The O’Mahony’s of Cullina had no connection with the O’Mahony’s of Dunloe. They were two distinct families, those of Cullina were originally rich butter buyers of Cork. They bought the district west of the stream Spideog, in other words, the area that is now covered by the townlands of Cullina Lower and Upper with some districts in he Black Valley. Their residence was Cullina House where Maureen Foley – Coleman now lives.
Kean O’Mahony was in possession of the estate in 1830 and in 1835 gave two acres of land towards the erection of Cullina National School and thereafter were Managers of the School.
This Kean O’Mahony was a cousin of Bishop Egan, Bishop of Kerry, and when he visited the Parish in 1833 he stayed in Cullina House and said Mass in the house. The O’Mahony’s were landlords of Cullina Upper including Ballagh and were anything but benevolent. They also had 5067 acres of mountain in Crossderry, the Valley. They kept possession of the demesne themselves and that included the lands now held by Maureen Foley Coleman, Annette Welsh, Jack McCarthy, John D. O’Connor, John Moriarty and all the land north of the road and known then as Gurrane Demesne.
Gurrane House (residence of Mr. Bracken) was built in 1800 where Miss Frances O’Mahony and Kean and Donal O’Mahony lived – they were sister and brother of Myles O’Mahony who stayed on in Cullina House. On the death of Myles the beautiful wood south of the Board of Works road went, as Myles willed to the church and was afterwards known as “The Bishop’s Wood”.
It was sold in 1938 to Dan Coffey and Dan Breen for £180 and three years afterwards on the outbreak of World War II was sold to Mac Mahons of Limerick for £5,000 who cut down the wood. On the death of Miss O’Mahony, who spent a good deal of time in Italy, Gurrane Demesne was sold in 1918. It was divided into ten plots of about ten acres each.
The original owners from the East:
James Fogarty. (2) Charles Foley. (3) Denis Fogarty.
(4) Patrick Coffey. (5) Gurrane House and Plot, James Coghlan.
(6) John Cronin. (7) John Coffey. (8) Phil O’Sullivan.
(9) Maurice Foley. (10) Patrick Kissane.
Thomas MacDonagh Mahony, nephew of Myles Mahony got possession of Cullina House and the remainder of the demesne and he redirected it to a Mr. Clifford of Caherciveen and afterwards to Tim Foley who got full possession of the estate in 0923. Joseph Bell was given the part now owned by Annette Welsh and Denis Connor, the farm where John D. O’Connor now lives. James Mangan, grandfather of John Moriarty got the best farm in the parish where John Moriarty now lives. Each tenant of the plots of Gurrane Demesne have equal rights to the fishery in the River Laune along the whole Demesne.