The McCarthy O'Leary family lived quite near the mill until the building of the mansion in the Park. The site of the first residence is still marked by the ruins known as "The Kennels" - the entrance at that time being through the Black Gate. The mansion was built about 1800.
Purchase of McCarthy O'Leary Estate:
The good work begun by Rev. C. O'Sullivan, Adm. in the purchase of the Wallis Estate was an incentive to his successor, Very Rev. Canon Casey, to make a further effort on behalf of the parishioners on the McCarthy O'Leary Estate. After repeated efforts success crowned their combined efforts and the tenants of this estate purchased their holdings in 1907. The actual purchase took place that year but final arrangements and transfer of ownership was not accomplished until about 1921.
The Wallis Estate:
Wallis is supposed to have got ownership of all the town and country property from the Bridge to Drishane in the following manner. Wallis lent money to McCarthy O'Leary who was unable to repay. He was tricked into a bond and Wallis foreclosed and took over ownership of the property. The second portion from the Bridge west to Coomlegane remained the property of McCarthy O'Leary. This would seem to show that the McCarthy O'Leary Estate still covered all the town long after Drishane had passed into non-Catholic hands.
A rather lengthy account of the Purchase appeared recently in the Kerryman and I give it in full as it is most interesting :-
"In the summer of 1900 a rumour spread around the town of Millstreet, Co. Cork, that the Wallis Estate was to be sold in the Land Judge's Court. It interested the townspeople because about three fourths of the town was built on the Estate. A few of the people met and decided to interest the Rev. C. O'Sullivan Adm. (afterwards Lord Bishop of Kerry) to ask his advice and assistance.
Both were freely given and on his suggestion a meeting of the people interested was called at which the following Committee was elected :- Rev. C. O'Sullivan, Adm., Chairman; Mr. M. Murray, Hon. Treas.; Mr. D. Linehan, Hon. Sec; Messrs D. Tangney, J. Potts, T. J. O'SuIlivan, T. O'Keeffe, J. Cooper, D. O'Sullivan and D. Reardon.
The Committee had two primary objects in view - first that each holding in the town be sold separately to enable the occupiers to buy their own houses and, second, that if the sale was to take place by auction, the auction be held in Millstreet.
Then began the long drawn-out battle before Mr. Justice Ross, but finally both objects were achieved and the auction was fixed for July 1901. Messrs Wm Marsh and Sons, Cork, were the Auctioneers and the auction was held in the old