Elphin (Roscommon)

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Raheen House, Elphin © Irish Houses Archive
Raheen House, Elphin © Irish Houses Archive

Teach an Ráithín aka Raheen House and Demesne, in the townland of Raheen near Elphin, is a Georgian Country House. It was built in the late 18th-century for Luke Harkan Esq. (d.1829) & Honor O'Donnell (Catholics) tenants of George Plunkett of Mount Plunkett.

In 1810, Raheen house and demesne were advertised TO LET for three lives (the furniture also to be put to auction) and again for a shorter term of five or seven years in 1818: 

TO LET, the HOUSE and DEMESNE of RAHEEN, for five or seven years.                     [Dublin Evening Post - 07 April 1818]

There are 206 acres of good Feeding and Meadow Ground, well divided, with a Turbary and Waste annexed. Any part of which will be let, along with the House which is roomy and commodious, with every necessary Office, Turf, and Water, quite convenient; a good Kitchen Garden and Orchard. The yards and paddocks enclosed by high walls and iron gates. The tenant can have, at a moderate valuation, a year&s supply of saved Turf now in the yard, along with Hay, Corn, Potatoes etc. A longer lease than above will be given if preferred. Proposals to Luke Harkan Esq., Raheen, Elphin, who will close with solvent tenants, when the value is offered. April 2 1818. 

It would appear that Harkan was unsuccessful in securing a tenant and resided there until his death in 1829, after which it was advertised again:

COUNTY ROSCOMMON. TO LET, from the Ist of November next, for such term may be agreed on (and immediate possession given if desired), the House and Demesne of RAHEEN, late the Residence of Luke Harkan, Esq., deceased; situated within two miles Elphin. There are 206 Acres of good Feeding and Meadow Ground, well divided, Turbary and waste annexed. The whole, or part, as agreed on, will set with the House, which is roe commodious and with every necessary office attached to it: – having been lately put into perfect order, it is fit for the immediate reception of a genteel family. The agreeable situation of this handsome House and Demesne, placed in the centre of fine Sporting country, is too well known require any comment. The Furniture, which is new and fashionable, may be had at a valuation. The Steward on the Land will shew the premises. Also, the Farm KNOCKAVERAY, containing 230 Acres, which is allowed to be Land of the very first quality in Ireland. Proposals will be received (if by letter post paid) by Timothy McDermott, Esq., Boyle, or Blackball-street, Dublin; or by Doctor Harkan, Sackville-street. [Dublin Evening Post - 22 August 1829 ] This ad was re-published in April 1831. 

In 1835 and 1837 it was occupied by Major Fawcett along with 50 acres. John Fawcett held almost 1,000 acres in the parish of Kilmeane, barony of Athlone and 188 acres in the parish of Kilteevan, barony of Ballintober South, county Roscommon.

In 1837, the highly valuable estates of CASTLEPLUNKETT and ELPHIN were advertised for sale "for the payment of incumbrances". The Plunkett's Elphin estate comprised the townlands of Cloonroughan Ross, including Rossbeg, Rossmore East, Rossdonnellan, and Lisnagard, Rumarogue, Cartron, Raheen, and Cartrongour, Clougherbeg, and Clooneyeffer (a total of 2,628 acres).

In 1839, Raheen House, valued at £16, was recorded in the name of John Irwin, a younger son of Richard Irwin of Rathmoyle. John Irwin Esq. JP of Raheen was certainly the occupant by January 1840. He was High Sherriff of Roscommon in 1852. 

In February 1841 John Irwin married Margaret Harken of Kilcairne House, Co Meath, daughter of Luke Harkan Esq, Raheen.

At Kilcaime House County Meath, John, third son of the late Richard Irwin, Esq., of Rathmile House county Roscommon, to Margaret, second daughter of the late Luke Harkan, Esq., Raheen, same county.  [Dublin Morning Register - 22 February 1841 ]

In 1857, at the time of Griffith's Valuation, John Irwin held Raheen House from Francis Murphy.

In 1901, Raheen was occupied by Luke J Irwin (b.1845-1935). It was a 14-room 1st class house. In 1911, Raheen was still owned by Luke Irwin, but it was occupied by his herdsman Patrick Keiher Jr. and housekeeper Anne Flanagan. 

FURTHER LAND SEIZURES EXTRAORDINARY DOINGS. On a farm known as Corroy, near Ballinameen, the property of Mr Luke Irwin, J.P., Raheen House, Elphin, Sinn Feiners on Wednesday assembled, 130 strong, accompanied by several bands. They endeavoured to divide the farm, but the police interfered. After four baton charges, the police retired defeated, spades meeting the batons in every direction, and several police and civilians were wounded. On the following day, the Sinn Feiners assembled and marked out all the land in divisions suitable for allotments tillage. On Friday evening several military detachments arrived in Boyle, and proceeded to the residence of Mr. Irwin, at Raheen, accompanied with machine guns.  [Londonderry Sentinel - 26 February 1918 ]

In June 1935, Luke J. Irwin sold the residence and an auction of the furniture and contents quickly followed.

AN OUTSTANDING PERSONALITY. MR. LUKE J. IRWIN DEAD. Mr Luke J. Irwin, whose death took place in London on Saturday last, was the second son of the late Mr John Irwin, of Raheen House, near Elphin, Co. Roscommon, He was in his 90th year. Until a few years agoMr. Irwin lived at Raheen House, where he was born, but in recent years he was more often be found at the United Services Club in Dublin, which he was one of the oldest members. He was well-known in the West Ireland, where he owned a number of large farms. Mr. I ruin was a man of unique personality. Gifted with a wonderful memory and tile power of telling a good story well, was very popular with all who knew him. He had travelled extensively in his earlier years. In recent times spent part the winter in the South of France. Knowledge of History. Mr. Irwin was a great reader of history, and his knowledge covered a very wide field. Reference has been made his wonderful memory'. Two years ago revisited Wood College, where had been educated nearly threequaters of a century ago. He referred, his way down to the College, to the Latin inscription over the front door which had not seen for years. He recalled it word for word, and. on arrival, satisfied himself that was right. The interment took place on Tuesday last in the family burial place at Kilmurray, Castlerea.  [Roscommon Messenger - 24 August 1935 ].


From 1837, at intermittent dates through to 1852, the cess payer "Thomas Conry of Raheen" sat on the Grand Jury for Roscommon [Roscommon Journal,  25 September 1852]. His holding (and 66 acres of grazing land) was technically in the townland Runnaruag [see GV#1a Runnaruag] but his house was right on on the roadside border to Raheen Demesne.   In the early 19th-century Raheen and Runnaruag were a combined placename (which explains the Raheen reference). 

In 1835, "Raheen & Runnaroge" were jointly recorded on Tithe Records and include Matt Conry with a smallholding of 12 Irish acres. Matt Conry & Winifred McGreal of Raheen baptised:

Thomas Conry (1812) Thomas Conry of Runnaboll married Catherine Sweeny (par. Croghan) on 21 Feb 1832 with Matthew Conry Jr as his best man. From 1838 Thomas & Catherine Conry were baptising children at Runnaruag, using the adjacent address of "Raheen" in 1840 and 1845.

Matthew Conry Jr (b.1815)  In 1850, Mattew Conry godparents for another Raheen couple. 

Thomas Conry of Cloonahee (d.1838) was an agent for Mahon of Strokestown and McCausland of Derry and married a Knox. 

Canadian lawyer-politician James Gervé Conroy (1836-1915) son of Luke Conry is believed to have been born in this townland. In 1857, the Conry holding also features two unoccupied farmhouses which had been mapped in 1837. 

[Research by Rua mac Diarmada]


Raheen TITHES 1835 Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Raheen HOUSE BOOK 1839 Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Raheen CENSUS 1901: Irwin Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Raheen CENSUS 1911: Kehir Ireland VIEW SOURCE
OS Map: Raheen House 1837 Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Aerial View: Raheen House 2010 Ireland VIEW SOURCE

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