Aghabollogue, pronounced ha-la-boo-low, accented like cantabile, is nine miles from Cork City, west and a little north. Absolutely no reason to go there unless you're going there.
Sometime in the 1840s, David Twohig left it behind forever to come to America. If he was like his granddaughter Molly (my grandmother), he had black hair, cornflower blue eyes, and a long, expressive upper lip. If he was like my grandfather Pat, he could give a good accounting of a come-all-ye. If he was like my mother Florence, he had an eidetic memory. If he was like my aunts and daughters, he was impulsive, generous and romantic. If he was like my grandchildren, he was bright and extremely stubborn. He settled first in Illinois and then in Iowa. I don't know if he married in Ireland or here, but it is certain that his wife too came from Cork. Like most great-grandmothers her name is written down as Mary. They didn't starve.
The countryside now is almost entirely grassland, divided by crumbling stone walls topped with shaggy hedges. Tucked in close to the narrow roads, there are a few well-mannered little houses belonging to retirees or to patoral souls willing to make the long commute to Cork or Blarney.
The Muskerry Hunt rides through here with its famous pack of harriers, The cottages of the susbsistance farmers who lived here before the Famine are gone.
Here and there you may see a few stones standing on stone, covered in moss.
The current church would fit unobtrusively into a strip mall. Its penny candles are lit by pressing a button. (I pressed one for David Twohig and the legacy he smuggled out of Aghabollogue between his legs.) .
There are many fine Celtic crosses and shaped stones with inscriptions weathered illegible. There are hundreds of other graves now only suggested by the quilted shape of the earth. One wall of the old church stands with the sky on both sides of it.
Half a mile away, if you ask for directions, you'll find an old burial ground which gives some idea of the size of the town in the eighteenth century.