WESTERN PEOPLE 7TH NOVEMBER 1903 P.5 (abridged)
Kinvara lost its primacy as a bishopric, the old see of Kilmacduagh was united to the modern see of Galway. It then lost its shipping trade. The old landlords, the Gregorys of Coole Park, and the De Basterots were obliged to sell out.
Mr Comerford, a timber merchant in Galway bought Kinvara from Mr Gregory and raised the rental from 335 to 1,150 but it did not and could not survive with him or his successors. A Mr Murray, a pawnbroker in Galway, came along and was equally active in promoting depopulation. The townland of Northampton decreased from 25 families to 11. Mr Murray however left a bequest of 2000 for a convent and to him Kinvara owes its present beautiful foundation built on a site given by Captain Blake Foster. Kinvara was once a thriving market town but its tolls declined from 200 to 60. It had in 1872 a population of 689 families and 1889 this sand to 451. Its barley market for Persse’s Distillery in Galway brought in a good deal of money but Persse’s Distillery having been closed down owing to the narrow policy of the Bank of Ireland, that industry was lost to Galway and Kinvara.
Father Francis Arthur assisted in the escape of John Blake Dillon to America. Kinvara man, John Holland brought Dillon to Aran.
The tenants on the O’Donnellan Blake Foster Estate held a meeting in Kinvara in October 1919 to arrange terms for purchase with the agent, Mr Holmes. The Rev Father Burke P.P. Kinvara put the tenants’ case before the agent, with the result that 18 and a half years was agreed upon as the sale price. The reduction which the tenants have obtained through these terms amounts to 8s in the pound or 40% on their present rents