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Kinvara, Duras, Kiloveragh – 1932

Connacht Tribune 25th June, 1932 p22 (abridged)

Ballybranigan Photo: Norma Scheibe

Ballybranigan
Photo: Norma Scheibe

Interesting Lecture at Gort by P. J. Murray, N.T.

Patrick French, son of Roebuck, waa a Catholic. He was a very generous donor to the Kinvara church, his gifts including a beautiful chalice.

James, French, brother-in-law of Oliver Martyn, Tullyra, spent much of his iife in France, owing to the delicate health of his children. His daughter Frances, married Bartholomew De Basterot, who thus became heir to the Durus property. The establishment of his claim, however, involved him in a legal suit extending over thiee years. The enormous expense thus entailed so impoverished him that he was forced to sell some of the property.

It was purchased by Robert Gregory, Coole Park, and Mark Lynch, Galway. The latter erected Durus chapel for the convenience of the tenantry. As this occurred in the eighteenth century we may conclude that the penal code was not rigorously enforced in all parts of the country.

Robert Gregory continued the erection of the Kinvara pier and quay which had been begun by James French. To do so it was necessary to demolish the fine old chiefs (sic.) of Kiloveragh which stood opposite Dun Guaire Castle. Though displaying little reverence for the historical monuments of the district, this gentleman showed a commendable enterprise of more material value to inhabitants.

James De Basterot built a new residence at Durus and planted extensively. He was an artist of merit and some of his pictures are still to he seen in Kinvara church. His son, Bartholemew, was a distinguished writer. Though one of the absentee landlords, he manifested a kindly interest in his tenants.

Tiirowen House was purchased about 1650 by Christopher French. The latter was Mayor of Galway during its siege by Ludlow who added considornbly to the Tirowen estates, probably after his betrayal of Galway. Early in the eighteenth century, a daughter of his married the Hon. Mary St. George, hence the Tirown Frenches were afterwards known as the St. Georges.

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