Tag Archives: history

Tour of historical Claremorris

Tune in tomorrow (Saturday, September 8th) at 1pm to listen to a recent tour of historical Claremorris, which took place as part of heritage week. 

The tour, which was led by Pat Keane, brought the walking party through our town, a town that in the past featured at the heart of change and revolution. Buildings and people lead the narrative, from the lightening strike on St. John’s Protestant church in 1828 to Rev James Hughes the caring pastor during the famine years. 

At other stops on the tour, Pat recounts the burning of the RIC Station during the Civil War; the occupied Claremorris with its 1,700 inhabitants and 6,000 billeted soldiers in training for the trenches of WW1 and an assault on the Foresters Hall  Sinn Fein meeting by some of those same soldiers which lead to a swift retreat to camp.

Then there’s Cardinal Dalton, Jim McNabb, Jordan’s Hotel, the Bianconi coach stop, Brett’s and the custom stops; the Square, where Denis Brown hanged Richard Jordan and James O’Malley for their attack on the town in 1798.

The tour attendees also got to meet the Grays in Mount Street: John the surgeon, media mogul and MP who brought Dublin its first water supply; Wilson who founded a Land League in Victoria, Australia. Also on Bóthar Garbh the famed Irish language map maker, surveyed and collector of Irish literature.

Finally, the tour finishes with Hughes’s and Nally’s Hotels and the founding of the most revolutionary Ladies Land League by Anna Parnell in James Street, where there were once faction fights and visits by the most wanted man in the British Empire, John Devoy.  Here was started the National Land League, the Connaught GAA and, from here, left many crowds to protest their subjection.

Handed Down and Passed On

Third and fourth classes at Claremorris Boys NS 1935.  Boys from this picture were collectors. (J. Mullee, T. Ruane,T. Dowd, C. Rushe, M. Keane, V. Downey have stories).

Starting on Sunday next, September 2nd, Handed Down and Passed On is a four-part series that is gleamed from the 1937-1939 National School’s Folklore Collection (Bailiúchán na Scol). In our area we are lucky to have a rich contribution, (52 manuscripts from 49 schools and comprising 5,908 pages). Of the 49 teachers many are still remembered, and these fruits of their labours do them much credit. James P Griffith and Mary Stack, Ballindine; Karie |Walker, Balla, Mrs Bridget Hanley and Séamus Mullarkey, Taugheen; Mrs. McManus, Irishtown; An tSiúr Síle, Mount St. Michael; Seán Ó Laoire, Ballyfearna; Mrs. O’Malley, Murneen; Micheal J Kelly, Cuilltebo; Thomas Connolly, Loughaunnaman; John Costello, Meelickmore to mention but a few.

The contributions of 1930s pupils are presented by fellow townland residents and/or descendants of story collectors or story tellers from the collection.

Handed Down and Passed On will be broadcast on Sundays at 5pm, and repeated the following Tuesdays at 7pm.  The four programmes each cover one aspect of folklore and tradition:

  • Programme 1: The World of work with crafts, skills, self-sufficiency and physical hardship.
  • Programme 2: Marriages, weddings, feasts, dowries, matches, strawboys, making merry, fun and games.
  • Programme 3: Health and sickness in a time without many doctors, home cures, herbs and superstitions, the quack and the piseog saving man and beast.
  • Programme 4: Leisure and sport with great feats of strength and endurance, walking far, running fast, jumping high and long. Our heroes remembered and honoured again whether they surpassed all in games, in music or in lore.