Posted in Posts and podcasts

Kinvara – 1844

Photo: EO’D

Nenagh Guardian Wednesday, May 01 1844, p.4 (abridged)
On the other hand we learn that the Rev. William John Burke, who for the last thirteen years, has been a Romish priest, publicly read his recantation and conformed to the United Church of England and Ireland, in St. John’s Church, Kinvarra, in the County Clare, on Sunday last. during the return of the Rev. Mr. Burke from Church in the carriage with the two clergymen, the Rev. Mr. Moran and the Rev. Mr. Nason, who had been present at the ceremony, a mob of nearly two thousand persons, we are informed, assembled, with shoutings as the party passed, and threw several stones at the carriage. One of them struck the carriage, but the party being well armed, and defended by a body of police, escaped serious consequences. Watchman

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Dooras and Kinvarra – 1905

THE IRISH TIMES Friday, January 20, 1905 p.3
Yesterday Estates Commissioners Wrench and Bailey sat at the offices of the Estates Commissioners, 26 Merrion Street, for the purpose of giving judgment in the cases of the sale of the two estates of the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company to the tenants in the County of Clare, at Dooras, and islands off the coast, and in the County of Galway, at Kinvarra. The property was formerly owned by Francis O’Donnellan Blake-Forster and Fanny and Henrietta Blake-Forster, and was taken from them by the Insurance Company who, as mortgagees, bought in the Landed Estates Court on the 30th July, 1902.
Mr. A. Samuels, K.C., appeared for the Insurance Company, the owners.
Mr. Valentine Kilbride, solicitor, represented the tenants both on the Clare and Galway properties.
The case arose on an application to the Estates Commissioners, to declare as an estate for the purposes of the Land Purchase Act, the lands in the County Galway, and in the County Clare, known in the Land Judge’s Court as the Blake-Forster estate, upon which there are a large number of tenants.
Mr. Samuels, K.C., said with regard to the Galway portion of the estate there were 78 holdings altogether, and of these there were only 15 on which agreements had been signed. All the others were held under judicial rents, that is to say, there were 63 judicial tenants on the estate. Suggestions had been thrown out that these were bogus agreements, and the matter had been made a political text by certain people. It was most unfortunate, he thought, that politicians should have interfered whilst the matter was pending.
Mr. Commissioner Bailey – We have nothing to do with that.
Mr. Samuels said that, as a matter of fact, the agreements had been fixed at a lower rate then even the corresponding judicial rents.

Mr. Wrench, in delivering his judgment, said:

Mr. Samuels has argued that where all the agreements come within the 1st section of the Act, as in this case, the Estates Commissioners have no discretion, but must declare the lands comprised in the application and estate for the purpose of the Act. This appears to me to be a purely legal question which should be determined by the judicial commissioner, and, if the parties so apply, it must be referred to him in accordance with Sub-section 1 of the 23rd section; and even if they do not so apply it should, in my opinion, be so referred to us. Pending the result of the judicial commissioner’s decision as to whether the Estate Commissioners have discretion in the matter or not it appears to me that it would be decidedly indiscreet of us to discuss beforehand the course we might properly adopt.
Mr. Commissioner Bailey, in delivering judgment for Commissioner Finucane and himself, said:

The vendor in this case lodged an originating application to have declared as a separate estate for the purpose of the Irish Land Act, 1903, certain lands which are set out in the first schedule to the application, and are situate in the Barony of Kiltartan, in County Galway, and in the Baronies of Burren and Corcomroe, in County Clare. The lands to which this application relate have not now come before the Land Commission for the first time. They formed Lots 2, 3 and 4 of a property which was for sale in the Land Judge’s Court in the matter of the estate of Francis O’Donnellan Blake-Forster, owner; Hester Blake-Forster and others, petitioners, and in respect of which the Land Judges issued a request under the 40th Section of the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1896, on the 21st November, 1897. The Land Commission (Commissioners, Lynch and Wrench) made a report dated 30th June, 1899, respecting the Galway portion of the lands no for sale – known as the Kinvarra property – which was comprised in Lot 2 of the Land Judge’s rental, and the circumstances thereof, portion of which report is as follows: – “There are 77 holdings on this lot, and only six exceed £10 in rental value. They are, with a few exceptions, most inconveniently arranged, consisting of detached plots which, in some cases, are a mile or more distant from each other. Many of the holdings comprise from 20 to 30 different patches, and many of the parcels are held in common. The lands have been divided without any regard to their future profitable working, and any clearing or fencing done has added little to the letting value of the land.”
They particularly noticed one holding on the lands of Crosshooha, No. 12 to 13v on the map, occupied by Kate Moylan, in which there were 23 lots, besides undivided shares of the foreshore, and went on to say; –
“Having regard to the character of this estate, and the manner in which the holding have become sub-divided, and the undivided shares in which many of the plots are held, we are of opinion that, with the exception of four holding on the townland of Ballybranagan, none of the holdings on this lot could be sold to the occupying tenants under existing conditions, and that the case is one in which, as a condition precedent to sales under th 40th Section of the Purchase of Land Act, 1885, should be put in force with a view to the proper rearrangement of the holdings comprised in the lot. It further appears to us that advances under the Land Purchase Acts upon an estate so circumstanced would not be adequately secured, and that there would be no possibility of recovering instalment, or reselling holdings in the event of default.”

The Land Judge caused that report to be returned, stating that the Congested Districts Board had refused to buy the property, and requesting the Land Commission to estimate the prices at which the holdings could properly be sold on the occupying tenants. The Land Commission, in their further report, dated 5th November, 1900, stated with respect to this property that, with the exception of the townland of Ballybranagan, none of the holding should be sold to the occupying tenants, under existing conditions, that the holdings should be rearranged under the provisions of Section II of the Action of 1885, and that no advance could be made under the Land Purchase Acts on an estate so circumstances, and they said that as no rearrangement had been made, they assumed that the Land Judges contemplated offering the holdings to the respective occupiers without the suggested rearrangement upon the terms of cash payments. With a view, therefore, to assisting the Land Judge in forming an estimate of the selling value of the lot, they inserted in their original report, opposite each holding, the price at which, in their opinion, the holding might be sold for cash, but even a sale for cash they thought could not be made unless the question raised in their former report as to the rental and maps had been disposed of. The price of the holdings, if so sold for cash, in respect of which agreements for purchase have now been lodged under the Act of 1903, was then (in 1899) estimated by the Land Commission at £7,243, or 15.5 years’ purchase of the then existing rents. Subsequent to the date of the report the Scottish Union acquired the property which was conveyed to them by the Land Judge on the 30th July, 1902, and they now ask that it, together with certain other lands in County Clare, already referred to, be declared a separate estate for the purposes of the Act.

There appear to be now on the Kinvarra property 78 tenants, of whom 63 had judicial rents fixed by order of the Court form 1888 to 1898, and 15 by agreements and declarations to fix judicial rents lodged on 11th April, 1904, which were not filed till 11th July, 1904, so that it is questionable whether these tenancies, at the date of signing the purchase agreements i.e. 4th May, 1904 were holdings subject to judicial rents fixed or agreed to…

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Bell v. Molony – 1890

Photo: Tommy O’Donnell

THE IRISH TIMES Saturday, July 19, 1890 p.9
Yesterday, before the Judge of the Court of Probate, who sat to hear common law motions, the case of Bell v. Molony was brought forward. The action was to recover £5,000 damages for alleged libel. The venue had been laid in the County of Antrim, and the action was set down for hearing at the present Belfast Assizes.
The Right Hon. Samuel Walker, Q.C. (instructed by Mr. Valentine Kilbride), applied on the part of the defendant to change the venue either to the County of Galway or to the City of Dublin. Counsel said the plaintiff, Mrs. Agnes Bell, resided at Maryville House, Kinvarra, Co. Galway, and in the year 1886 she exerted herself to get subscriptions for the poor and the evicted tenants of the district in which she resided. She sought the assistance of Mr. Ford, of the Irish World, which was published in America, and in that journal an appeal was made on the 29th May, 1886. In that appeal Mrs. Bell said that the distress existing in Kinvara was appalling, and that the women and children there were being turned out wholesale into the streets. The defendant, the Rev. John Molony, who was the Catholic clergyman of the district, wrote two letters to the Tuam News with reference to the conduct of the plaintiff, and these letters formed the ground of the present action, it being alleged that they conveyed that the plaintiff had been guilty of misconduct and misapplication of moneys received for the benefit of the poor, and was unworthy of confidence. The defendant denied the statements made by the plaintiff in the Irish World, and said that her description as to the condition of the people, &c., was a tissue of lies and misrepresentations. There was no appearance for the plaintiff, and the venue was changed to Dublin.

Posted in Posts and podcasts






On FRIDAY, the 2nd day of JUNE, 1893.

In the Matter of the Estate of

HYACINTH GOLDING, the most Reverend John McEvilly, Archbishop of Tuam, the Reverend Peter Dooley, and the Reverend John Greaven, or some or one of them, Owners; Exparte, Denis Clarke, Administrator, with the Will annexed of Maria Teresa Donelan, deceased, Petitioner; continued in the names of Rose St. Leger Clarke and Margaret St. Leger Clarke, Executrices of the said Denis Clarke, deceased, and personal representatives of said Maria Teresa Donelan, deceased, as Petitioners.


Before the Right Hon. Judge Monroe,

At his Court, Four Courts, Inns quay, Dublin

On FRIDAY, the 2nd day of JUNE, 1893

At the hour of 12 o’clock Noon,

In Four Lots.

LOT 1.

The Lands of Dungora, now known on the Ordnance Survey as Dungory East, containing 132a Ir 29p statue measure, situate in the Barony of Kiltarton, and County of Galway, producing a net annual rental of £41 15s.

LOT 2.

Portion of the Lands of Cartron, containing 13a Ir 14p statute measure, situate in the Barony of Kiltarton, and County of Galway,producing a net annual rental of £18.

LOT 3.

The remaining portion of said Lands of Cartron, containing 116a  Ir 39p statute measure, situate in the Barony of Kiltarton, and County of Galway, producing a net annual rental of £78 13s 6d.

LOT 4.

The Lands of Carranamadra, Poulnegan, Rockfarm and Poulenogan, which said lands are known on the Ordnance Survey as Carrownamaddra, containing in all 774a Ir 23p statute measure, situate in the said Barony of Kiltarton, and County of Galway, producing a net annual rental of £2150s 9 1/2d, all held in fee-simple.  Dated this 24th day of March, 1893.

J.M. KENNEDY, Examiner.


LOT 1.

The Lands of Dungory East are situate about half a mile from the town of Kinvarra, which is a post town and sea port, and about 6 miles from Ardrahan Railway Station on the Waterford and Limerick Railway Line.

LOT 2.

Portion of the Lands of Cartron, adjoining the town of Kinvarra aforesaid, known as Mrs Eliza Hynes’ holding. Upon this holding are several substantial slated houses set to under-tenants, and include a dispensary and police barrack.  The tenant has a valuable interest in her holding; the rent is £18, and the valuation is £795s.

LOT 3.

The remaining portion of Lands of Cartron adjoin the town of Kinvarra aforesaid, and is situate about 6 miles from Ardrahan Station, on Waterford and Limerick Railway Line.

LOT 4.

The Lands of Carrownamaddra are situate about one mile from said town of Kinvarra, and 7 miles from Ardrahan Station, Waterford and Limerick Railway Line.  For rentals and further particulars apply to the Registrar’s Office, Land Judges, Four Courts, Inns quay, Dublin; or to

JAMES CAMPBELL, Solicitor having carriage of Sale, 20 Rutland Square, Dublin.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Kinvarra – 1843

Kerry Evening Post Saturday, October 21, 1843, p2.

Photo: EO’D

Diocese of Killaloe and Confert, &c,
On Thursday, the 12th inst., the Hon and Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of this diocese, consecrated the new church in Kinvarra, a small but rising town, situated on the eastern extremity of the bay of Galway. The weather was unfavourable, it having rained heavily during the morning, but notwithstanding there was a large and respectable congregation. Amongst those present were the Very Rev. William O’Grady, the clergy and respectable laity of the neighbourhood.
On his arrival at the western door of the church, the clergy in their surplices, &c., met the Lord Bishop, and preceded by him, advanced up the aisle, repeating the 24th Psalm, when his lordship took his seat on the north side of the communion table.
The deed for setting apart the church for holy purposes being read by the deputy register, the Very Rev. the Provost of Kilmacduagh, and the Rev. W.H. Nason, proceeded to read the morning service; the first lesson being read by the Rev. William Roe, Chaplain to the Earl of Clancarty, and the second by the Rev. Mr. Robinson, Curate of the Venerable the Archdeacon of Confert. The 100th Psalm was then sung with effect and devotion, by the Clergy and congregation, led by the Rev. W. Roe. The Bishop next read the Communion service, the Epistle being read by the Dean of Kilmacduagh, after which the 121st Psalm was sung.
His Lordship preached the consecration sermon, taking for his text the 16th chap. of St. Matthew’s Gospel and the 18th verse, “Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” In the course of which, in a strain of most exalted eloquence, he faithfully advocated the cause of our Reformed Church, contending that Protestantism had not its beginning, but its purification, at the time of the glorious Reformation – that that justification was by faith only in the atonement and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ – that the Church of Rome, though the depositary, was not the faithful dispenser of the truth – that there never was a time when the motley bands of our Zion’s opponents were more leagued for her destruction, infidelity without and a spurious liberality scarcely less dangerous within, but that she was founded upon Jesus the Rock; and that faithful Christians, the true children of God, were called, elected and chosen from ages everlasting.
His Lordship concluded with adverting in a most impressive and feeling manner to the memory of the Rev. John Burke, the late vicar of the parish, through whose exertions the church of Kinvarra had been built, eulogising his merits and character, and expressing his conviction (it being the intention of his friends to erect a monument to his memory) that it would be more in accordance with the wishes of the deceased, and equally fulfil this intended object of his friends, should a school-house be substituted for the monument.
The effect of this discourse was here apparent from the tears of the congregation; and it is earnestly to be hoped that his lordship’s recommendation will speedily and vigorously be put into execution.
It would be quite impossible to give an adequate idea of the Bishop’s sermon. We would respectfully suggest to his lordship that, by having it printed and published through the lenght and breadth of the land, he would confer a lasting boon upon the Church at large.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s supper was then administered to about forth communicants, when all separated enlightened by, and gratified with, the services of the day.
Cork Constitution.

Posted in Posts and podcasts


THE IRISH TIMES Wednesday, February 9th, 1916
On Monday evening at 6 o’clock two of the vanmen of Mr. J.S. Young, J.P., Controller of Recruiting in Galway, were conveying loads of empty mineral cases from Kinvarra to Galway. Close to the villages of Clarenbridge and Oranmore a crowd of men, numbering between twenty and thirty, armed with heavy blackthorn sticks and revolvers, and disguised with handkerchiefs and masks tied over their faces, jumped over the walls and stopped the drivers, who were dragged from their seats. The horses were taken from the vans and hunted over the country. The mineral cases were scattered over the road and the drivers were dragged into a field, where their pockets were searched, but as the men had their money concealed, they lost none of it. The men were then told to go to Oranmore or something worse would happen to them. They were escorted by the masked men in a round-about direction, and when they were liberated a number of revolved shots were fired in the air. The two men reached Oranmore and caught the night train to Galway. At the time of writing an active search is being made for Mr. Young’s horses. Mr. Young sent his vans out today as usual. There is considerable excitement in Galway over the occurrence, and a large body of police are engaged in investigating the affair.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Ould Kinvarra – 1923

The Cork Examiner March 12, 1923
London Correspondence
(Through our private wire).
180, Fleet Street, Sunday Night.

Mr. Frank Fahy’s paper on “Ould Kinvarra” at the Irish Literary Society last night was one of the most delightful things the Society has had for many a long day. It was an authentic picture of Irish life in a little country town in the sixties and seventies. It was real because the memories were Mr. Fahy’s own memories, and yet as he truly said, other things being equal, it might have stood for a picture of life in any other little Irish town in the same period. Those of us who heard the paper saw the people of Kinvarra and heard their familiar talk in their homes and out of them, took part in their joys and sorrows, and were one with them in their passionate love of the scenes among which they moved, a love which years of exile from them and leagues of sea and land now lying between the exiles and them only seem to increase. The success of Mr. Fahy’s paper lay not only in the sympathetic chords it touched in the hearts of his audience but in the artistry with which he drew his picture, and the inimitable way in which he made every word tell. Every inflection in his voice was full of meaning. No one else could have written the paper, no one else could have read it so well. It was little wonder that in the subsequent discussion there were appeals to Mr. Fahy to have “Ould Kinvarra” printed – and along with it the other lecture which he gave not long ago before the Society in which he described the work of the Southwark Irish Literary Society in London in the eighties. The only drawback to the evening was that its attractiveness demonstrated severely how inadequate is the space in the Society’s room for such an occasion.