugated tin roof was removed and the cottage left as an exposed ruin.

Also, because of New York's seismic and general building codes, the rubble filling between the fieldstone rock layers, was replaced by modern concrete. It was officially dedicated and opened on Tuesday July 16th in New York with many dignitaries present for the occasion.

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Irish Hunger Memorial