The contents of a famous old farm and hardware supply shop in Co. Cavan is set to be auctioned off in a two-day online auction.

Ballyjamesduff Mart has been instructed to host a shop and house clearance sale on behalf of the relatives of the late John McKiernan, Corlesmore, Co. Cavan.

The shop is well-known to rural dwellers in Co. Cavan, Leitrim and the surrounding areas and was run by the late John McKiernan outside Ballinagh, Co. Cavan, for over 70 years.

It was no ordinary country shop, and was described as “an emporium that quite literally put the townland of Corlesmore on the map”.

Commenting on the sale, Ballyjamesduff Mart manager John Tevlin said: “The shop’s reputation was that if you were looking for an item and it couldn’t be found anywhere in the country, you would surely find it in John McKiernan’s shop in Corlesmore.

“It’s like going back in time taking a look through some of the 2,000 odd lots in this auction.”

All of the contents from the house and shop will be sold in an online auction which is due to take place on Tuesday, August 30, and Wednesday, August 31, commencing each day at 12:30p.m.

Some of the lots

To register for the auction, bidders must download the MartEye app and go to the Ballyjamesduff machinery logo. There, you will find all the lots and you can register to bid.

The auction includes almost 2,000 lots of everything from gold paint to a 1965 Massey Ferguson 35 tractor which still has its original tax book on which John McKiernan was the sole owner.

There are two forklifts – one Climax and one Finlay and a Ford Focus car with low mileage.

Some of the items included in the lots are:

  • Tea sets;
  • Clothes;
  • Shoes;
  • Nails;
  • Screws;
  • Bolts;
  • Lights;
  • Electric wiring;
  • Switches;
  • Taps;
  • Chains;
  • Tools;
  • Electric fencing;
  • Sinks;
  • Toilet;
  • Baths.

Telvin continued: “There are items in this auction that can no longer be bought anywhere, antique weighing scales, an antique cash register and famine pots. We even have gold paint for sale.”

A full list of the items on sale are available to view on the MartEye app.

The late shop owner

John McKiernan was born in the house beside the shop on March 1, 1924 and spent the 90 years of his life there until he passed away on December 3, 2014.

He traded from the shop in Corlesmore his entire life from the age of 12. He held exclusivity for the county of Cavan from a number of suppliers – including Irish Cement.

John was described as “a skilled trader” and as being “years ahead of his time”.

Lorry loads of goods would be delivered all over the country on behalf of the shop without John ever seeing them directly.

John also dealt in petrol pumps and shipped them all over the UK. A range of petrol pump covers and pump paraphernalia feature in the auction also.

John was the postmaster of the post office in Corlesmore and ran it successfully for almost 50 years.

He took over as postmaster from his mother, on February 3, 1958, at the age of 33 and ran it until he retired in 2007.

Both John’s mother and father, Patrick and Mary Ann were postmaster and postmistress of the post office in Corlesmore commencing on March 15, 1916 – just one month before the 1916 rising.

The first ever postmaster in the post office in Corlesmore was John’s grandfather, John McKiernan who was born in 1829.

He was a farmer who started the post office on November 15, 1880. To give that some context, there was a post office on the site before Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) became the standard by which time around the world is set, before the Oxford English Dictionary was first published and even before the Statue of Liberty was shipped to New York City.

But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and the time has now come for the clearance auction.

Concluding, Telvin urged interested parties to take a look through the lots which are photographed and available to view on the MartEye app.