They used to dine upstairs at the Mill House, in a large room facing the road, with a cabinet in the corner which contained the finest bone china and polished silverware. There was a mahogany table in the centre of the room, and the lady of the house would often rap its surface with her knuckles and emphasise it was solid mahogany and proceed to give an account of the local doctor offering twenty pounds when he had occasion to visit the house. if they were prepared to sell it. However, even though twenty pounds was a substantial sum of money in the early part of the century, on no account would the table be sold, for at the time, corn mills throughout the country were flourishing and the owners were financially secure, so there was neither the need nor the desire to part with such a magnificent piece of woodwork. Read more

There are some roads the names of which are familiar to people around the globe, such as the Appian Way in Italy, the Silk Road in China, the Stuart Highway in Australia, the Burma Road of World War 2 fame, route 66 in the U.S.A., or the trans American Highway reaching from the tip of South America to Alaska. But the road that had the greatest impact on the people of the Annaghdown/Corrandulla area when it was built was the Curraghline. Before it existed the means of getting to Galway City was by boat on the lake or by road through Claregalway. The Curragh Line is the stretch of road from Corrandulla Barracks to Carrowbrowne, a distance of approximately 6 miles. By any standard it was a major undertaking, given the difficult terrain it had to traverse from black alluvial clay in some places some fifty or more feet in depth to peat over white marl in others. Other places were a complete quagmire not to mention the added complication of two rivers and a number of streams and drains. Read more

A seldom discussed aspect of Irish history is the number of Irishmen who served in the British forces, a number which exploded in the nineteenth century reaching two in five of all British soldiers. Irishmen are understandably slow to acknowledge their participation in an empire won partly, and policed largely, by their countrymen. This short study focuses on the one hundred men from Annaghdown who served in British forces prior to the twentieth century, and it is important to note that this study includes only those who survived to discharge. The total number of men from Annaghdown was therefore considerably more, several times more indeed, in an era of war and particularly poor conditions for servicemen. Nationally, close to three quarters of Irish soldiers were from rural areas and, in general, the men enlisted 'for life' (i.e. unlimited service) or, into the nineteenth century, for twenty-one years. The men were more often illiterate, well over half in the case of Annaghdown, with them making 'their mark' on attestation and discharge. This was an impediment to their promotion. Read more

Our Summer 2020 newsletter can be viewed or downloaded at the link below. We hope to return to printing and distributing paper copies for the next edition. Items in this edition include: Cambridge, MA to Glenrevagh: The Journey of my father, William Flanagan, July 1904, by Mary Flanagan Newell; Thomas Browne's Applotment, 1847, by Paul Greaney; The Kingdom of Maigh Seóla, by Patrick O'Flaherty; Annaghdown's Army - One Hundred Annaghdown Men 'In Service' by Steve Dolan; Secret Stones of Annaghdown; Cathair a' Cillín: The Children's Burial Ground at Cregduff, by Br. Conal Thomas; and from the archives: Another Tithe Campaign, from the Freeman’s Journal, January 28, 1834. As always, we welcome articles, items of interest, other material and suggestions for future editions. Read more

This is a transcription of a document entitled ‘A Copy of the Annadown Applotments – 1847’, presented to the Annaghdown Heritage Society in February 1996 by the Devaney family of Cregduff, Corrandulla. According to the prefacing summary page, it was applotted in spring 1847 by Thomas Browne, who lived in Cregduff. It is unclear why the document was produced. A comparison with the later Griffith’s Valuation shows that the acreage given for each townland is consistent between the two. This suggests that Browne’s applotment was based on a published source – possibly the first edition of the Ordnance Survey map, produced in 1838. It is also possible that Browne came into contact with those carrying out the official valuation during the 1840s. Read more

The stone walls and ruins of east Galway are famous all over the world. They record the graft and skill of former generations who knew from the feel and heft of a stone precisely how to place it in a wall that would withstand generations of wind, rain, ivy, livestock and farm machinery. Annaghdown has some of the most beautiful walls and ruins in Ireland, and they are an important part of our history and heritage. Previous generations, who cleared the land and drew out the fields and laneways of Annaghdown with simple stone walls, have left us a remarkable legacy. Though we are in awe of the world’s great monuments like Newgrange and Stonehenge, the pyramids in Egypt and Mexico, the largest and most significant monument on the face of the earth is the mosaic of farms and farmland that stretches right across the globe: agriculture has literally changed the surface of the planet and is testimony to what can be achieved by even the smallest of communities. Read more

In 1812 the Commissioners for Enquiring into the Nature of the Bogs of Ireland published detailed maps of the Bogs, along with reports of how useful they might be for reclaiming for agricultural use. The map of the Cloonboo area shows the bogs and also the roads and houses in the area. Whether the houses are shown in their correct locations is not clear. A map made by the Ordnance Survey in 1839 shows the houses and roads in their exact locations, with the road in the same orientation as on the bog map. The N84 Headford Galway Road was not yet in existence, not being built until 1870. The road through the village from north to south was the boreen that goes through Greaney's bus yard. Read more

Birth registrations for one hundred years ago (1919) and marriages for 75 years ago (1944) have recently been added to irishgenealogy.ie. Records from these years in Annaghdown parish are as follows... Read more

Below are births registered in the Annaghdown townlands of Turloughmore Registration District in 1871. Read more

Omaha Daily Bee, August 1908: More than fifty-eight years after they left their old home in Ireland, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Cavanagh, 5056 North Twenty-fourth street, will visit it again. They will leave about August 31 on the long journey to the scenes of their childhood. "I don't expect we'll see a soul we know," said Mr. Cavanagh. "All of them are gone by this time, though it's quite possible I'll run across some of the boys I used to play with about the quay and wharfs of old Galway, for the people over there are not great to leave their homes and where they are born they generally stay like a tree rooted in the ground. "Of course, the city will be changed. There'll be tram cars and electric lights and all kinds of modern improvements that we knew naught about when my wife and I left there in the '50s. And there'll be steam cars runnning all over the dear old isle and steamships spouting smoke in the harbor where I knew naught but sailing vessels. Read more

In the early 1920s, with the battle for an independent Irish Republic at full pace, when IRA Volunteers were taking the fight to the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries, the land question was still a major issue in County Galway. Despite various Land Acts, particularly 1903 and 1909, in which loans were provided to tenants to purchase land, there were still many families who remained landless. Although the Acts allowed for land purchase, they did not allow for the distribution of land. Poverty-stricken families looked longingly at large ranches in Galway which supported only livestock and dreamed of having their own plot of land. The "land question" as it had been labelled for many decades, was still not solved for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the poorer families remained unable to purchase, so the situation arose where more prominent individuals bought up land that came on the market. The result of this meant that there were still many disgruntled landless farmers who felt they had no option but to resort to the tried and trusted methods of land agitation to highlight their plight. Additionally, there was now a national rebellion underway, with Irish freedom within touching distance and people dreamt of a bright future in an Ireland free from English tyranny. Read more

July 2018 marked the coming together of the Coen family of Anbally for the first time in many years, when the descendants of John Coen and Sarah Spelman gathered at Cloonacauneen Castle. John Coen was born in Anbally in March 1838 to Edward Coen and Mary Glynn. In 1876, he married Sarah Spelman of Cahernahoon, who was born in 1850 to John Spelman and Catherine Fahy (Twomileditch). Their family were as follows. Read more

It is just over one hundred years since the influenza pandemic, commonly known as the Spanish Flu, swept through Ireland and infected one fifth of the population. The death registers for Turloughmore and Headford registration districts indicate that there were at least 25 deaths due to influenza in the Annaghdown area, between September 1918 and May 1919. The first victim recorded is Martin Nally (57) of Tonamace, who died on 22 September 1918. The disease is known to have affected younger individuals more severely, and this is to be seen in the fatalities in Annaghdown, with 17 of those who died aged under 40 years. Read more

Our Summer 2019 newsletter was printed in June 2018 and distributed at the Corrandulla Show on 23 June, and thereafter at local shops and Corrandulla Post Office. We welcome articles, items of interest, other material and suggestions for future editions. Articles in this edition: The 1918-19 Flu Epidemic in Annaghdown; The Coen Family, by Mary Margaret Burke; Land Agitation in Galway, 1920-23, by Johnny Burke; and from the archives: Visit to Old Irish Home - Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Cavanagh Will Go Back to Galway, from The Omaha Daily Bee, August 4, 1908. Read more

I was born on 4th July 1923 and was second in a family of 6. My parents, Patrick and Mary Greaney lived at Cahermorris Cross where our house was used as the local dispensary and subsequently became known as Cahermorris Dispensary. When I was a child, Doctor Golding of Headford was the local district doctor and attended each Thursday from 11a.m. till 1p.m. until his retirement. He was replaced by Dr. Maguire who was the last doctor to attend there prior to the dispensary's closure. At the time most houses would have had to get their water from local streams or would have had collection tanks. The nearest local well at the time was in Kilcoona. It was practice at the time to have a clean water source in close proximity to a dispensary for patients who were attending. Read more

Water. Let us pause for a moment and dwell upon this element which is essential to all life. Our bodies are believed to be made up of 60% water and this same substance covers 70% of the earth’s surface in oceans, rivers and lakes. It’s also contained in vast quantities as ice in the Polar Regions which contain three quarters of the earth’s fresh water.Water is present naturally in three states – solid as ice, liquid as oceans, lakes and rivers and in a gaseous form as vapour. This element has been an integral part of our existence since the beginning of humanity and provides us with life and leisure but yet can be a source of fear and danger. Read more

At the turn of the twentieth century and probably before that, St. Brendan's Church, Corrandulla had two side altars. One was adorned with a picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel where Mrs. Frances Butler, Winterfield House, Tonagurrane prayed. This altar was situated near where the commemorative window to the late Fr. P.V. O'Brien is today. In later times that same picture was hanging in the then childrens' corner until the 1970s. Across the aisle, where the window dedicated to St. Francis is now, Mrs. Helen Blake, Cregg Castle had a picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on her altar. That picture has lingered on and can be seen today hanging on your left as you enter the church by the side door. Those two altars were beautifully adorned with golden-laced cloths, shining candle holders with lighted candles and of course flowers of the fairest. During Mass those two ladies would be praying with their backs to each other and side on to the rest of the congregation. Meanwhile the Reverend celebrant would be on the altar with his back to everyone. Read more

The early years of the Irish Free State were full of turmoil, beginning with the conflict between Pro- and Anti-Treaty factions which we know as the Civil War. After the cessation of hostilities in May of 1923, the country was in a ruinous state, with many roads and bridges blown up and in general disrepair. Cumann na nGaedheal was the party in government, with only the Labour Party in opposition due to the abstention of Sinn F\'ein. The financial situation was also dire, and the Government responded with austerity; cutting the old age pension by 10%, introducing a 7 day working week and slashing the wages of farm labourers by 16%. This latter tactic highlighted an objective of the Government which was to support the big farmers, with the aim that agricultural production would be the driving force behind economic recovery. Read more

When we were children in the 1950's, one of the red-letter days was St. John's Day, better known as Bonefire Night. There was much excitement and great competition among we school children as to which group would have the biggest, brightest fire. For several days before the much-awaited night, the whole place would be a hive of activity collecting fuel for the fire. Some people contributed turf, more gave scraps of timber, but the most prized material of all was Bog Deal. Bog deal is the remains of the forests of Ireland that covered the country many years ago. There was an abundance of it in the local bogs close to where we lived, namely Barana, and other townlands around the district. To a child's eye catching a glimpse of these ancient forms bursting through the bog land, would resemble the backdrop of a ghost story. Some had grotesque shapes and were extraordinarily heavy to carry, so the donkey and cart would be brought into service to assist with the collection of the more awkward specimens. Sometimes our group of gatherers would get lemonade and sweets, but always we had a great time heaving and pulling these giant forms from our bog lands. Read more

Our Winter 2018 newsletter was printed in December 2018 and distributed at local shops and Corrandulla Post Office. We welcome articles, items of interest, other material and suggestions for future editions. Articles in this edition: Was there a Famine in the West of Ireland in 1925? by Johnny Burke; Reflections on the Past, by Kathleen O'Shea; Big Deal, by Peter Newell; and Lectern, a poem by Joe McDermott. Read more

By Mary Forde (née Goaley), 1925-2018. We hear so much recently about a recession, meltdown, downturn or other various terms but all meaning the same thing. We are warned that it will give us a much lower standard of living than we enjoyed for the last decade. Of course our age group saw and lived through more recessions than that following the recent prosperity of Irish people called the Celtic Tiger, so for us, the older generation, it's going to bring back many mixed memories. I was going to school when World War Two broke out. We knew little or nothing about war just then beyond what we learned from our history lessons and maybe what we read in the Far East magazine about war in the Phillippines. Indeed history was a school lesson some of us felt we had to endure with its pages of battles, dates and leaders. We in Ireland were just recovering from another kind of war - the Economic War as it was called - a period like the present one breaking in on us. Read more

By Mary Forde (née Goaley), 1925-2018. This article first appeared in Anach Cuain 2006. When Fr. Pat Garvey was parish priest in Corrandulla in the forties there was an annual Gymkhana on 29th June which was a holyday of obligation at the time. In 1946 St. Peter and Paul's Day fell on a Saturday. So between himself and Fr. John D. O'Malley they decided to make a two day event with a Show and a Sale of Work thrown in. This was to be a fund raiser for the proposed Parochial Hall which would be a start for a Secondary School. At that time, the government were proposing Secondary Schools throughout the country. I think they were to be a form of Technical School. Headford was in its infancy and Athenry was the next base as Coolarne had a Domestic Economy School and Fr. Garvey wanted to have his foot in the door first for Corrandulla. Headford was too near Mayo! Read more