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Ballyea farmer once discovered 17th century coins on own land

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Drumquin farmer, Johnny O’Brien made an interesting discovery on his lands in 1982.

O’Brien uncovered a bag full of James II half crowns, buried on his land in Ballyea. A total of twenty-eight coins were stowed away in this bag. These coins were produced in Ireland between the years 1689 and 1691, at a time coined as the Jacobite or Williamite Wars.

They were utilised as tokens of base metal which were later to be exchanged for coins following James II’s retaking of the English throne. The coins established mints at both Dublin and Limerick and came in the form of crowns, halfcrowns, shillings and sixpence.

A total worth of 1,100,00 pounds is said to have been accumulated with this coinage. The ones found in Ballyea were probably produced in Limerick prior to the Battle of the Boyne. Their production was terminated in late July 1960.

An avid reader from a young age, Cian’s love of the archives has been shared by Clare Echo readers who enjoy his Reeling in The Years section. Charles Dickens, Terry Pratchett and Michael Crichton were his favourites writers in his younger years while he was always a fan of studying the opinion columns in The Irish Independent. A past pupil of Lissycasey National School and St Flannan’s College, he is currently completing his final year studies at the University of Limerick in New Media and English. From September, he will be commencing a Masters Degree in Journalism at UL.

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