Monday, December 31, 2012

Some History Snippetts of Abbey Row, Athenry by Ronan Killeen

Above left Photograph: Two seperate pictures of Abbey Row, Athenry. On the left photography you can see that the handball alley/piece of the Athenry Dominican Abbey and Old National School are together. The man on the bridge is
unknown including the year of the photograph.[1]

Above right Photograph: The right handside photograph has the Old National School in it but not the handball alley/Athenry Dominican Abbey. The photograph on the right actually called Abbey Bridge[2], which is apart of the Valentine collection which you can get in the National Library of Ireland. My guess is that the collection is named after the Scottish Photographer James Valentine [3]
You can see a full size picture of this in Ray Glynn's Pub also known as the Central Bar, The Square, Athenry. The following people in the Abbey Bridge photograph are; 1. Man washing his side car is the late Sonny Grady. 2. Little girl on the river bank is Ciss Cleary with her dog 'Joego' (cut off from picture), 3. Boy with white collar is Jack Egan (he was later killed in the Battle of the Somme), 4. Woman on river steps is Mrs. Kenny to her left is May Kenny. ( I think this is also cut from picture).[4]

Photo courtesy of Athenry Historic - Google maps designed by Brian Quinn.

The late historian Aggie Qualter wrote about Abbey Row in her book Athenry Since 1780: History, Recollections and Folklore which was published in 1989 Abbey Row was occupied by Cromwellian soldiers in 1650-1651. They were billeted in a three storey structure formerly part of the Dominican living quarters (She is referring to Athenry Dominican Priory).  The archaeologist R. A. S. McAlister more or less writes the same thing  ‘In the eighteenth century the transformation of the old Dominican house to a barrack no doubt aided to the ruin of the church which was wantonly defaced by soldiers. The total absence of monuments between 1730 and 1780 is to be noticed.’ [5]
The commander of the army in Ireland was General Lambert.  He led many campaigns in England and Scotland before being posted to Ireland.
The barracks were later occupied by various regiments; 37th regt. of footwhich became the last to leave Abbey Row in 1819 when the police militia moved in and remained  until the Royal Irish Constabulary was established’
This force occupied occupied the new barracks at Cross street about 1850, it became the F. C. A. barracks but today we all know it today as The Old Barracks Restaurant.[7]
Many decades later Abbey Row barracks became vacant as housing conditions in that era were the lowest of the low.  Squatters would be evicted, but later returned as the barracks itself was finally demolished  on the site of Abbey Row estate was built and finished by 1892.[8]

[1] Athenry Historic – Google Maps  designed by Brian Quinn
[4] Qualter, Aggie, Athenry Since 1780:History Recollections and Folklore, (A. Qualter 1989). The very first page of the book

[5] MacAlister, R. A. S., ‘Athenry Dominican Priory’, Journal of Galway Archaeologican and Historical Society, sixth series, vol.3, no.3, September 1913 p198
[6] Qualter, Aggie, Athenry Since 1780:History Recollections and Folklore, (A. Qualter 1989) p20-21
[7] Ibid
[8] Ibid

Friday, December 14, 2012

Ireland 1916: Explorations of History Making, Commemoration and Heritage in Modern Times by Dr. Mark McCarthy by Ronan Killeen

A former lecture of mine Dr. Mark McCarthy who thaught me Modern Irish History, Social History and Genealogy, and Enviroment and Planning in my Alma Matter of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway has recently launched his book Ireland's Rising 1916: Explorations of History Making, Commemoration and Heritage in Modern Times. The book can be purchased at this link to
Ashgate publishers

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Athenry Historic Politcs: Who ran in the General Election of 1923 by Ronan Killeen

This may be a temporary article until I can do more with it - I know I should start of with the General Election of 1918 but the General Election of 1923 is more available to me at the moment:

From January 1919-May 1921 consisted of 73 MPs (Members of Parliament) chosen in the 1918 General election who refused to Westminster and formed the separatist government.  Eamon De Valera became became the DaĆ­l president.
I am going to skip past the 1919-1921 War of Independence and Civil War to the General Election in 1923. In an article from the Irish Times the following ran for election. This will also include those for the Galway area. What I notice about this election is that the occupations that ran were either Farmers, Professors and Solicitors'.


Patrick J. Horgan, Solicitor and Farmer, Loughrea.

Padraic O'Maille, Farmer, East Maam.

Michael Tierney, Professor University College Dublin.

John Broderick, Farmer and Contractor, Athenry.

Patrick Curley, Farmer and Merchant, Killamore, Ballinasloe.

Thomas Dillon, University Professor, Dangan, Co. Galway.

William Dolly, Farmer, Moniview (Monivea? He was mentioned in Paddy Kings Old I. R. A. Witness
Statement from the Bureau of Military History 1913-1921 as part of the Irish War of Independence) Co. Galway.

John Quinn, Solicitor, Tuam.


Patrick D. Conroy, Garafin, Rosmuc.

Martin Finnerty, Knockboy, Colemanstown.

Martin E. Egan, Killnadeema, Loughrea.

James Haverty, Moylough.

Michael O' Brian, Tuam.


Herbert C. Mellows, Journalist, 21 Mount Shannon road, Kilmainham, Dublin.

Louise O' Dea, Solicitor, Eyre Square, Galway.

Frank Fahy, Secretary of the Gaelic League, 25 Ruthland Square Dublin.

Colm O'Cleary, Teacher of Irish, Inver, Rosmuc.


Athony J. Fallon, LL. B., Solictor, Galway.

James Cosgrave, Farmer, Eyrecourt.


Thomas J. O'Connell, General Secretary, I. N. T. O's. 9 Gardiner's place, Dublin.

John McNally, Sawyer, Ballinasloe.


Thomas Sloyan, Commercial Agent, Tuam.


James J. Hoban, Farmer, Kiltormore, Ballinasloe.

Patrick J. Hogan got the most votes of 7, 563 1st preferences.

Iggy's Bar by Ronan Killeen

In a previous article I already talked about the Old Barracks Resteraunt which used to be the Royal Irish Constabulary barracks of Athe...