After driving through Killarney National Park we made our way east on N22 toward Macroom where we met Bealick Mill on the River Larney. This water-mill dates back to the early 19th century.
The location of this mill is very important in Irish history for other reasons as even the mill’s name is derived from “Bealach Leachta”, a route used by local saints. There are also standing stones nearby which commemorate the battle of Bealach Leachta, a legendary battle fought in 978AD.
The present building , erected in the early 19th century as a corn mill, served the surrounding parishes. Hardings of Firville, local landlords, were the first owners. Macroom-Cork Direct Railway transported the produce to the Port of Cork for export.
Macroom had electric street lighting from 1890, courtesy of SamuelBaldwin’s solid fuel generating system. It was one of the first towns in Ireland to enjoy such a luxury. The Town Commissioners decided to upgrade the service in 1899 and Macroom & District Lighting Syndicate installed a water powered generator at Bealick, which was now known as Looneys Mill. The mill supplied the town’s street lighting until the advent of the Electric Supply Board in 1935. Francis St. Aubyn Horgan of Firville bought the property in 1936. He used the water power his foundry, Macroom Engineering Company which manufactured manhole covers, road signs etc. up to 1964.