Evelyn Stevens talks to Dutch thatcher Marika Leen about the art of thatching and how she came to learn the trade. Filmed in Cloonboo, Annaghdown, Co. Galway in summer 2020, at the thatched cottage of Pete Smith and Evelyn Stevens. An initiative of the Annaghdown Heritage Society. Labhraíonn Evelyn Stevens leis an tuídóir Ollainnis, Marika Leen, faoi chéird na tuíodóireachta agus an bealach a d’fhoghlaim sí an céird. Taifeadta i gCluain Bú, Eanach Dhúin, Co. na Gaillimhe, i samhradh 2020, ag teach ceann tuí Pete Smith agus Evelyn Stevens. Tionscnamh de chuid Cumann Oidhreachta Eanach Dhúin.
Below are marriages for the Roman Catholic Parish of Annaghdown registered in Turloughmore Registration District between 1864 and 1874. Note that there appear to be large gaps corresponding to gaps in the church marriage register.
Below are births registered in the Annaghdown townlands of Turloughmore Registration District between 1864 and 1870.
The medieval monastery and bishopric of Annaghdown was once the most important ecclesiastical centre in Connacht after Tuam Archdiocese. The monastery of Annaghdown was founded by St Brendan and his sister St Briga around 550 AD in the territory of the little-known Delbhna Cuil Fabhair, on the south-east shore of Lough Corrib. This territory of Magh Seola (later the barony of Clare) was taken over after 800 by the Uí Briúin Seóla, ancestors of the Uí Fhlaithbertaig, and Annaghdown grew in power, attracting in the late 12th century two Continental monastic orders, the Arrouaisians and Premonstratensians, and rising after 1179 to become one of the five bishoprics of Connacht.
In 1659 the first service was established to convey mail from Dublin to Galway. By 1807 there was a regular mail coach service, taking almost 15 hours to complete the journey. With the completion of the railway in 1851, trains were then used for the transportation of letters and parcels.
In 1853 it became obligatory to use postage stamps. By 1872 there were 5 letter boxes in Galway city, at Rockbarton, Salthill, Nile Lodge, Mainguard Street and Eyre Square. At first all incoming mail had to be collected at the Post Office. It was not until the end of the nineteenth century that a free delivery service was set up. Postmen traversed their district daily on foot walking up to twenty miles. Cycle deliveries began in 1901, with the postman receiving 1 shilling weekly for cleaning and maintaining the bicycle. It was not until the 1960s that post vans were introduced into rural areas.
The children’s burial ground Cathair a’ Cillín at Cregduff was recently cleared and tidied up by a group of locals, to whom the gratitude of the community is due. There are numerous upright stones within a small enclosure as at other local children’s burial sites. The burial ground was consecrated by Fr. Martin Newell, P.P. on 21 July 2000, and a large inscribed stone was erected by the Heritage Society to mark the location for posterity.
Máirtín Moylan was born on the 10th of November 1898 to Thomas and Honor Moylan, (née Burke from Ardgaineen) of Farmerstown. His father died in January 1899 leaving his mother to rear the family by herself. Could it be from here, looking at his mother’s strong will and determination that Máirtín found the resilience to see his cause through to the end in his later life? Honor may have needed time to get herself on her feet after her husband’s death, and on the 31st of March 1901, Máirtín is to be found in the census records listed in the house of his grandparents, Michael and Ellen Burke (née Boyle from Carrowbrowne) of Ardgaineen. How long he remained with his grandparents is not known but sending children to live with relatives was not an uncommon practice at the time to help with rearing the family. He was not to remain in Ardgaineen indefinitely and in time returned to his beloved Farmerstown.
Má fháighmse sláinte is fada ‘bheidh tráchtadh,
Ar an méid a bádh as Eanach Dhúin,
‘S mo thrua ‘márach gach athair ‘s máthair,
Bean is páiste tá a’ sileadh súl,
A Rí na nGrást, a cheap neamh is parthas,
Nár bheag an tábh’cht dúinn beirt nó triúr,
Ach lá chomh breá leis, gan gaoth ná báisteach,
Lán a’ bháid acu, ‘scuab’ ar shiúl!
The Kingdom of Maigh Seóla occupied ‘the fertile plains which lie east of Lough Corrib between Galway and Tuam’. It was centred on Lough Kime (today called Lough Hackett).
Its origins lie in the 5th century and it flourished until 1185 when the last king, Rory of Lough Kime was overthrown by and killed by his enemies the O’Connors.
Many of the features of our lives today originated with the Kingdom of Maigh Seóla; these include the introduction of Christianity, the introduction of surnames and the construction of many of the ruins we see around us.
Below are two letters by John O’Donovan concerning the Parish of Annaghdown, part of his Letters containing information relative to the Antiquities of the County of Galway collected during the progress of the Ordnanace Survey in 1838 Vol. I. Links to each volume of O’Donovan’s Letters are available on the Ask About Ireland website.
“I have not yet sufficiently examined the antiquities of this parish having only passed through a few townlands of it on my way from Clare Galway to Tuam. I met one old church in the townland of Cill Chathail which bears the same name with the townland or rather which originally gave its name of Cill Chathail or Church of St. Cathaldus to the townland. It lies in a fieldto the left of the road as you go from Clare Galway to Tuam about 8 miles from the latter.”