There was only one bog in Carrickfinn  island located in the sandy banks between Dunmore and Carnboy.

carnboy
Carnboy, Carrickfinn Island

This bog was cut by the Richard Óg Boyd family and is cut out now. The turf in this bog was a mixture of bog and sand making it quick burning and very hot. All the other families had to cut their turf elsewhere. Most used bogs at Diaragh Annagry and Mountjoy near Ardcrone while others cut in Gweedore. Carrickfinn being a tidal island with no road into it the only way to transport their crop of turf was by boat. There was more work with this crop than their mainland neighbours had. After the crop was won it was taken by horse and cart to the seashore at Annagry Bridge, Toinacnoic and Bunbeg Harbour. The turf was built into stacks and left there until there were suitable spring tides. In the morning they would leave Carrickfinn and sail their boat called a yawl to Annagry where they would spend the day filling the yawl. This vernacular boat was about 26 feet long and and was equipped with a fishing rig. When filled with seven cart loads, the yawl would sink in the water to the last board about nine inches from the gunwale. They rowed back home with the ebbing tide to their little quays adjacent to their farms, or to the strands at Dunrower or Toberahoney to unload their crop. They would sail if it was calm and wind in a favourable art. At the quay the turf was built into a stack and from there the youths in the family would carry it home in creels. When it was at home another stack was built, so from when the turf was cut to it was on the fire it was handed eleven times. The Dunmore folk took their cargo to Dunrower strand and took it home by the cart load. The Carnboy folk took their turf from Toinacnoic, Annagry West to Toberahoney and put it in a shed until they carted it home. This shed was green in colour and was located close to the present day Duffy home. In 1945 the turf was taken home by lorry on the newly constructed Strand Road, thus ending centuries of tradition. Con Bonner was the first lorry driver to take turf to Carrickfinn road.

**The placename Toberahoney is used here in its English form.

Tobair a’ Shonnaigh is an interesting name, the first part of the name means well in English. It’s the second part of the name that is not so easy to ascertain. There are at least three explanations for this name,one meaning was the fox’s well from the gaelige for fox shonnagh. It’s the others that is more interesting, could it be the name of a previous landowner? The Cunningham family lived in the adjoining field and their Gaelige name is Ó Cuinneagáin. The third explanation is the most interesting, just below this seaside well small pieces of wood are washed ashore even to this day and the gaelige for this type of wood is cionnlaigh or kindling.

©Jimmy Duffy 2016

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