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Houses and their Occupiers in some townlands around Ennistymon, County Clare

Feagreen and its people

By “Seán Óg”

The townland of Feagreen (Fegreen), in the [Catholic] Parish of Ennistymon and electoral area of Magherareagh, occupies an area of three hundred and twenty four acres, two roads, and seventeen sq perches, and is situated three miles south of Ennistymon. It is bounded to the North by Ballyvraneen and Furglan, to the east by Monananagh and Keelkyle, to the south by Illaunbaun and to the west by Mooghna.

Feagreen rises at two points, the highest point being three hundred and forty six feet above sea level. The land, classified as glayee and peaty gleyee, is generally moist and demands a lot of attention to keep it productive. Under EC criteria it would be designated as a “disadvantaged area”. It is mainly a farming community that live here, being part of the Macnamara Estate which was divided in the 1880s, the farms are relatively small. The children attended Furglan National School and before that a Hedge School, which was built in 1879 by Foudy Brothers, Carhuduff, Milltown Malbay. The school, under the Principalship of Mr. John Ryan, opened its doors to enrol the first pupils on February 2nd 1880.

Feagreen, in leaner times boasted of eight families but sadly families are fewer now with only one family remaining in residence today. The families settled mainly on two avenues, (boireens or boiteens), one running west/east from Ennistymon/Derrymore road and the other, with a branch, running south/north from the Furglan road. Three families resided on the former with only one still residing there now. The first on that avenue was McGuanes.

Map of Feagreen Houses

(1) John McGuane and his wife Eileen Marrinan, from Knockacarn, Moughna were the last to live here. They had seven children, Thomas, Michael, John, Mary, Helen, Bridget and Ann. Bridget is married and lives with her husband and family in her mother’s homeplace in Knockacarn. The family transferred to Killucan, Co. Westmeath in 1959. An Irish Land Commission divide of a big estate. John’s father, Patrick/Paddy (died in 1961 age 73) and his wife Kate (McGuire, died 1981 age 85), lived there before that. They had 8 children, John, Thomas (Tondy), Peter, Kathleen, Nancy, (Baby) May and Peggy. Paddy’s father, Patrick/Phatie/Patsy (died 1935 age 78) lived there before him with his wife May/Margaret (Devitt, died 1932 age 78) from Been, Inagh. Andrew McGuane, a step brother of Paddy married Margaret McGuire, a sister of Jack McGuire. It is said that there was a Daedach Devitt living in what is known locally as McGuane’s Mountain. There are no signs or ruins of the house there today.

(2) Next we meet the homestead of James Maguire (died 1982) and his wife Mary/May (O’Loughlin from Kilshanny, died 1963). They had two children, Owen and PJ. The family moved in 1966 to “Leyden’s Place” (Devitt’s) in Ballyvraneen where Owen built a new house and lives there with his wife Catherine Shannon, Killeenagh. They had three sons, Owen, Brendan, PJ and two daughters, Mary and Grainne (RIP). Jamsies’s father, Patrick/Patsy (died 1949) and his wife Bridget/Bid (Devitt from Ballyvraneen, died 1949) lived here and they had three sons and three daughters, James, Owen, Patrick (Paaty), Nora, Kate and Maria. Nora (died 1992) married Lawlor, Kate married Paddy McGuane, Feagreen and Maria married Michael (Mickey) Brennan, Ballyvraneen.

(3) Finally, on this avenue we meet the home of the Hynes family where John’s wife, Mary (Baby) Garrihy from Aylebrack and her sons Michael and John jnr. still reside. John’s father, Michael who came from Ballycotton, Liscannor and his wife Ann Maguire inhabited this home and they had one son, John and two daughters, May and Dilly.

(4) On the second avenue leading from the Furglan road, we have the former residence of Patrick (Patty) Connelly which was built in the fifties by Patrick Costelloe replacing the older house. Patrick married Delia Guthrie from Moymore and they had two daughters, Mary and Ellen (Elley). Mary married Pa Greene and resides in Moymore and Ellen married George Dunleavy and lives in Ballyea. Patty’s father Michael married Maura Coughlan and they had two sons, Patrick and Johnny and four daughters, Delia, Susan, Elley and Bridget. Johnny emigrated to the USA, Delia married John Quinn of Carhucloch. Susan married Sharry of Liscannor, Elley and Bridget went to Australia.

Michael’s father, Cornelius had two sons, Michael Con and Paddy Con which brings me to the house next door, (5) where Paddy’s family resided. Cornelius came down from Kilaspuglonane, near Moymore Church. Paddy (died 1929 age 90) married Bridget/Biddy (Malone, died 1938 age 82) and their son Jim was to survive them there. They had eight sons, Jack, Anthony, Joe, Cornelius, Jim, Tom, Michael (Mickey), and Willie (Claus) and two daughters, Mary and Bridget. Mary died as a young child. The others emigrated to the United States of America while Jim stayed at home and married Margaret Corry from Been, Inagh. Bridget came home and married Thomas/Tommy Egan from Rockstown (Knockpatrick). Bridget died in 1924 at the age of 35 years. Cornelius and Jim were very good athletes, they used to run to Monanagh Bridge for a swim and back again. Jim, after mowing a meadow of hay at the Glown (Gleann) with a scythe ran to a sports in Milltown Malbay, entered for the one mile race and won by ten lengths or so the story goes. Cornelius who emigrated to Chicago at the age of eighteen, won a gold medal in the World Cross Country Championships there. He came home from Chicago in February 1947 and it is related that following a heavy snowfall he stripped off and rolled in the snow, caught pneumonia and died in May 1947, age 71. He is buried in Moughna (Mooghna) Cemetery – John McGuane, Pat Mahony and John Garrahy were the grave diggers. Joe Conneely was the only one to marry, his wife was Katey Doherty, Tony’s sister from Lavareen. Joe joined the police in Chicago and was very good to anyone who emigrated there from home. He helped them to get work and into the police. While in the police, John won a medal for bravery, he took on Al Capone’s gang and was nearly killed; he survived by putting his finger under the hammer of the gun which prevented it from being fired but got his finger burst in the process.

There is a story told that when Joe went to Chicago with only enough money to get there and while looking for work to earn enough for the fare home to Ireland he met up with a Police Captain on the beat, Joe told him that he was looking for work to put some money together to take him home as “there is no work here”. The Police Captain offered him the opportunity to join the Chicago Police. Joe replied he would do anything, the Captain told him there would be no need to go home if he joined, Joe was then a fine 6’-01/2’ young man. Joe duly presented himself at the precinct, was signed up and fitted out with a uniform etc. He was home after 3 years to visit his ageing parents, met up with Katey Doherty and they both went back to Chicago. Joe himself rose to the rank of Captain.

Jim and Margaret Corry had two daughters, Mary and Mary Margaret and five sons, Tom, Pat, Jamsie, Joe and Michael. Jamsie and Joe were twins. Michael died young and Mary died as a child. Mary Margaret now lives in the south of England.

(6) We move south along the avenue where we come to the house of Jack McGuire who was married to Delia Garrihy from Aylebrack (Aillbreach). They had two sons, Thomas (Tomo) and Peter and two daughters, Margaret (Baby) and Bridie. Tomo stayed at home on the farm but emigrated to his sister, Margaret in the USA in the sixties, his brother Peter married Mary Russell and lived in Fahanlunaghta Beg. They had three daughters, Bridget (Biddy), Noreen (RIP) and Peggy. Jack McGuire’s sister Margaret married Andrew McGuane, a step brother of Paddy McGuane, Feagreen. Andrew had the place in Fahanlunaghta and Margaret was Peter (Peadar) McGuire’s aunt. Margaret emigrated to England and married Henchy from Mount Callan. They later went to America. Bridie married Joe Ryan and lived for a while in Derrymore. They had two sons, PJ (RIP) and Sean. The farm in Fahanlunaghta is now farmed by Francie Talty. Jack McGuire had a relative, Owen McGuire, a master craftsman/carpenter who with the Murrihy’s built houses in Ennistymon. Owen married Bridget/Bridgey Clair from Ballyingaddy area, lived at the bottom of Churchill and carried on a carpentry/car making business there. His son Patrick was to succeed in the business until he died in the mid 1960s. Patrick’s sisters Katey and Annie lived with him while Bridget married a Maguire from the North of Ireland, has a son a priest who visited the area recently. A gravestone in Moughna cemetery reveals a Thomas Maguire who died July 10th 1879 aged 98 years and Bridget who died 20th Dec. 1874 aged 80 years. It was erected by Owen Maguire, Ennistymon and Peter, Anne and Margaret Maguire.

(7) On the hill to our left we have Egans. Thomas (Tommy) Egan from Rockstown lived here with his wife Bridget Connelly, Jim’s sister, they had seven sons, Tommy, Dan, Pat, Mickey, John, Joe and James and three daughters, Mary, Margaret and Bridie. Thomas died in 1925, of a broken heart, at the age of 55 years; his wife Bridget predeceased him, by three months, in 1924 at the age of 35 years, a victim of the great flu. She died after the youngest boy, James, was born. Mary stayed at home and looked after all the other siblings, she is buried in the New Cemetery, Ennistymon. Tommy died in 1936 of TB at the age of 28 years, Joe, born in 1923, died in 1947 and Pat died in 1995 aged 84 years. Dan went to the US as did Mickey who later went to England. Pat was in service around at home as was Joe. John emigrated to England as well as Margaret (who now lives in Lincs, England) and Bridie. John married Bridget (Biddy) Doherty, Tom’s youngest daughter from Ballyvraneen.

(8) Finally at the end of the boireen we arrive at another McGuires, Pat (Patrick T) McGuire. Pat married Bridget (Bid) Conneely, Monanagh, an aunt of Maria Clancy. Pat and Bid had four sons, Tom, Owen, Jackie and Michael (Micklo) and two daughters, Mary and Nano. Owen (died 1968) married Maria (Haren of Lavareen, died 1978), and had four children, May Mary/Mai (died 1999 age 77), Paddy, Jackie and Hanna. Jackie was killed in an air crash in Rhodesia in the fifties. Jackie Snr married Dora Morgan and lived in Cloncoul, Ennistymon. Jackie Snr got the place from his cousin, another Maguire. The old house was further up the hill from the present house in Cloncoul, Ennistymon. Micklo married in Lisdoonvarna and had no family. Tom and Nano stayed on the farm. Bridget (Bridie) Kennedy, Mooghna lived with them until she married Michael (Miko) McGuire, Knockacarn. Patrick T/Pat (died 1912 aged 72), his wife Bridget/Bid (died 1940 aged 87). Their daughter Mary died young in 1907 aged 21 and son Patrick died in infancy. Tom died in 1973 aged 83 and Nano died 1981 aged 93.

Some extracts from the old roll books of Furglan School show that seven pupils (scholars) from Feagreen attended on the day it opened 02-02-1880, Bridget McGuire aged 12, Anne McGuire aged 8, John McGuire Jnr, Anthony McNamara, Pat Beakey aged 8, Michael McNamara aged 9 and Michael Conneely aged 9, from Moy school while James McGuire aged 9 arrived to school on 03-02-1880 and Margaret McGuire aged 7 attended on 07-02-1880. Mary O’Donohue aged 12, John O’Donohue and Thomas Egan aged 10 were admitted on 09-02-1880, while Mary Conneely aged 7 came on 16-02-1880, John Conneely aged 11 on 18-02-1880 and Marie McGuire was enrolled on 23-02-1880, from Rockmount school. Some of the above started school for the first time while others came from the Hedge School.

Ennistymon Parish Magazine 2001


Houses and their Occupiers in
some townlands around Ennistymon


From Glann Cross to
Ballagh Cross and back