Authored by Declan Kelly, the material included in this volume comes from a variety of sources, including the archives of the diocese of Clonfert and that which was gathered in 1931 by an t-Athair Eric McFhinn, a noted polyglot and scholar of the diocese. Taken in conjunction with the Schools Folklore Commission's work a few years later, this material now has a value beyond even that which was foreseen at the time.
In June of 1922, a landmine was set off in the Public Records Office of the Four Courts. Thousands of old documents were destroyed, including the remaining censi from the nineteenth century and many of the Church of Ireland registers. Fortunately, just before this happened, Thomas T. O'Farrell had taken the time to type out extracts from the Loughrea census of 1821 and 1841 and they are also reproduced here in print for the first time.
What emerges from this parish history, covering the areas of Cappatagle/ Kilrickle, Carrabane, Leitrim/Kilmeen, Loughrea, Mullagh/Killoran, New Inn/Bullaun, Killeenadeema/Aille and Kiltullagh/ Killimordaly/ Attymon is a collection of information which we hope will hold something for everyone connected to the diocese, and which will add in its own way to the process of preserving a record of our past.
This book is available to purchase on Amazon by clicking the following link: Loughrea: A parish history
"The Fall of the House of Usher In the townland of Eastwell are the overgrown remains of the former seat of the local landlords, the Usher’s. Descended from Arland Usher who was Sheriff of Dublin from 1460–62 and ancestors of the renowned Archbishop Ussher of Armagh, they possessed an imposing mansion, now completely demolished with the exception of the servants’ basement. On two noted occasions the family came into conflict with the Catholic Church. On the first of these, ‘old’ Usher forbade locals to traverse his land to Mass via an old Mass path. This brought him up against the formidable Fr Colman Galvin PP, who in his younger days as CC Attymon had broken up a ring of shíbíní in advance of the laying of the railway. It was his wont to charge in with a blackthorn stick held aloft and thrash the terrified patrons about the place and out the door. These lowly drinking taverns usually operated from private dwellings without a licence. Galvin confronted Usher who gave orders for one of his sentries to shoot the priest. The sentry became paralysed on the spot and by evening, Usher had contritely sent for the priest to relieve the poor man from his frozen stance. The latter incident has become known as the ‘Eastwell Marriage Case’. William Arland Usher was one upon whom the teachings of the Church sat lightly and he came to desire Mary Caulfield, a housemaid at Eastwell. Being of a traditional bent, she naturally denied his amorous advances, so much so, that he offered to convert to Catholicism. "