Mockey’s Hall.

The Ballyhard Hall opened its doors for the first time at Christmas 1933. Though it was built and run by a committee it soon became known as “Mockey’s Hall”, as it was built on land provided by John (Mockey) Mulryan. The site is just on the corner where the Moher/Fartown road joins the main road.
The building was of mass concrete with a galvanized iron roof and was built mainly by the committee members themselves. They included, Martin Burke, Clonlara, Pat McGuire, Barna, Martin Hegarty, Gortnadieve and P.M. Garvey, Ballyhard (who provided the materials).
Dances were held every Sunday night except during Lent and Advent. Admission was usually four old pence for men and ladies were allowed in free of charge. From time to time special 2a.m. dances were held when admission was one shilling, but this included tea, which was served at Mulryan’s house 200 yards from the hall.
The resident band changed personnel from time to time, but those best remembered are Haverty Kelly, Tommie Murray, Mattie Lohan, Bob Collins and Sean Devaney. Master of Ceremonies was John Dooley, Fartown, who announced each dance and blew a whistle when the set was complete. The hall had a good hard-wood floor and Mick Pettit Moher was in charge of shaking “Lux Soap Flakes” in order to keep it slippy for the dancers.
As well as dances the hall was used when a local group put on a play called “Biddy Bedamned” in 1934, and travelling shows also visited several times. The venture was quite a success for several years, though competition was keen from another hall just a mile away owned by Augustine (Auggie) Collins and also from the Town Hall and Timothy’s.
Around 1940, with the onset of the war, emigration, scarcity of bicycle tyres, lamp oil etc. the hall closed and was taken over by P.M. Garvey for use as a store. Some few years later the roof was taken off and the floor removed. The walls were finally demolished in 1981.
Author: Malachy Donelan