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Tuam Herald 11th March, 1899 p4

A large and representative meeting of the electors of the parish of Kinvarra was held recently at Kinvarra for the selection of a candidate for the office of County Councillor of the Gort Division and of candidates for the District Councillorship of Kinvara, Doorus, Killinny, and Caherimore.
The Revd. John Moloney, P.P., presided and the attendance included the Revd. Father Davoren, C.C., and Messrs J.W.Brady Murray, John Flatley, William Flatley, Fergus O’Dea, John O’Dea, Doorus, John Quinn, PLG; Moyo Hynes, Ml O’Donoghoe, Martin Corless, Patrick Curtin, John Quinn (Kinvarra) Thomas Greene, (Loughcurra); F Green, P Hynes, PLG; M Brennan, Stephen Leech, Thomas Leech, John Morris, John Fahy, PLG; Thomas O’Halloran, John Finucane, Thomas Fahy, Patrick Hynes, (Croshooa); John Burke, Thomas Burke, Thos. Kavanagh, J O’Connor, Michael Howard, John Tierney, Wm Whelan, A Staunton, P Kennedy, Ml. Kennedy, William Connor, John Devonport, T. Doogan, Ml. Grady, E Holland, F Fox, Wm. Quinn, Michael Mooney, F Lally, T Lally and many others. Among the ladies present were the Misses Hynes, Mrs Cullinan, Mrs Watson, Mrs Johnston, Mrs O’ Halloran, the Misses Joyce and Mrs. O’Donnell.
The Revd. Chairman explained the provisions of the new Act and advised the electors to choose only honest, reliable, and competent men for the several offices.
Mr. John Flatley proposed and Mr. Fergus O’Dea seconded the selection of Mr. Brady Murray as a suitable candidate for the office of Co. Councillor of the division.
Mr. Brady Murray addressed the meeting and after alluding to his services as an active member of the Gort Board of Guardians and other public bodies, and his qualifications as a resident in the district, &c., explained that as a large ratepayer his chief object if elected would be to keep down the Rates, that he would strive to obtain payment of the full amount of the Agricultural Grant to which the Ratepayers and Cesspayers of the Union and Co. were entitled, and that he would use every effort to secure economy and efficiency in the expenditure of public money. so far as consistent with these principles he would advocate the improvement of the roads, and of markets and fairs, the improvement of the dwelling houses of the labouring classes and of the poor both in towns and country, the improvement of sanitary arrangements generally, and the improvements of the Hospitals, Asylums and Dispensaries of the County. He also advocated the extension of the Congested Districts Board, for the development of the agricultural, fishing, and industrial resources of the Union and District. He stated he was in favour of the establishment of a Catholic University and its endowment out of Imperial funds, and that he had been a consistent supporter of the movement for the Redress of Ireland’s Financial Grievances, laying special stress on the Relief of Local Taxation by the Government taking over the Asylums, Hospitals and the Dispensary system.
The meeting unanimously adopted Mr. Brady Murray as their Candidate for the County Council and also recommended the following candidates for the District Councillorship of the several Divisions;
Kinvarra – Mr Michael O’Donohoe, Mr Moyo Hynes, Mr Patrick Curtin and Mr John Fahy.
Doorus – M. John O’Dea, Mr John Quinn, Mr John Halvey, and Mr William Connor.
Killinny – Mr John Burke and Mr Michael Mitchell
Cahermore – Mr Thomas Clayton and Mr Ml. Grady.

On the motion of Mr. J. Quinn, seconded by Mr. Brady Murray, a cordial vote of thanks was passed to the Revd. Chairman, together with an expression of the deep regret of the meeting at his approaching departure from the Parish which has been in his charge for the last thirty years, coupled with their best wishes for his welfare and prosperity in his new Parish of Ennistymon.

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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

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Finavarra – 1903

Weekly Irish Times Saturday July 11, 1903 p.23

Mrs Skerrett, of Pembroke road, Dublin and Finavarra House, Kinvarra, Co. Clare, has let the latter place for the summer months to Mr. J. Harris Stone, B.L. of Oxford and Cambridge Mansions, London. The change to the solitude of the Burren district will be pleasing to the tired London man, and the air is deliciously fresh. There is a fine music room at Finavarra, and a series of theatrical performances was given there a couple of years ago by Mrs Skerrett and her sister, Mrs Sampson – both widows and full of quite unique talent in a musical and histrionic way.

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Kinvara – 1862

Photo: TO’D

THE IRISH TIMES, Friday, June 13th, 1862 p.3
Pursuant to previous notice from the Rev. Mr. Arthur, P.P., a meeting was held in the Court house, Kinvara, on the 8th inst., for the purposes of devising some means whereby the labouring poor of the town and its suburbs could be supported for the next month or two, until Providence gave them by a bountiful harvest the means of warding off the present distressing destitute condition of the poor people.
At three o’clock, on the motion of Mr. Martin Linnane, seconded by Mr. Kering,

The Rev. F. Arthur, P.P. was called to the chair. It was then resolved on the motion of Mr. Thomas Fahy, seconded by Mr. Frank Kilkelly, that Dr. Hynes, whose exertions were ever found available in the cause of the poor, should be requested to act as treasurer to our relief fund, and that the Rev. C. O’Carroll, be requested to act as secretary.

The rev. Chairman having observed in the first instance that having passed through the ordeal consequent on the famines of 1947, ’48 and ’49 in this parish, he had hoped that such things as then occurred would never occur again, the rev. gentleman in continuation said – But when I saw on looking around me, even in this potato growing district, that my poor parishioners were many of them on the verge of starvation – and when I remembered how great was their repugnance to seek that relief they so much required at the hands of the Poor Law Guardians – feeling also, that owing to the badness of the times how very ill able the shopkeepers and traders of Kinvara, generous though I know them to be, would be to support the destitution around them, I applied in the first instance to a member of the Mansion House Committee, explaining to him the peculiar circumstances of our cast; and although the committee very kindly then sent us some relief, I was given to understand that unless we established a committee no further funds could be had from that source. Feeling, then, as I thing every man in Ireland ought to feel, that, when every other resource failed, the Government were bound to come to the rescue, and to save the lives of the poor, I addressed a letter to Sir Robert Peel detailing, as well as I could, for it required neither eloquence nor oratorical power to do so, the destitute condition of the labouring poor of my district, and telling him, at the same time, that we wanted no charity – nothing but a loan, as I may say, to get us over the present crisis – a loan which, I felt satisfied, the ratepayers of the district would willingly repay if required to do so, as I wanted no advance except for works which would be beneficial to the barony and the public at large, and I particularly instances the parapet wall along the shore opposite Dr. Hynes’s lawn, as the most useful that could be effected, under the circumstances. You all know, gentlemen, that a man’s life is not safe driving along that road, without almost any protection on the sea side, having a parapet in many places not a foot high, and over which, if a stranger fell, he would precipitated into the deep ever so many feet. Well, to this I drew the Chief Secretary’s attention; and what does he do? He sends an inspector to inquire into the truth of my allegations. That gentleman accordingly came here, but how did he institute his inquiry? Within folded doors, allowing no more than one at a time to appear before him. Even Dr. Hynes, whom he wished to see, and who gave up a pressing engagement in the hope of being enabled to assist me in the inquiry, he told (when he called on him) that he would not want him until evening; but in the evening Dr. Hynes could not attend, and Mr. Bourke (the inspector) returned from the inquiry at Kinvara fully impressed, I am sure, with the applicability in his case to the old proverb of – “veni, vidi, vici” – I came, I saw, I conquered. What you may or have to expect from hiss visit among you, you will hear from Dr. Hynes and as it is noting to give us hope, I have ventured to call you together today in order that you may among yourselves devise some means whereby the poor of our district may be saved for the next two months.

Dr. Hynes then rose to propose the first resolution (which will be found in our advertising columns), and in doing so said – Before I enter on the purport of the resolution entrusted to me, I feel pleasure in being enabled to inform you that I received a very kind and courteous note from our worthy rector, the Rev. James, F. Moran, of Kilcolgan, in which he feelingly speaks of and sympathizes with our present destitute condition in Kinvara. He adds, that he would most willingly have taken a part in our proceedings here today if circumstances, over which he had no control, did not prevent him doing so; but as the sinews of war prove the mainsprings in matters of this kind, he send me what I consider a very handsome subscription from him, on whom there falls so many demands of this nature. I say, therefore, that we should all feel obliged to the Rev. Mr Moran. (Hear, hear.) And now, adverting again to the resolution entrusted to me by our worthy chairman, I do not know whether his recollection of the years 1847, ’48, and ’49, and the part I then took in alleviating the distress of my poorer fellow-townsmen of not which made my respected parish priest so anxious that I should be the mover of this resolution. But, my friends, whatever be his motives, I have felt it my duty to respond to his call. (Hear.) It is melancholy that, in a year like this, when plenty of food can be found in almost every market in the country, our poor should nevertheless be on the point of starvation. What is the cause? Chiefly want of employment. Henceforth, well, then, be it out business – be it our duty to provide employment for the next two months for all such as may require it. (Hear, hear.) I am very sorry that I had not the opportunity of meeting Mr. Bourke here on Friday last, and as I had not, I wrote to him my views of the present destitution, and the means whereby it might be relieved. To that letter, I received a kind and courteous reply, but there was one sentence in it which blasts all our hopes of Governmental aid. He says – “I do not anticipate that any steps whatever will be taken by the Government in consequence of my report”. What, then, are we to do? Let us adopt the good old motto – “Those that help themselves God will help,” and let us this day, and in this Courthouse, enter into a subscription that will enable our poorer townsmen to tide over the present crisis. It may be said that there are too many to be relieved, and that our resources are limited. Granted. But let us divide the responsibility with the poor law authorities. The poor law, even as it stands, empowers the guardians to give outdoor relief to widows, orphans, &c, &c, but denies that relief to the able-bodied labourer, &c. Let it therefore be our province to provide for the latter class, and let the Poor Law Guardians look to the class of persons I have specified. But in order to avoid abuse, we ill give no relief to any person will not give us some work in return for what we give him; in other words, we will provide works of public utility in and about the town, for such as are in the habit of supporting their families by daily labour; to such persons we will give 1s per day, but we will not undertake to maintain those that are entitled to out-door relief from the guardians, and who could not, of course, work for us. I hope the guardians will take care of them – we will take care of the other class, and now, having explained the principle on which we propose to act, I beg leave to propose the following resolution which, being seconded by Mr. Henry Flanagan, passed reni cor.
Mr Peter Linnane then proposed, and Mr. Daniel O’Dea seconded, that a subscription list be opened, and that the secretary be requested to solicit subscriptions from the humane and charitable throughout the country, and a vote of thanks having been passed to the Rev. Mr. Arthur, the meeting separated.

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Kinvara – 1848

Papers relating to proceedings for relief of distress, and state of unions and workhouses in Ireland, 1848

cresswell archive
Photo: Cresswell Archives

Sessional Papers 1847-1848 HMSO
Along the shores of the bay of Kinvarra and bay of Galway, which form a portion of the boundary of the electoral divisions of Kinvarra and Killeenavarra, reside a considerable number of persons, some with and some without land, who have heretofore supported themselves by fishing, and by the sale of sea weed for the purpose of manure. The failure of the potato crop in 1845 and 1846 by its discouragement to the planting of potatoes, completely paralysed the operations of the latter, who are now in a most abject state.
The only portion of the population remaining to be noticed is that which comprises the miscellaneous class of pedlars, hucksters, small dealers in fruit or vegetables, and mendicants, all of whom are affected by the general poverty of the district and are mostly in a destitute state.
As regards the prospects of the Union for the ensuing harvest, we have learned that a considerable quantity of wheat has been put down by the larger farmers, but it is certain there will not be anything approaching to the breadth of corn of the past year. On the other hand, it would appear from the reports of the relieving officers, and from personal observation, that the general success of the potato crop in 1847 has encouraged the larger holders of land to make arrangements for planting in a greater quantity in the spring. Many, however, of the smaller farmers will, we fear, be unable to set any, in consequence of the scarcity and high price of seed, added to their inability to purchase manure, and it is therefore to be apprehended that a much greater quantity of land will remain uncultivated this year than last. In former years most of the labouring population had potatoes in con-acre, but their impoverished conditions now renders them incapable of making any preparations for having a crop in the present season. Even if they were able to procure seed and manure, they have no means of support while engaged in their cultivation.
The amount of agricultural employment at present is very trifling, and we regret to say that after making the most minute inquiries we have no reason to hope that the demand for labour will be much increased for a considerable period.
p 930
In common with many other parts of Ireland, in the spring and summer of the past year, the Gort Union was affected with fever and dysentery; and as there was no permanent fever hospital in the Union, no effective mode of relieving poor persons suffering from these diseases was in existence. …The Relief Committee for the electoral divisions of Kinvarra and Killeenavarra were authorized and directed to provide hospital accommodation and other means of relief for the sick poor. In pursuance of such instructions the former Committee fitted up a building near Kinvarra for the purpose of an hospital to contain 50 patients; the latter, however, through a mistaken idea of economy, declined to fit up a separate institution, but with the consent of the late Board of Guardians, adopted the workhouse hospital as the fever hospital of their district, in direct violation of the express provisions of the statues, and sent all their patients thither. By this course of proceeding the (Gort) workhouse became the reservoir of contagion for the entire Union, except Kinvarra and Killeenavarra, and their hospital speedily filled.

At Kinvarra, a most impoverished district, in which fever prevails to an alarming extent, we propose to erect sheds to accomodate 100 patients, retaining the building now used as a temporary hospital for the purpose of convalescent ward after providing therein a room for the medical officer, a kitchen, washhouse and store-room.
By these arrangements, if sanctioned by the Commissioners, we hope we may be able to provide for the more destitute portion of the sick poor in this Union. If, however, the increase of contagious disease should require further accommodation, we shall be prepared to suggest the erection of temporary hospitals in other parts of the Union or the extension of those now proposed, as may seem most expedient.

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Kinvara – 1879

Freemans Journal 3rd October, 1879 p7 (abridged)

Kinvara Sunset Photo: Norma Scheibe
Kinvara Sunset
Photo: Norma Scheibe

On Sunday last a large and influential meeting of the people of Kinvarra and the surrounding districts was held in the chapel yard after last Mass. The meeting was convened to consider the present general depression, which is telling very severely on the tenant farmers in the neighbourhood. Kinvarra is essentially an agricultural district and the principal crops, being potatoes and barley, have been very seriously damaged by the constant wet and the late severe storms. The Rev. John Molony P.P., presided and Mr. James Curtin acted as secretary. The following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Proposed by Mr. Henry Fanagan, Esq., and seconded by Mr. John Lynch;
That this meeting is of opinion that the agricultural produce of this district, on which the people have almost entirely to depend for the payment of their rents and the support of their families, has been so much injured by the unprecedented wet summer and the late storms as to render it impossible for the tenant farmers to pay their present rents; and moreover to give just grounds for learning that the coming winter and spring will find many of them almost destitute.
Proposed by Mr. William Flatley and seconded by Mr. Stephen Leech;
In the face of the great losses we have sustained, caused by three successive bad harvests and the depreciation of agricultural produce arising from foreign importation, we are compelled to make an earnest but respectful appeal to our landlords to make such a reduction in our rents as will enable us to pass through the present severe crisis and save us from utter ruin.
Proposed by Mr. Thomas Corless and seconded by Mr. Michael Kelly;
That we feel we have good grounds to hope that our appeal will meet with a favourable response, as many of our landlords reside outside the parish, and consequently there is not so much employment given to the labouring classes in the district, nor that encouragement to local trade which might naturally be expected from resident proprietors.
Proposed by Mr. Peter Burke and seconded by Mr. John Burke;
That copies of these resolutions, signed by their respective tenants, be forwarded to the landlords of the parish, and that another copy, signed by the chairman and secretary, be sent to the Freeman’s Journal, the ever-faithful friend and advocate of the rights of the tenant farmers in Ireland.
J. Molony, P.P., Chairman
James Curtin, Hon. Sec.

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Farewell from Kinvarra, Duras and Killinna – 1867

Freeman’s Journal 16th December, 1867 p3 (abridged)

Dun Guaire, Kinvara Photo: Norma Scheibe
Dun Guaire, Kinvara
Photo: Norma Scheibe

Address of the parishioners of Kinvarra, Duras and Killinna to the Rev. Francis  P.P. Croughwell and Ballimana.
Rev. Dear Sir,
We have been deputed by our fellow parishioners of the united parishes of Kinvarra, Duras and Killinna, to offer you in the first instance their sincere and heartfelt congratulations on your recovery from your late severe and dangerous illness, and in the next to convey to you their, and our own, deep regret at your having been so soon after removed from amongst us.
For four and twenty years have you discharged the onerous duties of Pastor to these parishes with a pious zeal truly edifying, and the benefits conferred on religion and morality by your counsel and teaching during that eventful period it is not in our power to convey an adequate idea of, but we fondly cherish the hope that they will be appreciated by Him whose faithful servant you have ever been and who is sure to reward those who faithfully do His work.
It would be difficult, Rev. Sir, to enumerate all the advantages which your late Parishioners have derived, both spiritually and temporally, from the interest you have ever evinced in their welfare.
Need we refer to your exertions in their cause when famine and all its sad consequences, fever, cholera, &c, &c, stalked abroad, and like and avenging angel was devastating the land.  Then, indeed, it was that the good and zealous Priest of Kinvarra proved the interest he felt in his flock, in not only being found day and night in the midst of contagion and approaching dissolution, ministering to their spiritual wants, but also in relieving by his purse, and frequent appeals in their behalf to the charitable throughout the kingdom, their distressed condition.
We would be ungrateful and unworthy of the benefits conferred on the parish by him did we omit the name of your respected and beloved Curate in this address, of him  who, which on the mission amongst us, has won for himself not only our esteem and affection, but the respect and regard of all those who had the happiness of hearing his exposition of the Word of God during his mission in the parish.  We felt much, and were truly sorry to learn, that your respected Bishop had resolved on removing you, Rev. Sir, to another parish, but which removal we, however, sincerely hope will prove to you a well-merited reward for your past invaluable services in this.
We cannot give expression to the feelings of regret entertained by all when it was ascertained that his Lordship felt it necessary to remove the Rev. Mr McDonogh also from amongst us.
In conclusion, we beg to observe that, although the scene of your labours is now elsewhere and amongst other people, we are convinced that your prayers will still be offered to the Throne of Mercy for those who have commissioned us to present you with this Purse and its contents as a trifling token of the love and esteem in which you have ever been and will be held by them, as well as by your sincere and ever faithful friends.
Signed on behalf of the Committee.
Isacc B. Daly, Chairman
D.J. Hynes, M.D.(Vice Treasurer)
Martin Kerin (Vice Treasurer)

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Kinvara Quay – and Tram – 1838

Tuam Herald 28th September, 1839 p.2

Horse drawn Tram, Shop Street, Galway. National Library of Ireland on The Commons Wikimedia Commons
Horse drawn Tram, Shop Street, Galway.
National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Wikimedia Commons

(excerpt of letter from Mr T. Bermingham to “To the Guardians of the unions of Loughres, Gort, Ballinasloe and Tuam, especially – and to the inhabitants of the County Galway in General.”)

I have lately examined the southern coast of the Bay of Galway, and from the trade at present existing at Kinvarra and the New Quay, I have no hesitation in recommending the building there of two good piers, to protect the boats engaged in the fishery and seaweed trade, and as asylums for vessels of moderate burden, to encourage still further their spirited trade in corn, with a view of being a proper point of communication with the town of Galway by means of a steam tug – a plan which has been long agitated by the inhabitants of Galway.  Tram roads for horse power are perhaps more adapted to the present trade of this county than more expensive railways for locomotive power.

With the experience that I have had in constructing a short line of railroad on cut bog, the property of Lord Clonbrock in this county, I can almost confidently state that a double line of rails of dimensions adapted to the present trade, can be constructed for three thousand pounds per statute mile – upon which one horse can draw a load weighing ten tons upon the level. Of course it would be necessary to have relays of horses to assist at some of the elevations – which upon the route that I propose to take, would be but few.

More on Kinvara in the news archives at

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Kinvarra Waterworks – 1935

Irish Independent 21st February, 1935 p7

Rath Durlais Kinvarra, Co. Galway Photo: BO'D
Rath Durlais
Kinvarra, Co. Galway
Photo: BO’D

Kinvarra Waterworks.
A waterworks scheme has just been completed at Kinvarra, Co. Galway at a cost of £2,000. The well at Cartron has been enlarged and a windmill has been erected to drive the water a distance of about 250 yards to the reservoir on a hill overlooking the town.

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Killeeny – 1837

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

Photo:  Ragesoss  Creative Commons/ Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Ragesoss
Creative Commons/ Wikimedia Commons


KILLEENEY, a parish, partly in the barony of DUNKELLIN, but chiefly in that of KILTARTAN, county of GALWAY, and province of CONNAUGHT, 4 ½ miles (N. W.) from Gort, near the road from that place to Kinvarra; containing 820 inhabitants, and 5931 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. The land is very coarse and rocky, and the only seat is Normangrove, the residence of John Burke, Esq. It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Kilmacduagh, forming part of the union of Kilcolgan; the rectory is appropriate to the see, the deanery, and the vicarage of Ardrahan.

The tithes amount to £98. 0. 6., of which £21 is payable to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, £7. 7. to the dean, £42 to the incumbent of Ardrahan, and £27. 13. 6. to the vicar. There are some remains of the old church, with a small burial-ground attached. About a mile from Kinvarra is a hole in the rock, called the Pigeon Hole, which leads to a natural cavern, three or four hundred feet in extent. Here are the remains of the castle of Cahir Irlane, which is said to have belonged to the Killikellys.