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Ghost Castle – 1862

Belfast Newsletter 8th September, 1862 p.4

Photo: EO'D
Photo: EO’D

An islander of the British Isles, and possibly a Highlander, purchased some time ago in the Landed Estates Court, a property in a maritime Irish County, upon which stood what might be described in the words of one of your illustrious bards;
“An old, old monastery once, and now
Still older mansion, of a rich and rare
Mixed Gothic, such as artists all allow
Few precedents are left us to compare

The building did not satisfy the taste of the new proprietor. He scarcely got possession of his title deeds before he commenced improving at once the land and the mansion. The improvements made rapid progress under the special superintendence of the new lord of the soil, who planned and directed early and late. It is his semi-nocturnal predilection for business that raised him to the dignity of a ghost story here.

He was in the habit of remaining about the mansion and grounds long after everyone else had retired, contemplating the progress of improvements or devising fresh ones. While engaged in this manner one evening shortly after twilight, he beheld upon the site of what had been an old out office a luminous figure. It first bore resemblance to the human shape, then gradually assumed the form more and more as twilight deepened. Finally it presented to the gaze of the astonished proprietor the perfect outline of a man, formed of light of a bluish tinge and subdued brilliancy.

Mr—— stood contemplating the apparition till it vanished from his view, owing, as he thought, to some change in the atmosphere, for he felt the air very much colder about the time of the disappearance. He said nothing about the apparition to anyone as he mistrusted his judgement and thought a vivid imagination might have played a trick on him. He resolved however, to discover if possible whether the phantom were reality or illusion. Accordingly he wandered about the scene of the vision every evening after twilight and occasionally his watchfulness was rewarded by a sight of the figure. It sometimes appeared an indistinct mass of still flame, and sometimes presented some outlines of a human form. Seldom did it appear in the complete human shape in which it first presented itself.

Having satisfied himself that his imagination was not trifling with him, the gentleman began to make inquiries of the people about his demesne as to whether any former proprietor of the property or any other person in any way connected with the castle had met an untimely end or disappeared suddenly and mysteriously from the mansion, or, if there were any tale of mystery connected with the place. None was forthcoming.

The lord of the Castle set a considerable number of them to search the spot, the site of the old out offices, where he had so frequently seen the apparitions. At a considerable depth before the surface a skeleton of a man was found. By all appearances he had been a warrior and the place of repose was the cause of the troubled times led by the spirit. The remains were respectfully and decently removed

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Kinvara – 1916

Connacht Tribune July 1st 1916 p 4


Every man, woman and child in Kinvara parish and district, and most people throughout Co. Galway and the West, know that Kinvara Church and Convent have been searched by armed police. A great many well-informed people are aware that the Rev. Parish Priest, the Rev. T. Burke P.P. has made a strong protest to General Sir John Maxwell, the military governor of Ireland. The whole subject is talked of far and wide and the story suffers nothing in the telling. But the new censorship that is exercised today in Ireland, as if a war were actually proceeding within our shores, and the country had got out of hand, decrees that “no correspondence between General Sir John Maxwell and Father Thomas Burke, P.P. Kinvara, is to be published.” So with the shadow of blood on the Irish horizon and feeling and passion inflamed, we are back again to the old coercionist regime. We cannot help asking ourselves is this possible in the 20th century of have the military governors of this country, clothed in the “petty brief authority” that a fateful chance has given them, taken leave of their senses?
If those governors imagine that by suppressing in Ireland the plain, if painful truth, they are serving any good purpose in constitutional or military government they are making a colossal mistake. The affair at Kinvara has been grossly mishandled from the beginning and the characteristically Prussion attitude of the new censorship in Ireland does not improve but considerably aggravates a painful situation. Surely the military governors of this country ought to be able to defend their own attitude, and the attitude of their subordinates, without resorting to the equivocal expedient of a clumsy endeavour to conceal from the public all the facts! Even viewed from their own standpoint, the attitude of the censor in this respect is extremely stupid. It makes a mystery where none existed and renders the people suspicious of an authority that resorts to methods that are given so sinister an aspect. We publish elsewhere the protest made at the conference of priests held at Gort on the 6th of this month. Surely a body of clergymen are entitled to a full, frank and public explanation and apology from the Government for a proceeding that tends to bring the authority exercised in this country into contempt.

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For sale – Kinvara – 1910

Connacht Tribune 5th March, 1910 p8

The Quay, Kinvara Photo: EO'D
The Quay, Kinvara
Photo: EO’D

At a special meeting on Monday, Mr T.P.Corless, D.C., presiding, and the following being present;
Messrs. Thomas O’Halloran,
Bartley Bermingham,
Michael Corless,
Augustus J. Johnston
Edward Holland
Michael Connolly
the chairman submitted a letter from Mr Coghlan Briscoe T.C. stating that he forwarded the tenants memorial to the Congested Districts Board, and was bringing all possible pressure to bear on the board to purchase Kinvara from the trustees of the Sharpe estate. Mr Briscoe’s powerful appeal for justice, made before the Town Tenant’s Executive in Dublin, was loudly applauded. The action of the agents in threatening legal proceedings against the tenants was severely commented on.

Within the last few days notices have been served on the tenants to pay up or Mr Concanon, solicitor, will be instructed to proceed for the recovery of the rent. The committee have decided to await developments and appeal to the tenants to withhold the rents. In view of the situation that now exists on the property the committee earnestly exhort all who have not as yet joined the League to do so at once, as the fight has now reached an acute stage. The committee are in communication with Mr Briscoe and Mr Wm Duffy M.B. and several well known leaders, with a view to holding a public meeting and infusing new life into the district. On the motion of Mr Corless, seconded by Mr Thomas O’Halloran, a resolution thanking Mr Briscoe and the “Freeman” was passed.

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Kinvara Band Committee – 1914

Connacht Tribune 31st January, 1914

Dunguaire Castle
Dunguaire Castle

At the District Council meeting
A claim for compensation was received from the Kinvara Band Committee for £19 14s for malicious injury and damage to paraphernalia belonging to the band on the night of January 8th. The articles damaged are as follows;
Two side drums
3 bass drums
9 fifes
4 bass drumsticks
4 side drum sticks
side drum belt
bass drum belt
The following communication was also read from Sergt T Reilly, Kinvara;
With reference to the claim for compensation made by the Kinvara Band Committee, I beg to state that on receipt of a report, Constable Hanley and I visited the band room at 8.15 on the 9th inst and found two big drums and two small drums cut up and were told that nine fifes, twenty-seven caps, 16 sashes, two cymbals, eight drum sticks and two belts had been taken away. On the following day the District Inspector and I found six fifes, two cymbals, twenty-seven caps, sixteen sashes, four small drum sticks and a belt hidden under a heap of stones about a quarter of a mile from the band room. Those articles were uninjured and have since been identified as part of the missing property.
A number of members (said) “Up Kinvara, every time”(laughter)
Chairman; “It is the usual caution.”

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The Ballyclery bullock – 1952

Connacht Tribune 30th August, 1952 p.19

Magnus Manske/russavia Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Magnus Manske/russavia
Wikimedia Commons

The famous untamed Ballyclery bullock, five years old, again defied capture on Saturday last when a posse of twenty-six men drawn from Ardrahan and Loughrea failed to hold the beast.
Bought by Mr Murphy of Loughrea, the Loughrea Carnival Committee was desirous of putting the bullock on display at the carnival. Armed with ropes and stout sticks, the posse succeeded in driving the bullock into a rope snare where he was hung with half hundred weights. The animal refused to budge, however, until angered when he scattered his tormentors with a few judicious charges and then disdainfully flung the weights from off him.

The hunters set another snare and succeeded in driving him into it. This time he tore furiously through the bushes until he succeeded in divesting himself of the trailing ropes and stayed free.

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The Kinvarra Prosecution – 1901

Tuam Herald, 28th September, 1901 p.2

Kinvara Quay Photo: EO'D
Kinvara Quay
Photo: EO’D

We understand that as a result of the police prosecution of Bartley Hynes for putting his name in Irish on his cart Mr Edward Martyn has ordered his name to be put in Irish on all his carts and so has Lady Gregory. It is said that the cards in question will be sent at an early date to Kinvarra. We shall see if the English-speaking police of that quarter take any steps to prosecute Lady Gregory and Mr Edward Martyn for what they summoned Bartley Hynes. The end of the matter is that Irish police must learn Irish and if they do they will understand that Irish characters are “legible.”

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Scheme of Prizes for Cottages and Small Farms, 1906


Class I;

Photo: EO'D
Photo: EO’D

1st, Michael Lally, Lisheeninane, Kinvarra £3
2nd Thos. McDonnell, Kilcolgan, Oranmore, £2
3rd, Thos. Dunne, Dungora, Kinvara £1 10s

Class II;
1st, Jane Finucane, Duras, Kinvarra £3 15s
2nd, John Keeley, Ballyclerra, Kinvara  £3
3rd John Shaughnessy, Royanrush Gort £2
4th Jas. Prendergast, Ballinabucky, Peterswell £1 10s
5th Patk Meally, junr, Knockakilleen, Kinvara £1


Freemans Journal 13th August, 1923 p. 27

Results of Examinations in Piano, Violin, Violoncello, Singing, Harmony, Theory of Music and Choir.

Convent of Mercy Kinvara

Piano – 1st Hons;
Sistie O’Dea
Mollie Greene
Mairaid Flatley
Esther Corless
Mary Ellen Phelan

2nd Hons
May Quinn


Blanche Connolly
Jennie O’Dea

Prep 1st Hons;
Clare Johnston
Annette Murphy
Joe Corless
Cissie Corless

2nd Hons;
Pauline Murphy
Kathleen Quinn
Joe Paul Flatley
Fred Johnston

Maureen Haran
Alphonsus O’Dea
Sally Winkle

Violin – J – 1st Hons;
Margaret Mary Flatley

Primary, 2nd Hons;
Richard Johnston

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Kinvara Sports Committee – 1909

Connacht Tribune 31st July, 1909 p6

F O'Dea Photo: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage
F O’Dea
Photo: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage

At a special meeting of the Kinvara Sports Committee, at which the following were present viz;
Messrs Martin Green,
James F. Kilkelly
T. O’Halloran
P.J. Flatley
Michael Leech
W.R. Flatley
Thos. Green
M. O’Grady
Thomas St George
M. Connolly
the following resolution, proposed by Mr James Kilkelly and seconded by Thomas Green, was carried with acclamation;
That we, the members of the Kinvara Sports Committee, representing the traders of the entire town, under the Presidency of our revered and much respected pastor, Rev T Burke PP, beg to tender to Mr Fergus O’Dea, a member of one of the oldest and most respected families in the parish, the expression of our most sincere and heartfelt thanks for his kindness in giving the use of his field gratis for the holding of our sports.