Castlebar Fever Hospital – a vanished memorial to culpable indifference

Fri, Sep 29, 2023

Castlebar Fever Hospital was the first structure demolished in 1965 when works on what would become the Sacred Heart Hospital commenced. The Fever Hospital and the Workhouse that shadowed it are at the top of the list of former public spaces in Castlebar with a dark and terrible history.

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The Lion that roared

Fri, Sep 22, 2023

Ireland has a long history of individuals, groups, and charities assisting homeless people through charitable donations, fundraising activities, voluntary work, and the provision of accommodation. While philanthropic efforts can never solve the problem of homelessness, such endeavours have left their mark in the historical archives.

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The Battle for Ballinrobe Workhouse 1883-1888

Fri, Sep 01, 2023

Patrick J. Farragher was a dark-complexioned individual but was otherwise of regular features. His heavy moustache gave him a military appearance. Up to September 1879, Farragher held the lease to a farm on the Mannin Estate in Aghamore.

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Politicians react to Mayo constituency changes

Fri, Sep 01, 2023

Following the announcement this week that the Electoral Commission recommends the Mayo constituency be changed from a four-seater to a five-seater and that south mayo areas added to the Galway west Dáil constituency be returned to the Mayo Dáil constituency - reaction was swift from some political quarters around Mayo.

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Castlebar Prison and the 1798 Rebellion

Fri, Aug 11, 2023

When the English forces regained control of Castlebar after the departure of General Humbert, the greater part of the County Prison on the Green was taken from the control of Governor Henry Moran and set aside for military purposes. Provost Martial William Clavroge assumed responsibility for the military section and military prisoners. Apart from a few common criminals, the prison population of 190 comprised captured Irish rebels, deserters from the British military and militias, and political prisoners such as John Moore.

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225th Anniversary of the Races of Castlebar

Fri, Aug 04, 2023

On the road between Castlebar and Belcarra, near the village of Tully, a small stone bridge fords a slow-moving river. The river runs through low boglands in the townland of Logaphuill parallel to the Cottage Road and east of French Hill.

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A Motley Gathering of Sycophants

Thu, Jul 20, 2023

Castlebar got a new Town Hall on 6 June 1894. The Linen Hall, built in 1790, was given a new purpose. In 1986, the Education Centre in John Wesley's Methodist Church on the Green relocated to the Town Hall. When the Arts Council came on board in 1990, the Linen Hall Arts Centre was born, and the 'Linen Hall' had a new purpose.

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The Road

Fri, Jul 14, 2023

In the summer of 1831, famine returned to County Mayo, and the starving took to the roads in search of food. Travellers on the roads witnessed and recorded many desperate people in the fields feeding on mustard, cress, and other herbage. Convoys of horses and carts carrying food also plied the roads, and it was not long before the starving turned their attention to them. The carts had meal and flour imported through Westport, destined for markets, big houses, and famine relief depots. The authorities responded by assigning armed escorts, but hunger had disarmed people of their fear of armed soldiers and constables.

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Darkie Barton

Fri, Jul 07, 2023

Professional boxer Kid Johnson, an American light-weight champion, was touring Ireland in 1902. In January, while at the Town Hall in Castlebar, he sparred with Darkie Barton. The Boxing World & Mirror of Life announced that Barton, an 'old man' in boxing circles, held his own, and afterwards, the pair agreed to a formal match. In September 1901, Barton had been knocked out in one minute and five seconds by Henry Brown, Liverpool's 'coloured champion'. Browne had also disposed of Johnson in four rounds.

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Kate Nickleby

Fri, Jun 16, 2023

On 3 February 1842, Baptist missionaries Mr Clarke and Dr Prince boarded the Barque Mary at Bassipa, a new settlement established by London merchant Robert Jamieson on the island of Fernando Po, Equatorial Guinea. Their destination was Liverpool. The voyage was stalked by disaster from the outset. On 11 February, the main mast was struck by lightning in a storm, and a crew member was killed. On 25 March, the mast fell onto the deck bringing down sails and rigging, leaving the ship adrift at the mercy of the waves.

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Four weddings and a mutiny – India 1920

Fri, Jun 02, 2023

On 28 June 1920, members of the Connaught Rangers Regiment stationed at Wellington Barracks, Jullundur in Punjab, mutinied in protest against the activities of the British Army in Ireland. The irony of their stance as members of a colonial occupying army was, it would seem, lost on them. Two men took the protest to the Connaught Rangers company at Solon Barracks the next day. On the evening of 1 July, a group armed with bayonets attempted to take weapons from the magazine fort at Solon. The guard opened fire, killing a mutineer and an innocent man. The protest started peacefully at both locations—orders were ignored, tricolours were flown, Sinn Féin rosettes were worn, and rebel songs were sung. Sixty-one men were convicted of mutiny. Fourteen were sentenced to death, but only one, James Joseph Daly, was executed. Those imprisoned were released in 1923. Ballina man James J. Devers, one of the Solon mutineers, was among those released. Devers enlisted in 1918.

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The long dark shadow

Fri, May 19, 2023

Private James Barry was posted as a sentry at the barrack gate in Castlebar on the night of 13 May 1830. When darkness descended, he tied a long handkerchief to the trigger of his musket. He then tied the other end to the gate bolt, put the muzzle to his chest and stepped backwards. The shot passed through his heart and exited through his spine. The inquest found Barry suffered from temporary insanity occasioned by 'fatal love'.

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