While extensive information about Tony Malone's family is not readily available online, the hill and Tony's residence hold significant importance in the local storytelling of Clara. What adds intrigue to this narrative is the contribution of an anonymous poet who sought to emphasise the presence and significance of Tony's Hill. The hill possesses a unique feature as it is composed of lime, which is quite uncommon in a bog environment. Generations of the Malone family inhabited a stone hovel on this hill. Tony Malone, along with his wife Judith Ryan and their family, were the final occupants of this dwelling. In the early 1900s, they eventually relocated to Raheen in Clara.
“Erry Old and Clashawaun” by Joe, Q.C.
Westmeath Independent 30 July 1904
“Oh, Erry dear, how oft I think. Of your green clad hill, and valleys fair In memory I see again, The pleasant scenes I knew down there. The shady grove, the hill and dell, The moor that stretched far to ‘the Bawn’, The lonely walks, the murmuring streams, Round Erry old, and Clashawaun. “I see again the old ‘ Shed Field’ The ‘Piper’s Stile’, the ‘Moineen’, too; The ‘Hollows’ where the camans clashed, While many a one stood by to view; And the dancers, light and quick of foot, - No neater ever tripped the lawn - Their equals only can be met In Erry old, and Clashawaun. “I hear ‘the Standards’, hurls resound, The ‘New Road’ to the front once more! They’ve laurels gained on many a ground, Both now, and in the days of yore; And every Gael is staunch and brave, No cowards they, to crouch or fawn, They’ll plant their flag some day, to wave, O’or Erry old, and Clashawaun. “I listen to ‘the Brook’s’ low roar, The plover’s squeals so sharp and shrill. I watch the grouse and wild duck o’or The brow of ‘Toney’s famed old hill’- The curlew and the snipe and teal, - How oft I heard them at the dawn. As the factory horn’s notes would peal O’or Erry old, and Clashawaun. “What fun was ours at dance or spree, Or at the bonfire near ‘ the pool’ What tales were told ‘neath ‘Toney’s Tree’ What yarns in the corner stool! How happy I, when by my side I had my blushing ‘colleen bawn’ The fairest maid of all was she In Erry old, and Clashawaun. “Ah mo! I am far from Erry, now, Where life for me held many charms, No more I’ll see its grand old hills, Its cosy cots, and well kept farms,- May ev’ry blessing e’er abide At dark; and noon and early down On, all the dear friends who reside; In Erry old, and Clashawaun. “Joe Q.C.”
LITHA Festival - Summer Bog Festival - 24 June 2023
In the early 1950s, Owen Colgan constructed the road leading to Tony's Hill on behalf of Coillte. The purpose behind this road's creation was to facilitate easier access for turf cutters and to assist Coillte in establishing and managing their tree plantation.
The house where they lived was a sprawling and spacious dwelling frequently visited by card players. Card games and drinks were enjoyed until the early hours of the morning. In the vicinity of the house, several other members of the Malone family resided. According to legend, when visitors departed Tony's house during the dark hours of the night to cross the bog, which lacked a proper pathway, Tony would wait for some time, allowing the visitor to reach the main road. He would then call out, asking, "Are you home?" to confirm if they had safely made it to their destination. The visitor would respond with "home," reassuring the Malone family that their friend had safely crossed the bog.
Based on the birth certificates, the couple had a child named John, born on December 27, 1867. It appears that this child might have passed away, as they had another child named John, born on October 17, 1876. At that time, the family had relocated to their new residence in Raheen. Unfortunately, there is no existing record of the baptism of their daughter, Ann Malone. It is plausible that she also passed away before being baptized. The birth records were provided by Catch Minnock, who obtained them from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the United States.