The webpage of the Youth Ministry of the Irish Province of Augustinians

Horse and Jockey - Location of Provincial Chapter

History of Horse and Jockey

Where the village of Horse and Jockey stands today was very different in 1740. Two thatched cabins surrounded by several trees and open fields marked the place. It was the mail car operated by the British government that gave some notoriety to the place.  The coach used to stop to water their horses and after a while one of the cabins developed into a licensed Inn. Shortly afterwards a new Inn was built on the premises. This Inn was set to give the crossroads village its name. The Inn has been continuously trading for over 250 years and was once a popular meeting place for Wolfe Tone's United Irishmen in the 1790's.

An industrious little village soon began to grow up around the inn.  It boasted of having Michael Caudy, a cobbler and shoemaker as well as Jack Carthy and Tom Barry who were the blacksmiths. Two threshing mills owned by Dick O’Keefe were built into thriving businesses and the post office, owned by Tim Barry, brought a whole new level of life to the village. A railway line from Thurles to Clonmel, which delivered goods daily, began to stop in this busy village. It made deliveries to the Publican (Richard O’Keefe) and to the Grocer (John O’Keefe).

In the early sixties, road widening commenced and most branch lines such as the Horse and Jockey station were due to be closed. The famous bridge was reckoned to be dangerous because large heavy trucks were now transporting goods and frequently got stuck on the bridge. This was to bring about a dramatic change in the fortunes of Horse and Jockey.  
1996 saw the demolition of the bridge. 2006 saw the last phase of the extensions to the hotel to complete the complex into what it is today. 2008 then saw the reconstruction of the main Dublin-Cork road which had always run through the village. Now that the village had been by-passed, the road quietened, and the village lost much of its busyness.
The hotel now provides an important centre for local events and family occasions for many people in the area and provides the mainstay and focus of many activities in this village which, in many ways, has returned to the tranquillity from which it originally developed.

This year the Irish Province of Augustinians will hold their Ordinary Provincial Chapter in Horse and Jockey.  Perhaps, as the Province faces the reality of significant change, the holding of the Chapter in a place which has seen such dramatic changes may well provide the friars with an encouraging sign that when things change they don’t necessarily come to an end.

Article posted on 10th of May 2013

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