By Jerry Jack Owen Daly, Local Historian and Storyteller, left the Crimea 1938, aged 17
“The Boer War was finishing at the same time, and there was six or
seven tenants here. And Tom Ned over in Gortavallig (he was the
sublandlord of this area at the time), this was all called Gortavallig
then. And they used to go south (for Tom Ned), one of them would go
south when they’d have a calf
trespassing… maybe this land here was belonging to two fellows now, and there was no ditch and my cow would go east to you and here goes to row, and fists and sticks, and one of them would go south and Tom Ned had a cardigan, a great cardigan they said, and he’d catch it, and he had one bad
hand and he couldn’t put his hand into it and it’d be hanging off. And do you see above, the old house there, look, do you see, there’s a bit of a cliff there, look, hanging out and Tom Ned would come there and they’d all come
to him then and he’d say; “Yerra, goddamn and your souls, sure isn’t there enough for all of you”… And they worked it away from there and they’d all go away again and then in maybe two months time the next thing they’d scrap up again. And they called it the Boer War, and the Crimea then, and wasn’t the Boer War fought in the Crimea?”
The Walk then goes over the hill into Gortavallig (“field of the pathway or disused road”) where there are remains of a 19th century copper mine. Although the miners path at the cliff edge and the fenced off shaft holes are clearly marked with warning signs – PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL.
The Gortavallig Mining Company, later the South-West Mining Company,
was the brainchild of William Connell, the Cork businessman. He also had
a copper mining in Coosheen, Schull and other places in West Cork,
where he used local labour, but the miners were imported from Cornwall,
mining was an established industry. The houses built on the cliff where for the Cornish miners, and the superintendent, or “captain”, as he was called, was also a Cornish man named William Thomas.