Ennis in old picture postcards

Ennis in old picture postcards

:   Seán Spellissy
:   Ennis
:   Clare
:   Ierland
:   978-90-288-2695-3
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Ennis in old picture postcards'

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A loose federation of dynastie groups known as the Eoghanacht, the descendants of Eoghan Mór, governed the province of Munster. These groups planted kingdoms in the midst of the occupied territaries they had taken from earlier peoples and they governed through vassal dynasties like the Dalcassians or Dal gCais, seed of Cas, a king of Thomond or North Munster during the fifth century. As the power ofthe Eoghanacht declined that ofthe Dalcassians increased. In 964 a Dalcassian prince, Mahon, occupied the Eoghanacht stronghold of Cashel. He was killed in 976 and was succeeded as king of Munster by his brother, Brian Boru, Brian of the Cattle Tributes. Brian became high king ofIreland in 1002 and his grandson, Turlough, was the first of Brian's family to use the O'Brien surname, an Anglicization of O'Briain, descendant of Brian.

Brian's descendants lacked his ability, were unable to retain the high kingship and were styled kings of Munster, North Munster, Thomond ar Limerick. Murthagh Mór O'Brien had established a new capital in Limerick by 1100 and gave his former capital ofCashel to the Church in 110 1. Domhnall Mór O'Brien was the last O'Brien king of Munster and, seemingly, the first to realise that he would be unable to hold Limerick. He ceded his former

palace to the Church several years before he died and was succeeded by his son, Donnchadh Cairbreach. Donnchadh Cairbreach was the last O'Brien to rule from Limerick. He transferred his capital to Ennis between 1208 and 1216 and his heirs continued to rule a diminished kingdom of Thomond, ar North Munster, from there until 1543. In 1318 Murtagh O'Brien and the Dalcassian clans defeated Richard de Clare's farces at the battle of Dysert O'Dea and drove the Anglo-Narman invaders out ofThomond.

The O'Brien dynasty survived and the town of Ennis developed around the stronghold ofClonroad and the friary founded by Donnchadh Cairbreach O'Brien about the year 1240. Both places were linked byThe Causeway, an ancient place name the locals still use far a roadway strangers call Francis Street. Inis Cluain Ramh Fhada , the island of the meadow of the long rowing, became Ennis Clonroad. The friary was founded on another island, Inis Mac nlnill, the island of the son of Ineall, a place that was also known as MUr Inse, the wall or rampart of the island. Cusack Park and the area north of The Causeway was known as Inis an Laoigh, calf island or the island of streams. All three used the word Inis, an island, a word that was anglicized as Ennis.

From 1584 onwards the O'Briens became a secondary authority in their farmer stronghold which became the capitalof the newly established County of Clare. Donough O'Brien obtained the grant of a weekly market and permission to hold two fairs a year in 1609. In 1613 Iames 1 incarporated the Borough of Ennis, one offorty such corporations 'erected' to ensure the return of a Protestant majority in the Dublin Parliament. English settlers poured into the town during the early 1600s and Iohn Gore, a former Cromwellian offreer, leased some of Ennis from the Earl of Thomond in the 165 Os. The Ennis Grand Jury became an auxiliary arm ofthe Corporation of Ennis but never actually had any legal standing. It was founded to placate the business community who were mainly Catholic and helped to offset the worst of the Penal Laws. Membership was open to Catholics and no oaths ar fees were required.

Clarecastle became the port for Ennis during the 1700s but the town boundary did not extend as far as Clare Abbey until 1 Ianuary 1989. Ennis and Clarecastle are both within the Barony of Islands but belong to different parishes, the farmer within the Parish of Drumcliffe and the latter in the Parish of Clare Abbey.

I could not have compiled this collection of postcards but for the assistance of Larry Walsh and Tom Keogh of The Jim Kemmy Municipal Museum in Limerick City, Maureen Comber and Frances O'Gorman of The Manse, Paddy Brennan of Clonroadbeg, Thomas Bomber Moloney of the Old Mill Street Harriers, Brian O'Dálaigh, Martin Breen, Geraldine Saunders, Ollie Byrnes, Declan Barron, Maeve Wilson, Ioan Ryan Tracey, Peter Cronin, Iohn Joe Moroney, Gerry Moroney, Rita Moroney, Brian Hynes, Sean McCarthy, Bridie Gormelly, Niall O'Connor, ]osie Lucas, Bernie McNeill, Gerry Malone, Michael Naughton, Bridget Cooley, and Frances Keane, all of Ennis, Ioseph Power, Eric Shaw and Patricia Guinnane, of Clarecastle, Mary Kearns of Ballycarroll, Barefield and Sonia Schorman of Ballyalla.

1 This view of Ennis Friary dates from about 1 92 0 and shows the remains of two east windows, the older transitional style one built by 1282 and the more modern one constructed after 1 793. The town developed around the friary, which is known to the locals as The Abbey. Donnchadh Cairbreach O'Brien founded the Abbey of St. Francis during the winter of 1 240 and 1241 after he had entertained some Franciscan friars in his nearby stronghold. The Franciscans remained in possession of the friary until 1569. even though the last of the O'Brien kings renounced

his Irish title and Roman Catholic religion in 1543. The first court of English law was held in the friary sacristy in 1570 and in 1606 the Brehonlaws were abolished here. Prot-

estant service commeneed in the former friary in

161 2 and it remained in use as the Protestant parish church until it was abandoned as a place of worship in 1873. The Office of

Public Works taak over the maintenance of the friary in 1893.

2 On this picture we see a large roofed building to the left of Ennis Friary, on the eastern bank of the meandering River Fergus. The two-storey building, part of the three-storey gable and the shopfronted façade incorporate parts of the old friary's fourteenthcentury western range within its fabric. Two medieval stone ovens built into the north wall of this structure are still visible in the interior of the restaurant and bar now known as The Cloister. The towers of the original friary and its nineteenth-century counterpart, St. Mary's. can be seen in the background. St. Connell's Abbey Bridge, or the Club Bridge, dates

from 1835.lt cast ;1;;800 to construct and replaced an earlier three-arch bridge of the 1690s which was known as the New Bridge and is still commemorated in a Lifford place name,

Newbridge Raad. The original parapet of the bridge was replaced with a metal balustrade and the stone steps leading into the river were removed in the 1970s.

3 On this picture men and harses pose in front of the gates leading to Abbeyville House, Abbeyview House and The Abbey Hotel. Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August

1 914 and as preparations gat underway harses were sought by the army's purchasing agents. Dr. Patriek Howard of Abbeyview House was a veterinary surgeon who supplied both the British Army and the Royal Irish Constabulary with harses. In 1914 these men and horses were photographed outside his posting establishment, the entrance of which lay between Abbeyview House andTheAbbey Hotel. Pat-

rick J. Howard advertised that he had a motor garage, with motors for hire, at the same address, in that year. His house was renamed Remount Castle

by local wits and is now

occupied by Dr. Rory O'Keefe. The Cloister bar and restaurant is based in the building once occupied by Keane and Sans. manufacturers of highclass coaches and car-

riages. By 1914 William Keane had converted it into a hotel.

4 In 1915 the Munster Fusiliers extended their army reeruitment drive to Ennis. On this picture we see an army band, saldi ers and an officer in the grounds of Abbeyville House. The eighteenthcentury house, with a seventeenth-century wing, was the farmer home of the Patterson and Crowe families. The Baronial Police were established in

1 787, replaced by Sir Robert Peel's Peace Preservation Force in 1 8 14 and were augmented with the creation of a second police force, the County Constabulary, in 1822. Thomas Drummond formed the Irish Constabulary in

1836 and this new body

absorbed the existing farces into one group, which was awarded the prefix Royal in 1867. The Royal Irish Constabulary was disbanded afterThe Treaty and replaced by a

new force, the Civic Guards. This body had its name changed to the Gárda Siochána on 31 [uly 1922.

5 On this picture, we see Abbey Street as it was between 1900 and 1960.The Queen's Hotel, on the left, commemorated Queen Victoria and next to it, but now part of the present hotel, was the premises of Iohn Barrett and Son, merchant tailors and clothiers. Carmody's Hotel, on the opposite side of the street, has a plaque above its front door that proclaims its establishment in 1804. Daniel O'Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Davitt and Eamon de Valera stayed here at various times. The upper floor of the hotel collapsed, during an auction, on 15 Ianuary 1958. Brigid Byrne, Iosephine Carmody, Margaret

Coffey, Nora Considine, Ernest de Regge, Thomas Donlon, Iames Fitzgibbon and Helena MacNamara were killed in the accident. A memorial tablet recalls this sad event on the wall

of Carmody's former staff house. The hotel, its livery stables and outbuildings were demolished and now form the entrance to the car park opposite the Queen's Hotel.

6 On this picture we can see an early Ford car on the northern end of Abbey Street, close to the Queen's Hotel. The hotel had acquired the Barrett premises some time before and was briefly mentioned in Iames joyce's 'Ulysses' in

1 92 2. Parts of the medieval friary and two seventeenth-century houses, built to the specifications laid down by Henry O'Brien, 7th Earl of Thomond, are incorporated within the fabric of the hotel. The first shop to the left was then a millinery, drapery and dressmaking establishment owned by the Griffin family Knox and Company had a grocery at Number 18, next

door to Griffin's, and Kenny and Company were hardware merchants at Numbers 20,22 and 23. Part of Friary Bow can be seen to the right, the façade ofwhat became Bu-

gIer's Medical Hall is beside the entry to St. Mary's Franciscan Church and the sign overhead indicated Number 21 where H. Webster was a grocer and tea and wine merchant.

7 Abbey Street is also named Church Street as the Protestant church was once located within the preeinets of Ennis Friary This photograph appears to have been taken from the entrance to The Causeway, the ancient street that linked the Franciscan foundation with the O'Brien castle of Clonroad. The first shop on the left was O'Hanrahan's public house, which had become a confectioner's shop by the time this postcard was issued in the late 1940s. Iohn Spring started his hairdressing business in the next shop in 1896 and a joint of meat can be seen hanging outside Consi-

dine's butcher shop. Two young girls push a pram across the entrance to Post Office Lane on the right and George Meehari's cigar emporium can be seen behind the two schoolboys

on the footpath. Michael Considine's public house, next to Meehan's, had na rear entrance in those days. This earned its owner the nickname 'Dunkirk' as there was only one way

out in the event of a police raid.

8 EamondeValera(1882 to 1975), popularly known as 'Dev' , represented County Clare from 1917 until1959 when he won the Presidential election. Wilham H.K. Redmond (1861 to 191 7) was the Member of Parliament for East Clare from 1892 until he was killed in action during the First World War, at the age offifty-six. Eamon de Valera, the Sinn Féin candidate and last surviving commander of the Easter Rising, taak the seat and turned the eastern part of the county into a staunch republican constituency He was President of Sinn Féin from 191 7 until he

resigned and formed the Fiarma Fail Party, which held its first Ard Fheis on 24 November 1926. This photograph seems to date from 1927, when fortyfour Fianna Fan deputies

were returned in a general election, as 'Dev', the man in black, enters O'Connell Square from Abbey Street. The banner carried by his supporters actually proclaims 'Sinn Féin Porever

and the shop front to the left is identified as the Fianna Fan election office.

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