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Seaweed – 1854

The Courier (Hobart,Tas) 28th July 1854 p2
Enormous Demand for Seaweed (abridged)
The great demand for seaweed manure, the high prices it brought, and the great breadth of mind devoted to potato planting this season, may be inferred from the fact that it is computed by those who have had the best opportunities of forming an accurate estimate, that the very large sum of £10,000 has been paid for seaweed this season at the Galway docks alone. If we take into account the quantities which
have been disposed of at Oranmore, Kinvarra, Ballyvaughan, and the other creeks and landing places within the bay, the cutting of seaweed this season must have realised upwards of £13,000. It has been conveyed to a considerable distance, by boats along the lakes, by carts on the road, and even by railway. Perhaps in no former year has the use of it been more general, or the price paid for It so high, as in the present season.

Galway Packet.

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Great Meeting in Gort – 1869

Tuam Herald 13th November, 1869 p.1
The Land Question (abridged)

Gort, Sunday Night
This patriotic little town may well take credit to itself for the support which it has this day given to the cause of tenant right in this country. It afforded not only to the people on this side of the extensive county of Galway, but to thousands in the northern districts of the county Clare, an opportunity of expressing their opinions on the present unsatisfactory state of the land laws in Ireland, and of pointing out the mode in which the tenant farmers of the country desire that they should be altered. Some influential gentlemen residing in the town and neighbourhood were anxious that the people should, in the form of resolutions, express their grievances with a view to their redress by a Ministry and by a Parliament which have already manifested an anxious wish to remove those evils which have been a source of misery and discontent to the country.

The notice by which the meeting was called was given only a few days back, and yet the meeting of today was a great success, keeping in view the fact that it was not a county meeting, but was composed mostly of people within a circuit of ten miles of the town. The Athenry and Ennis Junction Railway, however, ran special trains, and brought large numbers of people from longer distances. The train which left Ennis at eleven o’clock arrived in Gort at twelve o’clock bringing people from Ennis, Crusheen and Tubber, and the train from Athenry, which arrived shortly after, carried large number of tenant farmers from that station, from Oranmore, Crughwell (sic.) and Ardrahan. The traffic arrangements were under the direction of Mr. Thomas O’Malley, the manager, and were admirably carried out by Mr William Lawlor, the efficient station master of Gort.

Many of the farmers came in on horseback heading bodies of 400 or 500 people. Ardrahan furnished a contingent of about 400, and the united parishes of Ballymena and Crughwell sent by rail about 300 persons, who were accompanied by the Rev. Francis Arthur, P.P. and the Rev. M O’Flanagan, C.C. This body on entering the unfurled their banner, which had inscribed on it the mottoes, “Fixity of Tenure” and “Tenant Right,” and the Rev. M. Nagle, P.P., Kilbeaconty, accompanied a body of his parishioners, numbering, perhaps, five hundred. The Rev. John Barry, P.P., Behagh, and the Rev. Michael Killeen, C.C., accompanied about 800 from their parish, with banners bearing the words, “Fixity of Tenure” and “Tenant Right.” Numbers also came from Corofin, Ballyvaughan, Kilkeely, New Quay, Feakle, Derrybrian, Loughrea, and Kinvara.

A very large body of tenantry came on horseback from Kinvara, accompanied by their landlord, Isaac B. Daly, and Mrs Daly, who drove in their carriage, and who were loudly cheered. By one o’clock there could not have been less than from 10,000 to 12,000 people in the town, all evidently interested in the cause which brought them together. Previous to the commencement of the proceedings a procession was formed, headed by a number of young girls, some of whom were entirely dressed in green, and these were followed by well-dressed young men carrying green banners, having inscribed on them the words, “God save Ireland,” “fixity of tenure,” “tenant right,” and “Cead mille failthe,” (sic.) and the harp in gold was on several of them. There was scarcely a person in the whole procession, which walked round the market-square, accompanied by music, who was not in some way ornamented with green.

They cheered on passing the houses which by some patriotic device attracted attention. An excellent cast of the face of O’Connell was placed in one of the windows of Forrest’s Hotel, and beneath was a saying of the Liberator’s, “He who commits a crime gives strength to the enemy.” At Glynn’s Hotel, there was a sign on a green ground, and the words “Prosperity to Ireland.” These received respectful attention on the part of the people who, as the hour approached for the commencement of the meeting, assembled in front and around the platform which was erected in the middle of the square, and was so spacious as to accommodate about one hundred and fifty persons. On the motion of Mr. L. S. Mangan, Gort, seconded by Mr. Thomas Boland, the chair was taken amidst loud applause by the Very Rev. T. Shannon, P.P., V.G.

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Sometimes she represents an owl, a cat and very often a bat

There is a special spot in New Quay. It has derived its name from the vast number of enormous rocks which are still to be seen near the shore. The following story is told about this special spot :-
Once upon a time the devil came into Clare. He had nearly all the people of Clare under his control, but the people of New Quay resolved he would never enter. The devil came along one morning holding his little son by the hand. The people of New Quay were well prepaired (sic) for him, so the fight started. They flung stones at one another, but luckily enough the devils little son wasn’t able to fire the stones far enough, and the stones and flags were all in the same spot. This special spot has the honour of being called Flaggy Shore.

Tradition tells us that once upon a time St Bridget was going to church. As she was near Bellharbour, the thunder rolled and the lightning flashed, and the rain poured. St Bridget prayed to God for some shelter and that very moment a huge tree sprang up by the power of God. Bridget prayed that any poor person who would go that way would have shelter. This bush is now called Sceach Brighid.

It is said the banshee is one of the fallen angels who died without being baptised, and is therefore sent to this world to get penance and forgiveness. It is said there is a special room in Skeretts house and the door was never opened, the banshee is supposed to live in this room. It is said the banshee makes it her headquarters and always lived there when she was not occupied screeching around other dwellings as her calling requires. She always sleeps in the room and no one ever dared to disturb her. The floor is supposed to be covered all over a foot high with the dried leaves which blow in from the tress (sic) through the little round openings which represent windows. Sometimes she represents an owl a cat and very often a bat flying through the window in the twilight. She always cries most dismally before the death of a Kerins, Skerrett, Traynor, Mac or O.
Collected by Caitlín Ní Fhathaigh, age 14, Ballyvaughan N.S. from Michael Wall, age 86

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0615, Page 245//
National Folklore Collection, UCD

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Ballyvaughan – 1853

Sangamo Journal/Illinois State Journal 22nd April, 1853

Burren Hills Photo: EO'D
Burren Hills
Photo: EO’D


The last American mail brought the sum of £500 pounds to the little village of Ballyvaughan, which is situated in the County Clare on the opposite side of the bay of Galway.   We have heard that this large sum has been sent home for the purposes of emigration, so that the neighborhood of Ballyvaughan is likely to contribute its full contingent to the host of emigrants which are daily rushing towards the English ports.  A few mornings past, the terminus at Eyre square was crowded with the relatives of the emigrants, bidding them farewell on their departure for America. In the language of a person present, when describing the numbers – it was like a fair . The strength and hope of Ireland are so rapidly passing away that sufficient hands will not remain to till the soil .

Galway Paper.

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Burren walls – 1921

Albury Banner and Wodonga Express 16th September, 1921 p.35 (abridged)

Photo: EO’D

Crown forces, finding the road to Ballyvaughan obstructed by walls built across the road, commandeered shopkeepers, artisans and labourers at Kinvara to remove the stones. At the Ballyvaughan side men were forced to remove similar obstacles at Muckinish and Bellharbour.

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Kinvara – 1926

Irish Independent 21 September,1926 p8

Kinvara Cottage
Photo: Cresswell Archives


Gardai carrying out searches following the robbery of the Galway – Ballyvaughan mail car found in a house at Cahermore, Gort, two Mills Bombs, a large quantity of gelignite, a shotgune, sword, pike, and 40 rounds of rifle ammunition.

In raids in Kinvara district revolvers, gelignite and revolver ammunition were discovered. Two men were arrested in connection with the find.

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Ballyvaughan – 1920

Irish Independent 22nd September, 1920 p5.

Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare Photo: Velela Wikimedia Commons
Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare
Photo: Velela
Wikimedia Commons

A report reached Ennis that the police barracks at Ballyvaughan was attacked.  Military went from Ennis to the assistance of the garrison.  All wires in the district were cut.  A Republican flag floating from the roof of the Town Hall was removed by military and another which was replaced there was also removed.


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W.S.O’Brien – Corcomroe – 1857

Connaught Telegraph 14th October, 1857 p.3 (abridged)

Effigy King Conor O Brien, Corcomroe Abbey Photo: Andreas F. Borchert Wikimedia Commons
Effigy King Conor O Brien, Corcomroe Abbey
Photo: Andreas F. Borchert
Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, W.S.O’Brien Esq., arrived in Ballyvaughan from St. Catherine’s and drove on to see the ruins of the Abbey of Corcomroe in which lies a stone figure of one Connor O’Brien,  a monk in the monastery about 600 years ago.  After Mr. O’Brien returned in the evening, he proceeded to Lisonaid. A number of people lighted tar barrels and the unusual accompaniment was presented of a canoe or currough on fire to welcome him to his native county. Mr. O’Brien came out, and having briefly thanked the people for their reception of him the crowd dispersed and returned homewards, cheering so lustily that the distant sounds might be heard through the valley of Gleneraga, and even to the old Castle of Glenenagh.
Munster news.

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Ballyvaughan Regatta – 1874

Tuam Herald 26th September, 1874 p.2

Ballyvaughan Harbour Photo: Bob Jones Wikimedia Commons
Ballyvaughan Harbour
Photo: Bob Jones
Wikimedia Commons

The Ballyvaughan Regatta came off on Wednesday, at the village of Ballyvaughan, situate in the county Clare, and about eight miles from Galway across the bay. It was conducted under the patronage of the members of Parliament for Clare and the local gentry. The weather was most propitious, the day being exceedingly fine, and, by the way, was complained of by the ladies as being oppressive.
The number of spectators was very large, and not alone were the lovers of aquatics in Clare afforded an opportunity of enjoying themselves, but so also were the people of Galway, as the splendid little vessel, the Citie of the Tribes, gave an excursion trip from Galway at eleven O’clock, by permission of the directors, thus affording as enjoyable a day’s amusement as could be wished for, and one of the best your correspondent has enjoyed for some time. The sports consisted of seven races and were exceedingly contested and most creditably conducted.

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Storm – 1861

Freeman’s Journal 8th August, 1861 p4kinvara oil
Monday evening the poor Claddagh fishermen went out in great numbers, hoping to profit by the myriads of herrings that swarm our bay. It was blowing moderately at the time from the N.W., but a few hours later it blew a regular gale from the westward, scattering the hookers in all directions, obliging them to run, some for Kinvara, and others for Ballyvaughan and Newquay. With difficulty they reached those places of shelter, and we regret to learn that many of the poor people lost their nets and fishing gear in the storm. They mostly returned today and loud are the lamentations of many a poor family in the Claddagh for the loss of the instruments of their labours.