Thomas Miles O’Reilly (b. 1855 – d. circa 1910) of Ballyknockan was always known as TM O’Reilly. His family was involved in granite quarrying in Ballyknockan from the earliest days and in 1882 TM donated a baptismal font made of Ballyknockan granite to the church at Valleymount.
TM O’Reilly is best known as a local representative and as a journalist and writer. He served as a Poor Law Guardian, as a Local Councillor and was active in Land League agitation. In the 1901 census he described himself as an ‘author and journalist’.
He published a number of booklets and articles on the history of the local area, but none of his writings appear in the major libraries such as the National Library or Royal Irish Academy.
Seamus Balfe recently lent me copy of one of TM O'Reilly’s articles entitled ‘BLACKDITCHES – Its Traditions and its Pastors’, which was published in 1906. I have created a .pdf version of the file (750Kb) which you can read or download, just click on the title.