top of page

Tales From Mangan's House Of Parliament

Written by very Rev. J. Bennett P.P. in 1986

The house which stood in the corner of the cross roads in Prosperous opposite the public house known as the "George Inn" (Christy's) is long since gone and in it's place now stands our fine new school opened in 1985 by the new bishop Dr. Lawrence Ryan, his first Episcopal duty. It was names "House of Parliament" because in it all the seers, philosophers, and jokers of the village assembled there two or three nights a week to discuss all local topics. In my time as curate about ten neighbours gathered here and since my workman, Charlie Boland was one of the senior members, I always had first hand knowledge about the proceedings. All classes and creeds were represented and every subject from religion to politics found it's way on to the agenda from time to time. I should have mentioned that the owner of this remarkable house and property was one Andy Mangan, who like Melchisedech of old had neither beginning or end. In fact, it was from a distant relative in Ballyfermot that I purchased the site for our school. Andy also had a turf bank and having saved the crops and ricked it carefully on the bog, he drew it home as he needed. The small donkey was as quaint as Andy himself and he slid along in his bare feet silently through the village. You only heard the "Hob"! "Woe"! as the driver always on foot, steered the model T from the bog to the cross. 

Andy always had a good bright fire of white or brown turf. The "court jesters" as they were called, sat on hobs and forums well protected from draughts. The crack went on till near midnight. Andy was an astute observer and his yarns enlivened many a cold night in cosy "Mangans Parliament". How Doyle got his own back on the pigs: Andy had known this man Doyle for a number of years. He was a lazy farmer and was never in time with his Spring sowing. He kept a lot of young pigs. Of course at this time of the year he would have to let them out to forage for themselves. They would make for the potato field, root out the seed an destroy an acre of good promising food in a few days. Into the bargain they would have as much exercise and excitement as food, but it kept them going for a few weeks grunting and squealing like mad. 

After a year or two of this carry on, Doyle had enough and vowed to come even with those "hogs of hell". He prepared for the crops as usual, putting in the manure in the drills but no seed. He then let the pigs out, took up position at the kitchen window where he could enjoy the confusion of the mad animals firing clay and manure all over the place. Every now and again he would shout in his laughter - "Well ye confounded bastards that will learn yous a lesson!"

Written by very Rev. J. Bennett P.P. in 1986 for the book Prosperous A Village Of Vision


Andy Mangan's "House of Parliament" situated where the primary school is now. Local seniors met here and discussed local current affairs, politics and religion.

bottom of page