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The Annals of Kilfenora or Ye Citie of the Crosses by Charles Ffrench Blake-Forster


Charles Ffrench Blake-Forster

Charles Ffrench Blake-Forster was born in Forster House, Forster Street Galway in 1850. He was blessed with a gifted mind and outstanding intellect and he used both in the pursuit of learning. He was proud of his long lineage, both on the Blake-Forsters and Ffrench sides. He was very conscious of the glorious history of Galway city, and of the diocese of Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora, where his father was a benign landlord. It was his father Captain Blakeforster J.P. who gave to the Bishop of Galway, Dr McEvilly, just after a fortnight after Charles death, on September 22nd 1874, upwards of three acres of prime land in the town of Kinvara, rent free forever, as a site for a convent and church. Charles died of a brain haemorrhage brought on by overwork, on Sept 9, 1874, in his father’s house in Forster Street. He was then only twenty four years of age, but he had already many achievements to his name. He was High Sheriff of the town of Galway, charged with administering justice and keeping the peace of the city. He had published in book form “The Irish Chieftains”, an historical study of South Galway and North Clare, in the late eighteen and nineteenth centuries. He had published an article on the Arms of Galway in the local Galway paper, “The Vindicator”. It was in this paper, too, he published the Annals of Kilfenora. This essay was the fruit of much study of ancient books and manuscripts, and consultation with many experts on genealogies. The essay shows his sterling patriotism and makes us regret his sad and early death. Had he lived there is no doubt but we would have now a history of Galway, which would do the city full justice and honour. Indeed he had in manuscript at his death, the Annals of Galway which alas has been lost to us.

An tAth Pádraig Ó Laoi

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